|Occupation|| Employee of Merlyn Global Group (formerly) |
Head of Verdant (formerly)
|Family|| Malcolm Merlyn (father)|
Rebecca Merlyn (mother; deceased)
Thea Queen (half-sister)
- "You know I want one of those shirts that says "My friend was a castaway and all I got was this crappy shirt"."
- —Tommy to Oliver and Thea[src]
He was the son of Malcolm Merlyn and the late Rebecca, a 28 year old former billionaire "trustafarian", the best friend of Oliver Queen, the ex-boyfriend of Laurel Lance, and the former crush and the paternal older half-brother of Thea Queen. Tommy was Oliver's best friend who helped him ease back into life when he returned while dating Laurel. Tommy was a selfish and reckless money spoiled brat until Malcolm cut him off completely from all his money and worked for Oliver, and became more responsible. However when Tommy discovered Oliver's secret, combined with Oliver and Laurel still loving each other, he became distant, mainly out of jealousy and anger. He was killed in "Sacrifice", while he was saving Laurel's life but made amends with Oliver before he died. His death served as the motivation for Oliver to become the hero he can be and also sent Laurel into a state of depression and became an alcoholic. His death also fueled Malcolm's determination to be involved in Thea's life upon learning that she was also his child.
When Tommy was fairly young, Rebecca was killed by a thug in the Glades, sending his father, Malcolm, into a state of depression, even leaving Tommy for 2 years. It was later revealed that Malcolm had an affair with Moira Queen, which Malcolm felt so guilty for and left. The affair also lead to the birth of Thea Queen, Tommy's half sister. In between the two years Tommy met Oliver Queen and became best friends with him and hung out with Oliver at his house more often than his own and even saw Oliver's father Robert as more of a father to him than his own father. In their youth Robert took Tommy and Oliver to their first basketball game and their first R rated movie. In their early 20's Tommy and Oliver got up to many social scandals and media related incidents which saw them both in court more than once. At some point he also met Laurel Lance and her sister Sara. Tommy and Oliver also at some point met McKenna Hall. Tommy once hosted a party which Sara sneaked into to see Oliver which was broken up by the cops. At some point Tommy filled his father's pool entirely with alcohol and swam in it much to Oliver and Laurel's amusement. Once Oliver was presumed dead at sea with Sara, Laurel out of anger had an affair with Tommy which he would later describe as "your place, my place, my place again" implying that they slept together multiple times but both decided that it wasn't going to work though Tommy always still had feelings for her. By the time he was 27 Tommy had never worked a single day in his life.
In "Pilot", when Oliver returns to Starling City Tommy accompanies him on various car trips to ease him back into life but strongly protests when Oliver wants to visit Laurel which as expected goes very badly. Later Tommy and Oliver are both abducted by red skull wearing men and Tommy is knocked out apparently saved by a green hooded vigilante or so Oliver tells Detective Quentin Lance. Much later Tommy holds a welcome home party for Oliver but it is cut short by Lance when he arrives and confronts Merlyn and Queen about the vigilante showing up at their club when Adam Hunt's place was just previously attacked. After the party Tommy meets with Laurel and asks her out on a date but she declines though Tommy firmly states that he intends to keep trying, much to her amusement.
In "Honor Thy Father", Tommy accompanies Oliver to the court house, reminding everyone of the previous 4 times, and is left on the street with John Diggle who takes off in the limo. Later Tommy attends Walter and Moira's ceremony of the Robert Queen memorial and witnesses Oliver causing disruption before he confesses that he doesn't want to be involved in the company.
In "Lone Gunmen",
In "An Innocent Man",
In "Damaged", When Oliver was accused of being the Hood and put under house arrest, he suggested a party to ease the tensions. However Tommy thought that it was a bad idea to begin with but Oliver eventually convinced Tommy. At the party Oliver was attacked by an unnamed gunman and hurt but was cleared of all charges which Tommy was present to witness.
In "Muse of Fire", Tommy arrives at Laurel's apartment with food at the same time as a pizza delivery man, leading to an awkward exchange between the three. Tommy however manages to win over Laurel with his diner of Chinese food before asking her on a proper date. They later go to a fancy restaurant where Merlyn confesses that he wishes that he had just met Laurel instead, so their date wouldn't be as awkward, given their history already. However Tommy is hit with larger problems when he discovers his credit card has been declined and later finds out that his father cut him off. He confronts his father about why his trust fund was shut off. Malcolm replies harshly by stating he cannot use his money reasonably and needs to get a job stating that his his reckless spending having lost its charm, and Malcolm even states that he thinks he should have done it sooner. Tommy tries to argue his point that it is his trust fund before his father corrects him by stating that it is his money. Tommy later visits Laurel to confess that Malcolm had cut him off completely which resulted in his multiple accounts being shut down, his car being taken from him and his apartment being taken too. However Laurel tells Tommy that he will be fine without his father's money and offers him a space in her apartment.
In "Vendetta", Tommy is now living at Laurel's place and is searching for a job to work. Laurel suggests that Tommy work in Oliver new club, though Tommy says he will he decides not to out of shame. Tommy and Laurel go to a restaurant on a date and, due to no money to bribe the officials, had to actually wait in line. However when Oliver and his date Helena Bertinelli arrived they offered them a space at their table. Laurel brings up Tommy's job position but Oliver wasn't told leading to an awkward moment at the table. Helena learns about Oliver, Tommy and Laurel's love triangle position which Tommy jokingly remarks "Were just prime for a reality show". The next day Tommy came clean to Oliver about Malcolm cutting him off and asked for a job which Oliver agrees to.
In "Year's End", On December 12th, just a week before Christmas Tommy visits Laurel and Quentin at her apartment and gives her a Christmas present of a photo of Quentin, Laurel and Sara in a fancy frame work. He also invites her to the Queens Christmas party which they go to.
In "Trust but Verify",
In "Dead to Rights", Tommy and Oliver's relationship begins to break down. After an assassination attempt by Deadshot on Malcolm Merlyn's life, Oliver reveals himself as The Hood to Tommy so that Tommy will trust him to save Malcolm's life. Although obviously conflicted over Oliver's revelation, Tommy keeps his identity a secret.
In "The Huntress Returns", Their friendship continues to become more strained as Helena Bertinelli's return shows Tommy how dangerous it is to be around Oliver, as well as how far Oliver is willing to go to do what's right. In turn, keeping Oliver's secret is seen to have a knock-on effect on Tommy's relationship with Laurel.
In "Salvation", during the streaming of Roy Harper's capture, Tommy comforts a worried Thea.
In "Unfinished Business", when a girl dies at their club, due to a Vertigo overdose, Detective Quentin Laurel's father finds evidence that implies Tommy supplied her with the drug. Even though he is later cleared, Tommy is outraged to hear that Oliver didn't trust him enough to believe he was innocent. As a result, Tommy quits his job at Verdant, also, terminating their friendship. Tommy then asks his father for a job at Merlyn Global Group, which Malcolm gladly accepts with a hug.
In "Home Invasion", when Laurel's life is threatened, Tommy is forced to admit that Oliver's house is the safest place to be. He asks if they can stay at the Queen Mansion until Laurel is no longer in danger. However, after witnessing how close Oliver and Laurel are, despite Laurel being with him, he realizes that Oliver still loves her. He realizes that despite everything that had happened between them, Laurel would still choose Oliver if she ever found out that he is The Hood. Once she is safely back home, Tommy breaks up with Laurel and moves out without explaining why.
In "The Undertaking", Tommy is seen as unhappy, but is loyal to his father, while also honoring Oliver's secret identity. When Laurel confronts him as to why he broke up with her, he reveals that he believes that her and Oliver are meant to be together, for Oliver still loves her.
In "Darkness on the Edge of Town", Oliver visits Tommy at his office in an attempt to mend broken bridges between them. Oliver convinces Tommy that his decision to break up with Laurel was his own, with Oliver having nothing to do with it, and that he should get back with her. However, when Oliver realizes that if he took down Malcolm then his work as The Hood would be done, he goes to see Laurel and admit his feelings to her. Tommy arrives outside Laurel's apartment at this point and sees Oliver and Laurel together.
In "Sacrifice", Tommy is drinking at Oliver's nightclub and confronts him about his night with Laurel, but Oliver tries to tell Tommy about the Undertaking. Enraged at Oliver's lie about Laurel, Tommy doesn't believe him and wishes that Oliver had died on the island. Tommy later goes to his father who confirms to Tommy what he is unwilling to believe from Oliver, that he is going to destroyed the Glades to avenge his wife. Then he plays a recording of Rebecca as she died. Malcolm was, suddenly, shouting to his son how they deserve to die. Later, when Moira confessed Malcolm's plan the police arrived and Malcolm was able to dispatch them easily. Tommy, however, grabbed one of their guns and tried to kill Malcolm with it, but failed and was knocked unconscious. Later, Tommy woke up, when Oliver and John Diggle arrived, to stop Malcolm. Tommy asked if Oliver intended to kill Malcolm, but he told Tommy to go. Once Malcolm was killed the Undertaking proceeded because there were backup earthquake generators. Tommy headed to the CNRI to save Laurel from the rubble of the building during the earthquake, but as Laurel escapes, the building collapses with him still inside. When Oliver arrives at the building, he finds Tommy trapped inside and impaled by a concrete reinforcement bar. Tommy reconciles with Oliver and they become best friends again before dying.
In "City of Heroes", Following his death, Tommy was buried in Starling City, and his tombstone read "In Loving Memory of Thomas Merlyn 1985-2013 Beloved Son". Tommy's death had many effects on both Oliver and Laurel. For Oliver, Tommy's death at first sent him into depression and he even re-exiled himself to the island for a time and refused to become the Hood. However when he finally did he was unwilling to ever kill again in Tommy's memory. meanwhile Laurel began blaming The Arrow for Tommy's death (as shown in Identity and began a mission to find him and bring him to justice) and also resorted to drinking and taking drugs to ignore the pain.
In "State v. Queen", Malcolm was revealed to still be alive and is the true biological father of Thea, making Tommy her half brother. In "The Scientist" Malcolm is grief stricken over killing Tommy which makes him desperate to have a relationship with Thea.
In "Three Ghosts" Oliver hallucinates about Tommy, who tells Oliver that he isn't a killer and that he is a hero, relieving Oliver of his guilt. He also tells that Oliver that he finally understands that he kills because he fought for survival and that is what he has been doing that since he was on the island. He tells him to fight back, which Oliver does and defeats Cyrus Gold stopping his hallucinations.
When Tommy first appears in the series, he comes across as a light-hearted, cheerful, carefree, and laid back individual without a care in the world, due to his financial access being nearly limitless. He tries to get Oliver to rejoin the party scene, picking out girls for him and taking him around town. However, his affection for Laurel was slowly changing him into a more responsible individual.
When his father cut off his trust fund, he became angry, but then became more resolved in his desire to change. He applied himself more in his relationship with Laurel and sought out Oliver to get a job running Verdant. He was bitter towards his father, who he perceives as power and money hungry, and uncaring, especially due to the fact that Malcolm left Tommy for two years after Rebecca Merlyn, Tommy's mother, was killed. Their relationship improves when Tommy attends an award ceremony for Malcolm and after Malcolm was nearly killed by Deadshot.
He was thrown into a sea of confusion when it was revealed to him that Oliver is The Hood. He finds that he has problems trusting Oliver, whom he says he doesn't know anymore, and later quits the night club saying that he has too much self-respect to continue running Oliver's front when his best friend doesn't even trust him. Tommy then went to his father to find work. It is implied that his later distrust of Oliver partially stemmed from jealousy and anger, as the Oliver he knows now is a far better person than he thought he would be. In his final moments, he admitted to the inferiority complex he was feeling, reconciled with Oliver, and then passed away.
- Originally, many believed that Tommy would become Green Arrow's enemy from the comics, the "Dark Archer", due to the name similarities. This was until it was revealed in "Year's End" that it was in fact his father, Malcolm Merlyn, who became the Dark Archer.
- Tommy Merlyn was the fifth person to discover Oliver Queen's secret identity, The Hood. He discovered this in "Dead to Rights".
- Malcolm mentions that Tommy, as a child, wanted a puppy for Christmas, which he would have called "Arthur", to pair with him being a "Merlyn". This may attribute to how Merlyn assisted King Arthur, as well as subtly referencing that Merlyn's real name in the comics is Arthur King.
- By the time Tommy was 27 he had never worked a single day in his life.
- It was mentioned by Oliver that Tommy once rented an entire football field just so he could play "strip kickball" with a group of ladies.
- Tommy was the first character within the main cast to die.
- In "City of Heroes", his full name is revealed to be Thomas Merlyn.
- In "State v. Queen". Malcolm revealed that Thea Queen is his daughter, thus making her Tommy's paternal younger half-sister.