Chalky was present when his father was killed
That's why he knows it was six men who did it, no more, no less.
Seeing the completed bookcase made the young Chalky decide to be a carpenter too and asked his father to assist him during his next job. Unfortunately, this turned out to be a set up and his father was hanged. Being only a child, the murderers decided to not kill Chalky too, but they forced him to watch
and scarred his face afterwards to "teach him a lesson".
- So Chalky is Inigo Montoya? Hmm, makes a certain amount of sense.
- "Ma name is Chalky White. Yo killed ma Daddy, prepare to die".
- "Havre de Grace" implies that he got the scars during a street fight in Atlantic City, the day he met Oscar Boneau. However, witnessing his father's murder is still consistent with why Chalky decided that he "had to" leave his mother and siblings at his father's funeral, when he saw that his family was going to do nothing about it (as told in "The Old Ship of Zion").
The damage to Richard Harrow's vocal chords makes it hurt to speak.
Richard is so terse because it's painful for him just to say more than a few words. He pauses mid sentence, not out timidity or to clear his throat, but because it hurts too much to keep going. After suspecting this, I wince in sympathy every time he has to say something.
- Judging from the scars on his neck and that the damage is mostly on one side, it's likely that Richard Harrow suffers from damage to one of his recurrent laryngeal nerves, this creates the hoarseness to his voice, for a similar example see "Godfather" from Generation Kill. This in itself wouldn't be painful, but the other injuries to his face and mouth are likely to hurt badly, plus we also see that he has difficulty swallowing alcohol. Overall not a pleasant experience.
- He has a problem raising his voice, as shown in "Farewell Daddy Blues".
Adrian is the fifth D'Alessio brother
We know that the D'Alessios have an adult non-criminal brother named Adrian. The age gap seems to be most wide between Lucien (fourth of the criminal gang by age) and Sixtus (fifth), and coincidentally Sixtus also means "sixth" in Latin (it was in fact a popular name for the sixth child born in Roman times). So it makes sense that the order is Leo-Ignatius-Teo-Lucien-Adrian-Sixtus-Pius-two male children, thus making the 9 D'Alessio brothers total mentioned.
Giving birth to Jimmy at 14 left Gillian unable to bear more children
Never stated openly, but seems likely considering the fact that she never had more children despite her promiscuous life and that she unsuccessfully spent the better part of the years from 1905 to 1916 trying to get some rich guy to marry her. The only reason she didn't use The Baby Trap
was because she couldn't.
Angela was destituted by her family when she got pregnant
This serves as explanation both to why she seeked help in Atlantic City and why no family in her side challenged Gillian for control of Tommy (and his big pile of money inherited from The Commodore) after his parents died.
Many of the main characters of Boardwalk Empire are metaphorically linked to characters from the Wizard of Oz.
Richard Harrow has been explicitly linked to the tin man, and is fittingly growing a heart. Eli Thompson is the scarecrow - he's been growing wiser over the course of the series. Van Alden is the lion - he's been growing balls as he gets corrupted and learns to live life on the edge. Nucky is the wizard himself, a small man with a big role. Margaret is Dorothy. Gillian is the wicked witch. The D'Alessio brothers and Gyp Rosetti are flying monkeys - Rothstein described the D'Alessios as monkeys after meeting them for the first time, and Gyp has been compared to an ape.
S3 Rowland Smith is actually Rowland Smith, jr.
In the first season Nucky visits Chalky to oversee a shipment of alcohol in a storage area. What's the name in one of the signs? Rowland Smith
. Flashforward to S3, and we find a teenage punk named Rowland Smith who claims Nucky gave his family a turkey for Christmas when he was little, even though he lives in Pennsylvania which would (probably) be out of Nucky's reach a decade or more before. This is because S3 Rowland Smith was actually born in Atlantic City. His father, Rowland Smith sr., lost his business and/or died and the family left for Pennsylvania sometime after the first season.
Emma was never married...
The story about being widowed early is just that, a story. She is trying to avoid the shame of being pregnant out of wedlock. That's why she signs the bills as Emma Harrow.
...and/or the father of Emma's child is still alive
Quite convenient that just as soon as the house gets in economic trouble, the man "dies". However, his tomb is nowhere near the property, or Richard would have seen it when he saw his father's tomb and know the name of Emma's husband. The Harrow parents probably share a tombstone, but Emma's husband would be likelier to get one of his own.
Richard's mother was a victim of the Spanish Flu
Not much besides putting another random historical factoid in the show, but both parents are alive in Richard's last family photo (1916). However, Richard is only not aware of his father's passing (1923) when he returns back home for the second time in 1924. We know that Richard was back home first between 1918 and 1920, when his sister treated his wound, just as the epidemy struck. His mother's death could have been one of the things that made him decide to leave.
Owen first volunteered during the Easter Rising of 1916
Owen mentions that he was 17 when he first volunteered and was turned down (twice). If this was in 1916, he'd been born in 1899, one year after Jimmy. Thus, by the time the Irish War of Independence breaks out for real in 1919, Owen would be 20 and this time deemed old enough to fight.
Babette isn't dead, but she wants everyone to think she is.
Babette wasn't in her club when it exploded. Given that Nucky and Rothstein were spared by an incredibly lucky coincidence (the annoying friend just happened to catch them and keep them talking at the exact time the bomb went off), it's not too far-fetched that the same kind of miracle might happen to Babette in this universe. She was outside her club, meeting with a friend or business associate, when the club blew. Babette feared the assassination attempt was for her (knowing her social connection to Nucky's organization, one of Nucky's enemies might have been wanting to kill her as a warning or punishment to Nucky). She fled Atlantic City, letting everyone think she was dead, until she learned that the target had in fact been Nucky himself, not her. Now knowing this, Babette might return to Atlantic City and open a new club, or she might take this brush with death as a sign to stay away from the criminal underworld and never return to Atlantic City.
In the series universe, Rothstein will be killed by Meyer Lansky
It is unknown who killed AR in real life. His death wasn't instant but he refused to give any clue or description of who had shot him, suggesting that he knew his murderer. Lansky being the killer in the series woud highlight his intelligence and cool demeanor, in contrast to Jimmy (too hothead to wait for the best moment to take out Nucky) and Capone (also a hothead, but too loyal to turn on Torrio himself), while at the same time keeping to the ongoing narrative of young gangsters turning against their mentors.
Rothstein will die by Nucky's hand.
After episode 9, we see that Arnold convinced Nucky's other bootlegging friends to essentially drop him cold turkey in regards to dealing with Rosetti and Masseria. Nucky even still "I'm going to remember this" as they all left him out to dry. So what's Nucky going to do? Well, considering that he now has connections in both the justice department and a powerful new production facility opening up with his deal with Mellon, that could mean that he'll use them to his advantage in the coming war with Rosetti and Masseria. Then, when he's back on top and more prosperous than ever, Nucky's going to make it clear to Rothstein how abandoning him in his hour of need was truly a stupid thing to do.
Richard's sister will be introduced and become a major character.
We've heard passing references to her, and now that Richard is learning to develop human connections again, he may try reconnecting with his sister. She might even play a role in the gangster plotlines, considering she taught him how to shoot.
- As of "New York Sour", there she is. Not "major" yet, but she could in later seasons.
Mickey Cohen will make an appearance
Given the show has introduced a crapload of historical gangsters, and the real-life Cohen associated with Al Capone
, Jake Guzik, Meyer Lansky and Bunny Siegel. So, why not? And maybe get some publicity out of the upcoming Gangster Squad
The final scene of the series
Will show Jimmy's nearly centenarian son in the modern day being assaulted by crooks in an alley and musing about how the gangsters of old might be a bunch of sonofabitches, but sonofabitches with style.
Margaret will become a crucial witness in the James Darmody murder case, which will potentially cast suspicion on Nucky
Sources have stated that Gillian will be investigated in Season 4, over the death of Roger McAllister/"James Darmody". If her ruse with McAllister is proven false, she may be questioned about her real son, who is still missing. She already suspects Nucky, but what could connect him? The only witnesses to the murder were Manny Horvitz (dead), Owen Sleater (dead), and Eli Thompson, who could possibly be some kind of wild card, but seems to be devoting greater loyalty to his brother. However, there is one more loose end. Nucky told Margaret that Jimmy "re-enlisted". This can be proven a lie, and would make it immediately apparent that Nucky knows something. And now Margaret has left Nucky. If, through some circumstance, she comes to let this information out, the Feds could try to get a testimony out of her.
Lester White will start playing piano at clubs and get hooked on drugs, and possibly die
We've seen that Chalky's son is a gifted musician. If and when Chalky takes over Babette's old club, Lester would probably get some nepotistic treatment as far as Chalky's choice of musical performance, maybe join a jazz band. He might get pretty popular, and fall victim to the temptations of a career in entertainment. Lester's death would be quite a blow to the character of Chalky, and his struggle to keep his work and his home life separate. And remember, George Pelecanos
has joined on to write for Season 4.
- He has played at his father's club. Drugs? Not yet.
Daughter Maitland will kill Narcisse
Nucky will arrange for Luciano, Lansky, and Siegel to get arrested in the series finale.
It's clear that Luciano will not leave Nucky alone, and will try to have him killed sooner or later. Now, we know that Capone will be arrested for tax evasion, and that Luciano has directly antagonized Willie by kidnapping him and using him as leverage against Nucky. Now, since Willie works directly under the District Attorney, and historically, Luciano and Siegel were arrested shortly after for pandering and murder respectively. It wouldn't be too implausible for the showrunners to move up the date of their historical arrests, or even have Siegel's assassination occur. With Luciano and Siegel out of the picture, Lansky would be sufficiently deterred from making any further moves against Nucky.
Michael Pitt and Leonardo Dicaprio look similar, Jimmy is Irish-American and Amsterdam & Jenny were Irish immigrants, Jimmy uses the same "knife in the boot" trick that Amsterdam tries, both are young and delicate-looking but very tough, and Atlantic City isn't far from New York. Gangs of New York and Boardwalk Empire
are both Martin Scorsese productions with similar tones and themes, and both feature fictional and fictionalized criminal characters rubbing shoulders with real-life historical figures.
Boardwalk Empire takes place in the same 'verse as the Sopranos .
Both focus on the Jersey Mafia.
Boardwalk Empire takes place in the same 'verse as The Wire.
Omar is of course Chalky's Identical Grandson
Nucky is Tony Soprano's Great Grandfather
Conjoining with the top WMG Theory, All of HBO's Mafia themed series (past, current, and future) might be connected so Nucky might (if not his direct Great Grandfather) be related to the Soprano family in someway or another.
Jimmy is Tony Soprano's Great Grandfather
Jimmy's son Tommy ultimately avenged his father and took over New Jersey. However, having been traumatized by his paternal grandma's raising him he decided to drop the Darmody family name and embraced his mother's Italian heritage instead. His daughter ended up marrying a Soprano.
Boardwalk Empire is set in the same universe as Goodfellas.
Gyp Rosetti is Tommy's grandfather. Rosetti had a daughter who grew up to marry a De Vito
and had a son named Tommy, who followed in his grandfather's footsteps, both in his intended career and in his vicious temper.
- Adding water to the theory, Gyp has been confirmed to have two daughters in the show.
The Indiana Jones
canon is a highly fictionalized account of Jimmy Darmody's life
Back in the 70s, a young George Lucas
met an old man in a bar. The man began to tell him the story of his life, but he changed anything he didn't like ("...and my mother was a Single Mom Strip...
She was a Southern Belle
! And my father was a Scottish Medievallist! He looked like Sean Connery
! Really!") and exaggerated notably his exploits
in The Great War
and his brief relation with the Chicago Outfit
. However, when he was coming to the part when he returned to Joisey
, he realized it could get him in trouble and replaced it all
with a ridiculously inaccurate career as an Adventurer Archaeologist
that fought Those Wacky Nazis
. Lucas liked the story so much that he turned it into a movie franchise.
- This is somewhat compromised after Jimmy is killed in "To the Lost", unless the old man was actually Richard Harrow, taking Jimmy's pass-the-torch moment a little too far. Even the 93 year-old Indy played by George Hall in the TV series bookends is also missing one eye!
It makes sense
Mabel was a daughter to Alma Garret, born after she left Deadwood
Boardwalk Empire takes place in the same universe as Downton Abbey
The characters never have to meet, but it is great to watch the 1920 New years celebrations of both shows and realize that they're both ushering in the same year.
- Except Charlie Cox appears in both.
The opening credits take place in the afterlife
Nucky's ghost haunts AC's beach, having to stand and count one bottle for each person's life his bootlegging business destroyed. He finishes it in September 19, 2010 after which he is allowed to go.
George R.R. Martin is also a producer on this show.
- It's the most logical way to explain the Season 4 finale.
Nucky is Jimmy's father, but Jimmy doesn't know it.
Jimmy claims to have no father. We know from the preview for "Broadway Limited" that Nucky has some sort of connection to Jimmy's mother that has led him to watch out for Jimmy.
Richard Harrow will not survive the third season.
I love Harrow. Maybe it's his status as a giant woobie and broken badass, or maybe it's Huston's pitch-perfect performance, but he is by far my favorite character as of the end of Season 2 . . . but I honestly think he's going to die in the first couple episodes of Season 3. The strength of his loyalty towards the Darmody means that Jimmy's murder will not go unavenged
, but he doesn't have the charisma or social skills to put up an organized front against the criminal empires orbiting Atlantic City. If he does survive, it'll be as a wild card, appearing and reappearing as a spanner in the works.
Harrow and Gillian will start a twisted sexual relationship
They're both severely damaged goods with emotional dependences on Jimmy. Now that he's dead, it only makes sense for them to hook up and seek revenge. Gillian fucked her own son, so a man with half his face missing wouldn't be below her standards. Also, recall what the fortune teller told her early in Season 1. She would meet a man who is dangerous, and not like other men. This might have meant Luciano, but he didn't really live up to the hype, and Harrow fits that description much more accurately. In a lot of ways Richard and Gillian would be perfect for each other. This combination of people will no doubt do some serious damage to Nucky and his empire.
- Incidentally, the current synopsis for the first episode of S3 at the HBO website says that Richard is "mentoring" Tommy and Gillian is either pretending, or outright raising Tommy as if he was her own son. It would be a big shock to find that they have married each other in the meantime, but it wouldn't be out of left field either, especially if we consider that S3 begins a year and a half after the end of S2. Harrow does have a desire to start a family, and we know that Gillian tried repeatedly to marry in the past only to be shut down.
- Jossed - for the time being. Their relation in 3x01 is cold.
- And remains the same way after the season 3 finale, if not worse. Julia's arrival makes this relationship even more unlikely.
Richard will ally with Nucky in order to save Tommy from Gillian
They ended having common goals and technically fighting on the same side, since Gyp's presence in the Artemis Club threatened Tommy's life, but they did not become allies, and in fact, Nucky is unaware of Richard's involvement as of the season 3 finale.
Nucky's new mistress Billie Kent will be found dead in the W.57th apartment building owned by Rothstein
Jossed - unless someone cared to take her ashes from the Boardwalk with a dustpan and moved them to her apartment, that is.
Roy Phillips doesn't exist.
The only person shown to really interact with him is Gillian herself. Phillips is an active hallucination brought on by heroin abuse, and/or her own guilty conscience.
- What about the guy he's working out a merger with and his wife? They all went to Chalky's club together. Though it's possible they're just extensions of her delusion...
- He exists in a corporeal essence, but his name might not be that. He is actually a Pinkerton hired to expose Gillian as a murderer and she ends the fourth season behind bars.
Richard will kill Gillian.
She either pushes him too far, or does something to threaten Tommy's safety, or Richard simply mercy kills her. He then takes Tommy and leaves Atlantic City.
Richard will become an unsympathetic figure in the 4th season
Like Game of Thrones
(if not more), BE likes to accentuate the grey by presenting characters in a sympathetic light, then becoming unsympathetic, then sympathetic again, etc and vice versa. This causes constant "wars" among the fandom as for every character the audience is almost evely split between those who love and root for them and those who hate them and can't wait to see them killed. The exception among the main characters is Richard Harrow, who despite not receiving much screentime until the third season is and has always been universally loved. The change wouldn't come out of nowhere of course: Richard is very dark already since he is a hitman with over 60 kills, he is more attached to guns than people (or at least was) and suffers from depression and/or PTSD. He snapping one day and doing something bad to Tommy or Julia, even if he repents later, could be played as an example of Reality Ensues
since sometimes love is not just enought to "cure" someone with deep psychological issues.
Gillian will be institutionalized in Season 4
She was just found high on heroin, hallucinating that she was her 13 year-old self in a house full of cadavers, just a few feet from one. At the very, very least she should say goodbye to being Tommy's legal guardian. The city council might have (willingly) ignored that she was raising her grandson in a brothel but this is going to set in motion a ball too big to be stopped, and Gillian has made too much of a good job alienating the few that could have spoken in her favor. Besides, we all know the squicky Nightmare Fuel
potential of old-timey psych wards.
- Does jail count as an institution?
- She is institutionalized, but in Season 5.
Margaret will go back to Nucky in S4, to ask him to help her brother in a conflict with Peg Leg Lonergan
Where did Margaret go at the end of S3? Brooklyn. Where does Eamoinn live? Brooklyn. What group was introduced near the end of S3 after going unnamed for 2 seasons? The Brooklyn Irish White Hand gang and their top dogs Bill Lovett and Peg Leg Lonergan. History sets Lovett to be killed between S3 and 4 and he is played by an extra with no dialogue, but Lonergan is given a brief moment of 'protagonism' that could become an Early-Bird Cameo
with ease. Eamoinn being caught in trouble with gangsters would destroy his self-righteous mood and finally reconcile him with his sister if she is the one that gets him and their sisters out of trouble.
"George Mueller" (a.k.a. Nelson Van Alden) will become a fictional version of George "Bugs" Moran
- Van Alden is now in Chicago and involved with the O'Banion gang. Bugs Moran was part of O'Banion's gang but hasnot been introduced yet in the show.
- Even though O'Banion's gang was mostly Irish-American, Bugs Moran himself wasn't. Like Van Alden.
- After Van Alden adopts the George Mueller alias, the two share a first name. Same first name, different surname as their real life inspiration is consistent with other fictionalized characters in the show, like Nucky Thompson (Nucky Johnson), Louis Kaestner (Louis Kuehnle) and Joe Miller (Joe Howard, the guy that Capone kills in a bar after he attacks Jake Guzik).
- Bugs Moran was called "Bugs" because he was nuts and unpredictable (same for Bugsey Siegel). The same could be said of Van Alden.
- Bugs Moran is mentioned in "Farewell Daddy Blues". As for Van Alden he joins the Chicago Outfit.
If something linking Richard to a murder surfaces, Paul Sagorsky will make a faux confession and take the fall in his place
Paul has less than a year left because of cirrhosis and he wants Richard to be there for Julia (whom he has just married) and Tommy. In particular, what happened at the Artemis Club in the third season finale has been an ongoing mystery for the judge(s) deciding Tommy's custody case because 1) it makes Gillian's case bad and 2) it threatens to send Richard to the chair. If Gillian seems close to win, Richard might decide to make that information public to take her down at his own expense, but Paul would want to save him by taking the fall. After all, even if he was sentenced to death he's likely going to die before he can be executed.
Mickey Doyle will outlive everybody
The final shot of the entire series will be the funeral of the penultimate character, with Mickey standing there giggling and claiming credit. Falsely.
- Close but no cigar. Mickey is killed by Luciano while trying to talk him out of taking the Old Rumpus, which he just got handed down to him.
The Commodore is Jimmy's father
Nucky wastes some precious time for no apparent reason to tell his intentions to the Commodore before tossing Jimmy out... despite being quite obvious that the Commodore does not give a shit about Jimmy. Naturally, this would mean that the Commodore was well into his 50s when he hung out with a 13 or 14 year old girl
We're up to episode three of the series, and Jimmy already has this going against him:
- The prohibition agent knows that Jimmy pulled off the hijacking of Rothstein's delivery because one of the survivors pointed him out before he died.
- Because of Jimmy's involvement with the above, Rothstein wants him dead.
- Nucky fired him and strongly suggested he disappear for a while.
Whoever can survive those odds in a show like this is damn near a Determinator
, and Jimmy's not likable enough to be that.
- Well, it seems so, as Jimmy then went to Capone, who was rising through the ranks of Turrio's outfit in Chicago at the time, and wound up becoming one of the top men in Turrio's fit. And as of the last episode, Nucky invited Jimmy back as a hitman to help deal with his rivals.
A related theory: As of “Two Boats and A Lifeguard,” Jimmy has apparently successfully pulled off his coup of power from Nucky in Atlantic City. He’s also played a pivotal role in uniting the Young Future Famous People
(Luciano, Lansky and Capone) to likewise take out the old guard gangsters (Torrio and Rothstein). However, Jimmy’s claim to the throne is already
shaky, with people pressuring and second-guessing him, Manny Horvitz demanding money and Jimmy being generally volatile as a result of his falling out with Nucky. It stands to reason that while he serves as a means to usher in the new criminal regime of the series, he himself will fall hard, fast and soon
, especially if Eli’s comments about Nucky being smarter and unforgiving hold true and Nucky’s plans (pretty obviously pretending to accept defeat to get Jimmy & Co. think they’ve won, as well as encouraging Chalky to rile up his black constituents) pay off.
Jimmy joined the military because of sexual tension with Gillian.
I was thinking about this in light of the protagonist of The Grifters
abruptly leaving for that reason. It would kind of make sense for why Jimmy left so suddenly, and why he dropped out of Princeton- it wouldn't really help, since he'd still be fairly close by.
- Confirmed in "Under God's Power She Flourishes" with the twist that he actually slept with Gillian. It's also indicated that Jimmy was probably close to getting expelled anyway in circumstances directly attributable to Gillian.
Nucky saved Eddie from anti-German violence.
Eddie has Undying Loyalty
to Nucky which doesn't seem at all deserved in light of any of Nucky's behavior to him on the show. There has to be a good reason for it, and it would make sense if he hired Eddie prior to World War One
and at the time, also protected him from xenophobia. It would also be really in line with Nucky's personality for him to be quite happy to stoke anti-German xenophobia when it was in his interest- i.e. regarding Hans Schroeder.
- More than a guess, I believe this was more or less said outright in an early episode.
- The episode is Season 1's "Anastasia". Nucky tells Eddie that he put with "the war, the anti-German bullshit" on his behalf, in his usual jerkass fashion. If Eddie was victim or the intended target of actual physical violence, however, remains unconfirmed.
Richard will leave Atlantic City to go home to Wisconsin.
From the summaries, it looks like Richard will have no reason to either stay in Atlantic City or in the gangster business at the end of this season. Perhaps he will take either Tommy or Julia or both with him. While universally loved, he really does not contribute much to the main plots with the bootleggers nor did he have any connections aside from Jimmy. Also his time with Julia may restore some of the lost emotions with his twin sister and that may compel him to return home.
- As of "New York Sour", he's back in Wisconsin sans Julia or Tommy.
Nucky will neutralize the Narcisse threat by redirecting Hoover's attention towards him
Hoover doesn't believe Knox's theory that there is a "nationwide conspiracy" with Nucky at its center. In his opinion the bigger threat is the leftist political agitators, particularly the African-American ones like Marcus Garvey (who he does cite by name). Besides a criminal, Narcisse is a follower of Garvey, occupies his office while Garvey is awaiting extradition, and is slowly creeping into Chalky's AC Northside. Once Chalky gets his act together and tells Nucky, he is going to mislead Hoover into thinking that Narcisse is reaching into the Northside for political
reasons, and have him arrested and/or deported.
- In a very roundabout way, but technically true.
Ethan was an abusive husband as well as an abusive father
Nucky and Eli are pretty much opposites in all their oppinions. This can be traced to their relation with their father, who favored Eli but was abusive to Nucky. Eli thinks that Ethan was great, Nucky hates him. Eli thinks that spousal abuse is a normal thing, while it is as big a Berserk Button
to Nucky as the child abuse he experienced is to him. Finally, after Ethan dies Eli thinks that he and their mother are happily together in Heaven now, while Nucky scoffs at the idea and replies that Eli "has obviously forgotten key events" from their childhood. These events are no other than that their father used to hit their mother.
- Confirmed by the season 5 flashbacks.
Nucky will die sooner or later.
played by Steve Buscemi
, after all.
- Confirmed. Nucky is shot multiple times in the series finale and killed.
Tommy Darmody will be the one to bring down Nucky
Nucky is loosely based on Enoch L. Johnson, who held power in Atlantic City until his imprisonment in 1941. By that year, Tommy Darmody will be 24. Fittingly enough, the age his father was when Nucky killed him.
- Confirmed. A teenaged Tommy shoots Nucky multiple times at the end of the series finale and kills him, on the boardwalk.