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Why Tristan Duffy Had The Most Memorable Death In AHS: Hotel

American Horror Story doesn't shy away from the macabre — in fact, it's well-known for its often gruesome (and sometimes touching) depictions of death. Since its start in 2011, the popular horror anthology has had countless unforgettable death scenes, from ghosts not realizing they'd died to villains getting their comeuppance.

One of the most shocking and haunting deaths in the AHS franchise was during season 5, also known as AHS: Hotel. The season features Lady Gaga as The Countess, the vampiress owner of the Hotel Cortez. The hotel is notorious for the terrible things that happened there through history — and is based on the creepy real-life Cecil Hotel. Throughout the season, The Countess seduces victims and finds new lovers to fulfill her needs. Although she partakes in multiple relationships (often at the same time), The Countess is also famous for her jealousy, which leads to the heartbreaking death of one of the Hotel Cortez's visitors — and arguably the most memorable death in AHS: Hotel.

A heartbreaking twist

One of The Countess' closest companions is Liz Taylor (Denis O'Hare), the glamorous and eccentric bartender who works at the hotel. When The Countess gains a new lover in the brooding male model Tristan Duffy (Finn Wittrock), it's not long before Liz finds herself falling in love with Tristan as well. Liz and Tristan start a relationship and decide to confess their love to The Countess, seeking her blessing so they can be together. What starts as an emotional outpouring of love quickly turns sinister, as The Countess shows her dark side.

After Liz and Tristan make their case, The Countess seemingly gives them her approval. She finally relents, and says, "Fine. You may have him," before giving Liz a tender hug. As she pulls back, though, she slits Tristan's throat and then tells Liz to bury him. The sudden shift from kind to merciless is a jarring example of the cruelty that The Countess is capable of, and Tristan's death is one that fans still aren't over.