I love thinking about Oliver and Thea’s relationship in light of their age difference.
Little nine-year-old Oliver. He’s not quite an only child (despite what people think) because he and Tommy have been brothers for years, especially since Tommy’s mother died. Now Tommy practically lives with them. Tommy’s actually with Oliver when he’s told the news that he’s going to have a new little sister.
Ten-year-old Oliver, sitting on the big couch in one of the sitting room’s in the mansion, carefully holding his baby sister on his lap, staring in awe at the tiny little person. Around him he senses the tension in the adults. Senses something’s off. When they step out of the room, his parents aren’t quite as happy as they should be. It all softens around Baby Thea, but it still seems connected to her somehow. And from it Oliver feels a strong need to protect his tiny sister. Tommy comes over to play but before going anywhere he’s sat down on the couch alongside Oliver and given Thea to hold.
Twelve-year-old Oliver, holding onto 2-year-old Thea’s pudgy little hands as she takes tottering steps down the halls of Queen Mansion. And when she begins to talk, the way she can’t quite form the L’s in his name so she just forms her own garbled version of his name. Tommy joining in trying to teach her to say his name.
Fifteen-year-old Oliver coming home from high school, in trouble for failing a few of his classes and for ditching school with some new girl. But his scowl melts away when five-year-old Thea comes running out of her room, wearing a plastic tiara, cowboy boots and their mother’s necklace, wanting to play. She chases him around the upper halls of the mansion. He lets her catch him and calls her Speedy. Tommy arrives to sneak him off to some party, but before they go, Tommy gives Thea a piggy-back ride up and down the hall.
Seventeen-year-old Oliver, nursing a hangover, avoiding a girl whose name he can’t remember, hoping his parents don’t find out about the incident with the cop, staying home to babysit seven-year-old Thea so that Raisa can leave despite his parents not being home yet. They sit on the couch and watch the Princess Diaries, while Thea insists that the character’s name is “Thea” not “Mia” and Oliver assures her that she is really a princess.
Eighteen-year-old Oliver leaving for college and eight-year-old Thea crying and asking him not to go before running off to sulk in her room. Tommy takes her to ice-cream the next day to make her feel better. A few months later, when Oliver returns home, Thea’s excitement almost makes him feel better about being kicked out.
Eleven-year-old Thea telling twenty-one-year-old Oliver that everything will be alright as he gets ready to go to court for attacking a paparazzi. Tommy overhearing and telling him that Thea knows best and he should listen to her.
Twenty-two-year-old Oliver kicked out of another school, still reeling from what happened with Samantha and the child they lost, panicking in response to the pressure from Laurel, texting Sara things he knows he shouldn’t gearing up to ask her to do the unthinkable, pushing all that aside for a little while because twelve-year-old Thea wants to tell him about her day and the plans she’s making with her friends and the boy she thinks is cute and Oliver for just a little while feeling calm and happy sitting on the arm of a chair in her room listening to her.
Twelve-year-old Thea sitting in her room, staring at a wall trying to process the fact that her dad and brother are dead. Tommy takes her to ice-cream like he used to. There she breaks down and sobs and he hugs her and cries too.
Seventeen-year-old Thea learning that her big brother is alive and believing for a little bit that everything that’s been broken for so long will be fixed when he gets home. She calls Tommy and they laugh and cry together on the phone.
Twenty-seven-year-old Oliver coming home and finding that seventeen-year-old Thea is everything that broke him before the Island and wanting to help, to fix her, but unable to reach out because he feels he is so far past broken. How can he let hands with so much blood on them go anywhere near his baby sister? He tries but he can’t talk to her and she can’t talk to him because they’ve entered different worlds. Her big brother is still dead and his little sister is still lost to him.
Thirty-year-old Oliver watching his dying sister, doing everything he can to help her and thinking about everything she’s never had. The father, the mother and the brother that she lost. The college she never went to. The career she didn’t build. The boyfriend who was forced to leave. The pain she went through, the darkness she let into herself. All because he came back into her life four years ago. Since she was born he wanted to protect her, but now he sees how much he failed, how much he dragged her down with him.
Thirty-two-year old Oliver seeing his baby sister grown up, letting herself heal, rediscovering her family ties. A warrior who isn’t trapped in battle. A capable woman in any career she chooses. Twenty-two, the age he was when his life fell apart but she’s just heading into the best part of hers. And she sees him, her big brother restored- a leader, a warrior, a hero- everything he was to her when she was little now for all the world to see.
‘’But did you see the flares in the sky? Were you blinded by the light? Did you feel the smoke in your eyes? Did you, did you? Did you see the sparks filled with hope? You are not alone ‘Cause someone’s out there, sending out flares …’’
Word count: 3,584 Rating: General Pairing: Olicity (obviously) Summary: Oliver learns pretty quickly that he’s useless when it comes to his sister’s hair. So he enlists the help of someone who…you know, has some.
Author’s note: Sooo…a while ago, I wrote a really quick thing called sugar and spice. I was rereading it the other day and a new scene came to me. Before I knew it, it resulted in this. Enjoy!
The fourteen-year-old groans as he rolls over in his bed and pulls the pillows over his ears, hoping to drown out his little sister’s shrieks.
That, however, does nothing to deter her.
“Ollie!” A shift on his mattress alerts him to the fact that she is now on his bed, and that just makes him burrow into his pillows even harder. “Ollie, wake up! Wake up! You promised you would help me get ready for school today!”
He groans, cursing his past self for making that promise. He did indeed tell her that he would help her get ready for school, since Mom and Dad are both out of town on business. But he agreed solely under duress. That’s the only way you can describe Thea when she’s looking up at you with her huge hazel eyes swimming in tears.
“A few more minutes, Speedy,” he grumbles underneath the pillow.
Robert Queen accepted Thea completely and unreservedly as his daughter even knowing that Malcolm Merlyn was her biological father.
BUT Robert Queen also unofficially adopted Tommy as his second son when Rebecca died and Malcolm abandoned him. Tommy even talks about it: “your dad took me to my first hockey game. Your dad taught me how to fly fish. Your dad took us to our first R-rated movie” after talking about how Malcolm only had the appearance of being his father.
Robert Queen raised both of Malcolm’s children as his own. Thea, Tommy and Oliver, were all three raised as siblings.
Last night episode was personally the best episode arrow has ever produced. This was a very deep character study of oliver queen. It tied perfectly to his time in the island, his state of mind when he came back to starling as the hood, and present day oliver. After all, they are the same man just in very different states of mind.
To understand this episode properly I think we must remember that for five years Oliver Queen was a slave of circumstances and others. For five years his entire existence was out of his control. He had no control over his circumstances, over his body, over how his body was shaped into a weapon and how his body was used as a means to an end. For five years Oliver Queen wasn’t treated as a human being but shaped into a weapon that you could use as you pleased to achieve whatever purpose you had.
That matters because all that contributed to how and why Oliver slowly but surely stopped seeing himself as a person as a human being. Instead for five years the darkest side of human nature were fostered and used and abused. He was constantly pushed into dark headspaces were he still had no control. Slowly he began to think of himself as a monster who carried great darkness with him. He began thinking he was irredeemable.
Talia confirmed that for him. She saw that monster and that darkness. And she provided him with a mask to channel that into action. Oliver bought into that. I think for him that was who he really was…he wasn’t someone he was something. something else. He was the weapon that was in the making for five years.
When Oliver came back to Starling city he really didn’t think himself as a person he thought of himself as something. Oliver Queen was just a vessel for the monster. He needed him because it gave him a form but really all he cared about was The Hood.
S1 Oliver probably did find pay off in killing and to an extent it did probably bring him a sort of enjoyment. Not in the sense that he wanted to kill just to kill but in the sense that he believed he was helping but also he was finally in control again. Killing gave him control. This is a man who for five years was used and abused and forced into a weapon. So yes, finally having control over your body and skills was probably exhilarating to him. S1 Oliver was darkness. He was a man who believed he was a monster and irredeemable but if he had to live he was going to be in control and try to do something good. That’s why he did. But at first he had no motivation to try to find another way because he had no concerns over his humanity simply because he didn’t believe he had one.
This is why s1 Oliver struggled so much with reconnecting with his family and friends. This is why s1 Oliver couldn’t trust his best friend, mother, and sister would love present day him because in his mind there was nothing left of that person. Now he was a weapon. He was darkness and a monster. He still loved them though. Oliver has always loved them. It doesn’t matter how people used him or how they destroyed his perception of himself the one thing he never lost was his ability to love his family and friends with everything he’s got. But even then he loved them in the best way he could and for him that was loving them by keeping them away from the monster he saw when he looked in the mirror. He wanted to let them believe he was still the man they loved and lost because that would help them. And he could give them that mask.
I think that changed slowly through Diggle & Felicity because Diggle & Felicity met Oliver at his lowest and darkest time. When he had given up on his humanity and his ability to be someone other than a weapon. Earning their trust and love changed him because they saw goodness in him. This was later extended to Tommy, Moira and Thea. Tommy finding out his secret and before he died telling him he wasn’t all those awful things. Moira telling him she knew and she was proud of him. Thea reacting with love, support, and pride when she found out about his secret. All these things scraped the rust that had formed over his perception of himself. So yes, he started to believe he is a hero and that made all the difference in his life. Oliver found a purpose in his mission of helping people.
Its a beautiful story because when Oliver told Prometheus his friends are his strength he wasn’t lying.
Oliver’s entire journey has been shaped by love. The love he has for his family and friends and the love they have for him. The love he has because at the end of the day he guarded this in the deepest part of his heart and never let anyone take that from him. He never stopped loving them. Their love for him because in a way it slowly began to rescue him. Their love prove to him that he was worth loving that he must have some light in him- even when he didn’t know what that was. He knew it was there.
Now the hardest part is that unfortunately that is all not enough. It is not enough if he can’t love himself. And at the end of the day that has always been Oliver’s biggest and hardest battle. The one within. Learning to love himself again. Learning to believe in himself again. Learning to see himself as someone who is human, flawed, but at the end of the day still good and worth it. This is all something Oliver has to do for himself. Felicity can’t do it for him. Thea can’t do it for him. Diggle can’t do it for him. It is something only Oliver Queen can do for himself.
I love Arrow and Oliver Queen because Oliver’s journey is one grounded on the resilience of the human soul and our ability to come back from the darkest of places and find goodness within ourselves. It is a journey about learning to love oneself despite our flaws and our darkest parts. It is about learning to harness the goodness and light without ignoring that most of us carry darkness within. It is about choosing to be good despite our losses, circumstances and flaws.
Oliver’s most courageous battle has always been the one to save himself.
I’m sorry for everything, oh, everything I’ve done From the second that I was born it seems I had a loaded gun And then I shot, shot, shot a hole through everything I loved Oh, I shot, shot, shot a hole through every single thing that I loved