Arrow: Supporting Character Showdown

Arrow’s world revolves around Oliver Queen, the guy in the green hood who is shooting arrows at all the bad guys. As much as I’m invested in the story of Oliver Queen, it wouldn’t be the same without those secondary characters that help make his story worth telling.

My TV watching experience has taught me that there are scenarios in which a supporting character can become just as captivating as the main character – and sometimes a really charismatic secondary character can become even more exciting than the main character. Then again, the opposite is often true. A supporting character can be so annoying or frustrating that I completely forget my interest in the main character’s story and end up spending my entire experience hoping that an obnoxious supporting character will get killed off.

So where do I think Arrow’s supporting characters stand?

John Diggle

Without a doubt, Digg is my favorite supporting character on Arrow. At times, I actually enjoy Digg more than Ollie. From the start, Digg was smart, savvy, and witty, and as he’s become more involved in Ollie’s quest to save Starling City, he’s only become more interesting. Ollie and Digg had the sidekick discussion early on in their relationship and because Digg had no interest in being anyone’s sidekick, he has been able to develop into a really unique secondary character without seeming like he’s merely in the picture to do what Ollie wants him to do.

Laurel Lance

Laurel is one of those characters that I know I’m supposed to like, but I just haven’t been able to connect with yet. I haven’t seen that special something about her that made both Ollie and Tommy fall for her instead of her sister or any of the other women in Starling City. Laurel is still in a gray area for me – I’m open to seeing where her character goes, but if her character were to leave town, I’m not sure that I’d miss her.

Thea Queen

From my perspective, Thea’s like-ability factor has been on a steady decline since she was first introduced. I actually kind of enjoyed her mischievous attitude when we first met her, but as the series progressed, Thea lost that little spark of mischief and she became just another bratty, rich kid. She has plenty of legitimate reasons to resent her family and to have major issues, but her constant whining about how everyone else is too selfish to notice her problems has become exhausting. I probably shouldn’t admit it, but I was hoping that Thea’s car accident would land her in a coma and she’d wake up with a new and improved personality.

Felicity Smoak

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy Felicity Smoak as much as I have on Arrow. She’s clever, funny, fearless, and perfectly dorky. Unfortunately, we only see Felicity when Ollie needs some research or computer hacking done to help him track down someone on his hit list. Felicity has managed to avoid getting herself in too deep, but I’m really hoping that she’ll get more directly involved in the main story so we can see a lot more of her.

Tommy Merlyn

Tommy has grown on me since he was first introduced as Ollie’s former wing man. As Tommy’s story focused less on his party attitude and more on his conflicting feelings for Laurel and his complicated relationship with his father, he’s become much more intriguing. Tommy is particularly interesting because his character is somewhat neutral at the moment. He’s not really aware of the world that Ollie is preoccupied with and he doesn’t yet realize that his father is a major player in that underground world. Once that secret side of Starling City comes crashing into Tommy’s life, it’s anyone’s guess if he’ll remain faithful to Ollie by becoming one of the “good guys” or if he’ll be manipulated into villainy.

Moira Queen

Moira Queen is a big question mark for me. She’s about as directly involved in the main Arrow story line as Ollie and Malcolm, but the motivation for her actions have been shrouded in mystery. I can’t tell if I can trust her or if she’s a character with a moral compass that’s slightly off center. She’s had some great mother-bear lines that I’ve enjoyed, but she’s also responsible for the shipwreck that killed everyone except for Ollie.

Walter Steele

Because he got a little too close to uncovering Malcolm’s plan, Walter hasn’t been in the last couple episodes of Arrow. When we first met Walter, I was convinced that he was working with the bad guys, but as the series progressed, his story took an entirely different turn. I appreciated that he wasn’t just another money-obsessed CEO and that he was sincerely interested in uncovering the truth about what happened to his old friend and why Moira might be involved in secretly rebuilding the Queen’s shipwrecked yacht.

Detective Quentin Lance

I know that a vigilante superhero story wouldn’t be complete if there wasn’t someone in the government or public safety establishment that was hell bent on taking that vigilante out. Most of the time, I find Detective Lance to be somewhat irritating, but I think a large part of that has to do with his attitude towards Ollie – both in and out of costume.

Malcolm Merlyn

Malcolm Merlyn’s character has been getting more development than any of the previous villains on Arrow. He’s a jerk, and I despise him the way I’m supposed to despise a villain, but he’s also suave and dangerous and I’m totally mesmerized by him. As much as it might mean the end of Malcolm Merlyn, I can’t wait to see Ollie in an all out battle against the Dark Archer again.


We’re only a little more than half way through the first season of Arrow, so it may be too early to tell how all the supporting characters will develop in the long run, but some have already made a major impression on me, while others have some catching up to do.

How do you feel about Arrow’s supporting characters? Let me know in the comments below!