Succession: The best fan theories for how the show will end

Jeremy Strong and Kieran Culkin in Succession S4. (HBO/Sky)
Jeremy Strong and Kieran Culkin in Succession Season 4. (HBO/Sky)

The battle for Waystar Royco is reaching its climax in Succession, and there are just two episodes left of the show’s fourth season until fans learn who has come out on top.

Fan-led spaces like Reddit have been alight with theories ever since the final season began airing, and each new episode has inspired a different take on what creator Jesse Armstrong and the show’s writers have planned for the drama.

Read more: Why Jesse Armstrong made the right call ending Succession with season 4

Some theories seem more far-fetched than others, but there are a few that appear entirely plausible given what has happened so far.

Episode 8 saw the Roy siblings, Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Roman (Kieran Culkin) and Shiv (Sarah Snook), play an important part in the US election, with Roman’s particular machinations ensuring that Republican candidate Jeryd Mencken (Justin Kirk) was named the next President because it suited their interests - democracy be damned.

Let’s break down the best fan theories about season 4’s ending.

Kendall will win but lose everything he loves

Jeremy Strong in Succession S4. (Sky/HBO)
Jeremy Strong in Succession Season 4. (Sky/HBO)

One compelling theory suggests that Kendall will finally get what he has been desperately chasing this whole time: Waystar Royco. Right now, the character is co-CEO with Roman but he has started to divulge how he wants to be the sole successor to their father’s legacy.

A Reddit user shared a still from episode eight, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment in which the words “Ken will win” is shown on the screen of Waystar Royco’s news station ATN.

In response, one user commented on how Armstrong has always shown Kendall to be the drama’s main protagonist, so it’d make sense for him to get to the top.

One user, maddabattacola, said: “This show hasn't danced around the fact that Ken is the protagonist and has been the successor from the beginning. But as others have said, what he's left with in terms of the company, his relationships, his mental & physical health, remain to be seen.”

Another user, Hammerheadhunter, commented: “It’s Richard III. Ken will ‘win’ but lose everyone he loves in the process."

Roman will take over

J. Smith-Cameron and Kieran Culkin in Succession S4. (HBO/Sky)
J. Smith-Cameron and Kieran Culkin in Succession Season 4. (HBO/Sky)

Succession fans have put a lot of emphasis on Roman mythology when it comes to the show, which seems fair given Tom said he and Greg were Nero and Sporus in Season 3.

How this relates to Roman is his name, according to fans, which many theorise is pointing towards the character succeeding Logan as the heir to the empire.

Read more: Succession director breaks down character's surprise return (Digital Spy, 3-min read)

One user, WishProfessional, said in a detailed theory: “His name evokes ideas of inheritance and also, the fall of the Roman empire - interesting. It implies that Roman is comfortable in the brutal environment of politics.”

In a different post by the same user, they suggested that Logan calling his son Romulus was important, because Romulus killed his brother Remus in Roman mythology. They said: “The myth about the creation of the city of Rome has Romulus kill his twin brother, so that is why I think Roman may contribute to the death [of Kendall].”

Shiv will betray everyone

Matthew Macfadyen and Sarah Snook's Tom and Shiv have taken centre stage in Succession S4. (HBO/Sky)
Matthew Macfadyen and Sarah Snook as Tom and Shiv in Succession Season 4. (HBO/Sky)

So far, Shiv has been playing all sides, siding with Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) while also staying close to her siblings in order to protect her own interests, all to make it to the top like she has always wanted.

One Reddit user, 80alleycats, referenced the fact that whoever kisses someone in Succession ends up betraying them, as they said: “I have a theory that Shiv's kiss on Roman's cheek in episode 1 could foreshadow a betrayal at the end of the season.

“She chose Tom over Kendall in s2, so she would probably pick Tom over Roman this season if it came to it.”

Greg will be the ultimate winner

Matthew Macfadyen and Nicholas Braun in Succession S4. (HBO/Sky)
Matthew Macfadyen and Nicholas Braun in Succession Season 4. (HBO/Sky)

Possibly the most surprising fan theory out there is that cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun) will somehow prove to be a master manipulator and become the successor of Waystar Royco.

In response to the theory one user, angeliswastaken, said “Since season 3 started, I have thought this. It's not that he has some master plan, but he knows a bad move when he sees one.

Read more: Did Succession just reveal the identity of the successor? (The Independent, 3-min read)

“At a base level Greg is a killer, always has been. In s01e04 he gave up Tom without a second thought, in order to engraciate himself with Gerri. He has no enemies because no one sees him as a threat, and he's smart enough to play every side and never truly plant his flag. He makes everyone his friend, and eats the shit. He will end up the CEO.”

Another Reddit user, Healthy-Mode1333, said: “Maybe you’re right but it will be by accident. So many people think that Greg is like a genius who’s been secretly plotting since the beginning. He has been basically falling upward the whole time.”

Succession season 4 airs on Mondays on Sky Atlantic, arriving at the same time each episode premieres in the US on HBO.

Watch a clip from Succession below