Forecasting the ‘Succession’ Futures Market

Abe Beame runs through the different possibilities of the upcoming fourth and final season of HBO's Succession, and the odds for each outcome.
By    March 20, 2023

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Abe Beame is imagining riding around in a truck on a Spring day with the windows down, blasting drumless rap.

In 2019, a long-running prestige institution came to an end on HBO. It was a show with a sticky premise baked into its concept: Game of Thrones implied a winner-takes-all contest, and as the series wound down to its final episode, the speculation market on then newly legalized online betting sites ran wild, as an obsessed public attempted to make the stakes more interesting. And now, with the last season of Succession underway in mere weeks, history is primed to repeat itself.

At POW, we’re not just curating your style or listening diet, but watching your wallet, helping you, the loyal reader, make informed decisions as a bettor who loves culture and wants to monetize that passion. So let’s get a jump on the oddsmakers and play a quick round of guess the lines, as we anticipate the most likely heir to the Waystar Royco throne.

The Connor Ending (The Ross Perot Scenario) +2500:

The tricky thing you have to contend with when prognosticating the end of Succession is it’s essentially a satire that hates its characters, so there’s a chance the worst possible conclusion could happen in an effort to make a statement about the awfulness of this family and company. That being said, this will never happen. It’s taking a JV squad against Alabama. The argument would be splitting the vote as the other siblings tear each other apart and allowing for some absolutely absurd final development. The winner inevitably becomes the fail-iest of fail sons. If you have some fun money laying around, by all means throw a longshot bet on Connor, maybe there’s a major development/pump fake in the final third of the season and you can cash out early for a tidy profit, but it won’t end this way.

The Kendall Ending (The Lion King Scenario) +1000:

Sadly, the second worst odds on the board would be my pick if I was betting with my heart. Because I’m dumb and watch television wrong (and have been seduced, along with America, by Jeremy Strong), I am uncommonly attached to and rooting for a selfish narcissist drug addict who literally killed a kid in the show’s first season. But in another era, on another show, you have to love the narrative roundness of it. The good son, “The Rightful Heir,” cruelly denied the position over and over like a Sisyphus who gets kneed in the groin at the end of every day pushing his boulder, getting his coronation and the throne he’s wanted more than anything in his miserable life. The strings swell, Logan hugs his son and tenderly whispers “I love you, you’re my favorite, I know you’re going to do great things leading this company into the future.” The credits roll. Never going to happen.

The Tom Ending (The King Ralph Scenario) +800:

The Tin Man jackass no one likes (and everyone loves) takes the crown, but it would require strategy, courage, and cunning. 0 Chance.

The Roman Ending (The Game of Thrones Scenario) +600:

The long abused, mean spirited sex pest comes from behind to upset the favorites. Unlikely, but you would’ve said the same thing if I told you “Bran wins” going into the final season of Game of Thrones.

The Shiv Ending (The Gone Girl Scenario) +200:

Now we’re starting to see some action you can consider putting real money behind. Shiv’s arc has been particularly brutal since the season two opener, but she’s still the best theoretical candidate for the job out of all the blood relatives. You could see an ending in which Shiv outwits and outmaneuvers a field of morons and assholes and is left standing to claim the ultimate prize in the second closest thing we have to a happy ending. This however, would require good common sense by Logan, and things to go right for Shiv, which they never do.

The Cousin Greg Ending (The Being There Scenario) +110:

A somewhat fitting and long speculated ending. The doofus, the doorstop who has risen from lowly vomit soaked theme park mascot to the upper echelons of the company, to advance as the ultimate nepo baby. Over the seasons we’ve seen Greg drop all pretense of morality and become a shitty striver, no more good or decent than his cousins, as well as the world’s worst womanizer. But there is a certain appeal to that Dickensian narrative arc.

The Curve Ball Ending (The Seinfeld Scenario/Field Bet) (Gerri & Frank, The Pierces, Stewy, Marsha, Lukas Matsson, Josh Aaronson, “A Season Four Yet to be Named New Player/Deus Ex Machina”) Pick em:

This is probably the smart money. Some coalition of the players above rises up and either with or without Logan’s consent, form an army of wounded bystanders and peons tired of his shit, then seizes control because almost every person listed above is smarter than every Roy.

But to the betting public, I just can’t see it. It’s in the show’s name. The whole gamified point was electing a “Winner” here, and narrative “reality” aside, as well as what Rupert Murdoch (The show’s inspiration) ultimately elected to do with his much of own company, and how we left things at the end of season three, I just can’t believe Armstrong and the writers are going to leave us with some deflated buy-out – with the family trapped in an unimaginably rich and dissatisfied purgatory forever (even if that’s what they all deserve.) It’s just not how this show works. We need emotional gut punches and devastation. I think there has to be a definitive winner, and that winner has to be a Roy.

The Logan Ending (The Infinity War Scenario) -250:

Sure, he could die, but he’s always been inevitable. The dinosaur greedily clutching his massive pile of vanity bones as the doomsday comet descends overhead. Logan f*cking wins. It’s the show’s one truism and divining principle. My guess would be he holds off all challengers, the company and the family end up destroyed (but probably still wealthier than every person who read this piece could be in their lives if we pooled all our resources) and the show ends rich in sorrow and heartbreak. I can’t wait.

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