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"Hello, Oliver. I told myself I was recording this message in case I died suddenly, but I wonder if it isn't just easier to say what I have to say to a video camera. I'm not the man you think I am, Oliver. I didn't save our city, I failed it. I did something terrible, and in my efforts to make it right, I ignored my conscience and made alliances with terrible people. There's a book. A book with a list of all their names. And with these people, I always told myself that everything I did, I did for my family. That's a lie. Because what good is a family without a soul? You can right my wrongs. You can be better than I was. You can save this city. I love you."
—Robert Queen to his son, Oliver[src]

Robert Alan Queen[1] (1958-2007) was the founder and CEO of Queen Consolidated. Robert was also the husband of the late Moira Queen, the father of Oliver Queen and the late Emiko Adachi, the adoptive father of Thea Queen, the grandfather of William Clayton and Mia Smoak, the best friend of Walter Steele, the ex-lover of the late Isabel Rochev and the late Kazumi Adachi, and the ex-best friend-turned-enemy of the late Malcolm Merlyn.

Robert and Oliver were both lost at sea when his yacht, the Queen's Gambit, was sabotaged by Malcolm. Robert committed suicide to save his son's life and increase his chances of survival so Oliver could return home to Starling City and right his wrongs.

Biography

Early life

Robert was born in 1958 in Starling City. He was the founder and CEO of Queen Consolidated, as well as a close friend/business partner of Malcolm Merlyn, Frank Chen, and Walter Steele. Robert eventually married Moira Dearden and in May 16, 1985, the two had a son, Oliver.[2] However, Robert was not a faithful husband, having cheated on Moira multiple times.[3][4] In 1989, one of his affairs led to the birth of Emiko Adachi, whose existence Robert hid his from his family.[5]

Moira eventually retaliated against Robert by having a brief affair with Malcolm after the death of the his wife, Rebecca, which lead to Thea's birth.[6] Although Moira kept the affair a secret, Robert was aware that Thea wasn't his biological daughter but he accepted her nonetheless and loved her like his own.[7] After Malcolm left Starling City following Rebecca's death, Robert took in their son, Tommy, and the latter would fondly remember Robert as his true father.[8]

Robert would often bring Oliver to Queen Consolidated while he worked and secretly let his son drink soda in the office.[9] An aspiring pilot, Robert performed the maintenance on his plane by himself, skills which he taught Oliver. Robert would also take his son flying, during which he taught Oliver how to operate a plane.[8]

Sometime after 2000, Robert went to a charity event, where he met Dr. "Harrison Wells" of S.T.A.R. Labs. One of their subjects of discussion was Robert's son, Oliver.[10]

Involvement with Tempest

In 2002, about a month before Robert opened his shipping factory in the Glades, he was approached by a local councilman, Henry Goodwin. Goodwin would only allow the factory to run if Robert financially compensated him. Robert, being an honest businessman, angrily rejected his proposal and the two got into a heated argument which soon turned violent. Robert then accidentally caused Goodwin to fall to his death in a vat of concrete, leaving him in a state of shock and depression. After this incident, Robert turned to Malcolm and the two created a secret organization, Tempest, with the goal of helping Starling City prosper by forcing the corrupt, wealthy individuals who were poisoning the city into helping their home instead through blackmail. Robert became ashamed of these actions, but stayed true to the task of redeeming his act of manslaughter.[4][11]

In 2006, Robert met Isabel Rochev, a new intern at Queen Consolidated. Impressed with Isabel's diligence and business skills, he took the young woman under his wing and personally mentored her. A few months later, Robert fell in love with Isabel and the two engaged in an illicit affair for a year, cumulating with the former deciding to leave his family and the company to start a new life with Isabel. However, at the airport, Robert received a call from Moira informing him that Thea was hospitalized for a broken arm after falling off her horse in an accident. He decided to forgo the trip in order to check on his daughter. Afterwards, Robert ultimately chose to stay with his family and terminated Isabel's internship, ending their affair and severing all ties with her.[7][12]

Robert once took Oliver, Thea, and Tommy with him to the U.S. Open, where he aimed to secure an acquisitions deal for Queen Consolidated. However, when Oliver got into trouble for landing a helicopter on the grounds in an attempt to impress Maria Sharapova, Robert had to forgo the deal in order to bail him out and was subsequently very disappointed in his son.[13]

In 2007, Robert shut down Queen Industrial Inc. when he outsourced production to China to save money. Not only were roughly 1,500 employees laid off, but Robert went as far as to have his financial lawyers find loopholes in the employees' union contracts to avoid paying severance packages or pensions. This resulted in most, if not all, losing their homes.[14]

Death

Malcolm became unsatisfied by the slow results of Tempest and came up with a new plan called The Undertaking, which would destroy the crime-ridden Glades in a manmade earthquake using a seismic device from Unidac Industries, thus killing the thousands of people who lived there. Robert was horrified at Malcolm's plan and discussed his concerns Frank, who was also a member of Tempest. The two men agreed to secretly meet in China and use Frank's contacts to take control of the majority of real estate in the Glades to prevent the Undertaking. Robert also came clean to Moira about Goodwin's death and Malcolm's plans. However, Frank betrayed Robert to Malcolm, who had the Queen's Gambit sabotaged before Robert used it to travel to China. Oliver decided to accompany Robert at the last minute and snuck Sara Lance on board as well.[4]

Robert Queen shoots himself

Robert shoots himself.

Upon realizing they were sailing into a Category 2 storm, Robert agreed to turn back. Seeing Oliver with Sara, Robert warned his son that their affair was "not going to finish well" for either of them. Shortly after, the yacht sank. Robert, Oliver, and the former's bodyguard, Dave Hackett, were able to make it to a lifeboat. They only had one bottle of water, which Robert gave to Oliver. When all hope seemed lost, Robert shot Hackett before turning the gun on himself to save his son. Revealing his misdeeds, the anguished patriarch pleaded with his son, "Survive. Right my wrongs". Robert then shot himself in the head.[15] When Oliver washed up on the shore of Lian Yu, he buried his father's body, but not before finding a notebook in his pocket.[9]

Alternate reality

In the alternate reality created by the Dominators, Robert was alive and well, and still married to Moira. He had just been elected as mayor of Star City, and was in the process of trying to convince Oliver to take over as CEO of Queen Consolidated, lest he be bought out by Ray Palmer.[16]

Legacy

Robert betrayed many people over the years, but came to regret these mistakes. Unfortunately, he died before having a chance to atone.

3 years after his death, Robert's son, Oliver, found a posthumous message from his father, which revealed his dark past and partly explained the List. Robert admitted he wasn't the man Oliver thought he was and wanted his son to be better to help the city he failed. This made Oliver reconsider his selfish actions of abandoning Maseo Yamashiro to reunite with his family, instead choosing to aid his friend in keeping the Alpha-Omega bioweapon from terrorist hands.[17]

In 2009, Robert's wife, Moira, was coerced into becoming involved with Tempest in his place after discovering the Queen's Gambit was sabotaged by Malcolm.[1] Moira eventually moved on from Robert's death and fell in love with Walter Steele, and they were married in 2011.[15]

Oliver would return to Starling City 5 years later in October 2012 to fulfill his father's dying wish; save the city from the people who were poisoning it and right his father's wrongs. Oliver became a vigilante and started his crusade by crossing off names in the List.[15]

The new Applied Sciences site of Queen Consolidated was dedicated to Robert's memory.[9]

In November 2012, Walter Steele stumbled onto Tempest and the remains of the Queen's Gambit. He began investigating, determined to find out what really happened to his best friend.[18]

Upon discovering how the Reston family became bank robbers after Derek Reston was laid off by Robert shutting down Queen Industrial Inc., Oliver tried to give Derek a second chance in an effort to atone for his father's sins, which ultimately failed. However, John Diggle assured Oliver that Robert would nonetheless be proud of him for his actions.[14]

Oliver eventually caught on to the Undertaking, but he and his team were only able to stop one seismic device. The other leveled the Glades, killing 503 people. Robert's role in the Undertaking was made public by Moira when trying to evacuate the Glades.[19][20]

Robert's former mistress, Isabel Rochev, sought revenge on him and his family after he jilted her. Working with Slade Wilson, Isabel took over Queen Consolidated and ran it to the ground in an attempt to destroy the Queen family's legacy.[7] Ultimately, the company was bought by Ray Palmer and rebranded as Palmer Technologies.[21]

About seven and a half years after Robert's death, Thea learned that Malcolm was her biological father, much to her dismay.[22] Later though, she also learned that Robert knew the truth of her parentage, yet loved her anyway.[7] This eventually allowed Thea to still consider Robert as her true father.

Robert remained unaware of the existence of his grandson, William Clayton, as Moira and Oliver never told him about Samantha Clayton's pregnancy.

During Oliver's duel with Ra's al Ghul, he was fatally stabbed through the abdomen and saw visions of Robert, Moira, Thea, and Felicity Smoak in his mind before falling to his presumed death.[23]

Upon severing ties with Malcolm after he kidnapped William, Thea confessed she often wonders what Robert would think of their toxic relationship; Thea acknowledged that Robert will always be her father, deeply regretting how she betrayed his memory by becoming Malcolm's daughter.[24]

When Oliver tried to learn to use Light magic against Damien Darhk, he needed to fight his own inner darkness; Robert's death was one of his visions which initially stopped Oliver from doing so.[25]

In spring 2017, Adrian Chase/Prometheus uncovered footage of Robert's accidental murder of Henry Goodwin, as well as Goodwin's body, and arranged them to be sent to City Hall. In a confrontation, Chase, seeking revenge for Oliver killing the former's father, Justin Claybourne, attempted to use the fact that both their fathers were terrible people as another example of their similarities. However, Oliver rejected that notion as Claybourne had been planning to officially disown Chase due to his insanity; Oliver reflected that, while Robert wasn't perfect, he had never given up on his son. Afterwards, Oliver held a press conference confirming Robert's murder of Goodwin, but also revealed his sacrifice to ensure his son would live and return home.

Thea was horrified upon learning of Robert's cover-up of Goodwin's death, believing that deception and murder had taken over all of her family members. After Prometheus' defeat though, she agreed to watched the video message Robert left for her. In the video, Robert expressed pride in his daughter's strength, asking Thea to look out for Oliver once he and Moira were gone. Oliver and Thea admitted they still love and miss their parents despite their mistakes. The two agreed to try and live for themselves, leaving the past in the past.[11]

During his final showdown with Chase on Lian Yu, Oliver told Chase that even if he accepts the blame for the latter's father's death, he is officially done with blaming himself for his own. Oliver realized that every bad feeling he had and choice he made as a result of his father's death was out of survivor's guilt, but now he has learned to forgive himself.[26]

In 2019, when Oliver discovers that the new Green Arrow is his paternal half-sister, Emiko Adachi, he becomes disgusted by Robert's actions, that he abandoned Emiko and her mother, Kazumi Adachi, later, he started thinking that he will make things worse for his half-sister if he would reach out to her (believing that he is no different from his father) however, Felicity resource Oliver that is nothing like Robert, that he is a far better person than his father ever was. Emiko wanted to work for his company, he said no as his company was for Oliver; despite the fact that (at the time) the latter was not interested in running the family business, Emiko was planning her revenge against Robert and his family. She knew about Malcolm Merlyn plan to sabotage the Queen Gambit.

Even after Oliver discovered Emiko's affiliation to the Ninth Circle, he still believed that she could be saved, as he believed that she became a monster due to Robert abandoning her, however, upon discovering that she knew about Malcolm Merlyn's plan to sabotage the Queen Gambit and allow there father to die, which also indirectly led to the death of several innocent individuals on the gambit, Oliver not only became disgusted by Emiko's statelessness, but he lost all hope that his half-sister could be redeemed, as he now realized that Emiko became the monster she was today because of her own actions, not because of Robert.

Personality

Robert was an extremely immoral man who spent most of his life making several mistakes that destroying countless people's lives for his benefit, even going through multiple cover-ups to preserve his reputation. For all his poor decisions however, Robert had a sense of compassion and humility; upon realizing the full scope of Malcolm Merlyn's plan, the Undertaking, Robert opposed it from the very beginning. Feeling shame that he played a part in Starling falling to such corruption and decay, he sought to take responsibility hope to find redemption.

Robert's sole reason for getting involved with Tempest was to atone for his mistake of killing Henry Goodwin and aimed to save his city, unfortunately, the closest thing he was able to get was committing suicide after spending days afloat, albeit after killing a third person with them, to increase Oliver's chances of survival with the remaining food and water, leaving him a vague message to "right his wrongs". However, Robert still committed one last immoral act, as he killed his bodyguard, Dave Hackett; even if it was to increase Oliver's chances of survival, so the latter could return home to Star City and right his wrongs, he still had no right to decide who should live and die.

For all his flaws, Robert cared greatly for his family, although Robert was an unfaithful husband and cheated on his wife, Moira, he was very close to and adored by his children. Despite knowing that Thea was not his biological child, Robert accepted and loved her anyway. He also became a surrogate father to Tommy Merlyn after Rebecca's death.

However, Robert was a horrible father to Emiko Adachi (his only biological daughter) as chose Moira, Oliver and Thea over Emiko and her mother, Kazumi Adachi, although he was already married and had another family, that did not give him the right to abandon Emiko and Kazumi, years later when Emiko approached him with a business proposal, but he refused allowed her to join Queen Consolidated (as he was planning to give the company to Oliver) even though she proven to have (potentially) better business sense then Oliver, he also would never publicly acknowledge Emiko as his daughter; as he cared more about his reputation then he did about his own daughter; which indirectly led to his death.

Appearances

Arrow

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

Season 6

Season 7

Season 8


The Flash

Season 1

Season 3

Comics

Arrow

Arrow: Season 2.5

Novels

Trivia

  • Robert enjoyed sailing.[15]
  • Robert was an avid art collector, having amassed a collection of paintings in the Queen Mansion.[27]
  • Although Robert is similar to son, Oliver Queen, as both have hurt many individuals over the years (sometimes individuals they care about) there is one difference between the two; Oliver was unaware of how his selfless actions affecting the individuals around him, as he only discovered this after he first returned from Lian Yu; after which, he ultimately changed his ways, Robert, on the other hand, was completely aware of the fact that how he had ruined many individuals' lives, but kept on repeating the same mistakes over and over, unlike his son; as he did not reform.

Behind the scenes

  • In the DC comics, Robert Queen was the founder and CEO of Queen Industries. He and his wife, Moira, were killed during a hunting accident in the safari when they are both mauled by lions, leaving Oliver to reluctantly inherit the company.
  • Robert's birth year is in dispute. In "Pilot"​​​, it was said to be 1948, but in "Honor Thy Father" and the equally-canon comic issue "Test Drive"​​, it was mentioned as 1958 on his gravestone. Robert's birth year has been referred to as 1958 in more recent content, meaning that the producers probably changed their minds.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Echo"
  2. "Damaged"
  3. "Trust but Verify"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "The Undertaking"
  5. "Unmasked"
  6. "State v. Queen"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "The Man Under the Hood"
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Dead to Rights"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "Honor Thy Father"
  10. "Flash vs. Arrow"
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Honor Thy Fathers"
  12. Arrow: Vengeance
  13. "What We Leave Behind"
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Legacies"
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 "Pilot"
  16. "Invasion!"
  17. "The Return"
  18. "An Innocent Man"
  19. "Sacrifice"
  20. "City of Heroes"
  21. "The Calm"
  22. "Deathstroke"
  23. "The Climb"
  24. "Taken"
  25. "Genesis"
  26. "Lian Yu"
  27. "The Promise"


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