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"Well, I just found out there's a reality where I was dead, so that's the curve I'm grading on these days."
—Tommy Merlyn[src]

Thomas "Tommy" Merlyn (born February[1] 1985[2]) is the son of the late Malcolm Merlyn and the late Rebecca Merlyn, the childhood best friend of the late Oliver Queen, the widower of the late Laurel Lance, the younger paternal half-brother of Saracon and the older paternal half-brother of Thea Queen.

A billionaire "trustafarian" who enjoyed an extravagant party-boy lifestyle, Tommy helped ease Oliver back into life in Starling City when the latter returned after five years. At the same time, he began a blossoming romance with Laurel following a previous no-strings-attached affair. A selfish and reckless spoiled brat until Malcolm completely cut him off, Tommy worked for Oliver at his nightclub Verdant, and grew more responsible. When he discovered Oliver was the Starling City vigilante known as "the Hood", this, combined with Oliver and Laurel still having feelings for each other, caused Tommy to become distant from his friend out of jealousy and anger. After learning the truth about his father, Tommy was fatally wounded while saving Laurel's life during the Undertaking, but made amends with Oliver before dying.

Tommy's death served as the motivation for Oliver to become a better hero, sent Laurel spiraling into depression for a time, and fueled Malcolm's determination to be involved in Thea's life.

In May 2018, following the aftermath of a trial regarding Oliver's identity as Green Arrow, the public believed that Tommy was still alive.

Tommy was resurrected on Earth-Prime, with his Earth-1 memories restored, after Oliver's sacrifice to recreate the universe. In the new reality, he had married Laurel, although was left widowed by January 2020. Tommy attended Oliver's funeral to honor his best friend and got to meet his late wife's Earth-2 doppelgänger.


Original multiverse

Early life

Merlyn family portrait

Merlyn family portrait.

Tommy was born in February 1985 in Starling City to his parents Malcolm Merlyn and Rebecca Merlyn. When Tommy was eight years old, his mother was killed by Brick as gang initiation in The Glades. This sent Malcolm into a state of depression, even leaving Tommy for two years. When Malcolm had an affair with Moira Queen, the affair also led to the birth of Thea Queen, Tommy's paternal half-sister.

In between the two years, Tommy met Oliver Queen and became best friends and hung out with Oliver at the Queen house more often than his own, and even saw Robert Queen as more of a father to him than his own father. Around that time, he also met and became best friends with Laurel Lance.

Young Oliver and Tommy

Oliver and Tommy as children at Rebecca Merlyn's funeral.

In their youth, Robert took Tommy and Oliver to their first hockey game and their first R-rated movie. In their early 20s, Tommy and Oliver got into many social scandals and media-related incidents which saw them both in court more than once. In one such example, Tommy rented out an entire football stadium to play "strip kickball" with models.[3] At some point, he met Sara Lance. Tommy and Oliver also at some point met McKenna Hall.

Tommy once hosted a party which Sara snuck into to see Oliver, which was broken up by the cops.[4] At some point, Tommy filled his father's pool entirely with beer and swam in it, much to Oliver and Laurel's amusement.[5]

Once Oliver was presumed dead at sea with Sara, Laurel had an affair with Tommy out of anger which he would later describe as "your place, my place, my place again",

Quentin interrogates Tommy, Thea and Laurel

Quentin interrogates Tommy, Thea, and Laurel.

implying that they slept together multiple times but both decided that it wasn't going to work, though Tommy always still had feelings for Laurel.

In February 2010, Tommy became furious and scolded Thea, who retorted that he wasn't her brother after Tommy told her drug dealer off. That night, Thea snuck into Tommy's 25th birthday party using a fake ID. Briefly catching up with Tommy and Laurel, Thea promised them she would behave. Suddenly, the drug dealer fell from the balcony with his neck snapped (by Oliver). The cops arrived and Tommy covered for Thea, claiming he invited her.[6]

By the time he was 27, Tommy had never worked a single day in his life.

Search for Oliver

Tommy Merlyn being asked to pay a ransom by Oliver Queen

Tommy "kidnapped" by Oliver.

When Oliver made an attempt to send out an email acknowledging being alive in Hong Kong but was stopped by Maseo Yamashiro yet still partially successful due to a log-in setting off an account alert, Tommy took his father's jet and flew to Hong Kong in search of Oliver. Oliver was surprised to learn that Amanda Waller had ordered Tommy to be executed, but Oliver and Maseo devised a plan in order to keep Tommy alive. Oliver kidnapped Tommy and claimed that he hacked Oliver's account in hope that a family member would come searching, satisfied that it was Tommy, the son of Malcolm, that had come. Maseo then "rescued" Tommy while posing as Hong Kong police. Tommy left believing that his best friend was truly dead.[7]

Oliver's return

Oliver asks Tommy what Twilight is

Oliver asks Tommy what Twilight is.

When Oliver was rescued from a deserted island, Tommy reunited at the Queen Mansion, overjoyed to have his best friend back, and spent dinner catching him up on current events. The next day, Tommy took Oliver on various car trips to ease him back into life in Starling City. However, he protested when Oliver decided to visit Laurel which, as expected, didn't end well. Just then, Tommy and Oliver were abducted by a gang wearing red skull masks. Tommy was knocked out and apparently saved by a green hooded vigilante, as Oliver claimed to Detectives Quentin Lance and Lucas Hilton.

Tommy Merlyn Oliver What happened to you on that island

Tommy asks Oliver "What happened to you on that island".

The night after, Tommy threw a welcome home bash for Oliver to celebrate his return, acting as his friend's wingman. A few hours later, the party was interrupted by Lance, who confronted Tommy and Oliver about the vigilante attacking Adam Hunt across the street. Tommy was amused over the situation, yet expressed concern when Oliver admitted that "a lot" happened to him on the island. The next night, he met with Laurel outside CNRI to talk about their future since she denied any chance of her and Oliver resuming their relationship. Laurel pointed out that Tommy isn't known for being "a one-girl type of guy", to which Tommy replied, "depends on the girl", hinting at his deeper feelings for her.[8]

A week later, Tommy accompanied the Queen family to the courthouse for Oliver's legal resurrection, jokingly reminding everyone of the previous four times his friend had been to court during their playboy days. In spite of his initial excitable disposition, Tommy was visibly saddened as Oliver recounted the Queen's Gambit sinking. Afterwards, the duo had another awkward encounter with Laurel, which Tommy encouraged Oliver to "shake it off". He was then left on the street with John Diggle after Oliver drove off in the car by himself. Later, Tommy attended the groundbreaking ceremony of the Robert Queen Applied Sciences Center and met Laurel. He requested that they keep Oliver in the dark about their affair, not wanting to hurt his friend. Tommy witnessed Oliver causing a disruption at the event before confessing his desire to not be involved in Queen Consolidated.[9]


Tommy, Oliver, and Laurel in Poison.

Tommy was enthusiastic when Oliver decided to convert an abandoned Queen Industrial Inc. building in The Glades into a nightclub and suggested they scope out the competition at Max Fuller's new club, Poison. Oliver pointed out he slept with Fuller's fiancée, but Tommy brushed it off. At Poison, Tommy was surprised to see Laurel. The trio then ran into Thea, who revealed to Oliver about his friends' affair, leaving Tommy ashamed and embarrassed. When Fuller's men tried to beat up Oliver, a furious Tommy intervened, triggering a brawl until Laurel got Max to let them go. Afterwards, Diggle brought Tommy and Oliver to Big Belly Burger. Tommy was attracted to a waitress, Carly, but quickly backed down when Diggle revealed she was his sister-in-law. He then tried to apologize to Oliver for sleeping with Laurel and violating their friendship. However, Oliver assured Tommy there were no hard feelings, given that he was presumed dead. Emboldened by his friend's response, Tommy went to see Laurel as she was working at the courthouse to take her out for dinner, explaining how he wanted to become someone better for the sake of pursuing a serious relationship with her.[10]

When Oliver was accused of being the Hood, Tommy attended his hearing. After being put under house arrest, Oliver suggested a prison-themed party to ease the tensions, though Tommy was opposed to the idea. At the party, Oliver was attacked by an unnamed gunman and hurt but was cleared of all charges, which Tommy was present to witness.[11]

Tommy comes in and offers to fly Laurel out of town to Coast City for the weekend. She wonders why he's coming on so strong and Tommy explains that he wanted to follow up on his offer to let her learn more about him. Laurel says that they've lost their funding and she has more important things to think about, and Tommy realizes that it's not a good time.

As Oliver starts to head out, Tommy arrives and suggests that they take his new car for a spin. Oliver passes, saying that something important has come up, and leaves. Thea has overheard the conversation and offers to listen if Tommy has something he wants to discuss. Without going into specifics, Tommy says that he's truly interested in a woman but he doesn't think the direct approach would work for telling her his feelings. Thea suggests that he find out what the woman is interested in and then become interested in it himself, and Tommy gets an idea. As he leaves, he thanks Thea for her help.

The next day, Tommy is already at the office, talking with Joanna. He informs them that his company, the Merlyn Global Group, wants to sponsor a charity fundraiser to keep CNRI going. Laurel refuses but Joanna draws her to the side and explains that they need the money and she doesn't care why Tommy is doing it. Laurel reluctantly thanks Tommy for the fundraiser with some prodding from Joanna.

As Tommy and Laurel plan the fundraiser, Laurel asks why he's coming after her. Tommy talks about how he recently picked up a girl and went back to her place, only to realize that he had been there two years earlier. He left and remembered how he never forgot the times that he woke up next to Laurel and that it was more than fun.

Laurel comes in and Tommy compliments her on her dress. He then talks to Thea and finally tells her that Laurel was the woman he was asking for advice about. Shocked and upset, Thea watches as Tommy goes over to Laurel. Carter comes in and starts talking about himself, and then invites Laurel to have a drink with him. She goes off with him and Tommy watches, unhappy with how things are working out.

At the fundraiser, Tommy watches Carter and Laurel dance. A drunken Thea comes up and invites him to dance, and Tommy realizes that she's flirting with him. He tells her that he thinks of her as a younger sister, but she says that Laurel doesn't understand him the way that she does. Thea says that she's used to rejection from everyone and Tommy is no exception, and Tommy gets her out as she makes a scene. Laurel notices and goes after them, and finds Thea vomiting in the back alley. Tommy angrily tells her to go back to Carter and Laurel says that she knows Carter is an ass but he also made a big donation to the legal office so she was dancing with him. Tommy admits that he's not thinking straight about her and gets Thea into the car. As he starts to go, Laurel tells him that he owes her a dance and that he earned it. As they drive away, Thea asks Tommy not to hate her and he assures her that he doesn't.[12]

Tommy gives Laurel takeout from Toro's Sushi

Tommy gives Laurel takeout from Toro's Sushi.

Tommy arrives at Laurel's apartment with food at the same time as a pizza delivery man, leading to an awkward exchange between the three. Tommy, however, manages to win over Laurel with his dinner of Chinese food before asking on a proper date. They later go to a fancy restaurant where Tommy confessed that he wishes that he had just met Laurel instead, so their date wouldn't be as awkward, given their history already. However, Tommy is hit with larger problems when he discovers his credit card has been declined and later finds out that his father cut him off. He confronts Malcolm about why his trust fund was shut off. Malcolm replies harshly by stating he cannot use his father's money reasonably and needs to get a job, stating that his reckless spending has lost its charm. Malcolm even stating he thinks he should have done it sooner. Tommy tries to argue his point that it is his trust fund before his father corrects him by stating that it is his money. Tommy later visits Laurel to confess that Malcolm had cut him off completely which resulted in his multiple accounts being shut down, his car being taken from him and his apartment being taken too. However, Laurel assures Tommy that he will be fine without his father's money and offers him a space in her apartment.[13]

Table Salt

Tommy, Oliver, Laurel, and Helena in Table Salt.

Now living at Laurel's apartment, Tommy searched for a job. Laurel suggested that Tommy work in Oliver's new nightclub due to his knowledge of the party scene. Tommy agreed, but later backed out due to shame. That night, Tommy took Laurel out to dinner at the opening of Table Salt but due to not having any extra cash on hand to speed things along, the couple had to actually wait in line. However, when Oliver and Helena Bertinelli arrived, Helena offered the couple space at their table, which Laurel accepted despite Tommy's mild protests. Laurel soon brought up up Tommy's job position but Oliver wasn't told, leading to an awkward moment at the table. Helena learned about Oliver, Tommy, and Laurel's love triangle, which Tommy sardonically remarked the trio "were just prime for a reality show". The next day, Tommy came clean to Oliver about Malcolm cutting him off and asked for a job, to which Oliver agreed.[5]

On December 12, just a week before Christmas, Tommy visits Laurel and Quentin at Laurel's apartment and gives a Christmas present of a photo of Quentin, Laurel, and Sara in a fancy framework. He also invites Laurel to the Queens' Christmas party, which they attend together.[14]

Tommy later wants to throw a fundraiser for the fire department.[15]

While working on the construction of the night club, Tommy receives a call from his father. Malcolm apologizes for his harsh words and invites him and Laurel to dinner that night. Tommy, after some encouragement from Laurel, hesitantly agrees. The dinner seems to go well. At the end however, Malcolm attempts to get Tommy to sign an agreement to shut down a free health clinic in the Glades that had been run by Tommy's late mother and Malcolm's late wife, Rebecca. Tommy angrily refuses and storms out.[16]

Then, Tommy and Laurel discuss their radically opposite schedules getting in the way of spending more time together.[17]

Tommy invites Laurel to join in sampling some chefs who are being auditioned for the night club. Laurel says that she has to call someone and they'll go out together the next night. They are preparing for their date when Laurel gets a call from the Hood. Later, Laurel tells Tommy that she has some work to take care of and will meet him in a couple of hours at most. Laurel tells Tommy about how her father used her as bait to entrap The Hood. Tommy ultimately disapproves of her meeting The Hood, expressing that even if the vigilante has helped her, he's still a killer. Tommy says he can sympathize with Laurel over the fact that someone close to her has been lying.

Meanwhile, Tommy visits Oliver at the manor and tells him what happened with Laurel. Oliver is surprised that Laurel is lying to Tommy, and Tommy points out that Laurel has always been intrigued by bad boys like the vigilante. Trying to reassure his friend, Oliver advises Tommy to fix things with Laurel before it's too late.

That night, Laurel is leaving an apology message for Tommy when someone knocks at her door. Believing it is Tommy, she answers it, only for two of Cyrus Vanch' men to break in. When Tommy returns to Laurel's apartment, he finds it in disarray and discovers the Hood's transmitter arrow stuck in the wall. He takes it to Quentin and they play back a recording of Cyrus telling them to send the Hood to meet with him or else he will "leave pieces of [Laurel] all over Starling City". Quentin realizes that only someone in the squad could have overheard his earlier conversation with Laurel about her work with the Hood. He tells Tommy that he can't trust his own men and has to make a call.

Then, as Tommy runs up, Oliver slips into the shadows. Laurel apologizes to Tommy for lying to him. Relieved that she's alive and unharmed, Tommy hugs Laurel, assuring her that nothing else matters as long as she's okay.[18]

Falling out with Oliver

Oliver helps Tommy save his father's life

Oliver helps Tommy save his father's life.

Tommy and Oliver's relationship begins to break down. After an assassination attempt by Deadshot on Malcolm's life, Oliver reveals himself as The Hood to Tommy so that Tommy will trust Oliver to save Malcolm's life. Although obviously conflicted over Oliver's revelation, and later deeply hurt when Oliver confessed that he otherwise had no intention of telling Tommy his alter-ego as the vigilante, Tommy keeps his friend's identity a secret. Detective Lance and Mckenna Hall would later inquire Tommy for details as Malcolm was taken by the just-arrived paramedics to the ambulance, with the female officer incredulous that Tommy went along and accepted the help of a known dangerous vigilante despite of the circumstances offering little other safe alternatives. Lance then opines how the city's vigilante went out of his way twice for Tommy's benefit now; the first being when he made his presence in the Starling first known by rescuing both Tommy and Oliver Queen from those armed men with masks. And the second having just helped in prolonging a curare-shot Malcolm Merlyn's life long enough for proper medical assistance to arrive. But all that aside, the hooded archer basically accosted every other 1 percenter he encounters in the city, with Tommy himself and those close to him seemingly the exception to that. Lance then asks if the archer was Tommy's friend, to which the latter in a perturbed tone replies that he doesn't even know the person under that hood. In a way, what Tommy said was true. From long before Oliver's return to Starling, Tommy always thought he knew the former better than anyone; that night's developments and revelation proved otherwise.[1]

During Verdant's grand opening, Helena captures and threatens Tommy to force Oliver's compliance in her vendetta. Their friendship becomes even more strained as Helena's return shows Tommy how dangerous it is to be around Oliver, as well as how far the latter is willing to go to do what's right. In turn, keeping Oliver's secret begins to impact Tommy's relationship with Laurel.[19]

During the streaming of Roy Harper's capture, Tommy comforts Thea. It was hinted he seen Roy before, most likely due to hiring him at the club.[20]

When a girl named Veronica Sparks dies after partying at Verdant due to a Vertigo overdose, Quentin finds evidence that implies Tommy supplied her with the drug. Even though his name is later cleared, Tommy is outraged to hear that Oliver didn't trust him enough to believe he was innocent. As a result, Tommy quits his job at Verdant, terminating their friendship. Tommy then asks his father for a job at Merlyn Global Group, which Malcolm gladly accepts with a hug.[21]

When Laurel's life is threatened, Tommy is forced to admit that Oliver's house is the safest place to be. He asks if they can stay at the Queen Mansion until Laurel is no longer in danger. But after witnessing how close Oliver and Laurel are, despite Laurel being with him, he realizes that Oliver still has feelings for Laurel. He realizes that despite everything that had happened between them, Laurel would still choose Oliver if Laurel ever found out that Oliver is the Hood. Once Laurel is safely back home, Tommy breaks up with Laurel and moves out without explaining why.[22]

Tommy is seen as unhappy but is loyal to his father while also honoring Oliver's secret identity. When Laurel confronts him as to why he broke up, he reveals that he believes that Laurel and Oliver are meant to be together, for Oliver still loves Laurel.[23]

Tommy sees Oliver and Laurel together

Tommy sees Oliver and Laurel together.

Oliver visits Tommy at his office in an attempt to mend broken bridges between them. Oliver convinces Tommy that his decision to break up with Laurel was his own, with Oliver having nothing to do with it, and that he should get back with Laurel. But when Oliver goes to see Laurel and admit his feelings, Tommy arrives outside Laurel's apartment at this point and sees Oliver and Laurel together.[24]


Tommy is drinking at Oliver's nightclub and confronts Oliver about the night with Laurel, but Oliver tries to tell Tommy about the Undertaking. Enraged at Oliver's lie about Laurel, Tommy doesn't believe Oliver and wishes that Oliver had died on the island. Tommy later goes to his father confirming to Tommy what he is unwilling to believe from Oliver, that he is going to destroy the Glades to avenge his mother. Then he plays a recording as Rebecca died. Malcolm was, suddenly, shouting to his son how they deserve to die. When Moira confessed Malcolm's plan and the police arrived to which Malcolm easily dispatched, Tommy grabbed one of their guns and tried to kill Malcolm with the weapon but failed and was knocked unconscious.

Tommy dies

Tommy dies.

Later, Tommy woke up when Oliver and John arrived to stop Malcolm. Tommy asked if Oliver intended to kill Malcolm, but he told Tommy to go. Once Malcolm was seemingly killed the Undertaking proceeded because there were backup earthquake generators. Tommy headed to the CNRI to save Laurel from the rubble of the building during the earthquake, but as Laurel escapes, the building collapses with him still inside. When Oliver arrives at the building, he finds Tommy trapped inside and impaled by a concrete reinforcement bar. Tommy reconciles with Oliver and they become best friends again before Tommy dies, leaving Oliver by his side and Laurel waiting outside in tears.[25]

New multiverse

Laurel and Tommy at Oliver's funeral

Tommy and Earth-2 Laurel on Earth-Prime.

In the wake of the Anti-Monitor Crisis that saw the multiverse's rebirth on a new Earth,[26] Tommy was resurrected, along with Moira, Quentin, and Emiko Adachi. Among other changes Oliver made when re-creating the multiverse was that Tommy had married Laurel, though she had died sometime before 2020.

In January 2020, Tommy attended Oliver's funeral after his friend's sacrifice to save the multiverse. There, he met Laurel Lance, originally from Earth-2. The two had a conversation about their respective pasts and Tommy's marriage to her doppelgänger.[27]

Alternate reality

In the Dominators' alternate reality, Tommy was still alive and had become a doctor in Chicago. According to Malcolm, Tommy couldn't make it to Oliver's and Laurel's wedding because he was too tied up with work. Tommy was also apparently close to Thea (though it wasn't made clear if he knew they're half-siblings).[28]

Rewritten reality

In the Legion of Doom's alternate reality via the Spear of Destiny, Tommy and Rebecca were still alive and Tommy presumably has a good relationship with his father.[29]


Original multiverse

Tommy Merlyn's grave

Tommy's tombstone.

"You didn't let me die, Ollie. You fought to save me. Because that's what you do, what you've always done. You fight to survive. I know I called you a murderer, but you are not. You are a hero."
—A vision of Tommy Merlyn to Oliver Queen[src]

Tommy was buried at the Glades Earthquake Memorial Cemetery. His tombstone read "In Loving Memory of Thomas Merlyn, 1985-2013, Beloved Son".[2] At Tommy's funeral, his eulogy was given by Laurel, as Oliver was too guilt-ridden over his best friend's death to do so. Laurel expressed how Tommy was so much more than a billionaire playboy and she loved him in every way a person could love someone.[30]

Tommy's death in the Undertaking had a profound impact on his loved ones; Oliver initially returned to Lian Yu in a self-imposed exile, depressed over his childhood best friend's death and failure to prevent the Undertaking. After eventually returning to Starling City and being convinced by John and Felicity Smoak to return to vigilantism, Oliver aspired to become a better hero to honor Tommy's memory, refusing to ever kill again unless absolutely necessary.

Tommy's sacrifice forced Laurel to realize her love for him. As a result, she and Oliver chose to end any further romantic entanglement between them.[2]

Laurel initially held the Arrow responsible for Tommy's death, resolving to find and arrest him. However, after the Arrow saved her and Quentin from the Dollmaker, Laurel realized that she was trying to blame the vigilante for something that wasn't his fault, because she didn't want to face her own guilt over her inadvertent role in Tommy's death.[31] Following this, Laurel withdrew into a state of depression and became an alcoholic, resorting to drinking and abusing antidepressants to cope with the pain. It wasn't until her sister Sara Lance's return to Starling City that Laurel finally sought help for her addiction and was able to begin moving on from Tommy's death.[32]

Oliver Queen hallucinating Tommy Merlyn

A hallucination of Tommy urging Oliver to fight back against Cyrus Gold.

When incapacitated by Cyrus Gold, Oliver experiences a hallucination of Tommy. Tommy tells Oliver he isn't a killer, but a hero, relieving Oliver of his guilt. Tommy explains he finally understands that Oliver kills because he's been fighting for survival, which is what he has been doing since the island. Tommy encourages Oliver to get up and fight back, which Oliver does. He defeats Cyrus, stopping his hallucinations.[33]

Moira was devastated that The Undertaking killed Tommy[2] and was willing to accept life imprisonment, even possibly the death penalty, as penance for her role in his death.[34]

Malcolm suffered tremendous guilt and remorse over accidentally killing his own son, to the point that he left Starling City out of grief. Upon discovering that Thea was his biological daughter, Malcolm strove to have a better relationship with her than he ever did with Tommy.

When Thea learned of her relation to Malcolm and Tommy, she was disgusted that she once tried to kiss her own half-brother.[35]

When Oliver tried to learn to use Light Magic against Damien Darhk, he needed to fight his own inner darkness; Tommy's death was one of the visions which initially stopped Oliver from doing so.[36]

When it was revealed that district attorney Adrian Chase was actually the serial killer Prometheus, Adrian taunted Oliver with Tommy's death in an attempt to goad into killing Adrian, to no avail.[37]

Malcolm joined the Legion of Doom, intending to use the Spear of Destiny to alter reality, including bringing back Rebecca and Tommy.[38]

Tommy's death was avenged when Malcolm killed himself and Digger Harkness on a land mine on Lian Yu.[39]

Tommy Merlyn (Earth-X)

Tommy's Earth-X doppelgänger came to be seen as a perversion compared to Tommy from Earth-1.

During the Earth-X invasion of Earth-1, the Legends initially believed his doppelgänger to be Tommy as an anachronism before they learned his true nature. Oliver attempted to use Tommy's memory to get through to his doppelgänger, but failed and could do nothing but watch as Tommy's doppelgänger committed suicide after some malicious parting words.[40]

In May 2018, Christopher Chance disguised himself as Tommy and Green Arrow to create reasonable doubt during Oliver's trial regarding whether the latter was the vigilante.[41] Later though, Oliver publicly confessed to being Green Arrow and mentioned Tommy again, meaning that Tommy is now believed to actually be alive.[42]

A year later in May 2019, Oliver experienced another hallucination of Tommy during his war against Emiko and the Ninth Circle. Tommy eventually "convinced" Oliver to rely on the best parts of himself to stop Emiko instead of resorting to killing her as a first option.[43]

Tommy was one of the people Oliver mentioned when confronting Emiko for her actions.[44]

Tommy Merlyn (Earth-2)

Tommy's Earth-2 doppelgänger.

During a mission to Earth-2, Oliver would confront another doppelgänger of Tommy. Although initially fondly interacting with him, once learning he was the Dark Archer of said universe and wanted to cause the Undertaking out of grief over various loved ones, with even his return not softening Tommy's doppelgänger's hatred for the Glades, Oliver was horrified but knowing Tommy's doppelgänger was different but believed firmly he could be redeemed and successfully made him see reason after defeating and then giving a speech on how killing so many innocents would forever turn him to darkness, causing Tommy to stop. When Earth-2 was destroyed, Oliver was powerless to save Tommy's doppelgänger (seeing him being vaporized in front of his eyes) and left distraught.[45]


"Who are you? Where's my friend Tommy Merlyn? The guy who once rented out a football stadium so that he could play strip kickball with models?"
"That guy needed a swift kick in his lazy ass."
Oliver Queen and Tommy Merlyn[src]

Tommy first appears as a selfish, reckless, light-hearted, cheerful, carefree, laid-back, and fun-loving spoiled brat without a care in the world. He loved to party, due to his financial access being nearly limitless. Regardless, Tommy was immensely loyal to his lifelong best friend, Oliver Queen; upon hearing of a possible clue towards Oliver's whereabouts in Hong Kong, Tommy immediately flew to the city to find his best friend, with no hesitation. He also tried to look after Thea Queen and fill in Oliver's shoes as her older brother (unaware that he was Thea's older half-brother). When Oliver returned after five years away from Starling City, Tommy was overjoyed. He frequently tried to get Oliver to rejoin the party scene, picked out girls for him, and drove him around town. However, it became apparent Tommy's affection for Laurel Lance was slowly changing him into a more responsible and selfless individual.

Tommy became confused and angry when Malcolm Merlyn disinherited him, but soon grew more resolved in his desire to change. He applied himself more in his relationship with Laurel and sought out Oliver to get a job running Verdant. Tommy took his job as a manager of Oliver's club very seriously, often yelling at their contractors for lack of progress.

Tommy was bitter towards his father for years, perceiving Malcolm as power-money hungry and uncaring, especially since his father abandoned him for two years after his mother, Rebecca Merlyn, was killed. Their relationship improves when Tommy attends an award ceremony for Malcolm and after his father was nearly killed by Deadshot. After finding out that Malcolm was the Dark Archer though, Tommy was horrified and disgusted, severing all ties with him. However, Tommy still retained his morals and ideals, as well as lingering familial affection for his father; he was scared at the prospect of Oliver killing Malcolm.

Tommy was thrown into a sea of confusion upon learning that Oliver was "the Hood". Devastated that Oliver had no intention of revealing who he really was, Tommy grew distant from his friend, though he maintained his loyalty to the latter by keeping Oliver's identity secret. Their friendship was fundamentally shaken as Tommy struggled to see Oliver past a murderer, not knowing his best friend anymore. This eventually prompted Tommy to quit Verdant, as he claimed to have too much self-respect to continue running Oliver's front when his own best friend doesn't even trust him.

In some ways, Tommy was a man wise beyond his years, especially regarding his loved ones. Upon realizing Oliver still had feelings for Laurel, Tommy broke up with her, believing she would be happier with Oliver due to how much he's changed. Tommy also deeply loved his mother even years after her death, seeking to keep Rebecca's memory alive through supporting her free clinic to help the disenfranchised.

It was implied that Tommy's later distrust of Oliver partially stemmed from jealousy and anger, as he felt that if Laurel knew Oliver was the Hood, she would choose him over Tommy as he believed the Oliver he knows now is a far better person than he thought he would ever be. In his final moments, Tommy showed true courage and selflessness during the Undertaking, saving Laurel's life and confessing that he loved her. In his final moments, Tommy admitted to Oliver the inferiority complex he was feeling and reconciled with his best friend, comforted that Oliver didn't kill Malcolm, and peacefully passed away.

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Season 1

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Season 3

Season 4

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Season 6

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Season 8

DC's Legends of Tomorrow

Season 2

The Flash

Season 9



Arrow: The Dark Archer



Promotional images


Season 1


  • Malcolm mentioned that as a child, Tommy once wanted a puppy for Christmas, which he would have called "Arthur", to pair with him being a "Merlyn".[16] This may attribute to how Merlin assisted King Arthur, as well as subtly referencing that Malcolm Merlyn's true name is Arthur King.[46]
  • Tommy enjoyed football[47] and was a fan of the Super Bowl.[8]
  • He liked the TV show Lost.[8]
  • Tommy enjoyed the mushroom & olive pizza from Mario's.[13]
  • His favorite wine was Châteauneuf-du-Pape.[1]
  • When Thea made a pass at Tommy at a CNRI fundraiser event, Tommy turned her down, explaining he considered her his baby sister,[12] not knowing that she was really his half-sister.[35]
  • Tommy is the first character in the main cast of Arrow to die.
    • Tommy is also the character with the most posthumous appearances, appearing five times in flashbacks, twice as a vision, and as one of Christopher Chance’s disguises.
  • Tommy Merlyn and Eddie Thawne share certain similarities:
    • Both characters are related to the primary antagonist of the first season of their respective shows (Arrow and The Flash), Malcolm, and Eobard Thawne, respectively, and as such, their surnames are the same as those villains.
      • Both Eddie and Tommy were also mistaken for Eobard and Malcolm by some fans respectively early on in the series, until the latter two made their official debuts/revealed their secret identities.
    • Both have debuted in the first season of their respective series and subsequently died at the end of the same season.
    • Both died protecting their loved ones; Tommy died saving Laurel Lance from the collapsing CNRI building, while Eddie killed himself to protect his friends (including Iris West) from the Reverse-Flash.
    • Tommy formed a love triangle between himself, Laurel, and Oliver Queen, while Eddie formed a love triangle between himself, Iris, and Barry Allen.
    • Both characters were considered as being failures by their respective relatives. Malcolm cut Tommy out of the family fortune and subsequently hired him in order to put his son's life in order. Eobard, on the other hand, merely split Eddie apart from Iris to ensure that Eddie began a long blood-line of brilliant men of science and industry, Eobard included.
  • Tommy Merlyn and Tommy Moran share certain similarities;
    • Both characters are the son of characters played by John Barrowman; Malcolm Merlyn and "Cutter" Moran, respectively.
    • Both characters were looked at disapprovingly by their respective relatives. Malcolm cut Tommy Merlyn out of the family fortune and subsequently hired him in order to put his son's life in order. "Cutter" was unhappy with him being in love with his enemy's daughter.
    • Both characters were in love with the show's main protagonist's love interest, Oliver Queen's love interest was Laurel Lance. Barry Allen's love interest is Iris West, Tommy Moran's love interest is Iris' dream world counterpart.
  • Earth-1 Tommy is so far the only one of his doppelgängers to not become a villain.

Behind the scenes

  • In the DC Comics, specifically the Prime Earth continuity, Tommy Merlyn was Oliver's best friend who later became a mercenary archer known alternatively as Merlyn or the Dark Archer.
    • In Season 8, Tommy's late Earth-2 doppelgänger was revealed to have taken on the identity of the Dark Archer.
    • In the Rebirth line of DC Comics, it was revealed that Tommy's father, Malcolm Merlyn, was the original Dark Archer before his son also took on the title.