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Which Roy Are You?

A Primer for Season 4 of Succession

By Terry Fleming • March 21, 2023

With the fourth and final season of Succession making its debut on HBO/MAX on Sunday, March 26, we're asking the question, which Roy are you the most like? Check out the options below (with book and TV/Movie recommendations to help define each personality—mild spoilers ahead). And if you need to catch up on Seasons 1-3, you can find them here:

Succession Season 1, Season 2, Season 3

Logan Roy

The patriarch of the Roy clan, Logan founded a Media empire with so many facets and divisions it's hard to keep them straight (they have a cruise line, amusement parks, a movie studio, and even a secret Artificial Intelligence lab—not to mention, of course, a cable news network). Stern, pitiless, and given to fits of fury, the only thing that matters to him is winning on the international, corporate stage, so using his children as pawns is not out of the question (if he can make or break the President of the United States, what chance do his kids have?).

They say Logan Roy is based to a large degree on Rupert Murdoch (with a little Roger Ailes thrown in for angry measure), while his primary news division ATN (American Television Network) is based on Fox News. Logan considers himself a "killer" in that he goes after whatever he wants with full guns blazing. While one could imagine he'd agree with the premise of Mike Pompeo's new book Never Give an Inch, the truth is, when he doesn't get what he wants, he tries throwing more money at it, and by more I mean billions.

Yes, he's not exactly Father of the Year material (unless you mean this kind), but he's not a distant father, either - he keeps his children close, so long as he can use them for something (though it seems like, by the beginning of Season 4, he might've finally given up on all of them).

Kendall Roy

Second born of Logan's children, but first in line for his media throne, Kendall Roy is a tightly wound ball of anxiety and frustrated, futile ambition. Desperate for his father's approval, he'll do anything to get it, including trying to take over his corporate empire (how else can you earn the respect of a corporate killer?), but his lack of self-confidence and stick-to-itiveness interferes every time. Trying to sucker up the courage to do something that you probably shouldn't do, and be someone you probably shouldn't be? Then look no further for inspiration than Will, the Autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy. Who was G. Gordon Liddy, you ask? Why, he was a Lawyer, FBI Agent, Talk Show Personality, and, um, Chief Operator of "The Plumbers" during the Nixon Administration's Watergate scandal. Part of a young Liddy's personal journey of overcoming his fears included baking and eating a rat and lashing himself to a tree during a lightning storm. This is exactly the sort of bold lunacy that Kendall Roy would consult to sucker up his strength to attempt to (and fail, for the umpteenth time) take over his father's media empire.

Kendall went through (and returns to) a fairly voracious drug phase. Permanent Midnight by Jerry Stahl is a grueling account of addiction that could shed some light on Kendall's predicament. And then there was that business with the waiter at Shiv's wedding. Less said about that the better, but it seems Kendall might have the killer instinct, after all (now if only he had the killer instinct in Marketing, maybe he'd have a better instinct for which online media companies to buy).

Will finally take his place at the head of Waystar Royco in Season 4?

Siobhan "Shiv" Roy

Third child of Logan's but his only daughter, Siobhan "Shiv" Roy stayed out of the family business, choosing instead to work as a Political Consultant, though not a particularly good one. While she clearly thinks of herself as a savvy political operator on the level of Robert de Niro's character in the film Wag the Dog, she turns out to be more akin to the politicians in Profiles in Ignorance, with a touch of The Washingtonienne (as she sleeps with one of her co-workers). Thus, going to work for her father becomes more and more enticing, only problem is, she doesn't have any experience, and wants to skip over every role and become CEO.

Shiv is constantly saying the wrong thing at the wrong time—with her husband, her father's employees, and potential business partners for her father. As such, we think she could take a pointer or two from this book. She definitely has the heiress attitude, and is a bit too quick with kissing and telling—especially kissing someone else and nonchalantly telling her husband Tom—who is clearly devastated by the news.

But does Tom go too far in his revenge against her? And will they be able to salvage their marriage? We'll find out in Season 4.

Roman (Romulus) Roy

One could argue that Roman Roy is the Forrest Gump of Succession, as things tend to happen to him, as oppose to him being an active protagonist. But Forrest Gump was a true innocent, while Roman is closer to Clay from Less Than Zero—a keen observer of his social solar system with a devil-may-care attitude about anything that doesn't directly hurt his position. And while he's surrounded by beautiful, young women, he doesn't have much use for them, preferring instead to be humiliated by Mrs. Robinson types, or older women.

Cowardice plays a big role in Roman's personality, in particular his fear of his father, Logan (similar to Ichabod Crane's fear of the Headless Horseman in Sleepy Hollow). His inability to stand up to Logan causes a huge problem for his brother Kendall in Season 1.

But it looks like in Season 4 he might be coming into his own, with a more aggressive and self-assured Roman taking the reins. Who knows? Maybe he read Get Out of Your Own Way: Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior (or at the very least The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck).

Connor Roy

As Connor would be quick to tell you, he's Logan's first-born son, though has a different mother than Kendall, Shiv, and Roman. This has done a lion's job of alienating him from his half-siblings and keeping him on the periphery of the family empire. Essentially a fifty-something trust-fund baby, when not taking small jobs for his father (such as mis-managing caterer duties for a company event), he'll spend his time being a thorn in Logan's side by attempting to run for President (even though the impression we get is he's never held a consistent job in his life). There's a Don Quixote aspect to Connor, in the sense that he sees the Presidency as a noble quest, but his delusions of grandeur aren't shared, and he's really more of a Can't-idate than a stalwart political savior (though the more he fails to impress with his political aspirations, the more he sees himself as an unsung hero fighting Big Government).

Connor is significantly older than his significant other (maybe soon-to-be-wife?) Willa. Will they actually marry in Season 4? Willa's lackadaisical response to his proposal suggests otherwise.

Ewan Roy

Ewan Roy, Logan's older brother, is a curmudgeon through and through. He is defined as much by what he hates as what he likes, and when he appears on the show it's to either thoroughly insult Logan for his politics or rip into his grandson Greg for daring to work at ATN. He despises Greg's decision so much, in fact, he decides to donate Greg's inheritance of $250 million to Greenpeace.

I'm guessing he won't take that back in Season 4.

Greg Hirsh

Technically, he's not a Roy, but a Hirsch, and the nephew of Kendall, Shiv, Roman, and Connor. But in every other way, he's committed to becoming a Roy. So much so, he gave up a $250 million dollar inheritance to do so. He started at the family business on the ground level, as a worker for their amusement parks. His experience there is in line with the disgruntled workers in Cast Member Confidential: A Disneyfied Memoir.

A useful idiot through and through, Greg is the go-to person in the Roy's orbit to set up for a fall, so what will happen to him in Season 4? Will he finally go to jail? Will he sue Greenpeace to get his inheritance back? Or will he escape the Roy's orbit once and for all?

Tom Wambsgans

Like Greg, he's not technically a Roy, though when he married Shiv he offered to change his last name to Roy, so that's an indication of something (though what, we don't exactly know)! Suffice it to say, his love for Shiv has made him a dupe, pawn, and chump to his considerably more powerful wife—so much so, it's looking like much of Tom's Season 4 story will about him getting revenge on her. Here are some titles that are key to understanding Tom:

The Secret Lives of Cheating Wives: Maybe if Tom had read this book - a series of accounts from real-life cheating wives - he might've second-guessed marrying Shiv. But it seems like he was sunk from the get-go.

Toxic In-Laws: Explains itself.

Talking to Crazy: As above.

Willa Ferreyra

A soon-to-be-Roy? We'll see in Season 4. She very casually (some might say reluctantly) agreed to marry Connor in Season 3. But will she go through with it, or find a bigger, better deal? Her reputation would suggest she's not immune to, well, selling her favors, though Roman characterized her as walking the thin line between Party-Girl-On-The-Make and Prostitute, so let's cover both possibilities for her.

Party girl put Parker Posey on the map. We could see Willa being somewhat like Posey's character in her early twenties. 4 Blondes (written by Candace Bushnell, author of Sex and The City) will help you understand the world Willa occupied (and her place in it) pre-Connor. Another novel that could be a decent reflection of how a younger Willa worked Manhattan is Story of My Life by Jay McInerney.

Aside from having a shady past, Willa is also a terrible playwright (with Connor bankrolling her theatrical endeavors). The awful reviews her play receives causes her to hurl Connor's iPad off a boat. If she wrote a musical, it'd doubtless end up in a book like this.

Read more by Terry Fleming

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