In The Haunting of Bly Manor, the Lady of the Lake has the power to take people to their aquatic graves, but who is she really and how powerful is her?
The Haunting of Bly Manormay be seen as a love story more than a ghost story, but his Lady in the Lake leaves a haunting impression on all of his characters. As the story unfolds, its history and connection to the mansion is revealed to the public and the lady at the origins of the lake becomes clear.
Mike Flanagan’s horror anthology series began in 2018 withThe Haunting of Hill House,adapted from the 1959 novel of the same name by Shirley Jackson. Due to its huge success, Netflix gave the creator the green light for a follow-up series that becameThe haunting of Bly Manor,based on the 1898 novel by Henry JamesThe turn of the screw.It is known as one of the most influential ghost stories of all time and has undergone several adaptations, only a few of which stay true to the source. More specifically, Jack Clayton’sInnocentsis considered an almost accurate account ofThe turn of the screw.Flanagan is no stranger to adapting horror stories for the big screen, as he managed to take on Stephen King.Doctor SleepandGerald’s game.The Haunting of Bly Manorshowcases Flanagan’s ability to adapt multiple stories with one in particular as a setting.
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Several actors ofThe Haunting of Hill Housereturned for her follow-up with Victoria Pedretti starring Danielle “Dani” Clayton, Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Peter Quint and Carla Gugino as The Storyteller. In the months leading up The Haunting of Bly’s Mansionout, it was rumored that Kate Seigel would make an appearance. In Episode 8, “The Romance of Certain Old Clothes, her character Viola Willoughby, also known as the Lady by the Lake, was revealed and thus was the origin of the ghostly woman who has haunted Bly Manor for nearly. 400 years old.
The romance of some old clothes
In Episode 8, “The Romance of Some Old Clothes,” the original owners of Bly Manor were introduced to the series. They are known as the Willoughby family, whose last remaining members are Viola and Perdita and their story is not based onThe turn of the screw. Instead, it’s taken from the short story of the same name, which features the two sisters and their resentments for each other. InThe haunting of Bly Manor,Viola marries Arthur Lloyd and has a child named Isabel, but soon after giving birth she falls ill and slowly begins to die. To get rid of her sister’s burden, Perdita kills Viola, but not before the older sister places her most expensive dresses, jewelry, and linens in a trunk that should only be opened by her daughter.
Perdita opens it without permission, which leads Viola’s mind to suffocate her to death. After finding his second wife dead, Arthur believes the chest is cursed and throws it into the lake with the older sister’s spirit trapped inside. In the original Henry James story, their roles are reversed entirely and it’s likely that Flanagan made this change in order to better suit the characteristics of the source characters. In both iterations of the sisters, Perdita is sweet and Viola is outspoken and it seems far more likely that the sister who has a strong presence will become the horrible spirit rather than the other.
Flora uses the doll to follow the viola
Viola has haunted the lands of Bly Manor for nearly 400 years. It’s unclear when Miles and Flora first encountered the Spirit, but the little girl is keenly aware of its dangerousness, and Flora uses a faceless doll to track where she is at all times. In her bedroom, she has an exact replica of the mansion and the surroundings of her bedroom represent the different locations of the property.
His chest of drawers represents the lake. When the doll is under the dresser it means Viola is in the lake but when she is in the middle of the room it means she is on her way to the house. When Dani walks through the hallways at night, the doll is seen heading towards the forbidden wing of the house. This is Flora’s way of ensuring that those dear to her stay safe from the woman who has trapped several spirits at Bly Manor. In Episode 1, “The Great Good Place,” Miles and Flora lock Dani in the closet after she picks up the doll from the middle of the floor. They do this to protect her from Viola’s malicious spirit.
Why Viola has no face
While “The Romance of Certain Old Clothes” continues to tell the story of Viola and Perdita, it focuses solely on the aftermath of the trunk being thrown into the lake. After Bly Manor is left vacant, she scours the house in search of the family who left her. Over the years she begins to sleep and her memories start to fade and over time Viola’s face begins to fade along with her memories. It seems it takes several decades for her features to fade, but once they do, they are gone forever.
Why Viola drags people into the lake
When Viola fell ill, she was forced to be alone in a room and away from her child. She lived her last years with no one to comfort her and without the two people she loved by her side as she wanted them. The reason she is roaming the house is looking for her husband and daughter.
Every time she enters Bly Manor, she finds out that they haven’t returned, and Viola then brings those she meets back to the lake to turn them into ghosts of Bly Manor. The only explanation she draws people into the water for is to soothe her loneliness. Perdita killed her, Arthur married his sister and he left with their daughter. Everyone she loved left her or betrayed her in some way, which resulted in her own resentment over time but, more so, her loneliness. She complements these feelings when she looks at children. Whenever she meets a child, Viola believes it is her daughter and takes them to the lake to stay with her forever. When she kills adults, it’s probably out of spite and resentment towards Arthur and Perdita.
How Viola keeps the other ghosts trapped at Bly’s
Bly Manor has a ghostly gravitational pull similar to Ryan MurphyAmerican Horror Story: Murder House.All those who die on the property are forced to live the rest of their afterlife by wandering the hallways. WhileAHS: House of Murderdoes not necessarily explain how this is possible,The Haunting of Bly Manoruses Viola to explain how the ghosts are trapped in Bly Manor. After her mind sinks to the bottom of the lake, her negative emotions become so incredibly strong that they create a gravitational pull that keeps the dead with her.
As “The Romance of Certain Old Clothes” explains, Viola was a stubborn woman who refused to die and had a strong will. When her sister killed her, it was not her time to go. Her announcement to the vicar that she will not leave Bly as well as her stubbornness allowed her to remain like a ghost on the property. It was the amalgamation of all the ways Viola was harmed as well as what was imposed on her that brought gravitational pull to life. Only the au pair could stop her before she could take another innocent life. The lady at the lake featured inThe Haunting of Bly Manoris the oldest ghost in the mansion with enough power to keep every soul trapped on the property.
More: Every Hidden Ghost You Missed In The Haunting Of Bly Manor
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