Best-Written Succession Characters

Collage of Shiv, Greg, and Kendall in Succession

Succession is one of the best-written shows currently airing. The show is already in its last season and promises a great conclusion to the Roy family drama. So far, the audience has gotten to see the transformation of most characters, and it has become obvious that power truly changes people’s behavior.

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Throughout the four seasons of the show, the characters of Succession have shown several facets depending on their interests and their hierarchical position within the elite, which has turned them into some of the most interesting and well-rounded characters in television.



9 Lukas Matsson

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Lukas Matsson has only been around since the third season, but he’s an excellent character so far. Matsson likes to play games when making deals, as expected from an eccentric billionaire. However, the character is consistent and intelligent.

Matsson clearly respected Logan, which prompted him to make a deal with the Roy patriarch. However, when Roman dies, Matsson takes advantage of his children’s chaotic and ignorant nature to try to get a better deal out of the situation. This shows that while Matsson has an extravagant attitude, he knows what he’s doing, and the writers are very subtle with Matsson’s character construction.

8 Ewan Roy

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Ewan Roy from Succession

Logan’s brother, who lives in Canada, Ewan, only appears a few times in the show. However, he’s a shareholder in Waystar RoyCo, so he has a say in the direction of the company. Also, Ewan is Greg’s grandfather, but they don’t spend much time together.

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What makes Ewan such a well-written character is that he escapes most clichés of a rich man. Ewan believes himself a man of culture and in contact with reality, when in fact, he’s just out of touch as his brother. This character pretends to care for humanity but doesn’t even extend his kindness to his grandson. This character’s hypocrisy makes him a realistic and interesting portrayal of the uber-rich.

7 Willa Ferreyra

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Connor and Willa in Succession

At the beginning of Succession, Willa is Connor’s escort. As she spends more and more time around, the family begins to accept her as Connor’s romantic partner. Eventually, and despite her initial dislike of this environment, Willa accepts to marry Connor and becomes another despicable character on TV.

While in the early seasons of Succession, Willa’s main interest was to become a theater writer, it’s clear that she has abandoned those dreams and become more interested in money and power. There has been some hesitation on Willa’s part, but the financial temptation was too much in the end. The audience has seen Willa gradually transform into a rich and superficial woman, and it’s hard to believe she’s the same character from the first season. It would have been too easy to make this character likable instead of showing how power affects people, but Succession knows better than that.

6 Connor Roy

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Connor Roy from Succession sits in a suit, contemplating his political campaign.

Connor Roy is a hilarious character, but he also has heartwarming and deep moments. He’s Succession‘s portrayal of a rich man who believes he can do anything he desires. For example, despite being unprepared for the position, Connor decides to become a presidential candidate.

However, Connor is more than this. He’s a pathetic character in every sense of the world. He begs for the love of his family, and he begs for the love of his partner, Willa. While it’s easy to laugh about Connor’s antics, it’s also easy to feel sorry for him occasionally. It takes great writing to make an interesting character out of a caricature.

5 Greg Hirsch

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Greg Hirsch on Succession

Logan’s nephew, Greg, arrives at the family asking for a small job and becomes Tom’s minion. Soon enough, Greg takes a liking for the family’s lifestyle and proves to be more intelligent than the audience initially thought. Slowly and steadily, he’s been escalating the family hierarchy, even if everyone only thinks of him as a joke.

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Funny enough, Greg used to be more sympathetic to other people’s pain, but as the show progresses, it becomes clear that he’s become selfish and self-involved. Succession did a great job of transforming Greg slowly. For example, his fashion sense has gradually changed to be more adequate to his environment, but this happened subtly.

4 Tom Wambsgans

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Tom from Succession

Tom Wambsgans is a hilarious, ruthless, and contradictory character all around. He uses some of the most interesting vocabulary in the TV show, with iconic quotes such as “king of edible leaves, his majesty the spinach,” which made him a fan favorite from the series.

While many people may underestimate Tom, he’s one of the most wickedly smart characters on TV. He goes around pretending to be harmless when, in reality, he’s constantly plotting. The difference between his dialogues with Greg and with other characters makes him practically two completely different characters, which is why Tom is so interesting to the audience.

3 Siobhan Roy

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Sara Snook as Shiv Roy in Succession

Logan’s youngest daughter, Siobhan Roy, walks the line between her liberal ideology and her power-hungry desires. As the only woman in the family, Shiv tries to be taken seriously among the men in their lives, but she’s disappointed time and time again.

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Siobhan’s intricate personality makes her one of the best characters in the show. While clearly intelligent and capable, she still wishes to have her father’s validation. However, unlike her brothers, Shiv avoids directly asking her father for special favors. Shiv’s need for approval and pride make for a contradictory yet insightful character.

2 Kendall Roy

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) blankly stares ahead in Succession

The plot in Succession is triggered when Kendall Roy, who was supposed to be the next Waystar RoyCo once his father retired, is displaced once Logan decides to continue working in the company. Kendall works hard to be noticed, but his need for validation and lack of business skills tend to get in his way.

What’s truly ironic about Kendall is that he has slowly and steadily become his own father. While the Logan of the first season was against Logan’s violent business methods, Kendall has adopted some of these power moves. Furthermore, just like his dad, Kendall has completely abandoned his family. Kendall’s character development, rocky emotional journey, and struggle between his principles and his dad’s ideals have made him the most central character in Succession.

1 Logan Roy

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>A close-up of Logan Roy from Succession inside ATN, wearing sunglasses.

Logan Roy isn’t as emotionally developed as other characters in the show, but that’s the point. Logan remains a mystery not only to his children, his wives, and the people who work for him but also to the audience. Waystar RoyCo’s CEO, Logan, is the person who built the company, but it’s hard to know if he did it out of great talent or opportunity. A strong, undefeatable man, Logan died without letting others see beyond his walls, even in his moments of weakness.

What’s more interesting is that Logan died without choosing anyone to inherit the crown. So far, it seems that Logan did love his children but didn’t trust any of them to occupy the throne, and with reason. The audience could speculate about Logan’s interests and love language for hours, but there will never be a consensus. While Logan sometimes acts like a child, he is supposed to be this unexplainable, almost godly figure until his death. The writers did a great job of making even the audience feel intimidated by him.

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