The Haunting of Bly Manor episode 8 recap – Bly’s dark origin comes to light

By Daniel Hart
Published: October 9, 2020 (Last updated: Yesterday)
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The Haunting of Bly Manor Recap
The Haunting of Bly Manor Promotional Image Courtesy of Netflix


We all love a ghost story — episode 8 is told with care and precision with some wonderful performances and a welcome return for Kate Siegel.

This recap of Netflix’s The Haunting of Bly Manor episode 8 contains significant spoilers.

We recapped the whole series — check out the archive.

The opening

Episode 8 is a brilliantly told ghost story but it also gives the viewers the origin to everything the characters have experienced showed far, going back to the past to reveal a family that once owned Bly.

It opens up with Dani getting grabbed by a faceless woman and Flora screaming. The narrator explains that in the middle of the seventeenth century, there was a widowed gentleman — Mr Willoughby. He left behind two daughters, Viola (played by Kate Siegel) and Perdita. Neither woman had a man so only had each other.

Finding the opportunity

The Haunting of Bly Manor episode 8 brings a level of importance to owning such a manor back in the 17th century and the need to secure generational wealth.

Viola found all men opportunists and she did not find herself interested in any that met her vision. Viola invited over a distant cousin, Mr. Arthur Lloyd. He was an intelligent man. Perdita started gaining feelings for the man but Viola returned – it was all part of her plan to look like she was business and powerful and kept control of Bly. Viola and Arthur got married. She refused to say “Obey” in her marriage vow.

Viola was now happy that Bly was saved and the business transaction was done. But she found a new restlessness. She realised her marriage has some amount of love after all — Arthur and Viola have a baby and Isabel was born.

The lung

Episode 8 shows the lack of medical advancement and how it cruelly impacted Viola’s life overnight after all the success she had.

Viola started to continuously cough and it was hard to ignore — the doctor tells Arthur and Perdita that she has “the lung” and that she has months left; he tells them she needs to be separated from the rest of the house, including Isabel. The doctor tries all sorts of rituals and remedies but all approaches were exhausted. As Viola is on her last legs, the vicar asks her to repeats the rites — she refuses to say anything and will not state that she will “Go” to God.

It’s hard not to admire Viola’s perseverance at this point.

Living way beyond she should

Episode 8 shows how Viola defied all odds and carried on living.

Arthur and an older Isabel insist that Perdita dance. So Perdita gets up and dances with Arthur to show “How it’s done”. Viola had surpassed the predictions of the physicians and priests and sees them both dancing. She starts retching as she states she wants to talk to her daughter. Viola then slaps Perdita and asks her to take her to bed.

The Lady of Bly Manor

We then start to see cracks appearing in both sisters as the illness that has overcome Viola’s life begins to take a toll.

In the middle of the night, Viola walks around Bly Manor singing “O Willow Waly”. She visits Arthur’s room who is in bed with their daughter. The next day, she asks Perdita if she can sleep in the same bed as her daughter. When Perdita says no, Viola calls her “The Lady of Bly Manor”. Perdita claims her husband only has a fleeting look at her because he is lonely. Perdita asks Viola to show her daughter the best mother before she dies.


Episode 8 sees the start of the dark origin of Bly Manor — the trigger to what started the unfortunate events.

Viola decides she will keep her rings and laces for her daughter — she’s removed her vanity. She asks Arthur to promise her to keep everything for their daughter and puts it all locked in a trunk. Arthur was regularly gone for business leaving the house lonely. And then in a shocking scene, Perdita finally snaps; after all the insults and slaps from her sister, she had “enough” — she kills her sister by covering her mouth while laying in bed with her.

Use the linen and jewels

Arthur Lloyd, now Lord of Bly Manor, now had eyes for Perdita — they get married. However, Isabel refuses to see Perdita as her mother. Arthur was losing money and Perdita wasn’t as great as her sister with business. Perdita suggests using the trunk left behind for Isabel that contains silks, jewels and linens. She speaks to Arthur about it but he refuses to consider it as he made an oath to Viola. This angers her.

In the middle of the night, Perdita goes to the trunk and unlocks it. Suddenly, something takes hold of her. The next morning, Arthur finds Perdita dead.

A wave of time

Episode 8 returns to when Perdita killed Viola. Afterwards, Viola wakes up in a bed but she cannot leave the room. She kept “sleeping and waking and walking” but she couldn’t leave the room. Time went by. Eventually, she accepted that she was dead, that her husband had moved on and her daughter was raised without her — she accepted she was in a dream and that one day Isabel would open the trunk she left for her. But when the chest was opened, it was Perdita so she strangles her to death.

And here is where the curse begins — a betrayal by Perdita started all this and kept Bly in this state for years.

She slept, waked and walked

Viola saw her husband’s sadness so she slept and waited. The business was empty and the manor was lost. Arthur and Isabel left Bly. Arthur was a superstitious person so he threw the chest into the lake — Viola was abandoned and it broke her heart. Eventually, she could walk back to her manor and she hoped the nightmare would end. Viola did the same walk to her bed every day hoping that her family would return. One day, the manor was a quarantine for a plague and she ended up killing the doctor.

The ending

Viola kept forgetting more and more every time she woke — she remembered little and she eventually had a faceless face. One day, she saw a child in her bed but she kept on fading, forgetting what she had sought. The other spirits faded as well. Now she just had need, loneliness and rage. Her sister was in the attic faceless. As time passed, others fell to the same fate at Bly.

We then return to Dani who is grabbed by the faceless woman.

We all love a ghost story — The Haunting of Bly Manor episode 8 is told with care and precision with some wonderful performances and a welcome return for Kate Siegel.


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