How Did [Spoiler] Die In ‘Succession’? Everything To Know About That Shocking Death

'Succession' blindsided fans with the death of a major character during the April 9 episode. Let's break down everything we know about that jaw-dropping demise, including how he died and more.

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Logan Roy is dead. The Succession patriarch was killed off in the April 9 episode. His sudden death was shocking and painful for the Roy kids, who were not by their father’s side in his last moments. Kendall, Roman, and Shiv were all on a boat for Connor’s wedding.

Logan was seen going to the airport and shared a brief moment with Tom as he was boarding his private jet. That was the last time we saw Logan Roy alive. So, who did Logan die? Why did he die so early on in the season? Here’s what we know.

Brian Cox
Brian Cox as Logan Roy. (HBO)

How Did Logan Roy Die?

Logan died after collapsing on his private jet, which was en route to Sweden to talk to Lukas Mattsson about the Waystar/GoJo deal. After Shiv ignored his calls, Tom called Roman to tell him that Logan was very sick. Tom explained that Logan was “short of breath and he went in the bathroom.” Logan collapsed in the private bathroom.

Tom admitted from the beginning that Logan was nonresponsive. Logan immediately began receiving chest compressions because it seemed like he wasn’t breathing. Tom held the phone up as Kendall, Roman, and Shiv said their final words to their father over the phone. During the episode, you can see someone performing CPR on Logan, but you never see Logan’s final moments and actual collapse.

“We didn’t really have a death scene for Logan, and that was obviously intentional,” creator/writer/EP Jesse Armstrong said in a post-episode featurette. “We wanted to capture a feeling of death that people experience in the modern era of separation, of communication over phone or email.”

Matthew Macfadyen
Matthew Macfadyen as Tom. (HBO)

Logan’s cause of death was not made entirely clear. However, from what Tom said, it sounds like Logan had a heart attack or cardiac event of some sort. Logan was pronounced dead on the plane.

Why Did Logan Die In Episode 3?

The death of a major character like Logan Roy usually doesn’t happen until the end of the season. Episode 3 of season 4 felt like a penultimate episode or finale event. Jesse explained the reason behind killing Logan off so early in the final season.

“There’s a couple of sort of factors that play into where Logan’s death falls in our narrative trajectory. One is a sort of base one of like, ‘Oh, maybe it will surprise people.’ You know, I am not immune to such thoughts of wanting to keep the show exciting and fresh,” Jesse said. “I think much more prominent was the feeling that, if we’re going to do this, we don’t just want to see people crying and then have a funeral and be done with the show. We want to see how a death of someone significant rebounds around a family.”

Brian Cox has played the Roy patriarch from the very beginning. While Logan’s death was shocking and sad, the actor said his character’s demise “reflects what our existence is about because we’re here for a time and then we’re gone.”

Jesse admitted that he was “nervous” to tell Brian about Logan’s death. The creator pointed out that “there’s lots of anxieties about whether it’s the right creative decision, and there’s anxieties that someone who I love working with and who’s been at the center of the show will feel rejected on a human level for not being in it anymore, and he’s been so central to the whole thing.”

Brian Cox
Brian Cox and Matthew Macfadyen as Logan and Tom just before Logan’s death. (HBO)

Kieran Culkin revealed that the cast was told ahead of episode 3 what was going to happen to Logan. The scene where the kids find out about their father and scramble to say goodbye was actually filmed in one take. “We shot like 5 or 6 days of the sequence bits and then we ran the whole thing. As it turns out, it’s like a 27-minute-long scene,” Kieran said.

He added, “It was us doing a like a one-act play on a boat in several rooms with background actors, with lighting everywhere, with three cameras, and it was unlike anything I’d ever done before, and it was extremely exciting. We just did the one.”

How Did Brian Cox React To Logan’s Death?

Brian has never been one to mince words about his feelings. The veteran stage actor told The New York Times that Logan’s death will “change the stakes” of the final season. “The main protagonist is gone,” Brian said. “And the kids are having to deal with it, or not. I think it’s going to be hard next week for a lot of the audience because they’re going to miss Logan. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing — I think that’s actually quite a good thing.”

He continued, “Logan was coming to a rest point anyway. He realized that his children were never going to be — he’s got that great line when he says, ‘I love you, but you’re not serious people.’ And I think that is so fundamental. The whole premise is really about entitlement and the rich and the fact that he’s plowed this particular furrow. And the consequences of that plowing are these kids and how [expletive] up they are, not necessarily because of him, but because of the wealth. They all suffer from entitlement in one form or another. And they behave like entitled spoiled brats a lot of the time.”