The Sopranos

The Sopranos: 10 Craziest Fan Theories Fans Had About The Finale

The Sopranos is one of the most important shows to have aired on HBO. Its finale was also a significant moment for leaving a lasting conversation.

There’s no question that The Sopranos is one of the most important shows to have ever aired on HBO, or even on television itself. Its finale was also a significant moment in the history of the medium, igniting conversations that have lasted until today.

While some of the theories make sense, there are some that are truly out there. Here are the ten craziest theories fans of The Sopranos had (and have) about the finale.

The Viewers Were Collectively Whacked

Some have speculated that there’s a bit of meta-commentary going on in the series finale, in the sense that we, as the audience, have been collectively whacked by the mafia of the show. It’s an intriguing theory since it might explain why there are so many unanswered questions and why there is literally a shift to blackness at the end. Still, it’s a bit of a whacky theory and one that assumes a great deal about the nature of the viewing audience.

 Tony Had a Stroke

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano in The Sopranos

Nothing has precipitated as much online commentary as that abrupt turn to black at the end of the final episode. According to this theory, the end result of all of Tony’s bad habits—as well as his horrible relationships with almost everyone in his family—ends up with him having a stroke. It’s an intriguing theory, if a bit out there, and it does give an added bit of explanation and meaning to that abrupt ending that left so many of us perplexed and wondering what had happened.

Valery Shot Tony

One of the key questions debated by fans after the finale was Tony’s eventual fate, with many concluding that he’d been shot. This theory supposes that the only person capable of shooting Tony and succeeding in killing him was Valery. The theory has some legs, since it manages to encapsulate both the character and previous plot issues, but it’s still a little out there to assume that Tony has been shot and killed at the end of the episode, as tempting as it is to think so.

 Tony was Killed in Revenge

Similarly, this theory also supposes that Tony has been killed, this time as an act of revenge. Once again, it does take a rather large leap of faith to assume that Tony was murdered in the finale, but this person has clearly done their homework, analyzing the types of details that are necessary to make even the most out-there theory hang together.

Once again, it is definitely tempting to think of Tony getting his just desserts in the end

 Tony is In Hell

Tony Soprano

While a lot of theories about the last episode speculate about who was responsible for killing Tony, this theory presupposes that he’s dead and argues that he is actually in his own private hell. It’s tempting to think that Tony would not only get his just desserts in this life but also in the next one, but it does take some straining of the mind to think that the show would take such a leap into the fantastic, even if the final season does engage with a lot of spiritual issues.

Tony Soprano, This is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life

It’s a well-known fact that the series creator David Chase has been quite insistent that Tony Soprano is still alive after the end of the series. This poster takes that proposition one step further and suggests that the end of the series is the beginning of a new, boring, and quite banal life for the bad boy Tony. It’s an intriguing theory, but one has to wonder whether someone like Tony Soprano is really capable of a life outside of organized crime.

Season Six is Tony’s Last Moments of Consciousness

Dr Melfi and Tony Soprano in The Sopranos.

Taking the idea of the afterlife a bit further, this theory proposes that Tony actually died in an episode of season five and that all of season six is his mind’s attempt to make sense of his ending.Again, there is something appealing to the idea of Tony coming to grips with his own wrongdoing, but it has to be said that this idea is a bit out there, a bit too meta to entirely hold water on its own. And besides, is it logical to think a whole season is nothing more than the dying thoughts of one man?

The Absurdity of Death

James Gandolfini as Tony and Edie Falco as Carmela in The Sopranos (Chasing It)

While this idea may be a little out there, we’ve got to admit that the idea of Tony’s death being just a random act of violence—rather than, say, an act of vengeance—is both disturbing and appealing in equal measure. It would be the final bit of justice to have Tony, a man who seemingly has all of the power at his fingertips, be a victim of a random gunman, subjected to the absurd whim of fate. It might be out there, but it’s definitely a fascinating idea

The Onion Ring of Doom

While the theory that Tony dies of a stroke in the final scene is at least plausible, this one is just a little bit on the ridiculous side. Rather than dying of a stroke, in this telling Tony has a heart attack, brought on by his over consumption of onion rings. It’s more than a little funny, sure, but it doesn’t quite hold up, and it does seem a rather undignified way for Tony to go, regardless of how much of a monster he is. 

Tony Woke Up

Considering it’s one of the oldest tropes, this one is pretty unlikely. After all, it would be a huge let down if that was the ending of a show that’s been regarded as one that was at the forefront of a surge of quality in television. It would have harmed the rest of the show in retrospect, much like the final season of Game of Thrones did to its own franchise. It would be equally as ridiculous as assuming everything that had happened was a figment of the real Tony’s imagination.

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