Arrow boss explains shock original character exit
Warning: this article contains major spoilers from last night's (March 29) episode of Arrow.
Arrow said goodbye to one of the series' original characters last night, and The CW show's bosses have now confirmed that her exit is permanent.
Thea Queen (Willa Holland) left during the episode after The Thanatos Guild – created by her father – arrived to seek the map to an ancient power.
However, Thea and Roy then discover an even larger threat in three new Lazarus pits, and decide to leave town to tackle them.
Explaining Holland's exit, executive producer Marc Guggenheim revealed that the star was looking to move on from Arrow.
"By the end of Season 4, Willa had expressed a desire to reduce her episodic commitment to the show and that was sort of done in sort of conjunction with an indication that it was likely that she wouldn't want to renew her contract past Season 6," he told TVLine.
"So, we've kind of known for a while that this was in the offing. We revisited it with Willa at the beginning of Season 6, and she indicated that she hadn't changed her mind, that she was still interested in moving on."
In terms of her exit storyline, he continued: "We talked about some requests she had for us in terms of how her episodes would be utilized and grouped, and at what point in the season she would be written out, and we accommodated her on all those fronts because, look, at the end of the day we love Willa and we love working with her.
"She's done right by us and so we wanted to do right by her."
However, he suggested her exit was part of something bigger, adding to Entertainment Weekly: "Normally when a character's written off, a series regular's written off, it always feels to me like an ending.
"Sometimes it's a literal ending and you're killing off the character, but a lot of other times it's like, well they're going off and just living a much quieter life and there's no more story to tell about them.
"I really like the idea of actually going the opposite route and suggesting a greater and bigger story for Thea. I just think that's both interesting and unexpected."
Arrow airs on The CW in the US, and on Sky One in the UK.
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