Matt Will Survive 'American Horror Story: Roanoke' If These Theories Hold True

Not only was the Episode 6 twist in American Horror Story: Roanoke one of the biggest in the series’ history, it also landed with a shocking one-two punch. After the cameras pulled back to unveil My Roanoke Nightmare’s chilling sequel — a reality show that traps both its actors and real-life players back under the haunted house’s roof — an end-of-episode title card revealed only one of them will make it out alive. Fans have already begun scrambling to figure out who will be AHS: Roanoke’s sole survivor, but one theory has emerged as the likeliest contender: Matt may live on AHS .

How did I arrive so adamantly at this conclusion? First, I took a few notes from creator Ryan Murphy. The AHS mastermind teased to E! News that Shelby, Matt, and Lee — the latest alleged victims of the murderous mansion — aren’t as innocent as they appear. "You cannot trust them," Murphy told E! News in a recent interview. "I think all three of them are … what they said and what they explained in their version of events is not actually the truth."

Murphy’s comment leads me to assume the Key Three, as I’ve nicknamed them, may be running more of the show than viewers suspect. This could fit with two popular theories that would heighten their chances of survival. First, as Redditor ATequilaMockingbird postulated, the trio fabricated the entire ordeal in order to cover up the murders of Mason, Cricket, and Elias, and will have to kill off the remaining cast members in order to protect their secret. Second, as Refinery 29 theorized, they bartered with the Butcher for a deal akin to the Polk family’s, which mandates they hand over human sacrifices in order to keep their own lives, and are now using their actor counterparts in order to make good on the agreement. Why else would they willingly go back into a house they only narrowly escaped in the first place? Either way, I’d bet these three have some sort of fail-safe to keep themselves out of harm’s way.

It’s not entirely clear why their plan would backfire and leave two of the Key Three dead, but there is some major evidence that points to Matt as the only victor. Bustle's Sabienna Bowman has already eloquently argued why Shelby should be the last one standing, but eagle-eyed Reddit user unclejesses_hair wisely points out there could be a major hole in that scenario. According to IMDB, Lily Rabe — who plays the original Shelby — has a stunt double listed for Episode 8. This could mean she’ll simply be put through some heavy violence or it could indicate her brutal demise, but it certainly hints at some major trauma, which has never ended well in AHS history. The same goes for Adina Porter’s Lee in Episode 9.

As for Matt, he also has one critical thing that Shelby and Lee do not: The support of Scathach (Lady Gaga), the mysterious forest witch whose power trumps the Butcher’s vengeful reign. Though some have contended that, even if Matt makes it through the deadly Blood Moon, he’d sacrifice himself for Shelby, I’d counter that she’s more likely to make such a selfless move; She’s still guilt-ridden by her affair with Dominic Banks (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and much in love with her estranged husband, while Matt’s feelings remain uncertain. What’s more, Scathach’s hold over Matt is seemingly unshakable, and I wouldn’t put it past her to charm him into a vagabond life by her side in exchange for his safety.

This season has already proved one of the most enigmatic and unpredictable AHS installments yet, and Murphy has at least one more major plot twist up his sleeve, but right now my money’s on Matt as the only one to survive this Roanoke nightmare.

Images: Frank Ockenfels/FX (3)