Peaky Blinders season 6 suffered a terrible loss with the untimely death of actress Helen McCrory in April of 2021, and many have wondered how the show will bid farewell to her hugely important character, Aunt Polly. The BBC show is a Netflix favorite and is preparing to release its sixth and final season, with a recently announced Peaky Blinders movie set to end Thomas Shelby’s story in the historical gangster series. Now, with the release of Peaky Blinders’ season 6 trailer, fans may have their first hints as to how the show will say goodbye to the beloved Aunt Polly.
Peaky Blinders begins in the aftermath of World War 1 when Tommy (Cillian Murphy) and his brothers return to Birmingham from war. While they’ve been away, Aunt Polly has been running the family business and she continues to be Tommy’s most trusted confidant and advisor throughout the series. The importance of Aunt Polly’s character throughout Peaky Blinders cannot be overstated. As the character who finally brings an end to the show’s first major villain, Inspector Campbell, the double agent instrumental in bringing down Luca Changretta, mother to Michael, Aunt to the Shelbys, and esteemed consigliere to Tommy, Peaky Blinders’ Aunt Polly is virtually indispensable to the series.
McCrory’s passing in 2021 came just a few short weeks before Peaky Blinders season 6 wrapped filming and left many to wonder if the final season will include McCrory’s Aunt Polly. Furthermore, many questions have arisen about how Peaky Blinders will bring the beloved character’s storyline to an end. Two scenes revealed in the recently-released Peaky Blinders season 6 trailer, however, show a traditional “gypsy” funeral—one that could be for Aunt Polly.
In the Peaky Blinders season 6 trailer, Michael Gray (Finn Cole) is shown placing his hat on his head, standing before a large blaze. The flames come from a burning vardo, the wagons of the Romani people (what Peaky Blinders calls “gypsies”) which are set on fire during a traditional “gypsy” funeral. This type of funeral was seen when the youngest Shelby brother, John (Joe Cole), was killed by the Changretta gang in Peaky Blinders season 4 and at Arthur Shelby’s (Paul Anderson) faked funeral afterward. Following the first scene of the burning vardo in the Peaky Blinders season 6 trailer, the vardo is seen again, burning behind Tommy’s wife Lizzie (Natasha O’Keeffe), who appears distraught.
As Peaky Blinders’ Aunt Polly is the daughter of “gypsy” princess Birdie Boswell, it would make sense for her to have the traditional “gypsy” funeral, however, the burning vardo may be a bait and switch. Assassin and Aunt Polly’s fiancé Aberama Gold (played by Game of Thrones “Littlefinger,” Aidan Gillen) was murdered at the end of Peaky Blinders season 5 and the funeral shown in the trailer could instead be his. Additionally, there are several shots of violence and unrest coming to the “gypsy” camps throughout the Peaky Blinders trailer, so the funeral could belong to another member of the group, possibly hinting that Tommy discovers the mysterious traitor from the Peaky Blinders season 5 finale from within the ranks of his closest alliance.
It remains unclear at what point during Peaky Blinders season 6 the scene with the burning Vardo takes place, thus it is still unknown if McCrory’s Aunt Polly will be in Peaky Blinders season 6. It is also unknown how the show will continue in the absence of such a hugely important and beloved character. It is without doubt that Helen McCrory’s absence will bring a huge change for Tommy Shelby in Peaky Blinders season 6.