She started out as a spoiled rich girl with a drug habit and a bad attitude, but we soon learned that beneath that tough exterior was the broken-hearted little girl who desperately missed her big brother and her father. Thea Queen quickly found a place in our hearts, and as the actress who portrays her, Willa Holland, turned 25 on June 18th, we celebrate the 25 reasons we love Speedy!
1. She Overcame A Drug Habit
When Oliver first returned, she was still dipping into drug, and, in fact, got arrested on her 18th birthday when she wrecked her car after ingesting Vertigo. That was a wake-up call for her, and she's stayed away from the stuff ever since.
2. She Saw Potential In Roy When No One Else Did
When Roy snatched her purse, she could have just chalked it up to a thief who got away. Instead, she hunted him down because she saw something more than just a thug on the street.
3. She Loves With All Of Her Heart
She can be stubborn and unforgiving at times, but when it comes down to it, Thea is a softie. Look at how she thanked Oliver for saving her even though he'd kept his secret from her for almost three years.
4. She's Mature Beyond Her Years
She forgave her mother just when Moira Queen needed her the most. Sitting in prison all alone, Moira wasn't certain she'd ever see her daughter again, but the moment Thea walked in, she lit up like a Christmas tree. After almost being killed, Thea had seen the light, and that light gave her the strength to keep coming back.
5. She Saw The Hero In Oliver Long Before He Considered Himself A Hero
Even though Oliver got tough with Roy, Thea knew he was trying to save Roy from getting killed, and, though she didn't admit it, she appreciated the interference.
6. Even Though She's Malcolm Merlyn's Daughter, She Is Still Very Much Her Own Person
As much as the Dark Archer tries to control her, he can't. she's proven on more than once occasion she can stand up to Daddy. Yes, she uses his money, but doesn't Merlyn owe her something for his "training"?
7. She Stood Strong In The Face Of The Blood Lust, Choosing Death Rather Than The Kill
In Season 4, Thea faced death as a result of the ramifications of the Lazarus Pit. She could have killed someone to lessen her pain and allow her to live, but that wasn't her choice. She didn't want to take an innocent life, and instead, was willing to die on her own terms.
8. She's Grown Into A Fierce Warrior
Though only in her early twenties, Thea Queen can take down some of the biggest, baddest men in Star City and has proven her worth to Team Arrow on many occasions.
9. She Took On A Failing Club And Made It Her Own When Oliver Disappeared
When Oliver returned at the beginning of Season 2 to discover Thea had assumed ownership of Verdant, he wasn't the only one surprised. Viewers got a different view of the rich girl. She'd turned Verdant into a thriving club without any help from brother or mother.
10. She Has Mad Skills With A Bow And Arrow
When Oliver was playing his part to take down Ra's Al Ghul, Speedy had no problem putting an arrow into him to stop him from going too far.
11. She Has Stood Up To Her Father In Spite Of His Ability To Conquer Her.
Just recently, when Malcolm Meryln came for Damien Darhk's mask, Thea went toe to toe with him a battle that showed she wasn't scared of anything he brought.
12. She Survived The Torture Of Knowing She Killed Sara
To live with knowing you took a life must be a special kind of pain. Though Thea doesn't talk about it, she still lives with that knowledge. Yes, it's helped by Sara's resurrection, but it doesn't change the fact that her put Sara in a grave and through hell before Sara's soul was restored.
13. She Was Willing To Sacrifice Herself To Nyssa Al Ghul Once She Learned She Was Responsible For Sara's Death
After Oliver told Thea she'd killed Sara, Thea was willing to let Nyssa avenge Sara's death. That takes more courage than a woman who, at the time, was barely twenty should have.
14. She Went After Roy The Minute She Learned He Was Still Alive, Proving Her Love Remained Strong
After everything she'd gone through at the hands of Ra's Al Ghul, she needed some time to recuperate. Learning Roy was still alive, she knew just where to go, back into the arms of the man who loves her.
15. She Faced Up To Her Part In Sara's Death By Admitting The Truth To Laurel
That takes inner strength and courage someone so young rarely has. She and Laurel were friends, and to admit she'd killed Laurel's sister took courage. Thea could have hidden the truth, but that isn't who she is.
16. She Became A Hero Just In Time To Help Save Her City.
From a broken teenager to a warrior in red, Thea showed what can happen when you believe in yourself. All the training, the fighting to survive, and the will to live brought her to this moment.
17. She Visited Oliver At His Grave When She Thought He Was Dead Because She Wanted To Feel Close To Him
The scene where she tells Oliver this breaks my heart. As a little girl, she just wanted her big brother, and that's stayed a part of her. Inside, she'll always carry that piece of little girl innocence.
18. She Has Thrived In Spite Of The Atrocities She Has Endured
Discovering her mother plotted to kill thousands of people only to watch her die at the hands of Deathstroke only started the chain of tragedies Thea has suffered. But she's still standing. I love her inner fortitude.
19. She Survived Ra's Al Ghul's Blade
We don't know how long she was left lying there in a pool of her own blood, but her amazing will to live kept her alive.
20. Her Protective Instincts Are Fierce
She wouldn't let Sara kill Roy even when he was trying to kill her because she knew that wasn't the man she loved. The real Roy would never hurt her, and she placed her faith in that.
21. She Still Needs Her Big Brother
When Oliver decided to leave Star City with Felicity, Thea asked him several times if he was sure he wanted to go, a clear sign she still wanted her big brother close. Though Thea has grown into a strong woman, she finds comfort in Oliver being near.
22. She Demands What She Wants, Whether Its Answers Or Respect
Thea has always been a bit willful, but as she has matured, she has become a woman determined to be heard. She has gone up against her brother, her mother, Roy, and Malcolm without backing down.
23. She Continues To Love Roy In Spite Of The Distance Between Them
When Roy returned in Season 4's, episode 12, we saw the love that still exists between the two of them. Roy was Thea's first love, and we're learning it's a love that's strong enough to surpass the heartaches they've both endured.
24. She Admits When She's In Over Her Head
Season 4 was tough for Thea, and she held on, stayed strong in her position as a hero until the end. That was when she decided to take a break from being Speedy.
25. And Finally, We Love Thea Queen Because Of Who She Is, Who She's Been, And Who She's Becoming
Thea is one of my favorite characters on the show because of how plucky she is. She's been knocked down more times than I can count; yet, she's still standing. That's what makes a hero.
Thea Queen has fought for her life and the right to live it her way. Though the ending of Season 4 showed her choosing a different path, I can't imagine she's going to lose any of that fighting spirit she has. I, for one, look forward to seeing how she's going to evolve into the new Thea Queen in Season 5.