Arrow Producer Explains Why They Got Rid Of Thea


Anyone who saw last night’s episode of Arrow will know that Oliver’s sister Thea “Speedy” Queen has left Star City. If you’re wondering if this is just setting up a temporary absence for the character for, say, the rest of the season, then we have some bad news: Actress Willa Holland has officially exited for good.

While talking with TVLine about the decision to write Thea out of the series, showrunner Marc Guggenheim revealed that it was not because the production team wanted to get rid of her. Rather, it was Holland herself who requested that she be given a reduced episode count this year and, ultimately, be allowed to move on to other projects.

“Willa had expressed a desire to reduce her episodic commitment to the show and that was sort of done in sort of conjunction with an indication that it was likely that she wouldn’t want to renew her contract past Season 6. So, we’ve kind of known for a while that this was in the offing. We revisited it with Willa at the beginning of Season 6, and she indicated that she hadn’t changed her mind, that she was still interested in moving on.”

In season 6’s sixteenth episode, titled “The Thanatos Guild,” Nyssa al Ghul returned for the first time this season to warn Thea that the titular guild, an off-shoot of the League of Assassins, were after her as they wanted her to unlock some mystical map. It was revealed that the map led to the locations of the last Lazarus Pits. By the end of the episode, Thea had decided to leave her hometown in order to destroy the Pits, taking Nyssa and Colton Haynes’ Roy Harper with her.

Of course, Willa Holland is just the latest longtime cast member to exit Arrow in its six year history so far. Caity Lotz’s Sara Lance moved over to Legends of Tomorrow in season 4, while that same year also saw her sister Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) killed off. More recently, John Barrowman’s Malcolm Merlyn sacrificed himself in the season 5 finale.

The now Thea-less Arrow continues April 5th on The CW.