Series Creator Reveals What Happened to Tony Soprano

Okay, take a seat. I have some news, and I hate to drudge up the past like this, but I think it’s time. Here, I made you a coffee. Sit, please. Look, I want to talk to you about Tony. Come on, you know what Tony I mean. I know it’s been seven years, but don’t pretend you could forget. Not without closure, not without knowing whether he made it or not, where he is. Goddamn it, whether he was alive or not! It was like Richey from the Manic Street Preachers all over again. Okay, I’m sorry I’ll get on with it…

So, seven years ago, The Sopranos came to quite a controversial. For those who don’t want spoilers, might I suggest you shouldn’t even have clicked on this article. Anyway, for those who watched the ending, or even those who didn’t get around to watching The Sopranos but are more than aware of the ending thanks to the considerable uproar, and numerous references to it in some of your favourite telly things. Just have a look into that black coffee I made you, and remember, or I mean just watch this handy clip on YouTube featuring the closing monologue of Tony Soprano.

Of course, a completely inconclusive ending like that has thrown up all kinds of speculation, some solid series, and innumerable different interpretations of its meaning. Which, it seems, was exactly show creator David Chase’s intention. If this breaking of his silence after seven years is anything to go by. Here’s what he said to Martha Nochimson from VOX:

I had been talking with Chase for a few years when I finally asked him whether Tony was dead. We were in a tiny coffee shop, when, in the middle of a low-key chat about a writing problem I was having, I popped the question. Chase startled me by turning toward me and saying with sudden, explosive anger, “Why are we talking about this?” I answered, “I’m just curious.” And then, for whatever reason, he told me.

On occasion he breaks his reserve, but makes it clear that I am not to write about anything he says that is an interpretation of his own work, since he believes that the art of entertaining is leaving the audience imagination to run wild. So when he spoke about Tony and the question, he was laconic.

Just the fact and no interpretation. He shook his head “no.” And he said simply, “No he isn’t.”

When I asked Chase about the cut to black, he said it’s about Poe’s poem “Dream Within a Dream.” “What more can I say?” he asks when I prod him to speak more, and I admire his silence. I am his audience too and he wants me to reach for his meaning. And here’s what I conclude. Thought you wouldn’t know it from watching Hollywood movies, endings are by nature mysterious.

So, there we have it, in a still-relatively-uninformative way, Tony is alive. That cut to black was not in fitting with his sudden execution. This means there’s still plenty to speculate on, but it seems to me a little that Martha pulled a little bit of a dick move here. Seeing as Chase’s intention wish had been for our collective imaginations to run wild with possibility, and for his interpretation to not dictate our own. Hence his silence.Then again though, he did break his silence, but he did keep it matter of fact and stripped of detail. He hasn’t given us a whole lot else to go on, except that Edgar Allan Poe remark.

In fact, rewatch the above clip, think about the fact that Tony is alive, read the following poem, and let those imaginations run wild…


A Dream Within a Dream by Edgar Allan Poe

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow —
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand —
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep — while I weep!
O God! Can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

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