Tommy Merlyn

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Name: Thomas "Tommy" Merlyn
Occupation: co-owner of Verdant (Nightclub)
Relationships: Malcolm Merlyn (father), Rebecca Merlyn (mother);
Thea Queen (half-sister);
Oliver Queen (best friend);
Laurel Lance (girlfriend)
Fandom: Arrow
Other: Portrayed by Colin Donnell.
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Tommy Merlyn was a main character in Arrow television series in the first season and is considered minor in the rest of the seasons.

Canon Overview

Tommy is the son of Malcolm Merlyn and is Oliver Queen's best friend. Like Oliver, he was a billionaire and playboy. He also had daddy issues, after his mother was killed. While Oliver was trapped on an island and was believed to be dead, Tommy and Laurel Lance (Ollie's girlfriend) started a relationship. He later learns Oliver's secret identity of The Hood[1]. Tommy was eventually betrayed by Oliver and Laurel when the slept together[2] despite the fact that he and Laurel had broken up weeks earlier[3]. Tommy was killed when a building collapsed on him after he saved Laurel Lance's life during the "The Undertaking" earthquake started by his father[4]. He spent his last few moments with his best friend, reconciling with him.

In season 2, it's revealed that Malcolm Merlyn is the real father of Thea Queen[5], making her the half-sister of Oliver and Tommy Merlyn. He appears as a ghost[6] to Oliver and tells him that he's a hero, relieving Oliver's guilt.


Fandom often cherished Tommy, and his death in season one's finale was taken hard by the fans. Tommy is in variety of fanworks - often portraying a supporting role behind other characters, but he also prominently shown in variety of gifs and picspams on Tumblr.

Tommy was mainly shipped with Laurel since their relationship was revealed in canon. A popular slash pairing is Tommy/Oliver. Originally, the pairing of Tommy/Thea was common to find in the beginning due to Thea's canon crush. However it never gained more popularity even after they nearly kissed or even when it was revealed that if they had gone through with it, it would be incestual. Tommy/Felicity is still fairly rare for the fandom but is common for Tommy, however it didn't start to gain traction until after Tommy's death.

The gen relationships of Tommy & Oliver, Tommy & Felicity, and Tommy & Thea are common. The threesome pairing of Tommy/Oliver/Felicity is rare but exists.

Common Tropes & Themes

  • Tommy becoming the "Dark Archer" - this was an early fan theory that was later jossed when it was revealed that his father, Malcolm actually is the Dark Archer
  • Alternate Universes, various different ones, although he often appeared in No Island AU and Pre-Island AU.
    • In some works, Tommy and Felicity Smoak are brother and sister, or at least half-siblings. Depending on the works, she either lived with them since birth or they find out later on.
  • Tommy being part of Team Arrow
  • Tommy!Lives - due to his canon death in season one's finale, fans often rewrote the finale and/or had alternate Season 2 fics where Tommy had lived (Tommy is Alive tag on AO3)




  • Arrow Winter Soldier AU by oliverssqueen, a gifspam of a Tommy!Lives AU, After his death, Tommy Merlyn’s body was brought to Nanda Parbat by his father, Malcolm Merlyn. There, Malcolm pleaded with Ra’s for the life of his son, in exchange for complete loyalty to the league. Ra’s accepted the deal and revived Tommy with the use of a Lazarus Pit. But once Tommy regains consciousness, he doesn’t know where he is or who he is. The league trains him for two years, before he is send out by Ra’s to go to Starling city, to assassinate Al Sa-Her, who has gone rogue, and the Starling Vigilante who has been aiding him. But when his path crosses with the Arrow, the man claims to be his best friend. But he doesn’t remember, and he has no idea who ‘Tommy’ is.


Archives and Communities

Fannish Links




  1. ^ Arrow Season 1 Episode 16 "Dead to Rights"
  2. ^ Arrow Season 1 Episode 22 "Darkness on the Edge of Town"
  3. ^ Arrow Season 1 Episode 20 "Home Invasion"
  4. ^ Arrow Season 1 Episode 23 "Sacrifice"
  5. ^ Arrow Season 2 Episode 7 "State v. Queen"
  6. ^ Arrow Season 2 Episode 9 "Three Ghosts"