The fate of Kendall Roy, the second-oldest son of Logan Roy and a potential successor to his media empire, has been a source of suspense and drama throughout Succession.
The series chronicles Kendall’s struggles with his father, his siblings (Connor, Shiv, and Roman), and his own demons as he competes for the top position at Waystar Royco.
His journey has been marked by tragedy and betrayal, leading to speculation about whether he would survive or ascend to the CEO role by the end of the show. The series finale of Succession reveals the ultimate outcome of Kendall’s quest.
The final season of Succession was a roller coaster of twists and turns, as Kendall Roy waged a war against his father Logan Roy for the throne of Waystar Royco. Kendall, who had been groomed to inherit the media empire, needed his siblings (Shiv, Roman, and Connor) on his side to fend off a hostile takeover from GoJo, a rival company run by Lukas Matsson.
But his scheme backfired when Shiv found out that Lukas had a secret deal with her husband Tom Wambsgans to make him the new CEO of Waystar Royco instead of her. Feeling stabbed in the back and disillusioned, Shiv persuaded her brothers to ditch Kendall and vote for the GoJo deal. This left Kendall crushed and alone, with no chance of achieving his dream or escaping his demons.
However, Kendall does not die in the Succession finale. It is hinted that he contemplates suicide in the episode, however the episode confirms that he does not die, despite his tragic fate.
But that does not make his situation any better because he had nothing left to fight for. The series finale suggested a tragic end for Kendall, who had been tormented by his dark secrets and guilt throughout the show.
What happens to Kendall Roy in the Succession finale?
The final season of Succession ends with a shocking twist, as Kendall Roy escapes death by a hair’s breadth, despite his desperate admission to Shiv that he would end his life if he didn’t become CEO.
After watching the deal that handed over Waystar Royco to GoJo and Tom Wambsgans, Kendall walks away from the horror and heads to the river, where he considers taking the plunge.
But he has a change of heart and goes back to sit on a bench, struggling to accept the loss of his destiny, his father’s vow, and his siblings’ trust. Although Kendall does not die in the series finale of Succession, his old life and his new dreams do.
Kendall’s Interesting Relationship With Water
Water has been a haunting motif of Kendall’s worst nightmares in the series, so it was poetic that his final curtain call was by the water’s edge. In the shocking climax of Succession’s first season, Kendall drove a car off the road and into the watery grave below, taking a waiter from his sister’s wedding down with him.
In the third season’s “Chiantishire,” Kendall faced his father’s wrath and spiraled into a dark abyss, culminating in a chilling scene where he drowned his sorrows in the water and didn’t come up for air. This sparked rumors of his demise, but the next episode revealed that he was still kicking and plotting with his siblings again.
Water has been a powerful symbol of Kendall’s worst ordeals in the series, sparking many theories that foresaw that Succession’s series finale would end with Kendall’s death in the river.
Considering that Kendall endured his final blow in the finale by losing the company he had been fighting to take over his entire life, his walk to the river in Succession’s last moments hinted that this could be his end. However, Kendall turns away from the water and sits on the bench instead, deciding to carry on with life outside Waystar.
Letting go of the CEO position may have been what saved Kendall’s life, as he will no longer be overwhelmed by his duties to Waystar, his struggle with his father’s legacy attached to the company, and the fractures that the war of succession has caused for himself and his family.
Kendall’s fate makes him one of the best written tragic heroes of television in arguably one of the greatest television series of all time.
Succession is a satirical comedy-drama TV series created by Jesse Armstrong for HBO. The American TV series first aired on HBO on June 3, 2018 and has four seasons.
It follows the Roy family who are owners of the conglomerate media house WayStar RoyCo. With patriarch Logan Roy’s (Brian Cox) health on a steady decline, the heirs of the family business rival against each other for their rightful succession.
Part of the ensemble cast as Logan Roy’s children are Jeremy Strong playing Kendall, Kieran Culkin playing Roman, and Sarah Snook playing Siobhan.