Warning: This story contains spoilers for The Haunting of Hill House Episode 5.
Here’s something that’ll make you even sadder — if that’s possible — aboutThe Haunting of Hill House‘s Bent-Neck Lady and her beau: Nell and Arthur’s entire love story starts and ends within a quarter-hour, series creator Mike Flanagan points out to TVLine.
That means in roughly half the length of a broadcast sitcom, Victoria Pedretti’s Nell and Jordane Christie’s Arthur meet at a sleep clinic, fall in love, get engaged, find a helpful way to deal with her sleep paralysis, marry… and then tragically part when he suffers an aneurysm in the middle of the night, right as the Bent-Neck Lady appears in their bedroom.
Flanagan says he’s “thrilled” that the characters resonated so well with the audience, especially given how little the two actually are seen together in the series’ first season.
“Victoria and Jordane really made that love story come to life, and in a way that we really needed in order to feel the loss,” Flanagan says. “They did that in less than fifteen minutes of screen time. Over a 10-hour story, that’s an incredible testament to the actors.”
He adds that he, Christie and Pedretti “talked about how we had very little real estate to flesh out that relationship, given where the story needed them to go, and when,” Flanagan says. “I’m really glad that it worked.”