The latest episode of Arrow season 7 may have just built the groundwork for the future version of William Clayton to be revealed as the new Green Arrow. The Arrow season 7 premiere replaced the show’s traditional format of flashbacks with flash-forwards, which will last until Arrow ends.
Taking place in 2038, these flash-forwards are centered around William, who meets an aged Roy Harper on the island of Lian Yu. With help from Roy, William is on a hunt to find the meaning behind secret messages and coordinates that may have been left to him by Felicity, who is supposedly dead. The first few episodes of the season have dropped plenty of details on Team Arrow’s future while also exploring William’s journey in Star City.
After arriving on the second level of the supermax in Monday’s episode, “Level Two,” Oliver is forced to answer questions from the prison psychiatrist. The psychiatrist points out that Oliver’s father, Robert Queen, was wrong to send Oliver on a path of violence in season 1. Oliver explains that if he and William were put in a similar situation, he would prefer that his son live his life the way he wants rather than follow in his footsteps. Oliver admits that a part of him is afraid his actions will cause William to one day become just like him. Perhaps it’s too late to correct that.
Oliver’s fears about William could play into the overarching story arc in Arrow season 7. It would be a major blow to Oliver if he were to learn that his son was fated to continue his legacy as the Green Arrow. This revelation would be especially painful if he were to discover that, just like Oliver in season 1, the new Green Arrow has his own list of enemies to kill. A reveal of this magnitude could present Oliver with all sorts of conflict going forward. When thinking of the impact the Green Arrow mantle will have on his son, Oliver may begin to rethink his own future.
William being the new Green Arrow would also be the perfect link between the events in the present day and the flash-forwards, even if time travel does seem out of place for a series that prides itself on being darker and more grounded than the other Arrowverse shows. It’s especially important to note that Roy Harper was trained by Oliver Queen, so it’s theoretically possible that he could, in turn, train William Clayton to become the new Green Arrow.