- "Malcolm Merlyn's legacy lives on. This is a new dawn. Al Sa-her was going to bestow on us a new golden age and lead us into the realm of Thanatos, yet for what greatness Merlyn possessed in his soul, he lost in his heart. He swore that our great journey would be nothing without his blood legacy at our side, and thus before he gave up his life, he made sure this journey could not commence until his beloved was ready."
- —Athena to the Thanatos Guild[src]
Athena (died October 2019) was the leader of the Thanatos Guild and a former member of the League of Assassins. She was Malcolm Merlyn's associate and second-in-command, who took over the guild after his death.
Joining the League of Assassins
Formation of the Thanatos Guild
In May 2015 after Malcolm Merlyn became Ra's al Ghul, Athena became one of his most trusted loyalists. After Nyssa destroyed the Lazarus Pit, Athena was among those recruited into the Thanatos Guild, a secret group led by Malcolm which aimed to discover more Lazarus Pit water. She became the guild's second-in-command.
Athena and the guild remained loyal to Malcolm even after he lost control of the league to Nyssa, who disbanded the group.
With the guild's help, Malcolm uncovered the existence of three other Lazarus Pits scattered across the world, which he documented in a secret map that could only be unlocked through his blood. Malcolm refused to divulge the map's location to the guild until he could have Thea Queen, his daughter and sole heir, by his side.
Following Malcolm's death on Lian Yu, Athena succeeded him as leader of the Thanatos Guild. Determined to carry on her predecessor's legacy, Athena and the guild worked to find the map and Thea.
Leading the Thanatos Guild and battling Team Arrow
By early 2018, Athena and the guild somehow came to learn that Malcolm's map was hidden somewhere in Star City. Knowing they needed Thea's blood to unlock it, the guild began searching for her. In March 2018, Athena was informed that Thea had been located.
After her agents have located the heir of Ra's al Ghul, Thea Queen, Athena rallies her league. However, she reveals to her followers that while Malcolm prepared for their ascension, he also made sure that the journey could not commence without his own blood. While she talks, Athena recognizes one of her masked followers as Nyssa al Ghul and orders her to step forward. Both women draw their swords but Nyssa reveals that she also brought plastic explosives. With her bomb, Nyssa brings down the Guild's hideout, although all of Athena's followers survive, and flees with the knowledge about Malcolm's inheritance.
Since Athena believes Thea to be in possession of a map that leads to some ancient power, a Lazarus Pit, she sends out her guild to capture Thea. However, Nyssa interferes and saves Thea from Athena's scouts and tells her about Athena's plans for her. This leads to Nyssa, Thea and Team Arrow to head out to find the map and the power before Athena can find it. They find a map hidden inside an encrypted cipher cube but before they can open it or flee, Athena and members of her guild show up. She promises Thea that she will be merciful and let the rest live if Thea hands over the cube, but the team decides to fight instead. While Thea and Roy flee with the cube, Athena engages Nyssa and defeats her, claiming that Nyssa had the same stance during battle since she was eight years old. Athena then goes after Thea and Roy, defeating both and once more offering Thea to come with them. However, Thea activates one of the traps that Malcolm built into his hideout, killing three of Athena's followers and wounding her as well. Thea and the rest of the team use the opportunity to flee.
To draw out Thea and the box, Athena and her guild head to the city's gas plant and cut off the city's gas supply. Once Thea arrives, Athena reveals to her that the map alone is meaningless - they also need Thea's blood. Thea attacks her and during the sword fight between the two, Athena claims that Malcolm spoke of Thea in the past and was always ashamed of her weakness. Athena knocks down Thea but Thea then raises the map, prompting Athena to come closer to grab it. When Athena comes closer, Thea stabs her in the stomach and Athena seemingly dies, but when Thea turns around again, her body is gone.
Return and death
Afterwords, Thea, Roy and Nyssa leave to destroy all the three Lazarus Pits. They discovered a second, but the Thanatos Guild was waiting for them. Roy was fatally injured by an arrow, but was healed by the Lazarus Pit thanks to Thea and Nyssa. Thea tells Oliver that she and Nyssa destroyed all the Lazarus Pits on Earth, but she's still working on taking down Athena and the Thanatos Guild, who still remains at large.
Beneath the League of Assassins headquarters, Oliver, Thea, and Talia make their way through the catacombs. Talia tells them that her father kept his most prized possessions in a secret room down there, and that among those possessions was likely a document about Al-Fatih, whom she calls "the first Ra's al Ghul", and who League legend says was gifted knowledge from the sky gods. The trio arrives at the secret room to find it ransacked, with only the scroll about Al-Fatih left behind. A riddle written on the scroll leads Oliver to realize they need to burn it, which in turn reveals a stone sphere which Talia believes to be the key to finding Al Fatih's tomb. Just then, Athena and the Thanatos Guild enter, demanding the sphere. Talia turns it over to them, and a fight ensues. Oliver, Thea, and Talia position themselves between the Guild and the door, and Talia throws a smoke bomb, allowing the trio to escape.
Later, Oliver, Thea, and Talia talk about what a coincidence it was that the Guild arrived while they were there. Thea snipes at Talia about handing over the sphere, and Talia says they don't need it, she memorized the markings on it as a map that will lead them to Al-Fatih's tomb. She also surmises that Athena wanted the map so she could take the sword of Al-Fatih, the holder of whom is granted absolute loyalty by their followers, so she can use it to restart the League of Assassins. Oliver tries to persuade Thea to go back to their camp and wait for them, saying Thea is Athena's chief rival in restarting the League.
At the top of the mountain, Oliver and Thea arrive at the tomb to find it open. Athena and the Guild arrive with a captured Talia. Oliver and Thea are forced to hand over their weapons, and Athena forces the two of them and Talia lead the way into the tomb. Within the tomb, another riddle tells them to open Al Fatih's coffin, which reveals a staircase down.
Back in the tomb, the group descends further in, facing more boobytraps along the way. Talia, Oliver, and Thea get past the latest trap, but two Guild members are not as lucky. Oliver retakes his weapons and holds off the Guild while Thea goes after Talia, who has hurried ahead. The two duel while Oliver fights off Athena. During the fight, Oliver throws Athena on a booby trap, which explodes and falls on Athena, killing her. Her death, as well as all of her followers, puts an end to the Thanatos Guild, as well as ending her conflict with Thea.
- "I'm always merciful when I get what I want."
Like all assassins, Athena was cold, cruel and ruthless, but she did have a sense of honor; as Athena had stated that she could be merciful when she gets what she wants.
- Peak of human physical condition: As a highly skilled assassin, Athena was in top physical condition. She was strong enough to break one of Thea Queen's ribs with a single kick.
- Master hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: As a former member of the League of Assassins and the leader of the Thanatos Guild, Athena was an excellent hand-to-hand combatant and martial artist, having gone through the same training that all League members do. Athena's mastery allowed her the privilege of training with Nyssa al Ghul, a former candidate to the title of Ra's al Ghul. She became familiar enough with Nyssa's combat style to best her as an adult, when the latter had significantly refined her skills. Athena also easily bested Thea multiple times in their initial confrontations, to the point that Thea needed to catch her off-guard to escape. She was also able to fight on par against Talia al Ghul for a while, but was eventually subdued. Athena's abilities were also proven to be inferior to Oliver Queen's, as he was able to overpower her with little effort.
- Master archer: As a former member of the League of Assassins and the leader of the Thanatos Guild, Athena was a highly proficient archer.
- Master stick-fighter: Athena managed to trade blows with Thea using her bow as a quarterstaff for a while, but was eventually disarmed.
- Master swordswoman: As As a former member of the League of Assassins and the leader of the Thanatos Guild, Athena is an excellent swordswoman; she was able to best Thea and (after considerable effort) Nyssa, who is a master swordswoman in her own right.
- High-level intellect/Master tactician/Leader: As the leader of the Thanatos Guild, Athena was a highly intelligent individual, an excellent tactician and leader; as she designed a plan to lure Team Arrow to the guild's location through a bomb threat.
- Indomitable will/High tolerance for pain/Master survivor: A driven individual, Athena is fearless and ruthlessly determined, as acknowledged by Nyssa. She had an incredible tolerance for pain and great survival skills. For example, Athena pulled out an arrow shot straight into her stomach while barely flinching and was even able to survive having a dagger impaled into her chest. After the latter injury, she could still move swiftly, feeling no strain.
- Stealth: Athena displayed mastery of stealth, as she was able to track Thea around Star City for some time with the latter none the wiser. After a battle with Thea, Athena was able to quickly vanish from sight when her opponent turned away for just a few seconds.
- Customized hunting arrows: Athena carries a number of black arrows with her at all times. These arrows feature a special red fletching and tip.
- Customized PSE Chaos AD Compound bow: Athena wields a personal compound bow, similar to that of Malcolm Merlyn's. It is possible that this bow is the signature bow to the League of Assassins.
- Thanatos Guild suit: Athena wears a protective suit, used by the members of the Thanatos Guild, to hide her identity from her victims. It is unknown what materials it is comprised of, with the exception of kevlar; it is also similar in appearance to the League of Assassins suits.
- Sword: Athena can proficiently wield a sword. It is unknown what type of sword it is.
- Quiver: Athena wears a black quiver to keep arrows on her back at all times.
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics, Celia Kazantkakis, also known as Athena, is a Batman villain. She became the leader of Network, a notorious crime family.