Influenced by Hamlet, Sons of Anarchy centered roughly a family (both blood-related and also not) of grim reaper patch-wearing outregulation bikers in a club recognized as SAMCRO (Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original), based in the fictional tvery own of Charming, California. The display debuted on September 3, 2008 and also, over the course of seven periods, became FX’s top-rated drama.

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Katey Sagal played the matriarch, Gemma, whose Harley-riding kid Jax (Charlie Hunnam) is the "Hamlet" character; he’s caught in between pleasing his mommy and his stepfather, Clay (Ron Perlman), and honoring his dead father John, a founding member of SAMCRO.

SOA courted dispute because of its grizzly scenes of violence, every little thing from a tattoo being shed off to a character being forked to death. But the show’s creator, Kurt Sutter, explained: “For me, all that violence—because it’s not who I am and also it’s not where I come from—it’s all fantasy. I could also be creating around wizards and also fairies,” he told The Hollywood Reporter

Before developing SOA, Sutter had actually been a producer and also writer on The Shield. Shawn Ryan, creator of The Shield, recommended Sutter to producers Art and also John Linkid. They pitched Sutter a display around outlegislation bikers and also allowed him to build it from scrape. After 92 episodes of family drama (and multiple significant character deaths), the present aired its last episode on December 9, 2014—though FX will premiere a spinoff, Mayans MC, this week. Here are 10 fascinating facts about the beloved biker drama.

1. KURT SUTTER WROTE THE PART OF GEMMA WITH KATEY SAGAL IN MIND.

Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter and Married... With Children star Katey Sagal married in 2004 and have considering that collaborated on a number of projects together. In an intersee via NPR, Sagal sassist Sutter composed the character of Gemma with her and their household dynamic in mind.

“If you asked him, what he would certainly tell you more than likely is when he came right into my life, I currently had 2 youngsters, and also he’s their stepparent, and also I was extremely protective of my children," Sagal shelp. "... He hadn’t been around that type of energy quite so a lot, so I think that’s what was the springboard for Gemma. It was not so a lot the heinous things she does; it was that at her core, her catalyst is her children, is her kid. At any kind of expense, she will defend him and also her club.”

2. RON PERLMAN WASN’T THE FIRST CHOICE TO PLAY CLAY.

The original pilot featured Scott Glenn as Clay Morrow, president of SAMCRO. “The network-related chose that they weren’t getting what they were hoping to gain and ... they loved the series enough if they thought they found the best actor, they were willing to reshoot the pilot and also rebegin the clock and also green light the present for a totality initially seaboy, which is 13 episodes,” Perlman told NPR. The producers felt Glenn was also subtle and not dynamic sufficient. “So I understood going into it that, you know—that they were searching for a more operatic version of this male,” Perlguy sassist. “I taken place to be complimentary that week.”

Perlman auditioned for the show, uncertain if he could play a character that lacked duality. “He has no feminine side whatsoever before and I really didn’t recognize whether I can, whether I had actually the chops to pull it off,” Perlmale told Collider.

3. TARA WAS “THE MORAL CENTER” OF THE SHOW.
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Prashant Gupta, FX Networks

With chatting via Entertainment Weekly, Maggie Siff—that played Dr. Tara Knowles—agreed that her character was "the ethical center of the show" for component of its run. “I think Kurt used her as a window, through which the audience could experience the club and the life of the club,” she shelp. “You might watch her loving these human being in spite of herself, in spite of learning better. I think she continued to be a ethical facility in that she proceeds to be one of the only in the civilization who experiences real emotional conflict around the violence and the difficulty and also the pain of the life and also wanting somepoint better for her children.”

4. PEOPLE LOVED TO GIVE CHARLIE HUNNAM KNIVES.

On the present, Charlie Hunnam"s character Jax carries about a Ka-Bar knife. Hunnam sassist knives were component of biker culture, and also California permits world to carry them. “You’re permitted to bring a knife via a no longer than six-inch blade," Hunnam told GQ. "Still, six inches is a pretty significant knife!”

That signature accessory became a well-known gift from Hunnam"s fans. “I have actually dozens of Ka-Bars that armed forces men have given me and I’ve been told that a couple of them ‘have been provided.’ Which is a small little ... grimy, you know? I’m not sure about the energy of that.” 

5. SUTTER RAN INTO ISSUES WITH STANDARDS & PRACTICES.

Due to the fact that FX forbade the use of the F-word, personalities reput it through “Jesus Christ.” “Tright here was one seaboy wbelow they were, prefer, counting my ‘Jesus Christs’ because somebody on the Fox food chain believed it was so blasphemous,” Sutter told Entertainment Weekly.

John Landgraf, CEO of FX, took concern with some of Sutter"s ideas, including the castration of a clown—Kurt wanted the visual, FX did not. “I completely acknowledge the need for violence,” Landgraf shelp. “It’s a violent world and also a violent display. He’s showing really tragic, dark consequences of violence. Kurt desires to present it in very graphic detail, and also I want to leave more to the creative thinking.”

Sutter told GQ that all of the violence had to be organic, not gratuitous. “When we’re f***ing burning a tatas well through a blowtorch off a guy’s earlier, that is among the many too much decisions these guys may be making, however it’s real to the civilization,” he shelp. “I love being able to perform points prefer that, and also playing in human beings that allow me to do that.”

6. SAGAL WORRIED HER CHARACTER WOULD ALIENATE FANS.
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Prashant Gupta, FX Networks

Throughout the season 6 finale, Gemma unexpectedly murders Jax’s wife, Tara, utilizing a carving fork. “When I initially realized that Gemma was going to kill Tara, I had actually a minute like, oh s**t, guy, nobody’s going to wanna watch Gemma aobtain. She’s killing beloved Tara!” Sagal told People. Fortunately, the fatality didn’t alienate fans choose Sagal believed it would. “The very following day, I went to carry out an autograph session and world were arriving through forks for me to sign,” Sagal shelp. “And I believed, "Oh, okay."”

7. SUTTER LIKED THE IRONY OF MOTORCYCLE CULTURE.

Sutter, that rides motorcycles in real life, told The Verge that he"d always been "fascinated by the irony of motorcycle clubs. Since they say they’re all around "ride free" and "f*** the establishment." But within the structure of these outregulation clubs, there are even more rules and regulations than you or I have actually. They’re prefer bit armed forces devices. And I love the irony of that."

Sutter further described that the club represents the appropriate of how Americans “take treatment of our own,” which is the theme of the show. “Yes, it’s around household, however it’s also around area and village and also the organization you belong to … That’s part of the positive stereokind we represent as a nation—that sense of no issue exactly how f**ked up or damaged these people are, and they are, there’s somepoint wholly familial about them.”

8. STEPHEN KING WAS A MAJOR FAN, AND MADE A CAMEO.

Stephen King was a large fan of the present, writing in an Entertainment Weekly column that “it’s one of those reflects that appears to have gotten much better as it goes along.” Sutter contacted him and asked him to show up in an episode.

“He assured me that he’d compose me a suitably nasty component (in various movies I’ve been stuck playing a collection of mentally tested country bumpkins); most necessary of all, he said he’d put me on a bitchin’ Harley. How could I say no?” King composed on his website. In the season 3 episode “Caregiver,” King played a cleaner called Bachman—a referral to Ricdifficult Bachmale, a pen name King used to go by.

9. WALTON GOGGINS CONVINCED SUTTER TO LET HIM BE TRANSGENDER.
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FX Networks

Sutter invited some previous cast members from The Shield to cameo on Sons of Anarchy, but he was initially versus having Walton Goggins appear. “It would certainly be exceptionally tough for our audience to accept them as anybody else,” Goggins told Entertainment Weekly. “I referred to as and also said, ‘That’s bulls**t! Come on!’ And we went back and forth, choose exactly how would we execute it? I wouldn’t desire to perform it as anything that would be compared to The Shield. And then I simply said to Kurt, ‘I’ll execute it if I have the right to be a transgender. I would prefer to play a transgender.’ He shelp, ‘No, you wouldn’t.’ I shelp, ‘Oh yes, absolutely, I would certainly. Let’s execute it as a transgender.’”

For 6 episodes, between 2012 and also 2014, Goggins played Venus Van Dam, a play on Goggins’s Shield alias Cletus Van Damme. At one suggest, Venus began a romance via SAMCRO member Tig (Kim Coates).

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10. CHARLIE HUNNAM HADVERTISEMENT A DIFFICULT TIME LETTING GO OF JAX.

Hunnam played Jax for eight years. When it came time to finish the display, he sassist it was emotional for him to separate himself from the character. “I uncovered myself going ago to collection a lot,” he told Glamour. “I knew the protection guards and also for a pair of days shelp, ‘Oh, I foracquired something,’ so they’d let me onto the collection, and also I’d just walk around at night because I wanted to be in that environment and go via an individual process of saying goodbye. After a pair of nights I didn’t really need the alibi to obtain in, and then after a while I just sassist, ‘OK, sufficient, this is done.’”