Arrow EP Marc Guggenheim Explains Decision to End the Show

Fans of The CW's Arrow were hit with shocking news earlier this year when it was announced that the popular DC television series would end after its upcoming eighth season. While fans had already begun to speculate that Arrow would end up with a massive status quo change this fall due to the upcoming "Crisis on Infinite Earths' event in which it was then only rumored that Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) would die, the news was still stunning as the series continues to be a success with a passionate and devoted fan base. Now, with Season 8 in production and the countdown to the end fully begun, executive producer Marc Guggenheim is opening up about the decision to end the show.

Speaking with at San Diego Comic-Con, Guggenheim explained that the decision to wrap Arrow up in Season 8 is one that came together "organically".

"Once you start staring down the barrel of a Season 8 these conversations just quite frankly start to happen organically, and you know Stephen [Amell] was at the end of his deal and it's like 'what are we going to do? How long are we going to do this for?' And for my money, I felt it was time, you know, and I think Greg [Berlanti] felt that way, I think Stephen felt that way," Guggenheim said. "I think we all sort of collectively came to the same conclusion which is let's go out on a high note. People are still talking about the show, which is hard in its eighth season of any show. People are still talking about it and then it becomes production budgetary things that really gets you into the tall grass but for me I felt like let's end the show when we can still produce the show that we have all come to know and love and not try to change the show to make it work when it otherwise can't."

Guggenheim went on to address the challenges that can come with ending a beloved series. As fans have seen with series like Game of Thrones and Lost, endings can be very tricky things. The ending of Lost is still one much-discussed by fans and Game of Thrones, which ended in May, is still a controversial topic with many fans upset on how the series closed its run. Fortunately, Guggenheim noted, Arrow doesn't have quite the same challenges -- they get to do a character-based, not question-based, finale for the series.

"The good news is unlike Game of Thrones or unlike Lost, were not burdened with having to answer a question," Guggenheim said. "We're not burdened with 'who's going to sit on the Iron Throne?' or "what was the island?' so we get to do, I think, a much more character-based ending. So, at the same time, the complication for us is that we also have Crisis and I think a lot of the stuff that was always in my head in terms of how to end the show we're now actually going to end up doing in the crossover instead so it's like now what does the series finale become? But, you know, we've got plans."


"I'm really excited about it. The goal is to make it satisfying for the fans, but the good news for us is we don't have the challenges that Lost, or Game of Thrones had," he continued. We also don't have the ratings, so there's that, too. But I feel the pain of Damon, Benioff, and Weiss. It's hard. It's a hard thing to do in a way that satisfies everyone. I also think, because I've been thinking how does one end a series, there's what the initial reaction to something is and then there's how it stands the test of time and those two things are not always the same."

Arrow returns for its eighth and final season on Tuesday, October 15th at 9/8c on The CW. "Crisis on Infinite Earths" comes to the Arrowverse this December.