It may not feel like it, but Succession is a fantasy drama.
It shares a lot of similarities with Game of Thrones beyond the Sunday 9 p.m. HBO timeslot. Both follow families clashing with each other while fending off attacks from different dynasties, both deal with the fallout of an incapacitated patriarch, and both exist in universes unlike our own.
Yes, this last one may seem like a stretch, but just as Game of Thrones has dragons, Succession has personal helicopter rides and yacht vacations. They may not be out of the realm of possibility, but the lifestyle the Roys live is as foreign to many of us as Westeros. Because of these parallels, Succession is just as ripe for speculation as Game of Thrones was.
HBO recently announced the Succession Season 3 premiere date, October 17, with a first glimpse of where the characters stand in the wake of Season 2.
In case you need a reminder of what happened (after all, Season 2 ended two years ago), the show’s second season ended with a bombshell as Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) was asked by his father, Logan Roy (Brian Cox), to sacrifice his reputation for the family’s company.
Instead, he lashes out against his father, announcing that Logan is unfit to run the company in a press conference, instantly severing all goodwill between him and his family. So, where do our characters stand now? To keep things vague, HBO released three different posters. But we can still glean some meaning from these new images, which hint at what’s in store for Waystar Royco.
1. The Relationships Poster
This version of the poster was released directly to the press, and it represents the familial relationships between the characters.
Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) is opposite Shiv (Sarah Snook), Kendall opposite his dad, and Roman (Kieran Culkin) has his eyes glued to Kendall. Cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun) and Connor (Alan Ruck) lurk behind, but this merely represents their distant relationship to the family, as Greg is a cousin and Connor is only a half-sibling to Kendall, Shiv, and Roman.
2. The Business Acumen Poster
In this variation of the poster released on Twitter, Shiv and Tom have switched sides, and Greg is now lagging behind Connor.
This poster represents each character’s nitty-gritty knowledge of running Waystar Royco. Of course, Logan and Kendall are in the front. Tom moves back a bit due to his Season 2 fumbling of the cruise scandal, and Greg, the audience surrogate, is all the way in the back.
3. The Shrewdness Poster
Succession’s Instagram unveiled the last version of the poster. The dynamics here are far more equal, with Tom, Roman, and Shiv all in step with one another. Finally, Greg isn’t trailing behind in the back but overtaking Connor by a few steps.
Each character’s placement represents their willingness to sell out their morals to get what they want. After his growth in Season 2, Greg is finally learning how to advocate for himself — even if that means breaking his moral code or the law.
So what’s in store for the Roy family? Knowing Succession’s past, it could be anything from a family-wide betrayal to a birthday celebration. But one thing’s for sure: Kendall’s actions last season will change everything we know. It’s just a matter of how.
Succession premieres October 17 on HBO.