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Mama Polk is the cruel matriarch of the Polk family and a secondary antagonist of Season 6. She is a character in Roanoke primarily portrayed by Robin Weigert. In her "My Roanoke Nightmare" appearances she is portrayed by an unnamed in-universe actress, portrayed by Frances Conroy.


For two hundred years, the Polk family has collaborated with The Butcher and her colony. Mama Polk and her children are the last descendants of an inbred family who provide victims to the Butcher in exchange for living in peace.

Personality and Appearance[]

Mama Polk is a crude-looking woman with more animal-like, than human, behavior. She has great affection for her offspring and is willing to commit atrocities in order to ensure the survival of her kin. As her actions, like cannibalism, are often morally questionable, Mama Polk takes into consideration not to harm children more than necessary.


Mama Polk is behind the kidnapping of Shelby, Matt and Flora in their flight from Roanoke House during the night of the Blood Moon. The woman welcomed the three by offering them jerky made from flesh cut from Elias Cunningham, whom they had captured after he had been shot with arrows previously that day. However, after the Millers declined her offer to eat, Mama took a bite and tossed the tray aside stating it was rotten. This may have had to do with whatever "magic" the Polk boys claimed Mama used to keep Elias alive. Unfortunately, Mama said there was no need to keep Elias alive if he was bad meat and Lot Polk beat Elias's head in with a hammer.

Since Shelby and Matt led the police and social services to remove Mama Polk's grandchildren earlier, the woman was angry with them and was willing to deliver them directly into the hands of the Butcher. After attempting to escape, Mama Polk, knowing Scáthach wanted Matt unharmed, breaks Shelby's ankle with a hammer to avenge the death of her son Cain, who was killed by Matt with a shotgun. The woman is then briefly comforted for her recent loss by Thomasin White before returning to one of their houses having accomplished her task to deliver sacrifices to the Lost Colony.[3]

Later, during the filming of Return to Roanoke, Mama Polk and her sons kidnap Lee Harris, Audrey Tindall, and Monet Tumusiime and hold them captive. Mama and her family torture the girls, including cutting pieces of Lee's leg off and feeding it to the others, and ripping one of Audrey's teeth out. Eventually, Lee takes advantage of Mama's son Jether and strangles him before stabbing him in the neck. After that, Audrey beats Mama Polk to death after Lee rescues her and they run back to the house.


  • Mama Polk is the second character portrayed by Robin Weigert. For a complete list of her characters, see Cast.
  • The reenacted Mama Polk is the fifth character portrayed by Frances Conroy. For a complete list of her characters, see Cast.
  • Mutual respect between the Butcher and Mama Polk is the basis of a partnership between the two monstrous groups that inhabit the Roanoke woods, the Lost Colony and Polk family.
  • All of her children are named after biblical figures.
  • It is heavily implied inChapter 8 of Roanoke, that Mama Polk engages in incestuous relationships with her sons, it is also hinted at when she refers to her grandchildren as also "her babies" in Chapter 5.
  • The Polks seem to be based on the Peacocks from The X-Files episode, Home, with Mama Polk herself being based on the matriarchal Mrs. Peacock. Like the Peacocks, the Polks are murdering, deformed, inbred "hillbilly" characters dominated by a sexually abusive mother.


  • To the Millers: "Y'all must be famished. I got fresh jerky from the smokehouse."
  • To Shelby Miller: "You're no better than us. I offer food to welcome you to my home. It's not poison. Shit! Rancid! I like my meat sweet."
  • To Matt Miller: "You fashion yourself a hero, don't you? Real brave and such. You come onto my land, take my babies. Kill my son! If she didn't want you so bad, I'd bash your skull in right now! And I tell you what. You ain't running again!"
  • To Lee Harris: "We like our life just the way it is. Make plenty of money with our crop. Polks is part of the forest. Live off the land. Keep to our own. Never got help or wanted help from nobody. Even the law knows better than to bother with us."
  • To Lee: "Everybody knows the secret to sweet meats is tenderizing!"



  1. In Chapter 9, she appears in video
  2. In Chapter 10, she appears in video
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Episode: Chapter 5
  4. 4.0 4.1 Episode: Chapter 7