Kieran Culkin just cleared up a *major* 'Succession' season 1 plot hole once and for all

Wait, wasn't Roman Roy married? Here's what the 'Succession' star had to say about that nagging plot hole

Kieran Culkin as Roman Roy in 'Succession' season 4/ in a purple rectangle template
(Image credit: HBO/ Graeme Hunter)

As we ramp up to the finale of Succession season 4 (which will also be the show's last), Kieran Culkin has finally cleared up that "wasn't Roman Roy married?" plot hole that's been bugging fans since season 1...

While it's still unclear if Roman and Gerri will end up together, viewers might actually remember a time when Roman was already committed to someone else—and then suddenly, he wasn't. Despite already knowing the deets on Kieran Culkin's IRL wife, Jazz Charton, the fate of his character's supposed 'wife'—and kid for that matter—from the pilot episode has plagued fans for years.

So, is Roman Roy married and if so, what happened to his family? Here's what Culkin said about Roman's marital sitch...

Is Roman Roy married in 'Succession'? Here's the sitch...

For any fans out there who have been wondering about this since Succession season 1, episode 2—no, you didn't imagine Roman's supposed wife, daughter and very apparent wedding ring. He really did initially have a family, like older bro Kendall (we're hoping you read "bro" in Kendall's voice there).

In a recent interview with Variety, Culkin explained that they actually decided to rewrite Roman's family dynamic after the pilot episode. He said that the pair are, "Not his kid. Not his wife, either," before clarifying: "It was in the pilot, and after it was picked up, it was his girlfriend and she had a child."

The actor then added: "I’m wearing my real wedding band in the episode. I was excited about the idea of having a kid, and the kid was like 7 or 8. It was a little disappointing, but I think the idea was that it would just give them more freedom to play with the character."

So there you have it, Roman did initially have a wife and kid, but from episode 2 onwards they're actually just his girlfriend and her daughter. This is also a crucial change for his character development, as fans will know Roman's sexuality and relationship with Gerri play a big role in the subsequent seasons, so his having a literal wife and kid would have undermined some future plot points.

As Culkin noted: "They had mentioned to me, even before we shot the pilot, about questioning what Roman’s sexuality is—and we don’t know what it is—but it put something in my brain, and I was like, ‘OK, but I’m married and have kids?’"

"They were toying with the idea that she’s aware that you have sort of hangups sexually when it comes to monogamy and might be more fluid, but we don’t know what that is yet.”

Glad that's all squared away! Now, if you're planning to give Succession a rewatch and find the pilot a tad jarring, just remember it's Roman's girlfriend—not wife—and the wedding ring is just his real-life wedding band, so just ignore all that.

Succession season 4 airs Sundays on HBO and HBO Max at 9pm. 

Naomi Jamieson
Lifestyle News Writer

Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team, where she covers everything from entertainment to fashion and beauty, as well as TikTok trends for Woman&Home, after previously writing for My Imperfect Life and GoodTo. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but lept into the media world in 2020, after always having a passion for writing and earned her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ.

Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.