Thomas Shelby

Thomas Shelby

    Peaky Blinders
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Living... in post-WWI Birmingham, England, with his five siblings and his aunt Polly. It’s a full house and the Shelbys have plenty to do. As important members of the Peaky Blinders, a local criminal gang, “Tommy” and his relatives navigate the treacherous social landscape to solidify their power within the city.

Profession... boss of the Peaky Blinders. His brother Arthur may be older and brawnier, but Tommy has the brains and initiative. Dissatisfied with the group’s current status, he’ll do whatever it takes to dominate. His gang acknowledges his immense efforts: “It is Tommy that has given this family strength and power. You have to be as bad as them in order to survive.”

Interests... smoking, drinking, and gambling. Thomas Shelby indulges in the hobbies of a typical gangster of almost any era. He conducts business with a cigar in his mouth and a glass of whiskey in his hand.

Relationship Status... single. Warmth and romance aren’t his strengths. If the relationship isn’t strategically valuable, Tommy isn’t interested.

Challenge... holding onto power. With the arrival of Major Campbell – a police chief inspector – and the tireless scrutiny of Sir Winston Churchill, organized crime is facing some tough opposition. Tommy and his Peaky Blinders plan on circumventing the crackdown, but it’s not going to be easy.

Personality... stoic, calculating, and ambitious. Tommy is one man you don’t want to cross. Everyone in town knows that “it’s not a good idea to look at Tommy Shelby the wrong way.”


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