The Saddest Death In Sons Of Anarchy

Plenty of great shows have made their fanbase ugly cry like the best of them after the handling of an iconic character's exit. Somehow, they play out the sort of deaths that earn a reaction that has fans barely able to read the credits due to high levels of intense blubbering. Incredibly, "Sons of Anarchy," the show created by Kurt Sutter that feels like Hamlet on Harleys, is rife with tear-jerking moments during its seven-season run, but one scene stands out more than most as the biggest gut punch of the entire series.

Among the show's massive body count once "Sons of Anarchy" came to a close in 2014, the death of one character who doesn't even make it to the final season is notable due to its sheer shock value and the traumatic way it's depicted. Among all the members and allies of the SAMCRO chapter, there's no question that the death of Harry "Opie" Winston, played by Ryan Hurst, is the one that hurts the most.

Opie's death was unexpected and unfiltered

No character in Kurt Sutter's epic saga has a more noble exit than Jax's (Charlie Hunnam) towering BFF, Opie (Ryan Hurst). Following Jax's imprisonment with his crew, the would-be leader of the biker gang is given the impossible task of choosing one of his crew to be killed behind bars at the order of Damon Pope (Harold Perrineau). 

Jax steps up to the plate to take the fall in a heroic effort, only to be quickly interrupted by Opie, who is dragged away instead. What follows is one of the most harrowing scenes in the whole series, as Opie stands alone and outnumbered with only a steel pipe to defend himself. Jax looks on helplessly as his best friend is eventually overpowered and beaten to death, leaving the gang one legendary member down forever.

It's a "Sons of Anarchy" moment wrapped in so many layers, bound together by the cast and their incredible performances. Hunnam's pleas for his friend not to step in are only amplified by Hurst's final fitting delivery of a character he plays for five seasons. Exhausted by the shell of a life he's living, Opie's death is arguably a release of sorts, and one he chooses to take on his own terms. Sure, there may be been some significant character deaths both before and after this one, but as far as the saddest deaths in the show, Opie's last words say it all: "I got this."