Marc Guggenheim, Arrow's showrunner, also tells PEOPLE how he thinks fans will react to the series finale

By Eric Todisco
January 28, 2020 10:00 PM
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Farewell Arrow.

After eight seasons, the hit CW superhero series, centered on anti-hero Oliver Queen/Green Arrow (Stephen Amell), concluded on Tuesday night. A number of former characters returned for the final episode, titled “Fadeout,” including Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards), Oliver’s wife and the mother of his children.

But is this the end of Oliver and company forever? While the green bandit died prior to the series finale, showrunner Marc Guggenheim revealed to PEOPLE ahead of the show’s final episode if any of Arrow’s characters could pop up on a fellow Arrowverse show.

“The one thing I always tell — look on Arrow, we’ve killed off a lot of characters over the course of eight years,” said Guggenheim, 49. “And every time I always say to the actors, ‘Look, your character might be quote unquote dead, but we have time travel. We have parallel universes. We have alternate realities, we have flashbacks, we have flash forwards.’ ”

” ‘We have all these narrative tools in our toolbox,’ ” he added. “And so no one is ever gone forever.”

Arrow
Felicity and Oliver
| Credit: Dean Buscher/The CW

Arrow managed to leave a legacy on the CW, launching the Arrowverse universe with a plethora of shows, including The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, Black Lightning and Batwoman.

The series is wrapping with 170 episodes total. And although Guggenheim said his favorite episodes “change depending on his mood,” he has a “great amount of affection” for the series finale.

However, he did admit that he has some reservations about how fans may react to the finale, specifically due to the backlash against the Game of Thrones finale last year.

“There’s certainly that anxiety,” said Guggenheim. “I think we have a very passionate fandom for both good and ill. More times, more often good than ill. But we certainly have the passionate fandom and the potential of a Game of Thrones-style backlash definitely is going to … it’s going to put a chill in the heart of any showrunner.”

Arrow: The Ties that Bind
Credit: Robert Falconer/The CW

But Guggenheim said he believes viewers will ultimately appreciate the finale — depending on what type of fan they are. “If you’re a shipper, I probably can’t help you, but if you are just a regular audience member, I think it’s an incredibly satisfying ending,” he shared.

Throughout the series’ eight-season run, Oliver and Felicity, better known as their ship name “Olicity,” managed to establish themselves as one of the most beloved couples presently on television.

So what about this pair does Guggenheim think resonated so much with viewers?

“I think there’s an element of romance, inherent romance with the idea of a, like this guy who’s he’s damaged, and he’s violent, falling in love with this woman, who is really his polar opposite,” he said. “Who is intellectual and moral, and they kind of brought out the best in each other. And I think there’s something very romantic in that.”

ARROW
Credit: Dean Buscher/The CW

While Arrow‘s successful run has come to an end, Guggenheim feels confident about wrapping the show when they did. “When people ask me like, ‘Well are you sad that Arrow‘s ending?’ It’s like I’m not particularly, because like I said, everything has to end at some point,” he said.

“And you get to end knowing that the universe continues,” he added. “That’s, I mean, talk about having your cake and eating it too. It doesn’t get better than that.”