Arrow: Is Tommy Merlyn Really Prometheus?

There have been some pretty big baddies seen on Arrow since its debut. From Malcolm Meryln to Ra's al Gul and Deathstroke, the number of comic book villains on the hit series has grown over the years. With Season 5 underway, fans are looking forward to meeting the show's new nemesis Prometheus who is said to have a personal vendetta against Green Arrow. Of course, fans are hard at work with their speculations over who's behind the villain's mask, and they think they might have found an answer.

Right now, the biggest fan-theory about Prometheus and his identity circles back to Tommy Merlyn. If you have watched Arrow from the start, then that name is a familiar one to you. The character was introduced when the series began and acted as Oliver Queen's best friend and sometimes wingman. However, the character was killed during the Season 1 finale, leaving fans heartbroken over his untimely end.

But did he really die?

Well, the short answer is yes. The character clearly bit it in the Season 1 finale, but rumors began swirling that Tommy would return to Arrow in an unknown capacity. There's been no word to confirm those suspicions, but audiences believe that Oliver's former best friend will return because of the 'Flashpoint' storyline (a la The Flash) or by the mysterious Lazarus Pit that revived Sarah Lance in Season 4.

Since creators have teased that Prometheus has a grudge against Oliver, it wouldn't be impossible for Tommy to be behind the mask. The altered 'Flashpoint' timeline can reimagine almost anything about its characters to suit the show's need. And, if we're talking Lazarus Pit, then Malcolm Merlyn definitely could have resurrected his son and twisted his allegiances. After all, the elder wouldn't hesitate to turn his son against Oliver after the vigilante's actions partially led to Tommy's death.

Russ Burlingame,'s DC expert, commented on the possibility of Tommy being Prometheus on Arrow earlier this year. "Some fans have speculated that, given the 'full circle' mentality of closing out the flashbacks and linking up with the events of the first season, Prometheus could be somebody we haven't seen since season one. Popular theories include Robert Queen (somehow back from the dead), Tommy Merlyn (ditto), or somebody with ties to one of the gangsters Oliver killed in Season One," he said. "Of course, the notion of 'coming at him in a really interesting, sociopathic kind of way' has led some people to believe that it's more about Oliver than Green Arrow. That might gel with Robert or Tommy."

Clearly, the secret identity of Prometheus is one that fans can only guess at for now. While plenty of fans are gunning for the villain to be Tommy, they do acknowledge that there is one snafu with the assumption: scheduling. Actor Colin Donnell originally played the character, but he's currently busy filming Chicago Med as a season regular.


However, theory-bent fans aren't letting the shooting conflict derail their beliefs. Since producers like Marc Guggenheim has said "Oliver bears a measure of responsibility for the creation of Prometheus," longtime viewers are convinced the villain is more so connected to Oliver as a person than as a vigilante.

If that's the case, then why shouldn't Tommy make a surprise return?

So, what do you think? Is Tommy Merlyn the man behind Prometheus, or do you align with a different fan theory? Could it be another character - even one we've never met? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


Arrow airs at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Wednesdays on The CW.