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Peaky Blinders Universe

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Arthur Shelby

General Info

Arthur Shelby logo
Job TitleSecond-in-command of the Peaky Blinders
Birth Date1890-01-01
Birth PlaceBirmingham, England
Knows aboutPeaky Blinders Gang, Illegal activities
Alternate NameArthur Shelby Jr.
Character NameArthur Shelby
Member of OrganizationPeaky Blinders
Arthur Shelby, the older brother of Thomas Shelby, is a prominent character in the critically acclaimed British series Peaky Blinders. He is a very volatile and impulsive person who often serves as the muscle of the Shelby family. Despite his tough exterior, Arthur struggles with personal demons, revealing a fragile side that adds depth to his character. He plays a vital role in the family's illegal business and often exhibits violent and reckless behavior. Her loyalty to her family is unsurpassed, she is always ready to protect her loved ones, despite their inappropriate relationship. As the series progresses, Arthur's character develops, dealing with love, loss and his struggle to control his destructive tendencies.


Arthur Shelby, the main character of Peaky Blinders, is a man of complex depth that unfolds as the show progresses. He is the older brother of the main character, Thomas Shelby, and runs a criminal gang with his family in early 20th century Birmingham, England. Known for his volatile nature and unpredictable outbursts, Arthur has a reputation for causing as many problems as he solves. But beneath these stormy features lies a deep loyalty to his family and an unwavering commitment to the family business.
Arthur's character is a charming mixture of brutality and vulnerability. Tormented by his experiences during the First World War, he constantly oscillates between brutal adventures and intense guilt, leading to a never-ending battle with self-worth. Although she often comes across as a volatile, loose cannon, her love for her family remains unwavering and is ultimately her driving force. This dual nature provides a rich foundation for his character development throughout the series, making him one of the most intriguing characters in the Peaky Blinders universe.
Despite his intimidating physical presence and penchant for violence, he is more than just a criminal. Arthur's character is complex, with things like his longing for acceptance, strong loyalties, emotional trauma, and a very palpable battle with his inner demons that make him fascinating to watch. Its palpable presence is hard to ignore; it leaves an indelible impression every time it graces your screen.
The writers did a great job of fleshing out Arthur from script to screen, presenting a range of emotions and inner conflicts that make him an incredibly human and vital character in the Peaky Blinders series.


Arthur Shelby, known to many simply as Arthur, is the main character of the acclaimed BBC series Peaky Blinders. He is the eldest of the Shelby brothers and serves as the deputy head of the family's illegal businesses.
Born in the gritty and dirty industrial city of Birmingham, Arthur's story is a bleak portrait of post-war Britain. He is a complex character who struggles with guilt, violence and mental illness, mostly affected by his traumatic experiences in the trenches of the First World War.
Arthur is often seen as a full cannon. He is volatile and prone to explosives, a drunk who can harm both himself and others. Despite his unpredictable manner, he demonstrates unwavering loyalty and devotion to the Shelby family, constantly willing to sacrifice his personal desires for the sake of his clan.
His character embarks on an interesting journey full of stark contrasts. From ruthless enforcer of the Peaky Blinders to seeking solace in religion, Arthur's story is nothing short of dramatic. But his inner struggle, the struggle to control the violent demon inside him while longing for a simple, peaceful existence, makes him one of the most compelling characters in the Peaky Blinders universe.
One of the most important highlights of Arthur Shelby's character is his unstable relationship with his brother Tommy Shelby. It's a relationship characterized by constant tension, but it also suggests a deep underlying connection that forms the emotional backbone of the story.
A man living in a harsh world, Arthur Shelby navigates his journey the best way he knows how to find his place in the bleak 20th century. Peaky Blinders in a 1920s Birmingham scene. His character's inner struggle and resilience make him universally relatable and endearing to audiences worldwide, making his story one of Peaky Blinders' most compelling.

Creation and Development

The character of Arthur Shelby in the Peacock Blinders universe was born from the creative mind of screenwriter Steven Knight. Created as the lively but loyal older brother of series protagonist Thomas Shelby, Arthur's complex personality helps give the story an engaging dynamic.
The knight raised Arthur with tricks that made him more than just a violent and merciless beast. Caught in the shadow of his younger brother's growing authority and haunted by the horrors of the First World War, Arthur's character becomes both powerful and vulnerable. This combination of strength and vulnerability adds depth to her character and makes her journey more relatable. Paul Anderson was cast as Arthur Shelby and brought the character to life with his impressive performances. His portrayal of Arthur embodied a character who alternated between explosive aggression and introspective compassion, artistically depicting the scars of a hard life and the battle of war.
Arthur's character undergoes an impressive evolution throughout the series. Although originally designed as a mostly impulse driven loose cannon, he later shows a more introspective side to his personality. A turning point in Arthur's character development occurs when he discovers love and religious faith. In conclusion, Arthur Shelby's creation and development in the Peaky Blinders universe is a compelling study of a man struggling with his inner demons as he tries to survive in a ruthless world shaped by violence, power and loyalty. His character is a testament to how the show explores the personal and moral complexities beneath the surface of crime and power.

Character Profile

Arthur Shelby, played by Paul Anderson, is the main character in the world of Peaky Blinders. Arthur is Shelby's older brother, a World War I veteran battling his own personal demons. He is known for his violent nature, often picking on anyone who opposes him or endangers his family.
Arthur is fiercely loyal to his brother Tommy and is the right-hand man in their family gang, the Peaky Blinders. However, his loyalty often leads to dangerous situations where his volatile nature can easily explode. Despite this, Arthur has repeatedly shown that he can be kind, empathetic and even naive, especially when dealing with his family.
He also struggles with guilt and PTSD from his time on the battlefield. This is most evident in his drinking bouts, cocaine use, and constant struggle to live as the "big brother" of the Shelby family.
Throughout the series, Arthur wrestles with his identity, finding peace in the chaos that constantly surrounds him. His tumultuous journey is a metaphor for the struggle of returning warriors everywhere. Arthur Shelby is a complex and flawed character that adds to the richness of the Peaky Blinders story. His struggle to balance his violent nature, loyalty to his family, and his quest for personal peace captures the audience's attention, making him an indispensable part of the series.

Story Arc

Arthur Shelby is a central figure in the fascinating universe of Peaky Blinders, creating a plot as turbulent and fascinating as the man himself. Born into a notorious mob family, Arthur is Shelby's older brother and struggles with the responsibility and burdens that come with the role. He embarks on a journey often marked by violence as he tries to balance outbursts of anger, substance abuse, and risky decision-making.
But Arthur Shelby is more than just "tough big brother." His character is multi-layered and complex, showing a man devastated by the terrible effects of the First World War. He is a soldier struggling with great guilt and anxiety after a trauma, a man defeated by the harsh realities of his family business. His interaction with his brother Tommy Shelby is particularly compelling, exploring the dynamics of brotherhood fueled by power, resentment and trauma.
Arthur finds some peace in his marriage to Linda. Through his influence, he seeks to shed the skin of violence and embrace spirituality, a contrast that opens up Arthur's character to new nuances such as vulnerability and guilt. However, the peaceful phase is short-lived, as Arthur plunges back into the family's criminal enterprises. Arthur's character constantly struggles with a sense of right and wrong, humanizing the cruelties of the Shelby family's confusing lifestyle. Most of his arc has him stuck between loyalty to his family and his quest for personal redemption. Moving forward, Arthur's character will delve into the conflicts within himself and his family, providing an intriguing look into the psyche of a man trapped in the shadows of his personality and a past he'd rather forget. .

Cultural Impact

Arthur Shelby, the character of the iconic series Peaky Blinders, has a major influence on popular culture. As the tough older brother, Shelby's nosy charm and intensity captured the imagination of audiences and left an indelible mark on the gangster genre on the small screen.
Arthur's character is often characterized by raw emotions that lead to a strong connection with the audience. His struggles with PTSD, addictions, and mood swings, while troubling, bring an element of reality to his character that makes him restrained and endearing. This opens the door to a wider discussion about mental health and helps to remove the stigma associated with it. In the style department, Arthur's signature clothing in early 20th century Birmingham with peaked flat caps, jumpers and heavily tailored short coats has reignited interest in vintage fashion. Peaky Blinders-inspired looks are easy to spot on fashion week runways and high-end boutiques. His strong and individual style has made a big impact on the menswear industry.
Furthermore, Arthur's stern and never introverted attitude became synonymous with Birmingham's resilience, contributing to the city's modern image. His character not only influenced society, but also helped put Birmingham on the world map as a center of cultural significance. Overall, Arthur Shelby's cultural impact clearly extends beyond the realm of Peaky Blinders.


The legacy of Arthur, Shelby's older brother in central Birmingham, is marked by his brutality and stunning vulnerability. He dutifully serves as Tommy's right-hand man in Peaky Blinders, often taking on the darkest and most violent duties. But her reckless behavior and emotional volatility point to a deeply tortured soul battling inner demons. His struggles with addiction and mental health issues are integral to his character development, making him human despite his wrongdoings. But through the turmoil, Arthur's loyalty and love of family shine through, revealing his undying devotion to Clan Shelby. This compelling duality is what cements Arthur's legacy in the Peaky Blinders universe: a ruthless guardian struggling with personal turmoil yet bound by unshakable family ties.