Does Arthur Shelby Die in Peaky Blinders?

arthur shelby

The Netflix series, Peaky Blinders has gained immense popularity among viewers. Its excellent cinematography and well-written plot with strong characters have grabbed the attention of many of us.

One of the main characters of the series, Arthur Shelby had a high threat of death. His self-destructive action invited danger in his life itself.

So did he really die? Well, it will be revealed as you read on. Let’s find out about him first.

Arthur’s Personality

Arthur Shelby, the leader of the Shelby company and the Peaky Blinders gang is an old-fashioned, impulsive, and thrill-seeking man. He is crude, and violent but extremely loyal. He seems quite stubborn as he gets the thing he wants at any cost.

He has often been seen battling mental issues since the end of World War I.

He seems to hide all of his sorrows inside him and show anger outside. This makes him involved in the fights which ultimately leads him to trouble.

Arthur’s relationship with his family

arthur shelby and tommy

Arthur Shelby is the eldest among Thomas, James, Ada, and Finn Shelby, hence he regards himself as superior to all. Also, he seems to be developing an inferiority complex as his younger brother Thomas is smarter and braver than him.

Despite these things, Arthur had immense love and loyalty toward his family. He could even sacrifice himself for the sake of his family’s protection.

Arthur’s death?

Arthur was vulnerable to death as so many attempts of his murder were implemented throughout the various seasons. Apart from this, he even tried to take his own life. What may be the reason?

Arthur’s attempt to suicide…

Arthur craved love and attention from his not-so-caring father. Despite his attempt to impress his father, he was abandoned. He also wanted to prove to his father that he was as good as his brother Thomas in business.

He gave all the money to his father in spite of the refusal from aunt Polly, and his brother, Thomas. Soon, he realized that his father was a selfish liar and had cheated on him.

This eventually led Arthur to evaluate himself.

Thankfully, this attempt failed as the rope tore from the hook and he lived.

In the same periphery of time, Arthur had once killed a person during a boxing match. Later, the mother of the man who Arthur killed, pointed the gun at Arthur to take revenge for her son’s death.

Arthur stopped her and convinced her not to kill him. Arthur convinced her that she will be receiving money monthly as compensation for her son’s death. She agreed to his words and he was safe this time too.

Shelby’s rivalry with Changrettas

The rivalry between Shelby and Changretta had brought many life threats to Arthur.

It is all instigated as Angel Changretta’s pub was burnt down by the Shelby family to stop him from coming to their party.

When Angel’s father Vicente Changretta went to confront John and Arthur, John insulted him. This event consequently led John to be threatened with death.

John in rage blinded the eye of Angel Changretta and later killed him. This led to the war between the Shelby family. Vicente Changretta hired the gunman to shoot Thomas but the bullet accidentally hit his wife Grace Shelby instead where she died.

The Shelby family especially Thomas was devastated by this unfortunate event. Hence, they killed Vicente Changretta.

In season 4, we witness the entry of the leader of the Changretta family, Luca Changretta. As revenge for his father and brother’s murder, he announced the vendetta against the Shelby family.

John was targeted first and hence killed. In a rage, Arthur Shelby vowed, that it would be him, who would shoot Luca to death.

Between vendetta, the Shelby family sponsored the fighter in the boxing match.

Luca’s men had entered the place of a boxing match with the help of Solomon. Arthur found something suspicious about them and hence followed them while they were leaving.

Those men attacked Arthur and garrotted him with the steel wire.

It seemed we lost Arthur. Even his funeral was also shown. Did he really die?

Well, you will know it soon.

At the climax, Thomas was about to hand over the Shelby empire to Luca Changretta. He suddenly revealed the success of his deal with the American Mafia to kill Changretta’s person and destroy his empire. This instigated fight between them.

Suddenly, to our surprise, Arthur appeared and shot Luca Changretta. Yes, Arthur was not dead. It seemed Tommy had faked his death. Later it was revealed that only Tommy, Aunt Polly, and Linda knew this.

Arthur and Linda’s relationship

arthur and linda

Linda and Arthur’s relationship seems to be incompatible as they share different religious beliefs. Linda often encourages Arthur to avoid the bad deeds from a religious point of view to which Arthur seems to compromise to a certain point.

Initially, we could witness Linda having a great influence on Arthur’s life. She was the person who supported Arthur during her bad times as he suffered from mental illness.

Things gradually change when Linda becomes sick of his anger and starts looking for a divorce.

Meanwhile, Linda once approached a man at church whom she considered a friend. Arthur blinded that man with the razor kept at his peaky caps suspecting something wrong.

Linda in disguise tried to shoot Arthur but failed as Aunt Polly shot her first. Once again Arthur’s life was saved from the mouth of death.

Despite many attempts to kill Arthur, he had the strongest fate that he survived until season 6.

Was it all Arthur’s own fault?

Arthur was probably a self-destructive person who invited danger in his life several times.

He was the one who believed his father and gave all his money. Eventually, he forced himself to attempt suicide.

If he hadn’t killed a boy in a boxing ring he would not have been pointed a gun at by the boy’s mother.

Arthur could have refrained from insulting Vicente Changretta and could have pacified the situation in the meeting in the first place. This could have prevented the Vendetta and could have saved John’s life too.

If he hadn’t blinded Linda’s friend, she would have definitely not tried to kill him either.

Of course, Arthur is a person with anger issues but why in the world would he consciously do something that harms him and his family? All these actions were the consequence of his arrogance.

In between pointing out all of his flaws we should also consider that Arthur was dealing with lots of hardships and mental issues in his life. He had the pressure to prove himself as capable as his brother Tommy. He also had an unstable relationship with his partner Linda.

It’s not easy to live with the fear of being dead every day and the pressure to keep your family safe is a matter of hardships. Hence, Arthur alone should not be blamed for all the consequences that occurred.

What if Arthur Shelby had died?

peaky blinders

Being a part of the Shelby family has certainly got its perks, though one could argue that putting your life on the line constantly can never be worth it.

Arthur Shelby is probably the most important one in the family after Tommy, and his life had been threatened time and again. So, what if things hadn’t gone according to the “order of the Peaky Blinders” and Arthur had, in fact, been killed?

First off, let us talk about the vendetta with the Changrettas. Arthur’s death would mean that the Changrettas’ vendetta against the Peaky Blinders was over and that chapter would’ve probably just closed there. The Changrettas would keep running their territory and Al Capone would probably not have come into the picture.

Secondly, Arthur’s death would have had a significant toll on the Peaky Blinders, particularly on Tommy, considering the fact that he was to lose his Aunt Polly in the following seasons too. Tommy would’ve had to trust the younger generation- Finn, Isaiah, or Michael to help run the organization or would’ve had to retire.

But we all know Tommy, don’t we? That man just doesn’t rest and retirement would’ve been out of the picture. On top of that, we know about the tension between him and Michael that had been rooted since Michael asked to be the leader of the Peaky Blinders.

Considering all of this, it would be a fair assessment to say that the Peaky Blinders would probably have broken apart from the inside with Tommy having to mourn his brother- his right-hand man’s death and run the organization at the same time.


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