If you're like us, you probably spent some of the last week binging Mike Flanagan's The Haunting of Bly Manor. The season wrapped up pretty nicely, but there were still some unanswered questions, for example, what Hannah whispered to Owen after his mother died. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Flanagan talked about his latest project and revealed that if you're looking to crack all of the show's biggest secrets, just look to Flora's dollhouse.
"The dollhouse is like our Marauder's Map for this season," Flanagan explained. "It was an idea that was actually born of Rebecca Klingel, one of our writers who also casually came up with the concept of the Red Room in season 1. She just kind of shows up every season and drops an idea like this on the table, drops the microphone, and leaves the room." He added that the dollhouse is "a tracking system for the ghosts." In fact, if you pay attention to the hidden ghosts in the show, they're all in their proper dollhouse hiding places.
"In unhealthy relationships, we have a tendency to take people and turn them into these doll versions of themselves in our imaginations, something we can manipulate, collect, even trap, in Peter Quint's case," Flanagan explained. "That idea of ceasing to look at someone else as an equal and a person, and looking at them as a romantic prize or something to possess."
"We'd say in the room, which characters are truly capable of loving each other and which characters are only playing with dolls?" Flanagan continues. "We have Hannah Gross and Owen, who are so capable of real love — and Dani and Jamie, of course. But you have Peter Quint, who just was never capable of loving a person, only of trying to play with them in the same way Flora plays with the dolls in her dollhouse."
Flanagan also talked about the use of color this season.
"Henry James describes Bly as being bright and sunny and earthy and warm and pleasant," Flanagan explained. "He never describes a feeling of foreboding when his characters step foot in Bly. We wanted the house to feel different [to Hill House], but we're also a haunted house show so there's a certain amount of aesthetic. Given that we were shooting in the '80s and that we wanted to very heavily use some of the reds and pinks that we avoided actively in season 1, this felt like a great chance to unchain them from the basement."
The Haunting of Bly Manor is now streaming on Netflix.