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Sons Of Anarchy's Kurt Sutter Didn't Initially Have A Full Seven-Year Plan For The Series

When Kurt Sutter began writing "Sons of Anarchy," he was certain of several things. First, this project would be inspired by 1947's Hollister Riots and how, over the following decade, outlaw motorcycle groups became more popular. Second, there would be a Shakespearean structure to it (via Pop Culture).

Sutter said during a Q&A session, "Because I wanted to set it present day, I knew [John Teller] would have to be represented by memories. A ghost of things past. That's when the Hamlet archetype fell into place. Jax was the Prince. John Teller, the ghost of Hamlet's father (also named Hamlet). Clay was Hamlet's uncle/step father, the murderous Claudius. And Gemma, Hamlet's mother, the complicit Gertrude."

When series lead Charlie Hunnam received the "Sons of Anarchy" script, he was hesitant to consider a television project. He told Men's Journal that he remembers asking himself, "Has it got this bad? Why are they sending me TV scripts?" However, Hunnam read it and changed his outlook: "They were some of the most daring, original and interesting pages I had ever read. Kurt knew exactly what he was doing."

From a general perspective, Sutter did indeed know what he was doing. Fans returned week after week to witness the seedy happenings of SAMCRO, with viewership steadily increasing over the years. According to Buzzfeed, the show's inaugural season averaged 2.2 million viewers and climbed to 4.8 million by Season 6. But as far as a seven-year plan for the entire series, that was something Sutter didn't have at the ready.

Kurt Sutter wanted the stories on Sons of Anarchy to naturally unfold

It's impossible to predict whether or not a TV series is going to be a hit. For Kurt Sutter, it was never assumed that "Sons of Anarchy" would run for seven years. Therefore, he didn't have most storylines set in stone.

"I learned that the looser my grip was on that, the better the show was," Sutter told Variety. He added, "... what creatively got me excited about the work was that I never knew how we were going to get there. I never knew what the stories were going to be. I didn't know how the characters would evolve. I didn't know which characters would become essential in the revealing of the mythology."

Jax Teller's tragic ending was something Sutter did have in mind from the beginning, but the finer details of the biker's chosen death took time to finalize. The show creator revealed to The Washington Post that, at first, he considered leaving Jax's fate open-ended. Did he veer into the truck, or change his mind at the last second? Sutter said, "... I felt like this has not been a show of 'what ifs,' to a certain extent. This has always been a show about direct, specific choices and direct, specific consequences. So I realized I needed to be clear in terms of whether it happened or it didn't."

Sutter may not have drafted a seven-year plan, but his tactic of letting the story naturally unfold paid off in the long run. This is especially evident when looking at the 9.26 million viewers who tuned in for the "Sons of Anarchy" series finale in 2014, as reported by Variety.