Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

AHS Fans Have Some Mind-Blowing Theories About What Big Daddy Represents After The Finale

Warning: This article contains spoilers for "American Horror Story: NYC" Episodes 9 and 10.

This latest season of "American Horror Story" has stepped away from many of the more supernatural elements that the series is known for, but there is still a rather ominous and silent figure that looms large in the background. Known as Big Daddy (Matthew William Bishop), this mysterious masked stalker is clad in muscles and leather, and he always appears on the periphery of perception, though sometimes he can take a more direct route, like when he is seen attacking people or tossing Molotov cocktails.

Set in New York City during the 1980s, Season 11 of "American Horror Story" starts off with the death of a closeted gay man, which makes Detective Patrick Read (Russell Tovey) suspicious that there might be a killer on the loose that is specifically targeting the gay community. Even though the conventional serial killer is eventually revealed to be Mr. Whitely (Jeff Hiller), Big Daddy remains free and the police do not have any solid clues that could help them track him down. Able to appear at different moments with some kind of aura that allows some to see him and others not to, Big Daddy definitely casts a long shadow over "American Horror Story: NYC," most notably appearing when characters such as Sam (Zachary Quinto), Gino (Joe Mantello), and others are at death's door.

Now that the season has wrapped up, some fans have begun to formulate some rather interesting theories involving Big Daddy and his exact origin and purpose.

Fans on Twitter believe that Big Daddy is the personification of HIV/AIDS

As mentioned earlier, throughout "American Horror Story: NYC," Big Daddy often appears and disappears seemingly at will. Though most of the time he just anonymously pops up in the background with little response, there are some moments where he physically attacks people, like when he kills Barbara (Leslie Grossman), attacks Patrick twice, and firebombs a gay bar. Big Daddy also seems to be almost invincible, because he is shot at two different points in the story but always vanishes before anybody can remove his mask. This enigmatic nature of Big Daddy is certainly rife for speculation and considering that the finale of "AHS: NYC" is full of allegories and metaphors, it makes sense as to why fans wasted no time in analyzing this character.

Over on Twitter, @bvdgvy asked if Big Daddy is the personification of the AIDS virus, and wondered what exactly is going on with the character. In response, @hector_meow replied, "For those of you confused: Whitely was a legitimate killer. BUT Big daddy is a metaphorical manifestation of the virus. If you see him or he appears, you're infected." @PlastikCherry thought that Big Daddy just represented just a general manifestation of death, while @LAHcomic stated, "Almost gave up on this season....but then WHEN YOU GET IT....DAMN." So it seems like Twitter assumes Big Daddy is either an embodiment of a virus or death, but these weren't the only comments on social media involving the mysterious figure.

Some fans think that Big Daddy may not only represent AIDS, but also anti-gay violence

Similarly, denizens of Reddit had their very own thoughts, and they are relatively close to those on Twitter. u/9d2i1n9g3 started the conversation by joking that Ryan Murphy and the other writers were sitting around and wondering how to represent the horror of the AIDS epidemic during the 1980s. They then said that somebody must have suggested that AIDS should be represented by a "gigantic ripped leather daddy" and that Murphy said that was perfect and to write it down.

u/MarQ16 elaborated their very own theory that makes Big Daddy a bit more than just AIDS, and said, "I am choosing to interpret BD as the collective sum of violence and torture perpetuated against the gay community. Rather than simply just HIV/AIDS, it makes more sense to me that it is the ignorance, rage, homophobia, etc. personified as a violent, ruthless, and literally faceless being that could be an avatar for anybody (or anything) that seeks to rid the world of gay people."

Although all seem to agree that Big Daddy isn't a real person or ghost and that he at least represents the HIV/AIDS virus in some capacity, some speculate on the level of specificity. After the season finale of "AHS: NYC," the nature of Big Daddy becomes even more apparent, especially considering the extended sequence of men in suits marching into graves as Big Daddy either shovels or stares blankly — or the time when Big Daddy acts as a bartender to Gino. Either way, Big Daddy is the most dangerous entity in "American Horror Story: NYC," even more so than Mr. Whitely.