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Marie Laveau is the legendary former Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. She is a character in American Horror Story portrayed by Angela Bassett. Her status in the Voodoo practice is equivalent to that of the Supreme in Witchcraft.

Background

At the height of her power, Marie fell pregnant by her lover Bastien and could not accept the idea of death. Papa Legba appeared to her one night, offering her immortality in exchange for her soul and performing a service for him once a year. Believing their agreement to be of a sexual nature, Marie agreed to the terms and became immortal. Only after giving birth to her daughter did she learn that the service required her to sacrifice the soul of an innocent to Papa, who appears to collect the newborn infant as part of their agreement. After pleading with Papa to take her immortality away, Marie is forced to hand over the child and cries as she watches Papa depart with her daughter. [2]

In 1834, Marie arrived at the LaLaurie house to exact her revenge on Madame Delphine LaLaurie for torturing Bastien. She tricks Delphine into drinking a "love potion" that will supposedly ensure her husband's fidelity, but it is, in fact, a vial of her tears [2] that causes the Madame to pass out from pain. Marie discovers Bastien's corpse in the attic and tearfully embraces her deceased lover, disfigured from having a bull's head attached to his face. [3]

After Delphine regains consciousness that night, Marie and an angry, black mob are gathered outside waiting for her. When she demands the return of her family, Delphine is shown the strung up corpses of her husband and three daughters, who were tortured and killed by Marie as retribution. The latter reveals that the potion Delphine drank cursed her with immortality, and her fate is to be buried in an unmarked grave for all eternity. At Marie's command, the mob gags and chains Delphine, sealing her in a coffin that would lie undisturbed for centuries to follow.[4]

By 1961, Marie is managing a hair salon known as Cornrow City. Cora, one of her employees, reveals that her son Henry is attending an integrated school. Marie expresses doubts about the white citizens being happy about this, and her words are proven to be true when Henry is lynched by three white men. In retaliation, Marie performs a ritual to raise an army of the undead, sending them after Henry's murderers and brutally killing them.[5]

Around this time, conflict arises between the voodooists and a local witch coven. The feud lasted for about ten years, until Marie and Supreme Anna Leigh Leighton sign a truce in 1971, detailing that neither side is allowed to cross into the other's territory.[5]

Personality and Appearance

Marie is a Voodoo Queen and revered by those who practice the religion and craft. While living in the 1800's, her attire was that of long and elegant dresses; in postmodern New Orleans, her style is more modern, wearing dresses of varied colors with antiquated hairstyles. When she performs rituals, she wears white clothes and a tignon

When crossed Marie is quick to take revenge and her force is one to be reckoned with. Marie Laveau and her voodoo following hold much animosity toward witches, specifically the descendants of the Salem Witch Trials, her stance towards them changed however when she developed a deep respect, and friendship with Fiona Goode, after seeking refuge with the witches after the loss of her Voodoo followers.

Story

Figuring out Marie gave LaLaurie eternal life, Fiona Goode goes to the hair parlor that Marie (not having aged a day) has set up. The two banter insults to one another until Fiona reveals she has leverage on her and asks for the secret to immortality. Marie laughs and refuses to give her the secret. Fiona leaves, but not before setting fire to Marie's hair displays. Having figured out LaLaurie has been freed by Fiona, Marie sends the Minotaur after the former socialite.

A few days later, Marie is visited by Cordelia Foxx who asks the priestess for the fertility ritual to be performed after hearing from the doctor that it was not possible for her to become pregnant. Marie describes the ritual in detail to Cordelia, and that she charges a large payment, yet guarantees success. Cordelia is unfazed by the price, but due to Fiona's actions earlier, Marie refuses to do the ritual for the daughter of her sworn enemy.

On Halloween, while working at the hair salon, Marie's employee Chantal received a package from Fiona containing the head of the Minotaur. Distraught, Marie proclaimed the truce was finished and used her voodoo ritual to awaken the dead to attack Miss Robichaux's Academy. The dead remain still until Marie orders them to attack everyone, including innocent civilians. After Zoe destroys the majority of the dead with a chainsaw, one remains, going after her. With the chainsaw out of power, Zoe lifts her hand at the dead man, saying "Be In Your Nature", breaking Marie's spell. Marie collapses with the spell broken, stating that the witches have some real power now at the academy.

Marie meets with Hank, revealing that he has been working with her for years to destroy every Salem witch. She accuses Hank of falling for Cordelia, and becomes angry thinking how Fiona killed her lover again. She orders Hank to kill every witch at the academy or she will kill him.

Later, Marie is visited by Queenie when cooking gumbo outside. Marie offers Queenie a proper family and home in exchange for Delphine LaLaurie, to whom she wants to get back at. Queenie leaves Cornrow City but thinks about the bargain.

Queenie manages to trick Delphine to entering Cornrow City by promising her a beauty makeover. Once inside, Delphine is surprised by getting captured, locked inside a cage, and cutting parts of her body and using the blood for a makeover, to which Marie describes as "beautiful".

Marie then catches Queenie speaking to Delphine and sends her off. Marie secretly takes a knife from a cupboard and slashes Delphine's hand when she becomes rude and angry at the Voodoo Queen who would later decapitate Delphine and send her head to the witches' coven in a box; exactly the same way that the witches sent Bastien to her.  

The next day, Fiona approaches Marie at the hair salon, bringing Delphine's head with her. Fiona informs her of the attack by a witch hunter, with a silver bullet as proof. Fiona suggests an alliance between the Voodoo tribe and the witch coven. Marie outright rejects the offer, believing the hunters will only be a threat to the Salem witches.

Marie torments Hank using a Voodoo doll to force him to kill the Salem witches. The next morning, Hank goes to Cornrow City with a full arsenal and begins killing everyone in the salon. He reaches Marie and wounds her arm. Queenie, who was already mortally wounded, grabs a gun on the ground, puts it in her mouth and pulls the trigger, using her power to kill Hank before he could kill Marie. Realizing the threat she faces, and the loss she suffered, Marie goes to Robichaux's Academy to seek refuge, agreeing to the alliance Fiona offered before.

She and Fiona have a sit down with the Witch Hunters and everyone in the room is hacked to death because of the Axeman.  She and Fiona also team up to sacrifice Nan to Papa LegbaDelphine is tricked by Spalding's ghost to give Marie Laveau saying that it will render her mortal but fails and in a blind rage she chases Delphine which results in her being knocked out.  She is tortured and hacked apart by Delphine before being scattered. Because of Queenie's logic that due to her being dismembered she can no longer carry out her side of the bargain, Papa Legba takes her soul. She is later seen at the end of the episode in Hell torturing Delphine's daughter. She comes to her senses and doesn't want to torture her but Papa Legba forces her to do so because he owns her soul. She realizes that she died.  

Apocalypse

When Cordelia Goode visits Dinah Stevens to arrange a meeting with Papa Legba, the voodoo priestess firstly refuses to help her, believing the witches were involved in Marie Laveau's demise. Later during the meeting with Cordelia, Papa Legba remembers the last time in which a Mambo and a Witch Queen gathered together to conspire. [6]

During the events of the Apocalypse, Marie was freed from hell due to the efforts of Cordelia to create a deal with Papa Legba. In exchange for Marie's freedom, they have to deliver the soul of Dinah Stevens, the most dark and corrupt voodoo practitioner. After confronting Dinah, who said that Marie will do the same thing she did (betray the other witches for power and life), Marie vehemently denounces her by saying no, using transmutation to transport at the back of Dinah instantly and stabbing Dinah in the side of her throat with a machete, causing severe haemorrhaging which kills Dinah. After the latter falls to the ground, she says that Dinah should give Papa Legba her regards. After the commotion, and when Mead was exploded into pieces by Cordelia, Marie and the other witches fled leaving a volunteering Madison to watch over an apparently dead Michael as they go on to help Mallory perform Tempus Infinitum . After, Madison failed, Marie sacrificed herself by staying behind saying that whatever happens, the situation she's in is a lot better than her situation in hell. She then scattered some unknown herbs from a pouch on the floor while reciting a spell in Creole that created an invisible barrier to hold off Michael. Michael is momentarily impeded while Marie rhetorically says that Michael is dealing with the HBIC (Head Bitch In Charge). Michael responds by forcing his hand through the barrier and into Marie's chest. As Michael is preoccupied with Marie, Coco stabs Michael in the back with a dagger. Unphased, Michael proceeds to rip Marie's heart out and takes a bite out of it, giving Marie a second death.

Powers

Marie was a shockingly powerful Voodoo practitioner who held the status of Voodoo Queen among the Voodooists in New Orleans for centuries. In terms of magical power, it is hinted that she is as powerful as the Supreme. However, Marie demonstrated only four of the Seven Wonders as well as a power unique to her.  

  • Immortality - As a result of annual human sacrifices to Papa Legba, Marie was not susceptible to human weaknesses, thus being immune to all aging, and disease as well as being unaffected by grievous bodily harm. However, this power was revoked by Papa Legba when he deemed (with some persuasion from Queenie ) that Marie was unable to continue to fulfill the terms of their contract.
  • Telekinesis - The magical ability to move things with the power of the mind. Marie was seen to have opened a small cabinet in her room while performing a ritual that would raise the dead as zombies.
  • Pyrokinesis - The magical ability to create, control and manipulate fire. Marie was seen using this power during a ritual that would reanimate the dead, where she lit the snake's blood on fire in order to inhale the fumes.
  • Divination - The magical ability to gain knowledge through indirect means.
    • Evil Sensing - The magical ability to sense evil.
  • Transmutation - The magical ability to move instantaneously from one location to another. Marie fled from Hank after he killed all the other Voodooists and attempted to kill her by trasmuting out of the way of an incoming bullet. Marie also used this to attack Dinah Stevens from behind in order to deliver the latter's soul to Papa Legba.
  • War Cry - The magical ability to emit an eerie scream that causes all that hear it to turn on one another, thereby causing one's enemies to fight their own allies. Marie is the only known user of this power.
  • Voodoo Spellcraft - Marie Laveau had an extensive knowledge of Voodoo rituals and spells. While Marie was rarely seen using active powers, it has been hinted that her ritual magic was particularly strong. Indeed, it is implied by Fiona that Marie's magic could be more powerful than hers or Cordelia's.
    • Pochaut Medecine - A sacrificial ceremony performed by Marie and her followers to help a woman be fertile and get pregnant. The ritual typically requires two ounces of the woman's husband's 'baby gravy' (semen) packed inside a mason jar, a guinea pepper and a live white goat. The ritual will be performed in a tribal-like celebration, with women dancing with herbs and leaves on their hands, while the men will use instruments to add up to the spell's execution. Marie will then lightly throw the mason jar beside the fire, after that, she will get a hold of an iron rod with the pepper at the opposite end of it, Marie will then eat the pepper as a sign of her willingness to suffer and to call on upon the gods (Loa ) to pay attention. She will then dance together with her people while her other followers will bring the goat to her. After the semen boiled inside the mason jar, it will explode signalling Marie to slash the throat of the goat and let the blood spill right above the woman's body, enveloping her waist, stomach and genitals. After the successful execution, Marie will sleep for four days and four nights, likely as a final sacrifice (a piece of her own life to introduce a new life). According to Marie, the ritual has a 100% success rate.
    • Reanimation Ritual - Through this ritual, Marie is able to revive and control the corpses in the form of zombies so as to incite them against her enemies. Performing this ritual takes preparation, as it was seen with Marie drawing intricate runes and symbols on the floor and using a snake as a conduit for the magic. She uses the belongings of the dead she wants to reanimate as a link between the magic and the corpses. When everything is ready, she will begin the trance, her eyes will turn white and, if animating quite a few zombies, will float as a result of the ongoing effect of the reanimation ritual. If this ritual is negated or dispelled, Marie will immediately go back to her consciousness and will fall down from the air.
    • Injury Ritual - The most commonly known voodoo spell. With a use of a voodoo doll tangled with the target's personal item, Marie was able to severely damage Hank Foxx.
    • Summoning Ritual - Through an offer to Papa Legba, Marie is able to contact him and consequently summon him to communicate with him.
    • Voodoo Boundary Spell - During her brief confrontation with the Antichrist Michael Langdon, Marie created an invisible barrier that hindered Michael for passing through. It was powerful enough to hold of the Antichrist, but only for a brief moment.
  • Voodoo Potioncraft - Affinity for an extensive knowledge of "Green Magic".
    • Eternal Life - Marie created this from her tears and bestow Immortality to Delphine LaLaurie.
    • Power Granting Potion - Queenie mentioned that Marie was making a potion to give Queenie more powers.
    • Mind Control Dust - Marie used this to control minds, which allowed her to gain access in the maternity ward, so that she could fulfill a deal made by Papa Legba.

Quotes

  • To Cordelia Foxx: "Too late for tears; damage is done."
  • To Cordelia Foxx (about Fiona Goode)
    Waltzing in here like she the Queen of England, talkin' 'bout hammer and nails, lookin' to start a war.. She done messed with the wrong witch and she knows it. Now, you know it.


  • Marie Laveau: "We got some business to attend to."
  • To Queenie (about the feud with Salem witches)
    Their power is built on the sweat of our backs. The only reason you and I are in this country is because our great-great-grandpas couldn't run fast enough. We'll never be welcome here. And those witches are the worst.


  • To Queenie: "Voodoo doll belong in the House of Voodoo."
  • To Queenie: "You mix your witch with our voodoo... And even the Supreme won't be able to touch you."
  • Marie Laveau: "The truce is over."
  • To Fiona Goode: "I'm over three hundred years old. Everyone I done ever met done followed after the Grim Reaper. Some willingly, others kicking and scratching. I taught myself long ago not to waste tears for the dead. It's your kindness that has touched my soul. I feel like I've been alone for so long, it's a relief to have found an equal. Even if that person comes in the guise of an enemy. We have so much to talk about."
  • To Fiona Goode (regarding her immortality)
    I thought I was the shit back then: I had just come into my prime and my magic was strong... Shockingly strong. I was pregnant, and I did not accept the idea of death. I was invincible. Papa must've heard me. Showed up one night. Said you can have eternal life, Marie, I come to you once a year, you give me what I want. I thought he meant some kind of sexual favors. Seemed it was simple enough at the time. I wished for it. It came true. Unknowingly, I made a deal forged in hell.


  • To Hank Foxx (about Cordelia's acid attack)
    You think I did that? Do I look like the Taliban to you? If I wanted to blind your little wife, I wouldn't have to leave my room.


  • To Hank Foxx (about Delphine LaLaurie)
    When I plant a fat-ass cracker bitch, I expect her to stay planted, not come back up like damn ragweed!


  • To Hank: "No more nonsense. You go back there, and you bring me their heads. All of them. Fiona, her daughter and every witch bitch in that house. You bring me their heads, all of them. Then you burn that place to the ground. You do it, and you do it quick. And I let you live."
  • To Delphine LaLaurie (after cutting off her hand)
    You know you're right Delphine, this gave me no satisfaction, but we've only just begun!


  • To Delphine and her family: "Because we can. Behold the kingdom of the family LaLaurie!"
  • To Papa Legba: "Be a sport!"
  • To Delphine (from beyond the grave)
    That damn buttermilk biscuit. Thinks she can take me down. Hell, no! I'm the queen! I will rise again. Mark my words. My people gonna come for you. Rip you apart.


  • To Dinah Stevens (regarding Cordelia)
    She needed the help of a powerful voodoo queen. But that ain't you, sis! To release me from hell, Cordelia promised Papa Legba the darkest and most corrupt voodoo queen's soul for mine. You'll serve him well in my place.


  • After killing Dinah Stevens: "Out with the trash! Give Papa my regards."

Notes

Gallery

References

  1. Mentioned by Dinah Stevens
  2. 2.0 2.1 Episode: The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks
  3. Episode: Bitchcraft
  4. Episode: Boy Parts
  5. 5.0 5.1 Episode: Fearful Pranks Ensue
  6. Episode: Traitor
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