Succession worst Roy sibling ranked

Ranking the worst Roy sibling in HBO’s Succession series

They are ALL truly despicable!

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Succession characters Kendall, Shiv, Roman and Connor are some of the most Machiavellian characters in the history of television, and it’s a tough call over who is the worst Roy sibling.

However, I’m a die-hard Succession fan and think there’s truly only one winner in the ranking of worst Roy sibling…

The HBO series has achieved a very rare thing indeed… It’s had audiences hooked over the past five years, despite each and every character being a true degenerate. In fact, perhaps that’s EXACTLY why the show has proved such a hit. The Roy family are amoral, corrupt, greedy and would without question step over a crying baby to escape from a blaze.

My jaw drops regularly during each hour-long episode, at the brutal roastings, outmaneuvering, and scheming that takes place amongst the Roys. So who is the worst Roy sibling? Here’s my ranking of the Roy family from best to worst…

Connor smiling in Succession
Alan Ruck plays Connor Roy in HBO hit Succession (Credit: Sky Atlantic)

Succession worst Roy sibling: Connor is ranked 4th

Connor Roy limps in at number 4, which pretty much sums up his whole life. Connor is Logan Roy’s eldest son from his first marriage, and has always felt “unloved”. As Logan Roy would say: “Boo, hoo.”

His mum raised him, until she was institutionalised as a result of mental health issues. Which is perhaps why Connor is married to Willa, a woman who started their ‘relationship’ being paid to be with him.

Essentially, he created a grotesque “golden cage” for Willa. But she IS free to leave him, if she waves goodbye to the money and luxury life.

The eldest Roy sibling has never been in the running to take over Logan’s company Waystar. In fact, he tries to do as little actual work as possible (except for the delusional attempt at running for president). Unlike his siblings, Connor is more pathetic, than hateful.

For a Roy, he is actually a nice guy. And I can’t imagine him ever telling anyone to “[bleep] off”. Connor, played by Alan Ruck, could be eaten alive by his far more ruthless siblings, if only they took him seriously enough. Which they don’t. He wouldn’t even constitute a light snack for this bunch of vultures.

Kieran Culkin as Roman Roy in Succession
Kieran Culkin as Roman Roy in Succession (Credit: HBO)

Roman Roy is ranked 3rd worst Roy sibling

The character of Roman, played by former child star Kieran Culkin, has definitely evolved over the course of four series of Succession. Before his dad’s death, Roman was still a coward with serious daddy issues. His need for Logan’s approval has often bordered on cringeworthy, and he never had the guts to stand up to him.

Like Connor, he is a character it’s hard not to have empathy for. Yes, he’s a spoilt brat with some serious sexual deviances. And he has a tongue sharper than a butcher’s knife, with which he delivers some of the most brutal putdowns in the show. But, essentially, he’s just a boy looking at his dad, asking him to love him.

In fact, Roman is arguably the most sensitive sibling, and the most damaged by his dysfunctional – and sometimes violent – upbringing. Unlike the other Roy siblings, Roman does have a conscience, proven recently when he stepped in to help a crying Kerry after Marcia cruelly slayed her (see more on that below).

Remember the Thanksgiving episode in season one, when viewers learnt that Logan once beat Roman for ordering lobster (Logan believed it was rude for his child to order the most expensive thing on the menu). In season 2 episode Argestes, Logan knocked out Roman’s tooth. However, a snivelling Roman made light of the abuse, turning it into a joke as usual. He said: “It’s just a tooth, I’ll get another one.”

I can’t imagine Shiv or Kendall sticking around for this kind of abuse. Although it seems like Roman has finally found his balls after his dad’s death. He recently stood up to Lukas Matsson in deliciously watchable scenes.

Sarah Snook is Shiv in Succession
Australian actress Sarah Snook is Shiv in Succession (Credit: HBO)

Succession worst Roy sibling: Shiv comes a (very) close second

A woman in a man’s world, Shiv has had to fight to survive. She’s a killer shark in deep water, and I wouldn’t cross her. She’s proven time and time again that she cannot be trusted, and would screw anyone to get ahead.

This is the woman who told her new husband Tom that she wanted an open relationship – on their wedding night, AFTER they’d said their vows! She’d already been cheating on him behind his back with her former flame Nate. But, when Tom confronted her about the affair, she lied – with a straight face! – saying that nothing had happened.

Siobhan ‘Shiv’ Roy, played by Australian actress Sarah Snook, is manipulative, toxic, and often emotionally abusive to her estranged husband Tom. When Tom looked set to go to jail in series 3, Shiv couldn’t have cared less. Instead, she got bored of his despair. In fact, she supported the idea of Tom going to prison and taking the fall for the cruise line scandal.

In a painful scene between Shiv and Tom in Italy, she broke away from kissing him to say: “You’re not good enough for me. That’s why you want me. That’s why you love me. Even though I don’t love you. But you want me anyway.”

Shiv will throw anyone under the bus

And it’s not just her husband she’s prepared to throw under the bus. She’s perhaps the quickest to betray her siblings, too. Remember the open letter she had published revealing her brother Kendall’s battle with addiction? Even Roman and Connor refused to counter-sign it, knowing that it crossed a line, even for the Roys.

In season 5, Shiv was seen going behind the back of her siblings, to secure a deal with slimy Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård). Kendall and Roman wanted to kill the deal to sell Waystar, having recently been made CEO’s. But Shiv, put out that she didn’t get top ranking (even though she has little experience compared to her brothers), wanted to undermine them.

Now 20 weeks pregnant with a potentially game-changing baby, she hasn’t told a soul she’s expecting. And we hope the foetus likes whiskey, because she’s sure been drinking plenty!

Jeremy Strong as Kendall Roy in Succession
Jeremy Strong deserves all the awards as ‘worst Roy sibling’ Kendall in Succession (Credit: HBO)

The winner of worst Roy sibling goes to… Kendall Roy, of course!

Cunning Kendall is by far the worst Roy sibling. The difference with Kendall is that he is utterly shameless when it comes to climbing to the top. Whereas Roman and Shiv care about what people think of them, Kendall doesn’t, so long as he’s looking down on them.

Of course, Kendall is also my favourite sibling by a mile. He’s the (twisted) beating heart of the show, and the heir apparent to Waystar. He’s damaged and, like all the siblings, has Daddy issues. But unlike Shiv, Connor and Roman, Kendall has the intelligence and business sense to wipe the floor with his peers.

Whatever you think about Kendall, this is a man who is responsible for the death of another human being in series 1. Something he has despicably covered up. This, of course, gave his late dad something to blackmail him with.

When it was eventually decided that Kendall (Jeremy Strong), as punishment, take the blame for the cruises scandal, Kendall delivered the mic drop to end all mic drops.

At the end of season 2, Kendall delivers a press conference which proved to his dad that he was, in fact, a “killer”. Unlike Shiv and Roman, Kendall was not afraid to go head to head with his dad – and, as a consequence, his entire family. Talking of dad’s, Kendall makes little time for his own kids, perhaps completing the cycle of bad parent to damaged son to bad parent.

Damaged people are dangerous

In series 3, Shiv made her debut as Waystar Royco’s President of Domestic Operations. However, in the middle of her speech, Kendall humiliated her by playing Nirvana’s Rape Me through hidden speakers planted in the building… Disgusting? Yep!

Most recently, Kendall became joint interim CEO at Waystar Royco, alongside Roman. And, although he promised they’d be “equal as [bleep]”, by the end of the episode, within minutes he’d already gone behind their backs with a major decision… He told Hugo to prepare damaging pieces about Logan for when Kendall and Roman become CEO.

Reminds me of that famous Josephine Hart quote: “Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.” Step forward Kendall Roy, the very worst of the Roy siblings.

Hiam Abbass as Marcia Roy in Succession
Hiam Abbass as Marcia Roy in Succession (Credit: HBO)

Special mention to Marcia Roy…

Although not a sibling, Marcia Roy gets a special mention for being 99% grit. Logan’s wife, played by Hiam Abbass, is quietly pulling strings, and smart enough to know when to pick her moments – like viciously lashing out at meddlers like Shiv and Rhea Jarrell (Holly Hunter) when they least expect it.

She is intimidated by nothing and no one. In episode 4 of the final season of Succession, entitled Honeymoon States, Logan’s estranged wife Marcia Roy made a triumphant return to the show – just in time to insert herself into the handling of her late husband’s estate. Within minutes of speaking to Connor, she had sold Logan’s house to the eldest son for £63million.

As Shiv so perfectly put it: “Death becomes her.”

Marcia showed her true colours when Logan’s lover Kerry arrived to gather some of her belongings. Marcia unleashed her inner bitch when she crucified Kerry on the spot… Even though, Kerry genuinely seemed to be the only person grieving for Logan.

Marcia whipped: “Take her to the subway, so she can go back to her tiny little apartment.” Ouch.

Read more: I’ve reached a verdict on the best villain in Succession – and Greg Hirsch wins hands down

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Succession continues on Sky Atlantic/Now at 2am and 9pm on Mondays.

What do you think of my ranking? Leave me a comment on the ED! Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix.

Helen Fear
TV Editor