Follow TV Tropes

Following

Characters / Succession The Roy Family

Go To

    open/close all folders 

The Roy Family

    In General 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/succession_roys.jpg
  • Ambition Is Evil: All of them crave influence and wealth and build their relationships upon power plays rather than normal human interaction.
  • Anti-Hero: At their very, very best, they are this, but mostly they are Villain Protagonists.
  • Ascetic Aesthetic: With the possible exception of Shiv, who is considered something a style icon within the fandom, all the Roys are very conservative dressers, decked out in browns, grays and blacks. The lack of logos and bespoke tailoring betray their "stealth wealth", but the void of creativity and imagination in their clothes speaks to the Roys' general disinterest in everything culture-related. Their homes and apartments are likewise very dull spaces.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Wealthy, powerful, dysfunctional.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: A genetic family trait, apparently, with Logan's brother Ewan being the sole exception to the trend.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Occasionally averted, e.g. in the case of Kendall seeing the consequences of his crimes and feeling remorse, but mostly played straight.
  • Consummate Liar: Played with. Logan is naturally one and generally treats words as weapons. As a result, the entire family has a... complicated relationship with the truth and sincerity.
  • Dysfunction Junction: They are a toxic, codependent, unhappy lot, with their issues running the gamut from addiction (Kendall) to sexual dysfunction (Roman) and marital troubles (Shiv).
  • Family Theme Naming: Logan, Ewan, Siobhan and Roman all have names ending in -an.
  • Freudian Excuse: The generational cycles of abuse have led to the Roys being unpleasant, unhappy people.
  • Freudian Trio: Of the three children from Logan's second marriage, chaotic, intuitive Roman is The McCoy, calculating Shiv is The Spock, and Kendall is somewhere in between as The Kirk.
  • It's All About Me: The entire family is self-absorbed, selfish, and only concerned with themselves.
  • Meaningful Name: Roy as in royalty.
  • Nepotism: None of the Roy children would really be where they are were it not for the family name. Kendall is competent in business, but lacks the killer instinct needed. Roman is nothing but killer instinct and screws up just about every job he's given, Tom has a do-nothing job pretty much because he's Shiv's fiance and Greg was so incompetent as a theme park mascot that he...became the number 2 go-fer to Tom. Even Shiv, who seems to have her own career outside of the family business, is implied to have gotten where she is because she has connections that most would envy and isn't shy about using them.
  • Never My Fault: All of them are great at deflecting responsibility for their terrible actions.
  • Non-Idle Rich: Zig-zagged. Most of the Roys are pretty industrious in spite of their wealth; however, their levels of competence are often insufficient for the positions they find themselves in.
  • Nouveau Riche: Only Logan and Ewan were not born into privilege, but the lack of blue in the Roy bloodline is very clear when it comes to their education and views on culture.
  • Pet the Dog: The Roys are varying degrees of terrible, but all of them (except Logan) are capable of demonstrating familial concern; the three younger Roy children in particular have moments in between all the backstabbing where they comfort each other or stand up to Logan in each other's defense.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: None of them are stupid (except Connor), but all the Roy children are completely ignorant of the way 99% of the population live.
  • Schemer: Everyone in the family, down to the buffoonish Cousin Greg.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Their motto might as well be "money wins".
  • Sibling Rivalry: The Show. However, the Roy children do, on occasion, look out for each other.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: The brother duos have this characterization: Logan and Ewan are Cain and Abel, and Roman and Kendall are Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling, respectively.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: If there's anything the Roys are collectively good at, it's lobbing insults at other people and at each other (preferably with expletives mixed in).
  • Spoiled Brat: All the Roy children, with Roman and Connor being especially egregious examples.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: With some exceptions, a large portion of their humiliations and misfortunes are Played for Laughs.
  • Villain Protagonist: The entire ensemble is vying for the control of an evil right-wing propaganda media conglomerate.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: All the Roy kids are jockeying for Logan's favor in their own ways, with the mild exception of Connor, who isn't self-aware enough to want it. Kendall tries to gain respect and approval by trying to destroy his father in business, since that's what his father taught him. Roman is after attention and respect too, and openly crumbles when Logan calls him a moron to his face. Shiv pretends she's above the fray with her own career, but the moment Logan offers her a Deal with the Devil, she takes it.
  • Wicked Cultured: Averted; they all have the wicked aspect down in one way or another, but none of them have particularly good taste and for the most part they have a dim view of culture.
Advertisement:

Immediate Family

    Logan 

Logan Roy

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/roy_logan.jpeg
"Sometimes, it is a big dick competition".
Portrayed By: Brian Cox

"He's morally bankrupt. He's a nothing man who may well be more personally responsible for the death of this planet than any other single human being. [...] In terms of the lives that will be lost by his whoring for the climate change deniers, there's a very persuasive argument to be made that he's worse than Hitler."
Ewan Roy

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: His brutal Hobbesian way of seeing the world has led to him pitting his children against one another, and as a result, every one of them has severe issues with self-confidence and their relationship with him can most charitably be described as "complex". His love for them is not unconditional, depending entirely on their loyalty and usefulness. They're aware of this, but still have such an emotional bond to him as their parent and provider that they struggle to gain his approval. He also strikes Roman at one point, and the immediate reaction from Kendall implies it might not be the first time, even though he later offers a sort-of apology to Roman by saying he didn't realize Roman was standing so close when his hand came up, and even says he doesn't hit his kids. It's also heavily implied short of outright stated that he himself struggled under an abusive parent figure in the form of "evil Uncle Noah". Logan has numerous permanent scars on his back and he comments about not being able to talk back to his uncle.
  • 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 some of his kids.
    • To Kendall, whom he grooms as his successor and then callously betrays. Kendall's character arc revolves around him standing up to his father by trying to take him down.
    • To Shiv, when she starts working for 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.
  • Beard of Evil: He sports a goatee.
  • Berserk Button: Having his authority challenged or questioned is a great way to find yourself shouted at, fired, punished, humiliated or even assaulted.
  • Betrayal by Offspring: His entitled, power-hungry children are constantly scheming to dethrone him, with Kendall in particular being a repeat offender.
  • Big Bad: Of the entire show and to so many different people. Logan is the most toxic influence in everyone's lives, including his own, and his political agenda has been slowly poisoning the world over the course of his reign.
  • 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.
  • Catchphrase: He likes to say, "We're all pals here!" in an effort to lower everyone's guard so he can choose which close friend, family member or colleague is weak enough to roast on a spit.
  • Control Freak: Part of the reason why he doesn't step down. (But also because Kendall is not....great as CEO.)
  • The Dreaded: Most characters on the show, and especially his children, are afraid of him.
  • 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. When a gunshot goes off at headquarters and he is herded into a panic room, he asks only if Kendall is also safe.
  • Evil Genius: Regardless of the impact of his actions, Logan is undeniably a savvy businessman.
  • Evil Old Folks: He's well into his later years and really should have retired, but his malice seems to do a good job of keeping him alive and in the game.
  • Fat Bastard: Logan's got a noticeable gut and is definitely not on the side of the angels.
  • Freudian Excuse: It's teased at. He was physically abused by his uncle and seems to have had a complicated relationship with his mother. Then there's the matter of Rose, a long-dead sister who he never mentions to the point of her almost becoming an Un-person within the family. Ewan implies that whatever happened to her, Logan needlessly blames himself for it.
  • 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: "Fuck off" seems to be his favorite phrase.
  • 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: Of the Roy family.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Logan's yet to display any overt racist or white supremacist views, but ATN is a direct reflection of his own idealogies, and they're so right-wing they employed a fascist as one of their biggest names. He's also no stranger to misogyny, which is a possible motivation for why he kept Shiv in the cold for so long. There's also been plenty of hints that far from merely covering up the cruises scandal, he may have been a direct participant in the sexual abuses that took place.
  • 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!: Logan believes that laws, ethics and even good behavior are entirely optional for him, and he has so much money that they essentially are. He has numerous politicians in his pocket and a direct line to the president. It's why Senator Eavis wants to take him down.
  • Self-Made Man: He built one of the largest corporate empires on the planet from the ground up, and he did so coming from rather humble surroundings.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Logan is frequently frustrated by the fact that none of his children fit his idea of what a successor should be. He does have quite a few highly intelligent and competent people in his inner circle, but he doesn't see it that way.
    Logan: I am surrounded by snakes and fucking morons. You're a bunch of silk-stocking fucks!
  • Troubled Abuser: He had Abusive Parents, and then became an abusive parent himself.
  • Villain Protagonist: He's this if you consider him to be the main character in the series.
  • 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 

Kendall Roy

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/succession_kendall.jpg
"I just wanted to get the gang together early on in my tenure to say...uh, yo".
Portrayed By: Jeremy Strong

Kendall, Logan’s second-oldest son, is primed to lead Waystar when Logan retires. However, he has yet to gain the full trust of his father.


  • Amicable Exes: With his ex-wife Rava, initially, although things end up deteriorating between them.
  • Asshole Victim: He is a rich, entitled jackass guilty of manslaughter; while he deserves punishment for his actions, his Trauma Conga Line in Season 2, which culminates in a near-suicide, lends him a measure of sympathy. On the Internet, this has been explicitly compared to the Theon/Reek storyline on Game of Thrones, with Kendall's actor backing this comparison.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Immediately yells at Logan, and comforts and examines Roman after Logan backhands him so hard he knocks one of Roman's teeth out. Like the Papa Wolf incident below, it's one of the only times he stands up to Logan directly, and this time it's even while he's in the midst of pathetic subservience to Logan.
  • Break the Haughty: His entire storyline in the show, starting with the very first episode when he's told that no, he will not be succeeding Logan in running the company.
  • Broken Tears: He breaks down in Logan's arms in Season 1 finale after Logan threatens to expose his involvement in the death of a waiter. Later in Season 2, he cries in front of Shiv when confronted about his defeated subservience to their father.
  • But I Read a Book About It: He actually has a decent grasp on business theory, but lacks the experience and "killer" instincts needed to succeed in the position he so covets.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: He finally stands up for himself and rips into Logan in the Season 2 finale — on live TV, no less.
  • Creepy Monotone: His normal tone of voice, which, coupled with his dead-eyed delivery, makes him look less like a human being and more like a glitchy robot.
  • 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.
  • The Dog Bites Back: He gets no respect from his father, and is blackmailed into a subservient position to him in season 2 — until he finally stands up to his father, stabbing him in the back on live television.
  • Driven to Suicide: He contemplates throwing himself off the office roof in Season 2, but is barred from the possibility when the company erects barriers there.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: He falls off the wagon after his vote of no confidence fails.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: He's already pretty dead-eyed at the show's start, but he gets worse as the series progresses, with people describing him as "a corpse" and "yuppie Robocop".
  • Establishing Character Moment: Kendall's first scene is him (badly) rapping in the back of a limo while wearing noise-canceling headphones, much to his driver's chagrin; this shows how immature and out-of-touch he is (and also displays his unfortunate affinity for white boi rap). He then arrives to an important business meeting and immediately starts using casual youth lingo, showing how unfit he is for the world of business.
  • 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.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The Responsible to Roman's foolish, for the majority of Season 1.
  • Gender-Blender Name: "Kendall" is nowadays more popular as a name for girls.
  • Heroic BSoD: Becomes just a shell of his former self in the second season, listlessly carrying out his father's orders like a drone.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: What Logan believes him to be (and what he probably is, from what the viewer is shown of his business decisions).
  • Like Father, Like Son: Subverted; he tries hard to be Logan No. 2, but is not ruthless enough to do so.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: A key reason Kendall is not ready to handle taking over the company is because Logan has been keeping so many things close to him — e.g. the fact that the company is about three billion dollars in debt.
  • Manchild: Obsessed with teen lingo and youth culture, hedonistic, prone to misreading social situations, and pathetically desperate for his father's approval.
  • Minor Flaw, Major Breakup: Kendall breaks it off with a new girlfriend because she said "awesome" too much after meeting Logan.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Kendall was loyal to Logan and had just completed a major deal for Waystar-Royco. He fully expected his father to name him the new CEO. Instead, Logan decides to stay on and treats Kendall as a failure. Fed up, Kendall tries to take over the company.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: While the Roys in general are heavily based on the Murdoch family, Kendall in particular is similar to James Murdoch — Rupert Murdoch's "cool", liberal-ish son who funded Rawkus Records in the 1990s and helped launch the careers of Mos Def and Talib Kweli.
  • 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.
  • Overly Nervous Flop Sweat: He's even described as "a sweaty corpse" at one point.
  • Papa Wolf: Lashes out at Logan after Logan hits his son at Thanksgiving.
  • Potty Failure: He shits the bed after a night of substrance abuse.
  • 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."
  • Ripped from the Headlines: His car accident in the Season 1 finale is based off the infamous Chappaquiddick incident.
  • The Scapegoat: Logan chooses him as "the blood sacrifice" for the cruises scandal, at which point Kendall decides he's had enough.
  • Speaking Like Totally Teen: Multiple times, he tries to use casual and slang-y language to deal with business associates, which goes poorly.
  • Speech Impediment: If he's nervous or uncomfortable, he will stammer and stutter his way through conversation, with his dialogue eventually dissolving into "uh uh uh"s.
  • The Starscream: Once Logan makes it clear that he sees Kendall as a weak man unfit to inherit the company, Kendall throws all his weight behind trying to usurp his father's position.
  • Token Good Teammate: For a very limited value of "good", but he seems to be the only Roy child with something roughly resembling a conscience.
  • 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 Stewy.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Starting with the end of Season 1, he is put through a wringer and ends up being completely under Logan's control, becoming nothing more than a defeated puppet for his father. When confronted about one of his actions, he can only summon a miserable, pathetic, "My Dad told me to."
  • Undiscriminating Addict: Kendall's lapses back into substance abuse compel him to consume any drug he can, whether that's meth at a house in New Mexico or ketamine at a secret party in New York.
  • Villainous Widow's Peak: He has this hairstyle, and whether you consider him a Villain Protagonist or an Anti-Hero, he's not a virtuous person.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Kendall and Stewy are old friends and often hang out together, despite Kendall seeing Stewy as nothing more than a parasite.
  • Wardrobe Flaw of Characterization: The entire Roy family are lacking in taste, but Kendall is the most try-hard of the lot and is thus often the victim of misguided fashion choices, such as an inexplicable affinity for the color brown and the belief that a straw trilby is an acceptable type of hat. Other examples:
    • He wears a puffy jacket (with actual lapels) over a puffy vest to a tech conference, thus out-broing all the tech bros present.
    • He dons brown Lavlin sneakers to impress a gaggle of businessmen, who promptly fail to be impressed.
    • He wears a very unbecoming brown tux — over a baseball jersey, no less — to the 50th anniversary of Waystar Royco.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: He's desperate for his father's approval, even when he's in the middle of actively working against him.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Zig-zagged with his car accident. When trapped in a sinking car, he manages to escape and surface, but immediately dives down again and makes several efforts to save the car's driver before relenting due to exhaustion. There was no one to witness what happened, so he could have worried only about himself. However, once on land, Kendall immediately begins to cover his tracks to avoid responsibility for the accident.

    Shiv 

Siobhan "Shiv" Roy

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/succession_shiv.jpg
Portrayed By: Sarah Snook

The youngest child in the Roy family, Shiv possesses natural leadership instincts, but would rather wield her talents in politics.


  • Ambiguously Bi: Shiv shows a complete willingness to engage in a threesome with another woman, and is even happy to have sex with that woman while Tom watches. However, this might have been solely for Tom's benefit, since she otherwise shows herself to be solely interested in men.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: While she's often casually cruel and/or dismissive towards Tom, she does defend him from Logan at the cost of losing Logan's respect.
  • 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.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Between her father Logan and husband Tom at the end of Season 2. She chooses Tom.
  • Evil Redhead: Her hair is strawberry blonde.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: In season 1, she wears her hair long and curly for a softer, feminine look, but once she starts vying for control of Waystar-Royco, she cuts it into a bob — a favorite among career women everywhere.note 
  • Family Versus Career: Shiv must choose between loyalty to her family or dedication to her job in politics, which puts her in opposition to her family. This ends in the second season, where she quits in order to pursue the position of Logan's successor.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: She is definitely the one wearing the pants in her relationship with Tom.
  • Meaningful Name: Her nickname, while not a bad way to shorten "Siobhan," reflect that she can be a weapon when she needs to be.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: She is an amalgamation of Ivanka Trump and Elisabeth Murdoch.
  • Not So Above It All: As a person with a career outside Waystar-Royco, she is at first removed from the family drama, but quickly proves herself to be as eager to succeed Logan as her brothers.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: In Season 1, she wears slouchy sweaters and pants in soft colors, because she wants to be seen as an individual outside her family's influence. In Season 2, where she starts vying for leadership of Waystar, her wardrobe is monochromatic and comprised of turtlenecks and button-downs — she wants to be seen as powerful and business-savvy.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Her explanation for dating and eventually marrying Tom is that he's "a good guy".
  • The Smurfette Principle: She is not the only female character among the main cast, but she is the only female Roy child and the only woman present in the promotional materials.
  • 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.
  • Women Are Wiser: She is the smartest and most put-together of all the Roy children, and initially finds success in a career outside of the familt business. However, her ambition pulls her right back under Logan's thumb.
  • 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 and later an actor.

    Roman 

Roman "Romulus" Roy

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/succession_roman.jpg
"You get off, you eat the shame for dessert".
Portrayed By: Kieran Culkin

Logan’s youngest 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.


  • Alliterative Name: Roman Roy.
  • 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, though the second season reveals that he gets off on humiliation and feigning necrophilia.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: To Kendall and even Shiv, even though he's older than her.
  • Bondage Is Bad: Or, rather, Kink is Bad. He is a semi-sociopathic slimeball with a fondness for humiliation and faked necrophilia.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Unlike Kendall, he has very good instincts for business, but no desire to apply himself, at least until Season 2 (see Dumbass No More).
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Of the Roy children, he is the most honest and self-aware in regards to his good luck and privilege - but instead of trying to do some good in the world, he cruelly and casually embraces his "spoiled rotten rich kid" persona, at least initially.
  • 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.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Gets a lot of these scenes.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Mostly communicates through wisecracks and insults, even compared to the rest of the characters.
  • Didn't Think This Through: He has a lot of ideas but little acumen or experience, so many of his attempts at being cunning fall flat and blow up in his face.
  • Dumbass No More: After spending most of the time being humiliated after trying and failing to take after his father, he spends the second season getting more experience, and after being humbled during a hostage takeover he arrives at the yacht much more mature and intelligent, and even impressively quashes a bad deal that otherwise would have been pushed through.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The foolish to Kendall's responsible, in Season 1.
  • 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. He's also desperate for Logan's approval even when outright stating that he has almost never told him that he loves him, and has apparently been abused by him in the past.
  • 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. He also stands up to Logan to try to argue for Kendall to stay after the latter decides that Kendall will take the fall for the cruises scandal, after defending Gerri from the same fate.
  • Manchild: A thirtysomething who still acts like a petulant, obnoxious, glib teenager (complete with penis-related jokes).
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: He initially comes across as a troll with barely a brain cell to spare, but is soon revealed to be shrewd and intelligent (if somewhat lacking in experience and good sense).
  • Odd Friendship: With Gerri — she's an older widow who got where she is through wits, guile and hard work; he's a spoiled, self-absorbed rich kid with a host of daddy issues. Yet they do care for one another and have a genuine bond.
  • Perma-Stubble: Often sports this as part of his "fashionably disheveled" look.
  • Sad Clown: A carefree, hedonistic jokester who's lonely, insecure, and terrified of his abusive father.
  • Troll: He initially seems to exist only to goad and annoy everyone in the vicinity.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Gives Shiv a bitchy slap during one of their arguments.
Advertisement:

    Connor 

Connor Roy

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/succession_connot.jpg
Portrayed By: Alan Ruck

Relative to the other Roy children, Logan’s eldest son (from his first marriage) is uninterested in the demands of navigating Waystar’s internal politics, instead preferring the libertine lifestyle he leads at his ranch.


  • Affably Evil: Connor is a deluded old fool, but he's polite, optimistic and his confidence is oddly endearing.
  • And Zoidberg: He's not interested in running Waystar-Royco, which makes him a nonfactor in the show's central conflict, and people often forget he exists, with some mistakenly referring to Kendall as the oldest Roy son.
  • Butt-Monkey: In "This is Not for Tears" he is left begging Logan for $100 million because Willa's play left him in serious debt, but Logan's sole condition is that Connor give up his political ambitions, which embarrasses Connor. The same episode has him almost completely forgotten when Gerri mistakenly refers to Kendall as Logan's firstborn son, and when he volunteers to take the fall for the cruises scandal, Logan almost takes pity him for the useless offer.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Connor is a strange guy. He's completely out of touch with the real world to the extent that it's almost impossible to get him to come down to Earth, he's prone to latching on to odd topics, he has a number of strange political views 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.
  • Compensated Dating: His "girlfriend" Willa is an escort he pays to date him.
  • Control Freak: Connor has a controlling streak, having 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.
  • Disappointing Older Sibling: He is, technically, the oldest Roy child, but he is so dimwitted, weird and useless that a lot of people forget he factors into the family at all, and the Eldest Child responsibilities have thus been passed onto Logan's second son, Kendall.
  • Eccentric Millionaire: He's the only character on the show who chooses to enjoy his supreme wealth - mostly by indulging his odd whims and hobbies.
  • 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 doesn't understand much of what he says and can't hold up his side in the simplest of debates.
  • 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. Strangely enough, this means that Logan tends to treat him more kindly than his other children since he's so clearly harmless.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: He accidentally escalates the conflict between Kendall and Logan on two separate ocasions:
    • In Season 1, he mistakenly assumes that Kendall intends to announce Logan's retirement at the RECNY gala, and informs Logan of the fact. Logan then usurps Kendall's speech and announces that he's staying on as CEO. Kendall, who had merely wanted to make a "he will never retire" joke, is upset at the turn of events and his father's general lack of trust in him, which leads him to try and stage a coup several episodes later.
    • At the end of Season 2, he makes fun of Greg for turning down a $250 million offer from Ewan; Greg then outfits Kendall with the cruise scandal documents that Kendall can use to bring his father down.
  • Upper-Class Twit: He's as rich as the rest of the siblings but easily the dumbest and most out-of-touch due to his incredible privilege.

    Greg 

Greg Hirsch

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/succession_greg.jpg
"I feel like I might not like it in the death pit".
Portrayed By: Nicholas Braun

Greg is Logan’s lackadaisical great-nephew. Far removed from the Roy family’s wealth, he moves to New York to ingratiate himself to Logan and get a stable job within the company.


  • Accidental Misnaming: Twice in the first two episodes, belying his Beneath Notice nature; first, Logan introduces him as Cousin Craig, and then he's listed on the Waystar employment records as Greg Roy, because nobody remembers his last name.
  • Adorkable: He's goofy and good-natured, and often provides comic relief due to his naiveté and odd demeanor.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Greg seems to have some sort of developmental impairment that resembles autism, though it's not clear if he is actually on the spectrum, mentally deficient, or just slow and foolish. He's socially awkward, bad at picking up social cues, gullible and easily manipulated — but also not exactly stupid and is well aware when he's doing something wrong.
  • Audience Surrogate: As the only middle-class main character and a Naïve Newcomer to the family drama, he is the audience surrogate for the succession wars.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: He's the youngest character in the main cast, which, coupled with his Naïve Newcomer status, ensures that nobody takes him seriously.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: One of the reasons behind his decision to side with his roommate/cousin Kendall in the finale of Season 2.
  • Beneath Notice: He is considered a doof by all other characters, which works to his advantage time and again as nobody expects him to be a real threat. The first time he shows his ruthless side is when he betrays Tom's plan to go public with the cruise crimes scandal to Gerri; even though Tom only shared this information with Shiv and Greg, he believes Greg over Shiv. By the end of Season 2, Greg is a pivotal player in the family's succession wars.
  • Big Little Brother: He's a cousin rather than a brother to the Roy children, but the trope is played straight otherwise: he is the youngest of the main characters and also the tallest, at 6'7''.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Compared to the sociopathic Roys, he's a sweet kid — but he's not above deceit, blackmail and milking his extended family for money.
  • Blackmail: He turns out to have quite a talent for this.
  • Bully and Wimp Pairing: With Tom, where Greg is the wimp. Even though Tom abuses his authority over Greg, the two are often a united front thanks to their shared outsider status within the family.
  • 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.
  • The Chew Toy: His low position in the Roy hierarchy ensures that he's constantly humiliated, overlooked, and made the scapegoat, and in general it seems that even the universe conspires to put him into uncomfortable situations.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Has a tendency to wander off into strange thoughts. When in a panic room in the second season, he becomes increasingly anxious of the room's design, thinking that antagonists could fit an "attack child" through a window.
  • Commonality Connection: His outsider status saddles him with the company of Tom, another Social Climber within the Roy extended family.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Tom drags Greg into the cruise crimes conspiracy, effectively "infecting" Greg with the "virus" of being complicit in the cover-up. This is a turning point for Greg, who, until that moment, could have possibly avoided the slide into a life of douchebaggery.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Much like Tom, he seems harmlessly incompetent, but he's actually a very good schemer when the situation calls for it.
  • The Ditz: Slow, silly and quirky.
    • Genius Ditz: He can be crafty and cunning when the situation calls for it (although this behavior required a learning curve).
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Greg the Egg.
  • Extreme Doormat: Seriously, he can be pressed and guilted into doing just about anything.
  • Fish out of Water: He sticks out like a sore thumb among the super-wealthy Roys, and not just because he's so tall.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Averted; when he tries to find an apartment in Manhattan, the only place he can afford is comically small. He instead moves in with Kendall who lives in a huge, mostly unfurnished apartment all by himself.
  • Goofy Suit: He starts the series with a job as a mascot at one of Waystar-Royco's theme parks, and wears the requisite suit during his introductory scenes.
  • Grew a Spine: Part of his character arc is learning to stand up to Tom's abuse.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: Ewan Roy threatens to disinherit Greg if he continues to work for Logan.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Has big, mooning blue eyes, and is generally the most naive and good-hearted Roy (in comparison to the rest of the family).
  • Manchild: Prior to the start of the show, he's a twentysomething slacker with no marketable skills and no ability or desire to keep a job.
  • Momma's Boy: His mother is the one who gives him the idea to ingratiate himself to the Roys, and throughout Season 1 he consults her over the phone whenever he's faced with a challenge.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Greg is Logan's grandnephew, but he grew up in a middle-class setting and had little interaction with Logan's side of the family until his mother sends him to New York, which lands him smack dab in the middle of the family drama.
  • Neet: At the beginning of the show he's a 26-year-old slacker with no marketable skills or career prospects.
  • Nice Guy: Maybe he's simply too slow to run with the cunning, backstabbing Roys, but he's pretty well-meaning and honest.
  • Odd Couple: He's in a Those Two Guys duo with Tom, as both are relative outsiders to the rest of the Roys.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: He is awkwardly amusing, and his storylines are more light-hearted than what the other characters get.
  • Professional Butt-Kisser: The only way he knows how to get ahead is being something of a suck-up and begging for jobs.
  • Rags to Riches: He starts the show penniless, living in a youth hostel and subsisting on food stolen from the Waystar office, but his canoodling with the Roys lands him with money and an apartment in Manhattan.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: Over the first two seasons, he starts wearing suits that actually fit him, showing that he's slowly becoming more comfortable in the world of the rich.
  • The Slacker: His work ethic is very, very bad.
  • Spock Speak: His speech is often slow and emotionless, and he can randomly start speaking in formal terms, even when the situation doesn't call for that.
    Greg: I merely wish to answer in an affirmative fashion.
    Gil Eavis: You can speak to us normally.
    Greg: So I shall.
  • The Stoner: His first scene has him fired from a very low-level job due to him getting high right beforehand.
  • Surpassed the Teacher: By the end of Season 2, he seems to be besting his "mentor" Tom when it comes to playing the Roy game of one-upmanship and backstabbing.
  • Token Good Teammate: Only inasmuch as he's not as terrible as Logan Roy and his brood, and seems to have a grasp on morals, however tenuous.
  • Wardrobe Flaw of Characterization: Lampshaded in-universe: he wears deck shoes to his first day at Waystar and is promptly chewed out by Tom for not knowing how to dress himself.
  • With Friends Like These...: He and Tom come to think of each other as friends, which doesn't stop the mutual wariness, deception and blackmailing.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: He successfully blackmails Tom in Season 2 and is not happy when Tom expresses his admiration of that.

Partners of Family Members

    Marcia 

Marcia Roy

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/succession_marcia.jpg
Portrayed By: Hiam Abbass

Logan’s 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.
  • Cool Old Lady: She is elegant, cunning and put-together, and can be absolutely terrifying when she needs to bring someone to her heel.
  • 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.
  • Foreign-Language Tirade: When delivering a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Shiv, Marcia occasionally lapses into her native French.
  • Morality Pet: To Logan Roy. He can't summon respect or affection for any of his offspring, but he does seem to genuinely love Marcia.
  • Mysterious Past: When Shiv investigates her background, she doesn't find any information about her prior to when she was 31. In the second season she outright states that even if given a year, she wouldn't have enough time to tell you all about her past.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to Shiv in the penultimate episode of the first season, calling her out for being spoiled and entitled as she actively works against the one man who gave her the privilege to do so.
  • 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).
  • Woman Scorned: She is not happy about being sidelined during the second season.

    Tom 

Tom Wambsgans

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/succession_tom.jpg
"You can't make a Tomlette without breaking some Greggs.".
Portrayed By: Matthew Macfadyen

Tom, Shiv’s boyfriend (later husband), is infatuated with the Roy family’s 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.
  • Bully and Wimp Pairing: With Greg, where Tom is the bully. Even though Tom likes to assert his dominance over Greg, he does care for him, and the two often stick together thanks to their shared outsider status within the family.
  • Butt-Monkey: To the Roys; he is below everyone except Greg in the family pecking order.
  • Commonality Connection: He and Greg are both outsiders among the Roys.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: He thinks this is the best way to look rich, when in reality such behavior only underscores the fact that he's "new money".
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Much like his underling Greg, he seems harmlessly incompetent, but he's a very good schemer when his back is against the wall.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: Shiv is very obviously settling for him, as her only reason for being with him is that he's "a good guy".
  • 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. He becomes more tired of Shiv treating him like a pawn in Season 2, even telling her to fuck off when she goes too far mocking him during a dinner. By the season finale, he's had enough with Shiv's antics and even tells her he's considering leaving her.
  • 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. He also grows to care at least a little for Greg's well-being, despite his bullying, when he protects him from Logan's wrath after Greg inadvertently betrays his great-uncle to a biographer writing a tell-all book. He even cautions Greg that he can't be trusted before doing so.
    • He chooses to learn about Waystar's illegal activities — when not doing so would have kept him off the hook in a potential scandal — and is then the only character who contemplates doing "the right thing" and making the information public. Also, in marked contrast to Shiv, he is backing Sanderesque presidential candidate Gil Eavis out of idealism.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Where Shiv is ruthless and calculating, he is, at heart, soft and sentimental. He also likes pastel colors, and his ultimate childhood dream was to attend a fancy ball.
  • Odd Couple: He's in a Those Two Guys duo with Greg, as both are relative outsiders to the rest of the Roys.
  • Plausible Deniability: Tom runs into this when a key member of his staff retires and reveals that he's been covering up extremely illegal activities by the company. Tom has to choose whether to learn about the activities so he can keep them covered up, or to avoid learning about them so he has plausible deniability when they come to light. He ultimately chooses to learn about them...and promptly involves Greg in the whole mess as well.
  • 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).
  • So Proud of You: He is actually impressed with Greg when the latter blackmails him, although Greg is not happy with this reaction.
  • 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.
  • Unfortunate Names: His last name is Wambsgans. In the words of an AV Club reviewer, "I will never get over Tom’s last name being Wamsgans."
  • Wardrobe Flaw of Characterization: Much like his Conspicuous Consumption tendencies, Tom's wardrobe is too try-hard — his shoes are too shiny and his ties match his pocket squares. The Roys insult him by calling him "a divorce attorney from the Twin Cities".
  • With Friends Like These...: He and Greg come to think of each other as friends, which doesn't stop the mutual wariness, deception and blackmailing.
Advertisement:

    Willa 

Willa Ferreyra

Portrayed By: Justine Lupe

Connor Roy's young girlfriend who aspires to be a playwright and is a former call girl.


  • Beware the Nice Ones: She's generally a very nice and agreeable woman, but she still ruthlessly 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, which she just has to take in stride.
  • 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 showing genuine interest in Logan's war memorabilia.
  • Terrible Artist: She's really not that great at writing, so it's no surprise she never found much success.

    Tabitha 

Tabitha

Portrayed By: Caitlin FitzGerald

Roman's girlfriend from the end of Season 1 onwards.


  • Bi the Way: Supposedly she's Roman's girlfriend, but she did sleep with Naomi at one point.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She has to be very quick-thinking to handle Roman's constant sarcasm, and she often comes out the better in their verbal sparring.
  • Really Gets Around: She's had sexual encounters with Tom, Naomi and is in a strange relationship with Roman.

Kendall's Family

    Rava 

Rava Roy

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/succession_rava.jpg
Portrayed By: Natalie Gold

Though Rava cares for her estranged husband, Kendall, she has remained separated from him while being the primary caretaker of their children.


  • Alliterative Name: Rava Roy.
  • Amicable Exes: With Kendall, for the most part. They're civil with each other, they flirt a little, and they both want to put the kids first.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Kendall reveals that she's been trying to screw him over in court despite playing nice and flirting with him in public.
  • Put on a Bus: Despite being a big part of Kendall's life in the first season, she's entirely absent from the second aside from an occasional mention by Kendall.

    Kendall's Children 

Sophie & Iverson Roy

Portrayed By: Swayam Bhatia & Quentin Morales

Other Family Members

    Ewan 

Ewan Roy

Portrayed By: James Cromwell

Logan's estranged brother and Greg's grandfather who resides in Canada.


  • Cain and Abel: He's the Abel to Logan's Cain. Ewan despises Logan for a multitude of reasons and they're opposed completely in their view of the world.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Ewan is in a perpetually grumpy mood, but he's the most honorable member of the Roy family.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Honorable as he may be, he's still tough to get along with.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In "Dundee" he turns up almost exclusively to insult Logan to his face or otherwise talk about what an utterly rotten person he is.
    Ewan: I'm just surprised you're still standing. Any other man would've died from the shame.
    Logan: Uh-huh.
    Ewan: It's hard to know which is more toxic: your news outlets or your cruise division. All those years blaming yourself for Rose...
    Logan: I'm not interested.
    Ewan: That really wasn't your fault. This, though... This is your fault. This empire of shit. Time to pay up.
  • Thicker Than Water: He might despise Logan with every cell in his body, but he's still family, and as such Ewan won't betray him to Kendall.
  • Token Good Teammate: Of the Roys. He's the only one who actually seems to give a damn about what their media influence is doing to the world itself.

    Caroline 

Caroline Collingwood

Portrayed By: Harriet Walter

The second wife of Logan Roy and Kendall, Shiv, and Roman's mother.


  • Abusive Parents: Much like Logan, her love for her children is not unconditional. She's happy to use them as sharp tools to use against Logan from time to time, and indeed seems to see this as their primary use.
  • Alpha Bitch: Few things make Caroline happier than swooping into a situation and destroy everyone with passive-aggressive sniping.
  • Ice Queen: Caroline is far from passionless, but she's staggeringly cold-hearted to those around her.
  • Kick the Dog: Since she makes so few appearances, she takes advantage of every second to inflict as much pain as she can on Logan and their children. Of special note is her interaction with Kendall, who's on the verge of making a heart-breaking confession...only for her to see an emotional homecoming on the approach and move to avoid it.
  • Riches to Rags: Only in the ultra-rich world of the Roy family could Caroline's situation be called "rags" but relative to what she used to have, she's considerably worse off.
  • Stealth Insult: Her usual choice of weapon.

    Marianne 

Marianne Hirsch

Portrayed By: Mary Birdsong

Logan's niece and Greg's mother.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report