Now that Arrow has confirmed one of its most enduring players will be back for Season 6 full-time, it’s worth wondering whether the main cast is untouchable. Every season has its deaths, but according to executive producer Marc Guggenheim, there’s at least one member of Team Arrow who gets a lifetime pass, and it isn’t Oliver Queen.

Guggenheim spoke with Entertainment Weekly after this week’s Legends of Tomorrow introduced a “Doomworld” version of Felicity Smoak as a costumed vigilante. The Arrow producer had repeatedly sworn to never elevate the real Felicity into a superhero; one of two major rules he abides by in the writers’ room.

The other? Killing off Thea Queen (for good) is a no-no:

There’s two lines in the sand that I’ve drawn for Arrow for myself. I can’t speak for Greg [Berlanti] or for Wendy [Mericle], but for as long as I’m involved with the show, the two things I never want to do is kill off Thea [Willa Holland] and put Felicity in a mask and a costume. Those, to me, are two lines that I just think are a bridge too far. Thea, because we’ve taken so many family members away from Oliver, and Felicity because when you put a character like that in a costume, I think it diminishes who that character is and it makes the idea of superheroics seem silly.

Granted, this isn’t the first time Thea’s death has been ruled out, as Season 4 made an entire guessing game of which character would end up in the grave flash-forward of its premiere. After the “Eleven-Fifty-Nine” reveal, Guggenheim told ET why Thea was never a likely candidate:

If you kill off Thea, that means Oliver Queen has lost his mother, his father, and now his sister and he has no family left. Do we want to continue to tell a story where Oliver doesn’t have a family member? At some point, that may become a legitimate story choice, but her at the end of our fourth seasons, we weren’t necessarily ready to go there.

That’s not to say that Willa Holland will remain with Arrow forever, as Thea recently left her position as Oliver’s Chief of Staff, and has been largely sidelined since. When asked in February why Thea’s presence had seemed so off-and-on, Guggenheim clarified “Willa’s [contracted for] 14 out of 23 episodes this year. She’s not in all 23. That’s not her contract. We’ve had to write around that.”

At the moment, Oliver’s not too hot on the superhero beat himself, which could lead to Thea suiting up as Speedy once more, but how might future seasons use the character? Watch the trailer for “Disbanded” below, and stay tuned for more on Arrow Season 5.


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