Warning: This article contains spoilers for Succession season 4 episode 9.


With only one episode of Succession remaining, the pool of realistic contenders to win the show appears to have shrunk to just two. It all comes down to Kendall (Jeremy Strong) vs Shiv (Sarah Snook).

The former has emerged as the most influential CEO bro, as Roman has shown he doesn't have the nerve or stability for the top job, while the latter has staged a strong attack in partnership with Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård).

The Succession finale trailer sees both rallying their troops and getting their affairs in order as they prepare to head into the boardroom where Waystar Royco's fate will be decided.

Here's our verdict on who is currently most likely to win Succession.

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Succession season 4 power ranking: who will win?

1. Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong)

Jeremy Strong as Kendall Roy in Succession season 4.
Jeremy Strong as Kendall Roy in Succession season 4. HBO

Last week's ranking: No. 1

Hmm. Well, my initial prediction that Kendall would end up in jail by the end of this season – either for manslaughter or corporate fraud – is seeming quite unlikely at this stage.

While I would love to see the character get his just deserts, Kendall remains in a strong position by the end of the penultimate episode, bolstered by a powerful eulogy at his father's funeral.

That said, he still has a considerable mountain to climb, with supposed President-elect Jeryd Mencken seemingly reneging on his agreement to block the Waystar-GoJo merger after an intriguing proposition by Shiv and Lukas.

Thematically, it would perhaps make the most sense for Kendall to win Succession, this achieving his long-held goal to become just like his father – neglectful parenting and all.

But given the character's routinely awful behaviour, it could leave a bitter taste in the mouth of some viewers. Is Jesse Armstrong brave enough to do that? Undoubtedly, yes.

=1. Shiv Roy (Sarah Snook)

Sarah Snook stars in Succession season 4.
Sarah Snook as Shiv in Succession season 4. SEAC

Last week's ranking: No. 3

Shiv's defection to the side of Lukas Matsson was a risky play indeed, one that risks burning all bridges with her siblings if it proves successful.

Of course, that's a big 'if' at the moment, with Kendall and Roman doing a serviceable job as CEO bros in their first week on the job, boosting the value of the company (albeit, by using bogus financial projections for Living+).

Therefore, Shiv could have a tough time winning board votes for the sale, but with key players like Stewy and Sandi already on board, it's certainly possible she could pull it off.

After the events of the funeral, it seems this contest is going to come down to Shiv vs Kendall, with no other characters offering a serious challenge. As Greg says in the finale teaser: "Buckle up!"

3. Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård)

Alexander Skarsgard as Lukas Mattson in Succession season 4.
Alexander Skarsgard as Lukas Matsson in Succession season 4. HBO

Last week's ranking: No. 4

Matsson has come out of Succession season 4 looking somewhat weak. His inability to navigate high-power rooms without Shiv as his chaperone, misleading subscriber numbers, offensive jokes and sexual harassment all pose a risk to his merger plan.

That said, as the man with billions to spend, he remains a key player going into the finale, sounding determined to secure victory at any cost in the finale trailer, where he declares things are going to get "nasty".

Episode 9 saw one promising step for the Lukas-Shiv coalition, when they seemingly secured a nod of approval from likely President Jeryd Mencken at the wake of Logan Roy.

4. Roman Roy (Kieran Culkin)

Kieran Culkin stars in Succession season 4.
Kieran Culkin as Roman in Succession season 4. SEAC

Last week's ranking: No. 2

That's right: Roman below Lukas. Why? Well, even in the event of his team winning Succession, it seems like this CEO bro will be shunted into a more submissive role in Waystar moving forward.

Roman's hysterical outburst at his father's funeral seemed to lose him the respect of former ally Jeryd Mencken, with Kendall now making all the major decisions in their supposed partnership.

Indeed, his decision to pick a fight with angry protestors at the end of episode 9 signified that Roman is in no state to take the reins of an enormous organisation like Waystar Royco at this time.

5. Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen)

Matthew Macfadyen stars in Succession season 4.
Matthew Macfadyen as Tom Wambsgans in Succession season 4. SEAC

Last week's ranking: No. 9

Things have looked bleak for Tom in the wake of Logan's death, with his marriage to Shiv in tatters and Waystar executives regarding him as a nepotistic joke – even Karl branded him "f**ked" in a brutal putdown at the mogul's wake.

The events of his pre-election party made his connection to the Roys even icier, while his negligent handling of ATN's election coverage has got him in trouble with the wider media industry.

Still, a glimmer of hope remains that he dodged GoJo's initial redundancy list after the compatibility visit to Norway – and reconciliation with Shiv still seems on the cards.

Out of contention

Greg Hirsch (Nicholas Braun)

Nicholas Braun as Greg Hirsch in Succession season 4.
Nicholas Braun as Greg Hirsch in Succession season 4. HBO

Last week's ranking: No. 8

While his tangible skills are unclear (potentially non-existent), Greg has proven quite adept at shoring up his position with Waystar Royco – and seems to have a strong in with potential buyer Lukas Matsson too.

It's not hard to imagine him retaining a senior role in Waystar in whatever form it takes after next week's finale, where he'll probably continue doing other people's dirty work for many years to come.

But CEO material, he is not.

Connor Roy (Alan Ruck)

Alan Ruck as Connor Roy in Succession season 4.
Alan Ruck as Connor Roy in Succession season 4. HBO

Last week's ranking: No. 6

Though his vain and futile presidential campaign plunged him to new depths of embarrassment, Connor Roy has displayed some genuine self-awareness this season.

In a sad monologue in episode 2, he explained to his younger half-siblings that the lack of love he has received throughout his life has made him tougher than they could ever hope to be.

That was reflected when he displayed the most level-headed response to his father's death, accepting that they were never close and thus not seeing the point in giving him any more time.

Indeed, depending on your definition, you could argue that Connor has already "won" Succession.

While he won't be the new boss at Waystar Royco, the past four seasons have seen him undergo some major personal development and even find (a close approximation of) love from his now-wife, Willa (Justine Lupe).

Gerri Kellman (J Smith Cameron)

J Smith Cameron stars in Succession season 4.
J Smith Cameron as Gerri Kellman in Succession season 4. SEAC

Last week's ranking: No. 5

After suffering sexual harassment from Roman Roy – who later attempted to fire her – the general counsel and former CEO of Waystar Royco is now using her mountain of evidence to shore up a comfortable, if not victorious, position.

Thanks to Roman's misdeeds, the company will likely be paying for Gerri's lavish lifestyle for many years to come, but it's certainly not the victory that she would have wanted.

Her closing comments to Roman, where she tells him that she could have got him to the CEO position had he shown her more respect, are likely to leave a mark on his troubled psyche.

Marcia Roy (Hiam Abbass)

Hiam Abbass as Marcia Roy in Succession season 4.
Hiam Abbass as Marcia Roy in Succession season 4. HBO

Last week's ranking: No. 7

Marcia showed just how ruthless she can be at Logan's wake, when she cruelly humiliated Logan's mistress Kerry and re-established herself as a part of the Roy family – whether the kids like it or not.

Previously, Marcia has shown herself to be a powerful negotiator by almost securing major voting power on the Waystar board and successfully arranging a lucrative show marriage after parting ways with Logan.

However, her scheming seems to have ended there, with the widow having little involvement in Waystar business over the course of this season.

Kerry Castellabate (Zoe Winters)

Zoe Winters stars in Succession season 4.
Zoe Winters as Kerry Castellabate in Succession season 4. SEAC

Wow. I'm brave enough to admit when I've made a mistake – and I was very wrong here.

In the months prior to his death, Kerry charmed her way into Logan's inner circle, emerging as a business brain with a knack for reprimanding people that rivalled that of her boss and lover.

But his death brought her crashing down to Earth. From her initial bout of hysteria on the private jet to her complete devastation at Logan's wake, it's clear that no one has any time or respect for Kerry.

Succession is available on Sky Atlantic and NOWsign up for Sky TV here. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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