'American Horror Story: Coven' scoop: Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulson play [spoiler]!

Many of the details of American Horror Story: Coven remain a mystery, but a few juicy scoops were dropped today during a panel for the show at the Television Critics Association press tour.

The highlights are below:

+ “I play Jessica’s daughter this year,” Sarah Paulson dished hesitantly after being reassured by executive producer Tim Minear that she could reveal the detail. Minear, meanwhile, added: “I think some of the bigger themes this year is oppression of minorities of all kinds and within that idea, the idea of minority groups going after each other and doing the work for the larger culture. There’s a very strong feminist theme, there’s also themes of race and themes of oppression and a very strong theme of family, specifically mothers and daughters. Those are some of the things we’ll be exploring this year.”

+ Get ready for a slightly lighter tone. “I would say the fun quotient is higher this year,” Minear said. “This year is a drama but there is a lot of humor and…we are embracing a sort of velocity and fun with the series this year. I think it might be a little more welcoming to an audience.”

+ Some of the women will be witches and others will be historical figures but “all powerful,” Minear said. Here are the character names:

Jessica Lange — Fiona

Sarah Paulson — Cordelia

Kathy Bates — Madame LaLaurie

Angela Bassett — Marie Laveau

+ The name Cordelia is a nod to King Lear, Minear said, but not to the character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. “I would read more into Lear than the Buffy spin-off,” he joked.

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