Is Malcolm Merlyn Really Dead In The Arrow-verse? Here's What John Barrowman Says

The 2016-2017 TV season finales of all four shows in The CW's Arrow-verse have aired, and they did everything from teasing huge villains to sending a hero into the Speed Force to blowing up an entire island. The Arrow Season 5 finale was a bloodbath as a number of characters seemed to meet their doom on Lian Yu. One character who seemed pretty dead but didn't actually die on screen was Malcolm Merlyn, so we couldn't say for sure if he really was killed. Now, actor John Barrowman has revealed the fate of Malcolm. Check it out!

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R.I.P., Malcolm Merlyn. As John Barrowman says in the Facebook video, Malcolm's death actually happened off-screen. The Arrow finale played the twist as Malcolm sacrificing himself to save Thea (and stop Captain Boomerang) by blowing himself to smithereens via land mine, but Malcolm has seemed definitively dead in the past, only to be revealed as very much alive. This time, Malcolm is evidently dead for good.

John Barrowman is clearly quite sad about needing to leave all the friends and fans he made over his five years in the Arrow-verse. He'll certainly go down as one of the people who helped shape the Arrow-verse into what it is today. After all, if Arrow had been a flop back in 2012, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and even Supergirl probably never would have debuted. Arrow could have definitely flopped if not for a charismatic supervillain for Oliver to face in Season 1, and John Barrowman elevated the action as Malcolm.

The 2016-2017 TV season was actually pretty huge for Malcolm Merlyn, as John Barrowman signed a deal that made him a regular throughout the entire Arrow-verse instead of simply on Arrow. He played an especially key role in Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 as one of the three members of the Legion of Doom. When the Legion was defeated, Malcolm returned to Arrow to try and reunite with his daughter again, and he ended up in the mess that would ultimately result in his death.

Of course, none of this is to say that Malcolm Merlyn could absolutely never return to the Arrow-verse. Unlike a certain Supernatural star, John Barrowman doesn't hint at any bad blood between himself and the producers, and all of The CW's superhero shows have been known to bring back dead characters in new and unexpected ways. With the time travel of Legends of Tomorrow, the alternate realities of The Flash, and the flashbacks of Arrow, there may always be a place for Malcolm Merlyn and John Barrowman. We'll have to wait and see.

All four shows of the Arrow-verse have been renewed and will return to the small screen in the fall. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in superhero news, and don't forget to check out our summer TV premiere schedule to discover all your viewing options now and in the coming weeks. Be sure to drop by our rundowns for cable/streaming and broadcast TV renewals and cancellations as well.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).