How Did Aunt Polly Die in Peaky Blinders Season 6? Explained

Peaky Blinders has become one of the best drama series of the last decade because of its compelling storyline and its deeply flawed and interesting characters. Of course, one of the most popular characters the series has ever seen was Polly Gray, or Aunt Polly, who served as the voice of reason of the Shelby brothers and the entire Peaky Blinders during the series. However, she was killed offscreen in the series due to the death of actress Helen McCrory. So, how did Aunt Polly die in Peaky Blinders season 6?

Aunt Polly died offscreen in Peaky Blinders as a result of an attempted assassination by the Irish Republican Army of Oswald Mosley in the season 5 finale. This part was written to explain the character’s death on the show after Helen McCrory, Polly’s actress, died after battling cancer.

Helen McCrory’s death was such a huge loss not only for the show but also for the entire world because she was an amazing actress. Of course, it was only right for Peaky Blinders to send the character off the right way by honoring her with an onscreen funeral. Her influence on the series has been so great that she helped steer it in the right direction, even after her death.

How Did Aunt Polly Die In Peaky Blinders Season 6?

One of the best shows that you can watch on television or stream online is Peaky Blinders because this is a historical drama series that is able to capture the early 1900s well enough while telling the story of an intriguing gang that’s full of imperfect and flawed characters who are simply trying to find their way through life. And the best part about Peaky Blinders was always its characters.

Throughout the first five seasons of Peaky Blinders, one of the favorites among different fans of the series was Polly Gray. She is the aunt of the Shelby brothers in the series, and that’s why many people call her Aunt Polly or Pol. And the reason why she is so popular is the fact that she is not only the matriarch of the Peaky Blinders family but also serves as the voice of reason for the Shelby brothers.

Aunt Pol has been instrumental in the development of the story as well as in making Peaky Blinders so successful with her own character arc. She added the motherly touch that was missing in the Shelby family as they didn’t have a proper matriarch to look up to. As such, she helped keep the boat afloat for the entire Peaky Blinders, especially when it came down to influencing some of the decisions that Tommy Shelby and his brothers were making.

However, in 2021, Helen McCrory, who is the actress portraying Aunt Pol in Peaky Blinders, died. Meanwhile, her character in the series was still alive during the time of her death, and that meant that there was going to be a major plot hole entering season 6.

The showrunners decided that it was best to kill off Polly Gray instead of using another actress because no one could ever portray her as well as Helen McCrory ever did. And it would be an insult to McCrory’s memory if they had indeed decided to replace her. But how did Polly Gray die in season 6 of Peaky Blinders?

During the premiere of season 6 of Peaky Blinders, there was a scene wherein Tommy Shelby received a phone call from IRA agent Laura McKee. She informed the leader of the Peaky Blinders that the IRA were the ones who messed up his plans and killed two of his associates. McKee was talking about Barney Thompson and Aberama Gold, who is Polly’s fiancé. She also went on to tell Tommy that she needed Oswald Mosley alive for some reason before she hung up on him.

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After that scene, a truck pulled up to Tommy’s home and delivered three bodies wrapped in cloth. The first two bodies were, of course, Barney and Aberama. However, the third body was unwrapped without allowing the audience to see who it was, as it was clear that Tommy was devastated by what he saw.

Yes, the third body belonged to Polly Gray, who was revealed to have been killed offscreen when the Irish Republican Army attempted to assassinate Oswald Mosley during the finale of season 5. It can be deduced that she was killed right around the same time that Barney and Aberama were killed, but her death was never shown onscreen because it was possible that the showrunners never meant for her to die.

After that, the scene cut to Polly’s funeral as the entire show basically honored both the character and Helen McCrory with a great send-off. McCrory died before her time, but her impact on Peaky Blinders could never be measured.

How Did Helen McCrory Die?

Helen McCrory was already a successful actress before she appeared in Peaky Blinders, but people often remember her for playing Narcissa Malfoy, Draco Malfoy’s mother, throughout the entire Harry Potter movie series. But she was at her best in her portrayal of Aunt Polly in Peaky Blinders.

On April 16, 2021, her husband, actor Damian Lewis, announced on Twitter the passing of his wife after her battle with breast cancer.

“I’m heartbroken to announce that after a heroic battle with cancer, the beautiful and mighty woman that is Helen McCrory has died peacefully at home, surrounded by a wave of love from friends and familyShe died as she lived. Fearlessly. God, we love her and know how lucky we are to have had her in our lives. She blazed so brightly. Go now, Little One, into the air, and thank you.”

According to an article, not a lot of people knew that Helen McCrory was privately battling breast cancer because she told her friends to keep the diagnosis a secret. That means that it was possible that not even the people behind Peaky Blinders knew that she was battling cancer, as they might have adjusted the storyline of the earlier seasons for her sake. Nevertheless, she kept the treatment a secret throughout her entire battle.

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“Helen wanted to be very private about her illness, and I understand why. When you live in the public spotlight, you have to find space to protect the things that are just for you,” her friend Carrie Cracknell said in a radio tribute. “Her need to be fully alive and be committed and to take things incredibly seriously, such as her family and charity work, defined her last few years for her as much as ever.”

How Did Peaky Blinders Move On Without Polly Gray?

Helen McCrory’s Polly Gray was such an important part of Peaky Blinders that the character always had a big role in the first five seasons of the series. She was the one that kept the Shelby brothers right in the head because she was the family’s voice of reason. Of course, she acted as the mother figure that Tommy and his brothers looked up to whenever they needed guidance.

That is why, throughout season 6, Tommy and the other characters often remember her in flashbacks because her influence was so big throughout the entire series. However, at her funeral, her son Michael Gray swore vengeance on Tommy and the Peaky Blinders for involving his mother in their affairs. 

Throughout season 6, Michael plotted to kill Tommy to take revenge for his mother. He ended up in prison after he was framed by Tommy but was subsequently released and continued his plot to kill the leader of the Peaky Blinders. However, in a final encounter with Tommy, Michael was killed, as Polly Gray’s prophecy of her son’s death was fulfilled right then and there.

  • Ysmael is a self-professed geek that loves anything related to fantasy, sci-fi, video gaming, and anime. Spends his free time watching movies, TV shows and gaming, a lot.