No character was ever safe in the FX series Sons Of Anarchy. Even the key antihero Jax Teller didn’t quite manage to escape the Grim Reaper. By the time the show ended, there had been a total of 399 character deaths. The seventh and final season had the highest number of deaths (28), followed by the third season (23).
Although many of these kills were just random side characters, a few were totally heartbreaking and completely changed the series. But that was part of what made the show so great. It was never easy to tell who’d be next. Plenty of fan-favorite characters were killed off, but a few lucky ones managed to survive too.
Updated on January 8th, 2022 by Hilary Elizabeth: Despite the fact that Sons of Anarchy had no problem with letting even the most important of characters die in unimaginably brutal ways, many people unexpectedly made it through the entire series. Whether they deserved to or not, all of these major players in Sons of Anarchy never met Mr. Mayhem.
Darby was introduced at the very beginning of the series. He was a white supremacist drug dealer and manufacturer, and he immediately got on Jax’s bad side when he found out that Darby had been selling meth to Wendy while she was pregnant with Abel.
They continued to have a contentious relationship until Darby finally retired from his life of crime and went straight, ironically settling down with one of the Hispanic women that he used to employ.
Considering his penchant for violence, it was a surprise that he survived the whole show. Given the number of senseless murders Tig Trager committed, viewers probably predicted that karma would come for him. But that never happened. Tig survived, and as per the events of the spinoff Mayans M.C., he is still SAMCRO’s current Vice President.
The seventh season was particularly good for Tig. He had a fruitful relationship with Venus Van Dam, and after the club voted for Jax to “Meet Mr. Mayhem,” Chibs was promoted to President while Tig was made Vice President.
Most viewers expected that out of Jax’s two main love interests, Tara would survive over Wendy and be the one that’d be left standing after the show ended. Sadly, she was killed by Gemma. In the final season, Jax confessed to Abel that Wendy was his biological mother. After that, he tasked Nero with taking care of Wendy, Abel, and Thomas. He then told both Wendy and Nero that he was going away.
Wendy sensed something was wrong but she didn’t understand what was happening. Jax was doing all this because he was planning to kill himself. The club had voted for him to “Meet Mr. Mayhem” either way, and he didn’t want to put that responsibility onto his loved ones, so he decided to do it himself. Wendy was thus left with kids after Jax’s death.
Ima was most memorable for her intense crush on Jax, and her willingness to mess with Tara in the hopes of winning him over and ending their relationship.
Obviously, her attempts to interfere had no real effect, but when she gets involved in Opie and Lyla’s relationship, Jax horrifically assaults her in an attempt to get her to back off. Apparently, aggression towards Ima runs in the family, because the last time she is seen, Gemma also assaults her for setting Lyla up to go to a dangerous video shoot.
Chibs was often calmer and more level-headed than the other SAMCRO members, so his survival wasn’t that surprising. His discipline paid off, as he ended up as SAMCRO’s President. He even made a brief appearance in the second season of Mayans M.C. to help the Mayans broker a weapons deal.
After all the hell he had been taken through by Jimmy O, Chibs finally found romance in the final season. He briefly dated Eli Roosevelt’s replacement, Lt. Althea Jarry. They later broke up, but fate was still kind to Chibs since he ended up being President.
A common cliche across most shows and movies is that the villain ends up dead. That wasn’t always the case in Sons Of Anarchy. Ethan Zobelle—one of the show’s best antagonists—actually survived. In the first and second seasons, Zobelle terrorized SAMCRO and even organized for Gemma to be assaulted and raped, making him one of the most hated supporting characters in Sons of Anarchy history.
It looked like the Sons would finally get their revenge when they cornered him at a store. Unfortunately, Jax got a call that Abel had been kidnapped so they all had to leave. Zobelle thus got a lucky break and fled the country. But at least Gemma got her revenge by killing his daughter. Viewers hoped Zobelle would show up again and meet his death, but that didn’t happen.
Labelling Chucky a weird character would be an understatement. He was introduced in the series as a compulsive masturbator. He paid dearly for his habit, as the Triads cut off four fingers on each of his hands to make it impossible for him to attend to his urges. He was then given a bookkeeping job at Cara Cara since someone only needs two fingers to type.
Chucky would go on to help SAMCRO in conducting numerous illegal activities without having to hold a gun. Surprisingly, aside from his compulsive behavior he never really got into anyone’s bad books, so he survived all the way and even ended up appearing in Mayans M.C.
As soon as Nero began dating Gemma, there was always the likelihood that Clay wouldn’t allow the romance to last for long. Given Clay’s long history with Gemma, he would have killed Nero. But fortunately for the escort agency owner, Clay’s past caught up with him and he ended up getting killed by Jax.
Nero would grow to be a likable character. He was a father figure to Jax and he also proved to be a very good partner to Gemma. When Jax was planning to take his own life, there was no one he trusted more to take care of Wendy and the kids than Nero. So, despite being at the heart of all the club violence, Nero survived.
Marcus Alvarez had an interesting evolution in his relationship with Jax and SAMCRO over the course of the story.
When he was first introduced, he was a clear adversary of the Sons, but as time went on they became allies, and Alvarez even had a hand in protecting the club when they were serving time in prison. And despite the danger that the biker life poses, Marcus lived on and even made it to the SoA spinoff, Mayans M.C.
Dating or marrying a SAMCRO member often felt like a death sentence. Many Old Ladies ended up dead. But Opie’s second wife Lyla made it to the end. Lyla was initially a porn star who was employed by Luann. After the death of Opie’s first wife Donna, Lyla and the SAMCRO member grew close.
Other club members initially had reservations about Opie dating a porn star, but he loved her and so they stayed together. Sadly, Opie was killed and Lyla had to suffer in order to take care of the kids. She was last seen in the Season 7 episode “Black Widower” where she was working as a producer for Red Woody Productions.
Happy Lowman started out as a member of the Tacoma, Washington charter before becoming a Nomad. He was eventually patched over to SAMCRO in the third season. Happy didn’t speak much. And whenever the other SAMCRO members hesitated to commit a violent act, he’d gladly do it.
Happy was last seen in the series finale episode, “Papa’s Goods.” By that time, he had been promoted to Seargent-At-Arms. He later appeared in the first season of Mayans M.C. where he was seen mentoring a new prospect. He was then singled out by Ezekiel Reyes as a suspect in his mother’s death.
Venus Van Dam
Walton Goggins gave an outstanding performance as the transgender prostitute Venus Van Dam. She made her first appearance in the Season 5 episode “Orca Shrugged” where she helped the club in blackmailing Allen Bicone. Soon, she became a close friend to SAMCRO, and Venus eventually fell in love with Tig.
She was often given various tasks by the club, including locating the family of the deceased preacher Jonathan Haddam, who SAMCRO had accidentally killed. She was last seen cuddling with Tig in the series finale as she consoled him over the death of Jax.
Thomas Teller was so young throughout the course of Sons of Anarchy that he never really developed as a character. Luckily for him, he was still a baby by the time Nero and Wendy left Charming with him, so he likely wasn’t hugely affected by all of the horrors that surrounded his early life.
And, although allowing one of Jax’s infant sons to die seemed unlikely, given how dark of a series the show really was, it wasn’t a guarantee that he’d make it to the end.
Being a law enforcement officer in Charming was a dangerous job. Almost every cop and agent that got involved with the Sons ended up dead. From Police Chief Unser to Deputy Chief David Hale to the sly Agent Stahl, no one was spared. However, San Joaquin County District Attorney Tyne Patterson came out of all the chaos alive.
Patterson investigated the murder at the Cahill Warehouse in Charming as well as the school shooting in which the teenage shooter had used a gun sold by SAMCRO. She handled things more amicably and even managed to make a deal with Jax. She was last seen in the series finale “Papa’s Goods.”
Clearly, Abel didn’t make it through the series emotionally unscathed, but surprisingly, the boy whose death had been predicted in the pilot episode of Sons of Anarchy actually survived the entire show.
Jax Teller’s story begins with his discovery of his father John’s dreams for a better life outside of the chaos that the club brings with it, and although Jax had to give up his life in the end, it seems that he managed to get his sons out of the criminal world for good.
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