Tracing Every Major Death in Peaky Blinders From Season 1 to 6

Many characters in Peaky Blinders, the British crime drama series set in the aftermath of World War I, portraying the Shelby crime family and their adversaries, met their deaths in gruesome ways. Characters like Arthur Shelby, Billy Grade, the Digbeth Kid, Danny Whizz-Bang, Father John Hughes, Billy Kimber, and Vicente Changretta all surprisingly met their demise.

By delving into the intricacies of these character departures, we aim to unravel the thematic and emotional underpinnings of the series, offering fans a comprehensive retrospective of the show’s most pivotal and poignant fatalities.

Does Arthur Die In Peaky Blinders?

Arthur was initially killed but ultimately resurrected, leading to a significant shift in his character arc. Arthur Shelby’s brief death and subsequent resurrection in the Peaky Blinders series was a pivotal moment that left a lasting impact on the storyline.

His death, although temporary, served as a catalyst for introspection and self-evaluation. The events caused Arthur to re-evaluate himself, culminating in a harrowing suicide attempt by hanging. The failed attempt and his subsequent return to the living had a profound effect on his psyche, driving him to confront his inner demons and ultimately evolve as a character.

The impact of Arthur’s demise, had it been permanent, would have reverberated throughout the series. Given Arthur’s integral role in the Shelby family and the show’s dynamics, his permanent death would have undoubtedly altered the trajectory of the storyline.

His absence would have left a significant void within the familial and organizational structure of the Peaky Blinders, potentially leading to unforeseen power struggles and internal conflicts. Furthermore, Arthur’s death would have deprived the audience of witnessing his transformation and growth, denying the series of a compelling and multi-dimensional character.

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On the other hand, Arthur’s resurrection provided an opportunity to explore themes such as redemption, resilience, and the complexities of human nature. His return from the brink of death not only added depth to his character but also allowed the narrative to delve into the aftermath of such a traumatic experience.

The impact of his near-death experience on his relationships, particularly with his family and within the criminal underworld, offered a rich vein of storytelling that contributed to the overall depth of the series.

How Did Arthur’s Alleged Death Impact The Series?

The temporary nature of Arthur’s death and subsequent resurrection served to heighten the emotional stakes for both the characters and the audience. It underscored the precarious nature of life in the volatile world of the Peaky Blinders, reinforcing the ever-present specter of mortality and the fragility of human existence.

This heightened sense of vulnerability added a layer of tension and emotional resonance to Arthur’s character, further engaging viewers with his journey and struggles. The impact of his potential permanent death would have reshaped the dynamics of the series, underscoring the significance of his character within the Peaky Blinders universe. Ultimately, Arthur’s journey through mortality and resilience contributed significantly to the rich tapestry of the show’s storytelling and character-driven drama.

When Does Arthur Die?

Arthur’s death occurred in season 4, episode 6 of Peaky Blinders. His death and subsequent resurrection are pivotal moments in the series. Arthur’s demise occurs when an Italian assailant strangles him during an underground boxing match. His brother, Tommy Shelby, discovers him seemingly lifeless on the ground and cradles him, believing him to be dead.

However, Arthur is later revealed to be alive, much to the surprise of the viewers and the Shelby family. This turn of events sets the stage for Arthur’s subsequent pursuit of revenge, as he seeks retribution for the attempt on his life. The impact of Arthur’s supposed death reverberates throughout the series, contributing to the complex web of vendettas and alliances that define the world of Peaky Blinders.

Additionally, the aftermath of Arthur’s resurrection underscores the resilience and tenacity of the Shelby family in the face of adversity, further enriching the intricate narrative of the show. These dramatic developments showcase the tumultuous nature of the characters’ lives and highlight the enduring themes of loyalty, survival, and the pursuit of power that permeate Peaky Blinders.

Peaky Blinders Polly’s Death

Polly Gray’s death occurred off-screen in Peaky Blinders. This happened because Helen McCrory, the talented actress who portrayed the character on the hit series, passed away in 2021 at the age of 52 after battling breast cancer. The show’s sixth season addressed McCrory’s absence by revealing that her character had been killed off.

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This revelation significantly impacted the main character, Tommy, and fueled another character, Michael, to seek vengeance. The show paid tribute to McCrory by incorporating old footage to keep her character present in the season and dedicating the first episode to her memory. This decision honored the actress and allowed fans to continue to see her on screen.

McCrory’s off-screen passing resulted in the poignant and moving portrayal of Polly’s fate, serving as a heartfelt homage to the actress and her iconic character.

How Did Polly Die in Peaky Blinders?

Polly Gray’s demise in Peaky Blinders was attributed to the actions of the I.R.A. in the season 5 finale. The I.R.A.’s intervention thwarted Tommy’s plan to assassinate Oswald Mosley, leading to the deaths of Polly Gray and two others. Although her death occurred off-screen, it was revealed that the I.R.A. was responsible for her demise, along with the murders of other characters, including Aberama Gold.

As previously indicated, this unexpected turn of events was necessitated by the unfortunate passing of the actress Helen McCrory, who portrayed Polly Gray. Despite her character’s death, Polly’s presence continued to have a significant impact on the series. Her son, Michael, was determined to avenge her and held Tommy, his cousin, responsible for her death.

This determination ensured that Polly was regularly mentioned throughout the remainder of the series, with old footage serving as a poignant reminder of her enduring influence. The final season of Peaky Blinders paid tribute to Helen McCrory and acknowledged Polly Gray’s profound influence and the actress’s contribution to the show. Michael’s quest for retribution kept Polly at the forefront of the series, ensuring her enduring presence and influence in the storyline.

Despite her physical absence, Polly’s legacy continued to shape the narrative and the characters’ motivations, cementing her as a central figure in the series’ conclusion.

Does Grace Die in Peaky Blinders?

Yes, Grace died in Peaky Blinders after she was shockingly shot dead by an assassin hired by Vincente Changretta. Grace Burgess, later known as Grace Shelby, was pivotal in the T.V. show Peaky Blinders. Her character’s journey and her love for Thomas Shelby significantly impacted his character development and the show’s narrative.

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Grace’s undercover position (she was an undercover Birmingham Police officer) made her vulnerable, leading to a battle between her heart and duty, ultimately risking her life. Her relationship with Inspector Campbell became toxic, culminating in a traumatizing event that led to her demise, cutting short her happiness with Thomas. Her intentions to avenge her father’s death and her love for Thomas drove her involvement with the Shelby family.

Despite her shocking death relatively midway through the series, she remained a fan favorite until the end, making her one of the show’s most tragic figures.

How Did Grace’s Death Impact Thomas Shelby?

Grace Shelby’s tragic demise had a profound impact on Thomas Shelby. Her death marked a significant turning point for his character. It led to a drastic emotional change in him, signifying the end of the pre-war Tommy and the beginning of a different persona.

The loss of Grace deeply affected Tommy, and his character underwent a transformation as a result. Creator Steven Knight explained that Grace’s death was intended to prevent Tommy from finding happiness, in the sense that he would have likely stepped away from the Peaky Blinders gang for her. It also further emphasizes the enduring impact of her demise on the storyline.

Actor Cillian Murphy, who portrays Tommy Shelby, also discussed how the character changed after Grace’s death, highlighting its profound effect on him. Grace’s tragic fate not only affected Tommy but also had a lasting impact on the show’s narrative, shaping the trajectory of the storyline and the emotional depth of the characters.

The portrayal of Grace’s character and her untimely demise contributed significantly to the emotional and psychological dynamics of Peaky Blinders, solidifying her as a central and unforgettable figure in the series.

When Does Grace Die?

Grace Shelby died in season 3, episode 2, relatively midway through the Peaky Blinders series. In this episode, Grace is shot and killed by an Italian assassin sent by Vicente Changretta, seeking revenge for the death of his son.

The tragedy unfolds as Thomas rushes home to protect his son and discovers that the boy is unharmed, but finds a card under his pillow that reads “Charles Shelby—R.I.P.” This event is a turning point in the series, as it sets the stage for the Shelby family’s ongoing conflicts with the Italian Changretta family and internal tensions within the family.

Before her death, Grace’s association with Thomas Shelby and the Peaky Blinders is pivotal. In season 3, their relationship faces turmoil, with Grace and Thomas quarreling soon after their marriage.

Grace’s involvement in Thomas’s business dealings, particularly the mission to supply weapons to Russians for a revolution in Soviet Georgia, adds complexity to their relationship and places her in the line of danger. The events leading up to her association with the Peaky Blinders and her tragic demise contribute significantly to the dramatic narrative of the series.

Grace’s Death was a Memorable Moment in The Series

Grace Shelby’s death was a memorable moment in the series, a fact highlighted by several fans’ reactions that insisted that she should not have died. This sentiment reflects the impact of Grace’s character on the audience and the emotional resonance of her untimely demise.

The complex dynamics surrounding her character and her involvement with the Peaky Blinders continue to resonate with viewers, ensuring that her death was a significant and memorable moment in the series.

Does Michael Die in Peaky Blinders?

Yes, Michael died in Peaky Blinders. In the final episode of the Peaky Blinders series, Michael Gray meets his demise after he was shot in the head by Tommy Shelby, the head of the Shelby crime family.

Before he was killed, the series does reveal Michael’s involvement in a plot to have Tommy killed in revenge for Polly’s death. He revealed his subsequently failed plot to assassinate Tommy to his wife, Gina. This pivotal moment in the series ultimately leads to his downfall. His betrayal of the family and his ambition to take over the business were the catalysts for his demise.

Michael’s death also benefits Tommy’s frenemy Alfie Solomons, portrayed by actor Tom Hardy, as it removes a potential threat to his own position in the criminal underworld. Alfie, a shrewd and ruthless character, seizes the opportunity to consolidate his power and influence as the top dealer in Boston following Michael’s demise. It basically gave him all the power he needed to stay relevant for as long as he wanted.

The tension and complexity of relationships in Peaky Blinders are exemplified by Michael’s failed plot, his subsequent death, and the ripple effects it creates within the criminal hierarchy. The series masterfully weaves betrayal, ambition, and retribution together, captivating audiences with its intense and dramatic narrative.

Does Tommy Die in Peaky Blinders?

Tommy Shelby does not die in Peaky Blinders. However, in the fifth season, he was resigned to the idea of his death after being diagnosed with tuberculosis. The diagnosis left him contemplating his mortality and planning his own demise, which was in line with his fatalistic nature. The diagnosis also has a profound effect on his character.

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Tommy’s behavior became increasingly reckless as he seemed to have accepted his diagnosis and the fact that he would die sooner or later. However, it was eventually discovered that the diagnosis was false. When Tommy learned the truth, he was initially shocked and disoriented, but he quickly regained his composure and resolved to take control of his life again.

This revelation marked a significant turning point for Tommy, leading to a renewed sense of purpose and determination to continue his endeavors with newfound vigor. It also sees him trying to right some wrongs and being more careful.

How Did Freddie Die In Peaky Blinders?

Freddie Thorne, portrayed by actor Iddo Goldberg, died from pestilence, likely the Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918–1920. In general, his character was written out of the show. He was a central character in Season 1, a communist living in Birmingham and close friends with Thomas Shelby, married to Ada and a father to Karl.

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Freddie was involved in a communist strike and had a secret relationship with Ada, causing conflict with the Shelby family. His departure from the show was due to being arrested and later succumbing to the pestilence, likely before the series began.

Freddie’s death at the beginning of Season 2 significantly impacted the Shelby family, especially his wife, Ada Shelby. His demise left a void in the family dynamic, and his absence brought about emotional and narrative repercussions.

Thomas Shelby fulfilled a promise to speak at Freddie’s funeral, signifying the depth of their relationship and the impact of Freddie’s death on the family. The loss of Freddie further intensified the complexities of the Shelby family’s dynamics, adding a layer of emotional depth to the storyline.

The departure of Freddie Thorne from the series garnered mixed reactions from fans. While some viewers expressed sadness over the loss of the character and the dynamic he brought to the show, others understood that his exit was a necessary narrative decision.

The character’s strong Communist beliefs and complicated relationships with Ada and Thomas made him an integral part of the series, and many fans felt his absence. However, the show continued to captivate audiences with its compelling storytelling and intricate character developments, allowing viewers to remain engaged despite Freddie’s departure.

Freddie Thorne’s role in the Peaky Blinders series was pivotal, and his departure left a lasting impact on the storyline and the Shelby family. His character’s complex relationships, strong beliefs, and his untimely death at the beginning of Season 2 added depth and emotional resonance to the show. Despite the mixed fan reactions to his departure, the series continued to thrive, showcasing the resilience of its narrative and characters.

Does John Die In Peaky Blinders?

Yes, John Shelby died in Peaky Blinders following a shootout involving the Changretta family. His shocking on-screen death was a pivotal moment that left fans reeling. The decision to kill off a prominent character like John was necessary to emphasize the threat posed by the Changretta family and to delve into the show’s true story influences and character emotions.

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John’s untimely death was a means to underscore the dangerous dynamics at play and the high stakes involved in the Shelby family’s criminal activities. In the series, John Shelby is portrayed as a high-ranking member of the Peaky Blinders, involved in the family’s illicit dealings, and a 1/3 shareholder of the Shelby Family business.

His character, also known as Johnny and John Boy, is depicted as a reckless yet capable individual who plays a significant role in the family’s criminal activities. His demise occurs due to the escalating conflict with the Changretta family, highlighting the violent and perilous nature of the world in which the Peaky Blinders operate.

The responsibility for John Shelby’s death lies with the Changretta family, an opposing force that becomes a significant threat to the Shelby family. This tragic event demonstrates the consequences of the ongoing power struggles and vendettas that permeate the narrative of Peaky Blinders.

When Does John Die?

John dies at the beginning of the season 4 premiere of the Peaky Blinders series. The departure of John Shelby from the series was primarily influenced by actor Joe Cole’s decision to pursue lead roles in other projects. This dual aspect of narrative necessity and the actor’s career trajectory converged to bring about the shocking demise of John Shelby.

As the series progressed towards its conclusion, the impact of John Shelby’s death reverberated and underscored the complexities and dangers inherent in the world of Peaky Blinders. His character’s exit from the storyline served to propel the narrative into darker and more intense territory, adding emotional weight and depth to the overarching plot.

Moreover, the event marks a turning point for the Shelby family, forcing them to confront the harsh realities of their circumstances and their formidable adversaries. In essence, the on-screen death of John Shelby in Peaky Blinders was a pivotal moment that served multiple narrative purposes. It underscored the growing threat from the Changretta family, delved into the characters’ emotional landscape, and facilitated the evolution of the series as it approached its conclusion.

Additionally, Joe Cole’s decision to pursue new opportunities in his acting career contributed to the necessity of John Shelby’s departure from the show. As the acclaimed period drama heads towards a movie, the repercussions of John Shelby’s demise continue to resonate, shaping the trajectory of the storyline and the characters’ journeys.

Does Mosley Die in Peaky Blinders?

In the Peaky Blinders series, Oswald Mosley does not die. Tommy Shelby hatched a plot to assassinate him, but it ultimately failed due to a betrayal and the involvement of the I.R.A. Tommy Shelby, the central character in Peaky Blinders, orchestrated a plan to assassinate Oswald Mosley, the fascist politician.

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In the final episode, it is revealed that Tommy spent time preparing for death due to a deadly diagnosis, only to discover that it was a malicious ruse executed by Mosley and his band of fascists.

As the series ends with loose ends, such as Tommy’s failure to assassinate Mosley, it is hinted that the upcoming movie may take place during World War II, allowing Tommy to get his revenge against the fascists. The plot to assassinate Mosley failed due to the betrayal of Billy Grade, who is revealed to be the informant who stopped Tommy Shelby’s plan.

As a result, Billy is responsible for the deaths of Aberama Gold, Barney Thompson, and Polly Gray. In the finale, Tommy confronts Billy about his betrayal, which leads to several dangerous altercations, including Billy trying to help Jack Nelson kill Arthur to avoid his own demise, placing both him and Arthur in danger in the final episode.

The I.R.A. was Instrumental in Preventing Mosley’s Assassination

The I.R.A.’s involvement in foiling Tommy’s assassination attempt on Mosley is partially aligned with their interests. It is hinted that the I.R.A. had a vested interest, hopes of Mosley helping them escape British rule, preventing the assassination, leading to their intervention in the plot.

This alignment of interests resulted in the I.R.A. thwarting Tommy’s plan to kill Mosley, contributing to the ultimate failure of the assassination attempt. The I.R.A.’s decision to foil the plot to assassinate Mosley can be attributed to their strategic interests aligning with Mosley’s at the time.

This twist added a layer of complexity to the storyline and showcased the intricate web of alliances and betrayals within the series. Ultimately, the plot to assassinate Oswald Mosley in the Peaky Blinders series fails due to the betrayal of Billy Grade and the involvement of the I.R.A., whose interests were partially aligned with Mosley’s.

These plot developments add significant intrigue and complexity to the storyline, which set the stage for intense confrontations and high-stakes dynamics in the finale and potential movie adaptation.

Does Ruby Die in Peaky Blinders?

In the Peaky Blinders series, the character Ruby Shelby, Tommy Shelby’s daughter, indeed dies. Her death occurs in a devastating turn of events that deeply impacts the show’s storyline and the main character, Tommy Shelby, and his family. The specific time of Ruby’s death, 5:17, is mentioned in the series, highlighting the emotional weight of this tragic event.

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Ruby’s death leaves Peaky Blinders fans devastated, marking a significant loss within the show. The cause of her death is tied to a cursed sapphire that was linked to her mother, Grace’s, demise. Tommy seeks out a gypsy woman who confirms the curse’s existence, leading to the realization that Ruby’s death is part of this tragic legacy.

The events that lead to Ruby’s death are intertwined with the Shelby family’s tumultuous history. The cursed sapphire, initially connected to Grace’s death, becomes a focal point in the storyline, ultimately impacting Ruby’s fate. This underlying element of superstition and the family’s entanglement adds complexity to the series as it delves into the repercussions of past actions and the burden of inherited curses.

How Did Ruby’s Death Impact Tommy?

Ruby’s death deeply impacts the show’s storyline and characters, particularly Tommy Shelby. It served as a catalyst for further exploration of the Shelby family’s vulnerabilities and the emotional toll of their tumultuous lives. Already grappling with numerous challenges, Tommy is deeply affected by losing his daughter, adding a new dimension to his character and the dynamics within the Shelby family.

The aftermath of Ruby’s death reverberated through the narrative, shaped the characters’ decisions and relationships, and contributed to the constantly evolving trajectory of the series. Ruby Shelby’s death in the Peaky Blinders series is a pivotal and heartbreaking moment that significantly influences the show’s narrative and the characters’ development. The circumstances surrounding her death, tied to a generational curse and the family’s history, contribute to the intricate layers of the storyline.

The impact of her loss on Tommy Shelby and the Shelby family underscores the emotional depth of the series, further engaging viewers with its compelling exploration of tragedy, legacy, and resilience.

When Does Ruby Die in Peaky Blinders?

Ruby Shelby dies in Season 6, Episode 3, titled “Gold,” of the popular T.V. show. Her death sends shockwaves through the Shelby family and has a profound impact on the storyline and characters, particularly her father, Tommy Shelby.

The episode opens with her funeral, setting a somber and slow-paced tone as Thomas Shelby grapples with the devastating loss of his daughter. The news of Ruby’s death is broken to Tommy by Lizzie, who mentions the specific time of her demise, 5:17. This tragic event signified a turning point for Tommy and the Shelby family, as they are plunged into deep grief and turmoil.

The episode explores the aftermath of Ruby’s death, delving into the family’s entanglement with superstition and the burden of inherited curses. Despite Tommy’s attempts at self-improvement, his belief in curses and refusal to reconcile with God indicates that he did not undergo a complete transformation.

The tragic event involving the death of his daughter triggered a return to his old ways of violence and alcohol, signifying a shift back to his previous persona and a confrontation with his greatest fears about Michael usurping his power.

As the series unfolded, the impact of Ruby’s death on the characters and the overall storyline became increasingly apparent, highlighting the depth of emotion and complexity woven into the narrative of Peaky Blinders.

The episode where Ruby Shelby dies is a pivotal moment in the series, showcasing the profound influence of tragedy on the Shelby family and the intricate layers of storytelling that captivated audiences throughout the show’s run.

Deceased Characters in Peaky Blinders

  • Arthur Shelby
  • Billy Grade
  • The Digbeth Kid
  • Danny Whizz-Bang
  • Father John Hughes
  • Billy Kimber
  • Vicente Changretta
  • Michael Gray
  • Aberama Gold
  • Grace Shelby
  • Bonnie Gold
  • Harold Hancox
  • John Shelby
  • Ruby Shelby.


What episode does Grace die in Peaky Blinders? 

Grace Shelby dies in Peaky Blinders season 3, episode 2. Her death significantly impacted Tommy Shelby’s emotional state and set the stage for his character’s development and unraveling.

How did the real Peaky Blinders die?

The real Peaky Blinders were involved in violent activities such as street brawls and attacks on vulnerable victims. Most of them were killed by the real-life Birmingham Boys gang. Other theories say the Great War reduced their dominance until they were usurped by Billy Kimber’s Birmingham Boys, who killed most of them off to prevent a comeback.

What episode does Michael die in Peaky Blinders?

Michael Gray dies in season 6, episode 5 of Peaky Blinders, after he was shot in the head by Tommy Shelby. His death comes as a shocking and tragic moment for fans of the show.


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