It seems like every year, we all say we plan to watch American Horror Story, but when it comes down to sticking it out for an entire season, those viewership numbers tend to dwindle.
For example, roughly three million viewers tuned in to the season premiere of American Horror Story: Apocalypse, but by the time the finale aired, over a million viewers had been lost. It’s like the game of speculating about what’s going to happen on another bonkers season of American Horror Story is more fun than actually watching the plot unfold. And while series show runner and creator Ryan Murphy is notoriously secretive about all of his projects, and slowly rolls out sneaky tidbits about what to expect in each season, those teasers and trailers can sometimes end up being more interesting than the actual show.
With that being said, it’s still fun to try to suss out what Murphy could possibly be building up with each morsel of content released in the weeks leading up to the premiere of the show, and so far American Horror Story: 1984 has delivered some fun breadcrumbs for us to track. Still, many questions remain. We know that the season takes place at Camp Redwood in 1984, and we know who is slated to appear, but we don’t know what kind of character or archetype exactly each actor will be playing (although we can guess, based on some of these ’80s-inspired aerobics videos released as part of the show’s first promo). We also don’t yet know how this season ties into previous seasons (if it does at all), but of course, as is par for the course with any season of American Horror Story, there are already rumblings of fan theories.
Who’s in it?
Emma Roberts, Gus Kenworthy, Angelica Ross, Cody Fern, Billie Lourd, Leslie Grossman, Matthew Morrison, DeRon Horton, and Zach Villa all made their appearance as part of the official cast announcement in the first full promo video that revealed this season would take place in 1984 at a summer camp.
Who’s not in it?
American Horror Story mainstays Sarah Paulson, Finn Wittrock, and Jessica Lange have all graduated to new Murphy projects (Ratched for Paulson and Wittrock, and The Politician for Lange) so they likely won’t appear in AHS: 1984. Evan Peters reportedly won’t show up either, but there’s no way to officially rule out a cameo (a masked killer moment, perhaps?) from at least one of them.
Who’s the killer?
The first season of AHS gave us the Rubber Man. Last season gave us the Antichrist. This season will take cues from some iconic ’80s slasher films, like Friday the 13th, but fans are speculating that the American Horror Story: 1984 masked killer, who appears in the most recent promo for the series, could be Richard Ramirez, a serial killer known as the Night Stalker who terrorized the San Francisco area from June 1984 to August 1985. If the killer is Ramirez, that would connect 1984 with Hotel as part of the same universe. In Hotel, Ramirez (who really did die as recently as 2013) appeared as a guest of the hotel, in an episode that featured characterizations of other infamous serial killers like the Zodiac Killer, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Aileen Wuornos. In 1984, the knife-wielding killer appears under a car of unsuspecting teens.
Who will probably get killed off first?
Kenworthy—who has never acted let alone starred in a television series—was one of the first confirmed cast members for American Horror Story: 1984. If you remember all the way back in season two (Asylum), Adam Levine’s appearance in the series was teased quite a bit, only for him to (spoiler alert) be maimed and killed very early on. That same fate could very well await Kenworthy’s character, who appears to fulfill the very ’80s archetype of handsome jock according to the first promo. That trope is usually the first to go, anyway.
Who will be the “final girl?”
The final girl in a horror film is the last one left alive who stands up to the killer in the end. In the past, the final girl trope has been toyed with or subverted in movies like Scream, and usually she’s a white girl, but Murphy could do something a little bit radical by keeping Ross—the first transgender woman to be a series regular on two television series—around until the final frame.