Thea Queen was one of Arrow's original characters, and it didn't take long for her to become a fan favorite. As a troubled teenager, she found out her father was the dreaded Dark Archer; she learned how to defend herself and became the beloved red archer known as Speedy. However, after a very near-death experience, Thea was resurrected by the Lazarus Pit and developed a bloodlust that changed her forever. But by the time Season 5 rolled around, she completely changed — now, she helps Oliver behind the scenes as his Chief of Staff.
But her significant absence from the show in Season 5 — not to mention her reduced use during her appearances — has drawn criticism from fans of the character. While many are happy to see Thea having overcome her demons, they aren't happy about the fact that it means seeing less of actress Willa Holland — and thus, less Thea.
However, Arrow executive producer Wendy Mericle recently revealed that we will be seeing a lot more of Thea in upcoming episodes, when she commented:
She’s headed in a direction that’s very similar to where her mother was before she was killed in Season 2. We’re excited about it.
This reveal from Mericle is rather unsettling, as it could have both positive and negative effects, depending on where the creative team go with it.
Is Thea Set To Be Killed Off?
Thea has been an integral part of Arrow since the beginning, and remains one of the only real ties the #TV show has left to its glory days. Over the seasons, she has matured and developed into one of the most formidable but reliable characters on the show. In five years, she's gone from rebellious teenager to superhero to Chief of Staff — now that's some major character development. To say that her mother Moira would be proud would be an understatement.
However, Mericle's comments are definitely intriguing. Remember, throughout Season 2, Moira overcame adversity to find herself not only exonerated for her involvement in the Undertaking, but having regained enough public support to become the Mayor of Starling City. Thus, she effectively clawed her way back to the top. Could we see Thea follow in her footsteps? After all, she has faced a lot of adversity in her life — most recently, the bloodlust. So having already reclaimed her confidence with her political career as Oliver's Chief of Staff, could we see Thea continuing to excel, only this time, in the public eye?
On the other hand, Mericle's comments are very unsettling, as we can't think about Moira's Season 2 journey without thinking about her death at the hands of Slade Wilson. No matter what way we look at it, Thea's role has been significantly reduced this season; thus, outside of her new career, she has seen little to no development. Has the show's creative team finally run out of ideas for her, or are we set to see a brand new Thea take control in the latter half of the season?
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Will Prometheus Kill Thea To Destroy Oliver?
This season's big bad Prometheus is intent on destroying the Green Arrow, and will stop at nothing to achieve that goal. In fact, he even made clear to Artemis that he doesn't plan on achieving it by killing Oliver, but instead, by making him wish he was dead. Could this involve killing Thea?
Moreover, this dreadful possibility actually coincides with Wendy Mericle's comments about Moira in Season 2. During the second season, Slade Wilson — Deathstroke — also set out to destroy Oliver Queen's life, and ended up killing his own mother in front of him and Thea. The brave Moira stood up to Slade and sacrificed herself to save her children, and it truly marked the end of an era for the show. But it also raises the question — could we see Prometheus doing the same thing to Oliver's own sister?
At the end of the day, Slade Wilson wanted to hurt Oliver in every way possible, and isn't that exactly what Prometheus's M.O. is too?
Could 'Arrow' Survive Without Thea?
It's been said many times, but Thea Queen is one of the few ties Arrow has left to its earlier seasons. Furthermore, she also happens to be one of the few strong independent female characters left on the show. We have already seen fan-favorites Moira and Laurel Lance (a.k.a. the Black Canary) killed off over the years. Thus, it leaves us wondering — can Arrow afford to lose one of the few remaining characters who were there from the beginning?
In all fairness, the show has managed to pull off some great angles this season without Thea's presence. As many of us have already noticed, she hasn't appeared in as many episodes as other characters, and when involved, she rarely does anything pivotal to the storyline. This could be down to Willa Holland's contract this season. Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim recently revealed that Thea's absence lately has been down to the fact that she is only contracted for 14 episodes this season (out of a possible 23). Thus, in that sense, Season 5 has shown that the show can survive without her, even if it does suffer without her presence.
Remember the simpler times on Arrow, when most of the characters were still alive?
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However, Arrow often finds itself in an unfavorable position among fans and critics these days. So, we have to wonder if a Thea death would have negative repercussions. All you have to do is look back to when the show's creative team decided to kill Black Canary last season. It was a controversial decision met with backlash from comic book fans, which resulted in a significant decline in ratings. In fact, it appears that they attempted to do some damage control by installing a new Black Canary, which only divided fans further. With Arrow now being the show that pulls in the least viewers among the #Arrowverse superheroes, it truly might not be able to come back from another fan-favorite character death.
Many of us noticed Thea Queen's absence from the past few episodes of Arrow, and it made us wonder whether she would ever return to prominence on the show. After all, the character had a significantly reduced role this season. While Willa Holland may have returned to the show, given that she's only set to appear for 14 episodes this season, it's looking like we should expect to see another extended absence on Thea Queen's part. But Wendy Mericle's comments suggest that something big is going to happen to the character, and that she'll channel her mother's journey in Season 2. The only question is — will she live to see the effects of it?
Do you think Thea will be killed off on Arrow this season? Let us know in the comments below!