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The Real Reason A Crow Tattoo Is In The Opening Credits Of Sons Of Anarchy

In various television shows, crows are utilized as symbols of death and destruction. For example, in HBO's "The Sopranos," when Christopher Moltisanti (Michael Imperioli) is being named a made man by Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), he spots a crow watching the ceremony from the window, making him noticeably nervous. By the end of the series, both he and his fiancé Adriana La Cerva (Drea de Matteo) meet their demise in brutal ways.

This dreaded blackbird is also seen a number of times throughout the hit FX series "Sons of Anarchy," which follows the California-based outlaw motorcycle club SAMCRO. In fact, the very final scene features two of them. Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam), who doesn't want his sons following in his criminal footsteps, veers his motorcycle into an oncoming truck. As the haunting song "Come Join the Murder" by The Forest Rangers and The White Buffalo plays, a pair of crows are prominently shown on the road. As Jax's blood begins to inch toward them, they take flight.

Another crow appearance, one that occurs in the opening credits on each "Sons of Anarchy" episode, is also very symbolic.

The tattoo on Gemma's chest symbolizes the death and destruction she causes

In the opening credits of "Sons of Anarchy," each actor's name is formed from a tattoo. Katey Sagal, who portrays Jax's villainous mother Gemma, sports a crow tattoo, and there are several meanings behind this. The first is straightforward – she was married to John "JT" Teller (Victor Newmark) and Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman), two leaders of SAMCRO, which is oftentimes spelled as Sam Crow. Additionally, the club refers to its groupies and hookups as Crow Eaters, which Gemma possibly was prior to marrying JT.

There's also a darker symbolism to Gemma's tattoo. It hints that this character will either cause death or experience it herself, and both prove true. Not only did Gemma have a hand in the demise of JT, she brutally ends the life of Jax's wife Tara Knowles (Maggie Siff). When Jax learns the truth about what happened to Tara, he kills Gemma.

A final, literal connection between Gemma and the tattoo is that she keeps crows as pets. Despite having light-colored birds early in the series, by the end, she has an affinity for the darker creatures. A user on Reddit said, "I thought that was a metaphor for things getting darker in her life and in the club." In Season 7, Episode 8 ("The Separation of Crows"), Gemma finds her beloved birds dead in her bed. "It's not only foreshadowing what's to become of her, but also the seemingly brutal way they passed is what did and will become of her favorite humans," said u/ybbakrad.