By Natalie Abrams
December 24, 2014 at 05:30 PM EST

Arrow shocked its fans during the winter finale by seemingly killing off its main character.

After Oliver (Stephen Amell) falsely confessed to killing Sara (Caity Lotz) to protect Thea (Willa Holland), he requested a trial by combat with Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable)—which he unfortunately lost. Ra’s not only thrusts a sword through Oliver’s chest; he also kicks Ollie over the side of the mountain. It’s arguably the most shocking moment of the series thus far.

But is Oliver really dead? Would the network and studio really allow the show’s main character to be killed off? On one hand, Amell could continue on with the series despite his character’s demise, since Arrow often employs flashbacks. On the other hand, Oliver’s story feels really unfinished in so many ways. He hasn’t even become the Green Arrow that we know and love from the comics—he’s only the Arrow right now!

So, if he is still alive, the question is how? Promos showed Oliver’s seemingly dead body on the edge of a snowy cliff, so maybe he didn’t fall as far as we think and he’s still clinging to life. Or, as many fans have suspected, Ra’s al Ghul’s Lazarus Pits (famous for their restorative chemical properties) will come into play and bring him back to life.

Ra’s did say the last time someone challenged him to a duel, it was 67 years ago. Even if the instance he was speaking of was the very first time he killed someone—which Ra’s said happened when he was 11 years old—that would certainly make the character much older than he appears to be… meaning he’s probably taken a dip or two in the pits before. The only problem is, the existence of the Lazarus Pits may pull Arrow further from its grounded-in-realism world.

Arrow returns Wednesday, Jan. 21 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.