Ok, so there is a saying in the cold-injuries field, "you aren't dead until you’re warm and dead".

But I mean, come on. How do they really expect us to believe that

Oliver Queen fell the equivalent of almost 9 stories onto rock and lived?

Forget for a minute even about the fact that immediately prior to this he was stabbed directly through the chest with a broad blade sword, which by itself would almost certainly cause a person to bleed out instantly, no matter how cold it is. The location of the piercing, if it missed the heart, would have severed almost half of the primary arteries to the heart. No-one could recover from that.

But let's just forget about that half of his certain death for a moment.

I paused the video and estimated that the distance he fell was the equivalent of almost 9 stories. That's over 100 feet high, maybe close to 120 feet.

Using this calculator, I calculated that if a 250lb (approximate weight of the Arrow) person fell 120ft (the approximate distance he fell) then he would be moving at about 58miles per hour when he hit solid, frozen rock.

Consider that's the equivalent of stepping in front of a tractor trailer in the middle of the highway, and he doesn't hit his brakes. This reminds me of the scene in the Miami Vice movie when the guy walks away from his Ferarri that's parked on the side of the highway after finding out his whole family was just murdered and gets hit by a tractor trailer. It only shows a streak of blood, but you get the picture. I couldn't find the scene on youtube, but I did find this falling watermelon dropped off a stadium, which should give a similar picture of what Oliver Queen should look like after that fall (keep in mind this is about half or maybe 1/3 of the height that Oliver Queen fell):

Here's a screenshot of what would be left of Oliver Queen:
Watermelon dropped off a stadium

But here is what he looked like instead:
arrow impossible fall

I made this animation from the video clip. Judge for yourself.

So tell me, what plausible solution, if any, can they possibly give to explain surviving this completely impossible fall?

  • 2
    In a world where metahumans exist, do physics even matter? :P I agree with you, if he had fallen in a mountain of soft, fresh snow the story would be different, but he definitely fell into a hard icy rock; Oliver should be very, very dead. Jun 9, 2015 at 11:00
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    This is a bit ranty. Perhaps you could focus on the question more?
    – Valorum
    Jun 9, 2015 at 11:04
  • 2
    I’m nitpicking, but a couple of sources list Stephen Amell’s weight as 180 lbs. I’ve no idea how accurate that is, and obviously the actor isn’t the character, but 250 lbs (nearly 18 stone) does sound pretty heavy. Jun 9, 2015 at 11:22
  • 1
    In the real world people have fallen from much greater heights on to solid surfaces and survived. It's not the expected outcome, but it does happen. Also, you know, he does die; he just gets brought back to life afterwards. Jun 9, 2015 at 11:43
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    @AnthonyGrist: Every case that I have heard of has involved other surfaces slowing their fall.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jun 9, 2015 at 11:59

1 Answer 1


Actually, he did die. The show tends to gloss over the details of

Oliver's fight with Ra's, and particularly its ending

but the sword wound alone would have killed him, even without the fall, not to mention the exposure. By the time his body is found by Masao, he is definitely dead (or close enough to make no difference).

He was brought back to life by

Tatsu's extra-normal healing arts

which we see in action a bit more late in the season, in the form of flashbacks. The number of times people make reference to him coming back to life, including the fulfilment of Ra's prophecy, means he was pretty dead.

Note that it takes a long time to recover from the injuries, even with the help from supernatural medicine, which likely means he had quite a few broken bones and internal injuries. At best, we can probably assume he didn't fall straight down the side of the cliff, so bumping into the various rocks jutting out of the side may have prevented the most serious damage to his body, leaving just enough of him to be healed.

Note that the details of this super-natural healing, AFAIK, isn't discussed very much. In the source comics,

Katana possesses a magic sword that absorbs souls, and can resurrect people using those souls.

It's not clear if that's what happened here or not, because there are side-effects to that particular healing and we see none of that in Arrow.

  • 2
    That is to come in the new saeson. Amell and the producer have said Arrow is gone. So im waiting for the GA to come to be. and they can justify it by Katanas blade, yadda-yadda. So the show isnt so gloomy anymore, coz kids now days want peppy stuff like The Flash... So new saeson == Peppy Arrow a.k.a. Green Arrow
    – Cherubel
    Jun 9, 2015 at 13:22
  • almost 4 years after your answer.. thanks! ;)
    – scifi
    Feb 14, 2019 at 2:31

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