- "So what, they took your boy, did they? Eh? They got your boy? AND WHAT FUCKING LINE AM I SUPPOSED TO HAVE CROSSED?! How many fathers, right, how many sons, yeah, have you cut, killed, murdered, fucking butchered, innocent and guilty, to send straight to fucking Hell, ain't ya?! JUST LIKE ME! You fucking stand there, you, judging me, stand there and talk to me about crossing some fucking line? If you pull that trigger, right, you pull that trigger for a fucking honorable reason. LIKE AN HONORABLE MAN! Not like some fucking civilian, that does not understand the wicked way of our world, mate."
- —Alfie to Thomas Shelby
Alfred "Alfie" Solomons Jr. is a Jewish gang leader who resided in Camden Town, London. It is implied that Alfie's mother was a Russian refugee, where his mother was from and he went to school in London with Darby Sabini.
Character History[edit | edit source]
Background[edit | edit source]
Violent and unpredictable, but intelligent and calculating, he is a master negotiator who used violent outbursts and confusing language to intimidate and dominate everyone around him. Although he appears to take a liking to Tommy over time and is certainly willing to do business with him, it does not mean he won't do business with Tommy's rivals on the sly; he has betrayed Tommy at least twice and assisted in an attempt on his life. In short, despite Alfie's straightforward character and rationalization of his actions, he is completely untrustworthy unless people offer him the right price, and even then, there is no guarantee he won't switch sides halfway through the deal.
Most of Alfie's income comes from racetrack rackets, although he also runs a rum distillery, jeweling business and protection rackets in Camden Town. However, his distrust of the police prevents him (initially) from putting them on his payroll, leaving him at a disadvantage against his rival Darby Sabini.
Alfie is highly protective of Britain's Jewish community, warning all his Gentile employees that Jewish women are "off the fucking menu" and making generous donations to Jewish charities to help the blind, as one of his younger cousins was born without sight. Although he demands a huge fee for his services, Alfie is only too willing to help Tommy Shelby assassinate Oswald Mosley, the highly anti-Semitic leader of the British Union of Fascists.
Aside from being a veteran of World War I, little else is known about his background but for the fact that his mother was a Jew who fled persecution in Russia. He understood the Russian language well, and appeared to also understand Italian, based on his conversation with Luca Changretta. He used a bakery as a cover for his distillery.
He was a captain in the First World war; he apparently became involved in a dispute with an Italian soldier that resulted in him driving a six-inch nail up the Italian's nose.
Series 2 · 1922[edit | edit source]
Alfie seeing a good opportunity for business and leverage stopped working with Thomas and started working with Darby Sabini, who promised him that Alfie's bookies would be allowed to go to the Epsom Races. During that time, Alfie informed Arthur Shelby and Billy Kitchen of their new relationship by killing a goat named after Thomas.
Once Sabini broke his promise however, Alfie returned to work with Thomas.
Series 3 · 1924[edit | edit source]
Alfie doesn't appear in Series 3 until the middle of the series, he is however mentioned by Polly when she tells Arthur and John that Alfie and Sabini have already sent flowers after Grace's death. She comments to Thomas that they will begin to aggressively take apart their operation unless he comes back from grief.
Solomons is summoned to Small Heath to be a part of Thomas' plan with the Russians after Thomas had been severely injured by Father Hughes' men. Alfie tells Thomas that his maid had said that his head was like 'a smashed up vase that what had been stuck back to together by a horse'. He remarks that he 'has been wandering around the streets of Birmingham naked, talking to dead people and believing that he can summon up Jews'. Thomas's plan is to have Alfie pose as his jeweller.
Soon after, Alfie is in a meeting with Arthur and apparently wants to make peace after having set him up. However, he begins to torment Arthur by saying 'I hear you have allowed Jesus to enter your life, and I was wondering, how does that work considering your line of work, mate?' This infuriates Arthur, who nearly picks up an ashtray with the intent of smashing it over Alfie's head. Instead, he replies with 'I'm old testament' (eye for an eye). Alfie turns to Thomas saying, 'that's the finished article right there. This man will murder and maim with God on his side. You don't want to let him go'.
Alfie is next seen in the Russians' safe, where he picks out the jewellery but shows immense distaste towards Petrovich Romanov.
Later, Thomas and Alfie meet in an abandoned warehouse upon Thomas's request. Thomas asks Alfie for the names of people in the UK who would be interested in buying Faberge eggs, those would be interested in buying it even if it was stolen and then for those men with wives obsessed with Faberge eggs. Thomas then points a gun at his head saying that he left a name off the list and that saying that he 'crossed the line' by causing his son to be kidnapped. Alfie gets angry, the two of them wrestle on the ground and Alfie's associate then tries to stop Thomas but Michael shoots the bodyguard in the head. Thomas again tries to kill Alfie but is stopped by Michael who tells him Solomons' death will break truces and create discord in London. Alfie refuses to be spared in the name of truce and reveals that the truces in London are already broken. He tells Thomas how there is no line in their work and how many sons, fathers and husbands are killed by them often. Alfie confesses he did not know Thomas’ son Charles was involved. Thomas agrees and it appears the two no longer have a quarrel.
Series 4 · 1926[edit | edit source]
Alfie helped Tommy set up a boxing match between his nephew "Goliath" and Bonnie Gold, using the meeting to try and sell some of his rum to Tommy. He also informed Tommy that the Sicilians aiding Lucca Changretta were being supplied by Darby Sabini in London, and that there were only eleven of them because they didn't trust anyone else; nonetheless, when Tommy asked him which side he was playing for, Alfie bluntly responded that he believed Tommy was going to fuck be dead soon. In turn, Tommy informed Alfie that the Mafia, being bootleggers by trade, were eager to get their hands on the source of production in England, especially since British policemen didn't carry firearms. He warned Alfie that if Lucca Changretta defeated the Peaky Blinders, he would probably come after Alfie, Sabini and the other gangsters of London next. Before the conversation went further, they were interrupted by Aberama Gold and his son Bonnie, whom Alfie compared unfavorably to his nephew, describing Goliath as "that fucking thing right there, in whose shadow nothing good nor Godly will ever fucking grow."
Not long after, Changretta visited Alfie at his Camden Town rum distillery. Alfie claimed it was already obvious why they were there: Changretta wanted to make a deal to help him assassinate Tommy. Alfie initially dodged the offer, getting under the Italians' skin with his mockery, but quickly steered the conversation towards his price: he wanted the mafia to smuggle his rum into the United States, where prices were much higher due to Prohibition. When Changretta claimed the demand for rum was down, as opposed to gin, Alfie told them they knew where the door was, knowing they weren't going to leave. He then listed various "expenses" he would need covered "pertaining to the assassination of a dear friend", continuing to anger Changretta with various insults. Changretta clarified that he didn't need Alfie to actually carry out or order the killing; he just needed to transport Changretta's assassins to the boxing match as his seconds. Alfie replied that they would need to be Jewish to serve as his seconds, which meant they would need to be circumcised, as the Peaky Blinders would strip-search them beforehand. Changretta impatiently agreed to all Alfie's demands. Surprised by the Mafioso's lack of negotiation, Alfie quietly mused in Yiddish that Tommy was right; Changretta ultimately intended to destroy all of them and take over.
Alfie found Tommy before the boxing match and had a brief philosophical conversation, remarking ominously that "big fucks small" (referring both to his nephew against Gold, and to the Mafia against the Peaky Blinders), subtly justifying his choice to betray Tommy. Immediately afterward, Alfie disappeared; the Mafia assassins he smuggled in ultimately strangled Arthur Shelby, rather than Tommy (though Arthur secretly survived). Changretta returned to Alfie's rum warehouse with more Mafia soldiers, intending to force the Jewish gangster to sell all his business to Changretta or be killed. However, Alfie had already fled, leaving his warehouse booby-trapped. Changretta and his men managed to discover the planted grenades at the last moment, then claimed the business as their own. However, soon after Changretta was lured into a trap by Tommy: having reflected on Alfie's mantra of "big fucks small", Tommy had made a deal with even more powerful Mafiosi than Changretta, namely Al Capone, which resulted in Changretta's soldiers abandoning him and Changretta being killed by Arthur Shelby.
Knowing Alfie had betrayed him, Tommy traced him to Margate, confronting him on a beach. Alfie revealed that he was suffering from skin cancer and had already chosen to die on his own terms, in a place of comfort. He asked Thomas to put him out of misery, however, Thomas was hesitant to pull the trigger. Alfie shot Thomas in the side to provoke him to pull the trigger, and was shot in the face in return by Thomas, seemingly dying. Tommy left Alfie's dog, Cyril, on the beach to look over his dying owner.
Series 5 · 1929[edit | edit source]
During the last episode of series 5, Tommy goes to a seaside resort in Margate, where Alfie has been living in secret, watching ships and shooting at seagulls for his own amusement. His face is badly scarred from Tommy's shot, leaving him blind in his left eye. After being unconscious for a few hours, Alfie had been woken by the tide coming in. He mentioned multiple times that he was given a lot of drugs for his pain, wondering when Tommy learned that he'd survived. Tommy says Alfie wrote him a letter asking about his dog Cyril, which Alfie doesn't seem to remember (probably due to his injuries and the drugs).
Despite Afie being retired, Tommy claims he still has immense reach and influence within Britain's Jewish community; Alfie jokingly claims that since his 'resurrection' he has attained god-like status and has a statue in his likeness in the Holy Land. However, he prefers to hide his survival from the public, as the police are no longer watching him. Despite claiming that he doesn't read the papers, Alfie is aware of the rise of the fascist Oswald Mosley, as well as Tommy's career in politics; he notes that Tommy is "still at it", but doesn't have a place to rest the way Alfie does. He asks Tommy what happens after Tommy kills Mosley, and Tommy replies, "I go on. Until I find a man I can't defeat."
Alfie finally agrees to help Tommy kill Mosley for ten thousand pounds, giving a group of his men in order to create a protest during Mosley's speech, distracting Mosley's Scottish thugs. Tommy is going to take advantage of the chaos and signal to Barney to kill Mosley; back in Margate, Alfie listens to the event on radio, seemingly eager for the anti-Semitic Molsey's death. Unfortunately, Barney is killed just before he can pull the trigger, leaving Alfie's men in a brawl with the fascist bodyguards.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
Thomas Shelby[edit | edit source]
The two have a very strange relationship given that Solomons has crossed Thomas three times and yet the latter continues to trust him. When the two meet, there is a witty exchange of intelligent and threatening words, each trying to intimidate the opponent. They both seem to build up some form of mutual respect, seeing the other as equal.
After Alfie's resurrection in Series 5, they're seen bantering like old friends. Tommy seems to be at ease at Alfie's house, and he doesn't hide his smirks at Solomons
Darby Sabini[edit | edit source]
Little is known about either of the two London gang leaders. What is known is that Sabini and Solomons have known one another since school, as when the Italians and Jews call a truce, Sabini remarks that he and Alfie have been fighting since they were in school.
The two have a strained relationship, in that sometimes they are friends when it best suits business and other times they are enemies. Sabini, as of Series 2, is winning the war in London, hence why Alfie sends the telegram to Thomas in the first place to seek help and gain leverage over the Italians. Solomons often gets the short straw when it comes to deals with the Italians as none of his bookies worked Epsom the year in which Series 2 is set and the border between the Italians and Jews came closer with Alfie losing territory. However, following Tommy's victory over Sabini and Alfie resuming his partnership with the Peaky Blinders, his position against the Italians once again improved.
[edit | edit source]
- "You're gypsies, right? So what do you live in, a fucking tent or caravan?"
- "I once carried out my own personal form of stigmata on an Italian. I pushed his face up against a trench and shoved a six-inch nail up his fucking nose and I hammered it home with a duckboard. It was fucking biblical, mate."
- "All right, the problem right between rum and gin is that gin, it leads to the melancholy, whereas rum incites violence and it also allows you to be liberated from the self-doubt. I hear you are probably more in need of the old rum."
- "Big fucks small always, actually."
- Thomas Shelby: "Stay and watch the fight, Alfie."
- Alfie Solomons: "No, you're all right. I already know who wins, don't I?
- "So is it all purely for bad blood, is it, Tommy?"
Appearances[edit | edit source]
|Series 2 Appearances|
|Episode 2.2||Episode 2.3||Episode 2.4||Episode 2.5||Episode 2.6|
|Series 3 Appearances|
|Episode 3.5||Episode 3.6|
|Series 4 Appearances|
|Episode 4.4||Episode 4.5||Episode 4.6|
|Series 5 Appearances|