|"The world isn't safe for a girl like me, but maybe I'm not safe for the world either."|
|Portrayed by||Taissa Farmiga|
|Last Appearance||The Seven Wonders|
|Occupation||Council member at Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies|
|Relationships||Queenie (colleague) |
Kyle Spencer (boyfriend)
|Relatives||Nora Benson (mother)|
|Powers and Abilities|
|Magic in "Coven" (for Witches and Voodoo)|
Zoe is a witch with the uncontrollable power to cause whoever she is currently engaging in intercourse with to hemorrhage until they die. It's only upon the untimely death of her boyfriend that it's revealed that her great-grandmother shared her "curse". She is then whisked away to a school, where young witches learn to control their gifts; a school supervised by Cordelia Foxx.
FX's Fan Guide. “Girl-next-door Zoe Benson has her life turned upside-down in an instant when her true lineage is violently revealed. Ripped from her family and the only life she has ever known, Zoe must all-too-quickly learn to navigate her strange and uncontrollable gifts.”
Personality and Appearance
Zoe is a young girl with chest-long, straight, dark blonde hair. She is seen to wear it down with a center part most of the time. She is about 5'6" with long legs and a very slim, athletic build. She has light skin and an oval-shaped face with caramel eyes. She is seen to wear very little make up and dresses in dark colors much of the time, oftentimes pairing a hat with her ensemble.
Zoe is a shy, quiet girl and, unlike her fellow witches, cannot remain cool under pressure, as she blurted out that she and Madison were witches when the police questioned them about the events that took place at the frat party. While the academy was under siege and, in the absences of Cordelia and Fiona, Zoe took charge, acting as leader for Nan, Queenie, Madame LaLaurie, Spalding and Luke, confronting zombies, and developing new powers in the wake of attacks from the Voodoo Queen and witch hunters.
Powers and Abilities
- Black Widow: Though the nature and extent of Zoe's powers remain unknown, she has demonstrated the ability to cause violent, nearly instantaneous death by engaging in intercourse.
- Power Negation: Zoe has used magic powerful enough to break Marie Laveau's spell, though she did not do so consciously.
- Divination: When Zoe reneged on her deal to release the Axeman and was facing the consequences, she tried fulfilling her end of the bargain by searching for the spell that would release him. She was able to scry for the spell book she needed on a shelf full of books, which magically opened to the exact spell she needed. Earlier, Zoe was going through a box of Madison's things, trying to find something that might help locate her. She accidentally drops a vile which rolls into the closet. Zoe investigates and the clothes hanging up begin to sway away from the wall, revealing a secret compartment. She looks inside and finds a spirit board; she later uses it to discover Madison's whereabouts.
- Vitalum Vitalis: She was able to resurrect a man Kyle murdered in Florida. This power could have also been how Kyle was resurrected if the spell did not work properly.
- Telekinesis: She was able to propel The Axeman through the air, as well as telekinetically hand herself a knife which she used to kill him. She was also seen sitting on her bed whilst levitating it in mid air. During the Seven Wonders she brings a lit candle towards her and blows out the flame.
- Concilium: She was able to control Kyle's mind, making him walk over to her and kiss her during the Concilium face off between her and Madison.
- Descensum: She was able to descend into the netherworld during the Descensum portion of The Seven Wonders, where Kyle repeatedly broke up with her on a loop.
- Transmutation: She was able to move instantaneously during the Transmutation portion of The Seven Wonders from one location to another. What started off as a fun game of tag with the other witches goes horribly wrong when she accidentally teleports herself through a rod on the iron gate of the academy, impaling herself.
- Spellcraft: She is proficient and formidable at casting spells better than other witches at the Academy.
- The first spell Zoe attempted was with the help of Madison. They plan to cast a resurrection spell over Kyle's newly reassembled body. At first they believe the ritual was a failure, but after Zoe kisses his corpse, the spell is complete and he is reanimated.
- Due to Myrtle 's enchanting of Spalding's tongue, though it was severed it remained as it was, since the moment it was removed. Zoe was able to cast a spell to reattach it.
- Upon obtaining the proper spell, Zoe recited the incantation and released the spirit of the Axeman.
- Later, she was able to cast a spell which allowed her to see what actually occurred at the time of Nan's death.
Zoe plans to lose her virginity, instead resulting in losing her boyfriend, Charlie. Her mother explains that her great-grandmother bore the very same curse, revealing her as a witch. Soon after, Myrtle Snow and her valets retrieve Zoe and whisk her away to New Orleans to attend Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies. Upon entry, she is immediately subjected to a hazing by ghastly masked fellow students, Madison Montgomery, Nan, and Queenie. Afterwards, the headmistress, Cordelia Foxx, gives her a tour, tracing the history of witches and instilling the importance of discretion. Zoe accompanies Madison to a college party, where she meets charming scholarship student, Kyle Spencer. However, their flirtations are cut short when Kyle breaks up the gang-rape of a drugged Madison perpetrated by his frat brothers. Madison recovers enough to wreak her revenge by telekinetically wrecking the escape vehicle with them inside. The next day, upon learning that the tragedy yielded two anonymous survivors, Zoe visits the hospital in hopes that one may be the innocent, heroic Kyle. She is disappointed to find two undeservedly living rapists instead, ringleader included. In a perverse combination of unappeasable sexual desire and monstrous revenge, she mounts the boy and he suffers her deadly curse. 
Zoe and Madison are then questioned by officers, regarding the deaths of those on the bus and the survivors that Zoe visited. Zoe cracks under pressure and begins to tell all. After this situation is magically and mercilessly remedied by Supreme Fiona Goode, Zoe suffers the wrath of the Supreme, who calls her the weakest among them. Later, she and Madison break into the morgue to revive Kyle with a stolen resurrection spell. As the boys are now a jumbled mess of dismembered limbs, they resign themselves to assembling a boyfriend from the choicest parts. As the spell appears to fail, Madison leaves Zoe to say goodbye. Zoe apologizes to Kyle and gives him a kiss that unexpectedly completes the resurrection. After Franken-Kyle answers the imposition of a security guard with a savage beating, Zoe escapes with him in the watchman's car. Misty Day, drawn by Zoe's necromancy, rises from the back seat and offers her help. She takes them to her bayou cabin and nurses Kyle back to health with a homemade poultice, as she bonds with Zoe over witchcraft and music. She agrees to look after Kyle in Zoe's place, who must return to the academy.
Soon after she returns for Kyle whose wounds have healed and returns him to his mother, later that day Zoe visits the Spencer's house having been previously invited to dinner. She enters the house after knocking and having nobody answer and it is then that she stumbles upon the mutilated and bloody body of Kyle's mother, She screams in horror and spins around to reveal a blood-caked and wide-eyed Kyle (Unbeknownst to her Kyle killed his mother because she had been molesting him). The next morning Zoe is close to tears and Kyle reaches out to touch her cheek, but Zoe pulls away, saying he must be hungry. She goes to the kitchen to make him food and notices rat poison in the cabinet. She reaches for it, but whether she actually puts it in the food is left ambiguous. She returns to the bathroom with the food to find Kyle missing.
Back at the house Zoe is questioned by the “Witches Counsel” about Madison Montgomery's disappearance unknown to them she was killed by Fiona Goode. Later that night the house was attacked by “Zombies” sent by Marie Laveau, Zoe then takes charge of the situation having everyone lock doors and windows, draw the drapes and send a wounded Queenie upstairs. Zoe then goes outside to save Nan & Luke Ramsey by causing a distraction she then uses a chainsaw to kill the zombie’s and then successfully breaking Marie Laveau’s spell stopping the Zombies altogether. After words Laveau states “they’ve got some real power there now”. Zoe later attends Myrtle Snow burning at the stake which horrifies her.
Zoe believing Madison dead begins an investigation to find out what happened only to be led by the ghost of The Axeman to proof of his own murder, first believing this is Madison she gathers Queenie & Nan to use a “Ouija board” to communicate with her but only the Axeman responded and reveals himself to them, Queenie end it and the three of them research the axeman. Zoe uses the “Ouija board” again promising the Axeman release from the house if tells her were Madison is, under the Axeman instructions Zoe goes to Spalding’s room in the attic and finds Madison’s Body. Later Zoe returns to Misty’s shack to ask her to resurrect Madison only to find Kyle throwing a violent tantrum, smashing Misty's things and finally her radio, which causes Misty to cry. Seeing Zoe Kyle immediately runs to her clinging to her like a scared child. Misty tells Zoe to take Kyle out of there, upset because "he broke Stevie". Zoe says she needs both of them to come with her. In the Coven’s greenhouse, Zoe chains Kyle to the wall by the wrist, this upsets him but Zoe has a calming effect on him. Zoe then convinces Misty to bring a rotting Madison back to life, though Misty is reluctant to do so she succeeds and Zoe, Queenie and Nan take Madison to her room and recover. Later, Zoe offers for Misty to stay and she refuses, also telling Zoe that she won't take Kyle back. That same night the Axeman attacks Cordelia and to save her she use exceptional power and releases the Axeman.
Zoe brings Madison's handgun to the greenhouse in an attempt to end Kyle's life. Kyle aware of what is about to happen and snatches the handgun from Zoe, but then puts it in his mouth to attempt suicide with it. He fails to take his own life due to interference from Zoe who can’t bare to lose him and they cry in each other’s arms. Zoe brings Kyle into the school building, and to her and Madison's bedroom. Using flashcards, she tries to teach him how to communicate but he interrupts the lesson with bursts of violence. Madison cuts their lesson, delivering the message that Cordelia's asking for Zoe. Madison offers to look after Kyle while Zoe gone, Cordelia congratulates Zoe on the power level it took to release the Axeman and that she may be the next Supreme and to keep it secret for Fiona will kill her and that they should stop her. In the short time Zoe's gone, Madison and Kyle connect on the fact that they are both undead and when Zoe returns she finds Kyle having sex with Madison up against the cupboard.
In fear for her life Zoe interrogates Spalding by restoring his severed tongue and forcing him to tell the truth about Fiona right before she stabs him in the chest killing the butler. Zoe washes off Spalding’s blood in the shower until confronted by Madison about what she saw between her and Kyle, Madison states that Zoe obviously likes Kyle and that they should be together as Kyle would now be immune to her "Black Widow" power. Zoe considers this, though Madison makes it clear that she doesn't plan on giving Kyle up, explaining to Zoe that having sex with him was the first and only time she's felt anything since her resurrection. Zoe offers to take turns, but Madison proposes they share. Taking Zoe by the hand, Madison leads her to their bedroom where Kyle is sitting expectantly on the edge of Zoe's bed. Zoe drops her towel and the trio engage in a threesome. Zoe and Madison try and fail to convince Queenie to return to the coven. Back at the coven Zoe and Kyle are seen in the girls' bedroom, a laptop held between them. She is again attempting to teach Kyle how to talk with a "Speak 'n' Spell" app on her computer. Though Madison would prefer to merely use Kyle as a sex toy, Zoe is determined to get him functioning again "so he can communicate and maybe even rejoin society". Seeing as they will be busy all night, Zoe leaves a contented Kyle with some preschool computer games to keep him occupied. Later that night, the coven discovers that they are under attack. Zoe tries to take Kyle away from the danger, but he refuses and says his first turn of phrase: "This road goes two ways", which he'd learned and repeated from the computer game. He then confesses he loves her, which she reciprocates. Madison, who overhears the confession, is visibly hurt.
Zoe and a now lucid (but still traumatized) Kyle grow closer, and comfort each other at Nan’s funeral. When Zoe discovers that Nan was murdered and Madison shows no concern, Zoe calls her out on her behavior and remarks “we should have just let you rot”, Madison begins sexual advances on Kyle to spite Zoe to which she acts nonchalant but Kyle angrily denies her and proclaims his love for Zoe, and Madison becomes enraged and uses her telekinesis to attack them, hitting Zoe in the back of the head with a lamp and the scuffle is broken up by Myrtle Snow. Madison threatens the three of them that she will be the next Supreme and that she will undo Kyle. Later that night, Zoe and Myrtle talk in Cordelia's greenhouse. Myrtle tells Zoe to escape with Kyle while she still can, giving her a unique and expensive piece of jewelery to use for money but Zoe will not leave due to her commitment to the Coven and her belief that she is the next Supreme. Myrtle reminds her that she has enemies everywhere and must leave, specifically Madison and Fiona. Zoe decides to run away with Kyle and asks him to pack but Kyle is afraid of leaving because of his rages and tells her that his leaving is not her decision to make. Zoe lovingly assures him that she is not afraid of him and they gleefully flee to the bus terminal headed to Orlando.
In Orlando a homeless man verbally accosts them for stealing his spot under a tree and Kyle kills him, Zoe then revives him with her power of Vitalum Vitalis and concludes she might be the next Supreme. They return to the Coven in the middle of a conflict between Misty and Madison. Kyle stops the fight between Misty and Madison and separates the two right before the attempted attack of The Axeman. The witches disable the Axeman and discover he’d killed Fiona, Using their power of telekinesis, Zoe, Madison, Misty and Queenie kill the Axeman.
At the “Trial of the Seven Wonders” during the “Trial of Concilium” Madison uses Kyle to show her power by controlling his mind and antagonize Zoe by forcibly controlling him to kiss her and lick her boot, but Zoe retaliates by having Kyle passionately kiss her to which he does not fight, Madison then has Kyle choke Zoe but Cordelia Foxx telekinetically throws him aside and ends the fight. At the “Trial of Descensum” Zoe’s experience of hell is an endless loop of Kyle saying he doesn't love her and them breaking up and when she returns she is distressed and consoled by Kyle. Zoe, Queenie and Madison turn the “Trial of Transmutation” into a game of “tag” to unwind but Zoe accidentally transmutes to the top of the iron gate outside the house and is impaled, a distraught Kyle attempts to save her as she dies. In the greenhouse Queenie attempts to resurrect her to no avail (thus failing the test) and a crying Kyle is consoled and taken into the house by her, Cordelia and Myrtle request Madison to resurrect Zoe but she refuses.
In the Greenhouse Kyle cries over Zoe’s dead body saying “you said you’d never leave me”. In a rage he throttles Madison for refusing to save Zoe, but Zoe is resurrected by Cordelia who turns out to be the Supreme all along and she brings the coven to a new age by revealing the Coven to the world and asking Zoe and Queenie to become the new members of the “Witches Council”.
Zoe stays with Kyle and the Coven under the new reign of Cordelia’s supremacy as part of the Council and Kyle is now the house butler, replacing Spalding.
- She is the second character to be portrayed by Taissa Farmiga. The first was Violet Harmon in Murder House. Both characters also died within the series (Zoe was later resurrected).
- Zoe is in a complicated relationship with Evan Peters' character, Kyle Spencer. This is the second pairing between the two, the first being Violet Harmon and Tate Langdon. Both character died within the respective seasons (Kyle however was later resurrected by Zoe and Madison)
- Zoe's curse is reminiscent of the plight of X-Men member, Rogue, and the protagonist of the 2007 comedy/horror movie, Teeth.
- She is one of the many characters brought back from the dead in Coven.
- To Madison Montgomery: "Did we just marry the Devil? 'Cause I don't know if I'm down with that."
- To Queenie: "Witch up!"
- To a zombie: "Be in your nature!"
- Zoe: "The world isn't safe for a girl like me, but maybe I'm not safe for the world either."
- To Archie: "It should have been you, asshole!"
- To Madison Montgomery: "How can you be such a bitch?"