Why Does Logan Roy Have a Scar on His Back in Succession? Theories

Image Credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO

HBO’s ‘Succession‘ revolves around the Roys, a wealthy family led by patriarch Logan Roy. However, after Logan’s health declines, he is forced to search for a worthy successor, sparking a complex power struggle among the family and company executives. In the series, Logan’s past and rise to power remain shrouded in mystery. However, one physical detail about Logan, the scars on his back, shed some light on his past. As a result, viewers have speculated and theorized a lot about how Logan got the scars in ‘Succession’ and what they signify. SPOILERS AHEAD!

How Did Logan Roy Get the Scar?

In ‘Succession,’ Logan Roy is the CEO of Waystar RoyCo, a global media conglomerate that ranks fifth in the world in its field. The company’s assets include amusement parks, a Hollywood film production studio, and several tabloids. Logan is amongst the richest people in the United States, with an estimated net worth of roughly $18-20 million. However, Logan’s success did not come easy, as he had to face several challenges to become the highly reputed business titan of today. The series explores Logan’s past over several episodes, especially during the show’s first season. In the seventh episode, titled ‘Austerlitz,’ Logan privately goes for a swim, accompanied only by his wife, Marcia Roy. The scene reveals deep-cutting scars stretching across Logan’s back.

Although the origin of the scars is never revealed in the show, it is heavily implied that they are from childhood abuse Logan faced. Logan Roy was born to the widowed Helen Roy in Dundee, Scottland. Logan and his two siblings were sent to stay with their uncle Noah Roy in Quebec, Canada, shortly before the start of the Second World War. Logan was expected to help with his uncle’s printing and advertising business. However, Logan’s recollections of his uncle’s behavior imply that Noah was physically abusive toward his nephew. Thus, the scars are likely the result of the childhood abuse Logan suffered at his uncle’s hands.

While it isn’t explicitly stated that Noah beat up Logan, causing the scars, Logan’s words suggest that his uncle was an ill-tempered man accustomed to violent outbursts. As a result, Logan had to face several hardships while growing up, especially in the form of physical abuse. Consequently, Logan cannot show affection for his children, leading to a different kind of parental abuse for Kendall, Roman, and to some extent, Shiv. It is hinted that Logan physically abused Roman when he was younger, implying that Logan’s own childhood experiences hindered his ability as a parent.

Lastly, the seventh episode features Logan’s scars and deeply delves into the Roy family’s dynamics, especially the children’s relationship with their father, Logan Roy. A major recurring theme of the show is Logan’s distrust of his children due to the comparatively easy-going lifestyle they have received. In contrast, Logan faced many hardships during his childhood, which made him a solid individual. Meanwhile, Logan feels his children are soft and not prepared to face the real challenges life will throw their way.

Although the show has never confirmed the cause of Logan’s scars, actor Brian Cox, who essays the role of Logan Roy, stated in an interview that Logan was abused as a child. Moreover, the explanation fits thematically well with the show’s narrative as the series explores the legacy of trauma and abuse. Logan indirectly projects his own childhood trauma and abuse on his children in various forms, making them lesser individuals in his eyes. Meanwhile, Logan consciously covers his scars in the presence of his children, seemingly to shield his past weakness.

Read More: What Did Logan Write on the Paper in Succession?