tony soprano
Controversy still surrounds the fate of Tony Soprano after final episode aired in June 2007HBO

Seven years after the final episode aired, there is still debate and speculation surrounding the ending of The Sopranos and, more specifically, whether mafia boss Tony gets whacked or not.

The mystery appeared to have been solved this week, when the creator of the classic HBO series David Chase gave an interview to Vox in which he answered whether Tony Soprano did die in the final scene.

When the writer of the lengthy article, Martha P Nochimson, asked whether he was dead, she wrote: "He [Chase] shook his head 'no'. And he simply said: "No he isn't. That was all."

This apparent admission from Chase came after several years of not giving a clear answer, or just plainly refusing to answer the question. It also counters several theories which suggested Tony had been killed, with a several thousand-worded essays on the Master of Sopranos blog widely thought to be most comprehensive explanation of his death.

The blog points to what is believed to be several clues in the final series which indicates Tony's upcoming death in the final scene. These include the heavy use of 'POV' shots from Tony's perspective, to the sudden 'cut to black' in the final few seconds of the episode which alludes to several previous references to death and how "You probably don't even hear it when it happens".

Coincidentally, Nochimson appears to have left a comment on the blog post in 2013 in which she refutes the suggestion that Tony Soprano was killed.

sopranos

However, shortly after the piece in Vox was published, Chase appeared to backtrack over the comments and suggested Nochimson had "misconstrued" his comments.

In a statement issued through his publisher, he said: "A journalist for Vox misconstrued what David Chase said in their interview. To simply quote David as saying, "Tony Soprano is not dead," is inaccurate. There is a much larger context for that statement and as such, it is not true.

"As David Chase has said numerous times on the record, 'Whether Tony Soprano is alive or dead is not the point.' To continue to search for this answer is fruitless. The final scene of The Sopranos raises a spiritual question that has no right or wrong answer."

In a follow-up response to Chase's comments, Vox suggested that people would still be arguing about the ending of the classic series no matter what its creator claims happened.

Vox's culture editor Todd VanDerWerff editor wrote: "The entire point of Nochimson's essay is that even though Chase answered her query about Tony's death, it doesn't matter.

"Even if Chase had never issued a statement, or even if he had issued a statement saying, 'I meant every word!' it would not have quelled the debate about The Sopranos' finale. Nor should it have.

"The thing about the endings of TV series is that many of us watch them with a sort of anticipation that they will 'answer' the question of whether we were right to spend years and years watching the show. The thing is, however, they almost never do."

He added that if the Sopranos did have an 'easy' ending for the fans then it would suggest that there "must be a tidy answer for everything in life, no matter how banal.

"And I like to think we all know that's not true. That's part of what David Chase taught us," he concludes.