There are plenty of strange fan theories out there and a lot of them can be debunked in an instant, kind of like this one, but they’re still fun to kick around since they touch upon the mental and emotional status of the characters in the story. When speaking of Peaky Blinders, one can’t help but wonder if everything that’s happening isn’t one long, vivid vision by Tommy Shelby as he lies dying in a tunnel or on a foreign battlefield. Just think of it as an elaborate fantasy of a dead or dying man that doesn’t realize that he’s fallen and believes that he made it home and is in business with his brothers and aunt. It sounds like a stretch, or maybe a twisted play on a story like Jacob’s Ladder, but since it’s been done before it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise. Also, the PTSD that Tommy suffers, and the situations that his family continue to find themselves in could be brought on by what he’d seen in the war, meaning that each facet of his fantasy would be capable of being twisted at some point as his mind came up with different scenarios that might occur.
It’s also a good explanation for why Tommy appears to be suicidal at some points but stops him before pulling the trigger. He could realize that he’s actually dead and that the only way to make that point stick in his mind is to finish the job. It’s all a lot of conjecture and random thought, but it’s pervasive all the same since even in their best moments the Peaky Blinders appear to be cast in a kind of dim and dingy light, as brightness doesn’t really factor into their day to day dealings with each other or with anyone really. There’s always someone coming after them, always another enemy to fight, and as a man dying on the battlefield this could easily push such a fantasy since dying amid conflict would no doubt push a lot of individuals to remember that struggle and strife and bring it with them into the afterlife.
Of course, it sounds fanciful, a lot of fan theories do, but it still makes a good bit of sense given that the idea of seeing your life flash before your eyes can be taken in more than one way, and the visions of the dead and dying could be just about anything a good storyteller wants to make of it. From the time he was a soldier to the time he believed he was home and ready to spend a life bettering himself in one way or another, Tommy has been miserable quite often, and allowed happiness only a handful of times. The Shelby family has amassed enemies much as a horse amasses flies, and none of them appear content to go on their way without further trouble, meaning they need to be swatted, and hard. The constant struggle is one of the aspects of the Shelby’s lives that has vexed a lot of fans throughout five seasons, and things aren’t looking to get any better in the season to come.
Trying to think of this as just a fantasy is kind of tough since so much has happened since season one and it’s all so intricate that it’s tough to believe it could be a fantasy. But it’s also hard to believe that a family being beset on so many sides would be able to stay together and even stay alive. Things have become difficult for the Shelby’s time and again, but the fact that they’ve bounced back somehow by making alliances, being the nastiest rats on the dung heap, and being able to play the long game is simply amazing. It might be too amazing to be true. That’s where the idea that it might all be a vision of a dying Tommy Shelby, some way that his mind could remain grounded and capable of moving forward, even when it became a torturous experience that no one should have to endure. It has enough merit to be discussed and debated, but otherwise, it’s something that can be dismissed eventually.
The Peaky Blinders have been interesting to watch since while the name does have historical significance, the actual group hasn’t been represented in a completely truthful manner. But for all that, the show has still been one of those that people can’t get enough of. It’s going to be disappointing when the show finally ends, but one can’t help but think that if this theory was held up as true in any way people might feel the same way they felt when Game of Thrones ended, numb at first and then ready to blast their feelings all over the internet. It’s not likely to happen, but it would be kind of amusing.
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