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Arrow Easter Egg May Foreshadow Season 7 Ending

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A literary Easter egg hidden in the season premiere of Arrow may foreshadow the plot and eventual ending of Season 7. At the very least, the hint may point toward Oliver Queen's plan of attack, if not his final fate, after he inevitably leaves prison.

Arrow season 6 ended with Oliver Queen revealing his secret identity as the superhero Green Arrow to the world as part of a plea bargain that saw his allies protected from prosecution under Star City's new anti-vigilante laws but also saw Oliver receive a life sentence. The bargain also bought the FBI's assistance in going after Ricardo Diaz, the crime-boss who had all but taken over Star City's local government. As the new season opens, crime in Star City is on the rise, the city's vigilantes are all retired, Ricardo Diaz is still at large and Oliver Queen is still in prison.

Related: Arrow Season 7: New Cast, Character & Guest Star Guide

One recurring image throughout the Arrow season 7 premiere was a focus on the one book in Oliver Queen's cell - The Count of Monte Cristo. Written by Alexandre Dumas (who is slightly more famous today as the author of The Three Musketeers), The Count of Monte Cristo was the most popular novel in Europe for a time. Since then, it has gone on to be one of the most heavily adapted works in literary history, with both Ben-Hur and the classic science-fiction novel Stars My Destination using the same basic plot.

The action of The Count of Monte Cristo centers around Edmond Dantès, a merchant sailor who is accused of treason and unjustly imprisoned. Dantès later discovers that he was framed by three men: a rival for the affections of his fiancee, a jealous co-worker and a corrupt judge. With the aid of another prisoner, Dantès escapes and lays claim to a buried treasure, which he uses to build a new life as The Count of Monte Cristo. With his new identity established, Dantès returns to France, claiming to have just come from the Orient and sets about avenging himself on the men who ruined his life, though his plans ultimately hurt his loved ones and the innocent as much as the guilty.

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While Oliver Queen's life doesn't directly mirror that of Edmond Dantès, both stories do share common themes of hope, mercy, justice and vengeance. Parallels can also be drawn between the basic details of Dantès' and Queen's lives. For instance, the first season of Arrow saw Oliver Queen returning to life among the idle rich after claiming he spent five years marooned in the South China Sea. His activities as The Hood, while meant to make amends for his father's crimes, eventually pitted Oliver against Malcolm Merlyn, whose attempt to murder Robert Queen was directly responsible for seeing Oliver shipwrecked and exiled. It would also be fair to say that Oliver's life as a vigilante has hurt a lot of people, guilty and innocent.

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It seems likely that Oliver, were he to escape from Slabside Penitentiary, would need to "become someone else" once again, much like how Dantès became The Count of Monte Cristo. It also seems likely that, were Oliver to return to Star City now, he might undo the delicate balance that his allies have forged in trying to build new lives for themselves while saving the city in ways that don't involve costumed vigilantism. In any event, it will be interesting to compare and contrast the two stories as Season 7 of Arrow continues.

More: Arrow: 9 Big Questions We Have After The Season 7 Premiere

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