With rumors running rampant that a Sons of Anarchy prequel — The First 9 — may be in the works, we feel it is important for fans to remember just how hard it was to be a dedicated (perhaps obsessed) viewer of Sons each week. Just when you thought your favorite character was in the clear, creator Kurt Sutter would gut fans by killing them off, usually in the most violent way possible.
Knowing fans will absolutely tune in for a Sons prequel — which would focus on Jax Teller’s (Charlie Hunnam) father John Teller — the timing seems right to revisit the nine most heart-breaking deaths during Sons of Anarchy’s seven season run. Even if it is just to prepare fans for what they may be in for. Number one may surprise you.
While trying to protect Tara Knowles and Abel Teller, Half Sack was stabbed to death by Cameron, which allowed the Irish mobster to kidnap Abel and head to Ireland. The scene set up most of season 3 which saw Jax traveling to Ireland to rescue his son and find out more about his elusive father, John Teller.
Donna’s death may have been the death that taught Sons of Anarchy fans that no one is safe on the show. Clay Morrow puts a hit out on Opie Winston because he believes he is cooperating with the FBI, but instead of Opie, Tig shoots and kills his wife, Donna. Making matters for Clay worse — Opie was never working with the FBI.
Otto (played by creator Kurt Sutter) went through more torture for the club than any other character on the show. While on one last mission for the club, Otto finally found peace when he was shot to death by prison guards responding to the murder of vengeful former U.S. Marshall, Lee Toric.
Piney – one of The First 9 – wanted nothing but the best for Jax Teller and SAMCRO. But, when SAMRCO President Clay thought that he knew a little too much, he took it upon himself to hunt for Piney at a remote cabin and take him out himself.
While most thought that Jax’s death would probably top the list, it was the fact that Jax knew he would find peace in death that made it not quite as sad. (Although if you did not shed a tear during this final scene, you might be dead inside.) After protecting his club and making sure his sons were going to grow up safe and without SAMCRO, Jax took his own life while leading an epic police chase.
When Jax’s mother, Gemma, killed his wife with a meat fork – over a miscommunication – in the season 6 finale, fans got a glimpse of what they were in store for Sons of Anarchy’s seventh and final season. Can anyone ever forget the image of Jax cradling his dead wife’s body?
In season 7, it almost seemed that Juice had become the new Otto. Raped and tortured in prison, Juice’s secret that he knew Gemma killed Tara finally came out in a tear-jerking scene between Theo Rossi (Juice) and Charlie Hunnam (Jax). Jax promises to make Juice’s death in prison quick. When Juice figures out that his time had come, he only had one simple request, “Let me just finish my pie.”
After Jax finally figures out that his mother was the one who killed Tara, Jax knows what he has to do. He finds his mother at her parent’s house, looking through old photos and seemingly coming to terms with what is going to happen. “I love you Jackson from the deepest, purest part of my heart. You have to do this sweetheart, it’s who we are…. I’m ready,” are the last words uttered by Gemma before Jax shoots his mother. (Honorable mention for Wayne Unser, who was always trying to protect Gemma, but Jax sees him as an obstacle in between him and his mother, so he shoots him too.)
“I got this.” The four simple words that shattered Sons of Anarchy fans hearts in season four. One of the Sons had to die in prison, and Jax had already decided it would be him, rather than sacrifice any of the other members of the club. But after losing his wife and father, Opie decided that it would be him that would die for SAMCRO. The brutality of his death is hard to watch, as are the reactions of Tig, Chibs, and Jax. Watch the scene below, but be careful, you may want tissues handy.