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Sons of Anarchy - A Modern Day Hamlet, or is it Macbeth?

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Tawnya is a freelance writer and mom of a tiny gymnast. When it comes to buying gymnastics-related gear, I'm an industry pro.


Facts about the FX Series Sons of Anarchy

  • Sons of Anarchy debuted on September 3, 2008
  • The SOAFX series finale will air December 9, 2014
  • A series of SOA novels is on its way. First one, Bratva will be published in November 2014.
  • Six out of 9 of the Redwood Originals were Vietnam War veterans.
  • Charming, California, is a fictional town

Sons of Anarchy is Based on Shakespeare's Tragedy Hamlet

When I began watching Sons of Anarchy, I couldn't understand how I was hooked on this type of drama. Sons of Anarchy is about outlaws, bikers, and well, anarchy. As a middle class, happily married, work-at-home mom of one, I couldn't psychologically understand why I was so hooked on this FX hit. hit me! Sons of Anarchy is based loosely on Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet.

However, as we near the end of the series, dubbed the "Final Ride." I am beginning to wonder if Kurt Sutter is going for more of a Macbeth-inspired ending, but I'll get into that later. At this point, I have realized that no one can truly predict what Kurt Sutter, an evil genius, is going to do next. But, I have hypothesized my Sons of Anarchy conclusions based on what I know of the series and Shakespeare's tragedies.

Check out my Sons of Anarchy/Hamlet comparison, and find out why I think Sutter may be on the brink of surprising us all with a Macbeth ending rather than a Hamlet ending that many see coming. It's important to note that no matter what way Sutter goes, I am sure of one thing...Jax has to die!

Bratva is Available in Hardcore and Kindle Editions

Power Corrupts and Continuously Repeats

I've become the thing. The one I hated.

— Jax Teller

Sons of Anarchy Mug Shot T-Shirt

Who's Still With Us at the Beginning of Sons of Anarchy Season 7?

Updated December 2, 2014

After tonight's episode, I had to make quite a few alterations to my list because Red Rose, the second to last Sons of Anarchy episode, was a bloodbath. As you can see from the list below, Juice, Unser, and Gemma have been removed from the list. Juice died in jail, but not after unraveling any sanity that Jax had left, and Unser and Gemma died at the hand of Jax.

I have been predicting the end of Sons of Anarchy as soon as I heard a finale was in the future. How have I been doing this? Using my literary nerdiness to pair Hamlet characters next to the Sons of Anarchy characters. However, Sutter, being the master manipulator that he is, has disrupted my conclusion several times with his power to create the unexpected.

With season 7 in progress, I think I have finally narrowed it down to who will be and who won't be standing when the credits roll on December 9, 2014. To understand my thoughts, you have to remember that I made these predictions at the beginning of season 7. At this time, the following SAMCRO members were still standing:

  • Jax
  • Chibs
  • Tig
  • Rat
  • Happy
  • Montez
  • Quinn

Sons of Anarchy Deaths in Season 7

As of October 21, 2014, I have only had to remove one name from the characters that are still with us. Orlin West, shot in the chest by Lin's crew, is the only main character that has died. I never expected West to survive long into season 7, so he wasn't part of my theory. However, with Bobby in Marx's clutches, I am worried that I will have to add another name to the list very soon.

Bobby's Dead

I swear, what has Sutter seen in his life that he can come up with such dastardly scenarios on Sons of Anarchy? For a moment, I thought everything was going to be okay; however, when Marks pulled that gun out of Bobby's waistband, I knew it was Bobby and not Jax that was going to go. RIP Bobby, you were a loyal Son to the end, and while you may not have as big a fandom as Opie, fans of Sons of Anarchy will never forget you.

Other characters that are still with us that play into my theory as well include:

  • Wendy
  • Nero
  • August Marks

The Tortured and Sexy Handsome Jack

Jax Teller - The Hamlet of Sons of Anarchy and the Prince of Charming

Jax Teller - The Hamlet of Sons of Anarchy and the Prince of Charming

My Sons of Anarchy/Hamlet Character Comparison

Sons of AnarchyHamletCharacter Comparison



,Hamlet's uncle killed his brother and married his wife. Jax is the son of John Teller. JT was killed by Clay Morrow, who later married JT's widow, Jax's mother, Gemma.



Claudius is the murdering brother that killed Hamlet's father and later married his mother. Clay with Gemma's help plotted to kill JT and then the murderous, villainous couple married.



Clay was murdered in the 6th season, but I think that Sutter replaced Clay with Nero as Claudius.



Gertrude was the Queen, the mother of Hamlet. Gemma is the Queen of Samcro, after all JT named the Redwood Originals after her and is also Jax's mother.



Ophelia was the love of Hamlet's life and the daughter of Polonius. Tara was also the love of Jax's life. Unfortunately, both women met an unfortunate demise via bad choices.



Horatio was Hamlet's go-to guy. Chibs is now Jax's VP.



Laertes is the key to Hamlet's downfall, which makes Juice the logical choice for this role.



Polonius and Hamlet couldn't always agree and had heated debates. Bobby was Jax's VP, but stepped down due to differences in the direction the club was taking.

Ghost of Hamlet's Father

John (JT Teller)

In the Shakespearean tragedy, the Ghost of Hamlet's father comes to him in a dream, on Sons of Anarchy this role is fulfilled by JT's journals that Jax often refers too.


August Marks

In the play, Fortinbras, the Prince of Norway is the one who gives Hamlet the burial he deserves. In my opinion, this role belongs to August Marks. After all, Marks is a king in his own right.

Fun Fact about Tara's Death in Season 6

I suspected that Tara would die early into season 6. I even theorized that Tara would die by Gemma's hand. However, what I didn't expect was the violent way Tara died. If I think about it honestly, I thought Tara would commit suicide, or be killed accidentally. But, the way Kurt Sutter killed Tara is an act of genius, especially when you consider the scenes Shakespearean roots.

As my chart shows above, Tara is Ophelia in Sons of Anarchy. In Hamlet, Ophelia dies by drowning in the river. How she ended up in the river depends on who you believe. Some say she jumped in the river and others think she fell in the river when a branch broke. No matter how she ended up there, Ophelia drowned. In the season 6 finale, Gemma nearly drown Tara in dishwater before she was effectively finished off with a turkey carving fork.

What's Up with Abel?

When I created my table above, I never theorized about Abel playing a big part in the season. Jax's kids have always been a big part of the show, but I never considered how their relationships with Jax, Gemma, Wendy, and the deceased Tara could play such a big role in the show.

While I still don't think Abel belongs in the table above, I do have a theory. I think that Abel is going to tell his teacher, Courtney Love, about Gemma's confession to Thomas. The only reason I think Abel will tell Love his secret is because I can't think of any other reason for her to have a recurring cameo on the show. Then, I believe Love will use the information to blackmail the club, or Wendy. If she goes after Wendy, I'm sure she will end up using it against Gemma.

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In Faith and Despondency (Ep. 7.10) Abel Spills the Beans

Abel has been carrying around more baggage than any 5-year-old should. Early into Faith and Despondency, we knew Abel was struggling with his secrets and after he harmed himself and blamed Gramma, everyone knew, or at least should have known his secrets were going to come spilling out. I

was shocked that Jax told Abel the truth about Wendy being his biological mom, but I think it was the catapult to Abel confiding in Jax that Gemma killed Tara. Unfortunately, Abel had been caught in a lie earlier in the day, so Jax bide his time confronting his maligned mother with what Abel disclosed.

Delve Deeper into Sons of Anarchy With This Philosophical Book

Follow the Table Above to Understand My Season 7 Sons of Anarchy Predictions

Now that you understand what SOA characters match Shakespeare's Hamlet characters, you are ready for my predictions. First and foremost, I think it is important to tell you that I don't think there will be many survivors when the credits roll on Charming for the last time.

I know Sutter has mentioned that only a few main characters will die, but I don't believe him. Instead, I think when SOA has ended, Charming will be oozing with blood from the characters we have grown to love over the last six years.

The Only Thing I Do Well is Outlaw

— Jax Teller

Hamlet Ends in a Bloodbath, and YES, the Protagonist Dies

I know there are SOA fans everywhere hoping and praying that Sutter doesn't kill Jax. Sorry to tell you, I think it would be impossible to imagine an ending to Sons of Anarchy that didn't include Jax dying a horrific, violent, memorable death, especially when you remember that I believe Kurt Sutter is opting for a Shakespearean tragedy ending.

If this is true...Jax has to die. In Hamlet, Hamlet dies, violently, at the hand of bad choices he has made in his life, which is exactly how I think the handsome Prez will die as well.

How Does Jax Die? Who Will be Left Standing?

Now on to the good stuff, the stuff you really want to know. First, I think that Jax will realize Gemma killed his beloved Tara. Being the angry, vengeful, creator of chaos that he is, I believe Jax will set out to kill Gemma and accidentally kill Nero.

Afterall, Nero is the new Claudius after Clay's death, and it stands to reason that Nero must die before Gemma or Jax. I also believe we are reaching the climax of season 7. If this stands true, we should see a battle between Jax (as Hamlet) and Juice (as Laertes). I believe it is Juice's actions at this climactic time that will bring the demise of SAMCRO and lay the path for Jax's own death as well.

In the end, I think the only SAMCRO member that will be standing is Chibs. Chibs is loyal to Jax, the club, and nearly everything else he loves and holds dear. For this reason, I think Chibs is Horatio. In the final scenes of SOA, I expect to see Chibs holding a dying Jax in his arms.

In fact, I bet Kurt Sutter, being the writing genius that he is, even has Chibs say something to Jax that Horatio said to Hamlet, "goodnight sweet prince and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest." However, I don't think this will be the "final scene."

Sons of Anarchy Poll

August Marks as the Prince of Norway Gets the Final Scene

In season 7, Jax is the creator of chaos and a prisoner to his own vengeance. He is blinded by the things that have happened and can't see far enough into the future to save himself, or the ones he loves. In the final scenes of Hamlet, the Prince of Norway finds Hamlet's dead body and sets out to give the Prince the burial he deserves. In Sons of Anarchy, I believe that August Marks is the Prince of Norway and will find Jax's dead body and put Handsome Jack to rest once and for all.

Am I Wrong? Is Chibs Fortinbras Instead of Marks??

After Tuesday's episode, October 28th, I was kind of disappointed. I'm not used to Sutter dragging out his plots at unbearably slow paces. Here we are well into the second half of this season, and nothing has really changed. Jax is still angry and vengeful, and Gemma is still in the clear.

However, I do think Unser, Nero, and Wendy are close to discovering Gemma's secret. After all, the very angry Abel knows the truth, but probably doesn't know how to express it yet. To see what other people were thinking, I browsed online and found an interesting article that suggested that Chibs is Fortinbras instead of Horatio. I scoffed at the theory that Chibs could be anyone but Horatio, according to my theory, but gave the article a read anyway.

Now, I wish I hadn't! While I'm going to stick to my theory that Chibs is Horatio and Marks is Fortinbras, I have to admit that the other writer's theory has some pretty solid arguments. The one thing that we both can agree on is when Sons of Anarchy ends for good, we both agree Chibs will be one of, probably the only, Son still standing.

The Reaper is Coming

Could Sons of Anarchy's Ending be Inspired by Macbeth Instead of Hamlet?

Over the last few years, I have learned to plan for the unexpected when it comes to Sons of Anarchy. Sutter isn't afraid to kill the most beloved characters, RIP Opie. I mean, who would have ever expected Tara's death to be created with a turkey carving knife?

With this said, I have come up with an alternative ending for Sons of Anarchy. Instead of following Hamlet to a tee, which I explained earlier in the article, I suspect Sutter may be going for more of a Macbeth-inspired ending. After all, Sutter is no stranger to hit TV shows, but Sons of Anarchy is obviously his deepest tragedy.

In comparison, Macbeth was also Shakespeare's greatest tragedy. If Sutter opts for a Macbeth ending for Sons of Anarchy, we can expect the ending to center around Jax, Nero, and August Marks. In this plot twist, these three characters would represent Macbeth, Macduff, and Malcolm. Nero and August Marks have both made it clear to Jax that they don't want the streets filled with blood and Jax has ignored their requests and pleas for peace.

In the final scene of Macbeth, Macduff (Nero) hands Malcolm (August Marks) the severed head of Macbeth (Jax). At the ending of the play, much as I suspect Sutter may be aiming to create at the ending of Sons of Anarchy, there is a feeling that peace and restoration will now be possible because the creator of chaos is now dead.

1 Day to the Final Ride

Tomorrow is the series finale of Sons of Anarchy. I am anxiously awaiting the conclusion of the series and to see how my theory turns out. With this in mind, this series finale has a ton of loose ends to clear up including the following:

  • What is the unwritten by-law?
  1. I have two theories regarding this, first I think Jax wants to prevent Abel and Thomas from patching into SAMCRO.
  2. My other theory is that if a Mayhem vote comes for Jax, he wanted permission to take his own life. I imagine if this theory pans out, Sutter and Barclay will have Jax crash at the same site JT died.
  • How will Nero react to Gemma's death?
  • Will Chibs take over as President?
  • Will Wendy and the boys get their happily ever after?
  • Who is the homeless lady? (Please Sutter don't leave us hanging on this!)

Sons of Anarchy Predictions? Feel Free to Add Them Here

Martine Andersen on March 05, 2017:

I know! Had to watch the last of it yesterday and understood a lot more of the references in your article!

Tawnya (author) from NE Ohio on March 04, 2017:

So sorry! It's really great though!

Martine Andersen on March 03, 2017:

OMG! I cant believe I read this before finishing the show! Spoilers all around! Great article though, liked your theories.

Tawnya (author) from NE Ohio on December 10, 2014:

Thanks for commenting! I thought that was the unwritten bi-law and it was confirmed when TO was patched in last night, but I was also suspicious that Jax was trying to prohibit his legacy from joining SAMCRO or that Jax wanted to meet Mr. Mayhem by his own hand. I also think your point about Opie is fantastic! I hadn't even considered that. Thanks for sharing.

Anon on December 10, 2014:

The unwritten by law is the law that only whites are allowed in the club. It's the reason Juice was trying to hide who his father was. Also, even though Tara is his wife, I think Opie is a better fit for Ophelia. He jumped into the river.

Tawnya (author) from NE Ohio on October 14, 2014:

Thanks for your reply, bensen32! Your right, trying to guess what Kurt Sutter is going to do next is crazy. I also agree that Jax has to die, how can it be a tragedy if the protagonist doesn't meet an untimely demise. If anyone is left standing at the very end, I hope it's Chibs - he's my favorite.

Thomas Bensen from Wisconsin on October 13, 2014:

Interesting your line of thinking. I don't know much about Macbeth or Hamlet to have put all that together but sounds about right.

Trying to guess what Sutter will do gives me a headache but I think Jax has to die in the end or there is no end to the story.

Character that I think should die is Jax and Gemma. Those I would like to see live, Juice and Chibs.

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