Show: Sons of Anarchy (FX)
Anyone who's watched Sons of Anarchy from the beginning has been waiting for one character to die, and it isn't Opie. Ever since we heard the claim that Sons of Anarchy is "Hamlet with motorcycles" we've been holding out for Clay's (Ron Perlman) Claudius-style exit. That hasn't happened yet and maybe it never will. While Clay's is the death we've been expecting, Opie's (Ryan Hurst) was one we never wanted to happen. Opie has been the whipping boy for the Redwood Originals' sins ever since his old lady got off'd back in season one, and we've loved him for it. The big lunk with a heart of gold was always the moral center of this dark show, no matter what crimes he committed, and it was tough to see him go.
Sons of Anarchy has a broad appeal. It is one of the few cable shows, along with Walking Dead, that is appointment viewing for a large number of people that don't otherwise watch much television. The fervor of SOA fans was evident in their reaction to Opie's death. Within minutes, numerous parody accounts with some variation of "Dead Opie" were created. Both outspoken creator Kurt Sutter and Hurst were bombarded with questions from grieving fans and thanks for the great years with Opie's character. Many tweeters tweeted as though they had lost a brother. It's hard to feel bad for any die hard SOA fans who were spoiled, as even casual fans of the show know how fiercely dedicated and invested Sons of Anarchy fans are to the show. Spoilers are as common as Harley ownership among the loyal fanbase.