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Sarah Snook Talks About Huge Betrayal in Succession Finale

Shiv Roy in Succession

Siobhan “Shiv” Roy (Sarah Snook) has gone through a journey in the past two seasons of HBO’s Succession. Starting off as the “smart” Roy child and being tapped to take over global media and entertainment conglomerate Waystar RoyCo a from her father in season two, we have seen Shiv stumble as her journey has continued.


Despite her smarts, she never really worked in business, and due to her desire to fast-track the process, she has underestimated those around her and compromised her morals—and her marriage to Tom.

Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) has always seemed painfully beneath Shiv.

She is a golden goose, Logan Roy’s only daughter—the red-haired beautiful heiress. In comparison, Tom is a supportive husband who has eyes on a leadership position in the company.

I do believe Tom loves Shiv. Is there ambition mixed into their relationship? Absolutely, but I do think he loves Shiv and has constantly been hurt by her affairs, her dismissal of him, and that, within all the climbing she does to become CEO of Waystar RoyCo, Tom isn’t a factor. But the worst part is that Tom knows that, and Shiv knows that Tom knows that, but she thought she had him on lock.

Sadly, she was mistaken.

In the finale of season three, Tom betrays the Roy kids to their father, Logan, in order to protect his own interest in the company. It is cold, manipulative, and a punch in the gut to his wife. But it is also well played.

Sarah Snook talked about that scene and what she thinks it means for Shiv and her relationship with Tom, with Entertainment Weekly. When asked if Tom’s betrayal would make Shiv realize her own mistreatment of him, she showed skepticism. “I think if anything, retrospectively, she may come to that conclusion. And who knows? Knowing Shiv, she probably will compartmentalize it and not accept any accountability, much the same as Logan does,” Snook said.

Rather than take accountability, Snook guesses she will try to find a new “safe port,” since Tom is no longer an option. Yet, Snook seems to think that despite that, it may not mean the two split up.

“She’s incapable of vulnerability, I think, in a way that Logan is also incapable of vulnerability. And I think she does genuinely love him and love what he does for her, but I don’t think she’s capable of loving him separate from her,” Snook said. “I’m not sure that if they were to divorce, it would be anything but an acrimonious divorce and she would heap blame upon him for whatever. But it’s not going to be like, a ‘Wow, I love you, but I just can’t be with you.’ That’s not going to be the relationship demise between Shiv and Tom. She’s so competitive though. Part of it is like she wanted to win against her mom and dad.”

She continued: “She wanted to prove that she could have a good relationship. She wanted to prove she could have a career outside the company, and she could have something stable. And so, she went for the most stable, most controllable, seemingly, person that she could. And then even he abandoned her. So then she’s got no dad, no mom, or no husband and only her brothers to tend to.”

One element that Shiv will have in her favor is that no one knows that she is aware of Tom’s backstabbing. Her brothers don’t know, either, so it gives her a bit of leverage, which Snook says is “pretty powerful.”

We ended this season with a closeup on Shiv in the aftermath of this realization, and we know one thing is true: Hell hath no fury like a Roy scorned. Prayer circle for Mr. Darcy.

(via EW, image: HBO)

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