What happened to Annabel Lee in The Fall of the House of Usher?

The Fall of the House of Usher. Katie Parker as Annabelle Lee in episode 102 of The Fall of the House of Usher. Cr. Eike Schroter/Netflix © 2023
The Fall of the House of Usher. Katie Parker as Annabelle Lee in episode 102 of The Fall of the House of Usher. Cr. Eike Schroter/Netflix © 2023 /
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Poor, poor, Annabel Lee (Katie Parker). The definition of being too pure and too good for the world of The Fall of the House of Usher. Annabel was Roderick Usher’s (Bruce Greenwood) first wife. Annabel was the mother of Frederick (Henry Thomas) and Tamerlane (Samantha Sloyan) Usher. Every other child of Roderick’s had a different mom.

We meet Annabel during the flashback sequences when young Roderick (Zach Gilford) and Madeline (Willa Fitzgerald) were living hand-to-mouth and struggling to climb the ladder of success at Fortunato. At the time, run by Rufus Griswold (Michael Trucco).

Major spoilers ahead for The Fall of the House of Usher

Annabel slowly starts learning the type of people her husband and his twin sister really are throughout Roderick’s time working at Fortunato and then later, with a young Auguste Dupin (Malcolm Goodwin) who is intent on uncovering the company’s shady secrets and business practices. The breaking point in Roderick and Annabel’s marriage comes when Roderick betrays Auguste and throws him under the bus.

After that, we learn that Annabel got full custody of Freddie and Tamerlane, which Roderick couldn’t stand. He waited until they were older and then money-bombed them, slowly manipulating them with his wealth and endless riches. He siphoned out all the goodness Annabel had instilled in them until there was nothing left.

Eventually, the kids stopped seeing their mother altogether and Annabel couldn’t live without them, so she killed herself. It’s not stated explicitly what happened to Annabel, but Roderick flat-out tells Auguste that Annabel “couldn’t live” without her kids. Plus, when an adult Roderick sees Annabel’s ghost during the second funeral in the finale episode, she has a clear gunshot wound in the back of her head. From that, we can infer she committed suicide.

Additionally, the name Annabel Lee comes from the Edgar Allan Poe poem of the same name and that poem is all about the tragedy of young love cut short when she dies, so it’s fitting that the show’s version of Annabel Lee also has a tragic ending.

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