Who is Rose on 'Succession'? How that eulogy answered one of the show's big mysteries

We finally found out what happened to Rose, 'Succession's enduring and tragic mystery

Harriet Walter. Kieran Culkin, Sarah Snook, Jeremy Strong HBO Succession Season 4 - Episode 9
(Image credit: Macall Polay/HBO)

Yes, there's another Roy, but exactly who is Rose? Succession not only triggered viewers' memories with a reference to the late character in the May 21 episode but also detailed exactly what happened to her all those years ago. 

Succession season 4 will wrap things up with the Waystar Royco crew in its series finale on Sunday, May 28, and there are still many questions that need answering. Will Kendall go full-on Logan? Will Mencken block the GoJo deal? Will Shiv's pregnancy affect her chances of becoming CEO? And will we ever get a scene between Roman and Gerri again?!

But thankfully one of our questions has had closure before the big Succession finale. Here's everything we know about that Rose revelation. 

Who is Rose? 'Succession' finally revealed what happened to her

Rose was the younger sister of Logan Roy (Brian Cox) and his adversarial brother Ewan (James Cromwell), who grew up in poverty in Dundee, Scotland. 

We never see Rose during the four seasons of Succession, but we first hear a reference to the character in season two of the HBO hit, during episode 8 when the Roy clan heads to Logan's Scottish hometown to celebrate his fifty years in the media business. 

To sabotage Logan's potential new successor-slash-sidepiece Rhea (Holly Hunter), Kendall tells her to toast the Waystar CEO and mention "his sister Rose who is no longer with us" in her speech. "He might appreciate that," Ken manipulates her. Of course, Logan does not appreciate it one bit, which clues us into the fact that, whatever did happen to Rose, it's a very sensitive topic and likely a tragic one. 

"All those years, blaming yourself for Rose... That really wasn't your fault," Ewan tells his brother in that very same episode.

We get an answer as to what exactly happened to the youngest Roy sibling during Ewan's unannounced eulogy for his late brother in "Church and State," the penultimate episode of Succession's final season. Ewan details how he and Logan were brought over from Scotland to Canada by boat during World War II to live with their aunt and uncle. When Logan was sent away to boarding school, "he wasn't well. He was sick. And he mewed and he cried, and in the end, he got out and came home," Ewan says. However, when he returned home, his baby sister fell ill and sadly died. 

"He always believed that he brought home the polio, which took her," Ewan says in his speech. "I don't even know if that's true. But our aunt and uncle certainly did nothing to disabuse him of that notion. They let it lie with him." We know that Logan experienced physical abuse in his past, as teased by the horrifying scars visible on his back during the season 1 episode "Austerlitz," though it's never clarified who gave him those injuries. 

As for that seasons-long Rose reveal, Succession creator Jesse Armstrong said in the "Controlling the Narrative" segment that followed episode 9, Rose's tragic death is "not the key to [Logan], but it's one of those things ...It's not necessarily something that completely alters your sense of them, but just another angle."

The series finale of Succession airs Sunday, May 21 on HBO and HBO Max.

Christina Izzo

Christina Izzo is the Deputy Editor of My Imperfect Life. 

More generally, she is a writer-editor covering food and drink, travel, lifestyle and culture in New York City. She was previously the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York

When she’s not doing all that, she can probably be found eating cheese somewhere.