TaianaNo new character this week even for Arrow, but one who was introduced early this season as an unnamed prisoner finally received an official identity. In Brotherhood, during the flashback on Lian Yu, we finally learn that the woman portrayed by Elysia Rotaru, the one that Oliver Queen fakes the death of, is actually named Taiana, and this makes her another acquaintance of the readers, even if not exactly an old one. Taiana doesn’t exist in the original timeline, and she’s only been introduced in The New 52 storyline, after the DC Universe was rebooted (again…). Her story is pretty much different, and she didn’t have a brother named Vlad to mourn, even if the island took someone dear away from her nevertheless. Let’s see together.

Taiana’s early life is pretty much unknown: she was born on an unnamed island in the Pacific Ocean, a simple place for simple people, usually nicknamed Starfish Island. She lived there with her husband, and led a peaceful and relatively normal life, until the entire island was attacked and de facto conquered by a drug cartel. The criminals isolated Starfish Island from the rest of the world, and they forced the natives to work for them in the opium fields and in the refineries, reduced to slaves. The drug dealers were pitiless with anyone disobeying them, so even Taiana and her husband soon learned to be submissive in order to protect themselves…until the day Taiana found out she was pregnant. Her husband, knowing he would have soon become a father, swore to his wife that he would have taianacomics1done his best to take her and the baby away from Starfish Island, and organised an escape. The man tried to steal a patrol boat to take Taiana away, but he was caught by the drug dealers, who brought him to their leader, China White: the woman decided to make him an example for all the workers, so he had him locked up in a cage, along with a bunch of hungry rats. The beasts ate the man alive, and his screams could be heard anywhere in the surroundings: Taiana listened to her husband’s slow and painfull death, unable to do anything but cry. From that day on, Taiana lowered her head and kept working in the opium fields, aiming only to keep herself and her baby alive, so that her husband’s sacrifice wouldn’t have been in vain. Anyway, she still harbored a deep hatred towards China White and her men, and she could only hope that the time for her and her friends to take back the island would have come soon.

Some months later, Taiana found a wounded man in the opium fields. She immediately recognised him as the long-lost (and presumed dead) multimillionaire Oliver Queen, nearly unrecognizable for his conditions, carrying along only a bow and arrows. Taiana took care of his wounds, and also gave him some opium for lessening the pain of a bad fracture to his arm. During the time Taiana took care of Queen, keeping him hidden from the dealers, she told him everything about the island, of China White’s reign of terror, of her husband, of their condition; she, however, wanted to help the man come back home to his family, and along with some of her coworkers (who didn’t know Oliver’s true identity, and simply called him Auu Lanu Lau’Ava, the Green Arrow, because of his weapons) she told him to hide on the next heroin shipment to America. The escape plan, however, failed as soon as they were taianacomics2discovered by China White’s men: thanks to Oliver, who now wanted to help the people that saved him, Taiana managed to avoid capture, and she ran to the slave living quarters, where she finally gathered all able people for a long-waited uprising. Taiana and Oliver led the slaves’ revolt, and they eventually outnumbered and overpowered the dealers; when Queen was about to be killed by Hackett, China White’s second in comand, Taiana nearly shot him point blank in the head, but was convinced by Oliver not to do so. At the end, Oliver defeated China White, marking the slaves’ victory. In that very moment, Taiana entered into labor: Oliver sort of helped her delivering the baby (even if his only help was suggesting the woman “to breathe”…), a beautiful baby girl that Taina named Tupu Tamaitai, a word that means Queen, after her savior. Taiana refused Oliver’s offer to come back to the United States with him: it was now time to make Starfish Island come back to what it was before.

Taiana is a strong woman, who had gone through a lot and still fuels her hope of a better future for her daughter and her people. Determined yet patient, she knows far too well she needs to wait for the right occasion and for a proper plan before taking action, and she only postponed her rightful vengeance towards the men who tortured and killed her husband.



  1. […] Taiana […]

  2. […] the tutelage of his old friend Anatoly Kniazev in order to keep his promise to Taiana. In the previous season, in fact, Taiana made him promise he would have helped her village, which […]

  3. […] quite premature, as last episode The Recruits confirmed that the Kovar who plagued Taiana Venediktov‘s village, and whom Oliver Queen is looking for in Russia to exact his friend’s […]

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