Why Arrow Fans Need To Stop Worrying About Character Deaths, According To One Producer

arrow season 5 finale oliver queen green arrow the cw
(Image credit: Photo courtesy of The CW)

Arrow ended Season 5 on quite a bang, and the only major character whose fate is currently confirmed on-screen is Oliver Queen. The good guys of Team Arrow (as well as Nyssa al Ghul, Slade Wilson, and Samantha Clayton) were seemingly stuck on Lian Yu when Prometheus blew it up. The same explosion probably also killed a bunch of the bad guys. Basically, a whole lot of characters could be dead now. According to executive producer Marc Guggenheim, however, we need to stop worrying about who did and didn't die in the fall. He said this about what we should really be talking about:

A lot of the discussion that we've had and a lot of the discussion we've seen online is very binary -- people either live or they'll die. There are other consequences that can come out of what happened at the end of [episode] 523. While everyone is focused on one thing, you know us on Arrow, we may be doing something else.

Given the explosive way Season 5 concluded, it's no surprise that we've spent the last several weeks speculating about who survived and how they managed it. Marc Guggenheim's comments to EW indicate that we might be focusing on all the wrong things. The repercussions of the finale moving into Season 6 may be far more significant than whoever does and doesn't die.

Some of the consequences are actually not too difficult to guess. For one thing, Oliver is going to need to find a new remote location to brood and/or train whenever he runs away from Star City now that Lian Yu is no more. For another thing, young William now knows that the Green Arrow is his father, and he was still very much alive as of the end of the finale. Malcolm Merlyn is confirmed dead, so Team Arrow will need to find somebody else they won't bother stopping whenever he or she saunters into their secret bunker.

Other consequences aren't so easy to predict if we don't know who lived and who died. For example, if Samantha died, Oliver may suddenly find himself in custody of a kid. If Slade died, Team Arrow won't have to spend the rest of the series wondering if he'll relapse into insanity and go on another revenge quest. If Evelyn died, maybe we could have Rory back. We just can't know at this point.

There are some characters who are safe, even if they weren't on the boat with Oliver and William. We already know that Katie Cassidy, Juliana Harkavy, and Rick Gonzalez have signed on for Season 6, so Black Siren, Dinah Drake, and Rene Ramirez almost certainly weren't blown to smithereens on Lian Yu. Executive producer Wendy Mericle has also revealed that the Helix plot with Felicity might return in Season 6, which means that Felicity also survived.

For other characters, we may need to wait a while to find out what is or isn't next for them in the series, which will return for Season 6 in a new time slot on Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET this fall. Take a peek at our summer TV premiere schedule to pick what to watch in the meantime.

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. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. 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).