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The Real Reason Emily Bett Rickards Left Arrow

The CW's live-action adaptation of the DC Comics character Oliver Queen aka Green Arrow ignited an entire television universe of superheroes. As fans know, the series featuring Stephen Amell as the former rich-boy turned dark archer finally ended in January of 2020 after announcements from Amell himself (via People Magazine) that he would be leaving and the show would be concluding after its eighth season. "Arrow" was relatively well-received by critics and fans consistently, still standing at fresh scores on Rotten Tomatoes.

In its entirety, "Arrow" follows Oliver Queen after he was stranded on an island for five years when his father's yacht sank in the sea. After finally returning to Star City (formerly Starling) he is a changed man with a book of names from his father, donning a green hood and a bow and arrow to take out the evil and the corrupt. Throughout all eight seasons, Oliver grows from a firmly solo operation to having an entire team that has included characters like John Diggle (David Ramsey), Thea Queen (Willa Holland), Roy Harper (Colton Haynes), and of course, Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards).

Oliver and Felicity have a complicated on-and-off romantic relationship throughout the entire series, although they were ultimately united in the afterlife following the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths and Oliver's death. However, the ending fans wanted almost didn't happen due to Rickards' absence from the majority of Season 8. Here's what we know about the real reason Emily Bett Rickards left "Arrow" before its finale.

Rickards felt Felicity's time was finished in the story of Arrow

Back during the announcement of Arrow's eighth season prior to 2020 and the fact that it would be the final of the series, Emily Bett Rickards took to her Instagram account to announce that she would not appear. Given that she chose to relay the announcement via poem, fans were left a little bit unsure if this was actually true or not. However, later speaking with Collider about her character, Rickards would note that she was leaving "Arrow" before its final season because she felt that Felicity Smoak's time in the story was clearly over. The actor continued that the show had known this was going to happen for over a year, implying that her departure was amicable.

These statements from Rickards proved true as she did not appear as Felicity in nearly all of Season 8 of "Arrow." However, she did return in order to conclude the story of Felicity and Oliver in the series finale. Rickards would go on to star in an indie romantic comedy called "We Need to Talk" alongside Big Time Rush's James Maslow (via Deadline), although since that time she has been relatively inactive in the industry. Only time will tell what is next for Rickards.