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Who Is Nan Pierce On ‘Succession?’

In a strange turn of events, Logan Roy’s biggest adversary in Succession’s season four premiere isn’t one of his three conniving children but a Martha Vineyard-dwelling girl boss with a taste for cheap wine and “an appalling headache” she’s managing to push through in order to squeeze the Roy dynasty of every last cent.

Everyone, meet Nan Pierce (Cherry Jones).

Actually, scratch that. We’ve already met Nan Pierce. She was the high-powered matriarch of another legacy media company, PGM, that caught Logan Roy’s eye back in season two. PGM, like Waystar-Royco, is a family-owned company that’s in direct competition with the Roy’s empire but it’s got a more liberal bent which makes it particularly appealing for acquisition. By buying up PGM, the Roys will essentially be taking out the biggest threat to their continued dominance over the airwaves. (Also, Logan just really hates the pretentious, WASPy f*cks that nickname their palatial estate Tern Haven the “city on a hill.”)

But why is Nan such a thorn in Logan Roy’s side?

Who Is Nan Pierce?

Like Logan, Nan Pierce is in charge of her family’s media company, Pierce Global Media. She’s a blue-blooded, old-money elite in New England coastal linens who’s every bit as rich and removed as her boorish adversary — she’s just better at camouflaging her upper-crust upbringing. In season two, Nan entertains the idea of selling PGM to Waystar Royco, using PGM’s CEO Rhea Jarrell (Holly Hunter) as an intermediary to launch negotiations. She invites the Roys to her family’s estate, uncomfortably probing Logan on who his successor might be and making it fairly obvious how much she distains Waystar Royco’s values.

Nan seems to favor Shiv above the other Roy siblings but when Logan refuses to name his daughter as the company’s next CEO, negotiations stall. Things further deteriorate when hit pieces about the company’s attempts to cover up crimes in its cruises department run during a global tech conference that was intended to be the neutral ground for Nan and Logan to revisit their acquisition talks. Since firing Jarrell and cutting communications with the Roys, Nan and company have been pretty quiet — until Succession’s season four premiere, that is.

Why Is Nan Pierce So Important To The Roys?

Succession returned for its final run with a birthday party from hell and a hostile asset takeover by the Roy siblings. Before officially selling his company, Logan wanted to buy out PGM to make sure Waystar-Royco had a firm grip on the market. To screw over their old man, Kendall, Roman, and Shiv abandoned their plans to create a new media company and instead, bid on PGM themselves. They visited Nan Pierce at her place on Martha’s Vineyard and promised billions in exchange for Nan’s company — which they eventually purchased for way over asking price, to the disbelief and disgust of their father.

Thanks to Nan — who managed to bankrupt the Roy siblings and ensure her lifelong enemy couldn’t get his hands on her family’s legacy — Kendall, Shiv, and Roman are now positioned as the co-CEOs of Waystar-Royco’s biggest market competitor. Their plan is to make their father’s life as miserable as possible, likely by building PGM into an organization that steals money and viewers from ATN. Whether they’ll ultimately be successful with their very expensive f*ck you is still in doubt, but either way, Nan Pierce will stay winning.



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