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Shachath (also known as the Angel of Death) is a benevolent entity that appears to administer her kiss of death to individuals who are dying or wish for death. She is a character in Asylum portrayed by Frances Conroy.

Background

Shachath only appears when she is called and whomever calls receives her "kiss of death", serving much like a grim reaper. Sister Mary Eunice is agitated when she encounters the dark angel bestowing her kiss upon the Briarcliff inmate known as Miles. She has appeared before Grace, Lana Winters, Sister Jude, and Timothy Howard.

Appearance

She manifests in classic black 1940s attire. She wears a fishnet veil which covers her eyes, and when she performs the kiss of death, two large black wings spring from her back.

Personality

She appears to be a woman in complete mourning, but at the same time trying to suppress the emotion.

Commenting on the character, Conroy described a simplicity to the character as a servant in nature - constantly fulfilling her duty in every way, namely comforting others in their time of need and difficulty usually moments before their death. Shachath also claims that she "...never judges…" those who call on her.

Story

She appears to several main characters, such as Lana Winters, Sister Jude, and Grace. In the end of the episode, she gives Grace the kiss of death after she is shot by Frank in an attempt to protect Kit Walker.[2]

Shachath appears to Timothy Howard in the sanctuary as he is nailed to the cross. Timothy pleads for her to help him, and she replies "I'm here".[3]

Shachath does not end Timothy's suffering, but believes he must cast away the Devil that possesses Sr. Mary Eunice. She later appears when Mary Eunice dies, saying she's taking both her and the Devil, and casts the Devil back to hell.[4]

When Briarcliff is put under the control of the state of Massachusetts and turned into a refuge for surplus inmates, Judy Martin is confronted by a domineering, unnamed new arrival who seems to bear the physical appearance of Shachath, though her voice is raspier due to cigarettes. When she attempts to usurp Judy's role of authority amongst Briarcliff's populace and sexually harasses her, Judy attacks "Shachath", only to find that the Angel was part of an elaborate hallucination she has been suffering from over the past two and a half years.[5]

Shachath appears to Jude, who is willing to accept the "kiss of death" this time around.[6]

Powers

Shachath was a powerful spiritual entity with a variety of supernatural powers.

  • Immortality - As an angel, she is not susceptible to human weaknesses, thus being immune to all aging, disease, and death.
  • Transmutation - The magical ability to move instantaneously from one location to another. Shachath can appear before those who should receive her kiss of death, after her mission is complete then she will disappear into thin air.
  • Kiss of death - Shachath can deliver humans' souls to the afterlife with her merciful kiss.
  • Invisibility - Shachath can become seen or unseen at will. She is invisible to living people, although she can be seen by those who are dying and by other angels and demons.

Quotes

  • Shachath (to Sister Jude)
    I come when I'm called. That's what I do, Jude. I don't judge. I never judge.
  • Shachath (to Grace Bertrand)
    Are you ready for me?
  • Shachath (to Timothy Howard)
    The devil is at Briarcliff in your favorite young nun. Guard your thoughts, use your rosary. Each bead is His name. This is your moment, Timothy.


Notes

  • She is the second character to be portrayed by Frances Conroy. For a complete list of her characters, see Cast.
  • In Ancient Hebrew, not Aramaic, "Shachat" is one of the many names for the underworld mentioned in the Old Testament, and not the name of the Angel of Death. The writing in blood on the wall that summoned Shachath was actually misspelled and says Shachach instead of Shachath. 
  • She is the first angel to appear in American Horror Story.
  • Thus far, she is the only character portrayed by Frances Conroy that did not die.
  • She is the first immortal character to be introduced in accordance of each season; The second was her cousin, The Devil. The third, fourth and fifth immortal characters introduced were Marie LaveauDelphine LaLaurie and Bastien (all of which later had their immortality revoked). The sixth was Papa Legba. The "seventh" were a handful of vampires. The eighth was The Addiction Demon. The ninth was Scáthach.
  • She is arguably one of the oldest-known characters in the AHS universe, alongside The DevilThe Addiction DemonScáthachPapa Legba, and the Old Gods.

Gallery

References

  1. In Continuum, she appears in Sister Jude's hallucination
  2. Episode: Dark Cousin
  3. Episode: The Coat Hanger
  4. Episode: The Name Game
  5. Episode: Continuum
  6. Episode: Madness Ends