John Diggle was created specifically for this series, and was added to the mainstream DC universe starting with the New 52 titles, introduced in "Green Arrow" Issue 24, October 2013. He joins Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack) from Smallville (2001).
The Queen Mansion exterior shots are filmed at the Hatley Castle in the Hatley Park National Historic Site located in Colwood, British Columbia. This is the same Castle used for the Luthor Mansion exterior shots in Smallville (2001), and for Professor Xavier's castle in the X-Men (2000) film series. The location is also used in Deadpool (2016).
Each time Oliver revealed his secret, someone's life was in danger (usually, but not always, his own): When Diggle found out, Deadshot had tagged him with a curare laced bullet. When Felicity found out, Oliver had just been shot by his mother. When Barry Allen found out, Oliver had been poisoned. When Tommy found out, Malcolm Merlyn was dying from a gunshot wound. When Merlyn himself found out, he was seconds away from killing Oliver. When Roy found out, another earthquake machine was about to go off and the revelation shocked Roy out of his mirakuru rage long enough to help disarm it. The exceptions to this being Laurel, Moira and Thea and his new Team Arrow (Season 5).
Although Oliver's transformation into The Arrow differs from the original DC comics storyline, it's not very far off. In the comics, Oliver had a fascination with bows and arrows from a young age, and always had one with him. When he was a young teen, both of his parents were killed. (He was also an only child) When he was 16, he was traveling by sea when his boat crashed and he was marooned on an island with nothing but his bow to aid in his survival. He taught himself to hunt and perfected what little archery skills he had. He grew to be a man and stumbled upon the illegal trafficking of the criminal China White. After putting a stop to her operation, he found his calling as a crime fighter and "borrowing from Bruce Wayne's book" returned home to Star City as the Green Arrow.
In the comics, Deathstroke (aka Slade Wilson) is an anti-hero with enhanced or peak strength, speed, stamina, and reflexes (sometimes bordering on superhuman levels). He's tactically brilliant and adept at turning an opponent's own abilities against them. He has defeated Batman and Nightwing in combat, and he has given even Wonder Woman a run for her money in a fight.
Midway into Season 2, the character of scientist Barry Allen is introduced. Soon after his debut he suffers a classic comic book "freak accident" and becomes 'The Flash' in his own TV series The Flash (2014), which would go on to crossover with Arrow a number of times.
Instead of Brandon Routh playing Ray Palmer (The Atom) the producers originally planned for him to play Ted Kord (Blue Beetle). But CW didn't have the rights to use him so they made the part for The Atom.
Curare is a real paralytic/muscle relaxant that is sometimes used on arrowheads to hunt animals but is mainly used by physicians as an anesthetic. In high enough doses, it can cause respiratory failure and cardiac arrest.
The arrowhead design of the title logo has changed every season. Season 1 had a flat arrowhead shape. Season 2 retained the same shape of the arrowhead as season 1, only dimensions were added to it. Season 3 is a completely different arrowhead shape design complete with engraved symbols. A few instances in Season 3 the logo changed to reflect the storyline. In Arrow: Draw Back Your Bow (2014), the title arrowhead logo was that of Cupid's heart shape arrow. In Arrow: The Brave and the Bold (2014), lightning was added to the logo as The Flash guest starred. In Arrow: The Return (2015), the arrowhead logo reverted to the season 2 arrowhead when Slade Wilson returned. In season 4, the arrowhead has a bright green color. In season 5, it has a bright green color similar to season 4's, but bevelled with an inverted Y-shape at the bottom.
Every season the first episode opens up with Oliver running through a forest or some kind of foliage. In seasons 1 and 2 the opening shot is of Oliver running through the forests of Lian Yu. In season 3 it is a line of trees and bushes along a train route. In season 4 he is jogging through a park near his and Felicity's home.
The name Isabel Rochev is listed two names down from Adam Hunt (the primary antagonist of the pilot episode) in Oliver's book of names. Isabel Rochev is eventually a reoccurring character played by Summer Glau in season two.
Oliver had mainly two teachers that were responsible for giving him the skills that he uses as The Arrow. Slade Wilson (a.k.a. Deathstroke) who taught him hand to hand combat and melee weapons training and Shado who taught him the bow. Originally in DC comics, Oliver taught himself archery and was taught martial arts by Natas, who was Deathstroke's mentor. In season 5 it is revealed that Oliver had one more mentor in Talia Al Ghul who furthered his martial arts training and inspired the Arrow persona.
Felicity Smoak originated as the step-mother of the superhero Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond) in the pre-New 52 continuity in the "The Fury of Firestorm" comics. Later due to her popularity on the show she was re-introduced in the New 52 continuity as part of the "Green Arrow" comics starting with Issue 35 that was released in October 2014. Also for the New 52 version, her appearance is based on Emily Bett Rickards' portrayal of her on the show.
In DC comics Roy Harper eventually lost an arm and took a bionic arm substitute; appropriately dubbing himself "Arsenal." Also, DC supervillain Solomon Grundy's real name is Cyrus Gold who appears in season 2 of the series.
Alex Kingston and John Barrowman both starred as companions to The Doctor in the BBC's Doctor Who (2005). Kingston starred as River Song and Barrowman as Captain Jack. Colin Salmon also appeared as Dr. Moon in two episodes of Doctor Who (also the first appearance of River Song).
In Arrow: The Brave and the Bold (2014), when Oliver is introducing Barry Allen to Captain Lance, Lance mistakes his name as Bart Allen. In the comics, Bart Allen is Barry's grandson, who is the sidekick of the second Flash and then eventually becomes the Flash himself.
Andrew Kreisberg originally stated that the series is a more realistic take on the character in comparison to the source comic books. Oliver is the only masked vigilante in the world, "there are no aliens and there are no super-villains". This held up more or less, until the decision was made to add the Flash into the equation, which changed everything.
John Diggle was named after Andy Diggle, writer of "Green Arrow - Year One". A "judge Grell" is referenced in the pilot, paying homage to Michael Grell, the long running writer of the Green Arrow comics.
Brandon Routh's character Ray Palmer is revealed to be another DC hero, Atom. In the comics, he, along with Green Arrow (Oliver Queen), Black Canary (Dinah Laurel Lance) and The Flash (Barry Allen), is a member of the Justice League of America.
The nursery rhyme for Cyrus Gold (Solomon Grundy) is: Solomon Grundy, Born on a Monday, Christened on Tuesday, Married on Wednesday, Took ill on Thursday, Grew worse on Friday, Died on Saturday, Buried on Sunday. That was the end, Of Solomon Grundy. The rhyme has been used in the movie The Accountant (2016).
For Green Arrow's first two plus decades, he was a relatively minor superhero character, without his own comic book series. In 1969, the character lost his millions and began co-starring in Green Lantern's series. He became more of an earthy people's hero, and was quite popular throughout the 1970's, both with Green Lantern, and as part of DC's Justice League of America.
In the comics, Green Arrow had bright blond hair and wore a small mask to hide his identity. Also prior to the New 52 relaunch he had a prominent bright blond goatee, and first wore a Robin Hood style hat, later with no hat, where instead he used a hood. But in the television show, much like his New 52 counterpart, Arrow wears only a green hood (deep and large enough to always cover his face in shadow) and there is no goatee, only stubble. Also instead of a mask he wore some green face paint around his eyes that looks similar to his comic book mask to hide his identity (until the events of Season 2's Three Ghosts where he receives a proper mask), and although he is blond, it is more dark or dirty blond.
In the comics, Roy Harper has a few superhero monikers, the first of which was Speedy. Though in the series the name belongs to Thea, Roy is referred to by this name at least twice and a couple of times as "Red Arrow", which was his second moniker. Ultimately, Roy takes the name Arsenal which also ties to comic lore.
The show is notorious for the frequent shirtless scenes of lead star Stephen Amell. The pilot contained an intense and lengthy workout sequence with Amell shirtless that went viral. Such was the Internet buzz created by Amell's superhero physique that the producers added numerous shirtless scenes to nearly every episode of the first Season. Creator and show-runner Marc Guggenheim called this strategy "absposition" - dumping huge chunks of exposition on the audience while Amell shows of his abs. Amell's abs also became the focus of all marketing and promotion as he was always featured shirtless on the posters and all promo material, stills and trailers always contained shots of Amell shirtless. While admitting that it required a huge effort for him, Amell said he had no problem in flaunting his physique because it contributed to the show's popularity. He said, "Me being shirtless isn't the only element that's made it successful, but it is certainly part of the total equation and I'd be silly to think that it is not." While at Comic-con 2014 to promote the upcoming season of the show, he famously lifted his shirt to show off his abs to the audience getting thunderous applause from the packed auditorium Hall H. The show-runners have also acknowledged the huge popularity of Amell's shirtless scenes and vowed that the show will feature such scenes throughout its run.
John Diggle's deceased brother is named Andy, as a tribute to Andy Diggle. Andy Diggle is a writer credited with writing the 2007 limited comic series Green Arrow: Year One. This limited series would come to inspire the creation of the TV series. Andy Diggle also worked on successful series such as Swamp Thing, Thunderbolts, and Daredevil.
Edward Fyers is a recurring nemesis for Oliver Queen on the island. In the comic book series sometime after "The Longbow Hunters", Edward Fyres became a recurring nemesis for Green Arrow. Fyres in the comic book was a mercenary, not unlike the character in "Arrow".
In the comics, Oliver Queen is known for sporting a trademark goatee. Stephen Amell reportedly allowed his beard to grow during the Season 2 hiatus and fashioned a goatee while shaving it and "looked like someone with a record trying to blend into a new city." When asked if his version would ever use the goatee, he tweeted "100% no. Never. Our show could go 14 seasons and a goatee will never appear. Hope that clears things up. Forever." An older Oliver, however, does sport the goatee in Legends of Tomorrow (2016), based on Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns".
Sara Lance's hero persona was dubbed simply "The Canary" and other than sharing the black suit, she is not actually the persona of Black Canary from DC comics. When Laurel takes up the Canary mantle and the name Black Canary, she more closely fulfills her comic book counterpart's role.
Episode no.8 of every season(except the first) has been a crossover episode.[ Season 2: The Scientist (The Flash) Season 3: The Brave and the Bold (The Flash) Season 4: Legends of Yesterday( Legends of Tomorrow & The Flash) Season 5: Invasion! (Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, and Supergirl) Season 6: Crisis on Earth-X, part 2 (Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, and Supergirl)]
The Queen Mansion exterior shots are filmed at the Hatley Castle in the Hatley Park National Historic Site located in Colwood, British Columbia. This is the same Castle used for the Luthor Mansion exterior shots in Smallville (2001), another DC Comics origin story distributed by Warner Brothers and for Professor Xavier's castle in X2 (2003) and X-Men: The Last Stand (2006).
The character Shado is based on the femme-fatale with the same name from DC comics. Unlike her onscreen counter part, (who was the daughter of a Chinese soldier and Oliver's archery teacher) Shado was the daughter of a prominent Yakusa (Japanese Mob) agent. She made a career fighting for them and her activities brought her into Oliver's sights after he had become Green Arrow. Shado once tended to a wounded Oliver but copulated with him during his recovery and became pregnant with his first son Robert. In the New 52, Shado was instead retconned as the former lover of Oliver's father Robert and the mother of Emiko, who is Oliver's half-sister.
Sara Lance (the first Canary on the show) is loosely based on Dinah Drake; the first Black Canary in the comics. Like her comic book counterpart, she was mainly a very skilled martial artist and did not possess the "Canary's cry."
Laurel's hair started off as dark brown in season 1 and got a little lighter each season until season 4 when it's completely blonde. This is in reference to the comics where Dinah Lance's hair is black, but as the Black Canary, it's blonde.
In season three, Felicity Smoak reveals her age to be 25, making her character's birth year around 1989. However, the actress that portrays her, Emily Bett Rickards, was born in July 1991. Conversely, Thea Queen's character was born in 1995. However, Willa Holland, the actress playing her, was born in June 1991. She is a month older than Rickards.
In Arrow: Taken (2016), Oliver said that he and Mari had an "animated adventure last year". It is the literal truth because most of the Arrow cast provided the voices for their characters in the animated Vixen (2015). Also Grant Gustin and Carlos Valdes from The Flash (2014) stood for their animated characters' voices in Vixen.
Lyla Michaels, of Task Force X, uses the code name Harbinger. Lyla Michaels was a character who aided the Monitor in DC Comics seminal maxi-series, Crisis on Infinite Earths (though both debuted earlier). Lyla is infused with powers and renamed Harbinger.
Willa Holland was publicly upset this series' version of the Suicide Squad was "killed off" in favor of Suicide Squad (2016). According to her, the showrunners "had to axe all of the characters before we even got to show them, which was very annoying".
Arrow and its spinoff The Flash have had many crossovers throughout their seasons. There have been moments where characters from The Flash and Arrow go to the others city without seeing the main character. Barry had crossed over to the show Supergirl a few times by jumping through the multiverse.
Katie Cassidy actually participated in the creation of the Black Canary costume. According to her, a reason it fully covers her body is that Caity Lotz would often freeze while filming scenes in the cold in her Canary costume.
Originally Emily Bett Rickards (Felicity Smoak) was only supposed to appear in three episodes. However, due to her chemistry with Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen) she became a regular character in the show.
The character Roy Harper (Speedy) also appears as a main character in the animated show "Young Justice" that ran on Cartoon Network but was canceled after 2 seasons. Oliver attempted to call him Speedy, to which Roy objected. Thea later adopted the name of Speedy; Roy settled on the name "Arsenal".
In season 1, episode 18, Salvation, Laurel's (Katie Cassidy) mother, Dinah (Alex Kingston), says "I'm off to Central City, I'm sure I'll be home in a flash." That is a direct reference to The Flash/Barry Allen, (Grant Gustin) who was brought into the show a year later in the second season. A year after that, Barry was struck by lightning in the new hit series The Flash (2014). Every year the Flash/Barry Allen was referenced or introduced until he got his own show.
While Thea Queen was initially an original character in the show (especially since Oliver was originally an only child in the comics) her inclusion in the series would lead to the creation of Emiko Queen in the comics during DC's New 52 event. Emiko like Thea is also Oliver's half-sister due to also being the illegitimate child of Oliver's father Robert and Shado). These characters would end up having a number of things in common, including being trained and used as an assassin by their other parent (Malcolm Merlyn for Thea and Shado for Emiko) and both would end up turning against them and joining their brothers' team. One of the code-names that Thea considered "Red Arrow" would end up becoming Emiko's code-name when she adapted her own superhero identity during the DC Rebirth event.
In episode 4, season 3 Nyssa states that by initiating The Undertaking (season 1) Merlin broke the rules of the League of Assassins. The Undertaking's purpose was to cleanse the city of its corrupt and criminal element, this was the same goal as Raz al Ghul (Nyssa's father and the leader of the League) had for destroying Gotham in Batman Begins (2005). Evidently this rule doesn't exist in the "Nolanverse".
In the penultimate episode of Season 4 a map of the United States shows Starling/Star City in roughly the same location as Chicago. This is a very different location from the DC comics where Star City is often shown as roughly analogous to Seattle
Oliver nicknames his sister "Speedy". In the comics, Speedy is Green Arrow's controversial, drug addicted sidekick Roy Harper. Harper is eventually replaced by Mia Dearden as Speedy. In the third season, Oliver is seen looking for Thea and finds that she has assumed the false name of "Mia". By the fourth season, Thea has replaced Roy Harper altogether, costume and all, and fights alongside her brother.
Throughout season 1 the main character's alter-ego is never actually referred to as The Green Arrow, but rather going by such obscure titles as "the green hooded guy", "the vigilante", or some combination thereof. Only once is "Green Arrow" suggested (by Oliver Queen's nemesis, Malcolm Merlyn), when a group of people at a dining table are discussing what to call this hooded vigilante. Oliver dismisses the suggestion immediately as "lame". It's not until midways into the following season that the name The Arrow starts to appear, and seemed to have stuck. But at the start of season 4, Oliver feels the need to (yet again!) "become something else", and finally dons the name "The Green Arrow".
At least once every season modern day Oliver travels to Lian Yu. During Arrow: Pilot (2012), Oliver is discovered in the island. During Arrow: City of Heroes (2013), Diggle and Felicity travel to Lian Yu to find Oliver there. During season 3, Oliver and Thea go to Lian Yu to train for the League only to find Slade out of his cell.
As revealed in an episode of The Flash (2014), in the parallel universe of Earth Two, Oliver was the one to die when the Queen's Gambit sank, leading to his father Robert Queen to establish the mantle of The Arrow. This is a reference to the comic series Flashpoint Paradox where Thomas Wayne is the Batman, and Bruce is the one who got shot.
The series marks the first live-action appearance of Helena Bertinelli/The Huntress (Jessica DeGouw). Ashley Scott portrayed an alternate version of the character, as the meta-human daughter of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, in Birds of Prey (2002).
In the comics, Dinah "Laurel" Lance is the real name of the heroine, Black Canary. In season one, it's revealed that Laurel's first name is Dinah when Tommy comes up behind her and addresses her as such. In Arrow: Canaries (2015), when Laurel is drugged with Vertigo, Sara refers to Laurel as "Dinah Laurel Lance".
Towards the end of season 3, Nyssa Al Ghul is forced to marry Oliver in order to provide an heir after his ascension to Ra's. In DC comics, the oldest daughter of Ra's Al Ghul, Talia, does have a genuine love affair with another billionaire/vigilante that did in fact produce an heir, whose name was Damien Wayne.
In Arrow: The Fallen (2015), Thea is revived from the Lazarus Pit, but when she awakens she has changed and experiences confusion. In the Batman comics, Jason Todd (the second Robin) is revived the same way, and like Thea he has changed and goes through confusion becoming Red Hood.
In the comics, Rose Wilson, daughter of Slade, is a mercenary with an outfit similar to that of Deathstroke, and goes by the name Ravager. In this series, Isabel Rochev dons the outfit although never goes by the same title.
The character Curtis Holt shares the last name of a DC superhero named "Mr. Terrific." Michael Holt was the second man to don the Terrific mantle. He was the 3rd smartest man in the world, was a master hand-to-hand combatant, and was invisible to all forms of technology. One of his signatures was the "T-Spheres": floating Computer/Weapons that Holt controlled mentally. When Felicity inspects Curtis Holt's "world changing prototypes", one of them was a T-Sphere (indicating that Curtis might become Mr. Terrific).
In the season 3 flashbacks, it's revealed that Oliver was brought to Hong Kong to help bring down China White, whom he was responsible for saving when he prevented her plane from being shot down. This was his first ordeal after leaving the island. This resembles the occurrences of Green Arrow's origins in DC comics. China White ran a drug ring on the island that Oliver was marooned on and his first act as a vigilante was putting a stop to her operation.
It's implied that Batman exists within the Arrowverse. The fictional city Blüdhaven, Nightwing's City of operations, and several Batman villains such as Firefly, Harley Quinn, Ra's Al Ghul, and Anarky have appeared on the show. In the Fourth Season, Oracle is referenced as a codename Oliver considered for Felicity but chose "Overwatch" as Oracle was taken.
The swords Oliver uses in his fight against Ra's al Ghul in Arrow: The Climb (2014) are called Kris. It s a short sword of Filipino origin. The two Kris in the series were made by Traditional Filipino Weapons.
In season 2 when Laurel visits who she thinks is Alderman Blood's aunt (But in reality is his mother), she is held in Saint Walker's mental hospital. Saint Walker in the comics is a member/leader of the Blue Lantern Corps.
The second CW series to portray the Green Arrow in a relationship that is not with Dinah "Laurel" Lance/Black Canary, differently from their comic book mythos. In Smallville (2001), Oliver marries and has a son with original character Chloe Sullivan rather than Dinah.
At the start of season 5, Oliver took to the streets wearing an upgraded Green Arrow constume. The concept borrows heavily from the costume he wore in "Legends of Tomorrow"; when the team encountered him in the future as an old man.
Throughout the series different characters and subplots seem to vanish or be removed abruptly, leading to some speculation that permission for their use was withdrawn because of possible conflicts with other DC comics film projects. This is most notable with regards to the characters Deadshot, Katana, Amanda Waller, Harley Quinn, and the use of the "Suicide Squad", which became a film in 2016.
In season 5 while searching for a new Black Canary, Oliver finds a meta human with a sonic scream. She was an undercover cop who used a false name. Her real name is Dinah Drake, the name of the golden age Black Canary.
The death of Dinah Laurel Lance/Black Canary suffered strong backlash from audiences and comic fans. Her replacement Dinah Drake is named after the very first version of the character which debuted in August 1947.
This series parallels another CW superhero origin story, Smallville (2001) in a number of ways. In Smallville Clark Kent allies himself with a superhero team formed by Oliver Queen/Green Arrow. Members of this team (a fledgling Justice League) include Black Canary and Bart Allen (in comic lore, a relative of Barry Allen who also carried the Flash mantle), who doesn't yet use the name Flash. In Arrow, Team Arrow includes in varying degrees the Flash, and two versions of Black Canary. The teams in both series have a female computer wiz who acts as a 'control tower' providing tech back up- Felicity Smoak/Overwatch in Arrow and Chloe Sullivan/Watchtower in Smallville. Their codenames are also so similar that it is a possible homage to Smallville. In both series Oliver Queen and the tech wiz have a relationship though in Arrow the relationship fails, Smallville's Oliver marries Chloe and has a son. Watchtower is not only Chloe's codename in Smallville but is also the codename for her base of operations which also serves as the teams lair. This lair is the clock tower of a high building providing a perfect view across Metropolis, this building and clock tower are similar to the Canary's hideout in Arrow season 2 which she picked for similar reasons. In both series the clock face becomes smashed during the course of events.
Both Arrow's Katie Cassidy (Laurel Lance/Black Canary) and The Flash's Danielle Panabaker (Caitlin Snow/Killer Frost) previously starred in Michael Bay, Platinum Dunes produced horror remakes of 80's icons. Panabaker in Friday the 13th (2009) and Cassidy the following year in A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010). Both in their subsequent films killed by the icons of these films and killed via a chest attack from the icons' signature weapons, Panabaker stabbed through the back out her chest by Jason Voorhees' machete, and Cassidy slashed down the chest with Freddy Krueger's finger bladed glove.