"The Romance of Certain Old Clothes" is the eighth episode of The Haunting Of Bly Manor.
Bly's dark origins come to light. Once the iron-willed lady of the manor, Viola becomes consumed by a monstrous rage, ensnaring all souls around her.
Leaving the present behind, a flashback to the seventeenth century provides insight into the life of Viola and Perdita Lloyd as the two sisters mourn the death of their father. Bly Manor becomes the only thing the two share in common, but neither are able to inhabit the manor as they must leave one another and marry.
Viola plans to marry a man named Arthur, but the connection between the two is weak, and Arthur finds himself drifting from Viola and towards Perdita. Despite the lack of connection, she and Arthur marry anyway, but find themselves quite unhappy. The marriage and strain cause Viola to begin a pattern of sleep walking. Despite their difficulties, however, Viola falls pregnant and gives birth to a child, Isabel Lloyd. Viola falls ill shortly after, however, and is forced to quarantine from the rest of the family despite doctors being certain that her affliction is not the plague.
Viola's isolation makes it easier for Perdita and Arthur to grow closer together. The two begin dancing one night, accompanied by Isabel, now much older, who watches the two. The three are interrupted by Viola, however, who catches the two dancing together; she slaps Perdita across the face for her behaviour before returning to bed.
In the wake of Viola's increasingly worsening health, Arthur is called away on Business. Not long after Perdita becomes fed up of Viola, and smothers her sister after thinking about the action for a while; unbeknownst to Perdita, however, Viola is not gone, but forced to reside at Bly Manor for eternity.
Little is seen of Viola following her death, however, and Arthur eventually marries Perdita, fulfilling the wish he had long ago. Perdita quickly becomes greedy, however, and remarks that they should sell the expensive furs and jewellery in the attic of Bly Manor. Despite reluctance from Isabel and Arthur, Perdita steals the keys and heads to the attic. Shortly after opening a chest of expensive furs, however, she is grabbed by something and strangled to death.
A flashback to prior to the wedding shows the night of Viola's death from her own perspective, and it becomes clear that her spirit was stuck in the chest of furs. When the chest is thrown into the lake afterwards, Viola becomes the Lady of the Lake for the rest of eternity.
- Victoria Pedretti as Dani Clayton
- Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Peter Quint
- Amelia Eve as Jamie
- T'Nia Miller as Hannah Grose
- Rahul Kohli as Owen Sharma
- Tahirah Sharif as Rebecca Jessel
- Amelia Bea Smith as Flora Wingrave
- Benjamin Evan Ainsworth as Miles Wingrave
- Henry Thomas as Henry Wingrave
Special Guest Star
- Katie Parker as Perdita Lloyd
- Martin McCreadie as Arthur Lloyd
- Zoë Noelle Baker as Isabel (5-9 Years)
- Tim Beckmann as Plague Doctor
- Michael Charrois as Vicar
- Calix Fraser as Doll Face Ghost
- Dakota Guppy as Isabel (12 Years)
- Andrew Kavadas as Priest
- It is revealed that Viola Lloyd is the Lady in the Lake; her death is revealed in the episode.
- Two new characters, Arthur and Perdita, are introduced.
- The entire episode revolves around a flashback to the seventeenth century.
- It is revealed that the first death on the grounds of Bly Manor was Viola's, thereby beginning the cycle of ghosts.