Arthur Shelby was killed and resurrected in Peaky Blinders, Season 4, episode 6, but if his death was permanent, it would have terrible consequences for the Shelby family. In season 3, Arthur killed Vicente Changretta, forcing his son Luca to declare a vendetta against Shelby in season 4. After the “death” of Arthur, the vendetta seemed lost, but his unexpected rebirth allowed the “Sharp Visors” to use the element of surprise in their favor. The vendetta ended after Luca was shot in the head; crucially, Arthur was the one who fired the gun.
Peaky Blinders began in 2013 and followed the Shelby family, who went from bookmakers to opium purveyors and political gamblers. Arthur Shelby (Paul Anderson) He was a fan favorite throughout the “Sharp Visors”, and while he was struggling with addiction and ideas about death, he managed to survive in the last episode of the main TV series. His final fate has yet to be decided in the upcoming film “Peaky Blinders”.
If Arthur Shelby had died in season 4 of Peaky Blinders, it would not only have changed the course of the vendetta, but also would have violated Tommy’s arch and led to his demise. After a near-death experience during World War I, the Shelby brothers decided that “everything after that was superfluous.” This determined Tommy’s choice, but it wasn’t until Arthur faced death in season 4 that it seemed to affect him. All of Arthur’s actions after escaping from the stranglehold were self-destructive: Linda’s refusal forced Arthur to mutilate her Quaker confidant in season 5; Polly’s death in season 6 forced him to find relief in Birmingham opium dens. However, if he hadn’t escaped the stranglehold, this destruction would have touched other Sharp Visors as well.
The role of Arthur Shelby in “Vendetta against Sharp Visors”
Codes and ethics of murder have always been an important part of the “Sharp Visors”. The Changretts and Shelby agreed to certain conditions before the vendetta got out of hand: no civilians; no children; no police. Also among these rules was the principle that Arthur had to kill Luca Changretta, since it was Arthur who killed Luca’s father. However, Tommy, who was in the minority, decided that Shelby’s life was more important than tradition, and it didn’t matter who killed Luca, as long as he was dead. Arthur protested against Tommy handing over his role to assassins, but eventually agreed. However, while the Peaky Blinders hatched the idea of abandoning the tradition, Arthur did kill Luka, which means that the rules of the vendetta were eventually followed.
While Arthur was “dead”, Tommy entered into negotiations with other American gangs. It turned out that the Changrettas weren’t the only players in New York, and Al Capone also showed interest in expanding beyond Chicago. None of these gangs wanted to start a war, but if the head of the Changretta family was killed honestly as a result of a vendetta, then they could occupy his territories. Capone also requisitioned the remaining men that Luca brought with him to Birmingham. However, if Aberama Gold had killed Luca instead of Arthur, there might have been a dispute about whether the vendetta was fairly won. Since the Changretts are still thirsty for blood, Capone would not want to interfere, and the war with the Italians would continue in season 5. The Peaky Blinders already had enough problems by the time of the Wall Street crash in season 5, episode 1 and Arthur’s death would have made things even more complicated.
The conflict between generations of Sharp visors
An argument can be made that Capone would not be embarrassed by a violation of tradition. However, even if Arthur’s death hadn’t changed the course of season 4 of Peaky Blinders, Tommy would have been forced to rely more on the younger generation in season 5. Tommy trusted Arthur with the details of his political plans; in his absence, he would most likely have included Finn, Isaiah, or Michael.
The tension between the past and the future reached a climax in the fifth season of “Sharp Visors”. After spending years in business in America, Michael offered to take over the leadership of Shelby Company Ltd. on the grounds that in the future there would be no place for the “old-fashioned, gateway, razor gang”. Arthur was the character that best fit that description. With him gone, Tommy might have been more inclined to accept Michael’s offer. However, season 5 also showed that Tommy can’t rest. Retirement would have been impossible, but if Michael’s offer had been accepted, Tommy would have been able to fully focus on his political efforts. Nevertheless, Tommy’s pride and isolation as the last member of the older generation would undoubtedly prevent him from giving way to his younger cousin.