Did Jesse Armstrong just answer the ‘underlined or crossed out’ question from ‘Succession’?

Jeremy Strong as Kendall Roy in a scene from HBO's "Succession."
Jeremy Strong as Kendall Roy, the prodigal son of HBO’s “Succession.”
(Claudette Barius/HBO)
Share via

Addressing his series’ lingering mystery, “Succession” creator Jesse Armstrong spoke at a Financial Times event in London on Saturday and seemed to tip his hand as to whether family patriarch Logan Roy had underlined or crossed out eldest son Kendall Roy’s name on a potentially crucial legal document.

In Episode 4 of the show’s fourth and final season, titled “Honeymoon States,” following the death of Logan (Brian Cox), a typed document was found that seemed to name Kendall (Jeremy Strong) as his successor as chief executive of the family’s media empire. But there was also a line in ink that started underneath Kendall’s name but moved up through it. Had Logan meant to underline Kendall’s name for emphasis or cross it out in an act of negation?

A video posted by journalist Cassam Looch from Armstrong’s talk on Saturday seemed to answer the question.


“This is the sort of thing I would have hated to do while we were still doing the show,” Armstrong said. “But if you were going to cross out, you wouldn’t start out underneath, would you?”

Armstrong then put his index finger to his temple in a “think about it” gesture.

The Waystar Royco chief, who died in Season 4, Episode 3 of ‘Succession,’ leaves a legacy of hardball business tactics and cable news provocation.

April 9, 2023

“Succession” concluded its final season at the end of May, with none of the Roy siblings taking over as CEO of the remains of their father’s company. Kendall was left alone and bereft, with some fans concluding he was about to throw himself over a railing into the frigid waters surrounding Manhattan.

The final season of “Succession” garnered 27 Emmy nominations, including 14 acting nominations and best drama series.