In 2018, The Haunting of Hill House premiered, bringing to the screen the tragic story of the Crain family and launching the Flanagan Verse TV series edition (or Flanaverse as some like to call it). Throughout the next five years, Mike Flanagan delivered four more TV shows: The Haunting of Bly Manor, Midnight Mass, The Midnight Club and The Fall of the House of Usher.
Although some Flanagan movies on Netflix could also be included in this universe he created, for many, the Flanagan Verse only refers to his TV shows. On in those shows, Flanagan has delivered some incredible characters worth highlighting.
Theo Crain – The Haunting of Hill House
The Haunting of Hill House introduced us to the Crain family, making fans fall in love with one or more characters. Theo Crain, played by Kate Siegel and Mckenna Grace, is the middle child and, just like her mom, has heightened sensitivity. As the series goes on, we discover this means that just by touching a person, an object, or a place, Theo can feel what they feel/felt. That is why she is always seen wearing gloves.
When she grows up, Theo becomes a psychologist. Although she doesn’t like to do it, she sometimes uses her power to understand her patients better. She is also one of the many queer characters in the Flanagan Verse.
Eleanor Crain – The Haunting of Hill House
Eleanor (Nell) Crain is Luke’s twin sister, and together they are the youngest children in the Crain family. When she is a little girl (played by Violet McGraw), Nell seems to be the one child who most feels what is happening in the house. She has nightmares, sees ghosts, and has trouble sleeping.
As a grownup (Victoria Pedretti), she still struggles with issues from her childhood. Nell continues to have problems sleeping, but this time dealing with sleep paralysis. She sadly witnesses the death of her husband without being able to help him and, in the end, takes her own life. Nell’s most significant plot twist is related to the Bent-Neck Lady she used to see when she was little.
Jamie – The Haunting of Bly Manor
If The Haunting of Hill House didn’t give us enough of a family dealing with a haunted house, the Flanagan Verse soon introduced The Haunting of Bly Manor to give us more of that horror and thriller that initially captivated us. With new cast members and some of the same actors, this show gave us a list of diverse characters to fall in love with. Among them was Jamie Taylor (Amelia Eve).
Jamie comes into Bly Manor as the gardener. Even though she hated Peter Quint, she was able to form a strong bond with the rest of the staff and the kids of the family. When Dani Clayton comes on the scene, both women end up falling in love. Sadly, Jamie loses Dani, but her love for her never dies.
Hannah Grose – The Haunting of Bly Manor
It is evident from the beginning that the staff at Bly Manor is indispensable to the story. One of them, the one at the top of the list as the manager, is Hannah Grose (T’Nia Miller). Something beautiful about Hannah’s story is her relationship with Owen Sharma and how it develops throughout the series.
However, as the audience, we notice something off with Hannah. For a few episodes, we can’t quite figure it out until we discover she is actually a ghost but doesn’t know it. Hannah was pushed into the well at Bly Manor, dying on impact but never noticing her tragic ending.
Madeline Usher – The Fall of the House of Usher
One thing the Flanagan Verse got its audience used to is incredible storytelling and the ability to tie every loose end by the time the series comes to an end. The Fall of the House of Usher does both things while simultaneously delivering some memorable characters. One of those well-rounded, complex and intriguing characters is Madeline Usher.
Whether it’s Willa Fitzgerald‘s Madeline or Mary McDonnell, both women portray a character who doesn’t take anyone’s sh*t and will do anything to reach her end goal. One thing that we must applaud when it comes to Madeline is her conscious decision not to expand the Usher lineage, knowing how things might end.
Verna – The Fall of the House of Usher
The Flanagan Verse doesn’t necessarily have a villain, as it mainly focuses on the haunting of people. However, for some, The Fall of the House of Usher may have a villain: Verna (Carla Gugino). She appears (apparently) out of nowhere and starts killing members of the Usher family. She must be the villain…or not?
However, as the story goes on and we learn more about these characters, we realize Verna isn’t the real villain. She is simply coming to collect payment for her deal. Does this make Madeline and Roderick the bad guys? The one thing we can say for sure is that Verna is one of the best characters in the Flanagan Verse.
All the above shows are streaming on Netflix.