- "In case you’re still thinking about slitting my throat, I wouldn’t. I have contingencies."
- ―Piney, to Clay
Piermont 'Piney' Winston was the father of Harry 'Opie' Winston on the FX original series Sons of Anarchy. Played by American actor William Lucking, Piney makes his debut in the series' premiere episode, "Pilot", in the series' first season. Playing a recurring role through the series' first, second, third, and fourth seasons, he was a member of SAMCRO and one of the First 9. He met his demise in the Season 4 episode "Family Recipe", and was last seen as a corpse on the episode "Burnt and Purged Away", in the same season.
Piney was born on June 17, 1941, and was the club's oldest living member and senior club adviser. As the series began, Piney had slowed down, and - due to emphysema – carried an oxygen tank. He sat in for church meetings, but rarely went on runs. In his denim cut, Piney was the last vestige of old school SOA. His son, Opie was also a member. According to Gemma, Piney and John Teller were very close friends - the pair had been best friends since they were in school and relied on each other for support. When JT died Piney stayed on as VP, but only until Jax was old enough and able to take a seat at the table; he would only step down from being VP if Jax took his position. He remained a member after abdicating the Vice Presidency so he could have a vote and keep Clay under control once Clay was voted in as the new president. Piney was never sure of Clay and always doubted him and his motives for doing things. Piney's criminal record shows that he was suspected in money laundering, extortion, and murder but was never charged. He went on trial once for prostitution but was released due to lack of evidence. He was also connected with the transportation of stolen goods.
He served in the Vietnam War with John Teller. When they returned home they felt ostracized by the same society they had just risked their lives for. Confused and unappreciated, they formed SOA in search of their own version of freedom.
At the beginning of Season One, the Mayans stole the Sons of Anarchy's weapons from their storage. When a meeting was called, Piney attended and proved to be a commanding figure among the gang's hierarchy despite his health. Later on, his son, Opie, came to him and asked to borrow money. Piney refused as he was "tapped out" until well-after Opie's bills were due. He did, however, encourage him to join Clay and Bobby on a protection run to make some extra cash.
Jax and Piney sold five AK-47s to Nate Meineke, an old war buddy, and his right-wing state Militia. The militia then used these guns to ambush a prison convoy and free one of their members, Frank Cison. Three people were killed during the assault. Meineke dropped his cell phone at the scene, and his last calls had been to Teller-Morrow. When the ATF found the phone, they arrested Clay and raided the clubhouse. Clay was later released because no evidence was found, meaning he could no longer be kept in custody. Meanwhile Jax, Piney and Opie decided to kill Meineke and his gang to stop them "snitching" if they were apprehended by the authorities. They pretended to sell them more weapons. The boxes of guns were actually filled with explosives, however, and the militia loaded their trucks with them. All of the militia were killed when the bombs were detonated.
In the Season One finale, he was enraged that the club was doing nothing to avenge the death of Donna Winston, his daughter-in-law, so he decided to take matters into his own hands. He traveled into Oakland and went to a One-Niners bar where he took a hostage and demanded to know who killed Donna. Half-Sack followed him, however, and called Jax and Chibs for help. They got him out alive, and Laroy, the Niners leader, told them that it wasn't his gang who killed Donna. It was later revealed that he was given a copy of John Teller's manuscript, which he passed on to Jax at Donna's funeral.
Throughout season 2, Piney and Jax continue to search for answers about Donna's death, both still positive that Clay was somehow involved. Losing faith in Clay and becoming disenchanted with the club, Piney barely makes a presence in any of the recent SAMCRO activities. However, he proved that he still has a bit of pride left in him, when he rallied his fellow club mates together and bravely helped rescue Tig from a group of bounty hunters.
He was extremely upset when he found out that Jax planned to go nomad. He voted yes on Jax's request and immediately left to return to his cabin.
Piney's suspicions became true when Tig eventually admitted to killing Donna. He calmly said goodbye to his ex-wife and retreated to his cabin where he stored away his colors and got his old Army uniform and M1911 pistol. He went to the clubhouse and tried to shoot Clay, but missed. Opie insisted that Piney only attempted to kill Clay out of a fear that Opie would do it himself and Piney didn't want his son to ruin himself. Knowing that SAMCRO is all that Piney has, Clay forgave him by telling him to never return to the clubhouse again without his colors on.
In season 3, Piney is shown to be more active in the club. He is shown working at Teller-Morrow and runs Teller-Morrow while his fellow members are out looking for Abel and Gemma is on the run from the law. When SOA members Bobby and Happy need to get medicine for family members Piney leads them to Honey, a friend of his who is in the pharmaceutical drug trade. They arrive while she is being robbed and shoot it out with the robbers. Because they were out gunned they end up captured, but rescued by the rest of the SOA thanks to a call for backup by Happy. When the club needs money for their trip to find Abel they decide to sell the pharmaceutical drugs that they were supplied to them by Piney's friend. While the club is in Belfast he has his hands full along with the rest of SAMCRO with Jacob Hale using Hector Salazar (former President of the Calaverez MC) to push out one their most loyal supporters for a land development deal. When they get information from Darby, Piney and Tig go to share it with Unser and wants him to investigate it, but Unser who has been distant with the club disregards the information. So Piney and the remaining SAMCRO members who aren't in Belfast look for Salazar, but doesn't find him at his house. But Salazar calls the club to tell them that he has kidnapped Tara and he wants the club to kill Alvarez and take $250,000 from his home safe. They club gets Alvarez to play along, but they can't get the money. June Stahl decides to help get Tara back by providing the Ransom. The drop compromised when some kids decide to steal the money. The next day the rest of SAMCRO comes home and they look for Tara. In the Season 3 Finale the club has a celebration and the rest of the day the club is working trying to put things to rest which includes killing Jimmy O'Phelan. SAMCRO take Jimmy from the Russians, but Jimmy is captured by the ATF at the garage where the find out that Jax made deal. SAMCRO are arrested as well to face their gun charges. Piney, Opie, and Chibs are the only ones not subject to these charges and are assigned to ambush and kill June Stahl and Jimmy with the help of Kozik, Tacoma member who has been helping SAMCRO, and Unser. They successfully get the job done and drive away.
When everyone is greeting the return of SAMCRO from prison, Piney tells Tara that they have to keep history in the past, suggesting that Tara asked Piney about John while Jax was in prison. He changes his mind when the club decides to mule cocaine for the cartel. He approaches Tara about her concerns to get leverage over Clay to kill the deal they have with the cartel. Eventually she told Piney of the letters from JT; given to her by Maureen Ashby, which hinted that Clay had killed JT.
Following this, Piney voices his disgust of Clay's decisions following the agreement to run drugs for the cartel and creates a rift in the club leading to a change of presidency vote in which he partakes arguably to vote against Clay. The Lobos Sonora cartel however attacks them during the meeting, and after fending them off, he retreats to the cabin. Jax goes to visit him, and the two talk about JT, with Jax showing clear disgust regarding his father, while Piney tries to convince Jax that he should know his father better. Clay goes to visit Piney at night at the cabin, lying to Gemma where he was, and decided to talk with Piney, who was with a shotgun and forced Clay to give his weapons up. Clay tries to persuade Piney about the letters as he can't kill the deal with the cartel so easily, but Piney refuses. Clay asks why he would patch him if he hated him so much, and Piney confesses he used to trust Clay before he became as greedy as he's today. Clay then asks why should he believe he won't deliver the letters if he does as Piney demands, and he replies that it is a risk he has to take. Clay seemingly agrees and warns him that if there is retaliation from the Galindo Cartel, that it will be his fault. Upon leaving Piney tries to make sure that he indeed left, however Clay bursts open the door, knocking Piney to the floor, unarming and hitting him. Clay desperately asks where are the letters as he searches the room, and Piney tells him that they are not here. He tries to recover his shotgun but Clay acts faster. Upon that revelation, Clay deduces Tara has the letters. Piney, fully aware that Clay will harm her, denies this, but to no avail. Realizing he cannot escape death nor convince him that Tara does not have the letters, he instead asks Clay to leave her out, however Clay responds that it is "too late" and uses Piney's shotgun to kill him by shooting him on the chest. Clay then marks the letters LS with his blood on a photo of the First 9 to make it look like the Lobos Sonora did it. Piney is the third member of SOA's First 9 to be executed by Clay.
Piney rode a Harley Davidson Electra Tri-Glide, which he customized to hold his oxygen tank between the rear wheels. In a few episodes he is shown with a Road King Tri-Glide instead of his normal Electra Tri-Glide. This is either an inconsistency problem within the show, or Piney owns two trikes as the "bat wing" fairing on an Electra Glide is not easily removed.
- Unnamed - Unknown (suspected in murder, never convicted)
- Sonny - Shot with shotgun (Issue 25)
- Unnamed ONH member - Shot with shotgun (Issue 25)
- Piney is the second main character to die in the series.
- Although Eric Miles was the first full patch SAMCRO member to be killed during the series, Piney is the first of the eight patched SAMCRO members introduced in the pilot to be killed.
- Piney originally sponsored Clay Morrow to be patched into the club.
- Piney is the third member of the First 9 to be killed by Clay (With JT and Keith McGee being first and second, respectively).
- Along with his son Opie, and later Gemma, and Unser, Piney is one of only four main characters to appear as a corpse in an episode after they are killed off. However, Piney appears as a corpse in multiple episodes after being killed off, whereas Opie, Gemma and Unser only appear in the next episode after their deaths. Clay, Tara, Bobby and Juice would also be seen as corpses, but only within the episodes they died. Half-Sack may have followed this trend as well, since it's unknown if he had died by the time the Jax and the others found him, although judging by Chibs' reaction and the ambulance not being called, it can be assumed he was dead. Jax's body was not seen after his death, just his blood.
- Piney has appeared in 41 episodes of the series.
|Season 1 appearances|
|"Pilot"||"Seeds"||"Fun Town"||"Patch Over"||"Giving Back"|
|"AK-51"||"Old Bones"||"The Pull"||"Hell Followed"||"Better Half"|
|"Capybara"||"The Sleep of Babies"||"The Revelator"|
|Season 2 appearances|
|"Falx Cerebri"||"Gilead"||"Potlatch"||"Fa Guan"||"Balm"|
|"Service"||"The Culling"||"Na Trioblóidí"|
|Season 3 appearances|
|"SO"||"Oiled"||"Caregiver"||"Home"||"Turning and Turning"|
|"The Push"||"Widening Gyre"||"Lochán Mór"||"Turas"||"Fírinne"|
|Season 4 appearances|
|"With An X"||"Fruit For The Crows"||"Family Recipe"||"Kiss"||"Hands"|
|"Call of Duty"||"Burnt and Purged Away"||"To Be, Act 1"||"To Be, Act 2"|