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The Craziest 'Succession' Finale Theory Actually Came True

Dec 17, 2023

As Succession rounded home this past weekend, Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen) falling into the lap of wealth and power likely shocked audiences at home. But for one Succession theorist on TikTok, the popular HBO drama played out just as she predicted. Now, you may be thinking, Well, a lot of people thought Tom could end up as the CEO in the end! If so, you'd be mostly right. But not everyone figured it out using obscure, Ken Burns-level baseball history.

According to TikTok user Sophie Kihm, the editor in chief of the baby name catalog Nameberry, the Succession names were very on brand. Siobhan's (Sarah Snook) nickname, Shiv, can also be used to describe a knife. The character performs the final back-stabbing vote to oust Kendall (Jeremy Strong) as the future CEO of Waystar RoyCo. Plus, the family's last name, Roy, translates to "King." But Wambsgans, a rare German last name, roughly translates to "goose down vest."

According to Kihm, arguably the most famous person with Wambsgans as a last name was Bill Wambsganss, a Major League Baseball player who completed the only unassisted triple-play in World Series history back in 1920. The TikTok theorists assert that Succession's Tom Wambsgans also took out all three Roy siblings at once to win the big game. Does this insane baseball history connection tie back to the very start of the show?

"I hate to spoil the Internet's fun, but it's false," executive producer Frank Rich told Slate. "Tom's family name was picked before we had shot a first season." Damn, nothing good ever happens after someone starts a sentence with, "I hate the spoil the Internet's fun." Rich also revealed that the Succession team had not always plannedd for Tom to come out on top, and that Wambsgans was also the family name of an unnamed staff member.

Even so, it just goes to show how much Tom becoming CEO in the end made more and more sense as the series went on. If he were alive today, Bill Wambsganss would have also likely appreciated the nod to his family name. "Funny thing, I played in the big leagues for 13 years, 1914 through 1926, and the only thing that anybody seems to remember is that once I made an unassisted triple play in a World Series," he once said in an oral baseball history titled The Glory of Their Times, according to Slate. "Many don't even remember the team I was on, or the position I played, or anything. Just Wambsganss unassisted triple play! You’d think I was born on the day before and died on the day after."

Well, just like his triple play over a hundred years ago, the Wambsgans name lives on.

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