Lore season 2 episode 2 recap: Elizabeth Bathory: Mirror, Mirror


Today’s episode of Lore is a rather loose retelling of the notorious Hungarian noblewoman Countess Elizabeth Bathory, who legend has it would bathe in the blood of her victims to retain her youth.

One noticeable change from the previous episode of Lore is rather than giving information through irritating text, today’s story provides its exposition dumps via some brief though much more visually pleasing animated sequences.  It’s a welcome change even if it vaguely feels like it’s ripping off the Three Brothers story from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and most likely will not carry over into the next episode.

The story begins in Hungary 1609, with the arrival of a young noblewoman named Lady Margit at Cachtice Castle, home of fellow noblewoman Countess Elizabeth Bathory who has invited Margit to live with her to help increase Margit’s status.

Margit is greeted by the lead servant Ava, the woman who suggested Margit live in the castle. Ava proceeds to show the young woman around the castle.  Red flags start to show themselves pretty quickly (terrified servants, creepy memorials, cryptic comments from Ava, etc.) which Margit either overlooks or doesn’t notice.

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Eventually, Elizabeth greets Margit and gives her the rest of the tour.  Along the way, Elizabeth talks a little bit about her late husband Ferenc.  Known as the Black Knight of Hungary, Ferenc had been well known for his exploits on the battlefield in the country’s war against the Turks. Eventually though, he would die from the disease (it’s still not known to this day what specifically killed Ferenc), which would leave Elizabeth heartbroken.

As Margit continues to be utterly oblivious of the things happening around the castle, she begins to form a bond with Ava.  This especially comes as a surprise to Ava since she’s generally accustomed to being ignored by visitors. Margit even goes so far as to persuade Elizabeth to allow Ava to have an infected wound on her hand treated.

After experiencing Margit’s kindness, Ava begins to feel guilt in setting her up to be killed horribly. As a result, Ava decides to warn Margit and to try to help her escape. When Margit learns the full extent of Elizabeth’s monstrosity, she is understandably angry at Ava for having her brought to the castle in the first place and doesn’t trust her.  Margit runs away from Ava and both women are swiftly caught by Elizabeth.

Margit wakes up to find herself tied down on a table on her mouth sewn shut.  Ava has already been killed and it’s made abundantly clear that Margit will be next.

In the next scene, Margit is seen suspended and bleeding out above Elizabeth’s tub, as Elizabeth happily bathes in the carnage.

While all this is happening, unbeknownst to Elizabeth, one of her previous victims has survived her injuries and is able to escape.  When she does, she quickly reports Elizabeth to the police.

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When Elizabeth is finally investigated and arrested, there are more than 300 witnesses to testify against her and it’s said that she’s claimed as many as over 650 victims.  Rather than be hanged for her crimes, she was instead imprisoned in her castle where she was bricked inside a set of rooms in solitary confinement. Elizabeth would remain there until her death four years later.

If this recap seems a little short, there’s a reason for that.  The episode itself clocks in at a rather paltry 35 minutes and even then there is a lot of padding.

What are your thoughts on this episode of Lore?  Does it do justice to the horrific legend of Elizabeth Bathory?  Sound off in the comment section.