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.” So just who is the Sons of Anarchy homeless woman? Luckily, there’s already an answer to this question. Throughout Sons of Anarchy‘s seven seasons, the audience met a wide cast of characters, but one appeared especially sporadically, mostly at the same times when Jax or Gemma (Katey Sagal), his mother, were going through tough times or had to make hard decisions: the homeless woman.
The homeless woman was played by Olivia Burnette, and appeared a total of 11 times, showing up throughout Sons of Anarchy with Jax and Gemma the most. She 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 keep warm. The Sons of Anarchy homeless woman’s presence in the series began to raise some eyebrows 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 and then was last seen in the series finale, when she handed her blanket to Jax, telling him “it’s time.” He then used it to hide so he could kill August Marks in Sons of Anarchy‘s ending. So, who exactly is the homeless woman in Sons of Anarchy?
How SOA Creator Kurt Sutter Explains The Homeless Woman In Sons Of Anarchy
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 to the question, “who is the homeless woman in Sons of Anarchy,” 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 Sons of Anarchy‘s ill-fated Jax Teller.
Sutter has never been shy with the media and had a very acrimonious relationship with TV critics, so it’s possible that this circular explanation was purely meant to mess with fans looking for a definitive explanation. Certainly, when Sutter writes things like “She’s the ying, the yang and the yong. She’s the alpha and the omertà.” or, “She is you, me and your Uncle Murray,” it’s hard to feel like he’s answering entirely seriously. However, some fans have more concrete theories about what the homeless woman represents.
Back in 2012, Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter said that the homeless woman is Jesus Christ (via YouTube), which seems fitting with the aforementioned description of her role and with the elements related to her final appearance in the series, shortly before Sons of Anarchy‘s ending.
After the Sons of Anarchy homeless woman gave the blanket to Jax, the camera focused on the wine and bread she was eating. This communion imagery appeared again in the final shot of the series, where two crows ate the bread (splashed with wine) as Jax’s blood began to flow towards it. Sons of Anarchy also used Jesus imagery around Jax, so this could also have been part of a broader motif instead of suggesting that the homeless woman was directly Jesus.
Although Sons of Anarchy never revealed the homeless woman’s 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 stems from a scene where Jax went to Brooke’s house to talk to her father and there was a picture on the table showing Emily, which was followed shortly after by the camera focusing 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 for 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.
Other Theories On The Homeless Woman’s Identity In SOA
While the Jesus Christ and guardian angel theories tend to get the most attention because of Sutter’s comments and the Sons of Anarchy series finale, one other theory posits the question: is the homeless woman in Sons of Anarchy the Grim Reaper? This idea stems from the notion that if the homeless woman represents “the mortality that [anarchy] brings,” then the redemption and comfort implied by her being Jesus isn’t quite accurate. Rather, the Sons of Anarchy homeless woman could be more of a neutral figure feeding on the chaos in the protagonists’ lives.
This would fit well with the overall tone and themes of Sons of Anarchy. Ultimately, however, the homeless woman has more mystery and complexity than a single theory could account for, which is likely intentional on Sutter’s part. If nothing else, it seems Sutter is intent on making sure Sons of Anarchy fans are talking about who the homeless woman is in SoA for years to come.
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