What Inspired the Storyline of American Horror Story: Delicate? Discover the Real Story Behind It

American Horror Story: Delicate is based on a novel, which itself is based on another story. What are the connections between them all?

A custom image of American Horror Story: Delicate

Despite being one of the most popular television series in the world, American Horror Story has struggled to captivate its audience consistently. With each season essentially being a standalone story, fans found it difficult to connect to the premise, although its stellar cast and seasons like AHS: 1984 make it worthwhile. The series is in its twelfth season, starring Emma Roberts and Kim Kardashian as Anna Victoria Alcott and her manager, Siobhan Walsh, respectively.

It is no secret that American Horror Story is often based on real-life tragedies inspired by various books that document these events. With American Horror Story: Delicate being one of the year’s most anticipated seasons, fans of the series have naturally begun to wonder what it is based on. As with every season, AHS draws inspiration from the horror media, but this time from Danielle Valentine’s 2023 novel Delicate Condition.

What Is Delicate Condition About?

Kim Kardashian in AHS delicate

Although American Horror Story: Delicate is based on Delicate Condition, the latter is not without its inspiration. It’s more of a modern interpretation of the well-known classic from the late 1960s: Rosemary’s Baby. This 1976 novel follows a woman named Rosemary and her struggling actor husband, Guy, as they move into an apartment complex in New York City, unaware of the terror that surrounds them.

When things begin to look brighter for the couple, with Guy’s acting career taking off and Rosemary becoming pregnant, they expect their lives to sail smoothly. However, following a kind gesture from one of their neighbors, Rosemary is thrown into a series of odd occurrences that lead her to fear she is being targeted by a Satanic Cult.

While Rosemary’s Baby was mainly about the horrors of giving birth, Delicate Condition took a different approach, emphasizing women’s empowerment rather than taking the plot down a tragic path. The story centers on Anna Victoria Alcott, a rising actress who finally becomes a mother after trying for years to become pregnant, but she has a feeling that something isn’t right. She repeatedly experiences horrific hallucinations, suspects that someone is following her, and, on top of that, a female intruder creeps into her bed one night and steals the picture of her embryo.

Unfortunately, no one, even her husband, Dex, believes her, leaving her alone in the ultimate struggle with evil. Fortunately, Anna’s manager and friend, Siobhan, discloses that she has been under the watchful eye of a coven of witches who are trying to protect her from evil forces. This is considerably different from Rosemary’s Baby since Delicate Condition depicts an exceptional bond between women instead of trapping the main protagonists in a never-ending spiral of despair.

Is Delicate Condition an Effective Source of Adaptation for American Horror Story?

american horror story delicate poster

American Horror Story has seen both good and bad seasons, with some being incredibly entertaining to watch and others shallow. However, the writers are usually attentive when adapting books for subsequent seasons, raising the question of whether Delicate Condition is the right source of adaptation for AHS‘ twelfth season. For starters, the premiere episode of American Horror Story: Delicate is more reminiscent of Rosemary’s Baby than Delicate Condition, causing fans to believe that the writers would not adapt the entire novel; instead, they will incorporate essential elements to make it more intriguing.

As a consequence, fans of Rosemary’s Baby would certainly find the series uninteresting because there are far more unique stories in the world worth adapting, even if Delicate Condition was not a bad choice. On the flip side, it may be the best possible adaptation for this season, especially given the characters portrayed by Kim Kardashian and Emma Roberts. Emma Roberts is a seasoned horror actor, having appeared in titles such as Scream 4 and Scream Queens. On the other hand, the character of Siobhan Walsh is designed for Kim Kardashian since Siobhan was essentially a fictional version of herself, with her fame and fortune following a similar trend over the years.

Another fascinating fact is that, while the majority of AHS‘ seasons are standalone, with little connection between the consecutive installments, fans love occasional references. So, Delicate has an excellent opportunity to tie some of its seasons together and evoke a sense of nostalgia among viewers. One probable indication is that it takes place in New York City, and Delicate Condition features a coven of witches who look after Anna as she fights her demons while trying to give birth to her child.

Showrunner Ryan Murphy mentioned in 2016 that the coven of witches from the third season might return in the future, although it hasn’t happened yet. If the writers are determined to stick to the book entirely, there is a good chance they will connect these seasons, making Delicate One one of the best book-to-show adaptations in the series’ history. So, how are you enjoying American Horror Story: Delicate thus far?

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