During the Arrow episode "Seeing Red" (S02E20) Moira Queen tells her son Oliver that she knows about him being Arrow, which came as quite a surprise to Ollie, but to me as well:

Moira: Oliver, I know. I know...I've known since last year, I suppose. In the night of the undertaking everything became so clear. It was pretty much the night I stopped sleeping.

Oliver: Before you say anything else...

Moira: There's nothing else to say, nothing I need to say...Except I could not be more proud.

But right now, I'm not sure if this was really a total surprise for the audience there or if it actually could have been known to us already that she knows about Arrow. While I don't think it was completely made clear earlier (since I think they would just have made more out of it during all the previous season 2 episodes), it might still have been alluded to in a slight way, to make you at least wonder if she might not know it. But currently I don't have too much recollection of the end of season 1 or the earlier season 2 episodes (and from her dialogue it seems she knew it as soon as the season 1 finale).

So were there any scenes in any earlier episode to either hint or downright clarify that Moira Queen knows about Arrow's identity or was this really a total surprise in this scene when she told him (which could imply it was quite a short term writing decision as part of "concluding" her character)?

  • I've always thought that revelation was handled very clumsily. I certainly can't think of any foreshadowing happening. Dec 11, 2014 at 18:52
  • I'll have to agree with System here; I don't remember any foreshadowing Jan 15, 2015 at 7:40
  • No real overt foreshadowing I would say, and you could almost chalk up, "Mother's intuition," as a sort of deus ex machina explanation. Agreed with others that season one was very rocky, and the finale was handled very poorly. The show has been pretty damn solid since season 2, though.
    – MattD
    Jan 15, 2015 at 14:53

2 Answers 2


No, but by her connections she would probably question herself why Oliver always leaves and the Arrow appears, etc. I don't think there is any episode showing that she definitely knows she is the Arrow.


Moira, like Detective Lance, knows pretty much from the get-go way back in their mind, but cannot prove it. Their actions towards Oliver and the vigilante alike prove that.

Example of Quentin's knowledge: When Tommy and Laurel are being hunted by Mr Blank and Lance says that he doesn't like the idea of the vigilante protecting them, Tommy suggests Oliver and Lance says "what, have you got another friend called Oliver?"

Lance also states in 3x18 that 'way back in his mind he always knew' - I know this is irrelevant as the question is about Moira but both Moira and Detective Lance have shown similarities regarding the identity of the Vigilante.

Example of Moira's knowledge: When Oliver tells Moira that someone needs to stop Malcolm in 1x23, she reacts by breathing in heavily as if realising something, as we find out in 2x20 it's that Moira has figured out that Oliver is the vigilante. However, Moira has shown understanding of Oliver's tendency to leave unexpectedly after she was confrontational about it - Moira clearly knows there is a reason. One example of this in action would be in 1x09, after the copycat kills Adam Hunt and the police captain or whatever is called away, Oliver quickly needs to 'take a call from his contractor'; Moire nods this off with a facial expression that looks like she knows more than she lets on, I believe that she puts two and two together at the table, given that Oliver has left unexpectedly around the timings of vigilante attacks before AND Oliver has been accused and charged with being the vigilante in 1x04.

All points being considered, Moira probably had a rough idea who was under the hood since before the vigilante confronted her and showed uncharacteristic WEAKNESS when Moira pulled the sympathy card, proving that Moira probably knew how to exploit his weakness, and the shooting of her own son was probably intended to be a flesh wound.

The evidence suggests that Moira probably had a solid idea before the mid-season finale of Season 1.

  • I think the "another friend" line was more to intend that he didn't really believe the idea Oliver could protect anyone, because he doesn't have a particularly big opinion of him. But otherwise interesting and well-reasoned answer.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jun 30, 2016 at 8:41

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