Every Usher sibling death in The Fall of the House of Usher explained
13 October 2023, 22:37 | Updated: 17 October 2023, 16:25
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How do the Usher siblings actually die in The Fall of the House of Usher? Here's Prospero, Camille, Leo, Victorine, Tamerlane and Frederick's deaths explained.
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The Fall of the House of Usher has well and truly become the internet's new obsession. Mike Flanagan's latest Netflix horror series follows the fall of the rich and powerful Usher family as a series of mysterious deaths sweep through the bloodline.
It's quickly established in the first episode that all six of patriarch Roderick Usher's children are dead. What we don't know, however, is how they all died.
Across the eight episodes of the series, the truth is slowly revealed about Frederick (Henry Thomas), Tamerlane (Samantha Sloyan), Victorine (T'Nia Miller), Napoleon (Rahul Kohli), Camille (Kate Siegel) and Prospero (Sauriyan Sapkota), and the true circumstances behind their gruesome deaths.
Were they all simply freak accidents? Was there something more sinister and supernatural at play? And what does Carla Gugino's mysterious Verna have to do with it all? Here's your full recap on how each Usher sibling died in The Fall of the House of Usher.
WARNING: Major spoilers ahead!
The Fall of the House of Usher: Here's how each Usher child dies
At the start of the episode 1, viewers quickly find out that all six of the Usher children are dead. In a brief scene showing Dupin’s investigation board, newspaper clippings reveal vague snippets about each of the siblings deaths.
- Frederick Usher (Freddie) reportedly died following a collapse at a construction site. No other persons were found inside the wreckage alongside him.
- Tamerlane (Tammy) was found dead in her home.
- Victorine died by murder/suicide alongside her partner and work colleague Alessandra Ruiz.
- Napoleon (Leo) is also reportedly to have died by suicide. In the newspaper clipping, his partner is quoted saying that “Leo darted past him to the balcony and somehow leapt over the edge” of his downtown loft apartment.
- Camille’s newspaper clipping is very vague, just saying that she was killed in a gruesome accident.
- And Prospero’s death is reported to have been a result of a freak accident that included multiple fatalities.
At the funeral, however, it’s revealed that they died in much, much eerie and sinister circumstances. Not is all as it seems...
Viewers even get a glimpse at the horrifying state of each of the children’s bodies when they appear to Roderick on the balcony in the church.
But what actually happened to them? If you need a recap of how each sibling died and why, read on ahead.
So, how did the Usher children actually die?
Each episode details the exact way in which each of the Usher siblings actually died, as well as the circumstances surrounding their gruesome deaths. Their deaths are also revealed in the opposite order the newspaper clippings were shown, which means Prospero is the first of the siblings to die.
How does Prospero Usher die?
In episode 2, 'The Masque of the Red Death', Prospero (Perry) dies from horrific chemical burns after throwing a sex party in an abandoned warehouse.
Perry comes up with a plan to douse the guests in water towards the end of the night, and ends up hooking the pipes to the water tanks on the top of the building without checking what they actually contained. When the sprinklers begin to rain down on the guests, the highly acidic, corrosive, medical byproduct hidden within ends up completely melting every single person at the party.
Later, Roderick confesses that the acid was hidden there by his pharmaceutical company, intended to be disposed of at a later date. He describes Perry's death as a "freak accident".
How does Camille Usher die?
In episode 3, 'Murder in the Rue Morgue', Camille is maimed to death by one of the chimps from Victorine and Alessandra's surgical trials after she enters the lab to investigate what Victorine was actually up to.
However, all is not what it seems with Camille's death. We see the mysterious Verna actively have a hand in one of the siblings' deaths, killing them directly.
Verna appears as the security guard on the desk and lets Camille into the lab. While taking photos of the chimps, Verna reappears, taunts Camille about her family, Prospero's death and then manifests as a violent chimp and kills Camille.
How does Leo Usher die?
In episode 4, 'The Black Cat', Napoleon (Leo) ends up falling off his apartment balcony to his death, just as his newspaper clipping reported. But, once again, it was Verna's work that ended up driving him to accidental suicide.
One night after a party, Leo gets high and seemingly (!) ends up killing his boyfriend's cat. The next day, he heads to a shelter to find a cat who looks the same. He's greeted by Verna (now pretending to be a shelter worker), who shows him a near identical black cat, so he takes it home and quickly discovers that it's a menace.
It begins to drive him insane; killing birds and rats and leaving them around the house, attacking him multiple times.
He calls the shelter and asks them to take the cat back, but Verna shows up and starts messing with Leo's head, telling him the cat (now clearly one of her manifestations) is in the walls of the apartment. He tears the apartment to shreds looking for the cat before he spots it on the balcony. He runs, swings at it and falls off to his death.
However, at the end of the episode, it's revealed that the original cat is still alive and everything that Leo experienced was a hallucincation.
How does Victorine die?
In episode 5, 'The Tell-Tale Heart', we find out the truth behind Victorine and Alessandra's murder/suicide – and it might be the most horrifying death yet.
After a huge blow out argument with Alessandra over the human trials (instigated by patient Verna), viewers see Victorine throw a heavy object at her as she leaves out the front door. Over the course of the episode, we see Victorine unravel, slowly beginning to lose her mind, and continuing to hear a strange noise that she can't locate.
Eventually, Roderick comes out to the house and Victorine mentions the sound to him. As Roderick gets closer, Victorine realises that she accidentally killed Alessandra when the heavy object struck her head, and in an attempt to "save" her, Victorine cut into Alessandra and placed the heart monitor around her heart. Roderick and Victorine then discover Alessandra's dead body in the house, chest cavity open, heart monitor pumping away.
Seeing that the device has not worked on Alessandra, Victorine suggests they need a better heart. She then kills herself in front of Roderick.
How does Tamerlane Usher die?
In episode 6, 'Goldbug', Tamerlane Usher's gruesome death plays out and, once again, Verna is behind this one in a big way too.
Throughout the series, we see that Tamerlane prefers to get off by watching her husband Bill interact and act out sexual situations with women who bare a striking resemblance to her. One night, Verna shows up instead of their regular girl.
Over the course of the next few episodes, Verna begins to taunt Tamerlane, showing up in Bill’s fitness class, and later at the Goldbug presentation. After ruining the presentation and injuring Juno due to visions of Verna, Tamerlane returns home but realises she's being followed by the woman.
Verna appears in the mirrors throughout the house, each of which are smashed by Tamerlane. The final mirror is placed above the bed, and when Tamerlane smashes it, huge shards of glass end up lodged in her back and her throat.
How does Frederick Usher die?
In episode 7, 'The Pit and the Pendulum', the final Usher sibling, Frederick, falls. And yep, his death is one of the most visually gruesome deaths in the whole show.
After Morrie's accident, Frederick has been drugging his wife to keep her subdued. During one particularly brutal visit in which he pulls out her teeth with pliers, he answers the phone and is placed under a trance.
Later in the episode, we find out that Verna began whispering in his ear, telling him to scoop large amounts of another substance into his bag of cocaine. As the episode goes on, Frederick continues to snort the cocaine, unaware that it's laced with something else.
Roderick orders Frederick to make sure the abandoned warehouse where Prospero died is bulldozed, so he takes the task on, heads to the building and goes inside. While in there, he pees all over the floor and then falls over, paralysed.
Verna, pretending to be Frederick then calls for the demolition to go ahead. Frederick, incapacitated by drugs, is ultimately sliced in half by shrapnel and crushed to death when the building gets demolished.
His death is also foreshadowed a couple of times before it actually happens. When Leonore and Morrie are watching a movie together, a pendulum can be seen swinging across a man on the table. Roderick's vision of a young Frederick also hints at his gruesome death, as the young boy's body breaks in half while Roderick is holding him.
Why did Verna kill all the Usher children?
As the episodes and the deaths go on, it becomes clear that Verna has had a hand in the majority of the deaths. In some cases, she even manifests as the things that ends up killing the sibling, or acts as a voice in their ear urging them to do something that will eventually result in their death.
For example, she turns into a vicious chimp and ends up slaughtering Camille in the lab. She also manifests as the cat and the woman who each end up driving Leo and Tamerlane to madness, resulting in their deaths.
In the final episode, it's revealed that the Usher childrens' deaths are a result of the deal Roderick made with Verna back on New Year's Eve 1979. To cut a long story short, the deal involved Roderick having immense success for decades to come, but when his life eventually came to a natural end, his entire bloodline would die with him.
Roderick's illness marked the start of the end of his life, but because the siblings were not going to die of natural causes, Verna had to take control of the situation.
Does Verna kill Lenore?
While Roderick's adult children are complicit, and have played into the corruption and greed surrounding Fortunato Pharmaceuticals, teenager Lenore remains completely innocent. But, because of the deal, she unfortunately has to die too.
In the final episode, after all the siblings are dead, she heads to bed only to find Verna sitting in her room. Viewers know what's coming, but Lenore doesn't. Thankfully, Verna spares Lenore of a painful death and reassures her that her time on earth has been important and worthwhile, and will spur the surviving members of the family onto greatness in her name.
After telling Lenore that her mother Morrie will make a full recovery and go on to help people in need, Verna simply touches Lenore's head and the young girl dies peacefully on the bed.
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