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16th Sep 2019

Every Succession character ranked from worst to best

Ciara Knight

If you’re not watching Succession, respectfully, please sort out your sad little life. Thank you

I will say it again. If you are not watching Succession, please rectify that at your nearest convenience, then return here for some exceptional content.

It’s dangerous to call it as early as Q3 during this fiscal year, but Succession 2 is very definitely one of the best second series outputs we’ve seen in 2019 (with Fleabag taking the other spot).

The Roys are stupid, sexy, rich idiots. They must be stopped, but also, we must allow their insanity to continue so that we can binge the entire series to completion again.

As with anything that is good, the temptation is always there to ruin it by trying to rank the characters from worst to best, rather than simply leaving it alone and accepting it at face value. Alas, content must be made.

Here’s every Succession character ranked from worst to best.

8. Marcia

Marcia, also known as ‘Logan’s third wife’ or ‘unjust enemy of the psychopathic Roy children’, is a soufflé that has not fully risen despite being given sufficient time in the oven at the correct temperature. As of yet, we’ve seen her as a mostly very passive person who supports her living nightmare of a husband and willingly accepts the frequent jibes coming from her inherited offspring, including a background check ordered by one of them. She exists solely to serve her family, and does so with little to no thanks.

Marcia protected her husband when he was in ill health and received no gratitude for the endeavour. She’s viewed as a nuisance in the eyes of Logan’s family, but it also feels like things are bubbling up. Tensions culminated in the most recent episode (S2, E05) where we saw a glimmer of her dissatisfaction with her position as a passive Polly by boldly welcoming a glass of wine despite Logan’s insistence that she refuse it. So far, she’s been a fairly lacklustre character. Depending on how this series ends, Marcia may redeem herself, but as of yet, a very flat soufflé.

7. Connor

Connor Roy is the human embodiment of a non-alcoholic beer. His presence in the fictional Succession world makes no sense, he adds nothing of value, yet there he is, going about his illogical business. He’s the eldest of the Roy children but also the least interested in Waystar, which seems interesting at first, until you realise that he is actually very much insane and it is of great benefit to both sides that he doesn’t turn up to that obnoxiously glassy office every day and try to burn the place to the ground using a yoghurt pot (vanilla Munch Bunch) for kindling.

The most heartbreaking thing about Connor is that he is just very stupid. He’s trying to trick an escort into loving him by paying her increasingly more money, he lives on a ranch, he thinks that he could be President of the United States and bless his heart, he believes that his opinion is valued within the Roy family. Something deliciously tragic needs to happen to Connor. This can’t all have been for nothing. You can’t repeatedly hit someone with their own hand saying “Stop hitting yourself”, only for them to walk away emotionally and physically unscathed.

6. Tom

Mr. Shiv Roy is the kid at school who would obliterate any chances of popularity by being a consistent suck-up to any figure of authority that crossed his path. He grew up, got a $50 haircut and now continues to crave approval, acceptance and adoration both professionally and personally, even from his own wife. Tom wants to be a Roy so bad, it’s easy to believe that he has killed for them and will continue to do so until they acknowledge him as valued. He just wants to be loved and also run a global media empire entirely by himself, it’s not too much to ask.

As a TV character, Tom is a treat to watch. He’s pathetic and yet you don’t want to see any real harm to come to the guy. We’ve all been Tom at some point, although a slightly more scaled-down version in simply trying to get your boss to like you or acknowledge your existence. Tom sees Greg as a passion project, developing a weird relationship with his younger self through his non-biological cousin. If he doesn’t dump Shiv and start a steamy relationship with cousin Greg next series, heads will roll. Let the man find happiness, please, at any cost.

5. Siobhan

Her nickname is ‘Shiv’ because that’s exactly what she will use to maim anyone that tries to stop her from getting her own way. As the youngest Roy and only daughter, Siobhan initially seemed almost timid, but quickly clarified her position as a savage by fraternising with her ex and a sworn political enemy of her father. She’s found the perfect other half in Tom, a man who would shoot himself in the face several times in exchange for her to simply look at him with a glimmer of concern. Unfortunately, Shiv wouldn’t even phone an ambulance for him.

She’s at a crossroads in the show currently, torn between believing that her father will come good and fulfil his promise of announcing her as the new successor to Waystar Royco, or trusting her gut instinct that her father is manipulating her and everyone else, keeping his true intentions unknown. Watching a character like Siobhan Roy is unsettling. She’s determined to succeed but blind to the risks of completely fucking herself and everyone she loves in the process. It’s excellent television and we simply have no choice but to grab the popcorn and watch her demise.

4. Kendall 

From the outset, there was a real sadness to Kendall Roy. He was getting ready to announce his takeover of the company when his father stalled and then had a stroke. It was a real ‘always the bridesmaid’ moment for Ken, except that he didn’t even get picked to be bridesmaid in the end, or page boy, nor was he even invited to the wedding in the first place. He decided to shoot his shot while Logan was unwell, ultimately exposing himself as a ruthless power-hungry drug-fuelled imposter and massive liability to the family. So a standard Roy, then.

His character arc has been phenomenal. Kendall started out almost on top, then stumbled, came close to getting back on his feet, then was knocked literally underwater and is only now starting to bob up to the surface again. That scene with Siobhan was a punch to the gut, as Kendall confided, “I would just ask that you take care of me, because if Dad didn’t need me right now, I don’t exactly know what I would be for”. God damn. If Jeremy Strong doesn’t get an Emmy nomination and subsequent win for his performance in Succession, we riot at dawn.

3. Logan

Has there ever been a better line in the history of television than “It smells like the cheesemonger died and left his dick in the brie”? Probably, but let’s not argue. Logan Roy is the TV villain we’ve needed for so long but never even realised. He’s the founder and CEO of Waystar Royco and proud survivor of a hemorrhagic stroke, trying to keep his empire alive ever since, along with himself. After a rocky first series, we’re finally getting to see the full extent of Logan’s savagery at the moment and it’s a delicious spectacle to watch unfold.

If you ever met Logan Roy in real life, he would ignore you and it would be an absolute privilege. A man like that has no time for pleasantries, not with strangers or even members of his immediate family. Logan would refuse to shake your hand because you were wearing a colour he dislikes, then order security to remove you from the premises, and it would be an absolute privilege once again. We’ve seen a glimmer of his humility towards Kendall this series, but it’s likely going to be used as a bargaining tool in future episodes. Frankly, spit on me, Logan Roy.

2. Roman

Without Roman Roy, Succession would be a very average show. We’ve got two incredibly uptight siblings in the form of Kendall and Shiv, then a delusional one (Connor), which means the role of Very Chill Dude lands on Roman. He is the knowing wink that an actor gives to the audience during a pantomime, letting them know that he’s in on the joke too, whilst still actively taking part in the whole thing. Roman’s role in the family is to provide comic relief and allow the politics to play out without his involvement, hoping that he doesn’t get caught in the crossfire.

This is the mastermind who introduced Connor to the woman he would one day refer to as his (escort, therefore paid) girlfriend. That in itself is a stroke. He’s COO of a global media empire and although we have no concrete proof, absolutely eats Frosties for breakfast, probably without a spoon or milk, or bowl. Roman is involved in a weird phone sex thing with a woman twice his age who is his father’s General Counsel and sister’s godmother. He deserves the world. Roman, never change. Logan, announce Roman as your successor, coward.

1. Cousin Greg

Round of applause for cousin Greg, but very gently so as not to startle him. This giant little freak has weaselled his way into viewers’ hearts where he will stay until he is crowed the winner of the Roy Hunger Games. He effortlessly puts the ‘great’ into great-nephew, entering our lives during a fateful Thanksgiving dinner to collect his grandfather and embark on a 12-hour car journey all in the name of family. Greg left with far more than a travel buddy that day, he left with a future (and certifiably bonkers extended family).

Flash forward to today and we’ve got a whole new cousin Greg. As Kendall described “Greg the motherfuckin’ egg… you little machiavellian fuck. I see you Greg. I like it”, who he liked so much that he donated an entire apartment to. Now going by ‘Gregory’, we need to prepare ourselves for this giant boy to become a giant man. He’s out for blood, blackmailing Tom to get a promotion and securing a space in the second-best panic room during a suspected shooting in the Waystar office. We must prepare ourselves for Succession series 3: Cousin Greg Thrives.

**Honourable Mention – Willa**

Escorts everywhere look on in sheer awe at this woman’s accomplishments. She’s at every major family event, in group photographs, gets a literal allowance just for playing pretend and her dreams of working in theatre are being actively funded by a man that she sometimes allows, at a hefty price, to kiss her on the cheek. Willa is going to trick Connor into signing over every penny of his fortune one day and frankly, she deserves it. She’s a scammer and a hustler. We have to stan.

Images via HBO