The American Horror Story: Coven Murder That Made No Sense To Fans

"American Horror Story: Coven" is the third season of Ryan Murphy's anthology series. The story centers around a group of witches in New Orleans who face threats from the local voodoo queen, witch hunters, and each other. The installment was so popular that several "Coven" witches made their return for Season 8's "Apocalypse," playing a pivotal role in the storyline.

One of the pupils attending Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Women is Hollywood starlet Madison Montgomery (Emma Roberts), who possesses many powers, including telekinesis, pyrokinesis, transmutation, and Vitalum Vitalis. In Episode 1, Madison uses her ability to move objects with her mind to flip a bus full of fraternity boys, killing almost everyone on board out of revenge.

Supreme Fiona Goode (Jessica Lange), believing Madison to be her successor, "accidentally" slits the young witch's throat in Episode 3. Misty Day, who possesses the power of Resurgence, resurrects Madison. However, in the midst of the girls performing the Seven Wonders, a series of tests a witch must pass to rise to the level of Supreme, Madison meets another grisly end — and fans took to Reddit to express why Madison's death makes no sense.

How does a mere mortal kill a Coven witch?

After Madison refuses to use her powers to resurrect Zoe Benson (Taissa Farmiga), who accidentally impaled herself through transmutation, Zoe's undead boyfriend Kyle (Evan Peters) strangles Madison, sending her to her own personal hell. Given that Madison was a strong contender to become the coven's next leader, the ease with which Kyle is able to kill her left some fans scratching their heads.

Redditor u/sacajawea14 wrote, "[Madison] had shown she is [incredibly] powerful. Her telekinesis is off the charts, she can start fires easily. How can such a powerful witch be overpowered by a 'mere' human (zombie whatever but still)... She can flip a bus, just push him away. I mean, I know that any series with superpowers gets wonky, power balance is always difficult. But this one always irked me."

Madison's death ultimately does serve a purpose in the grand scheme of the series. In "Apocalypse," Michael Langdon (a.k.a. "the Antichrist") resurrects Queenie (who died during Season 5's "Hotel"), Misty Day, and Madison, who is literally stuck in retail hell. Although Madison retains her mean girl persona, "Apocalypse" provides her with a shot at redemption, and ultimately she sacrifices herself for the good of her coven.

Madison's sad end

Redditor Rosemarys_Babooshka offered some possible explanations as to why Madison doesn't put up much of a fight. "I remember thinking about exactly that when I watched the season. The only thing I can make it believable in my mind is that she kinda accepted her death? ... I see it as her being somewhat okay with dying, or being heartbroken that it was Kyle that was killing her? ... she seemed sad, more than anything."

Madison is different when she returns to the mortal coil, which draws her to Kyle, who is little more than a handsome monster, a reanimated corpse made of assembled body parts and controlled by a mind deprived of oxygen for too long. Madison admits to feeling empty, and no amount of food, drugs, or sex fills the void. Despite Kyle's propensity for violence, he maintains a puppy dog-like mentality — but Madison forgets that even the sweetest dogs can be provoked into biting. This fan could definitely be onto something when it comes to Madison's resigned reaction to Kyle's fateful attack.

Madison isn't the only witch to meet a lackluster end

Alegriazee thinks the "American Horror Story: Coven" plot hole just needed a few simple tweaks. "It would've been such an easy fix to show her getting tired from the tag game, vitalum vitalis, and then exhausted (on top of incapable) during the divination. That would've explained that she was just drained of energy and couldn't effectively use magic to defend herself."

Redditor AlfieBoheme has their own theory. "I mean magic is less effective on ghosts so maybe it doesn't have the same impact on zombies." While some fans eagerly offered excuses for the flawed storytelling, others remained unconvinced. MadeUpMelly stated, "I always point that out to my husband every time. Like, she's proven to be powerful in all subjects but divination. Couldn't she have fought off Kyle with her telekinesis, at the very least?"

The fact that viewers are so impassioned about Madison's demise shows they feel Madison dying in such an unspectacular fashion does a disservice to a character fans love to hate. Redditor giaulatatca pointed out that Madison's wasn't the only lackluster death scene. "Same with Nan's death," they said, "Fiona can literally threw Madison against the wall with a finger, and Marie Laveau is pretty powerful too, but they just chose the hard way to end her, and drowned her to death."

Even witches can have an off day. After all, Fiona was the most powerful of them all, and she was hacked to death by a run-of-the mill serial killer.