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Talia al Ghul

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For the character with the same first name, see Talia.
"Hello, Mr. Queen. My name is Talia."
—Talia to Oliver[src]

Talia al Ghul (Arabic: تاليا الغول) is the daughter of the late Ra's al Ghul and the paternal older half-sister of Nyssa al Ghul.[1] A worldly and cultured elite warrior who never stays in a place very long, Talia is the leader of her own cult of combatants, similar to the League of Assassins, as well as the mentor of Yao Fei GulongOliver Queen[2] and Adrian Chase.[3] Although she had a strained relationship with her father, she allied with one of her former students, Prometheus, after Ra's was killed at the hands of another of her former students, Oliver, in order to get revenge against him.

Biography

Early life

Talia al Ghul as a child

Young Talia observes Sara training.

In 1960, Talia and her father, Ra's al Ghul, observed Sara Lance as she was training and announced that she had the best performance. Afterward, Talia's father advised her to learn from Sara's skills.[1] As she grew up, as Talia began to feel that her father would never let her succeed him as the new Demon's Head, her relationship with Ra's became strained, and as a result, she left to forge her own path, abandoning her sister Nyssa,[4] and eventually becoming the leader of her own cult of warriors.[3]

Over the years, Talia maintained her youth due to the use of the Lazarus Pit's waters. At some point in her life, she trained a young member of the People's Liberation Army of China, Yao Fei Gulong, who, years later, became the first mentor of Oliver Queen.[2]

In 2007, after learning of the death of her disciple, Talia decided to track down Oliver, uncovering evidence about him for the following four years, including the roles he had in stopping General Matthew Shrieve and Baron Reiter.[2]

In Russia

Oliver meets Talia al Ghul

Oliver meets Talia al Ghul.

Decades later, in 2012, Talia found her way to Russia, saving Oliver Queen from Bratva Pakhan Ishmael Gregor.[5] She brought Oliver back to her place to recover, where she offered to help him take down Kovar by targeting one of his main suppliers, Misha Yurievich, who was behind human trafficking in Kovar's organization. Oliver accepted Talia's help, and the two raided and killed Yurievich and his men. Afterward, they returned to their hideout, where Talia convinced Oliver to rekindle his determination to complete his father's mission by reminding him that Robert Queen had left him a list of "all the Kovars" of his Starling City. She then gave him a green hood and suit, as well as a bow, before offering to train him and teach him to come to terms with the monster inside him.[2]

Talia tells Oliver to come back to his city to begin his mission

Talia tells Oliver to go back to Starling City and punish the people on The List.

Later, Talia helped Oliver to track down and kill Hideo Yamane, an individual on his father's list and one of the main drug lords of Starling City, while he was in Russia for his business. After this, she encouraged him to talk to Anatoly in hopes that he could leave Bratva and come back to his city to begin his mission.[6]

Connection to Prometheus

After 2012, Adrian Chase, prior to the beginning of his crusade against Oliver Queen as Prometheus, was trained by Talia, instruction which included several specific fighting moves.[7] When Oliver found out about a possible connection between Talia and Prometheus, he tried tracking her down, hoping that by doing so, he would discover the latter's identity, though he did mention to Diggle that he knew Talia never stays in one place for very long.[7][5]

Talia reveals Prometheus's identity to Oliver

Talia reveals Prometheus's identity to Oliver.

Eventually, Oliver found the location of Talia's monastery and traveled there in order to inquire about any information she had regarding Prometheus' identity. However, he was shocked to find out that Talia knew Prometheus's plan all along and aided him executing it. After Oliver found Talia, she revealed her full name to him, confirming that she is, in fact, a daughter of Ra's al Ghul, and that she assisted Prometheus in his plan because she wanted to get her revenge on Oliver for his role in her father's death. She then made it clear that she yearned to make him suffer for what he did before then revealing that Prometheus true identity is Adrian Chase.

Adrian and Talia hold Oliver captive

Adrian and Talia hold Oliver captive.

Following a heated battle between Adrian and Oliver, Talia injected the latter with a tranquilizer arrow and the two kidnapped him, taking him to an unknown location and chaining him in a cell. After Oliver reminded her that her father was a man of honor, unlike Talia, who had allied herself with a "psycho," Talia retorted that both she and Oliver have disappointed their fathers. As she was leaving, Talia left Adrian with orders to make Oliver suffer, instructions to which Adrian wholeheartedly agreed.[3]

She and her associate Evelyn Sharp later helped capture most of Team Arrow, and brought them to Lian Yu. Oliver in turn took her half sister Nyssa, and Malcolm Merlyn to the island to stop her. There, Oliver freed Slade Wilson and Digger Harkness, who were prisoners on the island. Oliver, Slade and Digger found the cages with Samantha, Oliver's sister Thea, and Team Arrow members Felicity Smoak, Curtis Holt. However, the trio were ambushed by her and Evelyn, and Digger reveals he has been working with them all along. But as Slade suddenly lashed out at Digger, Talia fired an arrow at Samantha, only to be intercepted by Oliver's dart. The three were then ambushed by Nyssa and Malcolm, and she escaped with Digger using a smoke bomb, leaving Evelyn behind. Later, she realized that the hostages are escaping when she was intercepted by Nyssa. Talia taunted her sister for giving up the mantle of Ra's al Ghul and stated she only left because it became clear that her father would never pass on the title to a woman including his daughter, but Nyssa blamed her for selfishly abandoning her to suffer at the hands of her father when she needed her most. Even though Talia expressed how Nyssa brought shame to their father by aligning with Oliver, Nyssa simply stated that she was fighting alongside her friends and that Ra's from the very beginning has always been ashamed of her. Talia then dueled with her sister and was defeated, and as Nyssa held her sword to her throat, she taunted her into killing her by stating Ra's al Ghul's approval, but as Nyssa couldn't bring herself to do it, she knocked her unconscious. Adrian had rigged the island with explosives with his death as the trigger, and eventually shot himself in the head, committing suicide, which in turn, destroyed the island with Talia still on it.[4]

Personality

Talia is highly intelligent, calculating, calm, level-headed and patient, who is rarely seen losing her composure. However, due to her upbringing as an assassin, she can be cold, cruel and ruthless when the situation calls for it. Talia is also extremely vengeful, as she holds a grudge against her former apprentice, Oliver Queen for killing her father, and has aligned herself with Adrian Chase in order to get revenge for Ra's al Ghul's death.

Talia apparently had a closer and more affectionate relationship with her father, Ra's al Ghul, than her half-sister Nyssa did, though it has been implied that, at some point in her life, their relationship became strained. As a result, Talia left the League of Assassins to find her own path in life. Despite what happened between the two, she still loved her father, and was devastated upon learning of his death.

Like her father, she originally was set on making the world a better place her own way. As a result, she began training her own set of students and even tracked down students she saw great potential in such as Oliver Queen and encouraged him to return to Starling City to make it a better place by dealing with the List. After her father's death, she lost all sense of honor as Talia has aligned herself with Adrian to get revenge, knowing full well that the former is a psychopath. In addition to this difference in philosophy, she seems to have a policy of cutting off all associations once she has finished training her students, so much so that her current students will attack any former students that try to have an audience with her. The only known exception to this policy that Talia has been shown to make is her alliance with Adrian Chase, as they had the shared goal of getting revenge on Oliver Queen, who killed Talia's father. This makes Talia somewhat of a hypocrite as Adrian's father was killed partially because Talia trained and encouraged Oliver to attack those on the List.

Powers and abilities

Powers

  • Longevity: Despite being a child in 1960, Talia still possesses the health, performance, and appearance of her physical prime of life. It is likely that she uses the Lazarus Pit to maintain her youth like her father.

Abilities

  • Genius-level intellect/Master tactician/Detective: Talia is an exceptional investigator, as she was able to uncover evidence of the last four years of Oliver's life including the list that his father left him. She is highly tactical, both in preparation and while in action, able to quickly analyze the situation and how best to handle it.
  • Peak of human physical condition: As a highly skilled assassin, Talia is in top physical condition with fast reflexes and physical strength that is powerful enough to swiftly incapacitate men much larger than she is, such as Oliver Queen.
  • Honed senses: Talia has excellent senses for a normal human, and she has able to sense oncoming danger quickly. Her honed senses include both sharp sight and hearing, as well as advanced skills of perception.
  • Acrobatics/Free-running: Talia is an accomplished acrobat, capable of scaling buildings, and running from rooftop to rooftop with ease.
  • League of Assassins training: Talia had undergone the same training that most League members are required to achieve. Being the daughter of Ra's al Ghul meant that Talia was subjected to a higher level of training than most members, making her skills in combat and weaponry even more advanced.
  • Master interrogator/torturer: Talia is a very effective interrogator and torturer. She taught Oliver how to use a Mongolian skinning technique on men and apparently trained Adrian Chase in various torture techniques as well, which he began to use on Oliver himself.[8]
  • Master archer: Talia has proven herself to be a proficient archer, firing an arrow into Ishmael Gregor's hand, which was holding a firearm, and which forced the man to drop it before his arm was pinned against the wall.
  • Master hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: As the daughter of Ra's al Ghul and a member of the League of Assassins since childhood, she has been extensively trained in combat, able to effortlessly subdue Oliver Queen in their first meeting. She is also an exceptional teacher as her known students Yao Fei Gulong, Oliver Queen, Adrian Chase and the members of her cult are exceptional fighters as well.
  • Master swordswoman: As a former member of the League of Assassins, Talia is a master swordswoman. Using her sword she was able to overpower and capture John Diggle and Felicity Smoak after having stopping their car while it was running.
  • Medical knowledge: Talia knows much about the human anatomy, as evidenced by the knowledge that she taught to Yao Fei about pressure point manipulation, instructing him o how to paralyze a person into a seemingly-dead state and then reversing it. In terms of healing methods, Talia can patch up most injuries on herself or others, as she was able to nurse Oliver back to health after he was tortured for several days first by Kovar's and then by Gregor's men.
  • Multilingual: Talia is capable of fluently speaking English, Russian and Arabic.
  • Occult knowledge: Talia has some knowledge of magic and mysticism, as she fully understand how the Lazarus Pit functions.
  • Stealth: Talia was able to sneak into and retrieve Oliver's belongings from the Bratva, which she implied was the least of her skills. Talia's stealth is further shown against Oliver as she was able to shoot him with an arrow from a close distance without him to notice her.
  • Network: Talia has established many connections with various organizations over the course of her life, gaining aid for various ventures. According to Oliver, she is very hard to track down.

Equipment

  • Lazarus Pit: Talia has used the Lazarus Pit's waters to live well beyond her lifetime and maintain her youth over decades.
  • Customized hunting arrows: Talia used a number of arrows as her weapon of choice.
  • Customized PSE Chaos AD Compound bow: Talia wields a personal compound bow, similar to that of her half-sister Nyssa al Ghul or Malcolm Merlyn. It is possible that this bow is the signature bow to the League of Assassins.
  • Darts: Talia was shown using a dart to poison Oliver Queen and make him pass out.
  • Talia al Ghul's cult suit: Talia, as well as the rest of her cult, wears a protective suit of black robes, similar to the usual garb worn by League of Assassins but much more loose fitting and close to a burqa for appearance.
  • Sword: Talia carried a double edged sword as her sidearm, and can proficiently wield a pair of katanas.
  • Quiver: Talia wears a quiver to carry her arrows.

Appearances

DC's Legends of Tomorrow

Season 1

Arrow

Season 5


Behind the scenes

Trivia

  • It is unknown if Talia was still a member of the League of Assassins by the time it was disbanded.
  • Talia taking vengeance and blaming Oliver for killing Ra's al Ghul has some similarities to the plot of The Dark Knight Rises. In the film, Talia blames Batman for not choosing to saving her father which in her eyes, Batman killed him. She swore revenge and attempted to kill him. In both works, Talia also keeps her identity as the daughter of Ra's a secret and works with another male villain who more openly antagonizes the hero, while Talia operates mostly behind the scenes.

References