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The Ending Of American Horror Story Season 3 Explained

The "Coven" witches wear black on Wednesdays, have an on-again-off-again rivalry with a voodoo tribe, and resurrect one another on the regular. The third season of "American Horror Story" blends horror and dark humor, resulting in the franchise's campiest entry thus far.

Persecuted by the public, young witches are sent to Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies where they live under the protection of Cordelia Goode (Sarah Paulson), the Supreme's estranged daughter. Following the increased attacks, Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange) blows into town to protect the coven and resume her role as the HBIC.

As they learn how to control their powers and survive in the modern world, the season explores mortality, motherhood, racism, and oppression. By the final episode, "The Seven Wonders," five witches attempt to pass a rigorous test that will determine who will be their next Supreme. Plus, the original white witch Stevie Nicks is there to serenade the competing sisters.

Here's what happened at the end of "American Horror Story: Coven."

The rise of a new Supreme

After Cordelia aces the Seven Wonders, she becomes the next Supreme and does something unexpected — she goes public about their coven. On national television, she tells witches who are alone and afraid, "There is a home and a family waiting for you."

With Zoe Benson (Taissa Farmiga) and Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) newly appointed as council members, the Academy is suddenly flocked by supernatural young girls looking to hone their craft. The season ends with Cordelia welcoming her new wards, and everyone appears to be in high spirits.

However, revealing the existence of magic to a world that was already out to get them could have dangerous implications for the coven's future safety. The witch-hunters will likely go after them with a renewed vengeance, and they'll face scrutiny from religious groups. The positive note that "Coven" ends on may not last, but with a clean slate, Cordelia can push for acceptance and steer the coven toward greatness.

No longer the baddest witch in town

Fiona's fate is sealed once she is diagnosed with cancer and realizes her weakening state is the result of a rising Supreme. Her vanity is recurrent throughout the season, but her youth, beauty, and tough-talking attitude are gone by the finale. Her vicious attempt to kill the presumed Supreme, Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts), becomes another point against her.

The love-to-hate-her character comes to terms with the tumultuous childhood she gave Cordelia, who remains graceful through her mother's slow, painful death. While the two are able to share a sweet moment in their own twisted way, it's the last good thing that will ever happen to Fiona.

She is trapped in hell for eternity as a battered housewife to the Axeman (Danny Huston), shrieking, "It reeks of fish and cat p*ss" as she struggles to accept her new forever. Does this harrowing fate stay in line with the season's feminism? Not particularly.

However, it is hell, and Fiona was guilty of some pretty heinous crimes.

Supremes, voodoo queens, and racist socialites

The season ends with a push forward for the acceptance of witches, but the voodoo practitioners are seemingly left to fend for themselves. Executive producer Tim Minear described the rivalry as "minority groups going after each other and doing the work of the larger culture" (via HuffPost).

From the opening episode, "Coven" is relentless in its portrayal of white supremacy. In a flashback, the real-life serial killer Madame Delphine LaLaurie (Kathy Bates) brutally tortures slaves in her attic. Later, she is forced to be the personal slave of Queenie, the only Black witch in the coven.

Queenie is believed to have descended from both the Salem witches and the voodoo priestesses. She briefly joins forces with the high priestess Marie Laveau (Angela Bassett) but returns to her coven. Her relationship with Delphine, who is given a redemptive arc despite her violent racism, was heavily criticized at the time (via Slate).

Does everything line up with Apocalypse?

The finale of "Coven" isn't all that final, as the witches return to save the world in "Apocalypse." So where does everyone stand, and does it match up with their ongoing storylines?

Madison is dead, strangled to death by Kyle (Evan Peters), who becomes a butler at the Academy. Misty Day (Lily Rabe) is dead. Myrtle Snow (Frances Conroy) is burned at the stake. Nan (Jamie Brewer) is stuck in hell with Papa Legba (Lance Reddick). Zoe and Queenie are working with Cordelia to rebuild their coven. Fiona is in hell, and so are Marie and Delphine.

While the "Apocalypse" timeline is constantly shifting, the chronology between the two seasons lines up to bridge the universes alongside "Murder House" and "Hotel." The divisive crossover season saw the returns of Cordelia, Madison, Myrtle, Zoe, Queenie, Misty, Marie, Nan, Delphine, and Papa Legba. Even Stevie Nicks returned to support her girls.

Who knows, maybe they'll return yet again in a future season of "American Horror Story."