Arrow: Olicity Was Built on the Solid Foundation of Friendship

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As we’re thick into this hell known as summer hiatus there’s a certain point a fandom comes to when it’s had enough of the quiet and wants all the spoilers. The Arrow fandom has reached that point. Well, I know I have.

But one of the great things about the show’s stars – particularly its lead Stephen Amell – is that there are a plethora of convention appearances that keep the talk going and keeps the fandom always guessing and speculating during the break. While we know never to really expect any real spoilers, it’s the focus and speculation that keeps us going.

This past weekend a ton of stars from Arrow and fellow shows The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow appeared at Heroes and Villains Fan Fest in New York. With Comic-Con on the horizon, fans were begging for anything these actors could tease us with. And we got it.

But sometimes people have a way of twisting people’s words — in this case Stephen Amell’s — and running off in the direction they want or believe. In this case it had to do with the fan-favorite pairing of Oliver and Felicity, which has long since served as the focal vocal element of the show.

The significance of [Oliver and Felicity’s] relationship has never been defined by romance. But that romance has become an important and vital part.

But let’s get one thing straight: Stephen Amell didn’t squash any hopes of Oliver and Felicity getting back together or being endgame. He did the opposite actually.

Make no mistake, the producers, the actors, the studio all know what the biggest talking point about Arrow is: Oliver and Felicity. So there is no way that the show would waste that potential. Yes, Arrow is about Oliver’s journey toward becoming the Green Arrow, but the aspect of the show that has received the most buzz — be it positive or negative — has been Olicity. So it’s obviously a selling point.

Basically at HVFF, Amell did exactly what he should be doing: he kept the fandom and the media talking about Olicity during a hiatus that is typically quiet. He was able to tease the fan-favorite pairing without ever revealing any spoilers about where their relationship was headed this season. And it generated a ton of buzz. Props to Amell for that.

Something that Amell mentioned during a panel at HVFF was that Oliver and Felicity could have a fulfilling relationship and not be together. But it’s the truth. We’ve seen that in the first three seasons. Of course he was trolling the fandom, but at the same time he brought for an interesting topic of discussion: friendship.

When we think of friendship particularly in romance there’s this perception that friends can’t be lovers. But there’s a difference between being stuck in the friend zone and building a relationship upon friendship. Olicity fall into the latter.

When it comes to Oliver and Felicity their relationship was built upon that solid foundation of friendship. Friendship is key in a relationship. If you don’t like being around the person you love then it’s safe to assume that relationship won’t last.

But the thing that has always worked with Oliver and Felicity is that they weren’t thrown together romantically from the beginning. They grew into that romance throughout the course of two seasons of development as partners, friends, and then lovers. But it’s that friendship that is the reason behind the strength of their relationship.

When we think of friendship particularly in romance there’s this perception that friends can’t be lovers. But there’s a difference between being stuck in the friend zone and building a relationship upon friendship. Olicity fall into the latter.

We’ve seen Oliver and Felicity go from acquaintances to friends and saw how much they leaned on each other even then. Long before they both admitted and accepted that their feelings for each other ran deeper than friendship. The significance of their relationship has never been defined by romance. But that romance has become an important and vital part.

With production on season five getting away, one of the hot topics is the status and future of Oliver and Felicity’s relationship. While the two aren’t together at the start of the season, according to Amell, that doesn’t mean anything about where they are headed. Just look at how they started last season and where they ended up. Nothing is confirmed about Olicity’s future this season or in the long run. Everything right now is pure speculation.

But one thing that has and will never change is the depth and strength of Oliver and Felicity’s relationship. They have always proven themselves to be stronger together than apart, whether that’s as friends, partners, or lovers. Amell wasn’t lying when he said that Oliver and Felicity could have a fulfilling relationship and not be involved romantically. That’s just the Captain having a little fun with the fandom.

But at the same time it goes to show you how much Amell understands the dynamic between Oliver and Felicity. Their relationship has resonated as much as it has and has held up even against hardships because of that solid foundation. Because of that friendship.

So when Oliver and Felicity eventually get married (because even Arrow can’t hide the clear direction they’re headed) they can say with absolute validity that they are marrying their best friend. And that will be believable because of that foundation.

Alyssa Barbieri

Co-Executive Editor

Teacher by day, writer by every other free moment | Obsessed with sports, TV, books, movies, and superheroes | Proud shipper and supporter of strong female characters | Co-executive Editor for Fangirlish | Contributor for Bears Wire at USA Today SMG | Producer/Co-Host of Buffone 55 for Bears Barroom Radio Network | Contact: alyssa@fangirlish.com.