Carla Gugino as Verna in 'The Fall of the House of Usher'

‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ Fans Celebrate Verna

Mike Flanagan’s latest Netflix original horror series, The Fall of the House of Usher draws inspiration from Edgar Allan Poe’s story of the same name — using it as a narrative framework for an eight-installment miniseries wherein each episode adapts a different Poe tale or poem. Roderick and Madeline Usher run Fortunado Pharmaceuticals — a drug company that has profited millions on the back of the opioid epidemic — marketing their Oxy-equivalent as “non-addictive” when it is anything but.

In the story, Carla Gugino portrays Verna (a not-so-subtle allusion to Poe’s “The Raven,” as it is an anagram for the ominous bird). Verna is consequence. She comes to collect. And, one by one, she takes out a different Usher child with a laissez-faire panache. Yet she is not a heartless destroyer. She shifts seamlessly from savage retribution to compassionate mercy; she merely reserves her empathy for those who have earned it. Yet, she takes on several forms in the series — embodying different personas as part of and in service to her punishment-doling behaviors (all of which are justified and understood as the series progresses). Fans have taken to X (formerly Twitter) to praise Carla Gugino’s performance, her character, and her individual storyline in the series.

Carla Gugino is “breathtaking”

What should we call Carla fans…Guginites? 

Gugino takes on so many personas in the one show

The sexual tension between Verna and Madeline: palpable

Verna is karma incarnate 

But when she’s gentle and compassionate…waterworks

She’s simply the best of ‘em

Okay, where’s her Emmy?


About the author

Josh Lezmi

Josh is an entertainment writer and editor at Thought Catalog.