Jesse Armstrong, the British comedy veteran who created the Emmy-winning series and wrote most of its key episodes, said Tom’s triumph was long overdue.

«That’s something I thought was the right ending for quite a while,» Armstrong said in an post-credits article. «Although he is not the most powerful monarch you will ever meet, his power comes from Matsson. Those figures who rise up and become docile before powerful people are present.»

Tom may have taken the crown, but in many ways the whole corporate game was beside the point.

When the series premiered in June 2018, the second summer of Donald Trump’s presidency, some viewers saw it as a remake of the blockbuster «Game of Thrones,» a fantasy about the struggle to rule the Seven Kingdoms. However, the similarities between the two were arguably superficial at best. Yes, «Succession» revolved in large part around the question of who would replace Logan Roy (Brian Cox), an ailing mogul clearly modeled on Fox News boss Rupert Murdoch, though its thematic concerns went well beyond the ordinary. palace intrigue.

Over the course of 39 episodes, «Succession» revealed itself as a morality story for an era of extreme inequality, concentrated wealth and media consolidation. The main characters were scandalously rich, their lives a procession of gleaming skyscrapers and Italian villas. Their fortunes insulated them from the real consequences of their actions, whether it was Kendall playing a role in the drowning death of a waiter at Shiv’s wedding or the chaos that followed after the family’s right-wing news network, ATN, prematurely call a presidential election for a demagogue admirer of the Nazis.

The world burned, but most of the Roys escaped unscathed.

Kendall, Roman, and Shiv took turns fighting for the top spot, but Armstrong and his writing team were always clear on the fact that Waystar Royco was a fading legacy media brand losing market share to the big tech companies. What the brothers were so desperate to protect, after all, amounted to a pool of aging assets riddled with institutional corruption.

The show was as compelling as a toxic family melodrama, at once Shakespearean in structure and operatic in intensity. Logan Roy was a tyrant and bully, but his children vied for his approval, barely aware that his love wouldn’t quite fill the holes in their hearts. The brothers cared for each other, sure, but their rivalry ran deep, and as the latest plot twist showed, their mutual protection pact was always very thin.

The Roy saga gave some viewers the feeling that they were reaching their peak within real-world media dynasties, adding psychological texture and context to powerful figures that might otherwise seem remote, namely Murdoch and his cohorts. children. Media observers also drew parallels between the Roys and the Redstones, the clan at the top of the Paramount kingdom.

Of course, «Succession» still invited loyal viewers to play the parlor game: Who would «kill dad» and take their rightful place on the throne? Twitter users spent years floating theories about the endgame. (In a prophetic TikTok which went viral before the end, a naming expert said Tom’s last name may have been an allusion to baseball player Bill Wambsganss, who was most famous for pulling off an extremely rare single-handed triple play).

Whether you savored «Succession» as a wildly funny satire or grim political allegory or delightful Sunday night soap opera, or, yes, a suitable replacement for «Game of Thrones,» many viewers will probably leave the Sunday finale with the same queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. Tom won, but everyone lost.