Arrow's Season 5 was a lesson in how to craft a perfect finale. The writers carefully arranged all of our major characters in one place — and then blew them all up, leaving fans dying to know who would make it out alive. Over the past few months we've gotten a good idea of who will live and who most definitely won't, and now we can probably add our hero's sister Speedy, a.k.a Thea Queen, to the list of people who survived.
Thea was the only family Oliver had left, so her dying on Lian Yu would certainly have been devastating for Oliver. Although the showrunners haven't stated whether she will live or not, Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim's latest comments to Comicbook.com seem to indicate that Thea will be part of the show whether she lives or dies.
"We love Willa, we love Thea the character and we particularly love Thea's relationship with Oliver. That said, Willa came to us at the end of season four and she, very honestly, expressed a desire to cut back how many episodes a season she was doing. She's a member of our family, and we wanted to honor that request. That's what happens when you have a show that goes over a hundred episodes, people start to say, 'hey, I would like to pull back,' some people don't want to renew their contract. There's a whole host of different things that start to come into play and you work that into the story telling."
As Guggenheim explains, Willa Holland wanted to take a step back in Season 5, but we still don't know if she will have a reduced role in Season 6, or if she'll return as a main character.
Why This Queen Ain't Dying
For those of you wondering if this means that Thea will be dead and only appear via flashbacks, then I've got some good news for you. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the showrunner has previously stated that killing Thea is not going to happen on his watch.
"There’s two lines in the sand that I’ve drawn for Arrow for myself. I can’t speak for Greg [Berlanti] or for Wendy [Mericle], but for as long as I’m involved with the show, the two things I never want to do is kill off Thea [Willa Holland] and put Felicity in a mask and a costume. Those, to me, are two lines that I just think are a bridge too far...because we’ve already taken so many family members away from Oliver."
Now it is possible that perhaps the EP has changed his mind and, given actress Willa Holland's request for fewer scenes, he just decided to just kill her off, but that doesn't make sense for a number of reasons. Firstly, because Stephen Ammel has repeatedly stated that Oliver's much more at peace in Season 6. During a panel at the Heroes & Villains FanFest in New Jersey, the actor stated:
"It's a strange thing, Oliver actually this season is a very contented individual. At least so far. Methinks that will probably change, based on just 120-some episodes of history. But I've seen three episodes and he's smiling a lot more.... It's nice as an actor to not be a stick in the mud all the time."
With the strong bond that Thea and Oliver have, it's impossible to imagine Oliver being more "content" in Season 6 with his sister dead. Then there's Colton Haynes' return as Roy Harper, which could mean that Thea finally gets to have her happily ever after with her man — and if Holland does want to reduce her role further, it would be easy for Thea to decide to leave Star City to be with Roy.
One can argue that perhaps Roy will arrive to attend Thea's funeral, but again, that doesn't make sense with what little we know about Season 6. Thea's death would mean that her funeral will happen in the first couple episodes (and Oliver should not be "smiling a lot more" if that's the case), and Harper's return is set to occur some time later in the season and it's hard to imagine that Roy will miss out on the funeral of the woman he loves.
Thea May Appear In A Flashback
However, there is another way we could see Thea in Season 6. The showrunner has hinted that we will see flashbacks from all sorts of characters on the show this season, and it looks like Thea will be one of them.
"All I'll say really, and you can interpret this however you want, is Willa is back on the show and we are doing flashbacks from people's perspective that does not always include Oliver's, I'll let you extrapolate from that what you will."
Of course as confident as I may seem at the moment, I will remind you that my belief that Thea will not die is just speculation on my part. Who knows, maybe Oliver will just grow into an asshole who doesn't quite miss his amazing sister that much...
Still, whether or not Thea will come back to the show for a reduced time like she did last season or will be written off, one thing is for sure, her absence will be felt. How #Arrow decides to handle that, is up to the showrunners, though if this season is half as jam packed as last season was, I think we're in good hands.
What do you think? Will Thea die on Arrow this season? Comment below.