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"There are waters in Nanda Parbat. They've permitted Ra's to live for over a hundred years. And in rare instances, told in legend, those waters have been used to restore the dead to life."
Malcolm Merlyn[src]

The Lazarus Pit,[1] historically known as the Fountain of Youth,[2] is a pool of regenerative waters that allowed the user to heal themselves of any wounds, or even prevent aging to a certain extent. The only known pool was owned by Ra's al Ghul before his death, by his predecessors, and lastly by Malcolm Merlyn, and is located within its chamber in Nanda Parbat. This pool in Nanda Parbat has since been destroyed by Nyssa al Ghul as revenge for Malcolm using the Pit to revive Sara Lance without her soul. However, Malcolm later learned of the existence of three other Pits.[3]

History

The Pit was once found by Al-Khidr, later being chronicled in the religious text, the Quran. Later in history, in the fifth century BC, the historian Herodotus first wrote about the fountain, the first of many to do so. Nineteen centuries later, the explorer Juan Ponce de León went in search of the fountain, but to no avail.[2]

As of 1854, Ra's al Ghul had become the leader of the League of Assassins and began using the pool in order to maintain his youth and strength.[4]

Talia al Ghul used the Lazarus Pit, appearing relatively youthful in 2012[5] despite being born in the late 1940s to early 1950s.[6]

In late 2014, Nyssa al Ghul returned to Nanda Parbat to inform her father that Oliver Queen refuses to give up Malcolm Merlyn. As she arrived, Ra's stepped out of the fountain where he was bathing and was clothed.[7]

A few months later, after Oliver survived Ra's' stabbing him, Ra's took him to the Lazarus Pit to explain what would be in store for him if he took his place as Ra's al Ghul. Later, after Ra's cut himself on Nyssa's blade, he healed the wound in the pool.[2]

After being stabbed by Ra's, Thea Queen was taken to the hospital by Oliver, where she was put on life support. Malcolm and Oliver eventually agreed to take Thea to Nanda Parbat, where she was healed in a ceremony with the Pit. Upon being submerged in the water, Thea gained temporary enhanced strength and agility, as well as animalistic aggression. After waking up from being sedated, Thea's memories were briefly scattered.[1]

On Laurel Lance and Thea's urging, Malcolm used the pit to resurrect Sara Lance. After a disgusted Nyssa was forced to watch, she destroyed the pit, preventing Malcolm from using it anymore.[8]

After this loss, Malcolm went into deep research to discover more such water, forming the Thanatos Guild. With their help, he discovered the existence of three other pools scattered across the world. Almost a year after Malcolm's death, Nyssa, Thea, and Roy Harper set out to find and destroy these Lazarus Pits.[3]

Later, requiring additional help to defeat the Ninth Circle, Oliver reached out to Roy, calling him back to Star City to aid Team Arrow. Roy informed the group that he, Thea and Nyssa had found and destroyed two Lazarus Pits. However, Roy had been gravely injured in a fight with the Thanatos Guild. Before destroying one of the pits, Nyassa and Thea used it to heal Roy and subsequently used the Lotus on him in an effort to control the blood-lust that the Pit caused. For a while, it helped, but for some reason, when Roy returned to Star City, he ended up brutally beating two security guards to death. Neither Roy nor the rest of the team is sure why this happened, but Roy theorized that it had something to do with him having previously been injected with Mirakuru, and that it'd changed something in him even though he'd been cured of the Mirakuru's effects.[9]

Powers and abilities

"It's basically a life-extending Jacuzzi, located in a place that's the opposite of life-extending."
Ray Palmer[src]
  • Longevity: The Lazarus Pit has the ability to delay a person's aging, allowing them to retain their health, physical prowess, and youthful appearance throughout this usage and likewise enables them to extend their lifespan at least for hundreds of years.
  • Healing: The water also is able to instantaneously heal all the user's previous wounds with no lingering signs; to which it can also restore one who is close to death.
  • Resurrection: The waters can even resurrect the dead, but only the body, while the soul stays apart from the body. This leaves the resurrected person a mindlessly aggressive animal, prone to violence and killing.
  • Enhanced physical conditioning: Usage of the water also increases one's physical abilities to superhuman levels, as the disoriented Thea was seen jumping 30 feet into the air after her submergence and pounced on Oliver with ease. However, this effect appears to be temporary.[8]

Drawbacks

  • Blood-lust: Those who are resurrected in the Lazarus Pit or use it to heal life-threatening injuries gain a feral blood-lust.
    • Heightened aggression: Usage of the pit can have a negative effect on the user's mental state, causing heightened aggression. When used on the dying, the revived person becomes mindlessly violent for a short period, after which they become disoriented, even having their memories mixed up. According to Malcolm Merlyn, this mental state happens because the Lazarus Pit contains traces of the souls of every person who has ever bathed in its waters. Those revived near or from death become so consumed by these negative effects that they become bloodthirsty once excited in battle. By giving into this impulse and killing, the person's blood-lust will subside for about a month. The longer a person goes without satisfying this blood-lust in any form, the more easily enraged into a psychotic frenzy the person becomes, as Thea demonstrated when she viciously pummeled a man who bothered her. Only by killing the one who hurt them before entering the pit will the person be truly released from their blood-lust. In addition, if the blood-lust is not satiated in any form for a prolonged period of time, the restored life will begin to fade, leaving the person weaker and sickly before ultimately dying from a reemergence of the very injury that leads to the person's demise. This blood-lust is even worse for one who was resurrected. While physically their being is restored, their soul remains missing, leaving them mindless savages with only fragmented memories and mental capacities to their former self, making their insanity and desire for murder all the more consuming. Only with a mystical restitutionism to recover the mindless reanimated's soul can allow for their true and complete resurrection, restoring them to as they were and without the need for killing, though the desire can still appear. The only known way to permanently remove both the desire and need to kill is to be injected with a mysterious elixir called the Lotus.
  • Diminishing potency: Apparently, the pit's powers gradually lose their potency on an individual after an unknown number of repeated uses by that person; each use is less effective than the last.[2]
  • Destruction: There is a way to destroy the Lazarus Pit's waters. Nyssa's father, Ra's al Ghul, found a way to destroy it in case the waters ever fall into the wrong hands, of which Nyssa clearly knew, as she destroyed the Pit in Nanda Parbat after it was used to bring Sara back to life.[8]

Appearances

Arrow

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

Season 6

Season 7


DC's Legends of Tomorrow

Season 1

Season 2

Comics

Arrow: The Dark Archer

Behind the scenes

  • In the DC comics, there is more than one Lazarus Pit as they are located all over the world, like its DC comics version, in the Arrowverse, the Lazarus Pit's waters allow a person to live far beyond there normal lifespan. However, the waters lose their potency after a number of centuries and begin to weaken their effects.
  • In the DC comics, Nyssa Raatko discovered a way to make the Lazarus Pit's effects last indefinitely.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "The Fallen"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "The Offer"
  3. 3.0 3.1 "The Thanatos Guild"
  4. "Nanda Parbat"
  5. "Second Chances"
  6. "Left Behind"
  7. "The Magician"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Restoration"
  9. "Confessions"