- "I know the toll a father can have on a child, even long after he’s gone."
- —Nyssa al Ghul to Thea Queen[src]
Nyssa Raatko (Arabic: نسا راتكو ) (born May 10, 1985), better known as Nyssa al Ghul (Arabic: نسا أل غول), is a former member of the League of Assassins and an ally of Team Arrow. Nyssa is also the daughter of the late "Ra's al Ghul" and the late Amina Raatko, the younger paternal half-sister of Talia al Ghul, and the younger maternal half-sister of Saracon. She is also the ex-lover of Sara Lance and the former mentor/close friend of the late Laurel Lance. Nyssa rescued Sara from Lian Yu and brought her to Nanda Parbat to be trained by the League. Nyssa was briefly "Ra's al Ghul" and the last person to have the title, making the personal choice to disband the League of Assassins and destroy the ring of Ra's al Ghul. Shortly after Sara Lance’s resurrection, she destroyed the Lazarus Pit to prevent it from being used ever again.
Nyssa al Ghul was born on May 10, 1985, to Ra's al Ghul and one of his concubines, Amina Raatko. Nyssa was born a sickly infant and her father took her away from her mother about as soon as she was born. Nyssa was raised in the League of Assassins at Nanda Parbat, becoming a proficient swordswoman by the age of eight. Among those she trained with was Athena.
Nyssa had an older half-sister, Talia al Ghul, and the two were implied to be close. However, at some point when Nyssa was a child, Talia left Nanda Parbat to forge her own path after realizing Ra's would never pass his mantle to her. Nyssa was subsequently left to endure her father's harsh nature alone and grew to despise Talia for her abandonment. After Talia left, Nyssa became next in line to succeed her father in the event the prophecy of someone surviving a battle against him didn't come true.
Nyssa was very mischievous in her youth, having the "panache of a thief". She would often steal extra atayef at meal times and stow the sweets away in her room, but Ra's always found her hiding spots. Nyssa would grow to learn that she couldn't hide anything from him. From a young age, Nyssa loathed her father and lived in constant fear of him. She harbored a burning desire to one day kill Ra's and take his place as the Demon's Head. Nevertheless, she was proud of her title as the Daughter of the Demon and a member of the League.
In 1993, Nyssa brought Malcolm Merlyn to her father to be trained as a League member. In their first meeting, Nyssa named Malcolm "Al Sa-her" ("The Magician") after he pulled a coin out of her ear as a magic trick.
On her father's behest, Nyssa traveled to Lian Yu in October 2008, a year after the Queen's Gambit sank. There, she met Sara Lance dying of starvation, having seemingly given up on living. This event was unknowingly orchestrated by Sara herself when a future version of her told her father back in 1960 to send Nyssa to Lian Yu to find her younger self a year after the Queen's Gambit was sunk. She took Sara in and nursed her back to health and Sara decided to join the League of Assassins. However Ra's never saw Sara worthy enough for the League as Sara never fully renounced her past life, as part of the League's code, and still remembered who she was and where she came from, and Ra's even tried to make Sara leave with a demonstration of his power. However Sara simply laughed whereas others had quaked in fear and from this point on, Nyssa deeply fell in love with Sara. At some point, Sara begun to return the affection and they became lovers. Ra's however never approved of Nyssa's relationship with Sara as he saw Sara as weakness to his future heir, knowing that Sara would one day leave the League, either by choice or by death.
In 2013, following Malcolm Merlyn's Undertaking, Sara left Nanda Parbat to check on her family but failed to return after several weeks. Nyssa eventually learned that she'd refused to return home. Following this, she set out to find Sara and use any means to find her beloved.
Looking for Sara
Nyssa arrived in Starling City to find Sara. A scan of her passport declared her an active A.R.G.U.S. threat. The security attempting to detain her were met with brutal force at her hands. Following this, Nyssa quickly left the airport.
Nyssa eventually found Sara, and kissed her. Nyssa revealed she hadn't decided which she would do to Sara, also indicating that she knew Oliver Queen was watching from afar. Sara asked Oliver to let her handle Nyssa. The two walked away and discussed their former relationship. Nyssa expressed how hurt she was that Sara had just left her without saying goodbye. Sara responded to her with warmth and feeling, apologizing. She begged Nyssa to release her from the League just as Ra's al Ghul had done previously with Malcolm Merlyn, but Nyssa brushed this off as a horrible one-time mistake. After sharing another close moment, Sara told Nyssa she wouldn't go back, and to do what she had to. Sara stood waiting as Nyssa drew her dagger from her thigh. A surprise to her, Nyssa wouldn't kill her, leaving.
Later on, a member of the League kidnapped Sara's mother, Dinah Lance, working with Nyssa. Oliver and Sara tried to stop them as they drove away, however Nyssa drove them back with a deadly stream of arrows. Nyssa called Sara, telling her that she had 24 hours to make her decision of rejoining the League or facing the consequences for deserting them. Nyssa had no choice in the matter as she also would face consequences for not attempting to bring Sara back properly.
It is revealed Nyssa tricked Sara into coming back to Starling by poisoning Laurel Lance with snake venom, and having witnessed the other League member kill himself earlier, Sara decided to take his poison vial and told Nyssa she would rejoin the League. Upon arriving with her father, Nyssa released Dinah. She was happy to see Sara back, only to be shocked to see Sara had taken the poison. This sent Nyssa into a despairing sadness and rage. When Sara's parents arrived she immediately and swiftly disarmed Quentin and was about to kill them before being blocked by The Arrow. The two engaged in archery and hand-to-hand combat where Nyssa disarmed and almost killed Oliver with her dagger. However Oliver managed to trap her in a chokehold. As this happened, Sara struggled towards them, begging Oliver to spare her former lover. Oliver hurried to Sara's side, saving her with the herbs taken from Lian Yu. Touched by Sara's would-be final act, Nyssa released her vows to the League. As the police arrived, Nyssa was nowhere to be found.
Sara later contacted her and agreed to join the League again if Nyssa would help save Starling City. Nyssa and a group of League members joined Oliver's team and armed themselves with arrows containing the Mirakuru cure to combat Deathstroke's soldiers, and to cure the Mirakuru serum in their bodies. Oliver instructed Nyssa and her group that no one should be killed, She did not agree at first, telling him that the League did not take any prisoners, but eventually decided to follow his orders. They then confronted Slade in his office and beat all of his soldiers while he managed to escape. Nyssa and Sara managed to quickly take out Isabel Rochev who began to mock Oliver. Although technically acceding to Oliver's demand that there be no killings, Nyssa herself delivered the coup de grâce on a disarmed and neutralized Isabel Rochev, telling Oliver that "your reticence to do what is necessary is why your city burns". The group then went to the tunnel to engage Slade's Mirakuru-infused thug army. The group used their archery and close combat skills to beat the soldiers. Nyssa personally made several shots during the melee in the tunnel which saved Oliver and Roy. When Slade's plan had been derailed, Nyssa swore to Sara's father, Quentin Lance, to keep Sara safe. She then took a willing Sara away with her on a ship to rejoin the League.
After Sara returned to the League, she and Nyssa resumed their relationship. When Ra's heard of news of Malcolm being in Starling City, he ordered Sara to go investigate. The night before she left, Sara and Nyssa slept with one another. Nyssa offered to take Sara's place as she felt that something bad was going to happen to Sara. However, Sara passed it off as Nyssa worrying.
Not long after, Sara was killed by Malcolm through Thea Queen. Nyssa decided to find out what happened to Sara after there was no contact from her lover for some time.
Hunting Sara's killer
Upon Sara's disappearance, Nyssa stormed into the Arrowcave, aiming an arrow at Oliver. Oliver informed her of Sara's death. Shocked and heartbroken, Nyssa revealed that Malcolm was still alive and that Sara had come to Starling City to trace a rumor that he was here. Nyssa visited Sara's grave, where she encountered Laurel. Nyssa swore a blood oath to avenge Sara's killer using the words "أقسم بحياتي". Nyssa went to Sara's safe house and began to cry when she noticed Oliver behind her. She and Oliver found pictures and notes Sara had made while investigating Malcolm. Team Arrow and Nyssa found out Merlyn was hiding in a Buddhist temple. Infiltrating the temple, Nyssa confronted the leader who was meditating. Realizing it was Malcolm as the leader passed away years ago, Nyssa tried to kill him but Malcolm incapacitated her and fled the scene, though Oliver managed to put a tracker on him. Nyssa was angry at Oliver that he did not attempt to kill Malcolm.
Nyssa was furious upon learning Oliver had talked to Malcolm and did not believe he killed Sara. After learning Thea was actually Malcolm's daughter, Nyssa kidnapped her as bait to lure Malcolm to her. Oliver freed Thea and started to fight Nyssa. Malcolm later showed up and soon managed to overpower Nyssa. Malcolm swore to Nyssa that he did not kill Sara and suspected her own father to be the killer. Oliver remained firm with Nyssa that he wouldn't kill Malcolm or allow the League to come near him, much to Nyssa's anger.
Before leaving the city, Nyssa talked with Laurel, whom she encouraged to train and become stronger.
After returning to Nanda Parbat, Nyssa reported what happened to her father, who assured her that Malcolm would face justice. However, Nyssa appeared to have doubts regarding Malcolm's guilt in Sara's death, especially when her father stated that Sara "was never truly one of us". Upon hearing of Oliver's decision to protect Malcolm, Ra's declared war on him.
Nyssa later traveled to Starling city with a group of assassins and captured Oliver. She informed him that he had 48 hours to find Sara's killer or the League would start killing citizens. After this, she was present when the deadline had passed and her father talked with Oliver. Oliver said he had killed Sara which made her react in disbelief. Oliver lied that he killed her because she begged him as she did not want to return to the League. He then challenged her father for a trial by combat which he accepted. She was present on the mountain where Oliver and her father would have the duel. She said she envied Oliver as he would see Sara soon (in death). Nyssa watched on as Oliver and her father dueled. Ra's eventually gained the upper hand, fatally stabbing Oliver in the abdomen and kicking the latter off the mountain, seemingly to his death.
Nyssa later confronted her father about Oliver being still alive. Ra's was aware of this and stated he also knew that Oliver did not kill Sara. Nyssa questions if he ever approved of her relationship with Sara. He said he knew their love would only end in heartbreak. Nyssa mentioned that even if Oliver did not kill Sara he still deserves to die for defying her father. Nyssa and a group of assassins went to Starling City as they looked for Malcolm Merlyn, they got contacted by Thea who offers them Malcolm Merlyn in return for safety. Nyssa agreed and Thea tells them where Malcolm is. Nyssa and her team find Malcolm as he is getting attacked by Laurel. He easily fended her off and took her baton, after which she pulled a gun on him. Her assassins quickly disarmed Laurel and surrounded Malcolm. Nyssa faced Malcolm in a duel while she used her scimitar and he used the baton of Laurel. After a short fight she managed to overpower him and knocked him out. Preparing to leave by helicopter Nyssa told Malcolm he would suffer for what he did. Malcolm replied that her father only wanted to punish him for the undertaking and the he never cared for Sara. Malcolm said her love for Sara made her unable to take the place of her father. Oliver Queen came to his rescue. Nyssa ordered her men to leave with Malcolm while she prepared to hold Oliver off. She fought Oliver however he managed to tie her up with a trick arrow and capture her. As the helicopter flew Malcolm away she mentioned to Oliver that Malcolm will never be seen again. Nyssa got locked up in a cage in the Arrowcave. She spend her time meditating as Oliver and his team discussed what to do. Oliver send the rest away as he asked her where Nanda Parbat is. Nyssa explained that every action of him had frustrated the vengeance for the death of Sara, and she tells him the location as she is certain he will die there. Laurel later brought her water and Nyssa said Malcolm will get tortured by her father, but Laurel does not seem please how the killer will be punished. Laurel said she hated Merlyn and that he was like a piece of Sara that still existed. However now he is gone she can not even remember the sound of Sara her laugh. Nyssa told her that the first time Sara was brought to her father she was the witness of a demonstration of his power, however she simply laughed as she was completely innocent. It was that moment Nyssa fell in love with her. A touched Laurel thanks her for sharing this. Thea later visited her at her cage as she explains she can not live with the guilt of what she did. Thea explained to Nyssa that she lied to her and that she was the one who killed Sara. Thea then opened the cage door and hands Nyssa her scimitar as she says she can have her revenge.
Nyssa took the scimitar but refused to kill Thea. A frustrated Thea explained how she killed Sara while being drugged. Nyssa said that the murder will be revenged with the death of Malcolm. Laurel and Roy came in and attacked Nyssa as they believed she had escaped. Nyssa knocked them both down but was shot with an anesthetic and passed out. Locked up in the cage she was surprised when Oliver returned and set her free. She demanded an explanation as she refused to believe her father had let Malcolm go. Oliver told her to just go home.
When she arrived at Nanda Parbat, her father said coldly he was happy to see her again. She demanded to know why he had let Malcolm go. Her father explained it was a favor to Oliver as he would become his heir. Nyssa said it was because he did not approve of her relationship with Sara. Her father explained how she was unfit to be his heir as she had allowed weakness to come into her life which had made her emotional in her judgement. Nyssa attempted to kill him with a sword strike which he easily blocked. Nyssa said she would not watch her legacy being given to an outsider and left.
Leaving the League
Nyssa later came back to Starling City and saved Laurel as the police station was under attack by Murmur. Killing multiple gunmen she then left the scene. Nyssa later talked to Laurel and told her Laurel reminded her of Sara. Nyssa asked Laurel if she would like to talk about her father as they both had some issues with their fathers. Laurel agreed and they went to dinner while Nyssa complimented her fighting skills and offered to train her as she would stay in Starling City for a while.
She met with Oliver in an alley as he asked for her help. She refused to betray her father which resulted in him bringing up Sara. She then gave Team Arrow the location of a building that the league has been using as a staging ground. Nyssa then showed up and helped Laurel when she was cornered by her father.
Nyssa continued training Laurel. She made Laurel track a criminal. When Laurel and the criminal fought and he started to overpower her Nyssa swiftly intervened and took him out. Nyssa showed Laurel that the criminal was carrying two knives and the two then went to get a milkshake.
When drinking their milkshake Nyssa was surprised with the fries and the talked about how they enjoyed spending their time together. Nyssa mentioned she enjoyed the last few weeks and thanked Laurel for being kind to her after being subjected by her father. Laurel mentioned she had to tell Nyssa of how Oliver was now with the League. Nyssa mentioned that Laurel should not have hidden that from her and angrily left the restaurant.
Laurel met Nyssa at her hideout and told her she was sorry for not telling her however she did not wanted to upset her while she seemed so happy these last two weeks. Nyssa told Laurel she should not keep secrets especially after her relationship with her father suffered because of her secrets. Nyssa told Laurel she should stay away from her as Oliver and the League will come for her now that he has become the heir.
Nyssa and Laurel went to John and Felicity and told them that Oliver was brainwashed and is no longer the person they knew him to be. John and Felicity mentioned they could not believe it and Nyssa told them she was damaging the memory they had of him. She told them she would not hide and she would face him and accept her destiny.
Nyssa went to the rooftop where Sara got killed. Oliver showed up and she asked him if he still remembered her or if his memory of her had been destroyed by her father. Oliver told her she had to come to Nanda Parbat. The two attempted to shoot each other, however both managed to dodge and block the arrows. Nyssa and Oliver then fought each other using their bows and swords. After a short fight Oliver quickly disarmed her and knocked her down. Before he could kill her Laurel and John stopped him. As they told him to back off Oliver quickly escaped the scene by jumping of the roof.
At her hideout Nyssa nurtured her wounds and told Laurel she should not have intervened. Laurel mentioned she did not want to lose her as well after all the people she lost. Nyssa mentioned that the last few weeks she realized there was a life outside of the league however as daughter of the Demon that life would never be for her. Laurel mentioned that she did not recognize Oliver when he fought Nyssa. Nyssa mentioned he has changed, however Laurel mentioned that she could change as well.
John and Felicity visited them and told them Lyla had been captured to force them to surrender Nyssa. Furious John scolded Nyssa and the League for their lack of honor. Laurel tried to calm him down however he wanted Nyssa to surrender to the League. Nyssa told them she will give herself up however Laurel told them they would lose their soul if they would surrender her to get Lyla back. Nyssa, Laurel, John and Felicty met with Oliver and the Assassins. Oliver ordered Maseo to search them for weapons. Felicity refused to be touched and Oliver made Maseo back off. Oliver ordered Nyssa to be bound and then released Lyla. Maseo ordered Nyssa to kneel before Oliver however she refused. Lyla grabbed two guns hidden on Felicty and quickly shot two assassins. In the ensuing fight Nyssa took out two guards and managed to break her bonds after which she took a sword. She fought Maseo in single combat while Team Arrow quickly got overpowered by the Assassins. When Laurel got overwhelmed Maseo quickly subdued the distracted Nyssa and captured her. Nyssa then got dragged away by the assassins.
When brought before her father he told her about how she used to steal during meals but that he always found out. He then unlocked her sword and found the Omega virus. Ra's told her he would try to remember her as she was before she left the League. Nyssa mentioned that her whole life she had been afraid of him but she was not scared of him anymore. Ra's ordered Oliver to kill her but stopped him at the last second. He congratulated Oliver for overcoming her and said that her death would serve no purpose. Learning he wanted her to marry Oliver, Nyssa mentioned she would rather die. However Ra's said she had no choice in the matter. He told her that she will marry Oliver and she would become Bride of the Demon.
Later she was brought before her father and Oliver for dinner, Ra's decided that he wanted the title Ra's to be in the family line and so he wanted a grandchild so he told Nyssa to get pregnant with Oliver's child, a decision that she was visibly displeased by. Later her father met her in her room and told her to be respectful to him but instead she scoffed at him. Her father had brought in a necklace that belonged to her mother and told her about how he met her, when she refused to marry Oliver, he held her face in a threatening matter and forced her to marry Oliver.
After Oliver's team was captured and infected with the Alpha Omega virus, she married Oliver and the "union is sealed" as said by the Priestess.
When Ra's put his plan into motion which was to infect Starling City with the Bio-weapon, she was put on the plane and guarded by several members of the league. The plane was later sabotaged and Nyssa looked confused, Ra's was about to kill his own daughter when Oliver revealed his deception, he gave his sword to Nyssa and she killed the majority of the men on the plane. Ra's, unfortunately escaped with the canister with the only parachute and they landed the plane safely in the forest. They infiltrated Palmer Technologies and gave the group a scare, she held the group at bow-point but was brought down by Oliver, Oliver was later knocked down by Diggle and she raised her bow at him again to protect her new husband but was again brought down by Oliver.
Later when the group formed a plan, she went with Laurel to take down another member of the League and despite not being inoculated, she went along with the plan saying "This is my father's doing, I will see it undone". After this she parted ways with Oliver to Nanda Parbat. Nyssa returned to Nanda Parbat where she discovered Malcolm had become the next Ra's al Ghul, with his proof of ascension being that he was tortured by Ra's sword and he survived also stating that he wanted to escape Ra's just like she wanted, Nyssa stated she hadn't forgiven him for what he had done and vowed that she would have justice. Malcolm welcomed her to try and she was forced to kneel in front of him along with the other dozen members in the room.
Meeting with her mother and half-brother
Along with Rainie, she came to Malcolm's aid when he was captured by Lourdes and Saracon. She had only seen her half-brother from afar, and had not been able to speak to him. Nyssa looked into the depths of the cave and saw Lourdes's corpse, not knowing that she was her own mother. She asked Malcolm who she was and he lied that Lourdes was no one Nyssa knew. After that, they left the collapsing cave, leaving Lourdes's corpse behind.
Disbanding the League
Malcolm and Nyssa were sparring before Laurel and Thea arrived in Nanda Parbat to try and convince Malcolm to use the Lazarus Pit to resurrect Sara which Malcolm refused and Nyssa agreed to with his decision. Nyssa later explained to Laurel that using the pit has serious consequences and her father paid a dark price for using the pit and she didn't want to see Sara go through that pain. After Malcolm finally agreed to use the pit on Sara, Nyssa furiously barged in and told Laurel that all that was happening to Sara was her responsibility. Nyssa later destroyed the pit and was taken away by Malcolm.
After she was held prisoner, she refused to eat anything, only waiting for the correct time to strike against Malcolm and his men, all the while asking Talibah to assist her in gathering loyalists for her war against Malcolm. During her imprisonment Nyssa stunned to be visited by Sara whose soul had been restored, and was overjoyed to see her beloved again. Sara promised she'd find a way to get her out of Nanda Parbat but Nyssa reminded her, that her own actions led to her predicament. Nyssa also told Sara that if she did truly still love her then she would leave and never look back, and find a new life for herself united to her past. Tearfully Sara agreed and the former lovers hugged one last time before she left.
Nyssa eventually escaped from Nanda Parbat with the help of an assassin Talibah, who slipped a key to her via a hollowed out pepper in her dinner. The pair searched for the Lotus in Kyushu, guarded by Tatsu Yamashiro. Tatsu and Nyssa found their skills to be too evenly matched for an outcome and Nyssa gave the option to keep fighting or give up and listen to the news she had on a situation concerning Oliver. Later that night, Nyssa showed up at Thea's hospital room offering Oliver the Lotus elixir, which counters the effects of the Lazarus Pit, on the condition he kills Malcolm.
After Laurel was tragically killed by Damien Darhk Nyssa returned to Star City to pay her respects. However Nyssa grew concerned when Quentin asked if there was any way to bring her back i.e. the Lazarus Pit, but Nyssa told him she'd destroyed it and there is no other means to bring Laurel back. Concerned for Quentin's well-being Nyssa approached Oliver and asked him to speak to Quentin, to convince him he's in denial and needs to embrace the grief. Later Nyssa attended Laurel's funeral along with Diggle, Thea, Felicity, Quentin, Dinah and Oliver before leaving Star City yet again.
A matter of family
In May 2017, Nyssa was contacted by Oliver to help defeat Adrian Chase/Prometheus and rescue his family and friends. Malcolm was reluctant to work with her at first, but accepted it after some persuasion from Oliver. Malcolm revealed to that they would also be fighting against Chase's mentor, Talia al Ghul, Nyssa's paternal half-sister, much to her shock. After tracking Chase's plane, the trio flew to Lian Yu, where Chase and his allies were. During the flight, Nyssa briefly mentioned that Ra's al Ghul sent her to Lian Yu nine years ago in 2008, and she found Sara on the island.
On the island, Nyssa had intercepted Talia, who taunted her sister for her foolishness 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. Nyssa then dueled and defeated her sister, but as Talia's acolytes lunged at her, Slade had arrived just in time to slaughter them. As Nyssa held her sword to her throat, Talia 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. She then assisted Team Arrow and Deathstroke in defeating Talia's acolytes with Adrian Chase and like everyone else, she was shaken when Chase stated Oliver's son was dead.
Chase rigged the island with explosives, with his death as the trigger, and he eventually shot himself in the head, committing suicide and destroying the island, with Nyssa still on it.
Nyssa was not a member of the Thanatos Guild, however she went undercover to get into their organization and exploit them. She triggers an explosion in the Guild headquarters and engages in a fight with them before escaping and traveling to Star City. Nyssa intercepts Thea Queen and Roy Harper as they are on their way out of the city and informs Thea of the Guild's threat against her as she is also an Heiress to the Demon. She enlists Team Arrow's help to obtain Malcolm's last sift, a mysterious box in which they initially were unaware of what it encased, before the Thanatos Guild can retrieve it. With the help of Oliver Queen, Thea Queen, Felicity Smoak, Roy Harper, and John Diggle, she uncovers a map revealing the existence of three more Lazarus Pits around the world. She has set out to destroy the remaining Lazarus Pits alongside Thea and Roy as a way to ensure that they are not used for corrupt purposes and to right the wrongs done by her father, Ra's al Ghul.
After they successfully destroyed all the Lazarus Pits, Nyssa went to Thailand in order to deal with some leftover League business.
Nyssa assisted The Flash, Kid Flash, Batwoman, The Ray, and The Atom on a mission to stop Outkast from destroying more Earths. Despite help from the Justice Alliance, they were unable to prevent Outkast from destroying Earth-D and Earth-76.
Nyssa was restored to life when the multiverse was restored. Nyssa later attended Oliver Queen's funeral with her sister Talia and reunited with Sara.
In an erased future where Oliver died in the Crisis, Nyssa filled in the role of training his and Felicity's daughter, Mia Smoak, as she grew up. Under Nyssa's tutelage, Mia became a master in combat by 2040.
In a reality created by Eobard Thawne using the Spear of Destiny, Nyssa's life was drastically altered so that she was living a "miserable, closeted life" in the middle of Ohio, courtesy of Malcolm and the spite that he had for her.
- "I recognize what you are doing. Part of me even respects it, but the leadership of the League of Assassins is in the balance here. It is naïve to think this can be resolved without bloodshed."
- —Nyssa al Ghul to Oliver Queen[src]
In the heat of battle, Nyssa shows a stoic demeanor and a cold-blooded killer side. When not in the heat of battle, contrasting what people would expect from her being in the League of Assassins as well as Ra's al Ghul's daughter, Nyssa shows a warm, kind, and caring side to those she loves such as her friends such as Laurel alongside Team Arrow, and her love interests such as Sara Lance.
Her pain is evident in her first appearance, heartbroken that Sara had left her behind. She was more upset over this than any apparent betrayal of the League. She refuses to kill Sara, even when she is offered the opportunity to do so. She finds herself stricken with grief when she discovers that Sara had poisoned herself, rushing to her aid and crying. An ultimate act of "kindness" on her part was releasing Sara from her allegiance and oaths to the League as well as the threat of the League of Assassins; touched by Sara's undying care for her as the woman begged the Arrow not to kill her; despite being on the verge of dying herself. Her "friendliness" is also shown in her debut; giving a warm smile and a playful wink to a young boy waiting in line near her at the airport. Nyssa also seems to be very moral as she simply subdued the guards that tried to arrest her during her debut and didn't involve innocent people and simply made her way out after she subdued them.
Nyssa can be just as cold as any other member of the League of Assassins. She acts more so out of personal vendetta than loyalty to the League. She wouldn't kill Sara, but she resorted to kidnapping her former lover's mother in retaliation, she delivers an ultimatum, declaring that she would show Sara how it felt to have someone she loves taken from her if she doesn't return, this act of vengeance for Sara leaving her continues, she feels once again abandoned when Sara would rather die than return to the league, and to her. She declares that if this were to be the case, she would kill Sara's family. However, she quickly abandoned this when she realized Sara would rather die than return to the league and chose to free her rather than letting her die, this implied she still cares for Sara despite them no longer being lovers. Even when Sara agreed to return to the League of Assassins in exchange for them helping subdue Slade's army, she told Quentin Lance she would die before she lets Sara die.
After Sara got killed she became furious and was convinced Malcolm Merlyn was the killer. In the process she even abducted Thea to draw Malcolm out. When Oliver didn't believed Malcolm did it she quickly considered him an enemy as well, and was prepared to kill him. She had a deep hatred for Malcolm as she was convinced he had killed Sara despite him swearing on his daughter he wasn't responsible, it was later revealed she was partly correct as he had drugged Thea and had her kill Sara.
At first, Nyssa had a contentious relationship with Laurel Lance, since the latter held the former responsible for Sara's death while Nyssa believed Laurel wasn't worthy to wear Sara's jacket. Later though, the two began to grow closer, with Nyssa admitting that Laurel reminded her of Sara and offered to train her in becoming Black Canary. The two remained on friendly terms even when Nyssa considered Oliver an enemy, often sharing their memories about Sara.
Nyssa is shown to be knowledgeable of cultures and respectful even when she is on a vendetta. This was shown when she referred to "Jansen" with the honorable "sensei" before threatening to kill him over Malcolm's location.
Despite her intelligent and calculating traits, Nyssa is prone to allow herself to be emotionally blind, especially when it comes to Sara, she even tried to attack Ra's al Ghul in a fit of rage upon learning he denied her what she believes to be her heritage, according to Malcolm, Nyssa's ultimate dream was to succeed her father, which she lost all chances of doing when she chose a relationship with Sara, Nyssa believes this as well and believed Ra's making Oliver his successor was a way to punish Nyssa (however, this is untrue as Ra's' reasons for making Oliver his successor, is because he survived their duel, and because Nyssa has proven herself unfit to become the leader of the league as she has time and again proved that she allows her emotions to cloud her judgment) however, Nyssa is not always without compassion or reason, she did spare Thea for physically killing Sara since she was mind controlled by Malcolm to do so. She also put down the sword Thea gave her to subdue Roy and Laurel non-lethally instead of going for lethal methods.
While not completely explicit, her animosity towards Oliver might be lessening, as she has shown multiple times that she trusts and cares for him, examples include when she willingly listened to his every word when they crashed the plane; her immediately raising her bow to defend her new husband when Diggle punched Oliver to the ground; and later when she treated his sword wound after his battle with Ra's, notably, Nyssa held no ill-will against Oliver when he killed her father despite wanting to do it herself and even quickly changed the subject to his surviving getting shot due to his league armor, conveying a warm smile during which.
Despite not being together, she still sees Oliver as her husband and Thea as her sister-in-law, this is also further proven that they both care about each other when Oliver requests they use an ancient set of rules so that he would have to face Malcolm, instead of Nyssa, Nyssa has demonstrated that though she can be emotionally blinded by her desires she is capable of change as she realized from Laurel's advice that she was turning into her father in her quest to remove Malcolm from his throne, and instead of continue the league's ways she used her newfound authority as Ra's al Ghul to disband the League of Assassins and parted with Oliver and Laurel on civil terms.
Nyssa has grown to care for Oliver and his team, having gone through the trouble of coming to Oliver to help him when he reached out to her, even going as far as to calling them her friends and that she stands with them when her sister, Talia, questioned her resolve for allying with their father's murderer.
Despite being forced into their marriage, Nyssa still acknowledges Oliver as her husband, even though she does not love him like one, implying that she still commits to vows. This seems to be in an effort to embarrass Oliver as she even told Slade Wilson about their marital status, causing Slade to question Oliver's love life.
- Peak of human physical condition: As a highly skilled assassin, Nyssa is in top physical condition with fast reflexes. She is noticeably much faster than Oliver Queen and Malcolm Merlyn, despite Oliver being the same age as her. Nyssa was strong enough to break the neck of Isabel Rochev.
- Acrobatics/Free-running: Nyssa is extremely agile and graceful, able to easily parkour on her surroundings during fights. Like Sara Lance, Nyssa can easily descend from large heights with a scarf.
- Honed senses: As a trained assassin, Nyssa has highly developed senses, able to detect the presence of others before they approach her. For example, Nyssa deduced Oliver was watching her meeting with Sara without turning around.
- Master hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: Having trained with the League of Assassins since childhood, Nyssa is a highly skilled hand-to-hand combatant and martial artist, having gone through the same training that all league members do, though being the daughter of Ra's al Ghul meant that she was subjected to a higher level of training. Her style seems to comprise of Boxing, Karate, Taekwondo, Kickboxing, Kung Fu, and Krav Maga. Nyssa was able to easily beat five armed security guards in a matter of seconds. She also contended against Oliver as the Arrow head-on in both of their two close quarters fights, even managing to briefly gain the upper hand and almost beat him until he eventually turned the tides. Nyssa proved herself an agile fighter, using her light weight and flexibility to her advantage. She also even able to hold her own against Malcolm repeatedly, although Malcolm would always gain the upper hand over her. Nyssa once defeated Malcolm when she had a sword while he only had a stick and caught him off-guard. However, during the League civil war, Nyssa confirmed that she couldn't defeat Malcolm in unarmed combat. Nyssa was also able to overwhelm Maseo Yamashiro in their fight, only losing since she became briefly distracted by Laurel Lance being defeated. Nyssa repeatedly displayed the ability to hold off and defeat several members of the league and the Thanatos Guild by herself at once, though she was defeated in a confrontation against the guild's leader, Athena. She eventually trained Mia Smoak how to fight.
- Master archer: Nyssa demonstrated skills in archery that seemed to rival that of Oliver and Malcolm's. She was able to keep up with Oliver in their first one-on-one archery battle and almost won. Nyssa can also easily shoot arrows from a moving vehicle.
- Master stick-fighter: Nyssa has proven to be a very proficient stick-fighter, she was able to take down multiple armed guards with a police baton. Like Oliver, she offen uses her bow as a blunt weapon in close combat.
- Master swordswoman: As a former member of the League of Assassins, Nyssa is an excellent swordswoman, she was able to overpower and capture Malcolm when she had a sword while he only had a stick. In their sparring sessions though, Malcolm had repeatedly defeated her, also, during the League civil war, Nyssa confirmed that she couldn't defeat Malcolm in a sword duel. Furthermore, in her sword duel against Oliver, who had greatly improved his swordsman skills, Nyssa was disarmed in seconds. Nyssa was able to defeat some assassins from the League using Oliver's sword by herself and proved able to fight on par with, even defeating her older half-sister, Talia al Ghul, despite the latter's much greater experience; though it's possible that she simply caught Talia off-guard. Nyssa was able to put up a good fight in her confrontation against Athena, but she was soon bested.
- Master knife welder/Knife thrower: Nyssa is a highly proficient knife welder, as she was able to easily slit the throat of a League member and is also able to throw her darts with great accuracy.
- High-level intellect/Master tactician/Leader: Nyssa is intelligent and well-trained in strategy and subterfuge. She devised a plan to poison Laurel and later kidnap Dinah Lance to force Sara Lance into returning to her and the League. She also kidnapped Thea Queen to lure out Malcolm. As the former heir to the Demon, Nyssa displayed leadership skills as she lead a team of assassins to battle Slade Wilson's Mirakuru army and retake the league from Malcolm. Nyssa was also able to infiltrate the Thanatos Guild and discover their endgame, even having devised a fail-safe to help her escape the guild if she was discovered.
- Explosives expert: Nyssa has become highly trained with the usage of plastic explosives, as she placed a network bombs in the base of the Thanatos Guild to cover her escape while she infiltrated the group.
- Expert medic: Nyssa is highly trained in first aid. She nursed Sara, who was dying of starvation on Lian Yu, back to health, and treated a sword wound on Oliver's hand after his battle with Ra's.
- Toxicology: Nyssa displayed a familiarity with poisons. She used a small amount of Tibetan viper venom to poison Laurel in a ruse to bring Sara back, and also immediately figured out that Sara had poisoned herself with said venom. Nyssa later used a dart laced with a sedative to make Roy Harper pass out.
- Multilingual: Nyssa is capable of fluently speaking English, Arabic, Japanese, and Russian.
- Meditation: Nyssa is skilled in the art of meditation, which she used to stay calm while being held captive in a cell in the Arrowcave by Team Arrow.
- Stealth/Infiltration/Escape artist: Nyssa is highly experienced in entering and leaving buildings undetected, like Sara, she uses a scarf to quickly descend down from ceilings. Nyssa was able to break into the Arrowcave undetected and ambush Oliver and Roy. She also infiltrated the Thanatos Guild undetected long enough to learn of their plans.
- Customized hunting arrows: Nyssa 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: Nyssa wields a personal compound bow, similar to that of Malcolm Merlyn. It is possible that this bow is the signature bow to the League of Assassins.
- Dagger: Nyssa carries a personalized dagger at her right thigh. It features a gold trim and a marked blade. She drew this dagger upon seeing Sara and during her battle against the Arrow.
- League of Assassins suit: Nyssa wears a protective suit of black robes, unique from the usual garb worn by League assassins. Her suit differs in that it features loose fitting garbs and a red shoulder pauldron.
- Sword: Nyssa can proficiently wield a sword. It is unknown what type of sword it is.
- Trick arrows: Shortly after her return to Starling City, Nyssa uses a bola arrow to save Laurel from a thug, who was about to use a second knife, after the former underestimated her opponent.
- Quiver: Nyssa wears a black quiver to keep arrows on her back at all times.
- Scarf: Nyssa uses a scarf to descend down a ceiling. She also used a scarf to block Malcolm's arrows.
- Darts: Nyssa was shown using a dart to poison Roy Harper and make him pass out.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Arrow: Season 2.5
Arrow: The Dark Archer
Crisis on Infinite Earths Giant
- Nyssa meeting Sara Lance, and being given her name, is the result of a bootstrap paradox. When the 2016 version of Sara became stranded in 1958, she joined the League of Assassins and was released two years later in 1960. Sara told Ra's al Ghul to send his future daughter, whom she suggested would be named "Nyssa", to Lian Yu in October 2008, where Nyssa would meet Sara's younger self, who will repeat the cycle.
- Despite not being together, Nyssa and Oliver Queen were married under the League of Assassins law until Nyssa annulled the marriage in "".
- Nyssa has a habit of introducing herself to characters who do not know who she is, like Oliver and Felicity Smoak, stating "I am Nyssa. Daughter of Ra's al Ghul. Heir to the demon".
- Nyssa developed a fondness for black & white milkshakes. Like Laurel, she grew to like her fries dipped in milkshake.
- Oliver has remained to be the only person Nyssa has allowed to fight a battle on her behalf.
- Nyssa didn't start using a computer until she was 25.
- In "", Nyssa and Sara are still in love with each other.
- Though her reign as Ra's al Ghul was brief before she disbanded the League, Nyssa nevertheless remains the only living person to hold the title.
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics, Nyssa Raatko is Ra's al Ghul's older daughter. She was alienated from her father and the League like on the show, and she plotted for decades to murder him and take control of the League, along with her younger sister Talia al Ghul, whom she drove to insanity by killing and reviving her repeatedly with the Lazarus Pit.
- In the promo for "", Nyssa is shown in full costume battling Roy Harper. However, this scene did not make it into the final episode.
- Nyssa referring to Sara Lance as her "beloved" is similar to Talia calling her lover, Batman, "beloved" in the comics.