'Succession's Sarah Snook Previews Shiv's Season 2 'Reckoning'

Ryan Berenz
Preview HBO

The Roys do everything big. Making mistakes, most of all.

Succession, the breakout HBO drama about that very wealthy family and its very bad deeds, "was a sleeper in a way. It grew on people," says Sarah Snook, who plays Siobhan "Shiv" Roy, lone daughter of media mogul Logan Roy (Brian Cox).

She and her brothers — troubled recovering addict Kendall (Jeremy Strong), snarky sleaze Roman (Kieran Culkin) and entitled, often oblivious Connor (Alan Ruck) — are engaged in an epic, darkly amusing Machiavellian struggle for power within the family and in the world at large. 

As Season 2 opens, the Roys must at least try to come together as they defend their company, Waystar Royco, against a hostile takeover. Kendall, secret mastermind of the takeover plot, committed a serious indiscretion in the Season 1 finale and is now under his ruthless father's thumb.

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Shiv is the sibling on top (at this second, anyway). After blazing her own trail in politics and staying out of the business, she proved her mettle in both arenas, brokering a detente between the company and her boss, liberal presidential candidate Gil Eavis (Eric Bogosian).

Cutthroat Shiv also has the upper hand with her new husband, Tom (Matthew Macfadyen), whom she wed in the finale. Her version of intimacy that night: announcing she wasn't "a good fit for a monogamous marriage" and wanted to keep things loose. The pushover groom agreed.

"We see what it is that makes Shiv and Tom work together as a pair and as a union," Snook promises, but warns that "things need to be sorted out within that still."

(Credit: HBO)

Of course, having your cake and eating it too is usually a temporary state.

"Shiv is used to getting her way," Snook says. "In the end, the poison pill is getting what you want all the time…. I think Shiv has a bit of a reckoning."

Succession, Season 2 Premiere, Sunday, August 11, 9/8c, HBO