In the Season 5 finale cliffhanger of Arrow, Oliver Queen’s son Liam learned that his mother’s friend is really both his biological father and the crimefighting superhero, the Green Arrow. For the sixth season, this new relationship will be expanded and explored at length.
During a panel at Heroes & Villains Fan Fest, actor Stephen Amell, who has portrayed Oliver Queen on the hit CW series for the past five seasons, shed some light on where this new plot could go. “I’m excited that not only are they going to learn about having the father/son relationship, I think we’re going to explore that in Season 6, but [William] also knows that Oliver is the Green Arrow. So there’s a lot of interesting layers and dynamics. I’m just excited to have to teach him a lesson.”
The 36-year-old Canadian actor, a father himself to a four-year-old daughter, Mavi, differs greatly from his character who has had minimal exposure to his son, but believes William represents a higher standard that Oliver will reach for. “As a father, Oliver will definitely try to be better than what he’s been as a person… So hopefully he can be a good example for William.”
The story of William Clayton – the result of a one-night stand – a subplot introduced in the latter half of season 2 via flashback; Oliver’s mother, Moira (Susanna Thompson), bribed the mother, Samantha Clayton (Anna Hopkins), to lie and say that she miscarried and leave Starling City permanently. The facts came to light over the course of two seasons, as the two bumped into each other on Oliver’s jaunts to Central City to assist Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) aka The Flash. This resulted in both a tenuous agreement with his ex-lover that he could see William but not reveal he’s the father, and the total derailment of his relationship with Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards). Although Oliver managed to avoid William discovering the truth during his abduction by Damian Dahrk, his second kidnapping at the hands of arch-nemesis Adrian Chase (Josh Segarra) made it unavoidable.
Being suddenly thrust together with his son comes upon the heels of Oliver finally exorcising the demons that have haunted him since his own father’s suicide. His decision to spare Adrian was a personal victory over the sins of his past guiding his actions in the present. In stark contrast to his means-to-an-end mentality in the first season, being forced into fatherhood may be incentive for Oliver to be more responsible for the sake of his son. With the possible loss of his mother, William only has Oliver to lean on, and the same can be said of Oliver given his entire team – his family – were on Lian Yu at the time of the explosion alongside Samantha. Through mourning, the long-overdue bonding of father and son can begin and both will be better for it.
If Team Arrow does survive, however, the Emerald Archer will have no shortage of hands in this new phase in his life. Longtime ally and friend John Diggle (Doug Ramsey), a father himself, may offer insight to help Oliver settle into parenthood easier. The same can be expected from Thea (Willa Holland), and it will be interesting to see the former troublemaker evolve into loving aunt. Lastly, if Felicity and Oliver manage to reconnect after that kiss in the finale, William may have more than one mother in his future as well.
Catch the Season 6 Premiere of Arrow on October 12th on the CW.