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Robert Queen

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For his Earth Two equivalent, see Robert Queen (Earth Two).
"Hello, Oliver. I told myself I was recording this message in case I died suddenly, but I wonder if it isn't just easier to say what I have to say to a video camera. I'm not the man you think I am, Oliver. I didn't save our city, I failed it. I did something terrible, and in my efforts to make it right, I ignored my conscience and made alliances with terrible people. There's a book. A book with a list of all their names. And with these people, I always told myself that everything I did, I did for my family. That's a lie. Because what good is a family without a soul? You can right my wrongs. You can be better than I was. You can save this city. I love you."
—Robert Queen to his son Oliver[src]

Robert Alan Queen[1] (1958-2007) was the CEO of Queen Consolidated. Robert was also the husband of the late Moira Queen, the father of Oliver Queen, the step-father of Thea Queen, the grandfather of William, the best friend of Walter Steele, the ex-lover of the late Isabel Rochev, and the ex-best friend/enemy of Malcolm Merlyn. He and Oliver were both lost at sea when his yacht, the Queen's Gambit was sabotaged by Malcolm. Robert committed suicide to save his son's life and to increase his chances of survival and returning home to Starling City so Oliver could right his wrongs.

Biography

Robert Queen was founder and CEO of Queen Consolidated. When Robert was cheating on Moira, she retaliated by cheating on him with Malcolm Merlyn which lead to Thea Queen's birth. Robert was aware that Thea wasn't his daughter even when Moira didn't mention it and Malcolm was unaware but Robert still loved her like his own. At some point a young intern named Isabel Rochev joined Queen Consolidated and Robert fell in love with her. They were together for a time and Robert even planned to leave his family for her to the point where their bags were packed. However, Thea fell off her horse in an accident and Robert went to the hospital; Isabel made Robert choose between her or his family. Robert chose his family and terminated Isabel's internship, ending their affair and severing all ties with her.

When he first opened his Queen Industrial Shipping factory in the Glades, he was approached by a city councilman who told him that he'd only allow the factory to run if Robert financially compensated him. Robert, being an honest businessman, angrily rejected the councilman's proposal and the two got into a heated argument which soon turned violent. Robert then accidentally caused the councilman to fall to his death, leaving Robert in a state of shock and depression. Despite his apparent honesty, Robert at some point shut down the Queen Steel Factory when he outsourced production to China to save money. Not only did roughly 1,500 employees from that factory get laid off but Robert went as far as to have his financial lawyers find loopholes in the employees' union contract, meaning Robert didn't even have to pay severance packages or pensions to the employees, resulting in most, if not all, losing their homes.

Sometimes after 1985, Robert went to a charity event, where he met Harrison Wells, where one of their subjects of discussion was Robert's son Oliver. However, it is unknown if this actually happened, or if Wells (who was actually Eobard Thawne from the future) made it up to 'bond' with Oliver.[2]

After the incident with the councilman, Robert turned to his close friend Malcolm and the two created the secret organization Tempest, with the goal of helping Starling City prosper by strong-arming the corrupt wealthy people who were poisoning the city through their illegal actions. Robert was ashamed of these actions dealing with such corrupt, immoral and greedy individuals, however, he stayed true to the task of redeeming his act of manslaughter. Malcolm was unsatisfied by the slow results, and came up with a new plan called The Undertaking, which would destroy the crime-ridden Glades, and the thousands of people who lived there. Robert was horrified at Malcolm's plan and met with Frank Chen, another member of Tempest. The two men agreed to meet in China to plan to take control of the majority of real estate in the Glades, thus preventing the Undertaking. Frank, however, betrayed Robert to Malcolm, who had the Queen's Gambit sabotaged before Robert used it to travel to China.

Robert Queen shoots himself

Robert shoots himself.

The yacht overturned, and he, along with a crew member and his son, Oliver, were able to make it to a lifeboat. They only had one bottle of water, which Robert gave to Oliver. When all hope seemed lost, Robert shot the surviving crew member along with himself, to save his son. Just before he did so, the anguished patriarch pleaded with his son to "Survive. Right my wrongs". When Oliver washed up on the shore of Lian Yu he found his father's body and buried it but not before finding Malcolm's notebook in his pocket.

During the third year when Oliver went missing, he was recruited into A.R.G.U.S. and brought back to Starling City to apprehend Chien Na Wei. Oliver had infiltrated Queen Consolidated and found a posthumous message from his father, explaining his dark past. There was also a message left for Thea. He tells Oliver that family is nothing without a soul and that he can save Starling City, inspiring Oliver to stop Chien Na Wei.

Oliver then returned to Starling City five years after the yacht was sabotaged to fulfill his father's dying wish; to save Starling City from the people who were poisoning it.

Two years later when Ra's al Ghul stabbed Oliver through the abdomen, he saw visions of Robert, Moira, Thea and Felicity in his mind before falling to his presumed death.

Three years after Oliver's return to Starling City, he tried to learn to use Light Magic against Damien Darhk. When he had to try fight his inner darkness, Robert's death was one of his vision which stopped him from doing so.

Alternate reality

In the alternate reality created by the Dominators, Robert Queen was alive and well and still married to Moira. He had just been elected Mayor of Star City, and was in the process of trying to convince his son, Oliver, to take over as Chief Executive Officer of Queen Consolidated, lest he be bought out by Ray Palmer.[3]

Personality

Robert had made several mistakes by destroying countless people's lives for his benefit. He did feel remorse and sought redemption but the closest thing he was able to get was committing suicide after spending days afloat, albeit after killing a third person with them, to increase Oliver's chances of survival with the remaining food and water, leaving him a vague message to "right his wrongs". For all his flaws, he was also a compassionate man who cared greatly for his children; although he had an affair with Queen Consolidated intern Isabel Rochev, when he learned that his daughter Thea had been injured, Robert immediately returned home to help her despite knowing that Thea was not his biological child.

Legacy

Robert betrayed many people over the years, but came to regret these mistakes of his, even if he died before he had a chance to atone for his mistakes.

Three years after his death, Robert's son, Oliver finds a posthumous message from his father, explaining about his dark past and partly explaining about The List. Having at some point learned the true nature of the List, Oliver would return to Starling City 2 years later to fulfill his father's dying wish; to save Starling City from the people who were poisoning it, and to undo all his father's wrongs. His last message to Oliver made him reconsider his selfish actions of abandoning Maseo to reunite with his family to aiding Maseo from keeping the Alpha-Omega Weapon from terrorist hands at the cost of a reunion with his family.

Later on, when given the opportunity to return to Starling City two years ahead of schedule, Oliver decided not to, wanting to mature more into the man his father wanted him to be first.

Robert was unaware that he has a grandson named William, Moira never told him that Oliver got a girl pregnant or that she paid the mother to say she had a miscarriage. His grandson's mother Samantha never wanted Moira to be anywhere near him. His son later learned the truth and found out that William is his son.

Appearances

Arrow

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5


The Flash

Season 1

Season 3

Comics

Arrow

Arrow: Season 2.5

Trivia

  • In the DC comics, Robert Queen was the founder and CEO of Queen Industries. Robert, along with his wife Laura, were killed during a hunting accident in the safari, when they are both mauled by lions; leaving Oliver to reluctantly inherit the company.
  • It was established that Robert had met Harrison Wells at some point prior to his death.[4]
  • In Earth Two, Robert Queen went on to become the Arrow instead of his son, Oliver having apparently died on the island.

Behind the scenes

  • Robert's birth year is in dispute. In "Pilot", it was mentioned as 1948, but in the equally canon Arrow #1: Special Edition and "Honor Thy Father", it was mentioned as 1958 on his gravestone. However it's referred to as 1958 in more recent content, meaning that the producers probably changed their minds.

References

  1. "Echo"
  2. "Flash vs. Arrow"
  3. "Invasion! (Arrow)"
  4. "Flash vs. Arrow"

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