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Evan Peters' American Horror Story Characters Ranked Worst To Best

American Horror Story (AHS) creator Ryan Murphy has his go-to list of favorite actors who often find their way into the tangled, sprawling narratives that make up his anthology series. Some are personal friends, others are Hollywood legends, and a select few are truly remarkable talents who help elevate the show by balancing its campy nature with the menacing subtlety that makes the horror genre great.

Such is the case with Evan Peters. In 2011, he was a young actor with enough accomplishments at his back to know he would be successful, but he was still looking for his big break. Peters found his home on AHS season 1 in a complicated and demanding role that proved to the world he was more than a recurring guest cast member on Phil of the Future or the dry best friend in Kick-Ass.

And while he's found success outside the show, Peters gives some of his all-time best performances in AHS. Unfortunately, much like Ryan Murphy's series itself, not all of Peters' characters are exactly top notch. So, which ones are truly terrifying, and which ones are only so-so? To help keep the high points high and the low points honest, here's a rundown of Evan Peters' AHS characters from worst to best.

10. Rory Monahan (Roanoke)

Roanoke is one of the more ambitious seasons of American Horror Story. The first half of the season tells an allegedly real-life ghost story while the second half gets a little bit meta and turns into a fake reality show featuring the "real" people who endured the horrific events of the first half, as well as the actors who played them in the true crime documentary My Roanoke Nightmare.

As for Peters, he shows up as Rory Monahan, one of the stars of the documentary. When Return to Roanoke begins filming, he comes back for the reality show, having married one of his costars who's several years his senior. Monahan is an up-and-coming star who got a lot of publicity for starring in My Roanoke Nightmare and marrying his new bride, but sadly, that's kind of where his character development ends.

Monahan is killed off early on in the second half of the season as a stakes-raising measure to prove that, even though the audience is now in the "real world" with the rest of the cast, they're still subject to supernatural means. Monahan is murdered by ghost twins after getting a call about an audition that takes him back to Hollywood. As he's walking out on both the project that made him famous — as well as his new, insecure wife — he's hacked to death by the ghostly duo in order to complete a creepy tableau.

Peters has a lot of great roles, but Monahan was merely there to boost the shock value of the season and give other characters a reason to be upset.

9. Jeff Pfister (Apocalypse)

While Jeff Pfister may not be one of Peters' most artistically nuanced characters, he's by far one of the more evil pieces of garbage in a show rife with evil pieces of garbage.

Pfister is a robotics genius who, along with his fellow awful nerd stereotype, Mutt, helps develop an advanced-looking woman ... presumably to have sex with. However, his interests run deeper than sexual perversion. An avid cocaine user and programmer, Pfister finds his way into several satanic groups and manages to meet Michael Langdon, who turns out to be the Antichrist himself.

Pfister sells his soul to the literal devil in order to gain wealth to fuel his cocaine habit. That brings him into the Illuminati-like group known as the Cooperative, and with his technical skills, he becomes instrumental in not only bringing about the apocalypse but orchestrating the survivors in the outposts so that Langdon's master plan for the end times can come to fruition.

There's not much else to say about this strawberry blond nightmare. Peters played the role well, but there wasn't a lot of room for any one person to have a stand-out role in the otherwise overstuffed victory lap of a season that was Apocalypse. He did a lot with what he was given, but there was simply no way for a new character like Pfister to be worth much in a season that had a bevy of returning tried-and-true characters, not to mention the devil himself.

8. Mr. Gallant (Apocalypse)

Peters' characters on American Horror Story are often really pious good guys or totally evil bad guys. He excels at both, which is why seeing him reduced to playing an annoying little pill in the first half of Apocalypse was such a bummer.

Mr. Gallant is introduced as a Santa Monica hairdresser to the stars who lucks out and manages to secure himself and his doting grandmother safe haven in Outpost 3 simply by being in the right place at the right time. As a character, Mr. Gallant often plays into tired stereotypes of flamboyant gay men. His propensity to flirt with anyone and constantly be seeking some level of hedonism would make him somewhat interesting in normal times, but set against the background of the apocalypse, he's just a drag.

That's especially true here, since life at the outpost comes with a lot of rules, many of which start to seem too strict and the consequences for breaking them downright scary. Mr. Gallant, however, is simply there to keep asking the question, "What if I didn't follow these rules?" Spoiler alert — nothing good.

While the character gets a bit of shoehorned complexity by way of his odd relationship with his overly involved grandmother, in the end, he's merely a horny and privileged jerk who constantly looks his gift horse in the mouth. In the interest of giving credit where it's due, Mr. Gallant's lighthearted nature, while out of place in Outpost 3, did provide some much-needed comic relief and made it all the more tragic when his story turned dark.

7. Edward Philippe Mott (Roanoke)

Evan Peters didn't have a lot to do in Roanoke, but his one-off storyline as Edward Philippe Mott was about as good a role as one could hope for in a season in which he wasn't a main player. Mott is an aristocrat who moves to the North Carolina house in Roanoke that's plagued by ghosts and various other monsters. In fact, he's the original owner, and his story sort of tells the tale of where the hauntings began. 

The character is an eccentric, powdered aristocrat who's unafraid to show the world that he's gay, and he's taken an enslaved Black man as his lover. His real passion, after all, isn't his reputation but his art. But when he wakes up to find his prized collection destroyed, he blames those he's enslaved, cruelly locking them in the root cellar. And that's when he's murdered by the Butcher and her gang on his own front lawn in the night. The authorities don't believe this supernatural story, and as a result, they arrest the people who were enslaved. 

Granted, Mott is an enslaver, and there's absolutely no defending that, but the show does reveal he's a complex individual. Not only does he clearly suffer from some kind of social anxiety disorder, but he's actually remorseful for his actions in the afterlife. Plus, he routinely serves as an ally to the modern-day people in the house as they try their best to escape the horrors of the Butcher.

6. Kyle Spencer (Coven)

Coven's Spencer is actually one of the more complicated roles that Evan Peters got to play on the show. However, because a trademark of the character is the fact that he can't really talk, it's hard to connect with him.

Introduced in season 3 as the head of a local New Orleans fraternity, he brings his brothers to a party where he catches them raping a young woman who turns out to be a witch. Although he stops the crime, the witch, Madison, kills all the frat bros, including him. But when Madison starts feeling guilty for killing the guy her fellow witch, Zoe, had a crush on, the supernatural duo salvage the wreckage and use the best parts of each brother to bring Kyle back to life as a sort of Frankenstein's monster. As a result, he spends a majority of the season trying to learn how to be a normal human again while the audience uncovers a bit of his past, such as Kyle having a mom who was sexually molesting him for who knows how many years.

Again, Kyle is a pretty complex and interesting monster, but the actor could only dive into the character's intricacies so much before the gimmick of not being able to communicate reared its ugly head. However, Kyle is given somewhat of a reprieve by way of magic, and he gains the ability to speak in full sentences. But by that time, the plot has moved beyond the origin story of the Coven's Frankenstein monster, and his moment has essentially passed.

5. James Patrick March (Hotel)

Modeled heavily after one of America's first serial killers, H.H. Holmes, James March offered Evan Peters the chance to explore a character who wasn't a good guy or an incredibly reluctant bad guy. Instead, this AHS: Hotel character was a full-on villain with one of the most twisted pasts and appetites imaginable.

The character founded the Hotel Cortez as his own personal murder den, outfitting it with secret rooms and chutes so that he could more easily dispatch his guests. His murder addiction eventually got the better of him, as one of the members of his odd web of allies cracked and let the police get wise to his status as the infamous Ten Commandments Killer. Rather than face the disgrace of prison, March made himself his own final victim and was damned to haunt the hotel along with the ghosts of everyone he killed for eternity.

While that sounds like a nightmare, Peters plays March as someone who very much enjoys his macabre existence, adding a layer of fun to an otherwise impossibly grim character. He further turns up the heat when it becomes clear that, even in death, March is looking for a protégé to carry on his work and legacy. 

Despite having the most personality, March isn't exactly a complicated character. As a result, Peters doesn't get to shine his brightest, but the fun he has with the role definitely shows in an otherwise joyless season.

4. Kai Anderson (Cult)

Perhaps no season of American Horror Story features a bigger starring role for Peters than Cult. Although its proximity to the real-life events of the 2016 election might cause viewers to balk at its themes, the actor is unwavering in his portrayal of a twisted internet troll, Kai Anderson, who makes all the right moves to amass one of the most dangerous followings ever. 

Kai begins the series as a supporter of Donald Trump, who enjoys trolling his Hillary Clinton-supporting sister. However, his thirst for power and weaponized charisma takes a man that was given the short end of the stick all his life and shows how easily an apparent nobody can manipulate his way into the hearts and minds of powerful people.

While it's easy for an actor to play a menacing character, Peters takes things a step further with Anderson. He's not simply in it for death, mayhem, and destruction. Kai Anderson knows that he can take the darkness within other people and build it into a revolution. From top to bottom, Peters' portrayal of a modern cult leader carries an otherwise sprawling and aimless season into one of the most captivating to watch of the entire series — even if it is in that train wreck sort of way. And in addition to his turn as Kai, Peters is given the chance to portray infamous real-life cult leaders such as Charles Manson, Jim Jones, Marshall Applewhite, and David Koresh.

3. Tate Langdon (Murder House)

American Horror Story was Evan Peters' big breakout, and season 1's Tate Langdon put him squarely in the public eye. At the time, the character of a troubled teenage psychopath was right in the brooding actor's wheelhouse. 

At first, Tate is a soft-spoken, emotional, and sensitive kid. If you didn't know a Tate Langdon-type growing up, it's possible you were exactly like him. However, his nature takes a big turn as the series goes on, and it's revealed that he's not only a ghost but a former mass murderer. The real appeal and intrigue of Tate is found in the cracks. While he puts up the façade of a boy who needs therapy after a difficult upbringing, the truth is that the Murder House he resides in, as well as the influence of the actual devil, took a toll on him while he was alive and turned him into a killer.

In life, he painted his face and shot 15 kids at his local high school. In death, however, he spends eternity going to therapy in an attempt to figure out why exactly he was driven to such an extreme thing — a clearly out-of-character thing for a clinical psychopath to do.

Peters was forced to walk a fine line with this character at a very young age. Sure, the Rubber Man costume is what became synonymous with season 1 of the show, but Peters deserves high marks for his role in creating a truly, uniquely American Horror character.

2. Jimmy Darling (Freak Show)

By this time in the American Horror Story canon, the show seemed like it was in a constant state of having to innovate, bringing in a slew of new actors to play the titular freaks in Freak Show. As a result, the regular players that audiences had come to know and love from Murphy's list were few and far between. But one of the more grounding elements was the familiar face of Evan Peters, who was playing a through-and-through good guy in a sea of new faces and evil jerks.

Jimmy Darling is one of the many performers at the local freak show. Inspired by the infamous real-life circus performer Grady Stiles Jr. (aka "the Lobster Boy"), Jimmy not only leads his rag-tag crew of fellow freaks, but he has genuine affection for them. Born to the circus' bearded lady, he knows nothing but the performing life, and he considers the people around him to be his true family. However, when his father (a strong man) returns to the show, he's forced to choose between his biological upbringing and the people he considers home. 

Peters isn't exactly breaking the mold with this character. He's a typical rough-and-tumble, streetwise kid with inherent leadership qualities. While he runs the gamut of emotions, he's not exactly the most complicated character he's played on the series. Instead, what makes Darling stand out is the utter charisma that the actor brings, making a unique moment in the show's history feel grounded with just enough heart to keep it going.

1. Kit Walker (Asylum)

Season 2 of American Horror Story was Peters' big follow-up to his breakout role from season 1. However, with the show not adopting a sequel element and going in more of an anthology direction, the actor wasn't able to retread the role that he found so much success with. Undeterred, Peters proved that he was capable of more than different versions of the same role with Kit Walker.

In Asylum, the actor plays a character that's a far cry from his previous one. Kit is a man who was wrongfully convicted of a series of murders. However, because he knows that the real culprit — at least in the case of his wife — was alien abduction, he's sent to a mental institution where the true horrors of his life begin.

The audience sees Kit try to hold the fragile minds of Briarcliff Manor together while simultaneously trying to escape and find some semblance of a life for himself. While the trials and tribulations of the asylum make up the bulk of the season, Peters is really able to shine in the last half, where Walker is finally out of the tortuous hospital and able to create a life for himself. He explores the depths of a man who's been forced out of society, and he proves that he's more than a one-trick pony. If his role in season 1 made him a breakout star, his role as Kit Walker proved he had definitive star power, setting him up for everything that came afterwards.