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‘Arrow’ Character Spotlight: Malcolm Merlyn

Published on March 2nd, 2016 | Updated on March 2nd, 2016 | By FanFest

From the moment John
Barrowman walked on screen as Malcolm Merlyn,
we loved him. I know I
certainly did! John has always gone
above and beyond in
whatever role he has played. I have had the pleasure of
meeting John Barrowman
multiple occasions at different conventions, and he has always been an

absolute delight. If you have never
had the opportuity for a photo op with John
Barrowman, it will be, without a
doubt one of the best
experiences of your

I chose Malcolm Merlyn for my character
spotlight this week,
Malcolm is such a complex character and he has such an incredible
We remember Merlyn from Season
One as being a prominent, wealthy
businessman and CEO of Merlyn Global
Group. At times, his character seemed

calculating and ruthless, but we learned that was not always the case. There
a point and time when
Malcolm was a sweet and caring father, who loved his wife
Rebecca and his
son Tommy more than anything else.
He wouldn’t hurt a fly.
However, when his wife Rebecca was murdered in cold
blood outside of her medical

clinic in the Glades, something inside of Merlyn snapped and he fled to join
League of

He inherited the name Al Sah-her (‘The Magician’)
served as Ra’s Al Ghul’s right
hand man. Malcolm eventually left the
league, to return to Starling City and
to his son, Tommy. Merlyn then
hell-bent with revenge on destroying the Glades in a project he
referred to as
‘Undertaking’. He was able to convince a few individuals into his plan,

including Oliver’s mother, Moira

When Oliver returned to Starling
City after years of being
assumed dead, he found out what
Merlyn was up to and
eventually, put an end to Merlyn’s plans. Well… he
literally put an arrow
Merlyn himself, killing him. At least, so we thought!

Image: The CW

returned in Season 2, when he

confronted Moira following her trial for her involvement in The Undertaking.
had discovered that he
was Thea’s biological father, and was set on being
involved in her life.
During Slade Wilson’s plan to
overtake Starling City in a
vindictive plan to hurt Oliver Queen, Merlyn
returned once more to make sure

that Thea was safe.

He trained Thea in the ways of the League of

Assassins, turning her into a
warrior from the fragile flower she once was.
Merlyn was so calculating that
he hypnotized Thea so that she
would kill Sara
Lance, as an eventual means to erase the blood debt that
Ra’s Al Ghul had out
Merlyn. After helping Oliver take down the League of Assassins from the

inside, Season 3 ended with Oliver
handing over the ring belonging to Ra’s Al
Ghul to Malcolm Merlyn,
signifying that Malcolm was the new Ra’s

So far in Season 4 we have seen Malcolm continue to carry
his title
of Ra’s Al Ghul…
only to lose it to Nyssa, daughter of the former Ra’s Al
Ghul and it’s all
thanks to Oliver Queen. Now, it
would appear as though Oliver
and Malcolm are enemies once more. I love the
constant chemistry between
Merlyn and Oliver Queen in particular. They have been at a constant
between friends and

‘Arrow’ is currently on a brief hiatus,
and we now know
that with Damien Darhk being
temporarily defeated, it would
appear as though Malcolm Merlyn is now the
main villain once more. I have

watched several TV Shows in which the same villain kept coming back and back
BACK and I found myself
saying ‘oh come on, will this guy just die already!?’.
However, I can
honestly say that Malcolm is one
villain that I will NEVER get
tired of seeing. He’s not your stereotypical
villain. When you think you have

him figured out, there is always a new surprise looking around the


I especially love how
much time and energy John Barrowman has
dedicated to this role. We have seen
such a phenomenal character
over these past four years.

Image: The CW

When Season 4 resumes, I
really look forward
to seeing
more of Malcolm. He is one character that I love and hate at the same
I love the fact that there is so
much mystery to his character, but I hate
that at times he is so blinded by
revenge that he aims to hit
people where it
hurts… even if it’s people who are somehow involved in
his life. For example,
Oliver defeated Malcolm in a hand to hand combat and handed the league
over to Nyssa, Malcolm went to
Damien Darhk and told him that Oliver Queen
had a son and that was the
person who Oliver cared for the

that scene I found myself saying ‘who does that!?’ (I
actually said this


Merlyn may be quite the cunning villain, but I can’t help but

think there is some secret
agenda with him right now. There always

What do you guys think?
Do you think Malcolm Merlyn really
is a great
and caring man at the core? Or is he so twisted and hell-bent on
revenge that he
is beyond

Let me know your thoughts!

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