Twisted Tales: Queerness in the ‘Fall of the House of Usher’

Major Spoiler Alert for the show “Fall of the House of Usher”. Proceed at your discretion.

“Fall of the House of Usher” is all about this messed-up family dealing with one disaster after another, thanks to some ancient pact made by the patriarch, Roderick, and his sister Madeline. Every episode delves into one family member’s character while digging into the past that got them here.


Roderick and Madeline, co-CEOs of a corrupt pharmaceutical company, Fortunato, added fuel to the opioid crisis, and the show kicks off with a bang—a big public trial over a dangerous opioid called Ligodone. Roderick also raised six spoiled children (from five mothers) shielded by wealth and marked by cruelty and narcissism. Despite the chaos, the majority of them are casually queer, a notable aspect without grand coming-out moments.


The show talks about greed, selfishness, and what happens when your success is built on a shaky, corrupt foundation. The narrative also revolves around fears of disability and mortality, desires leading to downfall, addiction to power, and the repercussions for powerful individuals. Expect gory deaths, unexpected twists, and a cool, diverse, queer cast—some familiar faces if you’re into Flanagan’s previous stuff.


“Fall of the House of Usher” showcases a range of vibrant queer characters, each adding their unique essence to the narrative:

  • Victorine Lafourcade (she/her, lesbian): A scientist in a same-sex relationship with her surgeon girlfriend, Alessandra Ruiz.
  • Prospero Usher (he/him, pan): The youngest Usher child, Prospero a.k.a Perry, is a self-described hedonist not beholden to any specific gender. A queer man in a polyamorous triad meets his demise due to his selfish and hedonistic actions.
  • Napoleon “Leo” Usher (he/they, bi): A popular video game developer and a messy bisexual entangled in a love triangle with his live-in partner Julius and a woman obsessed with his fame and fortune. Leo’s belief in his superhuman abilities leads to his downfall.
  • Camille L’Espanaye (she/her, bi): The PR head of Fortunato Pharmaceuticals, this silver-haired force of nature engages in contractually obligated threesomes with her two assistants. (A HR nightmare waiting to happen!) The outcome of these relationships is less than favourable, except for Toby and Tina, who find love amidst the chaos.
  • Auguste Dupin (he/him, gay): Detective Auguste Dupin is determined to take down the Usher crime family. While not much is revealed about his personal life, he mentions having a husband and children.

Fall of the House of Usher” dives headfirst into LGBTQ+ representation, shaking up stereotypes and giving us characters that are refreshingly real. Forget the old “Bury Your Gays” cliché — here, pretty much everyone is queer, and no one gets special treatment just for being straight. Mike Flanagan, the genius behind it all, weaves queer themes into the story without making it the whole focus. He took Poe’s original work and characters and made them even more beautiful by acknowledging the queerness that was always there.


And let’s talk about Perry, Camille and Leo—they’re not your typical “Good Gay” characters, they’re messy and complicated humans. Flanagan flips the script on how we usually see queer characters, making them flawed and relatable. The show goes deep, asking big questions about justice, accountability, and redemption. It’s not about easy answers; it’s about getting us to think. What are our desires, influences, and choices?


As ‘Fall of the House of Usher’ wraps up, it hits us with big questions: How do we fix our messes? Can we face ourselves, egos and all, and make the world a bit better? It’s not just a horror story; it’s a mind-bending journey, breaking free from the usual rules. No neat boxes of good or bad here—everyone messes up, and everyone struggles, no matter who they are. It’s messy, it’s real, and that’s what makes it stand out. So, are we ready to embrace the flaws, create change, and dive into a world beyond the ordinary?


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