Series / Hemlock Grove

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Hemlock_Grove_4457.jpg

Based on the novel of the same name and executive produced by Eli Roth, the show premiered April 19, 2013, with all 13 episodes made immediately available for online viewing on Netflix. On June 19, 2013, Netflix renewed Hemlock Grove for a second season of 10 episodes, to air in 2014. The second season premiered on July 11, 2014. The third and final season was released on October 23, 2015.


This series provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Warehouse: The abandoned Godfrey Steel Mill is an important location.
  • Adult Fear: Since all of the victims were high school girls, everyone with a child was appropriately worried.
  • Affably Evil: Dr. Arnold Spivak.
  • The Alcoholic: Chasseur had been so before and gotten sober, but the stress of the vargulf's attacks had driven her back to her old ways.
  • Always Identical Twins: Nope, Alexa and Alyssa Sworn are fraternal, but not exempt from Finishing Each Other's Sentences and Speak in Unison on occasion.
  • An Axe to Grind: Olivia's gift to Roman.
  • Angry Mob: Towards the end of the season, the town is whipped into a frenzy against Peter.
  • Anyone Can Die: By the end of the series Olivia, Roman, Johann, Norman, Marie, Destiny, Letha, Chasseur, Christina, Dr. Spivak, Annie and Miranda are all dead.
  • Arc Words: "I have seen the dragon."
  • Auto Cannibalism:
    • Werewolves eat the flesh and skin they lose after turning.
    • One of the infected lab rats in the archive footage Johann finds in season three resorts to this after killing and eviscerating his cagemate. This was an early test of Dr. Spivak's virus intended to wipe out the upir, and the infected upir also suffer the same violent frenzy and then self-consumption. Olivia, in her final moments, takes a bite out of her own arm before dying.
  • Bedlam House: Averted in the case of Norman's hospital, although patients can still meet grisly ends.
  • Beef Bandage: Peter has one after bullies beat the crap out of him.
  • Big Little Brother: Sister, actually.
  • Bittersweet Ending: For Peter, who avenges Destiny by killing Roman, but is now doomed to spend the rest of his life as a wolf.
  • Blood Lust: Both Roman and Olivia seems to have this.
  • Blood Magic: The cat's unfortunate fate.
  • Body Horror: A large part of Peter's transformation scene.
  • Break the Cutie: Christina, Peter, Shelley. Roman is more of a Break the Haughty type until after his coma. The sheriff after the murder of his twin daughters may also count.
  • Bury Your Gays: The very first person to die in the TV series is a teenage girl who is on her way to a liaison with her female teacher. Additionally, one of the few main characters who die is Clementine Chasseur, whose introduction shows her in bed with another woman.
  • California Doubling: The novel is set in Pennsylvania, USA. The show is filmed in Ontario, Canada.
  • Conspicuous CGI: Transformation scenes and Shelley's eye.
  • Convenient Coma: Roman is in one for a few episodes. It also occurs in the novel.
  • Cool Car: J.R.'s and later Roman's car.
  • Coordinated Clothes: While the Sworn girls don't wear the exact same outfits, they usually have the same theme with color variations.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Roman over Letha.
  • Creepy Child: Christina in the later episodes. Baby Nadia as well.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: All of the vargulf's victims were disemboweled and torn apart "snatch-first".
  • Cut Himself Shaving: Quoted by Roman, although it really did look like a shaving cut.
  • Cute and Psycho: Christina.
  • Cute Mute: Shelley.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Peter.
  • Death by Childbirth: Letha.
  • Decapitation Required: One of the few ways to kill a werewolf or an Upir.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Letha dies when giving birth to her baby, thereby ending the relationship between Peter and Letha for good.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Unlike her sister, Alyssa Sworn spent her last seconds being held by her father.
  • Disappeared Dad: Neither Peter nor Roman have a father. Except Norman was suspected to be Roman's father by J.R., and has been largely serving in a version of that role for him and his sister throughout the series.
  • Disease Bleach: Though not very realistically portrayed.
  • Disposable Woman: See Men Are the Expendable Gender below.
  • Downer Ending: Olivia, Roman, Miranda, Destiny and Johann all die in season 3. Peter survives, but will spend the rest of his days as a wolf for turning against the moon in order to defeat Roman. Only Shelley really gets a Happy Ending.
  • Driven to Suicide: J.R. Godfrey.
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: Ironically enough, it isn't about Roman. Christina planted one on Peter while he was asleep.
  • Dull Surprise: In spades.
  • Eaten Alive: The vargulf's victims.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • One of the few redeeming features of Roman, Johann and Norman is they all genuinely care about Shelley.
    • Olivia loves her son perhaps a little ''too'' much.
    • In the second season, as Olivia is beginning to become more human than upir, Olivia shows much more love towards Shelley after she is found by Norman.
  • Evil Matriarch: Olivia.
  • Eye Scream: A part of Peter's transformation involves his eyes falling out of their sockets.
  • Facial Horror: Peter wasn't kidding when he said he had to sacrifice his human face.
  • Foil: The Rumanceks and the Godfreys, both mothers and sons.
  • Friendless Background: Neither Roman nor Peter had friends before they met each other.
  • Functional Addict: Olivia uses some sort of drug in the form of eye-drops and is fine unless she doesn't have them. Roman smokes, drinks, snorts cocaine, self-mutilates and still manages to make it through the day until he flies off the handle and ends up in a coma.
  • Gentle Giant: Shelley is the epitome of this trope.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Most of the deaths happen off screen, or are shot in such a way so that we don't see things.
  • Grave Robbing: Done by two conflicting groups with the same grave on the same night.
  • Green Eyes: Members of the Godfrey family have green eyes.
  • Hands-Off Parenting/Hippie Parents: Many young characters have one or a mix of these.
  • Harmful to Minors: Peter had to slice off his dead grandfather's head with a sword and Roman saw his father's corpse on the living room floor.
  • Healing Factor: Only happens when a werewolf has to basically regenerate his or her entire body. Otherwise, they heal and feel pain just like normal people do.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Several characters fall into this after loved ones die.
  • Important Haircut: Peter in the finale.
  • Incest Is Relative: Roman and Letha and later, Annie.
  • Incest Subtext:
    • Olivia's a little too touchy-feely with her son, Roman.
    • Peter and Destiny are also quite flirty with one another.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted.
    • Shelley dies in infancy and is resurrected/reconstructed.
    • Olivia killed her first daughter, Juliette. It's very likely she also killed Shelley but J.R. had her resurrected.
    • Not only Juliette. When showing the murder of Juliette, it clearly states there were more than one. "Juliette and many like her came, all of them disappointments." There were more babies, and more murders, until she had the child with the caul.
    • Even Peter's cat wasn't safe from death. He's forced to kill his pet in order to speak to his dead grandfather for advice on how to kill the vargulf.
  • Jedi Mind Trick: In the novel, Roman uses something similar to influence people and get himself out of trouble. Works in the TV show, too.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Roman, pre-coma.
  • Joggers Find Death: In the pilot, a jogger finds the dead and raped girl.
  • Karma Houdini: Roman snapped and raped a girl but because of his ability, nobody ever found out about it.
    • Olivia in the second season finale.
  • Kick the Dog: From Christina to Chief Tom Sworn, when both Alexa and Alyssa are both mutilated/murdered horribly by the vargulf, considering Chief Tom Sworn was always so kind to the murderer. Made worse when later Christina is killed, but is possibly alive, as she screams from in the grave even though she was the killer, he didn't know that and he saw her as a daughter.
  • Killed Offscreen: Miranda. We only learn her fate when Roman and Peter find her body a few episodes later.
  • Kill the Cutie: Several times, but Letha stands out as the most prominent example.
  • Kissing Cousins: Implied in the novel and the show. Until it's revealed that Roman and Letha are half-siblings and that Roman is the father of Letha's baby.
  • Knight Templar:
    • Chasseur and the rest of her Order.
    • Sheriff Sworn becomes this after his daughters are killed.
  • Lack of Empathy: Olivia from the very beginning. Christina, too.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Roman. Shelley also could count.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Destiny: Can tell the future.
    • Peter the Werewolf calls to mind "Peter and the Wolf".
    • Shelley seems to reference Mary Shelley, since Shelley the child is a Frankenstein's Monster-like resurrection/creation of Olivia's dead daughter.
    • The last name Rumancek translates to "Chamomile". There's a particular kind of chamomile known as Roman Chamomile. This implies that there's some sort of familial relationship between the Rumancek and Godfrey families. It's confirmed in the novel that Roman's mother Olivia gave birth to a child that was given to the Rumanceks to raise.
    • Letha is in Greek mythology, "The river of forgetfulness, one of the five rivers in Hades." and "A condition of forgetfulness; oblivion."
    • GOD-frey, just as Norman's wife says, "Godfreys get what they want" when asked how she and Norman got together.
    • Chasseur means "hunter" in French.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Inverted. There are only two male characters that die in Season 1, and JR's death happens in a flashback.
  • Mercy Kill: Pryce is forced to suffocate Dr. Chasseur after Olivia broke her neck and skinned her alive.
  • Motifs: "You must make your heart steel/become stronger", Olivia ONLY wears white (Letha also wears white a lot)
  • Mind Manipulation: Roman can't read minds, but he can implant suggestions and make people forget recent events.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: Shelley is treated like shit by the kids at school but is as kind as she is quiet.
  • Mr. Fanservice: A big audience of the show comes for the eye-candy that Landon Liboiron and Bill Skarsgård provide as Peter and Roman, respectively.
  • My Beloved Smother: Olivia's on the completely disturbing end of the scale.
  • Mystical Pregnancy: Letha. Miranda doesn't get pregnant, but being around baby Nadia causes her to lactate.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Christina. She likened the sensation of a transformation arising to an orgasm and turned herself into a werewolf so she could "have experiences."
  • Nipple and Dimed: Hugely averted.
  • No Bisexuals: Jury's out with Destiny; she's more than happy to have sex with anyone as long as there's cash involved, but she seemed to really enjoy her time with Chasseur. She gets a new boyfriend in Andrea in the second season.
  • No Pregger Sex: Averted when Peter and Letha hook up.
  • Occult Blue Eyes: The baby Nadia has these. They look really unnatural.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Norman once tightened Olivia's corset after a routine hookup.
  • Odd Friendship: Roman and Peter.
  • Older Than They Look: Olivia was a child a very long time ago.
  • Only Sane Man: Peter.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Peter's grandfather was the seventh son of a seventh son, meaning Peter is a werewolf through heredity.
    • Christina became a werewolf by choice and through drinking water from Peter's paw print.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Based on Slavic mythology the Upir are immortals indistinguishable from humans.
    • Being Upir is genetic but ultimate transformation seems to be triggered by a successful suicide and then feeding on someone.
  • Panicky Expectant Father: Roman and Peter aren't exactly anxious, but cigars are involved.
  • Papa Wolf: Norman is one to Letha.
  • Painful Transformation: Going from human to werewolf is not a pleasant sequence.
  • People Jars: Revealed at the very last second of the season finale.
  • Police Brutality: Sheriff Sworn shot Shelley twice from behind with no warning.
  • Police Are Useless: Naturally.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: While less common in America than in Eastern Europe, Olivia has strong opinions against the Romani.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: Roman.
  • Romani: Peter and his family.
  • Rustproof Blood: Played absurdly straight.
  • Scare Chord: Used early and often.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: Chasseur.
  • Self-Harm: Roman is shown cutting himself with a razor blade several times. In his case, it probably starts because he likes blood.
  • Self-Immolation: Annie does this to prevent Olivia taking her body.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: The way Shelley's emails seem. In this case it is unlikely that the character is trying to show off or be perceived as unusually smart, rather she's taking full advantage of the medium of writing to communicate in a way that is normally impossible for her because of her muteness. As such, it's not annoying from a character standpoint, but still comes across as the writers trying too hard to make her seem intelligent and sophisticated.
  • Shell-Shock Silence:
    • Roman could only stare while Peter and Christina fought.
    • Peter was completely still when they found out Letha had died.
  • Shooting Superman: Roman and Peter continue to shoot at Dr. Spivak, even when it is obvious that the bullets are having no effect on him.
  • Shoot the Dog: What Peter had to do to his cat.
  • Silent Scapegoat: Shelley.
  • Smoking Is Cool / Smoking Is Glamorous: There are more characters that smoke than there are that don't. Roman practically goes through a pack per scene.
  • Snobs Versus Slobs: Roman and Peter's families.
  • The Speechless: Shelley (until season 3)
  • Super Strength: Dr. Pryce, as induced by overactive adrenal glands.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: Roman. This is lampshaded by Destiny.
  • Teens Are Monsters: The cruel schoolkids who harass and mock Peter, Roman, and especially Shelley.
    • Christina, literally.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Alyssa and Alexa.
  • There Are No Psychologists: Somewhat subverted; Norman is a successful and empathetic doctor. However, all the patients we've seen him personally treat have ended up dead. He sleeps with Olivia for the first time when she visits him professionally, too.
  • Three-Way Sex: Roman and Peter have a spontaneous threesome with Miranda in season 2. They both feel weird about it the next morning.
  • Tongue Trauma: Roman bites Olivia's tongue out!
  • Transformation Sequence: Werewolves have extremely gruesome ones.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Poor Roman.
  • True Companions: Roman and Peter. They do have their fights, but will pull through for each other.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Chasseur is both black and a lesbian!
  • Wham Shot: In the last episode of season 2, Miranda jumps off the White Tower with the baby Nadia. Suddenly, a clawed hand ends up catching them both. The shot pulls back to reveal a dragon-like creature, revealing that another supernatural entity has entered the game.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Order.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Olivia and Norman have been cheating with each other for years. J.R. was well aware of it before he shot himself.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/HemlockGrove