arrow ollie at gravesite

Photo credit: Helga Esteb /
Photo credit: Helga Esteb /

‘Arrow’ showrunner Marc Guggenheim has seen the online reaction from the fans regarding the big death that occurs on tonight’s ‘Arrow’ entitled ‘Eleven-Fifty-Nine’.  From the start of this season, fans have been wondering whose grave Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) were standing over in an ominous flash-forward.  And the mystery has lingered over the whole season.

Thanks to some online leaks, including paparazzi photos of the grave, some fans already know who perishes and lashed out quite vocally on social media.  Guggenheim admits that the death of a beloved ongoing character will be rough, but that this occurrence will “give us the most pop going into the end of the season and into next season.”

With serialized dramas, fans get to know the characters better even than those in a movie.  These (fictional) people come into fans’ homes every week and take on a larger than life quality.  And, of course, every fan develops affection for certain characters.  Everyone is someone’s favorite.

But Guggenheim says the creators can’t cater to the fans at the expense of storytelling:

“Green Arrow has had so many different interpretations over the years that we never felt you know beholden to one particular interpretation, and this is our interpretation, like it or not, and I recognize that there are plenty of people up and down my Twitter feed who do not like it. Totally respect that.

“It’s never been just about one or two different particular fan bases. We make the creative choices we feel benefit the show as a whole, and the story that we’re telling overall.”

But perhaps distraught fans can take some comfort in Guggenheim’s next statement:

Arrow Grave“Dead is not goodbye.  We definitely recognize across all three shows [Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow] that when we kill off a character, it means something different now. I’m not going to put a qualitative judgment on whether it’s more or less impactful. I’ll leave that up to the audience. But certainly, we acknowledge that there’s a difference. ‘Arrow’ much more so than ‘Flash’ or ‘Legends’, for a lot of reasons, it traffics in death. For better or for worse, death is a part of the show. What we’re finding as we’re pushing into season five, the show has to evolve. The concept of death on the show is evolving and changing as we’ve seen with Sara Lance. As the show has evolved, so has death.”

Regarding the paparazzi leaks, Guggenheim did not mince words:

“Look, it’s not cool. Straight up.  Honestly, I just look at these paparazzi people as like, they’re just spoiling it for everybody. They’re taking a big steaming dump on the work that all these people do.

“[The crews] work in Vancouver, unbelievable hours, in the rain, terrible conditions, and they do it all to produce shows that everyone can be entertained by and part of being entertained is being surprised.  We take precautions, but unfortunately when you’re dealing with a cemetery, you have to go out on location. We have to be out in the world. We can’t produce the show just on our sound stages. But it does happen and it just sucks. I’ll just say it: shame on those people.”

Well, in case you are one of those fans that has NOT been spoiled by the leaked photos, Executive Producer Wendy Mericle offered some insight:

“It’s going to be huge and significant.  There’s no question that it is going to be shocking. It was a shocking thing for us to process and to write the aftermath. We really wanted to make sure that we did it in a way that was very honorable and gave us space to honor all the characters’ various reactions to it. The episodes we’ve written in the aftermath are devastating. They’re meant to be. We wanted to explore that and have everybody feel the impact of this loss.”

“It is a game changer in a very sad way that we’re losing a beloved character but also in the sense of it’s going to open up new storytelling avenues and will force our characters to rethink their decisions and their objectives.  Death is a reality and with the Lazarus Pit and the possibility of coming back, it’s easy to forget that these people are vigilantes, they’re out on the street, they’re doing dangerous things. This brings that reality back in a rude and brutal way. It’s good for the audience to be reminded of that and for our characters as well.”

Are you upset to be losing a regular cast member?

‘Eleven-Fifty-Nine’ airs tonight, Wednesday April 5th, at 8pm Eastern on The CW.

Sources:, The Hollywood Reporter