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Following on from the Season 6 finale, Oliver is incarcerated in Slabside Maximum security prison, where he finds himself locked up with some of the criminals he sent there himself. The other members of the disbanded Team Arrow try to move on with their lives - with some of them adjusting to post-vigilante life better than others. Meanwhile in Star City, amidst a zero-tolerance policy against vigilantism, a mysterious new Green Arrow appears...

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Tropes seen in this season:

  • Breaking the Fellowship: A less mean-spirited example compared to the one in season 6, but Team Arrow go their separate ways in the future. Felicity, Roy, Dinah, and Rene briefly team up to stop Eden Corps from bombing Star City in 2040, after which they separate ways for good.
    • Oliver dies in the Crisis on Infinite Earths after he and Felicity went into hiding with Mia at the end of the season.
    • Felicity remains distanced from the team as she can't help herself from getting roped into a conspiracy in Neo-Star City, though she has plans to dismantle the movement from within, something she succeeds in by the season finale. After 21 years of never seeing him, she accepts the Monitor's offer to go to wherever Oliver is now.
    • Roy's uncontrollable bloodlust, caused by his resurrection in the Lazarus Pit, which caused the residual Mirakuru/anti-Mirakuru in his system to negate the Lotus Elixir, makes him choose to self-exile himself in Lian Yu.
    • Dinah goes underground as a vigilante at some point after Star City's police force becomes corrupt, training Zoe Ramirez as part of the Canary Network.
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    • Rene runs for Mayor of Star City and wins, creating a quasi-fascistic regime in the Neo-Glades, which is now the upper class of Star City rather than the impoverished part of town.
    • Laurel goes back to Earth-2 to redeem herself. However, she is working in Earth-1 by 2040 and continues to maintain contacts with the Canary Network.
    • William is sent away to his maternal grandparents by Oliver and Felicity after Stanley Dover nearly kills the Queen family and never contacts them again. It isn't made exactly clear why Roy and Dinah are wary about trusting him (outside of the simple fact that he's Oliver's kid.)
    • Diggle's fate in the future is not known, but he does adopt Connor Hawke as his son, who becomes an agent of Knightwatch, a special ops organization in the same vein as A.R.G.U.S. Meanwhile, his biological son J.J. is the leader of the Deathstroke Gang.
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    • Curtis transfers to a position in Washington D.C. after becoming too uncomfortable with the relatively immoral happenings at A.R.G.U.S. once Diaz is drafted into the Ghost Initiative and breaks contact with the team. He does appear in "You Have Saved This City".
  • Brother–Sister Team: Eventually, William and Mia come to form this dynamic in the future flashforwards.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Appearing only as guests in Seasons 4 and 6, Roy Harper returns as a main character since all the way back in Season 3.
    • Brick, Bronze Tiger and Derek Sampson are among the recurring villains from previous seasons who reappear as fellow inmates of Oliver's at Slabside prison.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change:
    • Oliver sports a buzz cut throughout the entire season as he has to deal with his double life as the Green Arrow exposed to the public. For the prison arc, he also sports a thick beard, but he shaves this down to its normal length upon his release.
    • Felicity has cut her hair by the time Mia is a teenager, possibly to symbolize her position as CEO of Smoak Technologies.
  • Flashforward: We get flashforwards set 20 years in the future, featuring an older William and Roy. Word of God says that the flashforwards will remain for the rest of the series.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The flashforwards gradually reveal the fate of many of the characters 20 years on. We know that Oliver and Felicity, for some reason, end up 'abandoning' William. We know that Roy, at some point, retreated to Lian Yu to live in solitude, implying that he didn't get his 'happy ending' with Thea. Rene becomes mayor of the Glades, which will seperate itself from the rest of Star City. Unlike other futures seen in the Arrowverse, Word of God said this future is fixed.
    • From a real-world perspective, we know that Oliver will be out of prison and back in the Green Arrow suit in time for the annual crossover event.
    • "Star City 2040" reveals that Oliver will be around to witness the birth of his daughter Mia, but disappears as she grows up.
  • Good Counterpart: The New Green Arrow appears to be this to every previous "impostor Green Arrow/evil Archer Archetype whose identity is sometimes initially a mystery" that has been featured on the series in the past, including the Dark Archer, Ra's Al-Ghul, Prometheus, and to some extent Vigilante. The motif is similar, other than the fact that he's a heroic vigilante this time around, appearing to fill the void left by the previous heroes.
  • Happy Ending Override: Season 6 had Thea and Roy leave Star City as a couple again. 20 years later Roy is alone brooding in the remains of Lian Yu; he is very keen not to talk about Thea. The reason is finally disclosed in "Confessions". It is revealed that Roy was killed during the mission to destroy the Lazarus Pits, after which Thea and Nyssa decided to resurrect him using the Pit. He returns to Star City by himself in 2019 and is recruited by the SCPD. The reason he is brooding in Lian Yu is because he feels guilty of murdering security guards during an operation, thanks to the effects of the Mirakuru and the Lazarus Pit giving him intense bloodlust.
  • Inspector Javert: Dinah Drake, now Captain of the SCPD, is forced to become this due to the new anti-vigilante legislation. She is determined to capture the new Green Arrow, much like Quentin Lance was determined to capture the Hood back in Season 1.
  • Kick the Dog: Oliver never stops fighting to save his city, no matter how ungrateful that city has been, and throughout the past eleven years has been put through a living hell culminating with his double life as the Green Arrow exposed and him being thrown in prison. He desperately fights to survive as the entire prison (sans Stanley) picks on him and Diaz hunts his wife and son, culminating in Diaz forcing a showdown with Oliver after getting Oliver to fight through virtually the entire prison at once, which Oliver barely makes it out alive from. Once he does, he tries to put his life back together while continuing to be a hero as the newly deputized Green Arrow of the SCPD, putting up with everyone's shit to no end despite all he does for them (though the public gradually moves out of this at the end of the season). All the while, he discovers he has a long-lost half-sister and reaches out to her, trying to make amends for the sins of their father and she cannot give him a break until it culminates in her revealing herself as a Ninth Circle agent, showing that even her few Pet the Dog moments were all an act to get Oliver to trust her. Oliver finally gets through to her at the very end of the season, for all of ten seconds before she's killed by her lieutenant, and then has to bury her before going into hiding with his pregnant wife since Emiko ensured before her Face–Heel Turn that Oliver's family would die. Oliver is finally able to get a few months in peace where Felicity gives birth to Mia and the two raise their daughter in a small cottage in the woods, even hoping to reacquire custody of William before the Monitor shows up and kindly informs the two that Oliver has to die in the upcoming Crisis on Infinite Earths, or else the entire freaking multiverse gets destroyed. Oliver promptly says goodbye to his infant daughter and tearfully hugs Felicity, saying that he had never believed that he even deserved to be as truly happy as he was with her since he had been shipwrecked on Lian Yu twelve years prior, before departing with the Monitor. The only person whose bad luck can even compare in the Arrowverse is Barry Allen, who is a legitimate Cosmic Plaything.
  • Legacy Character: The new Green Arrow. Subverted when Oliver gets out of prison and retakes his mantle - only this time, everyone knows who's under the hood. The New Green Arrow continues to operate as such for several episodes before showing her true colors as a Ninth Circle agent and leader and stepping into the role of Big Bad for the rest of the season.
  • Lighter and Softer: After Oliver gets out of prison, he starts trying to do everything in the light of day and through lawful means, being deputized by the SCPD as what is effectively a black ops unit of the department and appealing to Emiko as the hero that he knows she could have been if she had a better upbringing.
  • Malignant Plot Tumor: Early on in the season, Diggle and Lyla are embroiled in a subplot about capturing a terrorist financier named Dante, apparent leader of an organization called The Ninth Circle. While this is initially only one of various disparate plots going on with the different main heroes, The Ninth Circle ultimately becomes the sole Big Bad of the season's final arc.
  • Mythology Gag: In prison, Oliver sports a goatee that is reminiscent of the one he's traditionally sported in the comics since the 70's.
    • The idea of Oliver being in prison with the criminals he helped put there is inspired by the script for an unproduced movie Green Arrow: Escape from Supermax.
  • Parental Abandonment: William claims that Oliver and Felicity "abandoned" him. The truth is more complicated; Felicity sent William to boarding school while Diaz was still lose. But William was angry about being sent away without being asked and decided he wanted to go live with his maternal grandparents instead so he could have something of a normal life. Said grandparents then made sure that William would never receive any message that Oliver and Felicity sent him, giving him the the impression that his parents dumped him.
  • Perspective Reversal: John was deeply uncomfortable with the moral compromises that Lyla was making after several years as head of A.R.G.U.S. up until the middle of the season, but after he drafts Diaz into the Ghost Initiative, it's him justifying those types of morally dubious actions to Curtis as he tries to catch Dante. Curtis doesn't bite, however, and eventually takes a new job without moral compromises in Washington D.C. in "Star City Slayer."
  • Revisiting the Roots: Even amidst the radical changes to the status quo, there is an effort to hark back to the earlier days of the show, particularly Season 1, as confirmed by Word of God. The show has a darker, grittier tone much like the earlier seasons. The new Green Arrow appears to have a similar MO to Oliver as the Hood in Season 1 - targeting people based on a List. And the flash forwards set on Lian Yu are somewhat reminiscent of the island flashbacks from the first five seasons.
  • Status Quo Is God: Averted big time! Oliver revealing his identity and surrendering himself to the FBI last season has massive repercussions for all the characters. When the season begins, Oliver is in prison, Team Arrow has been disbanded and its former members have all gone their separate ways, and vigilantes have been completely outlawed from Star City. Even if things gradually move back to something resembling the old status quo later in the season, it will be impossible for the show to ever be the same again.
  • Witness Protection: When the season begins, Felicity and William are in witness protection. That doesn't stop Ricardo Diaz from getting to them though.
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