There is no better time to look back on Sons of Anarchy, one of the most popular and acclaimed series that FX ever aired, than the present. That’s because the world of Sons of Anarchy is set to return to television in September of 2018, when Mayans MC, a series that focuses on one of the Sons’ rival gangs, premieres.
Despite being off the air since 2014, Sons of Anarchy continues to have a large fan base to this day. Despite how beloved the series is among a certain group, the fact remains that there are a number of misconceptions about the series that are still believed.
It's completely understandable, given the fact that SoA ran for an impressive 7 seasons. Considering so many episodes aired, it is pretty easy for fans to get a few things wrong. Realizing that inspired us to put together this list.
In order for a misconcception of Sons of Anarchy to be considered for possible inclusion on this list, first and foremost it needs to be something that a good amount of people think to be true. For our purposes, it makes absolutely no difference if it has to do with something that went on behind-the-scenes or could be seen during an episode of the series. Of course, everyone’s knowledge base is different, so you may already be aware of these things, but a lot of casual fans of the show are not.
Here are 20 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Sons Of Anarchy.
20 John Teller's Fate
A specter that continued to haunt the motorcycle club he co-founded, John Teller was long gone, but he had a huge influence on the show’s storylines. Able to guide many of his son Jax’s actions from the grave through the words he put to paper, his motivations continued to be fleshed out over the show’s run.
John is first revealed to have lost his life after he was hit by a semi-truck. Eventually, we learn that his best friend and wife conspired to end him by sabotaging his motorcycle. However, later on, it seems like Teller knew about what had been done to his bike and went along with it in an effort to sacrifice himself for the club.
While the latter scenario seems to be true, it is never proven.
19 There was no tension on the set
When a show’s creator and showrunner does not get along with the star, it is a problem. These two men that were clearly passionate about their involvement in Sons of Anarchy, and ideally that commitment would have made Kurt Sutter and Charlie Hunnam the best of friends. Sadly, while they seem to have mostly gotten along, that was not always the case.
Open about the tension that has existed between him and his boss, during an interview, Hunnam said that he and Sutter had never come to blows “but, I will say it got close.”
After much wringing of hands and conjecture that the two men were feuding, Sutter took to twitter to write “I love Charlie. It’s mutual”, which is a strong indication that their tension was short lived.
18 Ron Perlman was Always Clay Morrow
There are few actors that have fit a role better than Ron Perlman did with that of Clay Morrow. Charismatic enough to be someone that you could see a group of outlaws following, he was also able to show a great deal of vulnerability. For those reasons, Perlman’s performance made the character of Clay work. After all, it took a lot of skill on his behalf to allow the audience to sympathize with Clay despite the awful things he did.
Amazingly enough, someone else was previously cast in the role: the highly respected character actor Scott Glenn.
In fact, the pilot was even shot with Glenn in the role before the decision to recast was made, which resulted in several scenes being reshot.
17 The Show Was Always Named Sons of Anarchy
It's one of the most important decisions when it comes to the creation of a new show. If a series is named poorly, it can be a huge hurdle to overcome.
For instance, when we first heard the name Sons of Anarchy, we weren’t sure what the show was about but it seemed vaguely tough and absolutely piqued our interest. The series had originally been given another name that we think was far less effective.
It was initially titled Forever Sam Crow, which gives its prospective audience nothing to go on.
After all, we could easily see it being some kind of play on a perpetually befuddled lead character named Sam that is always forced to eat crow.
16 The Tattoos Are Real
Throughout the run of Sons of Anarchy there were many instances of seeing people with fake ink. The most obvious instances of this were the Sons of Anarchy tattoos that took up the entire backs of several lead characters. That said, a large percentage of the tattoos you saw on the show were quite real.
As a great example of the mixing real ink with fake, the actor David Labrava’s torso is almost entirely covered with real tattoos, but the happy faces seen in the show were not legitimate.
While some of the SOA actors needed to have more fake tattoos applied than others, if you like a piece of body ink you saw on the show, there is a decent chance that it was real.
15 Tig’s Fear of Dolls is Totally Random
Without a doubt the strangest member of the Sons of Anarchy, throughout the series Tig Trager seems to be more than happy to do a lot of pretty out-there stuff. For that reason, it felt like it came completely out of nowhere when he exhibited pediophobia, or the fear of dolls.
It turns out that there was an all too real reason why he was given this character trait.
It is based on a real-life fear that Kurt Sutter has.
When asked about this issue, Sutter revealed during an interview that he is creeped out by “dolls with life-like features” that his wife Katey Sagal has. In fact, he claims to have gone so far as to “turn them the other way whenever she left the room."
14 Ron Perlman Likes Motorcycles
It stands to reason that Ron Perlman is pretty comfortable riding on them by now. Just from looking at him, he seems like a guy that may have spent a portion of his tender years riding his bike around with his buddies. However, according to reports, when Perlman started out in the role of Clay Morrow, he was no fan of riding motorcycles.
Even described in some reports as fearing those two wheel vehicles at one point, we have not those words come out of his mouth.
On the other hand, his co-star Maggie Siff was asked about him not liking to ride and she responded that it is “funny” that “the toughest guy in the show” is “not all about riding.”
13 Jax’s White Shoes Are Weird
If you watch the show for long enough, it's hard to ignore the clean, white shoes that Jax Teller usually wears. They were a far cry from the dirty, rugged boots most viewers would expect a biker to wear.
This was an apparel choice that Hunnam himself made for the character.
According to Hunnam, the show choice was based on a real-life biker who helped inspire the way he played Jax.
Hunnam had opted to shadow the motorcycle club member to prepare for the role. When that young man lost his life, Hunnam decided to dress just like him, including his choice of shoes, while in character.
12 Every Actor Was Pretending to Know Motorcycle Club Life
Tasked with playing motorcycle club members as realistically as possible could be challenging, to say the least. After all, it is a bit of a tight rope to walk. You want your character to be compelling, but if things feel false the balance of the whole show could be thrown off. On top of that, there is always the risk of offending real-life MC members, which could be dangerous.
If the actors wanted to talk with a real-life club member about their performance, they could turn to one of their own: David Labrava.
Long before he portrayed his SOA character, Happy, Labrava became a full-fledged member of the Hell’s Angels.
11 The Network Had No Issues With the Show’s Content
Over the years FX has aired some pretty outrageous things in the name of entertaining its audience. As the home of Sons of Anarchy throughout its 7 season run, FX must have been comfortable showing some pretty extreme forms of violence. However, if the more outrageous content on the show made you think the network had no qualms about the show, then you would be mistaken.
During an interviewer with Entertainment Weekly in 2014, Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter revealed that at least one of his bosses at the network had a problem with the language on the show.
They were not allowed to curse directly, many of the show’s character took the lord’s name in vain instead.
This led to Suttter dealing with complaints because that is “so blasphemous.”
10 The Main Title Ended with Charlie Hunnam’s Tattooed Back
The main title sequence fit the tone of Sons of Anarchy really well. Brooding and spiritual, the song did a great job of getting the audience into the mindset of the series. On top of that, the actor’s names materialized out of things that fit them to a T.
The opening title sequence has one major misstep that's hard to miss once you've discovered it.
The credits end with a shot of a blond-haired man’s SOA tattooed back. Without much thought, viewers assumed it was Charlie Hunnam’s torso. However, we’ve since learned it was an extra that stood in his place.
9 The Actors Were New to the Motorcycle Club World
The First 9 patch that both Clay and Piney wore in the pilot made viewers want to learn more. A signifier that the person that wore it was one of the founding members of the club, that patch on someone’s chest instantly meant the viewers took the character seriously.
We didn’t get to see the character Lenny Janowitz wear that patch, but knowing that he deserved to made his appearances significant.
The founder of the Sons of Anarchy was portrayed by a man named Sonny Barger, who happened to be one of the founders of the Hell’s Angels in real-life.
8 The Biking scenes mostly used stunt riders
For a show about a motorcycle club, it's always seemed strage that there aren’t more extended sequences in Sons of Anarchy where characters ride their bikes. Still, with that in mind, it seems like the show’s stars shouldn’t have been concerned with becoming good enough on their bikes to pull off that kind of scene.
Of course, there is something very appealing about the idea of them being skillful riders, which is why we were happy to learn just how true that is in many cases.
Known to often ride their motorcycles to and from set, several of the actors became good enough to pull off many of the stunt scenes themselves.
Don’t get us wrong, however, for the more dangerous moments stunt drivers were used and they deserve appreciation for their work.
7 The Story is Limited to Television
Sons of Anarchy is, of course, a famous TV show that aired for 7 seasons on FX.
However, as proof positive that comic books can be the home of much more mature stories (if you weren’t already clear on that), Boom! Studios released a series of Sons of Anarchy comic stories.
With 25 issues released, Sons of Anarchy: Redwood Original told previously untold stories that any hardcore fan of the series needs to read.
Despite this series, a surprisingly large amount of Sons of Anarchy enthusiasts continue to think that the story of the Sons has only been told on television.
6 The Actor Who Plays Jax is American
Discovered while shopping when he was only 17, Charlie Hunnam has been a working actor for more than 20 years and has played a long list of roles. Despite that fact, there is still no doubt that his greatest claim to fame is playing the character Jax Teller from Sons of Anarchy.
Hunnam is so great in the role of Jax that many assume he has more in common with the character than he actually does.
Born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, Hunnam is as British as they come.
Any time you hear him speaking with an American accent, he is putting it on. However, it's completely understand that someone would assume that it is the other way around and his English roles involved using a fake voice.
5 The Show’s Inspirations
Though far from the only work of fiction that has been inspired in large part by the motorcycle club lifestyle, Sons of Anarchy is the best media representation of that world. It's so stellar because of how strong its characters and stories are.
Since the show came to an end, we learned that the show’s dynamics are not as original as we first thought.
Kurt Sutter has been open about the show being influenced by Shakespeare’s Hamlet. In fact, all of the Sons of Anarchy main characters have their Hamlet equivalent - even the likes of Nero, Juice, and Marcus Alvarez.
4 The Cast Were All Close Friends
Naturally, many viewers assumed the Sons of Anarchy stars would be buddies. Evidently, that was true in a lot of cases, since we know that many of them would ride their motorcycles together and socialize with one another. However, there is at least one of them that failed to feel the kinship with his co-stars we hoped.
Off all people, Ron Perlman feeling disconnected from the rest of the cast is probably the most surprising, due to the leadership qualities he showed among the group on screen. He also seems to be tight with other co-workers, like his former boss Guillermo Del Toro.
Despite all that, in his memoir, Perlman wrote that he was not close with anyone involved when he left the show.
3 SAMCRO’s Story isn't Over
As we’ve already touched on earlier in this article, Kurt Sutter’s return to the motorcycle club world, Mayans MC, is set to debut on television in September 2018.
Despite that, as far as we know so far, that show’s story is not directly related to the Sons of Anarchy. If they do show up, it will be in a supporting role.
We don’t consider that series to be a continuation of SAMCRO’s story.
The concept of a prequel Sons series gained a lot of momentum until Kurt Sutter appeared to be ruling the possibility out. However, as recently as early 2018, he breathed new life into the possibility of the prequel series The First 9 coming to fruition.
2 Emilio Rivera Was Always Meant to Lead the Mayans
If there is one thing about being a character actor that is clear at this point, it's that it's a life of extreme ups and downs. Not being a big enough star to demand roles, you probably spend a lot of time hoping to find the one role that will take your career to another level - like being one of the stars of a major series.
Extremely talented at what he does, Emilio Rivera spent years playing the leader of one of the Sons of Anarchy’s rival gangs, the Mayans.
It's a role he should have been overjoyed to get, but landing that part might have been bittersweet for him since it actually was a pretty big demotion.
That’s because previously he’d been cast as one of the stars of the show, a full-fledged member of the Sons.
1 The Ireland Episodes were shot on location
Starting out as an intensely local show, early on in Sons of Anarchy we saw several outsiders play a part in the series, but the town of Charming was a big part of its, well, charm. For that reason, when the third season took the gang to Belfast, Ireland it was a major departure.
Presumably, taking most of the main characters halfway around the world would be a huge change from the show’s cast and crew too.
However, despite the third season largely taking place in another country, the only Sons of Anarchy shots taken in Ireland were captured by a pickup crew.
As for all of the scenes with the actors that were supposed to be there, they were shot in California on a set that was constructed near the typical location the show uses.
Do you have any other misconceptions to clear up about Sons of Anarchy? Let us know in the comments!
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