“These violent delights, have violent ends,” which was written by William Shakespeare, could not be more fitting for Clay Morrow and Gemma Teller-Morrow. Both characters have extremely strong personalities that often control the ebb and flow of SAMCRO and those around them. Together, they are a tumultuous duo with a vault of secrets, lies, and manipulation. There is no question that they loved each other, but their deceit can only go so far before it destroys them both and all that they hold dear.
Though Gemma has different priorities than Clay, they both are willing to go to the extreme to preserve their relationship. Kurt Sutter’s ability to write characters that we love to hate or hate to love is made all the more evident by Gemma and Clay. Jax Teller may have been the main protagonist of Sons of Anarchy, but it was his mother Gemma and her partner,Clay who really drove the storylines. Most, if not all, of the major things going on in the show can be traced back to Clay and then to Gemma.
The relationship between Gemma and Clay was toxic from the start. We’re not saying that they didn’t have their good moments, but the two often put their own priorities above others, which often put those around them in grave danger.
With that said, here are the 20 Crazy Revelations About Clay and Gemma’s Relationship.
20 They Had Something To Do With John Teller's Passing
The circumstances behind John Teller's passing varied depending on who was telling the story. One thing is for sure, however: Clay and Gemma were both involved.
In season four, Clay admits to Unser that he eliminated John after two prior attempts.
Gemma also informs Unser that she gave her blessing to Clay to remove John from the picture. Many fans believe that Clay had John's brakes tampered with. However, since John knew his bike, he realized this and chose to allow it to happen because he wanted to become a martyr and change SAMCRO. Whether John knew or not is irrelevant. Clay and Gemma wanted him out of the picture and after several failed attempts and were finally successful. A relationship that begins on lies and deceit is destined to fail.
19 Gemma Manipulated Clay
Gemma is extremely manipulative. She has manipulated nearly everyone she knows, including Clay. In season 1, Jax discoveres his late father's manuscript, which causes him to question the ways of the club. Gemma speaks to Clay, encouraging him to set Jax straight.
It is only after this that things grow to a boiling point between Jax and Clay. The queen of deception often played things to her advantage, with a spoken word here and a smooth gesture there. Gemma is responsible for many character's demises because of this. Gemma was the neck that told the head (Clay) which way to turn. She often swayed situations to suit her agenda.
18 They Kept Secrets From Each Other
Secrets and lies were rampant in the world of Sons of Anarchy, and Clay and Gemma had an abundance of them. After Piney's passing, Gemma tells Clay that she has so many lies and secrets in her head, but that she can't lie to him. This, of course, isn't exactly true, as she had presented him earlier in the same episode with the remnants of letters that he burnt.
Gemma was not alone in the secret keeping, however. Clay kept many things from his wife, including the deal he made with Jax to let him out of the club. He also made several deals behind the club's back, which he kept from her as well.
17 They Said That They Loved Each Other But They Didn't Always Show It
Clay and Gemma are the patriarch and matriarch of SAMCRO. Though they always tell one another that the love each other, we don't often see this. Clay has forcefully grabbed Gemma and even damages her vehicle when he is angry with her. Following Gemma's assault, she becomes distant from Clay physically, which makes sense. He has no idea about the crime and is confused about her distance. Things then come to a head when Clay throws a cinder block through her car window because she snaps at him.
Often, it was only Gemma who displayed any affection for Clay publicly. Meanwhile, Clay often gave off the impression that he resented Gemma. This was likely due to Jax rising through the ranks of SAMCRO.
16 They Were Both Unfaithful
Though it's normal for SAMCRO members to partake in affairs on the road, this doesn't make it any easier for their wives. Gemma comes face-to-face with someone Clay slept with when Croweater Cherrie shows up at Teller-Morrow. She understandably becomes enraged after finding out and takes her anger out on Cherrie. Gemma confronts her outside of a grocery store and uses a skateboard to get her point across - right across Cherrie's face.
Gemma almost cheats on Clay with Tig when he goes to her house to collect guns. When she begins to flirt and come onto Tig, he becomes angry and stops her, asking "what are we doing?" Though he left before things went any further, it's obvious that Gemma would have been fine cheating on Clay.
15 They Both Always Wanted Control
One thing that both Clay and Gemma have in common is their need for control. Clay is driven by his control over SAMCRO and its business. He often does things behind the club's back in order to get whatever he wants. Anyone who opposes him becomes an enemy.
However, Clay doesn't just want to control the club - he also wants to control his wife.
Gemma, on the other hand, seeks to control everything when it comes to her family. This includes her son, his wife, and their children. She even refers to her grandsons as "my boys" throughout the series. Since Clay and Gemma were both often battling for control, it caused a lot problems in their marriage.
14 Clay Lied to Gemma Often
Clay lied a lot over the course of Sons of Anarchy. In fact, he lied to nearly everyone, even his wife. Throughout their marriage, Clay constantly kept things from Gemma. Any questions that she asked him would be answered with either half-truths or complete lies. Since Gemma usually took his word for things, she rarely called him on all of his lies. They may have been partners in crime, but there were many things Clay kept from Gemma.
A majority of the lies he told involved the most precious thing in Gemma's life: her family. Clay concealed his distain and hatred of Jax from Gemma at one point in the series, though it was quite palpable.
13 Gemma and Clay Were An Item While She Was Married
While Gemma was married to John Teller, she began sleeping with his best friend, Clay. Gemma has stated that she was young and lost, because John was in Ireland and their son Thomas was sick. However, John wrote letters to Maureen Ashby, which brought up the affair - he knew that Gemma and Clay were becoming closer, since they were barely trying to hide it at one point.
John was not innocent, however, since he was also having an affair with Maureen in Ireland. In his letters, John mentioned that he was scared Clay would attempt to take his life. At the time, John was the leader of SAMCRO and Clay was VP. Clay was also the best man at John's wedding to Gemma, which probably hurt John even more. Gemma and Clay's relationship began as a secret but it soon consumed everyone around them's lives.
12 Clay Put a Hit on Tara Behind Gemma's Back
After Clay learns from Gemma that Tara has the letters that John Teller wrote to Maureen Ashby, Clay puts a hit in motion. Gemma makes him promise not to hurt Tara, but, of course, he lies to her. Clay is able to read half-burnt copies of the letters and decides that the information is too destructive for anyone to know. He puts a hit out on Tara through a third-party contractor so that it can't be traced back to him or the club.
Tara is attacked in front of Jax and almost snatched into a van. While Jax is able to save her, her hand is severely damaged during the attack. As a surgeon, Tara depends on her hands, so this completely changes things for her.
11 Gemma Caused Clay's Demise
As his wife, Gemma kept many of Clay's darkest secrets. As he became more and more volatile towards her, however, their close relationship began to erode. Gemma finally has enough of Clay and his lies after Piney passes away.
During one very dialogue-heavy episode, Gemma tells Jax that Clay was responsible for taking down his dad and Piney. She also reveals that Clay attempted to take down Tara. She tells him about John's letters and even gives them to him, though she removes any letters about her first. Gemma clearly knew what she was doing here. Since there was no way that Jax would let all of this go, Gemma knew that he would try to take Clay down.
10 They Both Have Different Priorities
Clay and Gemma both have very different priorities. Clay is greedy and seeks power over SAMCRO and all of Charming. Gemma, on the other hand, thinks only about her family. Both Clay and Gemma are willing to do anything it takes to fulfil their goals, including taking other lives. Gemma went overboard when she tried to eliminated Tara in order to protect Jax and the club. This would set off a chain of events that would eventually destroy everything.
Meanwhile, Clay increased the clubs illegal dealings by getting involved with a substance cartel.
Though most of the club was against this, Clay was all for it since it meant he would obtain more money and power. He didn't care about the consequences.
9 They Were Both Extremely Jealous
Gemma and Clay both had strong personalities and were extremely jealous. While Gemma was jealous of the women who Clay saw out on the road, Clay was always jealous of Jax. When the club members are out on the road, that they are "allowed" to fool around with other women, and Clay definitely enjoyed this perk countless times. Whenever his latest flame showed up at the club, Gemma would become incredibly angry and jealous.
However, Gemma wasn't the only one who was jealous of conquests. Clay was also extremely jealous of Nero after he and Gemma broke up.
8 They Never Really Trusted Each Other
Gemma and Clay never truly trusted one another. Though they confided in one another and kept each other's secrets, they only worked together to further their own goals. This isn't to say that they didn't care about each other, however.
Instead, they both retained as much information about the other incase they had to blackmail the other in the future. They were always ready to unleash secrets to save their own skin, or destroy the other. Thanks to their acting, it wasn't difficult to see when Gemma or Clay knew that the other was lying. In the end, it was their lack of trust that would ultimately cause Clay's demise.
7 Clay Tried to Take Jax Out of the Picture
In season five, following Clay's recovery and outing as SAMCRO's leader, he reaches out to some old friends. Clay contacts three Nomads (GoGo, Frankie, and Greg) and make deal with them to regain his former title. The Nomads are told to break into several buildings in Charming in order to keep everyone on their toes. Since the town was worried about the perpetrators, the people soon turned against Jax, the new leader.
After this, Clay becomes the leader of SAMCRO once again. However, when the truth about the break-ins is discovered, Clay tries to tell Jax that Damon Pope made the deal with the Nomads. Once again, Clay weaves a web of lies.
6 They Blamed Each Other For All Of The Bad Things That Happened
Whenever things went wrong, Clay and Gemma often blamed each other. Since the two were often the source of whatever conflict SAMCRO was facing, they could only ever vent to each other. This often led to them blaming one another. For example, Gemma blamed Clay for Jax feeling lost, while Clay blamed Gemma for making Jax weak and making him feel lost because of her coddling.
Things really began to fall apart for them during the fourth season. Gemma blames Clay for a myriad of awful deeds that she informs Jax about. However, Gemma is anything but blameless.
5 Gemma Saw Them As Equals
Though Gemma was seen as Clay's "old lady" to the rest of SAMCRO, she saw herself as Clay's equal. She married John, one of the founding member of SAMCRO. After his passing, she marries Clay. Some fans believe that Gemma saw herself as a co-founder of the club.
Though being the "old lady" of two club presidents meant that she was well-respected by other members, she was never a member herself.
However, at one point, Clay began to treat her like an "old lady" and told her that she needed to start acting like one. This, of course, did not sit well with Gemma. It was at this point that things went from bad to worse for the couple. Gemma was done backing Clay.
4 Gemma Was Very Protective of Jax
One thing that Gemma loves above all else is her son Jax. This creates conflict throughout the series, since Jax is often at odds with Clay. To Clay, Jax is the living reminder of the man who he despised and ended, John Teller. Like his father, Jax wanted things to be different for the club.
After finding John's manuscript, Jax decides to move the club away from illegal ventures. However, this is bad news to Clay, who wants money and power and knows that illegal business deals are how to obtain these things. The main reason why he took out John was because he wanted to legitimize the club. Though Gemma may have given her blessing when it came to John, her son was always off limits.
3 Clay Became Abusive
Following the attempt on Tara's life, Gemma confronts Clay at their house. She tells him that she knows that it was him and yells at him, since he grandsons could have been hurt. Things turn violent and Clay lifts his hand to Gemma. After this, Gemma tells Unser that she is done and that Clay cannot be saved. Gemma wants Clay to meet his maker.
During this time, Clay shuts down on everyone, even Tig, who used to be his right-hand man. Once Jax sees Gemma's face, he reacts in a manner expected, but she pleads with him to let her settle everything. Before this, Clay had never lifted a hand to Gemma. However, since he was willingly to harm the supposed love of his life, it was clear that he was willing to do whatever it took to obtain money and power.
2 Gemma Found Faith Again
Following Gemma's assault by the Arian Brotherhood, she feels lost and searches for something to have faith in. Unser suggests that she attend a gospel service with him. It is during a spiritual, uplifting song that the solemn Gemma stands up and starts dancing along with the rest of the congregation.
Gemma had suffered a vicious attack and was now finding her way back from a dark place.
Gemma was raised Catholic but turned away from the church after her son Thomas passed away. Though Gemma was willingly to search for new things that inspired her, Clay's faith was always in SAMCRO and SAMCRO alone. He thought that Gemma's newfound faith was a waste of time.
1 Jax Forced Gemma to Get Back With Clay
After Gemma and the kids a involved in a car accident because she isn't sober, Jax forbids her to come anywhere near her grandsons and his family ever again. Since Jax is used to relying on Gemma's support, he tells her that she can earn her way back into their lives by getting back together with Clay. He wants her to get back together with Clay in order to obtain some information.
Jax wants Gemma to find out what secrets Clay is hiding and more about his involvement with recent break-ins. Gemma's family is the most important thing in the world to her, so the thought of living without Jax or her grandsons is too much to bear. Because of this, she agrees to get back together with Clay.
Are there any other interesting facts about Clay and Gemma's relationships in Sons of Anarchy? Sound off in the comments!