WARNING: Major spoilers for the season finale of ‘Arrow’ Season 5 ahead!

So for anyone wondering whether Malcolm Merlyn has one last trick up his sleeve, namely the ability to somehow survive his off-screen death by way of the landmine he set off to take out Captain Boomerang and save Thea, it seems that is not the case this time. The man behind Merlyn, John Barrowman himself, has confirmed that Malcolm Merlyn is indeed dead, and Barrowman will not be returning to ‘Arrow’ or any other show in the Arrowverse next season, which is especially sad after this current year where he appeared in so many of the shows, as part of the Legion of Doom in multiple episodes of ‘Legends of Tomorrow,’ in the musical episode of ‘The Flash,’ and in the final two episodes of ‘Arrow’ this season.

The news of Merlyn’s death was confirmed by Barrowman on his Instagram account, where he spoke fondly of his time playing the character, but did leave some hope for the future. You can check out the post below, and here’s the transcription of what he had to say:

“I am very sad to be leaving the Arrowverse. I love playing Malcolm Merlyn, and, you know, that’s it really. As sad as it may be, I understand how shows must change and also characters must change and develop, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not very sad and upset about it. So I appreciate your support and love you all. Thank you and keep watching.”


While Merlyn’s character may not always have made the most sense motive-wise (sometimes whether or not he was a good guy or a bad guy depended entirely on plot conveniences), Barrowman always brought a welcome mixture of gravitas and charm to whatever series in the Arrowverse he was appearing on, and he will indeed be missed, especially since he has been there since the beginning, being the very first villain on ‘Arrow.’

Sound off below with your thoughts on losing Malcolm Merlyn and your theories on how long they will really go before they bring back his Earth-2 doppleganger or time duplicate, because you know eventually, we will see him again…

horizontal lineNick is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, who belongs to the privileged few who enjoyed the ending to ‘Lost.’ For more of Nick’s thoughts and articles, follow him on Twitter.