Tom Wambsgans

Tom Wambsgans

Photo Credit: HBO

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up... in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Tom’s mom is a successful lawyer, but he didn’t grow up with enormous wealth.

Living... a much fancier life, in New York City. Tom’s moved up a few pegs on the social ladder. He’s got a fancy job and a luxurious apartment with his high-powered girlfriend. As Tom puts it, “Look, here’s the thing about being rich—it’s like being a superhero, only better.” Of course, it helps that his girlfriend’s obscenely wealthy family is the one to employ him.

Profession... the new head of Waystar Royco’s amusement park and cruise division. Waystar Royco is the fifth-largest media conglomerate in the world, with branches including a TV news station, a film production studio, amusement parks, and cruise ships. Tom is now in charge of the latter two divisions. The promotion brings him one step closer on his plan to work his way to the top of the company (or at least as close as he can get).

Interests... fine dining, Armani suits, and his dog Mondale.

Relationship Status... engaged to Shiv Roy. Their loving relationship has some practical components too. Shiv is the daughter of Logan Roy, the founder and CEO of Waystar Royco. While Shiv herself works outside the company, she’s eager to help Tom move up within it. Tom hopes he’ll also have allies in his soon-to-be brothers-in-law Connor, Kendall, and Roman.

Challenge... dealing with “the death pit.” It turns out the amusement park and cruise division isn’t such an ideal place to work after all. Tom learns that Waystar has covered up sexual assault and murder allegations on cruise ships over the years. Now that he’s seen proof of the cover-up, he’ll be complicit in the criminal activity if he doesn’t report it. But reporting would almost certainly mean losing his job and maybe destroying the company all together. Tom doesn’t want to embroil Shiv in the ethical conundrum, so he ropes in his new lackey/family cousin Greg Hirsch instead.

Personality... a neurotic people pleaser. Tom is both ambitious and spineless, which makes for a rather odd combination. He wants to be ruthless and strategic, but he lacks the confidence to really pull that off. Instead, he comes across as upbeat and awkward with an aggressive sense of humor that makes people uncomfortable. As Tom jokes when he first meets Greg, “You need any help, seriously, any help, any advice, just, you know, don’t f—ing bother, okay? I’m only razzing you, cuz!” Though Tom can be callous to those below him, he actually has a bit more of an ethical code than your average Roy.


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