Here’s why Taylor Swift’s “The Archer” is the anthem for ‘Arrow’ season 8

You may have heard that Taylor Swift’s new album Lover was just released. And whenever Taylor Swift releases a new album, the whole internet effectively agrees to pause what their doing, and celebrate. Taylor Swift Twitter, is a joyous Twitter. Where we share all of her song lyrics that spoke to us, swoon over album art, and deliberately decide our favorite songs.

This morning I literally woke up, rolled over, played Taylor’s new album, and wouldn’t leave the comfort of my bed until I finished. Even when my dog wanted attention, I told her “I will re-enter society when I’m done listening to Taylor Swift.”

However, the fangirl and writer in myself wouldn’t be silenced when I found similarities between one of my favorite TV shows and one of her new songs.

The Archer” is a new song on her album Lover, and the title alone makes me think of Arrow and our sweet bean Oliver Queen. But the song itself goes beyond just the title in describing Oliver Queen and his season 8 journey. And I’ll prove it:

Combat, I’m ready for combat
I say I don’t want that, but what if I do?
‘Cause cruelty wins in the movies
I’ve got a hundred thrown-out speeches I almost said to you

Oliver Queen is moving forward after the events of the season 7 finale. He’s ready for whatever “Crisis” has to offer or take away. Oliver has spent the majority of his life fighting. I guess the question becomes how he will go on having to leave his heart behind.

Oliver’s question of identity has been the main theme of Arrow. Growth, change, is it possible? Trauma, is it survivable? Where is line, and what if I cross it?

Who am I? Billionaire? Playboy? Survivor? Archer? Hero? Villain? Friend? Son? Brother? Husband? Father?

It’s possible that all of the identities Oliver has placed on himself (and were placed upon him) can be swapped and interchangeable, or even constant. If he so chooses.

I want contentment for Oliver Queen. And I think a final “combat” can get him there.

I wake in the night, I pace like a ghost
The room is on fire, invisible smoke
And all of my heroes die all alone
Help me hold on to you

This paragraph really exemplifies what Oliver is going through in season 8. He’s worried about the people he left behind. It keeps him awake. He’s worried about dying.

However, he’s stronger if he remembers them.

‘Cause they see right through me
They see right through me
They see right through
Can you see right through me?
They see right through
They see right through me
I see right through me
I see right through me

One of Oliver’s struggles has been in dealing with image. The last dreaded crossover said as much. Iris thinks he’s full of darkness, Barry is celebrated while Oliver is vilified. Is it because Barry waits to give a plucky smile after a job well done, while Oliver goes to brood about what he could have done better?

How Oliver is seen through the lens of Star City citizens (and I guess members of The Flash) does take his toll on him. Is there something I’m not seeing? Are they right about me?

All the king’s horses, all the king’s men
Couldn’t put me together again
‘Cause all of my enemies started out friends
Help me hold on to you

Betrayal. Forgiveness. All that jazz. Oliver knows that feeling well. Slade, the newbies, I can go on.

“Help me hold on to you” the one person who’s a constant within all this change. The one person who I will always love. The one who’s his heart, and Arrow‘s heart.


I’ve been the archer, I’ve been the prey
Who could ever leave me, darling
But who could stay?
(I see right through me, I see right through me)
Who could stay?
Who could stay?
Who could stay?
You could stay
You could stay

I think Taylor’s lyrics “who could ever leave me, darling” and “but who could stay” is something I think everyone can relate too.

A lot of people have left from Oliver’s life. Either by choice or by circumstance. “How can you do that?” is a natural response. But to a self-loathing Oliver, “but who could stay?” comes even more natural to him.

You could stay, Felicity. And when I can stay with you, I’ll find you. Or you will find me.


Catch Taylor Swift’s new album Lover where you can listen to Arrow‘s season 8 anthem, “The Archer.” You can surely find it on Spotify, or any place that plays music. Catch Arrow season 8, the final season, October 15 on The CW!



Lynsey is a proud Hufflepuff. Find her watching anything from BoJack Horseman to Grey's Anatomy. She loves to read... especially if it features dragons and a good cry. If you ask her what she's doing she will most likely respond "I probably should be writing." Find her on Twitter, to theorize, geek out, and to obsess about Olicity.

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