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'Sons of Anarchy' creator explains the shocking death in the newest episode

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(Read caption) 'Sons of Anarchy' creator Kurt Sutter (l., with 'Anarchy' star Katey Sagal) says, 'It’s not a death that will happen in vain' of the character recently killed on the show.

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By the end of last night’s episode of Sons of Anarchy, fans were left in shock as SAMCRO was forced to sacrifice one of their own to Damon Pope (Harold Perrineau), leaving Jax’s (Charlie Hunnam) longtime ally, Opie (Ryan Hurst), to be brutally murdered in prison. To help answer some of the viewer’s questions surrounding Opie’s death, series creator Kurt Sutter revealed why he decided to kill of the fan-favorite character, and how this major death will impact the rest of season 5.

Speaking with the press this morning, Sutter spoke about when he decided Opie’s fate; why Opie had to die; how Opie’s death will impact the series forever; and what’s going to happen in the rest of season 5, as a result.

Even though the death of Opie’s father, Piney, came as a shock in season 4, Sutter had already plotted out the death of Jax’s best friend by the end of season 3. Needing a way to set Jax’s character on a different path, Sutter decided to use Opie’s life as the lynchpin.

I started thinking about it towards the end of season three, and then I think it all came together with the death of Piney last year. I got to the end of the season and realized that there was this circular dynamic that was happening with Jax and Opie that was very difficult to get out of.

As we came into this season, knowing where I want to take my hero…Jax needed that emotional upheaval, that one event that happens in a man’s life that can change the course of his destiny, and I think the death of his best friend is such an event.

Every death on Sons of Anarchy is memorable, and Opie’s is no different: taking on a gang of men, besting many, and then falling from a deathly blow to the head. While graphic deaths are always memory, Sutter’s intent was more earnest:

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