Warning: Spoilers. If you have not yet watched all of Arrow Season Three, you may wish to skip this article.
Season three of Arrow saw Thea Queen go through some incredible changes. From her initial training in Corto Maltese to her discovery that Oliver is the Arrow, to her time on the island and her manipulation by her father, all the way to her death, resurrection, and final appearance in costume. In many ways, this was the season of Thea, and while she didn't always feel like the focus (as the show balanced out the myriad characters and sub-story-arcs incredibly well), her development was ongoing.
Willa Holland (who plays Thea) was absolutely thrilled with the events of Season Three, and during the MCM London Comic Con, chatted about her hopes for the character, her love of comic books, and her pride in playing such a strong female character within the DC universe.
On Comic Books And Nerd-dom
I grew up as a bit of a DC nerd, so I really had a profound appreciation for coming onto the show.
People come up to me and say that Roy Harper was meant to be Speedy, and I'm like, yeah, that's in one of the comics. But there's also another one where Mia Dearden is Speedy. I have done my research, and I know what I'm talking about when it comes to this stuff.
Hearing about Willa's love for the comics was a pleasant surprise - I absolutely adore it when actors in comic book adaptations have a history with the subject matter. It's something that makes a huge difference to how the character is played, but it's also just nice to see big stars admitting to a long-time love of comic books. It's especially nice to see this coming from a woman, and I thoroughly enjoy the idea of Willa being able to debate canon with comic fans - no one gets to call her a fake geek girl!
On Strong Female Characters
One thing that makes me so honored to be on the show is being able to do a justification of this character's arc as a female and as an empowered woman. She just gets beaten down by everybody in her life and whether it be males or females, just everybody in her life has been lying to her and being untrustworthy, and she honed in to something inside of herself and becoming what she is becoming. It's very, very amazing to be able to represent that. I think a lot of the girls on our show have been pulling that stop out really hard Katie Cassidy's character has just been through so much and now she has come out the other end a very strong woman.
It's worth noting that Thea is a character who is often accused of being anything but strong; turning to drugs after Ollie's disappearance, consistently emotional and having difficulty coping with all of the events of the first two seasons. It's amazing to see her growing this season, but it's also fantastic to see Willa recognizing her particular kind of strength.
She's also optimistic about seeing some other female characters portrayed in a more positive and complex light, especially in the upcoming Suicide Squad movie.
I have very high hopes for the future for women being empowered on television and movies. I think that Harley Quinn could be a great one as a crazy, sexy, supervillain, but take it away from her just being sexy and have her being strong and powerful. And that's what should be pushed out there more than just pumping up her breasts and showing off her ass. Let's actually show her mind or what she is physically capable of.
On What's Next For Thea Queen
There are so many possibilities for Thea's future, and while Willa has made it clear that the writers aren't telling her anything, she's got plenty of her own theories and wishes for the show and her role within in, starting with how Merlyn's new role will affect her.
Would that [Merlyn's ascension to Ra's Al Ghul] make you heir to the demon so you could become the next Ra's Al Ghul as well?
I actually never even thought about that! Woah! Bomb dropped... Who knows? All I can think of right now is that Thea's just been trying to figure out what's happening to her or not happening to her since she has been resurrected from the Lazarus pit
While this is a possibility, I have a feeling that the show will be leaving Ra's Al Ghul and Nanda Parbat largely behind for season four. Merlyn, as always, will be part of the show, and I hope that we see more of Nyssa, but while it would be interesting to see Thea as the heir to the demon, this seems like something that would have to happen much further down the line.
As it stands, she has just taken on a superhero identity, and I feel that this is what we are going to see her focusing on for the next season, especially as Willa has been waiting a long time to become Speedy.
In the pilot, it was written that he said Speedy, so it was just a huge, massive easter egg for myself, and three years was a bit of a long time waiting for it to happen! But I understand why it took so long.
Now that she has finally taken up the Speedy mantle, Willa is most excited to see her in costume more often, and hopes for a new outfit to better reflect the comic books.
For her future in season four, I hope that she keeps wearing that costume as much as possible, maybe gets a yellow one with a cape, or something.
She's also clearly not done with the Lazarus pit yet - as well as her earlier comments about what's "happening or not happening" to her since her resurrection, she's clear that she is not quite ready to leave that story arc behind.
I hope that we get to see some type of effect from the Lazarus Pit, I think that that would be really awesome. Whether it be good or bad.
This is definitely something that hasn't been fully developed yet - the Lazarus Pit is such a hugely important part of the mythology, and it seems a little strange that Thea could be resurrected without any visible effects thus far. I would be surprised if this doesn't influence the new Speedy character somehow, whether it is a physical change as a result of her time in the pit, or a mental and emotional one. Could Speedy become too much of a risk-taker, unafraid of death as she has already beaten it once?
It seems that the writers are playing their cards close to their chests, but at least we know that Thea will be returning as Speedy, and we'll get to see some incredible crime fighting from our newest vigilante.
They haven't really told me much. Other than the fact that I'm going to be in it. That's literally all I know.
Good enough for me!
Arrow Season 4 returns to the CW this fall.