List of Arrow characters
Arrow is an American television series, developed by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg, based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow. The series premiered in the United States on October 10, 2012 for The CW television network, and it finished its second season on May 14, 2014. On February 13, 2014, The CW renewed the series for a third season. Arrow follows billionaire playboy Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), who, after five years of being stranded on an isolated island, returns home and becomes a bow and arrow wielding hooded vigilante. His friends, former soldier John Diggle (David Ramsey), I.T. expert and skilled hacker Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards), fellow vigilante Sara Lance / Canary (Caity Lotz), aspiring vigilante, Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) and later attorney-turned-vigilante Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), aid Oliver in his pursuit for justice. They also receive support from Laurel and Sara's father, Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne), who works at the police department. The series also features flashbacks in each episode to Oliver’s time as a castaway, and how it shaped him into the man that returned home to fulfill the promise he made to his late father (Jamey Sheridan) of atoning his family’s sins. In addition, the series explores how Oliver's quest to restore order in Starling City affects the lives of those who are closest to him, and how are they shaping him into the hero he ultimately becomes.
The following is a list of characters that have appeared on the television series. Many are named for, or based upon DC Comics characters.
|Oliver Queen / Arrow||Stephen Amell||1–present||–||–|
Oliver Queen is the main protagonist of the series and former billionaire playboy turned vigilante archer with a mission to save his city from corruption. In season 1, Oliver returns to Starling City after being shipwrecked for five years on a remote island and presumed dead. He begins a crusade to neutralize an organisation of criminals using a list left to him by his father, willing to kill if needed, as the hooded vigilante "The Hood". Oliver finds himself facing a larger conspiracy, the "Undertaking", orchestrated by Tommy's father Malcolm Merlyn, that involves Oliver's mother Moira, which destroys the Glades section of Starling City. He also attempts to reconnect with his family but is involved in a love triangle between his ex-girlfriend Laurel and best friend Tommy. He also gains partners Diggle and Felicity to help in his crusade. In the flashbacks Oliver is shipwrecked on the island and begins to learn the skills needed to survive from various others, including former ASIS Slade Wilson, while being hunted by mercenaries.
In season 2, after the Undertaking, Oliver reignites his crusade. He is now goes by the alias "Arrow", and vows to never kill again in honor of Tommy. He fights criminals taking advantage of the Glades after its destruction. He also co-runs Queen Consolidated with Isabel Rochev and becomes friends with Alderman Sebastian Blood. Oliver finds himself investigating a larger plot involving Mirakuru, a strength-enhancing drug, in a plot orchestrated by Slade Wilson, a former ally-turned-enemy of Oliver’s on the island, who intends to destroy everything and everyone Oliver cares for; his allies include Sebastian and Isabel, and he kills Moira. Oliver gains help from Sara Lance, now the vigilante "Canary" and also takes on Roy Harper, Thea's boyfriend, as a protégé. In the flashbacks Oliver is hunted by armed men seeking the Mirakuru and accidentally causes the death of Shado, his lover on the island. Slade loved Shado, and he targets Oliver for revenge which would lead to Slade's motives in the present. A flashback before the island also reveals that he mistakenly impregnated a girl but Moira paid her to tell Oliver the child died and move away, leaving him unaware of his fatherhood.
In season 3, Oliver continues his mission and has taken Roy on as a full sidekick, but now lives in his foundry safe house due to losing his mansion. Oliver is faced with the moral question of whether he can be Oliver Queen and live his life while the city needs the Arrow. After Thea returns to Starling City, they decide to reopen their nightclub together after she found an investor for their business (who, unbeknownst to Oliver, is Malcolm Merlyn). Oliver is also inadvertently embroiled in a conflict with Ra's al Ghul due to Malcolm's manipulations, and suffers a mortal wound but is saved by Maseo and Tatsu Yamashiro. Upon his return, Oliver is forced to evaluate the changes in his team during his absence, acknowledging that his friends are now his equals. This season's flashbacks also explore Oliver's time in Hong Kong, where Amanda Waller forces Oliver to become one of A.R.G.U.S.'s agents after witnessing his combat capabilities on the island, and has the Yamashiros as his handlers.
He is based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow.
|Laurel Lance / Black Canary||Katie Cassidy||1–present||–||–|
Laurel Lance is an assistant district attorney, and Oliver Queen's ex-girlfriend and former love interest. In season 1, Laurel was a lawyer for CNRI, a legal aid firm, and girlfriend of Tommy Merlyn. She had been Oliver's girlfriend prior to the shipwreck. When Oliver returns she despises him for leading Sara to her death, but gradually comes to accept him upon learning of his suffering on the island and remembering her sister's rebellious faults. She also occasionally works with the Hood/Arrow—unaware that he is Oliver—with cases the courts are unwilling to move on. Oliver and Laurel eventually reignite their relationship after Tommy breaks up with her, out of his own resentment towards Oliver. Tommy dies saving Laurel when CNRI is destroyed along with much of the Glades.
In season 2, Laurel is hired an assistant district attorney, and assigned to help prosecute Moira Queen. She is also not dealing well with Tommy's death, and starts taking drugs and drinking, and pushing her friends and family away. She is attracted to Alderman Sebastian Blood, but discovers he has a secret; Blood arranges that her drug problem is discovered, and she is fired. Laurel eventually chooses sobriety after an argument with Oliver and inspiration from her returned sister Sara's vigilante alter-ego Canary, and gets her job back with the district attorney's office. Laurel learns Oliver's secret from Slade Wilson in "Deathstroke". Slade hopes to use her as a pawn against Oliver, but instead Laurel confronts Oliver with this knowledge, and decides to keep his secret. She also learns Sara's secret in "The Man Under the Hood". Laurel is abducted by Slade, who plans to kill her in front of Oliver, but he is defeated.
In season 3, Laurel is working to prosecute the criminals Oliver catches. She also worries over her father's continuing field activities while still recovering from his injury from Slade's attack, and is urging him to use his new political powers to serve the city. When Sara again returns to Starling City, she is killed in front of Laurel. Grief-stricken and vengeful, she makes a disastrous and amateurish attempt to be a vigilante. Oliver refuses to train her, so Laurel seeks former boxer/vigilante Ted Grant's help with combat training. She also wears Sara's Canary jacket in remembrance of her and eventually becomes the "Black Canary". In her new role as a vigilante, she partners with Roy Harper to help liberate the Glades from crime lord Danny Brickwell, during Oliver's absence. She eventually learns that Malcolm Merlyn is directly responsible for Sara's murder and tries to avenge her death, but he overpowers her but is saved by Nyssa.
Laurel's full name is Dinah Laurel Lance, and she is based on the DC Comics character Black Canary.
|Tommy Merlyn||Colin Donnell||1||–||2–3|
Tommy Merlyn is Oliver's best friend, and the son of Malcolm Merlyn, a main antagonist of the series, and paternal half-brother of Thea, though this isn't revealed until season 2. In season 1, Tommy is a spoiled brat and playboy like Oliver until his father cuts him off, forcing him to find a job and become a more responsible person. Tommy dates Laurel during the first season, though Oliver still has feelings for her. Tommy learns Oliver's secret in "Dead to Rights", when as the vigilante Oliver is trying to save Malcolm from assassins. Their relationship remains strained, with Tommy seeing Oliver as a killer, and Tommy later breaks up with Laurel, thinking that she belongs with Oliver. Tommy is killed rescuing Laurel from a collapsing building that was damaged by Malcolm's earthquake machine during the Undertaking in "Sacrifice".
In season 2, Oliver vows to never kill again in Tommy's memory, while Laurel turns to drugs and alcohol to deal with the pain. During Oliver's fight with Cyrus Gold in "Three Ghosts", he sees Tommy, who calls him a hero and urges him to defeat his enemy.
In season 3, Tommy appears in a flashback—he travels to Hong Kong looking for Oliver, but fails to find him.
He shares his surname with the DC Comics character Merlyn.
|John Diggle||David Ramsey||1–present||–||–|
John Diggle is a former United States Army Special Forces soldier and Oliver's confidant and occasional field partner. During season 1, Diggle is a bodyguard who isn’t able to help people like he did as a soldier. He becomes Oliver's confidant to help him in his mission to save Starling, trying to help him balance his normal life and vigilante life. He also tries to shape him into hero who saves innocent, rather than just a vigilante crossing names off a list and sometimes helps him in the field. Having been trained in first aid, Diggle would provide Oliver up to and including suturing wounds, blood transfusions, and removing bullets, limiting his needs for hospital medical treatment. Already a skilled martial artist, John receives additional training from Oliver. John also has a grudge against Floyd Lawton / Deadshot as he killed John's brother Andy.
In season 2, Diggle and Felicity continue to help Oliver in his crusade and Diggle continues to be Oliver's adviser and field partner, along with Sara and Roy. Diggle has a relationship with Lyla Michaels (who is also his ex-wife), is an unofficial member of A.R.G.U.S. and also a member of the Suicide Squad, under the codename "Freelancer". He also develops an uneasy alliance with Amanda Waller who occasionally asks Diggle for field assistance with A.R.G.U.S. missions with Lyla. In "Unthinkable", it is revealed that Lyla is pregnant with John's child.
In season 3, Diggle continues to help Oliver and his team but has to devote more of his time to his new baby with Lyla, whom he names Sara after Sara Lance is killed. After Lyla is seriously injured in an attack, John and Lyla decide to remarry. When Oliver is presumed dead at Ra's al Ghul's hands Diggle becomes an acting leader of the team, leading Felicity, Roy, and Laurel until his friend's return.
|Thea Queen||Willa Holland||1–present||–||–|
Thea Queen is daughter of Moira Queen and Malcolm Merlyn, though both Malcolm and Thea were unaware of their relation to each other until season 2, and the younger half-sister to Oliver Queen and Tommy Merlyn. In season 1, Thea was subjected to alcoholism and drug abuse which she used to fill the gap of losing her brother but after court ordered community service from taking "Vertigo" she grows to be more responsible. She also falls in love with Roy Harper, a life-long street criminal, who she tries to sway away from crime but he becomes fixated with the vigilante after he saves his life and tries to find him, which Thea tries to sway him away from out of concern for him.
In season 2, Thea runs the Verdant nightclub in Oliver and Tommy's absences and continues seeing Roy, but is frustrated by Roy’s need to save people but gradually comes to accept it. She is however the subject of exclusion as most characters keep secrets from her including her true paternity which she eventually discovers when Slade Wilson abducts her. She then breaks up with Roy when he cheats on her, though he only did this to keep her away from him during his Mirakuru problem and Thea is aware of Roy's intention. Despite of having reconciles with Roy after having learned of his illness, she breaks up with him again after discovering his allegiance to the Arrow. After her mother's death, she decides to leave Starling City. In "Unthinkable" Malcolm comes to save her and convinces her to leave with him.
In season 3, Thea begins the season in Corto Maltese receiving combat training from Malcolm, though she decides to return to Starling with Oliver. She also reopens her nightclub after Malcolm secretly buys the foundry from Queen Consolidated for her. Unbeknownst to Thea, her father used her as a pawn against both Oliver and Ra's al Ghul by drugging and manipulating her into killing Sara Lance. She eventually learns her brother's secret identity as Arrow after Oliver take her on the tour of his hidden safe house but begins to distrust Malcolm after learning that he already knew about Oliver's secret.
Her brother's nickname for her ("Speedy"), her middle name of Dearden and the alias "Mia" she used during her time at Corto Maltese, are easter egg connections to one of Green Arrow's sidekicks in the comics.
|Moira Queen||Susanna Thompson||1–2||–||–|
Moira Queen was the mother of Oliver and Thea, the former acting CEO of Queen Consolidated, mayoral candidate and wife of Robert Queen and later Walter Steele. She also had a brief affair with Malcolm Merlyn after his wife's death, which resulted in Thea’s birth. During season 1, Moira is unwillingly involved in a criminal conspiracy orchestrated by Malcolm to destroy the "Glades", with him forcing Moira to handle all interference and supply him with the resources needed. Her involvement also causes her to keep many secrets from her family which when revealed causes Walter to divorce her and her kids to become distant. Moira eventually confesses her involvement and Malcolm’s in "Sacrifice" which results in her being arrested.
During season 2, Moira is put on trial for her involvement with Malcolm but in "State v. Queen" she is acquitted as Malcolm returns, alive, and forces the jury to do so, before she forces Malcolm on the run by informing Ra's al Ghul of Malcolm's survival. Moira eventually becomes a mayoral candidate against Sebastian Blood on Walter’s advise but more of her secrets are revealed, mainly Malcolm being Thea’s father, which causes Thea to becomes distant from her further though she is able to keep a grip with Oliver. In "Seeing Red" she is revealed of having been aware of Oliver's secrets as the Arrow since the night of her arrest. She is murdered by Slade Wilson as part of his own plot of revenge against Oliver, as she sacrifices herself to prevent Oliver from having to choose between her and Thea. In a flashback of the same episode it is revealed that she paid a woman who got pregnant with Oliver's child to tell Oliver she lost the baby and move away never to speak to him again.
|Quentin Lance||Paul Blackthorne||1–present||–||–|
Quentin Lance is a police captain, formerly detective, sergeant and officer, and the father of Laurel and Sara. During season 1, Quentin resents Oliver for leading Sara to her presumed death and becomes an alcoholic who throws himself into his work to avoid the pain. When Oliver returns he openly shows his hatred of him and refuses to see through his past mistakes. He also hates the Arrow for being against everything Quentin believes and tries numerous times to arrest him, one of which involves using Laurel which causes her to become distant for a time. Though Quentin is from time to time forced to work with Arrow and eventually comes to accept him for the hero he is.
During season 2, Quentin is demoted to officer but is now an ally of the Arrow and becomes an informant of a number of cases and occasional field partner to him. He also struggles with the relationships with both his daughters; Sara, revealing to be alive and being the vigilante "Canary", helping her adjust to life after returning to Starling City, and help Laurel coping her pains and to stop her from becoming an alcoholic like him before. Knowing Sara is alive allows Quentin to make peace with Oliver and apologizes to him for his previous year’s behavior. In "Streets of Fire", Quentin regains his detective title. In "Unthinkable", Quentin passes out from internal bleeding from the battle and falls into a coma.
In season 3, Quentin has survived, albeit now with frequent chest pains and needing a cane to walk, and has been promoted to captain, a power he uses to call off the anti-vigilante task-force. However his frequent assistance to the Arrow in the field continues to strain his condition and is forcing him to rely on the political connections of his new position and his subordinates to continue serving the city. He is initially unaware of Sara's death as Laurel believed that telling him would cause him a heart attack, but he becomes suspicious after Sara's protégée Sin informs him that the woman in her mentor's costume is not her. He ultimately learns the truth about Sara's death and that Laurel has become her vigilante successor.
The character is based on the DC Comics character, Larry Lance, husband to Dinah Drake Lance and father to Dinah Laurel Lance.
|Felicity Smoak||Emily Bett Rickards||2–present||1||–|
Felicity Smoak is an I.T. expert, a partner (and eventual love interest) of Oliver Queen and his computer expert who hacks into all computer files he needs. She is also the contact between the Arrow and Quentin Lance. She is a graduate of MIT Class of 2009, ranked second in the National Information Technology Competition at age 19 and holds a Master's degree in cyber security and computer sciences. During season 1, she is asked by Walter to investigate the list before he vanishes and receives occasional favors from Oliver, who she has a crush on, getting supplied ridiculous cover stories which she knows are lies. She learns Oliver's secret in "The Odyssey" when he is shot and has her take in to his lair where she and Diggle patch him up. She stays on as Oliver’s computer expert throughout the season in hope to find Walter Steele by helping Oliver after he was kidnapped by Malcolm Merlyn, and ultimately, like Diggle, she becomes one of Oliver's confidants. Felicity choose to remain at Oliver's side after Walter is rescued.
In season 2, she continues to serve as Oliver's partner and upgrades his safehouse and even has a new custom bow made for him. Felicity also helps out in the field occasionally as a decoy or to field hack a computer, but sometimes gets herself in deeper trouble. Felicity and Oliver also start to develop romantic feelings towards each other.
In season 3, Felicity continues to be Oliver's tech support but has been forced to work for another I.T. company after losing her QC job. She eventually returns to working at Queen Consolidated (renamed Palmer Technologies) under new CEO Ray Palmer as his Vice President. In addition, Felicity is conflicted by her feelings towards both Oliver and Ray. In a flashback, it is revealed that in college she was a part of the cybergoth subculture, rebellious and reckless, much like Oliver was, and she was part of a hacktivist group on campus.
A character by the same name has appeared in the comics, as Ronnie Raymond's step-mother who runs a software company. A version based on Rickards' portrayal is introduced in the DC Comics universe in Green Arrow (vol. 5) #35.
|Roy Harper / Arsenal||Colton Haynes||2–present||1||–|
Roy Harper is a former street criminal, Thea's boyfriend and an Arrow supporter. During season 1, Roy is criminal who falls in love with Thea after robbing her but doesn't see any way past crime until the Arrow saves him from a kidnapping and becomes idolized by him, even attempting to find him to help him. He also gets arrested multiple times by Quentin Lance. After given up his criminal ways, Roy works as a waiter at the nightclub Verdant.
During season 2, he continues to see Thea but often goes out to clean up the streets on his own until the Arrow convinces him not to and instead help him by gathering Intel without engaging. In "Three Ghosts" he is injected with Mirakuru by Brother Blood and becomes super strong but slowly becomes insane. In "Tremors" the Arrow takes Roy under his wing in hopes of saving him from becoming as corrupt as Slade Wilson in additions of seeing much of himself was in him. The Arrow is forced to reveal his identity as Oliver to convince Roy to stop Bronze Tiger. Roy trains to become an archer to control his strength but is forced to break up with Thea in and leaves the team out of anger. Slade kidnaps Roy and uses his blood to create his army which leaves him completely insane and even kills a cop in a rampage, forcing him to be sedated for days until he is cured. In "Unthinkable" Roy awakens and is given his own mask and partakes in the final battle. However, he is slightly amnesic not remembering anything after breaking up with Thea, including his rampage.
In season 3, Roy is now Oliver's partner and participates in the field with him. In addition, his alter-ego is named "Arsenal" after a confrontation with Ted Grant's former vigilante protégé Isaac Stanzler, but the media also refers to him as "Red Arrow". He struggles to come to terms with his breakup with Thea. Despite their separation, Thea makes Roy her assistant manager. After Sara's murder, the manner of her death brought Roy's repressed memories of his rampage to the surface after he thought he killed her, and later befriends the family of the police officer he killed in hopes of making amend. When Oliver was presumed dead Roy took his place as the team's head archer. Due to the escalating threat from Danny Brickwell on the city during Oliver's absence, Roy reluctantly took Laurel as his partner to battle against the crime lord.
He is based on the DC Comics character Roy Harper.
|Slade Wilson / Deathstroke||Manu Bennett||2||1||3|
Slade Wilson is a former ASIS soldier who was ship-wrecked on Lian Yu, a mentor to Oliver Queen and protagonist in season 1 but becomes the main antagonist of the second season.
During the season 1 flashbacks, Slade is a protagonist who was a combat mentor to Oliver who he often calls "kid", even in the present, and teaches him most of his fighting skills to fight Edward Fyers and his mercenaries, and becomes romantically drawn to Shado. Despite this Slade doesn't think very highly of Oliver, often giving him disparaging nicknames like "idiot".
In season 2, he appears in the flashbacks as a protagonist turned antagonist and appears in the present day as the main antagonist. In the flashbacks he is severely wounded by Dr. Ivo’s mortar attacks and Oliver injects him with Mirakuru, a strength enhancing serum left on the island in WWII by Japanese but Shado is killed when Ivo forces Oliver to choose between her and Sara. Slade then turns on Oliver after learning his involvement in Shado’s death and tries to kill Sara which provokes Oliver to kill him. In the present Slade is alive, now operating as the mercenary Deathstroke, and plots to destroy Starling City with an army of Mirakuru soldiers working with Sebastian Blood and Isabel Rochev. He also manages to have Oliver's house, nightclub and even his foundry safe house taken. In "Seeing Red", he also kills Moira. In "Unthinkable" Oliver defeats him when Felicity injects him with the Mirakuru cure and he is imprisoned in a A.R.G.U.S. supermax on Lian Yu itself.
In season 3, Slade is temporarily released by Malcolm Merlyn and attempts to imprison Oliver and Thea in the supermax and return to Starling but the two are able to beat Slade and re-imprison him.
|Malcolm Merlyn||John Barrowman||3–present||1||2|
Malcolm Merlyn is a wealthy businessman, former member of the League of Assassins, father of Tommy and one of the main antagonists of the series. During season 1, Malcolm plotted the undertaking, the destruction of the Glades, due to his blaming towards its residents for the murder of his wife Rebecca. He kills Robert Queen when he threatens it and ship-wrecks Oliver and Sara, inadvertently starting their journeys to becoming their respective vigilante personas. When the Arrow interferes with his plan Malcolm also becomes a vigilante who similarly uses a bow and arrow. He uses Moira to gain access to all resources needed and tries to reshape his son into a better person by cutting him off which works, but causes tensions between them. In the season finale he is seemingly killed by Oliver though his plan still works which inadvertently kills Tommy.
In season 2, Malcolm returns alive and he discovers his relation to Thea as her biological father after following Adam Donner's investigation of Malcolm's past affair with Moira, but Moira informs Ra's al Ghul of his survival forcing him on the run. During Slade’s attack Malcolm returns to save Thea from the Mirakuru soldiers and convinces her to leave Starling with him.
In season 3, Malcolm was revealed to have trained Thea to be a warrior in Corto Maltese. He was also being tracked by the League of Assassins in retaliation of him dishonoring its codes of conduct. Despite being both the League's target and a fugitive of the law, Malcolm boldly returns to Starling City. He is also now the owner of the nightclub Verdant after he secretly bought the foundry from Queen Consolidated. It is revealed that his name in the League of Assassins is "Al Sa-Her"(Arabic: الساحر), which translates to "The Magician", after Malcolm performed a magic trick for a young Nyssa al Ghul upon his arrival to Nanda Parbat. It is revealed that Malcolm is directly responsible for Sara's murder by brainwashing Thea into killing her. His actions cause history to repeat itself; by killing Sara, he started her sister Laurel's journey towards taking over her mantle with a vengeful goal against her killers. Malcolm learns that crime lord Danny Brickwell is responsible for the murder of his wife, but Oliver persuades him to choose justice over vengeance for Thea's sake, allowing Brickwell to be tried for his crimes. Malcolm is tasked to train Oliver in swordplay following the latter's return in preparation of them battling Ra's al Ghul together.
He is based on the DC Comics character Merlyn.
This is an alphabetical listing by season of actors and the characters they portrayed in multiple episodes, which were significant roles.
- Audrey Marie Anderson portrays Lyla Michaels, an A.R.G.U.S. agent and John Diggle's former wife and current fiancée who served with him in Afghanistan where they first met. Within A.R.G.U.S., she uses the codename "Harbinger" and is the field leader of the Suicide Squad. Lyla and John also have a child who they name Sara in honor of Sara Lance after her death.
- Sebastian Dunn portrays Edward Fyers, a mercenary on the island seen during the season 1 flashbacks. In season 3, it is revealed that Fyers works for Amanda Waller.
- Kelly Hu portrays Chien Na Wei / China White, a Chinese Triad leader who seeks revenge against Arrow for defeating her in combat after their first encounter. Oliver encounters her in Hong Kong during the season 3 flashbacks, and helps capture her when she comes to Starling City then.
- Celina Jade portrays Shado, based on the DC Comics character of the same name. Shado is the daughter of Yao Fei and trained Oliver in archery and martial arts while on the island, as they became lovers though Slade had also fallen in love with her. She was killed by Ivo during season 2, inspiring Slade's hatred of Oliver. She later appears as hallucinations in Slade's mind who manipulates him into killing Oliver to avenge her.
- Byron Mann portrays Yao Fei, a skilled former Chinese general who assists Oliver on the island. To help Oliver survive, Yao Fei attempts to train Oliver in archery and other survival skills. He is killed by Fyers during season 1. The character's name was derived from a DC Comics superhero character.
- Colin Salmon portrays Walter Steele, Moira's husband, Oliver's step-father, and Felicity's former employer and friend. He was President of Queen Consolidated until he disappeared in episode 9, but was found alive in episode 21. He and Moira separate at the end of season 1, but he returns in season 2 to help her run for Mayor. He is currently the Chief Financial Officer of Starling National Bank.
- Cynthia Addai-Robinson portrays Amanda Waller, leader of A.R.G.U.S. and commander of the Suicide Squad. In seasons 2 Waller often forces John Diggle to work for her on missions other A.R.G.U.S. agents are unwilling to perform and tries to have Starling City destroyed during Slade Wilson's attack to contain the Mirakuru soldiers, only to be stopped by Diggle and Lyla. She has used the codename "Mockingbird". In the season 3 flashbacks she rescued Oliver from Lian Yu and extorts him into working for her.
- Kevin Alejandro portrays Sebastian Blood / Brother Blood, a savvy politician who is working with Slade Wilson, a friend of Oliver Queen and romantic interest of Laurel Lance. He is a city alderman who is running for mayor to create his vision of a Starling City, though leading a sinister double life as a criminal wearing a skull mask based from the nightmares he had of his late-father called "Brother Blood". Seemingly benign, over the course of season 2 Sebastian is gradually reveals to be narcissistic and directly responsible for the murders of his parents. Oliver and Laurel discover Sebastian's secret in "Blind Spot" but he misdirects them by having Laurel kill a decoy in the skull mask. However Laurel re-discovers his secret in "City of Blood" and Oliver tries in vain to reason with Sebastian. In "Streets of Fire" he is betrayed by Slade who plots to destroy the whole city urging Sebastian to give the Mirakuru cure to Oliver and is killed by Isabel Rochev for his betrayal. Sebastan's betrayal allows the team to defeat Slade's army.
- Summer Glau portrays Isabel Rochev, the VP of Acquisitions at Stellmoor International who acquires half of Queen Consolidated in the second season premiere. She later secures full control of Queen Consolidated and reveals she was a mistress of Oliver's father during her internship in the company and has been working with Slade from the beginning. Like Oliver, Isabel was also trained by Slade in martial arts, but she was later injected with the same Mirakuru drug that was given to Slade. In the season 2 finale Isabel is killed by Nyssa al Ghul. The character shares her name with the DC Comics villainess "The Queen", who, in the comics, became CEO of Queen Industries following the death of founder, Robert Queen.
- Caity Lotz portrays Sara Lance / Canary, Laurel's sister with whom Oliver had an affair. Sara, along with Laurel and their mother Dinah, is based on the DC Comics superheroine Black Canary. She was believed to have drowned with the sinking Queen's Gambit, but she resurfaces in season 2 as another vigilante, "Canary", who is connected to the League of Assassins. She was originally portrayed by Jacqueline MacInnes Wood in the pilot. According to Kreisberg, she is "the beginning of the Black Canary story". She eventually wins her freedom from the League and returns to Starling City, to become part of Oliver's team in additions working as a bartender at his nightclub. In "Seeing Red", she and Oliver break up after the latter rejected her plea for him to kill Roy, who was at the time in a rampage by deciding to save him instead. In "Unthinkable", Sara willingly rejoins the League in order to have them aid her in dealing with Slade Wilson's army. In "The Calm", she returns to Starling City on a mission for the League and in addition to help Oliver against Vertigo, but is killed by a mysterious archer. In "The Magician", it is revealed that Sara was tracking Malcolm Merlyn for the League when she was killed. In "The Climb", it is revealed that Thea is the one who killed Sara under Malcolm's manipulations.
- Bex Taylor-Klaus portrays Cindy a.k.a. "Sin", a wayward youth who Sara takes under her wing after her father is killed on the island. She later befriends Roy Harper and Thea Queen. She is based on the DC Comics character Sin.
- Austin Butler portrays Chase, a DJ who becomes Thea's romantic interest. In the episode, "Midnight City", it is revealed that he is a spy for Ra's al Ghul's League of Assassins, and he commits suicide rather than be captured in "Canaries".
- Rila Fukushima portrays Tatsu Yamashiro, based on the DC Comics character Katana. She is a mentor to Oliver during his time in Hong Kong. Devon Aoki was originally cast in the role but left due to a scheduling conflict. She is the wife of Maseo Yamashiro and mother of his son. In the present, her relationship with her husband appears estranged after a yet-to-be-revealed tragic incident, and living in seclusion to cope from it following her separation with Maeso. She nurses Oliver back to health after he is nearly killed by Ra's al Ghul.
- Matt Nable portrays Ra's al Ghul, leader of the League of Assassins and father of Nyssa al Ghul. Ra's has never acknowledged Sara as a member of the League and disapproves of Nyssa's relationship with her. In "Nanda Parbat", he wants to make Oliver his heir—the new Ra's al Ghul.
- J.R. Ramirez portrays Ted Grant / Wildcat, based on the DC Comics character of the same name. Grant is a former boxer who now runs a gym for underprivileged youth. He begins providing Laurel with combat training. He is also a former low profile vigilante who watched over the Glades. He was severely injured in "Uprising" in combat against Brick.
- Brandon Routh portrays Ray Palmer, based on the DC Comics character of the same name. Ray is a scientist, inventor and businessman who is the new head of Queen Consolidated, succeeding Isabel Rochev as CEO after her crimes are posthumously exposed. Ray arrives to seek improvements to Starling City after it had survived previous terrorist attacks, he has the intention of renaming it as "Star City". In additions of being a CEO of his new company, Palmer also involves himself with the city's legislative body in his goal of making it a better place. After his fiancée, Anna, was killed by one of Slade Wilson's Mirakuru soldiers, Palmer develops a scientific agenda with the company's research data, which contains various schematics of A.R.G.U.S.'s technology built by Queen Consolidated's research and development department. He uses the data to develop a suit powered by a white dwarf matter, which, in his theory, can alter the wearer's size down to the subatomic level. Palmer seeks to use it to become a high-tech vigilante. He renames Queen Consolidated "Palmer Technologies" and names Felicity his Vice President. Palmer also becomes Oliver's rival for Felicity's affection, and ultimately he and Felicity become lovers.
- Marc Singer portrays U.S. Army General Matthew Shrieve, who is introduced in a flashback at the end of the episode "The Return".
- Karl Yune portrays Maseo Yamashiro, based on the DC Comics character of the same name. He is Oliver's handler during his time in Hong Kong. He is the husband of Tatsu Yamashiro and father of her son. In the present, he is estranged from his wife after a yet-to-be-revealed tragic event and joins the League of Assassins as "Sarab", yet remains as ally to Oliver and covertly ensures his survival after his duel with Ra's al Ghul, and still loves Tatsu.
The following is a supplementary list of recurring guest stars that appear in lesser roles. The characters are listed, in alphabetical order by actor, by the season in which they first appeared.
- David Cubitt portrays Mark Shaw, based on the DC Comics character, Manhunter. Shaw is an A.R.G.U.S. operative in Corto Maltese who crosses paths with Diggle, and will eventually be known as Manhunter.
- Nolan Funk portrays Cooper Seldon, Felicity's boyfriend during her time at MIT, and leader of the hackivist-turned-terrorist organization known as "Brother Eye".
- Amy Gumenick portrays Carrie Cutter / Cupid, based on the DC Comics character of the same name. Carrie is a lethal villainness with a dangerously obsessive crush on The Arrow. She will also become part of the Suicide Squad.
- Doug Jones will portray Jake Simmons / Deathbolt, a metahuman with the ability to harness and weaponize plasma energy.
- Vinnie Jones portrays Danny "Brick" Brickwell, a gang leader in Starling City. He earns the nickname "Brick" from being shot multiple times, without ever being put down. Brick is the first major foe the team battles against without Oliver, and he is responsible for the murder of Malcolm Merlyn's wife, Rebecca, during an initiation of joining a criminal organization.
- Peter Stormare portrays Werner Zytle / Vertigo based on the DC Comics character Count Vertigo that appears in The New 52. Werner is the new purveyor of the drug Vertigo, after the death of The Count in season two.
- Nick Tarabay portrays Digger Harkness / Captain Boomerang, based on the DC Comics character of the same name. Harkness is a former ASIS operative and Suicide Squad member who is highly skilled in martial arts and espionage, whose weapons of choice are custom-made boomerangs.
- Matt Ward portrays Simon Lacroix / Komodo, based on the DC Comics character of the same name. Lacroix is a mercenary archer who uses the name Komodo and was originally suspected of killing Sara Lance / Canary.
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