Who is Verna in The Fall of the House of Usher? Identity Explained

By Adam Lock
Published: October 13, 2023 (Last updated: January 26, 2024)
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Who is Verna in The Fall of the House of Usher? Identity Explained

Horror maestro Mike Flanagan is back with yet another Netflix original series for viewers to get stuck into this horror season. The Fall of the House of Usher is his latest and presumably last project for Netflix, one that is already scaring and entertaining audiences around the world. But viewers will be desperate to know who the character of Verna is in the series, so this article will explore this mysterious character in more depth.

Warning, this article contains spoilers.

Who is Verna in The Fall of the House of Usher?

Verna is a mysterious character, intrinsically linked to the wealthy siblings Roderick and Madeline Usher. She made a deal with the twins back in 1979 and has returned to them in the present day to fulfill the terms of their agreement.

As wealthy CEO Roderick Usher’s children start to die off one by one in the most horrific of manners, Roderick and Madeline investigate the potential killer, with the help of their relentless lawyer Arthur Pym. It soon becomes apparent that Verna is involved in all of these deaths, with her face being spotted at the scenes of each crime.

Verna plants herself into the heirs’ lives, impersonating or embodying people and animals along the way. She uses her supernatural powers to torment and torture the siblings, causing them to either kill themselves or die in the most brutal and gory of fashions. Verna manipulates their vision and gets inside their heads, leading the siblings towards mental breakdowns and then death.

Why does Verna kill Roderick’s children in The Fall of the House of Usher?

The reason that Verna, this supernatural entity, is killing off all of Roderick’s children is because of a deal that Roderick made with her back in 1979. Roderick and Madeline practically made a deal with the devil. Verna offered them untold wealth and power. All she wanted in return was for the Usher family bloodline to die off at the same time as Roderick died.

READ: The Fall of the House of Usher Season 1 Ending Explained

This means that all of Roderick and Madeline’s children and grandchildren were to die when Roderick reached the end of his own life. Roderick and Madeline selfishly accepted the deal without thinking of the true consequences. They then forgot or ignored the deal for the next fifty years, choosing to concentrate on building their empire instead.

Why is Verna’s identity important in The Fall of the House of Usher?

Verna’s identity is important to the series for a couple of reasons. She is clearly not of human origin, but rather a supernatural entity. Verna could be seen as a manifestation of the devil or as a symbol of death itself. Verna’s identity is never fully spelled out for its audience but is left up to interpretation instead. But she is the key to the entire series and the reason for the Usher family’s subsequent demise.

The show’s writers hint at Verna’s history and her true identity throughout the series. Arthur finds photographs of Verna that date back to the start of the 1900s. She is seen interacting with wealthy, influential people throughout history. Clearly, Verna has made many more deals in her past, shaping the planet, feeding man’s greed, and punishing the sinners in the process, which feels very much like the devil’s work to me.

READ: What happens to Madeline in The Fall of the House of Usher?

Interestingly, Verna does seem to have a conscience though. She is sympathetic towards Lenore, Roderick’s granddaughter, and kills her in a painless fashion. Verna wants to be surprised and proven wrong by mankind at every opportunity, but they always seem to disappoint her in the end. Arthur Pym is the only one to turn her down.

It’s also worth mentioning that Verna is represented as the raven and her name is an anagram of the creature too. Ravens are known to symbolize death and loss in religion and culture. Verna may be the manifestation of death, here to take the Usher family across to the other side after their ill-fated deal.

Who plays Verna in The Fall of the House of Usher?

Verna is played by Carla Gugino, one of Mike Flanagan’s regular cast members and a famous Hollywood actress in her own right. She has starred in many of Mike Flanagan’s films and TV shows over the years, including Gerald’s Game, The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor, and Midnight Mass.

Carla Gugino really gets to flex her acting chops in The Fall of the House of Usher, playing multiple characters with many different accents and motives. She shows off her acting range and ability throughout the 8 installments wonderfully. This is clearly a role that Carla Gugino was born to play and she deserves all of the accolades because of it.

READ: The Fall of the House of Usher Season 1 Recap

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