Ships. In entertainment, and especially, in fandom, we live and die by them. Which is why every Friday, we’ll be focusing on a couple, analyzing why we ship them, and overall, just proclaiming our eternal love for those couples that make us say:
I will go down with this ship.
There are too many moments to discuss when it comes to Olicity. Too many adjectives one could use to describe just how epic their love story is.
But as Arrow is nearing the end of its eight-season journey, I find myself reflecting on the magic that was Oliver and Felicity — and how it forever changed the dynamic of the Arrow landscape and set a standard for OTPs.
IT WAS RED
From the moment Oliver Queen walked into Felicity Smoak’s office, the entire landscape of Arrow changed forever. Oliver and Felicity’s lives, they changed forever. Fans like me, ones that were waiting for something to invest in, our lives were changed forever.
No one could’ve imagined what this fated encounter would entail, and it was something truly special to watch unfold over the years. In the two episodes that led up to this meeting in Felicity’s office, Oliver was a unsympathetic character that was hard to root for. He was dark, broody, didn’t seem to have any light left in him. Until he laid eyes on one Felicity Smoak, and suddenly there was light in his eyes. Suddenly, I saw the hero that I was supposed to root for. And I never looked back.
So much has been made of this encounter even eight years later. Look no further than season 3 to see the significance of the moment, as on Olicity’s first date, Oliver remembered the exact pen color Felicity was chewing on when he walked into her office spawning the epic line: “It was red.”
And it’s forever defined the characters — and the series — as we know it.
If there’s one thing Arrow has alluded to from the start it’s that Oliver and Felicity were always meant to be. No matter what Olicity haters say, no matter how they try to twist things to fit their narrative, the only thing that matters is what actually happens — and Arrow has been setting up Olicity as soulmates from the beginning.
You have to believe it was fairly early on in the series — what a couple episodes featuring Felicity — when the producers realized they’d captured lightning in a bottle with Oliver and Felicity. It didn’t take long for a one-time guest star to become a series regular and significantly impact the show moving forward.
Season 2 was when you really felt the producers were making a concerted effort to set up Oliver and Felicity. Those once-organic moments between Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards soon became more intentional in the writing. You felt the show was setting up Olicity to be the epic love story that shows can only dream about. And lord, did they get that epic romance.
While Season 3 has gotten its share of criticism, a good chunk of it was some of my favorite. It was the keeping of two people apart that wanted nothing more than to be together. And the tension — the jealously, the longing looks and the pain — it was really great for shippers like me.
But there’s always been one thing that’s been for certain with Oliver and Felicity: They’ve always been meant to be.
MARRIED BEFORE THEY WERE MARRIED
Some of the most fun I’ve had in the Olicity fandom was getting to experience the joy that was Season 2, where Oliver and Felicity were in love with each other before they even realized it. It was like a secret that the entire fandom kept together. We knew we were watching them fall in love even if they didn’t realize it themselves.
Long before Oliver and Felicity officially tied the knot in Season 6, they were married as partners in the hero business. Oliver and Felicity have never tried to be anything but themselves with each other, and they’ve both respected who the other was in the process. Thus, we got to see them just behave how they would normally, and it created some “married” moments between the two in the form of bickering or longing glances or synchronized movements.
These two invented “married but not actually married,” and it was so much fun watching everyone around them realize exactly that.
PARTNERS IN LIFE AND LOVE
The evolution of Oliver and Felicity’s relationship is one of my favorite things about them, and it goes a long way to showing the longevity of their relationship. Oliver and Felicity started off as co-workers, where they got to know each other. They became partners, where they learned to trust each other with their lives. They became friends, where they grew to care about each other’s well-being…perhaps more than friends do. They became lovers, where they learned to love each other through better or worse.
While it was something that we didn’t get nearly enough of, seeing the parallels between Oliver and Felicity as partners at work and partners at home was everything. They were able to compartmentalize just enough when it came to work — although when you love someone it’s impossible to fully do so when their life is in danger.
But the fundamental aspect of their relationship is trust. Trust, which was something that had to be earned. Trust, which was something that was lost. Trust, which was something that had to be earned once again. But it’s that trust in each other and that understanding that make their love so beautiful. You can’t stop what’s meant to be.
TRUE LOVE DIDN’T COME EASY
It’s not always about the final destination when it comes to true love. It’s about the journey. What happened in between the beginning and end that helped mold the relationship?
From the start, Oliver and Felicity’s love was something that wasn’t promised. Looking back now, when we know the show chose to explore them romantically, there were many obstacles that stood in between of their happiness. Some of them were plot-driven and some producer-made obstacles that felt out of place. And yet, Oliver and Felicity survived them all.
Whether it was overcoming comic book canon or Ra’s Al Ghul or Ray Palmer or the stupid fucking crossover that forced Oliver away from his family at the end of Season 7, every challenge that’s been thrown Olicity’s way hasn’t been enough to derail their love.
In fact, all of the struggles they’ve been through have them stronger — both as individuals and as a couple. And you know what, when you work for something, it makes it all the more special. True love never comes easy. And Olicity are a testament to that.
When it comes down to it, Oliver and Felicity were heroes in their own right. While Oliver was the Green Arrow — and he has proven himself to be the self-sacrificing hero that this Arrowverse deserves — Felicity has also been a different kind of hero — a hero that doesn’t need to kick physical ass to make a difference.
For eight years, Oliver and Felicity have been on their journey to find love with each other, but they’ve also been on individual hero journeys. Everything that they’ve experienced — all of the hardships, the struggles and the good times — they’ve shaped who they are.
Their desire to want to do good for their city — and the world — also serves to make them even more endearing to each other. They’re soulmates in their desire to do good, and it was always a matter of when they were going to be together. Now that they are, there’s nothing left but eternity for them to celebrate their love.