Arrow (TV)

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Name: Arrow
Creator: Greg Berlanti
Marc Guggenheim
Andrew Kreisberg
Date(s): October 10, 2012 - present
Medium: live-action television show
Country of Origin: USA
External Links: Wikipedia page, official site, IMDB page
Promotional Poster of Arrow.
Related Concepts, Fandoms, Terms, Fanworks
See also The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Vixen, Constantine, Supergirl
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Arrow is a CW television series starring Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen; based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow. Unlike the comic-book and other versions of Green Arrow, the hero of this television series has no special powers.


Oliver Queen was discovered to be alive on a remote island after leaving on a boat trip with his father and secretly with Sara Lance. His father and Sara were presumed dead. Oliver had been missing and presumed dead for five years. He returns to Starling City and his family - his mother Moira and his younger sister Thea along with his best friend Tommy Merlyn and his former girlfriend, Sara's sister Laurel Lance. Living on the island changed him, although Oliver tries to hide the changes from his family and friends due to his mission. He becomes a hooded vigilante (nicknamed The Hood), where he tries to protect the city and right the wrongs of his family.

Each episode of the Arrow shows the main storyline along with several flashbacks to Oliver's time on the island with Shado, Slade Wilson and others who taught him how to live or tried to kill him.

During Season 1 Oliver reveals his secret identity to two people, John Diggle, his chauffeur/bodyguard, and Felicity Smoak—an IT tech at Queen Consolidated; both join his team to help the city. Detective Quentin Lance is determined to arrest The Hood, and blames Oliver for his daughter Sara going with Oliver on the trip that led to her death. Laurel has to deal with her mixed feelings between Tommy and Oliver. Meanwhile, Tommy has to deal with the mixed feelings of having his best friend back and being in love with Laurel, and later when he learns about Oliver's secret identity. Thea falls in love with Roy Harper, who becomes a fan of The Hood especially after he saves him. Oliver learns that his mother knows much more about the shipwreck than she has let on and she's hiding something even worse. Tommy's father, Malcolm Merlyn, is revealed to be the Dark Archer that Oliver has battled several times throughout the season and is behind the "The Undertaking"—a manmade earthquake that levels a part of Starling City named The Glades.

Season 2 takes place several months after the "The Undertaking". It is revealed that Oliver returned to the island in order to deal with Tommy's death and the destruction of The Glades. Felicity and Diggle convince him to come back to the city, where his mother is in jail awaiting trial for her part in the "Undertaking" and his sister has taken over his club. A new masked vigilante, The Canary, appears in front of Roy during an unfair fight and saves him, due to this and Roy tracking down the new vigilante—Oliver asks him to be his Arrow informant. The Canary is revealed to be Sara Lance, who did not die in the shipwreck. Quentin Lance gets demoted to a patrol officer for his actions in Season One, starts to like The Arrow and teams up with him a few times. Laurel becomes the Assistant District Attorney and blames The Arrow for Tommy's death—which she is still trying to deal with. Oliver takes over Queen Consolidated since Walter has left and his mother is in jail. He promotes Felicity to be his Executive Assistant as a cover for their vigilante work. However, this work becomes more difficult when he is joined by Isabel Rochev as a co-owner for QC and Slade Wilson returns to get his revenge on Oliver.

Main Characters

Actor/Actress Character Seasons
Stephen Amell Oliver Queen/Hood/Arrow/Green Arrow Season 1 – present
Katie Cassidy Dinah Laurel Lance/Black Canary/Black Siren Season 1–4 (main), Season 5 (recurring), Season 6 (main)
Colin Donnell Thomas "Tommy" Merlyn Season 1 (main), 2–present (guest)
David Ramsey John Diggle/Spartan Season 1 – present
Willa Holland Thea Queen/Speedy Season 1 - present
Susanna Thompson Moira Queen Season 1–2 (main), Season 5 (guest)
Paul Blackthorne Captain Quentin Lance Season 1–present
Emily Bett Rickards Felicity Smoak/Overwatch Season 1 (recurring), Season 2–present (main)
Manu Bennett Slade Wilson/Deathstroke Season 1 (recurring), Season 2 (main), Season 5 (recurring)
Colton Haynes Roy Harper/Arsenal Season 1 (recurring), Season 2–3 (main), Season 4-5 (recurring)
John Barrowman Malcolm Merlyn/Dark Archer Season 1–2 (recurring), Season 3—present (main)
Echo Kellum Curtis Holt/Mister Terrific Season 4 (recurring), Season 5 (main)
Josh Segarra Adrian Chase/Prometheus/Simon Morrison Season 5 (main)
Rick Gonzalez Rene Ramirez/Wild Dog Season 5 (recurring), Season 6 (main)
Juliana Harkavy Dinah Drake/Black Canary Season 5 (recurring), Season 6 (main)

See Category:Arrowverse Characters‎ for more characters.

Critical Reception

The main critical reception of Arrow is positive—due to the intriguing characters and exciting action scenes with positive remarks for Stephen Amell's acting [1].

Fan Reactions

This article or section needs expansion.

After the show jumped the shark in the season 4 finale in 2016, the /r/arrow community on Reddit briefly changed itself into a Daredevil subreddit in despair.[1]


This article or section needs expansion.

fandom, discussions?, more tropes/themes/etc

The Arrow fandom began immediately before it's premiere, with various LiveJournal communities created in June/July 2012. Many of the fans migrated from the Smallville fandom, due to both being about DC Comics and superhero characters. Although initially most fans were dismayed that Justin Hartley wouldn't return as Oliver Queen, fans immediately took to Stephen Amell's version of the character. A few more LJ communities were created after the series premiere in October. Although due to the fandom migration, fans are more active on Tumblr, Archive of Our Own, and FanFiction.Net than the LiveJournal communities.

In 2012, its first year, "Arrow" was considered a yuletide fandom.

The fandom is mainly present on Tumblr, LiveJournal, FanFiction.Net, Youtube and AO3, however the fandom is still considerably smaller than its predecessor, Smallville, and other CW shows[2] although those fandoms have been around for more years. However, the Arrow fandom is very active, especially on Tumblr where posts are made or reblogged daily.

In 2016, Arrow was ranked number seventeen in the Top 20 "most reblogged" live-action television show on Tumblr, one of three Arrowverse fandoms and one of five CW fandoms.[3]

Fandom and TPTB

Both creators and actors interact with social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as interviews and conventions. The Powers That Be listened to fans after the third episode premiered, where Twitter was blown up by fans of Felicity Smoak, which actually made her a main character instead of just a guest character for a few episodes. Much of the fanservice is actually a big reason on why the series works so well.

Stephen Amell (Oliver) mainly interacts with fans via his Twitter, Facebook and Youtube accounts as well as obvious appearances for interviews and conventions. Fans often call him Captain Amell - mainly by Olicity fans but also about other fans of the series due to how much interaction he actually does with fans.

Caity Lotz (Sara), Emily Bett Rickards (Felicity), and Celina Jade (Shado) mainly interact on Twitter. Celina Jade often retweets and shows the other actors different types of fanworks. Paul Blackthorne (Det. Lance) interacts with fans on his Facebook account.

In an interview with Marc Guggenheim (a showrunner for Arrow), he explains about how Twitter helped him with the series:

"At the beginning, when we launched the show, the CW collected all the showrunners and told us all to go on Twitter... I love it and it’s a great way to interact with the fans. On Arrow, we have some terrific fans. It’s helpful to get that “real time” feedback. The Internet has become a presence in the writers’ room and a helpful guide to what’s working and what’s not working. Stan Lee once said that the trick to writing to comic book readers—and I think this applies to all audiences—is that you don’t write what they want, but write what they need. That’s how I internalize things. If you wrote everything the fans were asking for, it would end up being a disaster. I use them as a barometer of success and failure. What are they curious about or not curious about? It’s fun in that regard."[4]

In 2015, Marc Guggenheim joined Tumblr (at marcguggenheim), where he answers fans questions or hints at future episodes, and reblogs Tweets. Some praise the decision while others dislike it.

Season 4 is dealing with another character death spoiler since the beginning of the season with a scene of Oliver and Barry Allen at a grave, which is set to be revealed on an upcoming episode "Eleven-Fifty-Nine". There have been many fan theories and speculations on who was going to die, from Felicity Smoak, Laurel Lance, John Diggle, Quentin Lance, Donna Smoak, Thea Queen, and etc. In April 2016, pictures were released online which leads many to believe it to be a certain character. This of course upset the character's fanbase and caused many to flood Guggenheim's Twitter page or to on Tumblr with their dissatisfaction. In an interview with, he replied with:

"We've always you know, made know bones about the fact that we are telling our own version of the Green Arrow mythos," Guggenheim said. "Green Arrow has had so many different interpretations over the years that we never felt you know beholden to one particular interpretation, and this is our interpretation, like it or not, and I recognize that there are plenty of people up and down my Twitter feed who do not like it. Totally respect that." While acknowledging that in a character-driven show, whatever character they chose to kill would have his or her own fan loyal fan base upset about the decision, Guggenheim said that "It's never been just about one or two different particular fan bases. We make the creative choices we feel benefit the show as a whole, and the story that we're telling overall."[5]

Common Tropes, Themes and Storylines

See Character or Relationship pages for more individual common tropes and themes.

Futurefics are pretty common in the fandom, usually to represent how Team Arrow has grown or changed. Some stories show pairings married and with their own children. However, it is also common for futurefics to be set just months or a year ahead of what's happening in canon (usually with influences from canon knowledge of what happened in the comic book series and/or leaked spoilers).

Alternate Universes are very popular in the fandom as Arrow is an AU of the Green Arrow comics (in much the same way Smallville is to Superman). Certain types of AUs are used repeatedly, such as Historical AUs, Role Reversals AUs, etc. Due to the show's original "no powers" promise, a lot of the earlier fanworks add in the comicverse canon superpowers (Some such stories can also be considered futurefics.) Specific to Arrow fandom are the Pre-island AU (often rewrites or acts as prequels to the series), and the No Island AU (where Oliver was never stranded on the Lian Yu island, with the result that he is "normal", usually with the same personality he had pre-Island). Some focus on a Canon Divergence AU point-of-view, such as certain characters lives or Bratva works which mainly focus on Oliver's role in the mob and often ignores the Arrow-storyline.

As Arrow's roots are in DC Comics, it's very common to find DC Comics Universe crossovers, both in futurefic and in stories set in canon. The crossovers have been mainly written with The Flash, since Barry Allen has already been on the show and has since received his own spin-off show. Batman (Bruce Wayne) is also a popular crossover choice due to similarities between his character and Oliver's. In addition, Clark Kent (Superman), Lois Lane, and Nightwing have made appearances in fanworks.

Crossovers with other fandoms not related to the DC world has also appeared, such as Teen Wolf, Supernatural, Captain America: The First Avenger & Marvel Cinematic Universe, Sons of Anarchy, Harry Potter and BTVS.


For more detailed information check out each character's page.

The main characters and Team Arrow members have remained the most popular characters, with Oliver Queen, Felicity Smoak, and John Diggle the top three. Of the rest, Thea Queen, Sara Lance, Tommy Merlyn and Laurel Lance are most likely to be treated as principal characters in fanworks, while Quentin Lance, Malcolm Merlyn, and Moira Queen more often play a supporting role. Nyssa Al Ghul and Mama Smoak are often praised and held in high regard in fanworks and discussions.

Due to The Flash canon crossovers, various characters from that series also sometimes makes an appearance in Arrow-focused works.


See Category:Arrowverse Relationships for links to more detailed pages on the pairings in Arrow.

The on and off canon het pairing of Laurel Lance/Oliver Queen was initially popular - even from before the show actually premiered. However, during the first season Oliver Queen/Felicity Smoak gained a lot of followers and became the most popular pairing with the fans and eventually becoming canon as of S3. Common het pairings would be Laurel Lance/Tommy Merlyn and Roy Harper/Thea Queen. In season 1, two pairings that were fairly rare but appeared since the beginning of the series are Thea Queen/Tommy Merlyn (which as of S2 was revealed to be actually an incest pairing) and the incest ship of Oliver Queen/Thea Queen. Season 2 pairings brought about John Diggle/Lyla Michaels, Slade Wilson/Shado, Oliver Queen/Sara Lance, and Barry Allen/Felicity Smoak. Pairing started in Season 3: Felicity Smoak/Ray Palmer (which had mixed views in the fandom).

Slash pairings do exist in the fandom and are considered to be common: Tommy Merlyn/Oliver Queen, John Diggle/Oliver Queen, and Slade Wilson/Oliver Queen. Season 2 & 3, along with the crossover episodes with The Flash, Oliver Queen/Barry Allen became quite popular.

Femslash pairings seem to exist more rarer and only really appearing after Sara appeared in Season 2: the canon pairing of Nyssa al Ghul/Sara Lance is common as is Sara Lance/Felicity Smoak which is starting to gain popularity. Season 3 brought the interest of Nyssa al Ghul/Laurel Lance to some femslash fans, others liked crossovers with The Flash's women: Caitlin Snow and Iris West. Season 4 brought some interest in Thea Queen/Laurel Lance. There is some interested in a Laurel Lance/Felicity Smoak pairing.

Threesomes are fairly rare - Oliver Queen/Felicity Smoak/John Diggle and Oliver Queen/Felicity Smoak/Sara Lance to name two.



Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.


For a full listing of Arrow fanfiction on Fanlore, see Category:Arrow Fanfiction






Archives and Fannish Links

LiveJournal Communities

Purged Accounts:


Tumblr Fandom

See Arrow Characters or Arrow Relationships pages for individual Tumblr blogs.


Reddit Fandom



  1. ^ "The Arrow Subreddit Hated The Finale So Much, They Became a Daredevil Subreddit".
  2. ^ As of October 4, 2014: Arrow has only 3650 works at AO3 and 3.5K at FFN, while: Smallville 14.3K (FFN) 8051 (AO3), Supernatural 99.7K (FFN) 82823 (AO3), Vampire Diaries 32.2K (FFN) 4017 (AO3), One Tree Hill 13.8K (FFN), 121 (AO3)
  3. ^ "2016′s Top TV Shows - Live Action". Archived from the original on 2017-06-29.
  4. ^ Catching Up with Arrow Showrunner Marc Guggenheim. Paste Magazine. Written By: Mark Rozeman. Published June 8, 2014. (Accessed 17 June 2014).
  5. ^ "Arrow's Marc Guggenheim On The Social Media Firestorm From Tomorrow's Big Death". Archived from the original on 2017-01-29.