At the end of the first season of Carnival Row, we find out the true motive for the killings:

to find the illegitimate son of Chancellor Breakspear and kill him.

With that in mind, these murders and their order make perfect sense:

1. Aisling, because she's the mother of the said son and because the fake blackmail letter made her the first link towards her long lost son.
2. Finch, the headmaster of Philo's former orphanage, was the next target in that pursuit, because Aisling didn't know what became of her son, but she did know where he was left. The quest would've been over here, as he knew who the boy is, but his liver never made it to the murder, and she never got to learn his secrets.
3. Dr. Morange was another hint that came from Aisling, as he is the one who cut off the wings of her half-blood soon. It was quite obvious that he didn't know the secret either (he never showed Philo that he knew), so that was a dead end too.
5. Chancellor Breakspear('s liver) finally provided the answer.

What I don't understand is why was it necessary to kill

4. Aoife (Haruspex)?

She is the closest thing to a friend that the murderer has, she didn't know anything really important at that point, she said she'd learn who the culprit is just before her death,... so, why kill her? It feels that, without her death, the murderer would've probably succeeded, as Aoife is the one who told Philo who to look for and that she has Vignette.

What am I missing?

1 Answer 1


Spoilers, obviously:

First, Aiofe went to Piety right after having her vision, revealing that she learned the identity of the person controlling the darkasher moments before the darkasher killed her. Piety had one motive to protect her secret.

Second, Aiofe did not believe that Philo was the man who committed the murders and would eventually learn more about Piety's secrets. It would also be in Piety's best interest to keep a haruspexing witch's eye away from learning more about what's going on.

Aiofe would have learned that Philo wasn't the one to create the darkasher (since the murdering one was made well before Aiofe's one for Philo), and looked deeper into the true cause, discovering that Piety stole the secrets of her magic.

Third, Aiofe knew the truth that Longerbane was not the one to capture Jonah. This in and of itself wouldn't have caused her death, but in addition to knowing other things tipped her out of Piety's favor.

Likely, Piety thought she knew too much about her ambitions to keep alive.

  • I like this answer (hence +1), but I don't agree with it. I was thinking along the same lines, but - like we both agreed - Aiofe saw that she would learn the identity of the culprit moments before the Darkasher kills her. She didn't know the identity of that person and wouldn't learn it until the murder hour. So, if Piety didn't have her killed, she wouldn't have learned the truth. The prophecy ensures not only that she'll learn it then, but that she won't learn it before. IMO, that very prophecy should've postponed if not completely averted her murder, don't you think? Oct 29, 2019 at 18:02
  • Aiofe didn't live for self-preservation. She wanted to make sure the real murderer was punished, and was willing to die for it. It may not be a great motivation, but without speculation, those're the only reasons I see within the canon of the show.
    – JRodge01
    Oct 29, 2019 at 18:05
  • I think you misunderstood me. I'm not talking about Aiofe's self-preservation. I'm talking about Piety's self-preservation and, more importantly, her care for her plan. The prophecy says "I will learn who the culprit is moments before I'm murdered by his/her Darkasher". So, if I was Piety, I'd think "then I won't send it to murder you, and the 'moments before that murder' will not happen (at least not yet), so my secret will be safe". Dec 2, 2019 at 11:56
  • @VedranŠego Aiofe would have learned who controlled the darkasher with or without Piety sending the darkasher to kill Aiofe. After Aiofe was willing to leave the safety of the manor to cast the divination spell, Piety's only choice was to fulfill that prophecy or let Aiofe freely tell others who controlled the darkasher.
    – JRodge01
    Dec 2, 2019 at 14:39
  • But that's the thing: she wouldn't. In this show's universe, prophecies are correct. So, if a prophecy says "you'll learn this secret moments before you're killed by the bad guy", you do not learn the secret before that moment arrives (because that would make the prophecy wrong). So, as long as the bad guy doesn't murder you, you don't get to learn his/her secret. Dec 2, 2019 at 16:35

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