troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Characters: American Horror Story: Murder House

Warning! This page will contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

    open/close all folders 

    Harmon Family 

Dr. Benjamin Ben Harmon

"The more you fear something, the more power you give it."
Played By: Dylan McDermott

A psychiatrist, married to Vivien Harmon and the father of Violet Harmon. Ben has an affair with one of his psychiatry students, Hayden, after his wife Vivien has a stillbirth. As a result, he and Vivien decided to move the family from Boston to Los Angeles in an attempt to start anew.
  • Agent Scully: He's a firm skeptic, refusing to believe there's anything odd going on with the house.
  • Character Development: His journey from being fairly self-involved, to seeing 'things how they really are'.
  • Chick Magnet: Bordering on Even the Guys Want Him. Ghosts in particular seem turned on by him.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He mentions having a difficult childhood and being on a 'path to destruction'.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: After he walks in on Young!Moira having her own date.
  • Death Equals Redemption: Only after his death is he able to unite the family.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Frequently, especially with young!Moira deliberately trying to invoke this.
  • Driven to Suicide: Almost. Though he didn't actually commit suicide, Marcy uses this to explain his death to potential buyers.
  • Final Boy: By "Birth", he's the last of the original Harmon family left alive. His status as Final Boy is quickly revoked partway through "Afterbirth", as Hayden and several other ghosts hang him from a chandelier.
  • Has a Type: He's married to a strawberry-blonde wife, who he cheated on with a redhead student, and is constantly Distracted by the Sexy, who in this case is his redhead maid. Notice a trend here?
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Almost always seen in a black leather jacket, which matches his black shirt, black pants, and black hair. It's sinister looking.
  • Hot Teacher: He was Hayden's teacher, after all.
  • Interrupted Suicide: After losing Vivien and Violet, Ben puts a gun to his head with every intent of pulling the trigger. At the last second, Vivien's ghost stepped in to stop him so that he could raise the baby.
  • It's All About Me: Prior to his character development. His entire arc on the show is about him getting over this, and seeing the world around him as it really is.
  • Jerkass: He quickly resorts to getting aggressive and rude to others when things don't go his way.
    • Dr. Jerk: His bedside manner isn't exactly an inspiration. He even daydreams and ignores a patient whose problem was that everyone was ignoring her even though he was (unwittingly) drugged at the time.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold as well, as he seems to really care for his family, but handles himself poorly.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Has quite a few shots of his naked ass, as well as a shower scene.
  • Papa Wolf: To Violet. He gets extremely upset when Tate taunts him about her.
  • Sleepwalking: The effect that the house has on him.
  • Supernatural Proof Father: When Hayden shows up in episodes 4 and 5 after Larry killed her the episode before, Ben jumps to the conclusion that they are working together to get money out of him, despite the fact he held her dead body in his arms and built a friggin' gazebo over her burial place.
    • When Vivien starts seeing the ghosts, he thinks she's gone crazy.
    • He only believes Vivien's story about the Rubber Man after speaking to Luke. And even then they both think it's someone who broke in!
    • Doesn't even notice that Violet is dead, believing that she's only depressed.
    • It's only after he dies that he believes. He then uses that knowledge to help prevent the same thing from happening again.
      • Or when Violet keyed him in on everything the episode prior.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: He was the teacher to Hayden's student.
  • Together in Death: With Vivien and Violet.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Ben manages to threaten Larry, finding out where he lives and then breaking in.
  • Your Cheating Heart: His infidelity is what causes the family to try and get a new start.

Vivien Harmon

"The thing is when you fall in love, its kind of like you go crazy. Before you know it the whole world looks different, and youll do anything for the other person."
Played By: Connie Britton

A housewife and a former cellist. She had a stillbirth that caused her to withdraw from her husband Ben, who then had an affair with Hayden, one of his college students. In the process of dealing with the issues of her husband and the loss of their baby, she somewhat neglects her daughter Violet, but they seem to have a loving relationship. Vivien had been repulsed at the idea of any sexual contact with Ben, yet seemed committed to keeping the family together and to patching things up to go on with their lives.

Violet Harmon

"So we're the Addams family now?"
Played By: Taissa Farmiga

"I'm not gonna off myself. So you can go back to your policy of benign neglect."

The teenaged daughter of Vivien and Ben Harmon. She was upset at her family moving, as well as with her father's infidelity and mother's stillbirth.

    Langdon Family 

Constance Langdon

"I questioned my sanity when I first found out, but this house will make you a believer."
Played By: Jessica Lange

"Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I was destined for great things. I was going to be somebody. Person of significance."

The next door neighbor to the Harmons, and a former resident of the house. Constance had four children: Tate, Adelaide, Beauregard, and one other unnamed child. Constance originally moved from Virginia to California in order to become a movie star, but did not want to do nudity, so her career never got off the ground. She was soon pregnant with her first child, Adelaide. At some point in the late 1970s/early 1980s, Constance and her family moved into the house.
  • Abusive Parent: Constance locks Adelaide in a closet full of mirrors after she interrupts Constance's "business meeting". She also chains her son Beau up in the attic because of a genetic deformity.
  • Blondes are Evil
  • Born Unlucky: All of her children have died, Tate killed 15 people as well as burning her husband at the time, her first husband cheated on her, her most current lover, Travis, was killed by Hayden, and her grandson is a sociopath who may very well be the Anti-Christ.
    Moira: You need to pay for what you've done.
    Constance: I do... every goddamn day.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Evil Chef: She cooks a deadly dish for Violet in one of the first episodes, but luckily it's eaten by Bianca Forest instead.
  • Evil Matriarch
  • Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence: Calls Patrick and Chad's homosexuality an abomination, and even phones in a medium in an attempt to exorcise them in the penultimate episode of season one.
  • Final Girl: She's the only member of the main cast to remain alive by the end (except for Larry, who was sent to jail and likely did not survive much longer there either).
  • Gold Digger: Hooked up with Larry Harvey, not out of love, but so she could get back into the house.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Double subverted, since she comments to Vivien that had they had the tests for Down's back then she would have had Adelaide aborted. This pretty clearly sets up how she sees her children.
  • Haunted House Historian
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: And eventually, she does take Vivien's son out of the house.
  • Karma Houdini: An interesting version of this, while she escapes criminal punishment for her deeds, she suffers greatly through the death of all her children, and anyone she loves.
  • Large Ham
  • Mama Bear: Nobody is allowed to hurt Addy except for her.
    • Applies to Tate and her second son, Beau, who she had Larry kill to prevent him from being taken by the state, as well. She will kill to keep her family together, even going so far as to ally with Moira and Larry to off an unpleasant possible buyer. He was going to tear the house down.
  • May-December Romance: With Travis.
  • Must Have Nicotine
  • Pet the Dog: Largely in regard to her daughter, Addie. Despite her being constantly passive aggressive, belittling her, regarding her with disgust and going so far as to lock her in a room full of mirrors, she still seems to love her and is distraught when Addie is killed. It's a...complex relationship.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain
  • Racist Grandma
  • Southern Belle: Of the aging, Blanche Dubois variety. Fitting, as Jessica Lange portrayed Blanche Dubois in several Streetcar Named Desire adaptations.
  • Sticky Fingers: Constance has no qualms about stealing from Vivien, and does so twice during the pilot.
    • As of the third episode, make that just about every time she enters their house.
      • And other people's houses as well.
  • White-Dwarf Starlet: An odd example. She wanted to break into movies and certainly has both the ego and dramatic flair, but never succeeded in the first place, which she says was due to her unwillingness to do nudity. She stills acts like a faded Hollywood star, though.
  • Would Hurt a Child

Tate Langdon

"Hi, I'm Tate. I'm dead. Want to hook up?"
Played By: Evan Peters & Paul Butler

"I think I have mommy issues. You know a good therapist?"

An unsettling new patient of Ben's, later revealed to be the ghost of Constance's murderous son.
  • An Axe to Grind: He uses an axe to kill Bianca.
  • The Atoner: It almost seems like it, and he probably thinks he is, but he never stops doing monstrous things.
  • Ax-Crazy
  • Back from the Dead: As a ghost.
  • Bi the Way: Agrees with Violet that gay porn is hot, though he says it somewhat facetiously. He also offered to have sex with Patrick, although this was to get his wedding ring. Whether or not he is actually bisexual is unknown.
    • Is certaintly homophobic, however. His murder of Patrick was rather explicitly a hate crime
    • Although interestingly enough, the reason given for killing Chad and Patrick wasn't that as a gay couple, they couldn't come up with a baby for Nora, but rather that as they were on the verge of breaking up, there wouldn't be a baby for Nora to take. Then again, the egregious scene involving an Ass Shove with the poker, is disturbingly reminiscent of a hate crime. It might have been a shoddy Plan A attempt to paint the murder as an external hate crime, before Moira (or was it Nora?) pointed out the flaw in this reasoning and turned it into a murder-suicide instead. Add to that the fact that Tate's "which one is the mommy" bit was meant to invoke a Berserk Button (as opposed to his mother's clear homophobia) and the fact that Tate is a sociopath at the best of times, it's entirely possible he just really enjoys fucking with people regardless of their sexuality. Or this could just be a Draco in Leather Pants thing.
  • Blonde Guys Are Evil
  • Boom, Headshot: How he killed Stephanie, Amir and Kevin in the Westfield High Massacre.
  • Crocodile Tears: In the beginning, towards Ben; arguably throughout the series.
  • Cry Cute: Perhaps the ultimate male example of this.
  • Dawson Casting: Tate is 17 years old, Evan Peters was 24 when he played him.
  • Dead All Along
  • Dead to Begin With
  • Deadpan Snarker: Has his moments of this.
  • Dressed All in Rubber: After the identity of the rubber man is revealed.
  • Expy: Tate is a (literally) Axe Crazy, lying, young man who has obsession with a younger girl and a mentally challenged sibling, and is first introduced with the Kill Bill whistle tune playing; he is clearly based on the lead character from the 1969 movie Twisted Nerve.
  • Freudian Excuse: For a lot of things. YMMV on how much they actually matter.
  • Haunted House Historian
  • Inelegant Blubbering: In the last episode, after Violet leaves him after finding out the truth about his past actions, Tate is shown sobbing hysterically, a long string of snot dripping from his nose.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Even if it means killing any guy Violet takes even a remote liking to, so that the guy can join her as a ghost in the house.
  • Jerkass: Pre-death, he murders 15 classmates and disfigures his mother's boyfriend. Post-death, he kills more innocents and rapes Vivien, fathering a potential Antichrist in the process.
  • Love at First Sight: Towards Violet.
  • Love Redeems: His love for Violet is something he has never felt before, which is weird at the beginning he was acting as a sociopath. Its arguable as to whether his love is genuine.
    • He says he does, but it's possible he doesn't. See Mommy Issues above.
    • Ultimately this is averted. He's in love with her, but that doesn't stop him being a monster, albeit a regretful one.
  • Mommy Issues: Tate describes himself as having these. They've surfaced as what Moira describes as a compulsive need to please the ladies of the house, and are why he donned the rubber suit in the first place.
  • Moral Myopia: Like any sociopath, he has no concept of good and evil. He looks down on some acts while defends his own inherent evil.
  • Nightmare Fetishist
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: His rape of Vivien.
  • Slasher Smile
  • Stalker with a Crush
  • The Sociopath: At the end of the series, he takes responsibility for the heinous crimes he has committed, directly contradicting the denial-riddled nature of a sociopath. This suggests his character may have actually developed from the first episode to the last.
  • Teens Are Monsters
  • Troubled, but Cute
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He raped Vivien because he thought he was helping Nora, the only motherly figure he'd ever received attention and affection from (especially in light of his Mommy Issues). However, this only applies after his death and after he meets Violet.
    • He also tries to kill a potential new resident to give Violet some company.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: He's mentally damaged, neglected by his parents, and clearly depressed...and also a seemingly sweet boyfriend. And he cries so prettily! On the other hand, he's a mass-murdering, stalking ghost.
  • Yandere: For Violet.

Adelaide "Addie" Langdon

Played By: Jamie Brewer & Katelyn Reed

The daughter of Constance Langdon and sister to Tate, Beauregard, and one other unnamed sibling. Addie would frequently appear inside of or near the house, often giving ominous warnings of death.

Beauregard Langdon

Played By: Sam Kinsey

"Play! Play!"

Constance's son, and brother to Tate, Adelaide, and an unnamed third child. Beau was kept hidden away in the attic due to being born deformed and with Down Syndrome. He was smothered by Larry at Constance's request, to prevent the State from taking him away.

  • Back from the Dead: As a ghost.
  • The Grotesque: Despite having a natural penchant for being horrifying, Beau does't have a mean bone in his body.
  • Iconic Item: He has a red ball he likes to play with that shows up as often as he does.
  • Madwoman in the Attic: He was kept chained in the attic until his death.
  • Morality Pet: Perhaps the only person Hayden has been shown to treat nice without any caveats.

Hugo Langdon

Played By: Eric Close

Constance's cheating husband, who was shot to death by Constance after she found him trying to have sexual relationships with Moira back in 1983. His body was chopped off and fed to the dogs. His ghost resides in the house, and was seen once having sexual relationships with Hayden.

Michael Langdon

Played By: Asher Gian Starita

One of Vivien's newborns, fathered by Tate, as a result of his rape of Vivien. Survived the birth, unlike his mother and twin.

    Ghosts 

Moira OHara

"I'm not naive to the ways of men. Their need to objectify, conquer. They see what they want to see. Women, however, see into the soul of a person."
Played By: Frances Conroy & Alexandra Breckinbridge

"That's what men do—they make you think you're crazy so that they can have their fun."

The maid that comes with the house, she appears as an old woman to everyone but living men, who see her as a sexy young girl. She was Constance's maid when she owned the house with her husband Hugo. When Hugo attempts to rape her, Constance walks in and, believing they were having an affair, shoots Moira right through her eye before killing her husband.

Hayden McClaine

"I'm not a whore, Ben! I matter!"
Played By: Kate Mara

The emotionally unstable former lover and student of Ben Harmon.

Nora Montgomery

"My baby... Where is my baby?"
Played By: Lily Rabe

The wife of Dr. Charles Montgomery. He built the house for her, and they were the first residents of the house along with their baby son Thaddeus. She assisted her husband in performing illegal abortions to maintain themselves financially. Eventually, their son is abducted by the boyfriend of one of their clients, and is later revealed to have been killed by the kidnapper.

Dr. Charles Montgomery

"A writer writes, a surgeon cuts."
Played By: Matt Ross

A surgeon in the 1920s who built the house for his wife Nora. However, they eventually fall apart as he becomes more obsessed with his profession and alcohol. He performed illegal abortions to maintain themselves financially. Eventually, their only son is abducted by the boyfriend of one of their clients, and is later revealed to have been killed by the kidnapper.

Travis Wanderley

Played By: Michael Graziadei

Travis is Constance's lover. He dreams of making it big, constantly auditioning and modeling. Unlike Constance, he has no reservations against nudity and is willing to do anything for the fame. After Addie's death, Constance becomes more impatient with him, which caused him to cheat on her with Hayden. Shortly afterwards, he is killed by Hayden.
  • Back from the Dead: As a ghost.
  • Brainless Beauty
  • Death by Sex
  • Glasgow Grin
  • Friend to All Children: He has this tendency. He gets along with Adelaide way better than Constance, and he seems to genuinely enjoy playing with Larry's daughters and doesn't care about them being horribly burned. Their mother is surprised at how fast they bonded with him.
  • May-December Romance: With Constance.
  • Nice Guy: Probably the nicest character in the whole first season cast. Yes, he cheated on Constance with Hayden, but he genuinely seemed to care about her and wanted to adopt a child with her. He was also one of the few to treat Adelaide with dignity, and after he dies, he even spends time playing with Larry's daughters.
    • Even in death, he cares about Constance. He asks Larry about her, and in "Afterbirth" forcibly takes Vivien and Tate's son away from Hayden so that Constance can have him.
    • It's notable that along with the Harmon's he's one of the few ghosts capable of creating a You Are Worth Hell type Earn Your Happy Ending by "living" happily with Larry's daughters.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Sleeps with Hayden despite being in a relationship with Constance.

Chad Warwick

"I feel like I'm doomed for all of eternity to be trapped in an unhappy, adulterous relationship, working on this goddamn house. Which will never be just the way I want it."
Played By: Zachary Quinto

One of the previous owners of the house. He moved in with his boyfriend Patrick to the house with the desire to adopt a child and build a family, but they soon start to fall apart. He and Patrick were killed by Tate on Halloween.

Patrick

Played By: Teddy Sears

One of the previous owners of the house and Chad's boyfriend, Patrick spent more time at the gym that inside the house due to his fights with Chad. When he decides to dress up for Halloween just like Chad wanted to, he finds Tate killing Chad and tries to intervene, but is killed by Tate as well.

Troy & Bryan Rutger

"We got bats."
Played By: Kai and Bodhi Schulz

Two destructive red-haired preadolescents who are victims of the house. They were killed by the Infantata in 1978. Their ghosts can be seen throughout the first season, usually causing trouble, breaking things and throwing bang snaps.

Lorraine Harvey

Played By: Rebecca Wisocky

Phil Critter

Played By: W. Earl Brown

Elizabeth Short

Played By: Mena Suvari

  • Glasgow Smile: What she's famous for.
  • Historical-Domain Character: She's the infamous Black Dahlia, the unsolved and brutal murder in 1947 Los Angeles.
  • Stock Unsolved Mysteries: Here, she was given an overdose of nitrous oxide by a rapist dentist. Dr Montgomery subsequently butchered her remains for ease of transport, and to give her a nice smile.

    Other Characters 

Lawrence "Larry" Harvey

"Gimme my treat! You don't want the trick!"
Played By: Denis OHare

"The one thing about the dead is they've got nothing left to lose."

A former owner of the Harmons' house; he is heavily scarred, and walks with a limp. He originally claimed to acquiring these injuries after he burned his wife and children alive while being possessed by the house.

Marcy

Played By: Christine Estabrook

The Harmons' real estate agent. When the Harmons first viewed the house, Marcy gave them "full disclosure" of the house's history, but in fact only told them about the previous tenants being found in the basement as victims of what was believed to be a murder-suicide.

Luke

Played By: Morris Chestnut

A security patroller and installation expert for Heirloom Security, a company hired by Vivien to protect the family.

Billie Dean Howard

"This is a very crowded house."
Played By: Sarah Paulson

A psychic and old friend of Constance.

Leah

Played By: Shelby Young

Violet's bully-turned-companion. On Violet's first day of school, she was seen smoking inside the school's common area by Leah and her friends. Leah confronted the new student to the point of threatening Violet with physical force.
  • Alpha Bitch: Leah tries to make Violet eat a cigarette for smoking on campus.
  • Break the Haughty: Her being attacked in the basement of Murder House.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: With Violet. They start as enemies, but the house allows them to bond a little over mutual fear.
  • Demoted to Extra: After being a large part of Violet's subplot for the first episode, Leah only makes sporadic appearances for several episodes afterward. She's phased out entirely after Violet dies.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Violet, after the pilot.
  • Near Death Experience: In the pilot, at the hands of Tate and the Infantata.
  • Put on a Bus: She's never seen after Violet dies.
  • Scars Are Forever: Doesn't look like her scars from the pilot are healing anytime soon...

R. Franklin

Played By: Jamie Harris

A serial killer who murdered Maria and Gladys in 1968.

  • Lean and Mean: He's very tall and thin.
  • Serial Killer: Who targeted nurses exclusively.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It's not clear what happened to him. There's apparently public knowledge of him, so he was obviously discovered and presumably imprisoned or sentenced to death.
    Characters/American Horror StoryAmerican Horror Story: Asylum

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
106727
43