Entertainment

'The Haunting of Bly Manor': The Lady in the Lake, Explained


While the show does borrow heavily from James’ particular brand of Gothic horror, Bly Manor also weaves a sprawling, haunting narrative all its own, well-populated with specters and apparitions, each one with their own tragic backstory.


And oh boy, that danger becomes imminently clear in the next episode, when we witness Peter’s death at the hands of the Lady in the Lake, who rounds the corner on her ritual walk, snatches him by the neck, snuffs out his life without missing a step, and drags his body back into the water with her.


Taking us back to the middle of the 17th Century, the episode introduces us to Viola ( Kate Siegel ) and her younger sister Perdita ( Catherine Parker ), heirs to Bly Manor who were orphaned when their father died, and quickly set about ensuring the estate would stay in the family by wooing a wealthy suitor named Arthur Floyd.


The Lady became her “beast in the jungle,” and she fought it as long as she could, but when she one day woke from a dream to find her hands wrapped around Jaime’s neck, she realized she could no longer risk it.


In fact, no one would ever be taken again and no one has been taken to this day.” And in the finale, we learn that the narrator is none other than an older Jamie herself (played by Carla Gugino ), who is telling her great, ghostly love story to a grown-up Flora on the eve of her wedding.


There’s a whole other article to be written about the ways in which Bly Manor elegantly embraces and updates the tropes of Gothic literature, but two that the series absolutely knocks out of the park are 1) the use of doubling and 2) the concept that, that which is repressed or locked away will come back to haunt you.






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