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'Arrow': Who died in the season 3 finale?

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Liane Hentscher/The CW

Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the season finale of Arrow. Read at your own risk!

Though Oliver was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in the Arrow season finale, it wasn’t the emerald archer who paid the price.

With Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable) planning to annihilate Starling City with a bioweapon, Oliver sabotages their transport plane with an aim toward killing all the passengers—including himself. Fortunately, that’s not the end for the man formerly known as the Arrow. Unfortunately, Ra’s was lying about his plans. His real goal in releasing the weapon was to kill his nemesis Damien Darhk, who fled town before the onslaught—more than likely to be a thorn in Oliver’s side alongside H.I.V.E. next season.

Even so, the virus is released, and Ra’s and Oliver face off in a fatal deathmatch that sees Ra’s on the wrong end of Oliver’s sword. That’s right, Ra’s al Ghul has been defeated. And lest you believe the Lazarus Pits will bring Ra’s back to life, this death “will definitely stick,” executive producer Marc Guggenheim told EW ahead of the finale. Besides, Malcolm (John Barrowman) has become the new Ra’s al Ghul.

And in any other instance, that explosion at Palmer Technologies would make fans worry that Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) also met his maker, but we all know he’ll be in the ArrowFlash spinoff DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, so fear not.

In the end, Oliver decides to give up being the Arrow to find his happy ending with Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), though you can read more about that in our full recap posting later.

Arrow will return in the fall on The CW.