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Elias "Eli" Thompson, played by Shea Whigham, is the former Atlantic County Sheriff and the younger brother of Atlantic City crime boss Nucky Thompson. Guest stars Oakes Fegley and Ryan Dinning portray the character in flashbacks to the 19th century.



As the brother of Atlantic County Treasurer, Nucky Thompson, Eli, not surprisingly, manages to find his way into the position of Sheriff. He and his brother are an effective duo when it comes to keeping a hold on the reigns of the city's corrupt government and underworld. Unspoken tension exists between the brothers however, with rivalry and resentment lurking just below the façade of smiling exteriors.

Season 1[]

Main article: Eli Thompson Season 1

Season 2[]

Main article: Eli Thompson Season 2

Season 3[]

Main article: Eli Thompson Season 3





  • Hans Schroeder: Murder victim, baker's assistant, beaten to death with brass knuckles
  • George O'Neill: Murder victim, Atlantic City Alderman, beaten to death with a wrench
  • Three Gyp Rosetti thugs: Murder victims, shot to death in Margate Sands
  • James Tolliver: Murder victim, beaten to death
  • Joey: Murder victim, shot in the head
  • Jack: Murder victim, shot in the head
  • Salvatore Maranzano: Murder victim, shot in the head

Memorable Quotes[]

  • "I AM the law, Georgie-boy!" ("Boardwalk Empire")
  • "I have eight kids!" (repeated line)
  • (to a meeting of KKK members) "Lose the dunce caps. You too, Cyclops." ("Anastasia")
  • "What am I, the repudiated?" ("Nights in Ballygran")
  • " do you rest your spleen?" ("Belle Femme")
  • "That is one uppity shine." ("21")
  • (to Nucky, over the phone) "All alone, big brother? How does it feel?" ("Ourselves Alone")
  • Nucky: "Et tu, Eli?"
  • (about his brother) "Jesus Christ, just kill him. What is he King fuckin' Neptune? Put a bullet in his head- get it over with!" ("Peg of Old")
  • "Put a bullet in me. Get it over with. "Cause I know you will sooner or later. And I'm sick of waiting for it." ("Sunday Best")

Possible Continuity Error[]

In Sunday Best Emily lists the names of Eli's children as the following: Kathleen, Nora, Ann, Edith, Brian, Patrick, Dermott and William. There is no mention of Michael. Later June has the children introduce themselves to Margaret, Emily and Teddy. Of the four boys there William, Dermott and Brian introduce themselves but the boy we know as Michael does not.

Michael is played by Charlie Plummer, (though never named aloud) in Season 2. Kevin Csolak has been added to the cast in Season 3 as the oldest Thompson son, William, with no explanation, other than the aging of the characters. The actor who played the 2nd son Patrick in Season 2, Matthew Broadley, has not been seen in Season 3. The role of Dermott, the dark-haired youngest son, was recast between Season 2 and 3 and again between episode 2 and 7. The two oldest Thompson daughters were also recast and aged between Season 2 and 3.


Season one appearances
Boardwalk Empire The Ivory Tower Broadway Limited Anastasia
Nights in Ballygran Family Limitation Home Hold Me in Paradise
Belle Femme The Emerald City Paris Green A Return to Normalcy
Season two appearances
21 Ourselves Alone A Dangerous Maid What Does the Bee Do?
Gimcrack & Bunkum The Age of Reason Peg of Old Two Boats and a Lifeguard
Battle of the Century Georgia Peaches Under God's Power She Flourishes To the Lost
Season three appearances
"Resolution" "Spaghetti and Coffee" "Bone for Tuna" "Blue Bell Boy"
"You'd Be Surprised" "Ging Gang Goolie" "Sunday Best" "The Pony"
"The Milkmaid's Lot" "A Man, A Plan..." "Two Imposters" "Margate Sands"
Season four appearances
"New York Sour" "Resignation" "Acres of Diamonds" "All In"
"Erlkonig" "The North Star" "William Wilson" "The Old Ship of Zion"
"Marriage and Hunting" "White Horse Pike" "Havre De Grace" "Farewell Daddy Blues"
Season five appearances
Golden Days for Boys and Girls The Good Listener What Jesus Said Cuanto
King of Norway Devil You Know Friendless Child Eldorado


Eli Thompson bears similarities to the historical person Alf Johnson, who was Nucky Johnson's brother and was a county sheriff in the 1920s.[1]


  1. The Efficient Drinker (September 21st, 2010). Boardwalk Empire Characters. The Efficient Drinker blog.