Walter Steele is the CFO of Starling National Bank, formerly the CEO of Queen Consolidated. He is also the best friend of the late Robert Queen, the ex-husband of the late Moira Queen, and the ex-step-father of Oliver and Thea Queen. Both Thea and Oliver, however, seem to have come to regard Walter as family in his own right.
In 2007, Walter came to his boss and best friend, Robert Queen, to ask for him to sign some papers. Walter offered to talk, and Robert thanked him. It's assumed this was the last time they saw each other before Robert's death.
Suspicions on Moira
When his apparently dead step-son, Oliver, returned from a 5-year-long shipwreck, Walter greeted him with warm and open arms. Initially, there was some distrust between the two, but eventually they began to grow on one another.
Walter became suspicious of Moira after she fabricated a story about investing in a friend's business to explain away an account discrepancy that Walter was trying to reconcile for Queen Consolidated. He asked Felicity Smoak to look into the matter. She discovered the money was used to buy a warehouse in Starling City. Walter went to the warehouse, determined the password to the lock (ROBERT) and discovered the wreckage of the Queen's Gambit there.
Walter told his head of security to discreetly transfer the contents of the warehouse, but the head of security was killed before he could carry out the action. Walter and Moira speak about the matter. He knew that she was connected to something dangerous and Moira was scared for both of them. Walter felt he couldn't trust anything Moira says. Walter then told everyone he's going to Australia to handle some business issues there.
Walter returned from Australia when Moira is wounded.
At first, he didn't pursue what he learned about Moira, but when Felicity told him what she'd found, he couldn't let it go. He searched the house and found a book just like Oliver's list of names, and asked Felicity to look into it. He warned her that the last person he asked to look into this matter was killed, but she agreed to help anyway.
Malcolm Merlyn was aware of Walter's investigation and ultimately kidnapped him.
Moira was shown a picture as "proof of life" at Thea's birthday party.
Moira, after learning from Oliver that Walter was apparently dead, approached Malcolm in anger. He promptly provided a live video feed to Walter being held in a cell. Following this, Oliver, after some research, discovered the location where Walter was being kept. Oliver, in his guise as The Hood, then rescued Walter. Walter, though not visibly injured, ended up at the hospital. His family greeted him warmly, and Felicity Smoak brought him a bouquet of flowers.
Shortly after returning home, Walter told Moira he wanted a divorce, as he had long since realized she was involved in his abduction.
Chief Financial Officer of Starling National Bank
Roughly five months following his divorce from Moira and The Glades Earthquake, Walter had since moved on from Queen Consolidated and is the Chief Financial Officer of Starling National Bank. Oliver went to Walter for help in saving the company from falling into the hands of Isabel Rochev. Walter more than happily obliged, noting that he was happy that Oliver knew he could still go to him for help, commenting that his father would be proud of him. Walter allowed Oliver to get a loan from the bank, and he bought the remaining stock of Queen Consolidated, making Oliver and Isabel equal partners in Queen Consolidated.
Walter had dinner with Moira and Mark Francis in order to sound her out about running against Sebastian Blood for the mayorship of Starling. He later visits her, encouraging her to run. He visits Moira again when she agrees to run, revealing that he knows Thea is not Robert's biological daughter.
Walter is helping Moira prepare for her mayoral campaign against Sebastian Blood. In another room, Felicity approaches Walter and states that Tempest had made a monetary withdrawal into Starling National Bank. Walter says he will ask Moira about it, and thanks Felicity for bringing it to his attention. He later brings Oliver onstage where he announces he support of his mother's candidacy.
Walter attended Moria's funeral. He attempts to comfort Thea, and offered her any help he can give.
Walter Steele was approached the Star City council for the position of mayor, but he declined.
Walter is described as "a commanding, upper-crust man". He is also very loyal. This is proven when he learns about Robert's fate and tries to do everything he can to solve his best friend's murder. He is intelligent, and calculating. Despite the divorce with Moira Queen, Walter still loves Oliver and Thea and will not hesitate to help them in anyway he can. He was not only willing to give Oliver a loan to help him buy the shares he needed from Queen Consolidated, but was also happy Oliver knew he could turn to him whenever he needed him. Walter also appears to have forgiven Moira, and has asked her to run for mayor. He's also a very bad liar.
Walter is shown to be very caring for the people around him, even his employees. He attempted to warn Doug Miller he would be a potential target for The Hood, a trait which turned out to be his downfall. Despite marrying Robert's wife, Walter was very loyal to Robert, going as far as to investigate the ruins of the Queen's Gambit when questioning the manner Robert Queen died.
Walter has an RP (received pronunciation) accent, and the emotional self-control often associated with a boarding school education.
Behind the scenes
- In the DC Comics, Walter Steele, while also being a CEO of Queen Industries, was a minor character. He was also Caucasian, but in Arrow, he was African-American.
- Many fans were disappointed with how Steele ceased to appear after the second season of Arrow, expressing their opinions in many websites, like Reddit. With his ex-wife Moira Queen deceased and his company Queen Consolidated disbanded, it's implied that Walter would not appear more.