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House of Cards Wiki

Seth Grayson was the Director Of Communications and Press Secretary under Frank Underwood.

Originally hired by tycoon Raymond Tusk to find information that would undermine Vice-President Frank Underwood, Grayson used the evidence he unearthed to obtain a position on Underwood's staff through Claire Underwood.

Season 2

Hired by Raymond Tusk to dig up dirt on Claire Underwood following her shocking confession live on CNN, Grayson paid a visit in May 2014 to the widow of the gynecologist who performed Claire's abortion. Looking to find inconsistencies in the Second Lady's February 2014 public revelation live on air to CNN's Ashleigh Banfield about getting an abortion as a result of being raped by Dalton McGinnis, a classmate at Harvard who then went on to become a US Marine general, Grayson contacted the doctor's widow under the false pretext of representing Planned Parenthood and seeking the widow's permission to honor her late husband by setting up a fund in his name.

Gaining the widow's trust, he visited her house and further coaxed her into admitting her late husband performed Claire Underwood's abortion as well as getting her to show him her late husband's hand-written journal where the late doctor kept track of all the abortions he performed off the books. He did this by lying to her some more about working for the Second Lady Claire Underwood, convincing her to hand over her husband's entire journal, containing 60 years worth of his personal memories and professional notes, by telling her his entire legacy would be destroyed should the journal come into wrong hands. Sure enough, evidence of Claire's August 1986 abortion that had nothing to do with her rape as the two events are five years apart is in the journal and Seth now obtained it as valuable evidence.

Switching loyalties from Tusk to Underwood

However, rather than presenting the evidence to Tusk whom he communicated with through Remy Danton, Grayson contacted vice-presidential chief of staff Doug Stamper who was tied up with VP Underwood in Spotsylvania back-channeling the US-China economic summit. Following conversation between Stamper and Underwood and phone calls to Claire, Grayson got referred to the Second Lady.

At the meeting, he handed her the journal and in return looked for a position on her staff. Dismayed at the unorthodox attempt at joining the Underwood camp, Claire inquired why he didn't simply apply when she was filling the communications director position only months earlier. His answer was that there was no point since he felt her assistant Willa who did the hiring didn't like him due to being intimidated by his approach. Voicing displeasure about potentially having to fire Connor Ellis only three months after hiring him, should she take Grayson on, Claire got offered a way out by industrious and cunning Grayson who put forth a plan of not firing Ellis at all but simply informing the young man about bringing a new person on (Grayson) to help with the workload. The plan of squeezing Ellis out would then continue from within before finally a job offer would be arranged to come Ellis' way, which he'd surely take after being sick of Grayson. Claire then expressed concern that Ellis knows all about not just this abortion, but also about her other two, but Grayson assured her he could handle Connor Ellis. Claire ended the meeting by telling Grayson she has to speak to her husband before giving him her final answer regarding the hiring, at which point he got up to go, leaving the journal with her and telling her that's the only copy.

Talking to Frank about the meeting with Grayson, Claire had no definitive feelings either way on the Grayson vs. Ellis conundrum though she did mention Grayson can't be trusted and suggested that Frank have Doug look into him. Frank, however, didn't think that was feasible due to the time it would take and was also of the opinion that someone who can't be trusted like Grayson is still a better material to manage than someone who is reckless and doesn't do their job properly like Ellis who, though extremely diligent, still failed to spot this piece of evidence about Claire's abortion. Frank further concluded it can't be predicted what Grayson would do should he get turned away especially since he has a lot less to lose compared to the Underwoods, while on the other hand the VP was also of the opinion Ellis could be controlled if he's let go smoothly. However, no final decision got made at this stage since Frank wanted to talk to Grayson in person first, and also have Doug talk to Ellis.


Grayson is cunning, evasive, and calculating. Seeing that Grayson was easily able to contact the doctor's widow by assuming a false identity and seeking her husband's diary, his qualities can be seen as comparable to that of Francis'.

He is experienced and calm, as seen in the tension between Doug Stamper, he never raised his voice and kept his composure - a quality constantly seen in Francis. Earlier in Season 1, Frank put heavy emphasis on the difference between power and money. Grayson saw this difference and as a result switched loyalties from Tusk to Underwood.

Behind the Scenes

  • Seth Grayson was portrayed by Derek Cecil in Seasons 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of House of Cards.
  • Many of Seth's hobbies remain a secret, although he does express his love for boneless chicken throughout the series.
    • Also, when Frank asks whether Remy or Seth enjoy playing video games before informing them of his intentions to hire Tom Yates, Seth states he sold his Xbox console on eBay, claiming it was "too addicting".


Season 2
"Chapter 14" "Chapter 15" "Chapter 16" "Chapter 17" "Chapter 18"
"Chapter 19" "Chapter 20" "Chapter 21" "Chapter 22" "Chapter 23"
"Chapter 24" "Chapter 25" "Chapter 26"
Season 3
"Chapter 27" "Chapter 28" "Chapter 29" "Chapter 30" "Chapter 31"
"Chapter 32" "Chapter 33" "Chapter 34" "Chapter 35" "Chapter 36"
"Chapter 37" "Chapter 38" "Chapter 39"
Season 4
"Chapter 40" "Chapter 41" "Chapter 42" "Chapter 43" "Chapter 44"
"Chapter 45" "Chapter 46" "Chapter 47" "Chapter 48" "Chapter 49"
"Chapter 50" "Chapter 51" "Chapter 52"
Season 5
"Chapter 53" "Chapter 54" "Chapter 55" "Chapter 56" "Chapter 57"
"Chapter 58" "Chapter 59" "Chapter 60" "Chapter 61" "Chapter 62"
"Chapter 63" "Chapter 64" "Chapter 65"
Season 6
"Chapter 66" "Chapter 67" "Chapter 68" "Chapter 69" "Chapter 70"
"Chapter 71" "Chapter 72" "Chapter 73"