The finale of the sequel almost brought another end to Jeremy Strong’s Kendall Roy

The end of the series finale of successor shows Kendall Roy wandering the park after his plan to stop the GoJo deal failed. Kendall sits on a bench, faces the water, and contemplates his uncertain future with a dejected expression. It’s a heartbreaking moment for “boy number one.” However, the Succession finale almost had an even more tragic ending for Kendall.

What was the other ending for Kendall Roy in the follow-up finale?

Jeremy Strong helped explain Kendall’s death in the Succession finale Vanity Fair. Strong explained the last scene where Kendall is walking aimlessly 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 continue walking towards the water.

“We ended up at the bitter end of Battery Park, overlooking the water. I had never seen such waves in the East River. It felt biblical,” Strong said. “And there was this awful rattling on some scaffolding nearby. We didn’t know what we were looking for, but something profound happened. In the end we only had about eight minutes to shoot this piece because the sun was going down. The water called to me. It felt right to all of us.”

Strong reference to John Berryman, whose poem “Dream Song 29” provides the titles for the season finale. Berryman committed suicide by jumping into a frozen lake. Strong paused to jump in the water, but Scott Nicholson (Kendall’s bodyguard Colin) intervened and stopped it from happening.

“I tried to get in the water after the cut — I got off the bench and ran as fast as I could over the barrier and onto the pilings, and the actor who played Colin ran over,” Strong explained. “I didn’t know I was going to do this and he didn’t know, but he ran to me and stopped me. I don’t know if I felt at that moment that Kendall just wanted to die – I think he did – or if he essentially wanted to be saved by his father’s proxy.”

The leap without a script ultimately didn’t make it into the final version. However, Strong agreed with Armstrong’s “much stronger ending” and believed it supported one of the show’s themes that “people don’t really change”.

After four seasons and 39 episodes, the series “Succession” has come to an end. The HBO drama garnered widespread acclaim, winning two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series in 2020 and 2022. Strong won the 2020 Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.