There is more than one version of Opie on Sons of Anarchy and fan theories are always conflicted on which one was the best. Before Donna’s death, Opie was hesitant and wasn’t sure if he was part of the club for life. After Donna agreed to be part of SAMCRO again, he was a different person, and then Donna died.
After the death of his first wife, Opie isn’t as careful. He takes risks and he is ruthless against anyone who tries to come for his loved ones. When he finds out Agent Stahl’s role in Donna’s death, he makes sure she pays for her crime and that she’s afraid before it happens. He was at his best when he was happy, in love, and he had his club. Whenever he began losing any of those things, Opie got worse and worse.
10 His Wavering Loyalty
The series begins with Opie coming out of prison after a five year stint that happened because he was loyal to SAMCRO. His wife, Donna wanted him to leave the club but his loyalty to Jax was always a mark of who he was. That inner conflict caused him to freeze up when he, Jax, and Bobby went after Brent Hefner for killing SAMCRO ally McKeavey. Bobby had to pull the trigger instead. He was later identified as a murderer and faced consequences for it. The worst part is that he volunteered to take the shot in order to prove his loyalty.
9 Family Conflict Interference
Opie and Donna are an iconic romance on the show but at the same time Opie’s family is the reason he is conflicted about being half in the club and half out. He doesn’t want to lose his club or his family and it causes issues between him and Donna. Those issues are the incentive that Agent Stahl tries to use to get Opie to turn on his club and become an informant. When he refuses, she still makes it seems like that’s the case and this is the reason Clay tasks Tig with killing Opie. Tim’s botched attempt gets Donna killed and this sends Opie into a downward spiral, causing even the end of his family conflict to cause more problems.
8 Depression Spiral After Donna’s Death
It’s understandable that Opie would be grieving after Donna was tragically murdered. Knowing that it had something to do with Agent Stahl’s investigation, he felt it was his fault. The scene where Opie holds Donna in his arms when he finds her dead ripped fans apart almost as much as it did Opie himself. After that, he abandoned his children and left them with his mother most of the time, spending most of his days at the club. It’s one thing to grieve. It’s another to completely ignore his children who needed him the most at that time.
7 Risk-Taking Behavior
Opie doesn’t just abandon his children. He also takes a lot of risks that could take away their last remaining parent, however absent he was at the time. He ran into situations without worrying about his own life in an attempt to get revenge for Donna’s murder.
He didn’t know Tig was the responsible party while this was going on. Opie’s behavior got so bad that Jax asked him if he had a death wish.
6 Wanted Lyla To Quit Working
One thing Lyla could never be for Opie is Donna. Her ghost haunted their entire marriage, including Opie’s desire to have a wife and mother waiting at home for him with the kids. He also wants to get her pregnant to make sure she stops working in porn. He hates her job and wants her to quit almost as soon as he meets her. When he finds out she got an abortion and has been taking birth control pills behind his back, Opie divorces her.
5 Keeps Secrets From Lyla
Lyla and Opie are married at the beginning of Season 4. Other club members imply that, when it comes to “old ladies,” you either tell them everything or tell them nothing. With Donna, Opie was more open but with Lyla he keeps her completely in the dark even though her work is part of club business. His reluctance to tell her anything angers her and he disrespects her in his attempt to stop her from finding anything out.
4 Spirals Again When Piney Is Murdered
Clay kills Piney, Opie’s father, and he goes ballistic when he finds out. He wants Clay dead and he turns back to his reckless ways to make that happen. He is so stubborn on this path that Jax has to shoot him in the wrist in order to get him to stop from continuing his attack on Clay.
This doesn’t stop Opie’s path, though. He leaves the club for a time because he refuses to sit at a table next to Clay. Jax is voted in as the new club president and Opie, his best friend, doesn’t show up to his installation.
3 Takes His Family For Granted
Donna and Piney are murdered but there are other members of Opie’s family left standing throughout the show and he doesn’t show much appreciation for them. After neglecting his children and letting the club, his mother, and Lyla take care of them, he does the same thing again when he goes to Belfast. He knows that leaving will put him in prison for certain. He knows that the rest of the club can look for Abel and that he has his kids to take care of. He constantly disparages his mother from the moment he left her when he was sixteen to come back to the his father and the club. They were all there for him and he completely disregarded that support at every turn.
2 Loyalty Becomes Problematic
When Opie decides he’s loyal, he is extremely loyal. The problem with that is he keeps changing that loyalty between Donna, the club, then Jax, and then it appears he’s only loyal to himself. His feelings bounce around between these elements and every time he’s willing to kill for whoever or whatever he’s loyal to at the time. This becomes problematic because there appears to always be someone deserving of his revenge. First it’s Agent Stahl for killing Donna. Then it’s anyone who wants to get with Lyla even though she’s an escort and a porn star. Then it’s Clay for killing Piney and setting Tig on Donna. Then, in the end, his loyalty gets him killed.
1 A Senseless Death And Consequences After
While in prison during Season 5, enemies come for the Sons of Anarchy that are there and they end up in a situation where someone has to be sacrificed. The manner of death is that the people chosen have to fight and if they win, they get to live. The game is rigged from the start, though and Opie goes into it realizing that. His last words “I got this,” are said with chagrin. His death weighs heavily on Jax and those consequences carry all the way through Season 6, resulting in more deaths and a sacrifice that didn’t mean much in the end.