‘Sons of Anarchy’s Jax Teller Had to Die


The Big Picture

  • Fans were left stunned as they witnessed the tragic fate of Jax Teller in the final episode of Sons of Anarchy.
  • Jax’s loyalty to his motorcycle club and his family constantly pulled him in different directions throughout the series.
  • Jax’s decision to take his own life was the only way for him to truly protect and free the ones he loved from the dangers of the criminal world.

Starting this TV series, viewers at home had no way to know how complex of a character Jackson “Jax” Teller, played by Charlie Hunnam, would be in the series Sons of Anarchy. Despite being a professional criminal with his motorcycle club dedicated to running guns and protecting their best financial interests, Jax served as the protagonist of this highly entertaining, and sometimes difficult-to-watch series. However, when the show finally reached its final episode, fans were left stunned as they witnessed the tragic fate of the character they’ve grown attached to as much as they have with the characters surrounding him. The last moments of Sons of Anarchy had us all witnessing Jax’s death, and now we can look back and understand why it needed to happen.

Sons of Anarchy

Release Date
September 3, 2008

Main Genre



‘Sons of Anarchy’s Final Scene Is Shocking

Throughout the series, fans had to deal with some truly tragic deaths of beloved characters. But the final one was the show’s most shocking one. As the song “Come Join the Murder” performed by The Forest Rangers and the White Buffalo played in the background, fans watched Jax riding down the road on his motorcycle, pursued by scores of police officers. With a sense of acceptance on his face, Jax began to slowly drift over the divider line of the road, and at this point, many people watching at home had an inkling of what was about to happen. In what seemed to be in slow motion, Jax closed his eyes, let go of his handlebar, and drove headfirst toward an oncoming big rig truck. The crash frightened away the crows dining on crumbs on the side of the road, as a pool of blood slowly crept along the asphalt. That was the final moment of the long-running series.

Fans who had been following the series from the beginning know that Jax was a member of the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original, known as SAMCRO. He was born into this lifestyle, with his father playing a crucial role as a member before him. One thing that was clear right off the bat in the first season was that Jax truly faced internal conflicts as he bounced back and forth between what the club required to be successful and his own moral compass. It’s tough to be a good human being when your profession revolves around crime and violence.

Despite his ethical dilemma, there is no doubt in Jax’s loyalty to his beloved motorcycle club. Each character involved in SAMCRO had their own interesting, sometimes tragic storyline. This type of dedication didn’t stray when it came to his family as well. His complex relationship with his mother, Gemma (Katey Sagal), his longtime love, Tara (Maggie Siff), in addition to carrying on his late father’s legacy, pulled Jax in many mental directions. Furthermore, being the father of two boys strongly influenced his decision-making throughout the series, especially when he became SAMCRO’s leader.

Jax Was Overwhelmed With His Loyalties on ‘Sons of Anarchy’

When it came to this character’s motivation, Jax had his focus divided, and one direction led directly to his motorcycle club. SAMCRO, which was originally led by his father, was taken over by Clay (Ron Perlman), who served as a parental figure for him in earlier seasons. Jax’s loyalty to Clay was ripped away as he was devastated to learn about his involvement in his father’s death. Clay’s removal put Jax in charge, which elevated his sense of responsibility for his club. Even though he saw SAMCRO’s members as his own family before this major transition, his role at the top only enhanced it even more.

If the motorcycle club was like his family, the need to protect his actual family reached even higher levels for Jax. It was clear by the final season that nothing mattered more to him than his sons, Abel and Thomas. Even more than his mother (whom he eventually killed after Gemma did the same to Tara), Jax’s number one focus was to shield his boys from the dangers and chaos the motorcycle club life brought them. By the end of the series, it was clear to him that sending his boys away was Jax’s only option to be free of these dangers.

Jax’s Motivations Were Clear in ‘Sons of Anarchy’s Final Season

Image via FX

By the time the final season came, fans had a clear understanding of Jax’s motivations and main focus. That’s why it may have been shocking to some to watch him veer headfirst into a Mack truck, killing himself. So why did creator Kurt Sutter decide to end the show this way? Well, when looking back, it’s easier to see that Jax held on to his need to protect his loved ones right to the bitter end. After all that had happened to his motorcycle club and his family, he knew at that moment that this was the best gift he could give to all of them. Rival gangs, terrifyingly dangerous villians, and the authorities, had put so much heat on Jax that he knew he never would be able to protect everyone he cared for. This was best for them, and that’s all that mattered to him.

Fans who hope for the series to continue on may enjoy the fact that the character of Jax continues to live on after Sons of Anarchy in some way. Kurt Sutter’s spinoff show, Mayans MC, mentions his name multiple times when interacting with members of SAMCRO. In a Season 3 episode, the Mayans motorcycle club is reminded of Jax’s last wishes, which is that they must inform SAMCRO with prior notice if they are planning to pass through the town. This proves that, even after his death, the character is still respected by both his own club and even by his rivals.


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Jax Teller’s character on Sons of Anarchy had so much internal conflict, there was no way to measure it. Hunnam’s portrayal brought depth and complexity to the role, making Jax a character viewers became immediately invested in. Despite his criminal activities and involvement in an organized criminal motorcycle club, Jax managed to pull out sympathy and even admiration from fans at home. His constant battle between loyalty to his criminal life and personal morality added so much to the character.

This Was the Only Way for Jax to Truly Win

Charlie Hunnam and Samcro in Sons of Anarchy
Image via FX

The series Sons of Anarchy was a fascinating, gritty, and sometimes hard-to-watch show that showcased how love, loyalty, and dedication can still be present in the dark and dangerous world of professional criminals. The character of Jax Teller, as he grew up and gained knowledge and power, knew that the only option he had to protect the ones he loved from inside this illegal world, was to make this devastating choice. Taking his own life was the ultimate sacrifice for them and was the perfect way for the series to end.

Sons of Anarchy was a captivating and gritty series that’s surely worth a watch, or even a rewatch. Fans will be pleased to find out how the show explores the complexities of loyalty, love, and dedication within a world of crime. Jax’s journey highlights the struggles of a man torn between his obligations as a criminal and his desire to protect and free those he cared for. His ultimate sacrifice should resonate with viewers and provide a poignant conclusion to the FX series.

Sons of Anarchy is available to stream on Hulu in the U.S.

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