It's a question that's plagued mankind for going on nearly seven years: What really happened to Tony Soprano after the rather abrupt ending of the final episode of "The Sopranos"?

As you may recall, Tony and his family were gathered for a meal after a beef between the New York and New Jersey families had supposedly been squashed. Daughter Meadow walked into the diner as Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" played on the jukebox, Tony looked up, and then...a blank screen.

So what happened? Was Tony the victim of a successful hit carried out by one of his rivals?

During an interview with Vox, "Sopranos" creator David Chase shook his head "no" when asked by interviewer Martha P. Nochimson if Tony Soprano is dead.

As for the quick fade to black, Chase told Vox that it was inspired by the poem "Dream Within A Dream" by Edgar Allan Poe".

Tony Soprano lives! James Gandolfini, on the other hand...