- HBO’s “Succession” follows the high-stakes battle for control of media conglomerate Waystar Royco.
- The Roy family sits at the center of the mayhem, as patriarch Logan Roy founded the company.
- Warning: This article contains spoilers for the first two seasons of “Succession.”
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The third season of “Succession” is finally coming to HBO, and there’s no shortage of players circling the top seat of the fictional media conglomerate Waystar Royco.
Thus far, the company’s founder and CEO Logan Roy has warded off threats from all directions, including those coming from within his family.
But with each coup, scandal, and multi-billion dollar acquisition comes new faces, making it challenging to keep track of who’s who in the boardroom.
Ahead of season three, arriving October 17, Insider created a guide to the main characters on HBO’s Emmy-winning dramedy, written and created by Jesse Armstrong.
The Scotsman (played by Brian Cox) built the multi-billion dollar empire from the ground up, taking a gruff, bulldozing approach to maintain control in both his professional and personal life.
As the Waystar Royco founder and CEO (who turns 80 in season one) accepts that he will one day have to name a successor, he becomes keenly aware that just about everyone in his inner circle — from his children to his most trusted advisors — wants a shot at the top job.
The problem is, they vacillate between trying to gain approval from him and plotting to dethrone him. So far, Logan has consistently come out on top.
He knows he holds all the power and doesn’t hesitate to make empty promises, pull strings, and intimidate his opponents to keep his operation in line.
After battling drug addiction and working through a difficult divorce, the hard-edged businessman (played by Jeremy Strong) is eager to scale the corporate ladder and prove himself as a worthy replacement to his father.
Logan’s unwillingness to retire, however, leads Kendall down a path of impatience and capricious decision-making.
While the heir takes hit after hit at his father (organizing a vote of no confidence and staging a corporate coup that spirals into a high-stakes proxy fight), Logan typically lures Kendall back under his wing, either through blackmail or manipulation.
But when Logan enlists his son to step forward as the public face of a corporate scandal on the season-two finale, Kendall pins culpability on his father instead, a betrayal that potentially does irreparable damage to their relationship.
For years, Shiv separates herself from her family’s conservative-leaning media conglomerate, pursuing a career in liberal politics instead.
Shiv leaves the political world and enters the ring after Logan secretly promises her the CEO role.
Power-hungry and confident, she takes her father at his word. But when Logan later sends mixed messages about their agreement, she begins to doubt the value of his promise.
Her husband, Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen), also works at Waystar Royco. And while their interests mostly align, Shiv throws a wrench in their relationship by asking for an open marriage on their wedding night.
Though he shows potential in his position as the company’s chief operating officer, Roman’s snappy, sarcastic, and vulgar personality keeps those around him from taking him seriously. Still, he does what he can to stay on Logan’s good side.
Roman finds an unlikely ally in the company’s general counsel, Gerri Kellman (J. Smith-Cameron). They covertly look out for each other’s interests during top-level executive meetings.
Their relationship isn’t physical but borders on being sexual, as Roman masturbates to Gerri’s insults during their closed-door conversations.
Living on a New Mexico ranch called Austerlitz, Connor exists outside of the Roys’ Manhattan bubble.
He busies himself with hobbies, like collecting antiques and launching an amateur presidential campaign, rather than entering the rat race for CEO.
The Twin Cities-native (played by Matthew Macfadyen) comes from more humble beginnings than the billionaire family he marries into. Now that he’s had a taste of the Roys’ power and status, he’s obsessed with holding onto it.
As a cruise and, eventually, global news executive, Tom manages Greg Hirsch (Nicholas Braun), a Roy relative brought on as his executive assistant. In an effort to exercise his authority, Tom both mentors and brutally hazes the young newcomer.
While Tom’s relationship with Shiv is his ticket into the Roys’ ultra-privileged lifestyle, the Midwesterner struggles to accept his wife’s desire for an open marriage.
Under his mother’s instructions, Greg (played by Nicholas Braun) moves to New York City to seek employment at Waystar Royco. Logan hires him as Tom’s executive assistant.
While working in the cruise department, Greg becomes embroiled in a corporate coverup. He safeguards key papers as personal leverage, later providing them to Kendall during the bombshell season-two press conference.
As far as Greg has come, there are countless obstacles in sight for the naive outsider. The more he meshes with the Roys, the more he disappoints Ewan, who eventually forces his grandson to choose between his inheritance and his career.
Unwilling to walk away from the Roys’ ultra-powerful world, Greg selects the latter.
The Roy children don’t fully trust Marcia, as she’s an exceedingly private person that holds major sway in Logan’s decisions. Her influence is proven by her ability to get her son, Amir, a high-ranking job at Waystar Royco.
Though Marcia is extremely protective of her husband, she pulls away after he forms a close bond with fellow media CEO Rhea Jarrell (Holly Hunter) in season two.
The general counsel (played by J. Smith-Cameron) is the master of knowing when to speak up and when to fade into the background.
Unlike many of the other Waystar Royco executives, Gerri doesn’t use intimidation tactics to get her way. Instead, she sits back and strikes when no one is watching.
Her stealthy maneuvering has served her; She’s solidified a position in the family’s orbit.
However, Logan’s trust in Frank (played by Peter Friedman) wanes after he backs Kendall’s vote of no confidence in season one.
The head honcho eventually lets bygones be bygones, inviting his longtime confidante back into the Waystar Royco fold.
Kendall knows Stewy from their days at university and approaches his long-time friend with a plot to push his father out of Waystar Royco and take over.
But after Logan covers up incriminating information for Kendall, the Waystar Royco heir abandons ship.
Stewy doesn’t retreat, however, teaming up with Logan’s rival Sandy Furness to stage a hostile takeover of Waystar Royco.
The fellow media mogul (played by Larry Pine) is Logan’s long-time competitor. Sandy joins Stewy in his pursuit of control of Waystar Royco.
In a conquest to convince shareholders that the Roys are driving the company into the ground, Sandy is determined to remove the family’s hold on the business.
Because she owns shares of Waystar Royco’s stock, Logan orders the children to make sure she sides with him in the proxy fight.
After the head of the Pierce family finds out about Rhea’s off-the-record conversations with Logan, she fires her. Free from her post, Rhea spends more and more time by Logan’s side, angering his wife and children.
He announces Rhea as the next Waystar Royco CEO, an offer she eventually declines as more details surface about the corporate coverup. Her values, she tells Logan, do not align with his business.
Though Nan briefly considers the deal, she pulls out after a report details a sexual misconduct scandal within Waystar Royco. She also fires Rhea for her handling of the deal.
When the Roy and Pierce families meet up about a potential acquisition, she and Kendall bond over their past addictions. Even after the deal falls through, the duo remains in touch.
Naomi joins the Roys on their yacht on the season two finale but departs early after Logan makes a fuss about her presence.
The siblings do not get along, as Ewan (James Cromwell) views Waystar Royco as an evil corporation spreading harmful messaging. He also considers his brother’s family to be morally bankrupt and cautions his grandson Greg against trusting them.
Fed up with Greg’s involvement in his brother’s company, Ewan gives him an ultimatum: quit the job or forfeit his $US250 ($AU339) million inheritance.
With some prodding, Willa accepts Connor’s offer to finance her production under two conditions: she moves to Austerlitz and agrees to an exclusive relationship.
Though Connor pours millions into Willa’s debut play, it receives scathing reviews.
Though they’re no longer a couple, the exes remain in each other’s lives and co-parent their children, Sophie and Iverson.
He hires Shiv to work as a strategist on his presidential campaign, though their professional relationship sours as she becomes more ingrained in her family’s business.
At the congressional hearings investigating the Waystar Royco cruise department, Gil grills members of the Roy family about the corporation’s inner workings.
When she agrees, they have an affair despite both being engaged to other people. Tom finds out about their relationship at his and Shiv’s wedding and demands Nate’s departure.