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Doctor Arthur Arden
|Franchise:||American Horror Story: Asylum|
|Location:||Briarcliff Manor, Massachusetts|
|1st appearance:||"Welcome to Briarcliff"|
|Final:||"The Name Game" (Alive)|
"Show Stoppers" (Flashback)
Arthur Arden is a fictional mad scientist and a central character on the FX Network television series American Horror Story. Played by actor James Cromwell, he was introduced in the premiere episode of season two of the show, "Welcome to Briarcliff".
Arthur Arden was originally born Hans Gruper in Germany and worked in service of the Nazis during World War II. An ambitious hate-filled scientist of the highest order, Arden patterned himself in the style of the infamous Angel of Death, Joseph Mengele, and was responsible for committing various atrocities in concentration camps against Jewish captives.
Following the war, Arthur fled from the Nuremberg Trials and immigrated to the United States where he was given a fresh identity and the ability to continue his work. He eventually came to Briarcliff Manor where he entered into an arrangement with Monsignor Timothy Howard. Doctor Arden used the sanitarium's facilities to continue his work, and he created a breed of genetic mutations that he called "raspers". Although he had the support of the Monsignor, the true administrator of the hospital's day-to-day affairs, Sister Jude Martin became his nemesis.
Arthur became interested in one particular mental patient - a young man named Kit Walker. Walker had been falsely accused of murdering his wife, as well as several other people, but Arden had little interest in that. He was fascinated by a small robotic implant that he had discovered in Kit's neck, which turned out to be the handiwork of aliens.
Doctor Arden also had a fixation with one of the younger nuns at the asylum, Sister Mary Eunice McKee. In his own twisted, and often hypocritical way, Arden admired Sister Mary's purity and had developed deep romantic feelings for her. When Sister Mary became possessed by a demon, everything that Arden valued in her had been stripped away. Ultimately, Sister Mary's soul was freed, but at the cost of her mortal life. Arden was crushed. Unable to live in a world where someone like Sister Mary could be corrupted and destroyed, Arthur Arden took his own life by crawling into a crematorium and burning to death.
Notes & Trivia Edit
- Actor James Cromwell received seventh billing in the opening credits of American Horror Story: Asylum.
- Although credited in all thirteen episodes from season two of American Horror Story, Arthur Arden actually only appeared in ten episodes.
- Actor John Cromwell played young Arthur Arden, aka Hans Gruper, in the flashback scenes from "I Am Anne Frank (Part 1)". John Cromwell is the son of James Cromwell.
- "Welcome to Briarcliff"
- "Tricks and Treats"
- "I Am Anne Frank (Part 1)"
- "I Am Anne Frank (Part 2)"
- "The Origins of Monstrosity"
- "Dark Cousin"
- "Unholy Night"
- "The Coat Hanger"
- "The Name Game"