[WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS about season 3 of “American Horror Story,” which aired on FX between October 2013 and January 2014.]
Head of the Witches Council, Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy) harbors (justifiable) resentment against Supreme Witch Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange). Besides Fiona’s lovesick servant Spalding (Denis O'Hare), who cut out his own tongue so it wouldn’t betray the secret, Myrtle’s the only one who seems to know the truth, that Fiona murdered her predecessor in order to hasten her rise to the top. At the time, both were students at Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies, the clandestine cover name for a New Orleans boarding school for witches in “American Horror Story,” season 3, Coven.
Later, Fiona dumps her daughter Cordelia (Sarah Paulson) at the school. Myrtle, a teacher there, takes young Cordelia under her wing and acts as mother to her. Myrtle’s respectability earns her a place on the Witches Council, and, with age, she develops an impeccable flair for high couture fashion. When betrayed by the other members of the Council, Quentin (Leslie Jordan) and Cecily (Robin Bartlett), she exacts an unforgettable revenge.
Myrtle, with her fashion flair and outlandish utterances, soon became a season fan favorite. The “AHS: Coven” panel at PaleyFest on March 28 revealed that Myrtle’s great lines flowed from show creator Ryan Murphy, that they’d be in the writing room working on a script and he would just "do" Myrtle. And anyone who knows anything about him can easily picture Myrtle’s droll quips emanating from Murphy. Which of her amusing remarks ranks up top? Read the list below, accompanied by some fantastic Myrtle fan art, to find out.
TOP 20 MYRTLE SNOW QUOTES:
20. I had a love like that once.
Egon von Furstenberg. He dumped me, but everything worked out all right in the end. You know why? Because he went on to marry the divine Diane. And without Egon's support, Diane von Furstenberg never would have created the greatest invention of the century, the wrap dress!
Artwork Myrtle Snow by Mobius Designs. Used with the artist's permission. Check out more from this artist at Deviant Art.
19. To Fiona: Put motherly hands upon your wounded daughter's flesh and watch your filthy secrets be brought to light, laid bare. "No secrets." Shame on you, Fiona. I deserve better lies than that. You are an enemy to this coven and will be so long as you live. But Cordelia has your number, Slim.
18. Cordelia: Myrtle? Oh, my God. I thought I'd never see you again. Myrtle: Poor choice of words, girl. But given my wretched appearance, maybe it's a good thing you're blind as a butter knife.
17. Nan (Jamie Brewer): How did your hair grow back so quick? Myrtle: Oh, little bird, I've been buying in bulk from North Korea for years!
16. I’m just mad for tartan.
15. Upon being sentenced to burn: No need to bind me. I shall not resist. Why would I? I've been swimming against the tide my whole life. Look where it got me. I used to be an outcast, a freak, until I found my place in this coven. I thought I'd come home, but I was wrong. I go proudly to the flame. Go ahead, burn me.
14. To Cordelia: Darling, if I could pluck my own eyes out of my head and gift them to you, I would.
13. About Misty (Lily Rabe): She's brought back more people from the dead than Jesus Christ.
12. About Misty: The swamp mud is a metaphor, her metaphor.
She's a sophisticated witch with extraordinary gifts, hiding out as a hippie swamp rat. From humble hillbilly stock, she's been a witch since birth, her power and humanity separating her from everyone around her. In fact, those around her have tried endlessly to destroy her, in order to mask their own evil purposes. Yet she rose from the ashes, stronger than ever, more fully realized. A living testament to the greater ideals of our coven. Power, compassion, and uniqueness... We are lucky to have found her, and she us. It resonates with my own story, doesn't it?
Artwork Portrait of Myrtle Snow by Rolling Rook Studio. Used with the artist's permission. Check out more from this artist at the Rolling Rook Studio web page.
11. To Cordelia: Your salad dressing is absolutely magical. Maybe you could bottle it. Cordelia's Conjured Coriander Condiment. Or if you'd like a little getaway, maybe a job as a hostess on a cruise ship. You've got a lovely personality, and you're always well-groomed.
10. To Cordelia: I'm trying to give you une demi tasse de realite, darling. Let's be honest. Living in Fiona's shadow is a challenge. What are your options when your mother's Hillary Clinton? Between us chickens, no matter how hard I worked at it, I never felt special, either. But with my reemergence from the flames - look at me, I'm fabulous! Reinvigorated! One never knows what the universe has in store for us!
9. I’m told it starts as a tingle in the cooch.
8. To Fiona: I've been resurrected by our new Supreme, young Madison. She rather reminds me of you in your youth, thin as a pin with a dreadful case of the "me, me, me's."
7. Can you imagine those poor Salem witches traveling all the way down here in covered wagons without a proper charcuterie platter or a bidet? Absolutely savage!
Artwork Myrtle Snow (Coven) by Roxscar. Used with the artist's permission. Check out more from this artist at Deviant Art.
6. Madison (Emma Roberts), you are the worst kind of Hollywood cliche. You are a bubblehead with crotchless panties.
5. The harvester ant is one of the most venomous creatures in the world, along with Fiona.
4. Cordelia: What is that thing? It's hideous and weird. Myrtle: Don't be a hater, dear. It's a theremin. I cannot tell you how playing this instrument soothes my soul in tempestuous times.
3. To Quentin and Cecily: It's just a bit of monkshood in your balls. Causes temporary paralysis. "Human Statue Syndrome," we call it. I believe it's the nervous system first. You lose control over your limbs, the muscles harden into cement, and it feels like ice in your veins. Then the respiratory system. Or is it the other way around? Well, no matter. It's supposed to be quite terrifying, is it? Are you terrified? You should be. At any rate, I'm not going to kill you. Well, maybe after dessert. I put a lot of effort into the key lime pie. I do love a key lime pie, even more than a ile flottante. Call me a Philistine! Enough chit-chat. You've both wanted to eliminate me for years, so you could dominate the Council. But I was never worried you'd be hapless enough to try. Quentin! You're a fatuous fool and a drunk! Pembie, you're even worse. You're weak-willed, boring, and your fashion faux pas give me nightmares. I invited you here not to chastise you or exact revenge, But to help out the coven. To help out my beloved Cordelia. Ha! I bet you thought, "Oh, she left the melon baller in there. She's growing old and forgetful!" [scoops out Cecily's eye with the melon baller]
2. Fiona: You couldn't find two that matched? Why do they look so familiar? Myrtle: The generous donors wish to remain anonymous.
Prior to “AHS,” Conroy wowed audiences as Ruth on “Six Feet Under,” for which she earned a Golden Globe and 3 SAGs. Murphy and crew exhibit an obvious love for actress Conroy. She’s one of four actors already slated for next fall’s season 4, Freak Show, who also appeared in seasons 1, 2 and 3 (along with Lange, Paulson and Evan Peters). Her portrayal of the elder maid Moira, a sort of moral compass for Ben (Dylan McDermott) and her companion ghosts in the Murder House (season 1), won her a Saturn Award and an Emmy nomination. In season 2, Asylum, she played none other than The Angel of Death herself. Her grace complemented the amazing black wings the crew crafted for her, making her scenes nothing short of breathtaking.
What juicy part does “AHS” have in store for Conroy in Freak Show? Hopefully, Murphy will dish on that before the season premiere next October. In the meantime, fans await the release of the Coven DVD and Blu-ray. If Murder House and Asylum represent accurate indicators, Coven should appear shortly before the Freak Show premiere. Check back here for updates.