Samantha Clayton (died May 17, 2017) was an ex-lover of Oliver Queen and the mother of their son, William Clayton. Samantha was paid $2 million by Oliver's mother, Moira Queen, to pretend that she had a miscarriage and move back to Central City (though she never cashed the check).
Oliver eventually discovered the truth eight years later, after which Samantha reluctantly agreed to let him spend time with their son. The two were later forced to relocate to an unknown location after William was kidnapped by Damien Darhk before being rescued by Oliver and Team Arrow. The following year, Samantha and William were kidnapped by Adrian Chase/Prometheus in his vendetta against Oliver. She was later killed in Lian Yu's destruction caused by Adrian's suicide, leaving William to be raised by his father.
Affair with Oliver Queen
In 2007 while at college, Samantha met Oliver Queen, who was her classmate. Despite the fact that he was dating Laurel Lance, the two had a one-night stand. Samantha subsequently became pregnant and ultimately decided to keep the baby, informing Oliver of such.
Shortly afterwards, Oliver's mother, Moira Queen, invited Samantha over to the Queen Mansion to discuss the matter. Moira revealed she had Samantha investigated, needing to be sure the latter wasn't making a false claim of paternity or looking for a handout. Slightly affronted, Samantha maintained that the baby was Oliver's and she didn't want money. Moira assured Samantha she knew that now and made her an offer: $1 million to lie to Oliver that she had lost the baby and another $1 million to move back to Central City and never contact him again, allowing both Oliver and the former's grandchild to have a "bright future". After some uncertainty, Samantha agreed to Moira's terms. She later told Oliver the "bad news" over the phone.
Samantha returned to Central City to finish her schooling and eventually gave birth to a son, whom she named William. Ultimately, Samantha refused to cash Moira's check, wanting to take as much distance from the Queen family as possible. She also barred Moira from having any sort of contact with William, feeling the Queen matriarch would be a bad influence on him.
While raising William, Samantha aimed to make sure her son lived a happy, well-adjusted life. In this endeavor, she kept William's true parentage a secret from both him and (presumably) her family.
Crossing paths with Oliver in Central City
One day in late 2014, Samantha stopped by at CC Jitters, where she unexpectedly bumped into Oliver. The two were surprised to see each other again and exchanged some pleasantries. Oliver apologized for not getting in touch with her after their affair while Samantha expressed her condolences for Moira's death. As Oliver left, Samantha went to order and called William, telling him she'd be home soon with hot chocolate.
A year later, Samantha was at CC Jitters again with her son. After William returned to her side, they left for home. Unbeknownst to Samantha, Oliver watched their interaction and realized she lied about her miscarriage.
Oliver later approached Samantha as she and William were about to head out to a Central City Diamonds game and asked if William was his son. Samantha attempted to deny it, claiming she met William's father two months after their affair, but Oliver was unconvinced. After Samantha and William left for the game, Oliver arranged for a DNA test on a piece of hair he plucked from the boy's cap, which confirmed his suspicions.
The next day, Oliver visited Samantha again, stating he knew William was his son. Samantha revealed Moira paid her to lie about the miscarriage, showing the uncashed check as proof. She felt it was better that her son was raised away from Oliver and the Queen family's influence. Oliver argued he wasn't a playboy anymore and expressed a desire to be a part of William's life now. Concerned about William being "sucked into [Oliver's] orbit" Samantha gave an ultimatum: Oliver can meet William only if neither their son nor anyone else ever know of their relationship. Oliver protested, but Samantha remained firm in her decision, stating that he "already asked the world of [her]". Oliver eventually agreed and promised not to tell anyone, not even his significant other, Felicity. Samantha commented that "Felicity" was a nice name and allowed Oliver to interact with William under the guise of her friend.
William's kidnapping and starting anew
Two months later, one night in February, Samantha went to get William for dinner, only to find that he had vanished from his room without a trace. She immediately reported her son's disappearance to the Central City Police Department. When the police couldn't find any leads after 48 hours, CSI Barry Allen advised Samantha to talk to Oliver about the matter. Samantha then travelled to Star City.
Meeting with Oliver at his mayoral campaign office, Samantha revealed William's mysterious disappearance. Frightened and panicked, she demanded to know what was going on, accusing Oliver of putting her son in danger. Oliver promised Samantha he would do everything possible to get William back. When she wondered how that was possible, Oliver revealed he was the Green Arrow, much to her shock. Oliver brought Samantha to the Arrowcave, where she met his teammates: his sister Thea Queen, fiancée Felicity Smoak, John Diggle, and Laurel Lance. Samantha apologized to Laurel for sleeping with Oliver while the two were still together, but Laurel assured her it was in the past now, stating that Oliver was also responsible, and they will rescue her son. Samantha learned that William had been kidnapped by Damien Darhk to force Oliver to drop out of the mayoral race.
Samantha later met Mari McCabe, a vigilante from Detroit equipped with a magical totem, much to her disbelief. Mari asked for a close possession of William's to locate him and Samantha provided his Flash action figure. While Team Arrow worked on finding William, Samantha helped Felicity set up a search profile for him. As the two worked, Samantha sensed the tension between Oliver and Felicity. In an attempt to smooth things over, she explained that Oliver told her how special his fiancée was to him and wanted to let Felicity in on William's life but Samantha refused to allow it, as she didn't know what kind of person Oliver was.
Unfortunately, Darhk had William moved before Team Arrow could rescue him and moved up his timetable, much to Samantha's worry. The next day after Oliver withdrew his candidacy for mayor, she was upset that William still hadn't been returned to her. Once Team Arrow discovered how they could take away Darhk's powers, Oliver received a phone call informing him that William would be released in three hours at Nelson Plaza and left the decision up to Samantha on which route to take. She urged Oliver to attack Darhk now and rescue their son.
The mission was successful and Samantha happily reunited with William at the SCPD precinct as Oliver, Thea, Laurel, and Captain Quentin Lance watched on. William asked Samantha for a Green Arrow action figure, much to her surprise. Sharing a look with Oliver, she agreed that "the Green Arrow is pretty amazing".
Captured by Prometheus and death
Over a year later in May 2017, Samantha and William were kidnapped by Adrian Chase/Prometheus and brought to Lian Yu. Shortly after, they were separated and Samantha was imprisoned in a cage alongside Thea, Felicity, and Curtis Holt. The group was soon found by Oliver and his associates. Oliver asked Samantha about William, but she didn't know his whereabouts. Suddenly, they were ambushed by Adrian's allies and a fight broke out, during which Talia al Ghul shot an arrow at Samantha, but Oliver deflected it. Fortunately, reinforcements soon arrived. Samantha, Thea, Felicity, and Curtis were freed and to be escorted by Malcolm Merlyn to Adrian's plane, which they would use to escape Lian Yu.
As they walked, Samantha confided in Felicity that she couldn't get on the plane without William, despite assurances that Oliver would find him. Samantha then asked if her ultimatum was the reason Felicity and Oliver broke up, to which Felicity claimed it was "complicated". Slightly amused, Samantha pointed out their kiss from earlier and stated it seemed simple enough to her. Suddenly, Thea activated a landmine on the island, so Malcolm pushed her off and took her place. Upon seeing Digger Harkness and Talia al Ghul's cult pursuing them, the group was forced to flee. From a distance, they witnessed the explosion from Malcolm setting off the landmine.
After they found Adrian's plane, Curtis and Felicity uncovered a network of hundreds of C4 bombs on the island. Samantha wondered if Felicity could defuse them, but the latter didn't have the necessary equipment and could only try locating the trigger. Later, the group was joined by Diggle, Quentin, Slade Wilson, Nyssa al Ghul, Dinah Drake, and Rene Ramirez, with Oliver having gone after Adrian to find William. After discovering that Adrian's plane was sabotaged, the group was urged to head to an A.R.G.U.S. ship on the other side of the island. Slade pointed out they wouldn't make it in time, so they instead decided to take refuge in Adrian's plane to shield themselves from the explosions. But Samantha, still worried about her son, refused to join them and ran off to find William. She was pursued by Thea, who tried to get Samantha to come back to the plane. Suddenly, the bombs detonated after Adrian killed himself, and the two were caught in the explosions.
Samantha was fatally wounded while Thea was rendered comatose. After the explosions ceased, Oliver and Slade eventually found them. As a dying Samantha collapsed, Oliver assured her that William was safe, much to her relief. He insisted that she would be okay and William needed to see her but Samantha, aware of the inevitable, simply requested that Oliver be a father to their son, which he promised to do. She then succumbed to her injuries and died in his arms. Samantha's body was presumably brought back to Central City for her funeral.
Oliver honored his final promise to Samantha and officially took William in. Even though he didn't love her, Oliver nonetheless harbored guilt over the death of his son's mother, becoming saddened whenever the tragedy was mentioned. This went far enough that when a hallucination of Adrian Chase brought up Samantha's fate, Oliver tried to kill him with no hesitation.
Emotionally traumatized and devastated over Samantha's death, William remained distant from Oliver for months, blaming him for not saving his mother. William also grew worried he would lose Oliver as well due to his father's life as Green Arrow.
The truth of Samantha's death was left unknown to the world, as she is believed to have died in a car accident.
In her younger years, Samantha was, in her own words, "stupid and selfish", having an affair with Oliver Queen despite knowing that he was in a relationship with Laurel Lance at the time. Although Samantha would come to love her son, she later felt guilty for sleeping with Laurel's boyfriend.
Samantha deeply loved and cared for her son, William Clayton, having worked hard to provide for him as a single mother. She was fiercely protective of William, which also made her aloof and narrow-minded; when Oliver wanted to get to know their son, Samantha was not inclined to trust him even though Oliver is no longer the spoiled brat he once was and tried to continue keeping William away from him. When William was kidnapped, Samantha immediately placed the blame on Oliver, angry with herself for bringing him into her son's life. However, Samantha still proved to be somewhat reasonable, as she ultimately agreed to let Oliver be a part of William's life under the guise of her friend.
Samantha was shown to have a sense of pride and self-respect; she was upset and annoyed when Moira Queen initially suspected her of looking to cash in on the Queen family's influence through her pregnancy. Moira's attempt to pay off Samantha resulted in the latter despising the Queen matriarch for her manipulations and refusing to let her near William. However, these events did allow her to recognize how much Moira cared for her son, a sentiment Samantha shared with Oliver when seeing him for the first time following his mother's death.
Upon learning Oliver was the Green Arrow and witnessing him save William from Damien Darhk, Samantha realized he truly was a better person and finally acknowledged William as his son too. She even requested Felicity Smoak to not be too hard on Oliver for keeping William a secret, asking her to remember that it was the former who pushed him into making that choice. Samantha also trusted Oliver to rescue their son from Adrian Chase and didn't hold him responsible for their abduction.
Samantha was fearless when it came to keeping her son safe; she refused to leave Lian Yu without William, even when the island was facing imminent destruction. In her dying moments, Samantha only cared about William's well-being and upon learning he was safe, she peacefully passed away.
- Samantha was likely very intelligent, as she studied at one of the Ivy League schools Oliver attended.
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics universe, Oliver has an illegitimate child named Connor Hawke with a woman named Sandra Moonday Hawke as a result of a fling in college. Connor would go on to succeed Oliver as the second Green Arrow.