What Does Roy Harper's 'Arrow' Return Mean for Thea?

As we just reported, Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) will return to Arrow this spring for a short arc [...]

As we just reported, Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) will return to Arrow this spring for a short arc which the producers have promised will have long-lasting ramifications for Thea (Willa Holland). The obvious quesiton, then, is what those might be.

And the obvious answer: this might be goodbye for Oliver's beloved sister. Thea has played a much smaller role in the last couple of seasons than she previously had, but it was Holland's choice, according to producers -- and fans have long speculated that putting her back together with her on-again, off-again love interest Roy might be the way to write her out without killing anybody.

Thea's absence in the second half of Arrow's fifth season was noted by many fans, but Guggenheim told ComicBook.com that it was the byproduct of Holland's own request to scale back her time on set. While the explosion at the end of season 5 might seem like the ideal way to get rid of an actor who doesn't want to be onscreen all the time, Guggenheim has said in the past that he doesn't imagine that Thea will die on his watch, since Oliver has already lost both parents.

"We love Willa, we love Thea the character and we particularly love Thea's relationship with Oliver," Guggenheim said. "That said, Willa came to us at the end of season four and she, very honestly, expressed a desire to cut back how many episodes a season she was doing. She's a member of our family, and we wanted to honor that request. That's what happens when you have a show that goes over a hundred episodes, people start to say, 'hey, I would like to pull back,' some people don't want to renew their contract. There's a whole host of different things that start to come into play and you work that into the story telling."

Harper first appeared in the show's first season and was almost immediately set up as Thea's boyfriend -- a role he would continue in (mostly) until his departure in season 4, when he faked his death and left town. His final full episode (he did make a cameo in "Invasion!") dealt with the complicated feelings between the two and Roy's need to move on in his new life.

Now that he has had time to adjust to his new life, though, and Thea has officially left Team Arrow and the costumed life behind, it does not seem like much of a stretch that fans' wishes/predictions could come true, and that the pair could have an off-screen happily ever after that allowed for both to return from time to time...but took them away from Star City for most weeks.

Arrow returns on Thursday, January 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.