‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Creator Kurt Sutter Defends ‘Gut-Wrenching’ Death

Wed, September 26, 2012 3:58pm EST by 125 Comments
Sons of Anarchy Opie death
Courtesy of FX

‘Sons of Anarchy’ fans were furious when a beloved character was killed Sept. 25, but Kurt promises the big death serves a much larger purpose.

If you still haven’t recovered from last night’s shocking Sons of Anarchy death, you’re not alone. Fans have been tweeting their anger, confusion and sadness to creator Kurt Sutter all day — but during a conference call with reporters Sept. 26, the showrunner justified his “gut-wrenching” decision: “It’s not a death that will happen in vain.”

Kurt explained that Opie’s (Ryan Hurst) death was a necessary event, one that will instill a sense of duty and purpose in the show’s “hero,” Jax (Charlie Hunnam).

“This is the first [season] I’ve had to think about the end game, and knowing where I wanted to get my hero and knowing how I wanted to get there, the road I wanted him to travel,” Kurt said. “Jax needed that emotional upheaval, that one event that happens in a mans life that can change the course of his destiny — the death of his best friend was [that].”

Kurt also noted that, although Ryan initially struggled to accept his character’s fate, he eventually realized “the importance of it in the mythology of the show.”

“It’s a difficult thing,” Kurt admitted. “[Ryan] is very plugged into the show and loves the character, and Ryan is a super-sensitive dude, so it was difficult for both of us to figure out how to do this.”

You’re probably still bummed about Opie’s death, but do you feel better after reading Kurt’s explanation? Drop us a comment with your (new) thoughts on the show’s tragic loss.

— Andy Swift

More Sons of Anarchy on HollywoodLife.com:

  1. ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Shocker: Which Major Character Was Killed Off?

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david

Posted at 4:09 AM on December 21, 2012  

even after all this time i think it was a monster mistake to kill opie off

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Aaron

Posted at 6:07 AM on December 21, 2012  

You know, I was sad every season when the last show of the season rolled around, I could hardly stand waiting for the next season to begin.
This year was different, I don’t miss the show, I’m not anticipating next seasons show, the cliff hangers from the last episode, I could care less.
I have every season on DVD and we watch them all the time, this was my all time favorite show, I feel the show actually ended for me at season 4, this is a totally different show now and I feel Curt Sutter has betrayed the viewers trust, he could have killed nearly anyone else to “Further Jax’s journey”,

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jkbbunch

Posted at 2:24 AM on May 7, 2013  

That would be Kurt Sutter, bonehead.

 
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KL

Posted at 11:04 PM on October 23, 2012  

I get why they felt the need to kill off Ryan’s character. However, even after Kurt’s explanation I refuse to watch the show. I was a fan from the very beginning. I quite cold turkey after they killed my beloved Opie. RIP Opie and RIP SOA… No longer a fan.

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Kurt

Posted at 1:54 PM on October 27, 2012  

THERES ALOT MORE TO THIS SHOW THEN OPIE, HE WAS A GREAT CHARECTOR AND HIS DEATH WAS SAD BUT TO QUIT WATCHING BECAUSE OF IT THATS JUST STUPID

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nrhg

Posted at 6:56 PM on November 4, 2012  

no its not, your dumb..

 
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Lowell

Posted at 9:59 AM on November 6, 2012  

I don’t have a problem with killing off characters in general, but my problem with this was that Opie volunteered to die and leave his kids without parents. He was caring for his kids by himself, went to his porn star ex to have her look after them ’cause I guess he didn’t think his mom could handle it. Would this person really volunteer to die? I don’t think so.

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chcuk

Posted at 1:44 PM on November 16, 2012  

your no longer a fan after they killed opie. but buy have you missed out one some great revenge. watching Jackie boy turn into a monster of a man on those responsible for opies murder. lots of intensity.

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Fifi

Posted at 8:29 PM on October 22, 2012  

I see quite a few asking for Tig to be killed off but I think Tig provides that dark comedic, loyal comrade that you want to watch your back in battle. Opie has the same traits that make him a warrier but less sexual deviancy. My point is: all these characters are integral to the show, to the makeup of the MC as a collective. They each contribute some uniqueness to the story and history of the club. The killing of Opie is shocking, brutal but in the same breath, brave. Brave death from a brave character written into life by a brave creator and writers. In death those types of characters shift the plates of the story. Tig or Opie… either one’s death would’ve left a gaping hole in SAMCRO.. just the way the cookie crumbled that the end story determined who died. This is the first TV show who’s fate does not hinge on one or two characters. Altho I’m disappointed, its all understandable.

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john

Posted at 8:36 AM on October 11, 2012  

I and alot of family members will not be watching the show anymore.Suggestion bring back opie as his twin brother he can revenge opie death everyone would be happy and you would keep your viewers also ratings……………….

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honeybuck

Posted at 12:42 AM on October 10, 2012  

Do you people really believe this is the real 1% life. It’s freaking Tv. Like it so much…Go LiVE IT … Glamorous it’s not… 1 who knoes

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nrhg

Posted at 6:57 PM on November 4, 2012  

shut up

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david

Posted at 4:12 AM on December 21, 2012  

may just be a show but closer to reality then most people would know

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brooke

Posted at 10:38 PM on October 7, 2012  

I think killing of opie was a huge mistake, he was a great actor, he connected to his character very well and was able to play his part amazingly. To kill off not only an amazing actor and amazing talent but one of the best characters on there and the one who went through and lost the most. The writer did a poor job, and the way he died was awful, I love the show, got all the DVDs and know there episodes off by heart but the only sons of anarchy ill be watching is the ones I got at home. I may still watch this season only because of jaxs but I cried more the he did when opie died and it a show, I think poor effort on this episode. You will have to win back some viewes I believe

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matt

Posted at 1:38 AM on October 6, 2012  

Really I was shocked! Opie was the heart and soul of the club. Really if you look at the mc as gangsters aka the mob. Tig is the one the should have died.

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Kenneth S

Posted at 1:14 AM on October 5, 2012  

They should not have killed Opie. This show is to dark. I will stop watching

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Denise

Posted at 8:41 AM on October 4, 2012  

The death of Opie was so very upsetting I understand the reason behind it. Put a big twist in bring him back as a nomad. He would be Opue but some who looks like him. Jax would be freaked out.

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david

Posted at 4:14 AM on December 21, 2012  

may just be a show but closer to reality then most people would know shave him bring him back as opie’s evil twin

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hans

Posted at 3:20 PM on October 3, 2012  

Well, you might say its brave, I dont think the death of the character was needed for the show. but I think it was done merely because Sutter CAN. He talks big about endgame, but I can see this show go down the same road as so many before. The thread gets lost in the absence of imagination and to compensate the show gets darker and darker until the wast majority of viewer have enough and give up on the show. Then the “endgame” sutter talk about is rushed in two seasons earlier due to cancellation of the show.

Maybe Opie was bigheaded off the staged and got the sack, but Sutter is no God and if the viewer lose interest he is the next to get the axe.

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Terri

Posted at 2:19 PM on October 17, 2012  

Seriously you killed off Opie, you could of just hurt him put him in a coma that there would of set Jax down the path you want him to go and then Opie could have come back and saved Jax from himself. Later you could of made everyone think he was still in a coma when actually he’s awake leaving the facility at night and doing the break ins for revenge. lol lol

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Sulo Young Elvis King

Posted at 3:22 AM on October 3, 2012  

As a creative writer, artist and musician I can see why Kurt Sutter decided to kill off a major character and threw a big curveball not only in our faces but in the shows fate. I hope by watching this video of Kurt Sutters blog explaining why he did it helps all of you upset and angry fans grasp the concept and really understand why it was a necessity for Season 5. I find it brilliant and amazingly witty and unique in so many ways. http://youtu.be/XMkEFFC3g68

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B.Hurst

Posted at 11:52 PM on October 2, 2012  

Unfortunate to lose such a major part of the show. He was one of a few characters that kept my interest and love for the true all american biker. A tough die hard friend to Jacks who bleed SOA. I still find it hard to see the true need for the death. I think the impact could have been done in a different dialogue without taking out one of the essential portions of the show. My only thought or reasoning such a bad decison was made is because “Ryan Hurst” has found a new personal opportunity in a different show. Best of luck to him and his future………I will miss ya bro!!!

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Danielle

Posted at 11:28 PM on October 2, 2012  

This is bullshit I wouldn’t be surprised if the show loses viewers

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Ryan Griffin

Posted at 11:58 AM on September 30, 2012  

As upset at I am at the death I must say it was perfect. It made perfect sense. You all don’t understand the point. The reason writers come up with these beloved characters is so the audience will feel for them and love them. To take one and have him die and the reactions you all have Play a viable role in the show and in the story. You have to see it from the writers prospective, not your own. It was a brilliant play and I can’t wait for next weeks show. This is what keeps people coming back for more is the drama episodes like this have on us fans. If you seriously can’t understand that you rally shouldn’t be watch tv or movies.

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Cooper j.

Posted at 9:01 PM on September 29, 2012  

A sign of a great writing is the fearlessness of killing a major character/detail in a story. Good job Kurt and Godspeed Opie.

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waewae

Posted at 8:51 AM on September 29, 2012  

i come to terms now but can opie have a twin brother or something so he ryan hurst can return so sad

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Cliff

Posted at 9:51 AM on September 28, 2012  

Great Show so much that I expected became the unexpected that’s the mark of a great show! Well done Kurt!

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angela

Posted at 1:48 PM on September 28, 2012  

not well done ass hole

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Sulo Young Elvis King

Posted at 3:16 AM on October 3, 2012  

Angela I just think you aren’t understanding the brilliance behind killing off Opie on this show. It needed to happen and in return makes the show even better. I mean what show does this? Kurt Sutter is breaking the barriers and paving the way to become one legendary figure in the entertainment world.

 
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Aaron

Posted at 5:33 AM on September 28, 2012  

Hell no, You do not create a charactor that is loved like opie, and take him away,My wife and I have been fans of Ryan Hurst since the Titans, his role in Sons was the most believable out of all the actors, I believe he was upstaging and out acting the “Hero” and had to be dealt with, just like Katy Sagal was toned down this year after Charlies remark about “Old Lady’s not having that big of a roll in clubs, I just wonder what actually goes on behind the scenes on Sons, Does Sutter Fan Jax and feed him grapes??

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Stax

Posted at 4:17 AM on September 28, 2012  

fuck you sutter!!!! You literally killed my favorite character…kill Tig he is a waste of life!!!

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tammy fox

Posted at 1:59 AM on September 28, 2012  

I was very pissed and confused about opie’s death,and i also cried for about 10 minutes but now i understand why it had to happen. Very admireable opie. That is why i love you. YOURS ALWAYS, TAMMY!!

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mitch

Posted at 1:48 AM on September 28, 2012  

I loved Opie he became a friend to all that watched the show. Ryan Hurst is an amazing actor and took us along on his struggle and sadly his final sacrifice. We felt all his joy and pain A real tribute to his gift. It was painful to watch the way he went out. We will miss you and remember you friend.

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Tim

Posted at 12:33 AM on September 28, 2012  

I’ve Never Missed An Episode Ever… Just Thinking 3 More Year Without Opie Makes Me Sick… And They Way It Went Down… When He Wasn’t Even Suppose To Go To Jail… That’s Freaking Lame! If Your Going To Do Something So Profound… Do It With A Little More Class… Kurt… You Suck! Lost A True Fan Brother… And P.S. … You Suck!

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Dboris

Posted at 10:54 PM on September 27, 2012  

Well Kurt, I don’t like nor agree with it and I never get into these replies but I just wanted to let you know I WILL NOT BE WATCHING ANOTHER SHOW OF YOURS……………

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bob

Posted at 4:31 AM on September 28, 2012  

You do realize it is a TV show right?

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Danielle Torres

Posted at 10:42 PM on September 27, 2012  

fuck kurt sutter and soa at this point! they did not need to kill opie and not that way!

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Mike

Posted at 10:38 PM on September 27, 2012  

It was horrible, no doubt. I cried, and tried to gather myself, then cried again…but for a show to be able to affect someone so intensely is a credit to its creator and the actors themselves. Similar to Game of Thrones on HBO. This is a show that is a cut above the rest, it pulls you in, you feel the same emotions as the characters your watching. As hard as this episode was on all us fans, this is what makes good shows great in my opinion. Very sad, and very good. Great job to everyone involved in the show.

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Path Finder

Posted at 7:31 PM on September 29, 2012  

What a bunch of f—— cry babies. It’s a show. Get out & ride for a life style for real. Flying COLORS certainly has some very serious responsibilities. Also along with being a 1%er, not some clown who puts on their shiney leathers & clip on ear ring for the weekend. It’s for real, & it’s for life. Every BROTHER I know would back each other to the DEATH ! Out here in the streets it’s for keeps & always has been. Snitches get Stitches.

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red @ white

Posted at 8:54 PM on September 30, 2012  

amen brother and kurt, im trusting the change man this better be one hell of a turn around or it could very well destroy the whole thing, jax was passive for the first 3 seasons but now if the death of opie(ryan hurst) doesnt get him to ignite i feel ive wasted my time.

 
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Ugh...ok

Posted at 4:48 AM on October 4, 2012  

Go get ‘em tiger!!!! Just don’t let word get out on the streets that you read Hollywood gossip websites!!

 
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Mel Ramsey

Posted at 8:22 AM on October 4, 2012  

LOL, kinda what I was thinkin !!! (What a poser !!!)

 
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