Sons of Anarchy had a mysterious character that appeared in a couple of episodes: the homeless woman. But who was she? Let’s take a look.
Sons of Anarchy had a mysterious character who appeared from time to time, often in crucial and/or emotionally charged moments, but her identity was never revealed in the show, and she was simply known as the “homeless woman” – luckily, there’s already an answer to who she is. Created by Kurt Sutter, Sons of Anarchy premiered on FX in 2008, and it was such a big hit with critics and viewers that it lived on for a total of seven seasons, coming to an end in 2014.
Sons of Anarchy followed the journey of Jackson “Jax” Teller (Charlie Hunnam), vice president of the motorcycle club Sons of Anarchy in Charming, a fictional town in California’s Central Valley. The events of the series are kickstarted when Jax finds a manifesto written by his late father, John Teller, one of the founding members of the club, which leads him to question the club’s goals and path, his relationships, family, and himself. Over the course of seven seasons, viewers met all types of characters, but there’s one that appeared sporadically, mostly when Jax or his mother, Gemma (Katey Sagal) were going through a tough or decisive moment: the homeless woman.
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The homeless woman was played by Olivia Burnette, and appeared a total of eleven times throughout Sons of Anarchy, and interacted with Jax and Gemma the most. The homeless woman first appeared in season 1’s episode “The Sleep of Babies”, where Gemma gave her money while sitting outside a shop, and appeared again that same season in the cemetery when Jax spent the night there and she gave him a blanket to stay warm throughout the night. The homeless woman’s presence in the series began to raise some eyebrows when in season 3, which took the club to Belfast to rescue Abel, Jax’s baby son, she appeared in the market when Jax was following the couple who adopted his son. The homeless woman was last seen in the series finale, when she handed her blanket to Jax, telling him “it’s time”, and then he used it to hide so he could kill August Marks.
Sons of Anarchy never revealed the identity of the homeless woman, but Kurt Sutter has now given an answer. During a Q&A session on Instagram, he was asked about the homeless woman and what she represents, and while he gave an answer, it only made way for even more debate. Sutter explained she’s the “magic that anarchy summons and the mortality it extinguishes”, and that she’s “the bringer of eternal light and the harbinger of all things dark”, fueling fan theories about her being a deity or even the guardian angel of Jax. Back in 2012, Sutter said that the homeless woman is Jesus Christ, which seems fitting with the aforementioned description of her role and with the elements related to her final appearance in the series. After giving the blanket to Jax, the camera focused on the wine and bread she was eating, which appeared again in the final shot of the series, where two crows were eating the bread (splashed with wine) as Jax’s blood began to flow towards it.
Although Sons of Anarchy never revealed her name nor backstory, it did imply that she might have been Emily Putner, Brooke’s mother who was accidentally killed as a result of the collision between Jax’s father and a semi-truck (the accident that killed John Teller). This interpretation comes because after Jax went to Brooke’s house to talk to her father, there was a picture on the table showing Emily, and shortly after, the camera focused on the homeless woman. With this interpretation in mind, along with the “Jesus Christ” explanation, the homeless woman could be Jesus in the form of Emily Putner, or it was simply a way of the Sons of Anarchy crew to mess with its audience. The homeless woman, then, wasn’t entirely human, and she had a spiritual and metaphoric role in the series that can be interpreted in different ways.
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