Succession Finale Almost Featured Another Ending For Jeremy Strong’s Kendall Roy
The ending of the series finale of Succession features Kendall Roy wandering through the park after his plan to kill the GoJo deal fails. Kendall sits down on a bench and looks out at the water, pondering his unknown future with a dejected expression. It’s a heartbreaking moment for the “number one boy.” However, the Succession finale almost featured an even more tragic ending for Kendall.
What was the Other Ending For Kendall Roy in Succession Finale?
Jeremy Strong unpacked Kendall’s demise in the Succession finale with Vanity Fair. Strong explained the final scene with Kendall aimlessly walking through the park. The scene was supposed to end with an aerial shot of Kendall, but Strong persuaded Succession creator Jesse Armstrong and director Mark Mylod to let him keep walking to the water.
“We ended up at the bitter end of Battery Park, facing the water. I’d never seen waves like that in the East River. It felt biblical,” Strong said. “And there was this terrible clanging on some scaffolding nearby. We didn’t know what we were looking for, but something profound happened. We only had about eight minutes to shoot that piece at the end because the sun was going down. The water was calling to me. It felt right to all of us.”
Strong referenced John Berryman, whose poem Dream Song 29 provides the titles for the season finales. Berryman committed suicide by jumping into a frozen lake. Strong made a break to jump into the water, but Scott Nicholson (Kendall’s bodyguard Colin) intervened and prevented it from happening.
“I tried to go into the water after we cut—I got up from that bench and went as fast as I could over the barrier and onto the pilings, and the actor playing Colin raced over,” Strong explained. “I didn’t know I was gonna do that, and he didn’t know, but he raced over and stopped me. I don’t know whether in that moment I felt that Kendall just wanted to die—I think he did—or if he wanted to be saved by essentially a proxy of his father.”
The unscripted jump ultimately did not make the final cut. However, Strong agreed with Armstrong’s “much stronger ending,” believing it supported one of the show’s themes that “people don’t really change.”
Succession’s run is complete after four seasons and 39 episodes. The HBO drama has been met with universal acclaim, winning two Emmy wins for Outstanding Drama Series in 2020 and 2022. Strong won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 2020.