Thea Queen’s exit on this week’s episode of Arrow has been confirmed as final.
The episode, entitle “The Thanatos Guild.” set up her exit as the League of Assassins were rebirthed. Nyssa tells Thea that she is the key to opening a map marking the locations of three Lazarus Pits. The Guild is after her and the maps, and Thea decides to leave Star City with Nyssa to destroy them. This departure is her final goodbye to Star City.
The departure may have seemed sudden, but Mark Guggenhim confirmed to TVLine that it has actually beenin the works for quite some time. Here’s what he told them:
By the end of Season 4, 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.
He explains that they worked together to explore all the possibilities of her exit, and this is what they decided on together, with her opinion taken strongly into consideration.
We talked about some requests she had for us in terms of how her episodes would be utilized and grouped, and at what point in the season she would be written out, and we accommodated her on all those fronts because, look, at the end of the day we love Willa and we love working with her. She’s done right by us and so we wanted to do right by her.
He said her exit was painful, because a big part of Oliver’s story is the family aspect that’s been so heavily played out over the series. It happened to work out that Colton Haynes returned as Roy during this time. Guggenheim says that his return was planned before they even know that Thea would be written off the show.
Although her exit is hard and takes the series away from its beginnings, Oliver is not alone. He now has a wife and son, which will help his family core stay strong in the wake of Thea’s exit.
Stephen Amell talked to TVLine about her exit, saying the following:
“Quite frankly, the most important thing when you’re doing a show like this and you’re doing 23 episodes [per season] and you’re working long, hard hours, you need to make sure that everyone that’s here wants to be here. Willa was nothing short of professional and excellent, and always delivered tremendous performances. But I know that she wanted to move on with her career. And I totally respect that. And I’m glad that she’s going to get that opportunity.”
“I always enjoyed Oliver and Thea’s dynamic.”
He said their emotional goodbye made the whole conclusion easier as well-as it was a callback to what she told him in the Pilot episode. Oliver tells her he’s going to miss her and Thea responds, echoing his words in the first episode:
“You’ll be with me the whole time.”
Catch the next episode of Arrow April 5th at 9 PM ET on The CW.