The Roy Family
Founder of media conglomerate Waystar Royco and patriarch of the Roy family, Logan is intensely protective of his media empire, even in the face of his declining health.
- Abusive Parents: Not physically, but his brutal Hobbesian way of seeing the world has led to him pitting his children against one another and destroying their self-confidences (with the exception of Shiv) in the process.
- Also heavily implied that he himself had an abusive uncle if the scars on his back and his comment about not being able to talk back to his uncle are any indication.
- Ambition Is Evil: Wants to monopolize all news media in order to push his own agenda, making him have unparalleled amounts of influence in the country, and does not really care that the law says he shouldn't.
- Archnemesis Dad: To Kendall. Kendall's character arc revolves around him standing up to his father by trying to take him down.
- To Shiv too later on as her new client is a Bernie Sanders-style left wing politician who's deadset on bringing Roy down.
- Bait the Dog: What starts the feud between him and Kendall that is the central conflict of the show. He promises to step down and give the company to Kendall, but after his stroke and seeing Kendall's general poor handling of the company, he decides to maintain his role as CEO.
- Berserk Button: Having his authority challenged or questioned.
- Big Bad: Of the entire show and to so many different people.
- Blatant Lies: Him during the family therapy session. It is very obvious to everyone he did not arrange it with any other motive than to cover his own ass.
- Control Freak: Part of the reason why he doesn't step down. (But also because Kendall is not....great as CEO.)
- Et Tu, Brute?: After Kendall organizes a vote of no confidence to remove him as CEO of Waystar. He loses all trust in Kendall and most in Roman.
- This happens again after Kendall organizes a buyout of Waystar from under him.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He is objectively a bad person, but he very obviously loves Marcia. And in his continuous attempts to get his children (back) into the company, he expresses his own form of love for his family.
- Evil Genius: Regardless of the impact of his actions, Logan is undeniably a savvy businessman.
- Evil Old Folks
- Freudian Excuse: Was physically abused by his uncle for the slightest infractions.
- I Have No Son!: Treats Kendall this way after the vote of no confidence.
- Irony: Spent most of his life trying to raise his children to be as brutal as he is to one day inherit the company. This is ironic on three fronts: it breaks his 3 sons, none of whom end up competent enough to run the company successfully; his only daughter, who IS competent enough to run the company, has been driven away from the company; and his son uses those same brute tactics to stage a hostile takeover.
- Jerkass Has a Point: His critiques of his children are bitingly harsh, but aside from the mean-spiritedness of his comments, they're generally true.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: He can barely be called affable, apart from those few scenes of intimacy between him and Marcia. And his rough exterior is a direct reflection of his cruelty.
- Lack of Empathy: He really doesn't care about the feelings of others, ESPECIALLY his own children.
- Narcissist: Wants to buy all local TV networks to use as a way of spreading his own worldview.
- No-Nonsense Nemesis: He has no patience for weak-willed individuals and half-assed plans. If you're going to try to oust him, you better be upfront about it.
- The Patriarch
- Politically Incorrect Villain: That's kind of the point.
- Pride: He will not let go of his company. He also refuses visitors in his weakened state after his stroke.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Hands these out regularly.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Why Senator Eavis wants to take him down.
- Surrounded by Idiots: His 3 sons, who are in their own ways unfit for any position of authority, let alone CEO of a major corporation.
- Visionary Villain: He definitely has a vision. Whether that's a good or bad thing is for debate.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: His children all seek his approval in some ways, with Kendall and Roman being the most obvious about it. However, they rarely live up to his standards and when they do (Shiv), if it is outside of the family business, he doesn't really care.
Kendall, Logans second-oldest son, is primed to lead Waystar when Logan retires. However, he has yet to gain the full trust of his father.
- Dirty Coward: Actively works behind his father's back to try to get him ousted while being generally genial and pleasant to his face. Though given who Logan is, it's something of a necessity.
- Fatal Flaw: His issues with addiction, which Logan is aware of doesn't trust him because of it. He would have finally had control over Logan had he not driven off for a quick fix during Shiv's wedding.
- No Respect Guy: His own father has no respect for him, his best intentions are frequently misinterpreted and many of what he thinks are smart plays end up failing because he has relatively little business experience compared to theory. When he does find a strategy that could put him over Logan, he usually does something to ruin it.
- Papa Wolf: Lashes out at Logan after Logan hits his son at Thanksgiving.
- Recovered Addict: One of the reasons Logan doesn't trust him is because he went through rehab.
- Functional Addict: He falls off the wagon after being fired, but more or less stays upright until "Nobody is Ever Missing."
- Speaking Like Totally Teen: Multiple times, he tries to use casual and slang-y language to deal with business associates, which goes poorly.
- Took a Level in Badass: Averted. When he tries to take a tough approach to the bank holding the company's debts, it goes over horribly until he gets an escape route via his old friend.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: He's desperate for his father's approval, even when he's in the middle of actively working against him.
Siobhan "Shiv" Roy
The youngest child in the Roy family, Shiv possesses natural leadership instincts, but would rather wield her talents in politics.
- Badass Decay: She loses the cool charisma she had in the first season during the second, when her desire to be Logan's successor drives her to a series of humiliating moments.
- Big Ego, Hidden Depths: She has a high opinion of herself both personally and professionally, and frequently taunts her lover with the reminder of how out of his league she was. However, she's just as insecure for a relationship with Logan as the rest of her siblings and does feel guilty for cheating on Tom after he realizes the truth.
- Meaningful Name: Her nickname, while not a bad way to shorten "Siobhan," reflect that she can be a weapon when she needs to be.
- The Unfettered: She'll do anything to make her candidate win, and being on the winning side in general. Despite being ostensibly liberal, she isn't afraid to use her name to try to get a news station to sink a negative story about her candidate. She then abandons said candidate for being too "safe" (that is, boring) and then gets behind Gil, getting him to put aside his principles for a compromise with Logan (which she secured via blackmail); this makes her lover aghast, as he's backing Gil out of sincere belief, and she mocks him for his idealism.
- Uptown Girl: Shiv is this to Tom, a fact that characters repeatedly use to stick a thorn in his side. The series drives this home by having Tom humiliate Shiv's lover at their wedding as this song plays in the background.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: According to Gerri.
- Your Cheating Heart: When Tom brings up that there's nothing about adultery in her prenuptials, she says she doesn't consider it that big a deal, and that "shit happens;" unsurprisingly she starts cheating on him with an ex.
Logans son Roman exudes the bravado and cockiness his father desires from a Waystar executive. But, his immaturity and lack of focus has kept him from advancing within the company.
- Ambiguously Bi: Though he talks a lot about how attracted he is to random women (including his own stepmother), his girlfriends complain he never has sex with them, and he seems really fixated on impressing how important he is to his young, attractive, male personal trainer. Others have even suggested he's actually asexual.
- Casanova Wannabe: Roman is always talking about how much sex he gets, but the girl he takes to Shiv's wedding complains that he never has sex with her, and Grace says they only have sex every six months. Then the second season reveals that he can really only have sex when fantasizing about something deviant, like his partner being dead, or when he's feeling guilt or shame.
- Deadpan Snarker
- The Gadfly: Frequently digs into other characters and heaps on the misery when they're at a low point.
- Hidden Depths: Despite all of his dickishness, he really does care about Kendall even as they spar, and despite enjoying coming off as a playboy he often gets insecure and lonely.
- It's All About Me: In true Roy Comedic Sociopathy, he goes against advice and pushes his launch ahead as a "wedding present" to Shiv (which she's not even interested in), leading to a disastrous explosion on the launch pad. When it comes to possible fatalities, he's only concerned about whether or not he'd be culpable for the deaths.
- Jerkass: He loves stirring up trouble and drama, and rips up a million dollar check in front of a young boy's face after taunting him about it.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Maybe not "gold," but he truly does care about his siblings deep down, and rescues Kendall when the latter starts using again.
- Would Hit a Girl: Gives Shiv a bitchy slap during one of their arguments.
Relative to the other Roy children, Logans eldest son (from his first marriage) is uninterested in the demands of navigating Waystars internal politics, instead preferring the libertine lifestyle he leads at his ranch.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: He's prone to latching on to odd topics and is generally out of the way of the rest of the siblings' interests of cut-throat business and politics. When he does randomly decide to run for president, one of his tenets is being against masturbation for some reason.
- Control Freak: He has a meltdown when a party doesn't go his way.
- Crazy Survivalist: He waxes on about how the world will soon run out of water, and his need to hoard as much of his as possible to be able to sell it.
- Kavorka Man: Downplayed. He's not ugly, but despite being an older, doddering fool, he easily finds himself surrounded by attractive, interesting women, even ones he doesn't have to pay to spend time with.
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All: He thinks simply being well-read makes him intelligent, when it's clear he can't really hold up in a debate.
- Not So Above It All: Though he claims to not be confrontational and prefers to be neutral, it doesn't take much to get him involved in petty drama. He also is a Control Freak with his own agenda, despite framing himself as the most calm, mature sibling.
- The Unfavorite: Due to his rather... odd demeanor and ambitions, as well as the age gap between him and the rest of his siblings, he's usually completely forgotten about, and tolerated at best. Despite being Logan's firstborn son, Logan considers him a complete nonfactor.
Greg is Logans lackadaisical great-nephew. Far removed from the Roy familys wealth, he moves to New York to ingratiate himself to Logan and get a stable job within the company.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Greg seems to have some sort of developmental impairment that resembles autism, though it's not clear if he has it, a mental deficiency, or is just slow and foolish. He's socially awkward and seems to lack the ability to pick up social cues. He's gullible and easily pushed around, but also not exactly stupid and is well aware when he's doing something wrong.
- Butt-Monkey: Nobody really hates him, but no one really cares about him, either, not helped by his slow and unimpressive demeanor. Tom also frequently has him doing embarrassing dirty work, such as forcing him to shred sensitive documents after Greg had already driven twelve agonizing hours to get his belligerent grandfather to Thanksgiving dinner.
- Extreme Doormat: Seriously, he can be pressed and guilted into doing just about anything.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Has big, mooning blue eyes, and is generally the most naive and good-hearted (in comparison to the rest of the family).
- Nice Guy: Maybe he's simply too slow to run with the cunning, backstabbing Roys, but he's pretty well-meaning and honest.
- Professional Butt-Kisser: The only way he knows how to get ahead is being something of a suck-up and begging for jobs.
Partners of Family Members
Logans third wife Marcia is fiercely devoted to Logan but has yet to earn the full trust of his children, especially Shiv.
- Beware the Nice Ones: She's one of the nicer associates of the Roy family, but she won't hesitate to call you out, even if it's at your own wedding.
- Dark Mistress: She's as equally interested as Logan is in framing the dead caterer as a thief so Logan can be freed of suspicion of his death.
- Mysterious Past: When Shiv investigates her background, she doesn't find any information about her prior to when she was 31.
- Wicked Stepmother: The siblings consider her this, seeing her as a gold digger who's entrapped Logan, especially when she refuses to let them see Logan while he's recovering from his stroke (though she has good reason to).
Tom, Shivs boyfriend, is infatuated with the Roy familys power and prestige. He pursues acceptance from the family, sometimes humiliating himself in the process.
- Arson, Murder, and Admiration: Responds this way when he realizes that Greg is blackmailing him, using crucial documents that could land him in prison against him. He's genuinely proud that he's showing initiative and savvy, even going so far as to encourage him by offering Greg more than he is demanding.
- Dogged Nice Guy: He behaves this way around the Roys, but takes out his insecurities in an ugly way on anyone who is beneath him in standing.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Though he can be very abrasive, self-serving and bullying, he really does care for Shiv and wants to be part of the family, and is genuinely hurt when he realizes she's cheating on him and refuses to admit it. Even Logan tells Shiv he's a good man.
- Also shown to care at least a little for Greg's well-being, despite his bullying, when he protects him from Logan's wrath after inadvertently betraying his great-uncle to a biographer writing a tell-all book. Although he does caution Greg that he can't be trusted before doing so.
- Social Climber: Shiv's ex notes that he's some nobody from Detroit, and he's very interested in climbing up the ladder of the company and even considers taking Shiv's last name for reasons obviously unrelated to equality (though he is marrying for love).
- The Dog Bites Back: While he allows himself to be run roughshod by the entire Roy family, he has his limits - notably snapping back at and humiliating Shiv's lover at their wedding reception before having him leave the premises.
- The Svengali: Attempts to be this to Greg, taking him under his wing in both business and social mentorship, but mainly keeping him around as a resource to exploit for his own goals. However, he does at times seem to be genuinely misguided in thinking that he's also helping Greg out by doing this.
Though Rava cares for her estranged husband, Kendall, she has remained separated from him while being the primary caretaker of their children.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Snaps back at Tom after he makes a dig at her status as a call girl.
- Butt-Monkey: The siblings all openly detest and deride her.
- High-Class Call Girl: Is paid to spend time with Connor, and by the looks of her, she doesn't come cheap.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Played with. She's clearly not above entertaining Connor's false hopes if it means she can get the money to pursue her own goal, but she's generally well-meaning, such as being one of the few to be nice to Greg and shows genuine interest in Logan's war memorabilia.
Logans longtime confidant and chief operating officer of Waystar Royco.