'Arrow' Says Farewell to an Original Series Regular

Arrow Still The Thanatos Guild Episode - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of The CW

[This story contains spoilers from Thursday's Arrow.]

An original series regular is departing The CW's Arrow.

Willa Holland, who has played Thea Queen/Speedy for six seasons, has exited the Greg Berlanti-produced DC Comics drama. Her last episode aired Thursday night and saw her character leave town in pursuit of righting her father's wrongs.

"We’re very sad to see Willa go. She’s been a critical part of Arrow since its inception and a wonderful and talented person to boot," Arrow exec producer Marc Guggenheim told The Hollywood Reporter. "But we’re in our sixth season now and supportive of her wish to stretch her legs and pursue other creative opportunities. The door is always open for Willa to return if she has a hankering to."

The writing for Holland's exit had been on the wall. While still being credited as a series regular, Holland for the past two seasons has had a contractually reduced role. This season, she appeared in 10 of the show's 16 episodes to have aired this season. In season five, Holland's Thea — Oliver's younger sister — was in 14 of its 23 episodes.

Arrow was Holland's longest tenure to date, having appeared in 130 episodes of the drama. Her credits include Gossip Girl and The O.C.

Holland's exit leaves only Stephen Amell (Oliver/Arrow), David Ramsey (Diggle/Spartan) and Paul Blackthorne (Detective Lance) as original series regulars from the pilot. (Emily Bett Rickards recurred in season one before being promoted to regular in season two and was not in the pilot.)

Arrow, which has begun to show its age, is considered likely to return to The CW for a seventh season. The cast is heading into contract renegotiations as is typical for a show following its sixth season.

Holland's departure follows changes on The CW's fellow DC Comics drama Legends of Tomorrow, which said farewell to stars Wentworth MillerVictor Garber and Franz Drameh this season. To help fill the void, Matt Ryan will join the show's fourth season, should Legends earn a renewal. (It's considered a safe bet to come back.)

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