Oliver Queen has had a hard time keeping friends in Arrow Season 6, so it's a good thing the show will welcome a former team member back as a series regular in Season 7. CinemaBlend has confirmed that Colton Haynes will be permanently returning to the Arrow-verse as Roy Harper, and he'll presumably pick the Arsenal mantle back up to help with whatever new challenges are coming. (Spoilers below for the most recent episode of Arrow.)
Colton Haynes put out a statement saying he couldn't be happier to return to the Arrow family, but can the same be said for Roy? Roy Harper just recently reappeared on Arrow for the first time in a long time in the episode "The Thanatos Guild," which makes his lengthier return to Star City even more interesting. In his return, Roy reunited with Oliver's sister Thea, and the two set off with Nyssa al Ghul to destroy new Lazarus pits that had been discovered around the world. Roy's re-emergence and series regular status would indicate that mission was successful, but did it come with a massive sacrifice?
In confirming that Roy Harper would join the show as a series regular once again in Season 7, the EPs failed to acknowledge the elephant in the room. If Roy is coming back, where is Thea Queen? Initially, it was assumed that Roy was introduced in order to give Thea a pleasant ending, as Willa Holland stated she was done with the show at the conclusion of her contract. Roy's return from the mission, and willingness to hang out in Star City full-time, definitely throws that happy ending into question, and leads us to speculate that Thea may be killed during the mission to destroy the Lazarus Pits. If that would happen, Arrow should expect a very sad Roy and a somber storyline to follow him and Oliver working towards protecting Star City while mourning her death.
Thea doesn't have to be dead for Roy to return, however, and based on past conversations with executive producer Marc Guggenheim, it's possible she'll stay alive and well. Arrow could feasibly work up some good excuse for Roy coming back without Thea, which might be best, since Oliver running short on pals means he'll need to call on the suited-up Arsenal quite often. Whether or not the angsty hero will be up to the task of protecting the town once again, however, remains to be seen.