The Sons Of Anarchy (SOA) revolved around the lives of members of a motorcycle club in the fictional town of Charming, California. The clubs official name is, Sons Of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original (SAMCRO). The series follows Jackson “Jax” Teller (Charlie Hunnam) who eventually becomes the SOA’s President. He is married to Dr. Tara Knowles (Maggie Siff) and they have one son, Thomas Jr. Jax also has a son, Abel, with his ex- wife, Wendy (Drea de Matteo). His father, John “J.T” Teller, was the founding member of SOA and died when Jax was still young. Jax is very close with his over bearing and controlling mother, Gemma Teller (Katey Sagal). She is closely associated with the SOA. After her husband died she re-married to then President, Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman). The SOA is involved in gun running, the escort business and drug smuggling. The club headquarters is at the auto mechanic shop they own, Teller-Morrow Auto.
Sons Of Anarchy was created by Kurt Sutter and aired on FX. The series ran for 7 seasons, from September 3, 2008 to December 9, 2014. The series was critically acclaimed. The series was often praised for its writing, directing and cast. Katey Sagal was constantly praised for her role as Gemma. The series was also known for its excessive and brutal violence. The series received positive reviews throughout its entire run. There have been talks of doing a potential prequel that would revolve around the early days of the SOA. The series is also known for having some of the most tragic, heart breaking and brutally violent deaths. Here is a look at 15 of the most Gut Wrenching Deaths in Sons Of Anarchy. Attention: SPOILERS AHEAD!
15 Kip “Half-Sack” Epps
Death: “Na Triobloidi”
Half-Sack was a part of the series from season 1 to season 2. He was a prospect for the SOA. Being a prospect meant that he wasn't fully patched in (not a full member), but if he proved his self worth, he would be. He is often teased, hazed and picked on by the rest of the club for that reason, although they truly love him. He was the first main character to die. In his final episode, Cameron Hayes follows him when he goes to check on Tara and baby Abel. Cameron had just found out that his own son was killed and blames the SOA. Cameron wants revenge and goes to stab baby Abel. Half Sack sacrifices his own life to save Abel, in one of the first gut wrenching deaths. He is stabbed in the stomach and dies. He went out in one of the most heroic ways. He is patched in and becomes a full member after his death.
14 David Hale
David Hale was the Deputy Sheriff in Charming. Unlike Wayne Unser, Hale wanted to eliminate SAMCRO from Charming. He was honest, hard working and probably the closest thing to a “good guy” in the whole series. He always tries to do the right thing. During Half Sack’s funeral, the club is attacked in a drive by shooting. In one of the most gut wrenching, heart breaking, yet heroic deaths, Hale shoots at the getaway vehicle. He is run over and dies on the scene. His death would cause distrust between the residents of Charming and the SOA.
13 Donna Winston
Death: "The Sleep of Babies"
Donna Winston was a part of the series in season 1. She is the wife of Opie and the mother of his kids. She is resentful of SOA and does not trust them. The ATF tries to make Opie seem like a rat and that he was working with them. Of course, he’s not a rat but Clay was uncertain where his loyalties lie. Clay orders Tig to kill Opie. Tig follows Opie in his truck and shoots at the back of Opie’s pick up truck. The death is one of the saddest and most heart breaking in the whole series. Mainly because Tig is unaware that Opie and Donna switched cars at the last minute. In one of the first gut wrenching deaths, Donna is murdered by Tig.
12 Eli and Rita Roosevelt
Death: "Otca Shrugged" (Rita) "A Mother's Work" (Eli)
Eli and Rita Roosevelt joined the series in season four. Eli was a more prominent character and was the head of the Sheriff’s Department. He was an honest cop and did his best to keep the peace in Charming. Along with David Hale, he can be considered one of the only true “good guys” in the series. Clay orders members of SOA to commit a series of break-ins. This is done in order to make new president Jax look bad. They break into Eli’s in order to cause more fear but they end up accidentally killing his wife, Rita. Eli becomes depressed after her death. Later, he does everything he can to help Tara. He is outside of Tara’s with Juice when he hears a commotion inside. He runs in and finds the dead, lifeless body of Tara on the ground next to Gemma. Eli realizes that Gemma committed the murder but before he can call it in, Juice shoots him in the back and kills him.
11 Otto Delaney
Otto Delaney was a member of SOA who is serving jail time. He does commit many crimes for the club inside prison, including, beating up ATF agent June Stahl. While in prison, his wife is brutally murdered. He convinces Tara to bring him his wife’s cross. He claims that he just wants it so he can hold something of his wife’s one last time. He uses the cross to violently kill a nurse. Turns out, this nurse's brother is a twisted, and sick former U.S Marshall, Lee Toric, who is hell bent on revenge. He viciously tortures Otto. While in prison, Otto loses his one good eye, bites out his own tongue and is beaten senseless. While being tortured by Lee, Otto brutally kills Lee. Otto is then shot and killed by the guards. Series creator Kurt Sutter, portrayed Otto.
10 Wayne Unser
Death" Red Rose"
Wayne Unser appeared in the show from season 1 to season 7. He has cancer and smokes pot for the pain. At one point, he was the head of the police department and was somewhat corrupt. He would work with the SOA because he felt they benefitted the town. They helped keep drugs and unwanted gangs out of Charming. However, he never took a dime from them. He had a deep love for Gemma Teller since he was a child. However, the feelings are not mutual. When Jax goes in search of Gemma so he can kill her, Unser tries to intervene. Jax shoots and kills Unser. In one of the most gut wrenching deaths in the series. He was a beloved character and died trying to protect the woman he loved.
9 Juan “Juice” Ortiz
Death" Red Rose"
Juice was a part of the cast from season 1 to season 7. It’s revealed that his father is black. He fears that if the club finds out they will kill him. He betrays the club and later suffers through intense depression. He kills Eli Roosevelt in order to protect Gemma after she kills Tara. They together come up with a lie and put the blame on the Chinese. Juice goes into hiding with the help of Gemma. Later, he shows up and wants back in the club. However, the SOA make him go to prison so that he can murder Henry Lin, the head of the triad. In prison he becomes very close with Ron Tully, played by Marilyn Manson. The triad wants Juice to kill Tully but instead, Juice tells Tully to murder him first. Tully stabs Juice and says to him, “ You went out good, sweetheart”.
8 Piermont “Piney” Winston First Appearance: “Pilot” Died: “Family Recipe”
Piney Winston was a part of the series from season 1 to season 4. He was a founding member of the Sons Of Anarchy. He was best friends with John “J.T” Teller, the first president. He was also Opie’s father. Piney and J.T fought together during the Vietnam War. They feel disillusioned by their country when they return. They formed Sons of Anarchy as a way to find that brotherhood and freedom again. Piney serves as Vice-President under both J.T and Clay. He never liked Clay and never fully trusted him. Tara finds out that Clay was responsible for the death of J.T. Piney suspects that Clay murdered J.T. and he threatens to reveal the truth. However, before he can, he is brutally killed by Clay. It is one of the most gut wrenching deaths in the series.
7 Robert “Bobby” Munson
Death: “What a Piece of Work is Man”
Bobby Munson was a main character on the Sons Of Anarchy. He served has vice-president for a while. He was often the voice of reason and would try to find a peaceful resolution to situations. He would use the gun when he needed to. He was loyal to the club before anything. He also did an awesome impersonation of Elvis Presley. He was kidnapped in season 7 by August Marks. Jax had lied to August, so August was getting revenge. He had Bobby tortured and beaten. At the exchange for Bobby, August betrays Jax and shoots Bobby in the head. Jax catches Bobby’s body as it falls to the ground. Bobby’s tragic death has a huge impact on the SOA and several other characters.
6 Dawn Trager
Dawn Trager was the daughter of Tig Trager. When Opie almost killed Clay, Jax lied and pinned the shooting on Laroy and his gang. Tig was upset and tried to run Laroy over, but instead killed Victoria Pope. It turns out that she was the daughter of the ruthless and evil, Damien Pope. Pope captures Tig and ties him up. He then reveals that he also kidnapped Dawn, Tig’s youngest daughter. Pope sets her on fire and makes Tig watch as she burns to death. It’s one of the most heart breaking, tragic, brutal and uncomfortable deaths in any TV series.
5 Clarence “Clay” Morrow
Death: "Aon Rud Persanta”
Clay Morrow was a main character and later an antagonist in the series. He was the President of the Club until Jax found out the Clay was responsible for his father’s death, the attempted abduction of Tara and Piney’s death. He was ruthless, violent and just plain, mean. For a few seasons, Jax wants to murder Clay but is forced to keep him alive for various reasons. Jax then pins the murder of Damien Pope on Clay. Clay is in prison when the SOA break him out. Jax then murders Clay. The death is incredibly heart breaking and gut wrenching. Although he was an antagonist, the character was tremendously popular. Clay gives Gemma one final kiss before she witnesses her son kill Clay.
4 Gemma Teller
Death: “Red Rose”
Gemma was one of the main characters throughout the whole series. She is one of two characters to appear in every episode, although the last time was as a dead corpse. She was the mother of Jax but also served as mother to other members of SOA. She was an overbearing and controlling mother. She was also very manipulative and violent. Her life revolved around the club as much as anyone else’s. She wasn’t a member of the club but was closely affiliated. She loved her son Jax more then anyone. She becomes infuriated with her daughter-in-law Tara, when she threatens to leaves Charming with her kids. Gemma considers them to be her family, not Tara’s. Gemma brutally murders the love of Jax’s life, Tara. However, her and Juice pin the murder on the Chinese. Jax then goes on a killing rampage. Abel hears her tell baby Thomas that she killed Tara. Abel then tells his father. In one of the most heart breaking moments in any series, Jax somewhat reluctantly kills his own mother. He shoots her in the back of the head, while she looks at the flowers in her father’s garden, one last time.
3 Harry “Opie” Winston
Death: “Laying Pipe”
Opie was a part of the series from season 1 to season 5. He was the best friend of Jax and the son of Piney. He struggles with his role in the club, especially following the deaths of his wife and father. At one point, he considers leaving but is convinced to stay by Jax. He is an honorable person, brave and fearless. He goes to prison with Jax, Tig and Chibs. While in prison, gangster Damien Pope orders Jax to sacrifice one of his men to die. Jax refuses to and instead offers himself up. Opie punches a guard so that he can take Jax’s place. In one of the most heart breaking, gut wrenching and brutal deaths, four guys with a pipe beat Opie to death. He puts up a valiant effort and goes out like a hero. The other three are witness to the murder but can’t help him. His last words were, “I got this.”
2 Jackson “Jax” Teller
Death: “Papa’s Goods”
Jax Teller was the main character in the series. He appeared in every single episode from season 1 to 7. Initially, he is the club’s Vice-President and later becomes the President. His father was one of the founding members. After finding a manuscript his father wrote, The Life and Death Of Sam Crow: How The Sons Of Anarchy Lost Their Way, he begins to question the club and its actives. He is an anti-hero who struggles with right and wrong. He wants to make a difference but as the series goes, he finds himself getting deeper and deeper into the illegal activities. His feelings about the club cause friction between him and the other characters, specifically Gemma and Clay. He goes on a killing rampage after the death of his wife, Tara. He realizes that in order for his two sons to have a normal life, they cannot be around him or the violence. He sends his sons to live with Wendy and Nero. In the most heart breaking and gut wrenching death, Jax commits suicide by riding his bike into a truck. He dies much like his father did, with hopes that their sons would never follow in their footsteps. The final image in the series is of Jax’s blood slowly pouring out on the road.
1 Tara Knowles
Death: “A Mother’s Work”
Tara Knowles' death was one of the most brutal, intense and heart breaking. Her character died in the season 6 finale and up to that point, had appeared in every episode. Tara was the wife of Jax and the mother of Thomas Jr. She was a Doctor at the local hospital. She dated Jax in high school and even got a SOA tattoo on her lower back. She left Charming and this broke Jax’s heart. They later reconcile and get married. She struggled with the violence of the club and her love for Jax. She stays around for him despite knowing that it’s not good for her kids. Tara was facing jail time for inadvertently helping Otto Delaney commit a murder. Jax gives himself up to protect her. However, Gemma does not know this and thinks that Tara is going to rat on the club. In the most gut wrenching death in the series, Gemma attempts to drown Tara in the sink and repeatedly stabs her in back of the head with a fork. Juice and LT. Eli Roosevelt run in after they hear a crash. They find Gemma on the ground with a brutally murdered Tara. Seconds later, Juice shoots and murders Eli.