Succession creator reveals the answer to one of the biggest questions of the final season

Source: Twitter/Cassam Looch

Jesse Armstrong, creator of HBO’s multi-award-winning dramedy Succession, appears to have settled once and for all one of the final season’s most contentious plot points. 

As friends and family gathered to mourn the death of fictional media magnate Logan Roy (Brian Cox) in the episode Honeymoon States, a document was found that appeared to name his son Kendall (Jeremy Strong) as his successor as chief executive of the family empire, Waystar Royco.

However, the discovery – which could potentially have seen off the rollercoaster events of the subsequent episodes – was disputed because a line drawn beneath Kendall’s name raised the question of whether it had been underlined or crossed out.

As a consequence, Kendall was forced to negotiate a shared leadership with brother Roman (Kieran Culkin), putting sister Shiv (Sarah Snook) offside and setting in motion a chain of alliances and betrayals that culminated in the celebrated finale and its surprising events.


Better penmanship could have changed everything. Photo: HBO

At an event for the Financial Times in London on Sunday, Armstrong revealed Logan’s true intentions for the future of his company. 

“This is the sort of thing I would have hated to do while we were still doing the show,” he said. “But if you were going to cross out, you wouldn’t start out underneath, would you?

Armstrong then proceeded to put his index finger to his temple in a “think about it” gesture.

When someone in the audience shouted out “underlined”, he took a mock bow.

Snook reflects

Although it was ultimately the Waystar Royco board that deprived Kendall of his place as heir to the company, Australian actor Snook discussed what she believed prompted Shiv to vote against her brother and deliver the company to tech bro Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) and her estranged husband Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen).

In an interview with Variety last month, Snook said she had spoken with friends who loved the show, and said she liked being able to dissect it with them.

“I have heard that people thought Shiv was thinking 10 steps ahead, and that if Tom’s going to get the CEO-ship and she’s got a kid with Tom, then the closest she can be to it is by saying ‘No’ in this moment,” Snook was quoted as saying.

“But I think it’s just pure instinct. I think it’s trigger response. It’s scratching an open wound that is always there with the siblings. And this was in the script in the big print – when she sees Kendall put his feet up on dad’s desk? There’s something in her that goes like, ‘Ahhhhh!’ Sorry to swear, but, ‘motherf—er’!”

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