‘Succession’ star Sarah Snook explains why Shiv voted against Kendall

"I think it's a trigger response"

Succession star Sarah Snook has explained what she believed prompted Shiv to vote against Jeremy Strong’s Kendall in the HBO show’s series finale.

In an interview with Variety, the actor suggested that Shiv decided to sabotage Kendall’s chances of taking control of media conglomerate Waystar Royco after seeing her brother put his feet up on the desk of their late father, Logan (Brian Cox).

Shiv’s decision ultimately left the company in the hands of Alexander Skarsgård’s tech mogul Lukas Matsson, while her husband and the father of her unborn child, Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen), assumed the role of CEO.


“I’ve spoken with friends of mine who love the show, and I quite like being able to dissect it with them,” said Snook in the interview. “I have heard that people thought that Shiv was thinking 10 steps ahead, and that if Tom’s going to get the CEO-ship and she’s got a kid with Tom, then the closest she can be to it is by saying ‘No’ [to Kendall] in this moment.

“But I think it’s just pure instinct,” she continued. “I think it’s a trigger response. It’s scratching an open wound that is always there with the siblings. And this was in the script in the big print — when she sees Kendall put his feet up on Dad’s desk? There’s something in her that goes like, ‘Ahhhhh!’ Sorry to swear, but, ‘Motherfucker!'”

Succession finale
Jeremy Strong as Kendall Roy in the finale of ‘Succession’. CREDIT: HBO

In the series’ closing scenes, Shiv and Tom were seen holding hands in a car, but Snook didn’t necessarily see that as a happy ending for her character.

“[Tom] would go into work the next day, and she would have to be dancing on outer rim,” she said. “Friends of mine have been like, ‘So what do you think would happen to Shiv after this?’ Shiv is about to have a baby, all of this has gone down, she’s sort of thrown back into a world with her husband that wasn’t a great situation beforehand. But I think the baby thing is really about to hit in a way that is inescapable. And she’s probably someone who would go into quite a deep postpartum depression, and quite a difficult next 12 months, I think.”

Snook also revealed that she only discovered Succession creator Jesse Armstrong was bringing the series to a close just moments before attending the show’s last table read.


“I was understanding that it probably could end, but there were maybe mitigating factors that would maybe prevent it ending — which I won’t go into,” she said. “But it could go one way or the other. And also, it’s nice to hope.

She continued: “It was devastating. I didn’t get a chance to finish the script before I got to the read-through. I was quickly devouring it in the car on the way there. And then by the time I finished, I just arrived and was like, ‘That’s it. It’s done.’ And I walked in, and Matthew was like, ‘No, I don’t think so. I think that’s quite hopeful! The last handhold, maybe there’s potential for what’s going to happen with Tom as CEO,’ or something like that.

“But then once we got into the room, Jesse made an announcement saying, ‘Yeah. As you can see, this is the last.'”

Elsewhere in the interview, Snook revealed that the scene of Shiv returning to the boardroom to cast her vote against Kendall was cut from the show’s finale.

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