Usually, the most we get from American Horror Story's extra-cryptic teasers are oodles of unsettling imagery. (Last year, we were treated to more bees and evil clowns that I ever wanted to see.) Yet American Horror Story season 8 is doing something different: It's showcasing what we can assume is Sarah Paulson's new character in Apocalypse.
She looks very powerful, and not just because of those amazing shoulder pads.
In the 28-second teaser, we see Paulson's character drawing a card from a gold bin, for what appears to be some sort of lottery.
"Now is your chance to be one of the few remaining," Paulson says in the video, proving that we're not playing bingo here. "This is your chance to survive."
The end of the video shows a link to TheBeginningIsNear.TV, which appears to be some sort of contest for an American Horror Story experience.
Per usual, the powers that be behind American Horror Story are staying mum about exactly what's going on this season, but its subtitle Apocalypse — and previous teasers hinting at a nuclear explosion — suggests that the end of days is coming. Oh, and then there's the fact that the Antichrist (whom we all know really loves a good extinction of humanity) was cast as Cody Fern.
Given the new teaser, Paulson appears to be some sort of leader, perhaps one who claims she can save people from a tragic fate. It's clear from the lottery situation that she won't be able, or may not even want, to save everyone.
The interesting part about Paulson's new role is that she is not Cordelia Goode, the witch and eventual Supreme that Paulson portrayed on American Horror Story: Coven. Season 8 is a crossover between Murder House and Coven, and creator Murphy recently tweeted that all the witches (including Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks) would return to AHS. He even included a group pic in which the Emmy winner definitely looked like she was channeling Cordelia.
Of course, this wouldn't be the first time that the prolific television actress portrayed multiple characters within a single season of AHS. During Hotel, Paulson portrayed ghost Sally and psychic Billie Dean Howard from Murder House. In Roanoke, she portrayed her Asylum character Lana Winters as well as actress Audrey.
Paulson's IMDb page suggests something rather interesting about the actress taking on multiple roles. Though it's not confirmed, it appears she will be portraying three separate characters this time around, at least in the first episode of season 8 titled "The End." According to the site, Paulson will play Billie, Cordelia, and a new character named "Venable," very possibly the one from the teaser. Refinery29 has reached out to Paulson for comment.
Will this new character be friend or foe? Tune in to American Horror Story: Apocalypse September 12 on FX to find out.