- For the character with the same first name, see Talia.
- "There is a monster inside you, yes, but it is not you. No. You need to create one. You need to give the monster an identity. It’s only when the monster becomes someone else — something else — that you’re free to be Oliver Queen."
- —Talia to Oliver[src]
Talia al Ghul (Arabic: تاليا الغول) is the daughter of the late "Ra's al Ghul" and the older paternal half-sister of Nyssa al Ghul. A worldly and cultured elite warrior, Talia is the leader of her own cult of combatants, similar to the League of Assassins, as well as the mentor of Yao Fei Gulong, Oliver Queen and Adrian Chase. After her father's death, Talia trained Adrian and joined his team in order to get revenge against Oliver, who killed Ra's. She also has history with Batman.
Talia's fate was left unknown after the explosions on Lian Yu, until Oliver found her in Slabside Maximum Security Prison, alive. She then revealed to him that she was the mysterious individual known as The Demon, who he'd been searching for, as she had some kind of connection to help him take down Ricardo Diaz. He and Talia later came to terms as Oliver helped her escape while Talia offered to help him expose Level Two of Slabside.
After defeating the Thanatos Guild with the help of Oliver and Thea Queen, Talia tried to reclaim her place as the new "Ra's al Ghul" but lost it in a fight with Thea, which later convinced her that they should lead the group together and rebrand it as the League of Heroes.
Talia al Ghul was born at some point prior to 1958 to Ra's al Ghul and an unknown mother. She was raised in the League of Assassins at Nanda Parbat, becoming a proficient assassin at an early age.
In 1960, Talia and her father, observed the time drifted Sara Lance as she was training and announced that she had the best performance. Afterwards, Talia's father advised her to learn from Sara's skills. As she grew up, 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, and eventually becoming the leader of her own cult of warriors.
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. She also began to despise Athena as her "blood enemy" and made an unspecified recurring enemy in Gotham City, which might be Batman, to whom she likely has a complicated relationship as she seemingly provided him an ancient suit of armor known as the Suit of Sorrows, that once belonged to the Order of The Pure, a splinter faction of the Order of St. Dumas.
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 in Hong Kong and Baron Reiter on Lian Yu.
Years later, in 2012, Talia found her way to Russia, saving Oliver Queen from Bratva Pakhan Ishmael Gregor. 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.
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.
Connection to Prometheus
After 2012, Adrian Chase, prior to the beginning of his crusade against Oliver Queen as Prometheus, was trained by Talia, instructions which included several specific fighting moves. 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 Prometheus's identity, though he mentioned that Talia never stays in one place for very long.
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.
Following a heated battle between Adrian and Oliver, Talia injected the latter with a tranquilizer arrow and the two kidnapped Oliver, taking him to an unknown location and chaining him in a cell. When Oliver reminded Talia that her father was a man of honor who wouldn't approve of his daughter aligning herself with a "psycho", Talia simply retorted that both she and Oliver have disappointed their fathers. As she was leaving, Talia ordered Adrian to make Oliver suffer, instructions to which he wholeheartedly agreed.
Showdown and a family reunion on Lian Yu
In May, Talia and her associates, Evelyn Sharp and Earth-2 Laurel Lance, began targeting the members of Team Arrow in preparation for Adrian's endgame. After capturing Dinah Drake, Rene Ramirez, and Curtis Holt, Talia had Laurel and Evelyn go after Thea Queen and Quentin Lance while she and her cult targeted Felicity Smoak and John Diggle, who were trying to leave the city.
When the pair noticed Talia in their car's path, they attempted to hit her, but she easily dodged them and slashed her swords across the windshield, momentarily blinding their view. The car swerved and crashed, allowing Talia and her fellow assassins to quickly secure a disoriented Felicity and Diggle. Talia, Laurel, and Evelyn brought all the prisoners to Lian Yu, where they met up with Adrian.
Talia and Evelyn guarded Thea, Felicity, Curtis, and Samantha Clayton, the mother of Oliver's son, who were imprisoned in cages. When Oliver, Slade Wilson, and Digger Harkness came to free them, they were ambushed by Talia and Evelyn. Talia forced Oliver to stand down by threatening to kill Samantha and Digger revealed he'd been working with Adrian all along. Talia and Evelyn gave Slade the opportunity to join them. Slade seemed to accept, but suddenly lashed out at Digger, allowing Oliver to quickly take out Evelyn. Talia fired an arrow at Samantha, only to be intercepted by Oliver's dart. Nyssa and Malcolm Merlyn then arrived to back up Oliver. Realizing they were outnumbered, Talia escaped with Digger using a smoke bomb, leaving Evelyn behind.Later at the monastery, Talia realized that the hostages were escaping when she heard Dinah's scream, but was intercepted by Nyssa. Talia taunted her sister for giving up the mantle of Ra's al Ghul and stated she left because it became clear that her father would never pass on the title to her. Nyssa pointed out that Talia selfishly abandoned her to suffer at the hands of their father alone. When Talia expressed how Nyssa brought shame to their father by aligning with Oliver, Nyssa simply stated that she was fighting alongside her friends and Ra's has always been ashamed of her. Talia warned her cult not to interfere before she dueled with her sister. After an intense battle, Talia was defeated and Nyssa held her sword to her throat. Talia attempted to goad her sister into killing her, stating Ra's would approve, but Nyssa instead knocked her unconscious.
Adrian had rigged the island with C4 with the trigger being a dead man's switch. He eventually shot himself in the head, committing suicide, which destroyed the island with Talia still on it.
Talia somehow survived the explosion on Lian Yu, albeit, only "barely". Sometime after, she was caught after facing her old adversary in Gotham and wound up on "Level Two" in Slabside Maximum Security Prison, where she started to use the codename "The Demon" and, under pressure from Diaz, ordered an attack on Oliver in the showers.
As Oliver ended up on Level Two and found her, Talia was still resentful of him due to killing her father. However the two made up after Oliver apologized for his misjudgement of Ra's Al Ghul before killing him and offered to help her escape while exposing the private activities in Level Two and the psychiatrist Jarrett Parker, which she gladly accepted. With Oliver's aid, they faked a prison fight so they could infiltrate Dr. Parker's lab, where Oliver copied the archives from Level Two into a USB drive before fighting their way past correctional guards to the morgue. Talia then made her escape through the dump chute, but not before Oliver requested her to pass on the USB to Felicity, deciding to remain here to protect his name and buy her some time to escape.
After successfully breaking out of Slabside, she returns with her equipment and gets her revenge on Jarrett Parker, having exposed for his private, illegal, psychiatric activities, by electrocuting him with a shock bracelet she was chained with, proceeding to kill him with her sword.
Founding the League of Heroes
In less than an year, Talia managed to rebuild her cult and start to train them near Nanda Parbat; there, in 2019, she was approached by Oliver and Thea Queen since her former student was on a mission for Mar Novu and wanted to know if he can actually trust him. Although initially reluctant to help them, Talia became convinced after Oliver told her that she would thus pay off their debt, so she accompanied them to Karan Shah, the League's former stronghold, now reduced to a maze of catacombs, which she considered the only place that can have informations regarding said entity.
While walking into the catacombs, Talia told Oliver and Thea the history of Al-Fatih, the founder of the League of Assassins and fist holder of the title of "Ra's al Ghul" who was visited by "a god" who bestowed upon him knowledge not previously possessed by man, implying the need to keep the balance or else the "god" would bring about the end of times. Then, the three found The Chronicles of Al-Fatih a scroll containing a marble with the map to the man's tomb. After the attack of Athena and the Thanatos Guild, they were forced to gave her the map but managed to escape and, as Talia had memorized it, locate the tomb of Al-Fatih. However, they choose to left Thea behind since Oliver thought it was too dangerous for her and, after finding the key for the Crypt of Ra's, Talia betrayed her former student narcotising him as she doesn't want Athena to get there first and reclaim Al-Fatih's sword, that can give her the power to re-found the League.
Shortly after, she was captured by the Thanatos Guild and brought at the tomb in order to open their way, reuniting with Oliver an Thea. There, she took advantage of one of the pitfalls of guarding the tomb to sow the Thanatos Guild and seize the sword, but was soon confronted by Thea and, despite her superior skills, eventually subdued and defeated while Oliver took down Athena and her men.
Ashamed at her defeat, Talia released her students ordering them to follow Thea as she should be the new Ra's al Ghul, however, the latter answered that she doesn't believe that the world would need another League of Assassins suggesting her that they should rebrand the group to the League of Heroes instead and lead it together. At first, Talia refused Thea's proposal due to her several betrayals but Thea dismissed those as mistakes, convincing Talia to accept her offer.
During the Anti-Monitor Crisis, Talia as well as everyone in the multiverse except for the seven Paragons, was killed in an antimatter wave by the Anti-Monitor on December 10, 2019, only to be restored a month later, after the Paragons and the Spectre created a new universe.
Oliver Queen's funeral
Talia went to Oliver's funeral in order to honor her former student's heroism, there she reunite with her half-sister Nyssa and, despite some awkwardness the two women eventually reconcile. Talia expressed her condolences for her husband's death to Nyssa, who replied that she had their marriage erased as it was only a joke by their father in order to torment her, to which Talia stated their father's only wished for them to have a normal life, prompting Nyssa to reassure her that she had it. In that moment Sara went to the two thanking them both for having come and Nyssa introduced them to one another presenting Sara as "her beloved" and Talia as "her sister". Later, the al Ghul sisters listened to John Diggle's elegy for Oliver.
Talia is an intelligent, calculating and level-headed individual, 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, like her father, Ra's al Ghul, she originally was set on making the world a better place on 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.
Talia (apparently) had a closer and more affectionate relationship with her father, Ra's al Ghul, than her half-sister, Nyssa did, however, her ambition and complacency were greater, as, after years of being denied the right to succeed her father as the Demon's Head, it caused a strain on their relationship, as a result, Talia left the League of Assassins to find her own path in life. This also showed a very self-serving nature, as she left despite knowing that with her absence, it would leave Nyssa to endure the full focus of their father's harsh parenting style.
Despite Talia being estranged from her father, Ra's, she still loved him and was devastated upon learning of his death, after her father's death, she lost all sense of honor as Talia has aligned herself with Adrian Chase to get revenge, knowing full well that the former is a psychopath, showing that she as well is extremely vengeful like her new ally, 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, as they had the shared goal of getting revenge on Oliver, who killed Talia's father. This makes Talia indirectly responsible for Justin Claybourne's death, because Talia trained and encouraged Oliver to attack those on the list.
However, Talia is proven to be forgiving in certain moments, most notably when she and Oliver make up over their vendetta for one another, with Oliver helping her escape from Slabside Maximum Security Prison. Before she left, Talia gave Oliver a smile and gestured him good luck before making her way down the dump chute, but not before giving Oliver one last proud look at what he has become.
Powers and abilities
- Longevity: Despite being a child in 1960, Talia still possesses the health, performance and appearance of her physical prime. It is likely that she uses the Lazarus Pit to maintain her youth like her father, Ra's al Ghul.
- 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. She has also demonstrated excellent reflexes, as well as impressive flexibility and coordination. Her durability and resilience are remarkable as she was able to survive Lian Yu's explosion with just a few superficial scars.
- Acrobatics/Free-running: Talia is a highly accomplished acrobat, capable of scaling buildings and running from rooftop to rooftop with ease.
- Honed senses: Talia has both sharp sight and hearing, as well as advanced skills of perception for a normal human, as she has the ability to sense and identify people sneaking behind her back without looking at them.
- High-level intellect/Master tactician/Leader: Talia is highly tactical, both in preparation and while in action, able to quickly analyze the situation and how best to handle it. 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 knows much about the human anatomy, as she's probably the one who taught to Yao Fei about pressure point manipulation. 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 Konstantin Kovar's and then by Ishmael Gregor's men. She also has some knowledge of magic and mysticism, as she fully understands how the Lazarus Pit functions and is the only known person who has used it aside from her father and Malcolm Merlyn. As the leader of her cult, Talia has a group of loyal students that she trained to be effective combatants and killers, as well as to rebuild it in less than a year after her imprisonment.
- Expert investigator: Talia is a very perceptive individual; she was able to understand the various riddle in the tomb of Al-Fatih, as well as memorize the marble inside The Chronicles of Al-Fatih containing the map to said place in a matter of few seconds.
- Expert interrogator/Torturer: Talia is a very effective interrogator and torturer, as she taught Oliver how to use a Mongolian skinning technique on men.
- Expert medic: Talia is highly trained in first aid. She nursed Oliver back to health after he was tortured by Ishmael Gregor.
- Toxicology: Talia is very proficient in toxicology and has familiarity with poisons, able to use paralyzing drugs on her victims.
- Multilingual: Talia is capable of fluently speaking English, Russian, and Arabic.
- Master hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: Having trained with the League of Assassins, since childhood, Talia 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. Talia was able to effortlessly subdue Oliver Queen in their first meeting. She is also an exceptional teacher as her known students Yao Fei Gulong, Oliver, Adrian Chase and the members of her cult are exceptional combatants. Talia was able to defeat a group of armed correction officers with relative ease and fight for a while against Oliver now as Green Arrow (who had been personally trained by her father, Ra's al Ghul) before being subdued. However, Talia was no match for her unspecified nemesis in Gotham City who successfully sent her to Slabside. Talia was also able to fight on par against Athena and eventually subdue her long enough to escape and could dominate Thea until she let her guard down and got restrained with thick chains.
- Master stick-fighter: Talia used two police batons while fighting against the Slabside guards and subdued many of them with relative ease.
- Master swordswoman: As a former member of the League of Assassins, Talia is a highly skilled swordswoman, using her sword she was able to overpower and capture John Diggle and Felicity Smoak after having to stop their car while it was running. Despite being bested by Nyssa in their sword duel, Talia was probably only caught off-guard and indeed later proved to be the superior swordswoman when she proved able to compete against Athena, who had defeated Nyssa, in a sword fight, and quickly gain the upper hand over Thea Queen and eventually overcome her during their fight.
- Master knife wielder/Knife thrower: Talia is highly skilled at using knives, being able to hold her own against Oliver with them disarming each other.
- Master archer: Talia has proven herself to be a highly 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.
- Indomitable will/High tolerance for pain/Master survivor: A driven and determined individual, Talia is nearly fearless and almost always calm in every situation. She managed to survive Lian Yu's destruction and traveled from there to Gotham City, albeit wounded. She also demonstrated tremendous mental strength, able to endure Jarrett Parker's psychological torture. Talia also managed to rebuild her cult in less than a year after escaping Slabside.
- Master of stealth/Infiltration/Escape artist: 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: As a former member of the League of Assassins and the former leader of her own cult, Talia has many connections and contacts all over the world.
- 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 used 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.
- Talia al Ghul's battle suit: Talia also wears a protective suit similar to the one she gave to Oliver in Russia, albeit completely black and also equipped with a hood.
- Sword: Talia carried a single-edged sword as her sidearm and weapon of choice, she can also proficiently wield a pair of katanas.
- Quiver: Talia wears a quiver to carry her arrows.
- Throwing knives: Talia carries a set of throwing knives on her person, although she was never seen using them against an enemy.
- Smoke bomb: Talia used a smoke bomb to escape from Athena.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
- Talia is Oliver Queen's seventh mentor, after Anatoly Knyazev. Talia was also Oliver's final mentor during his five years away from Star City.
- Talia is the third of Oliver's mentors to align against him, after Slade Wilson and Maseo Yamashiro.
- Talia is also the third of Oliver's mentors-turned-enemies to make amends with Oliver, after Slade and Anatoly.
- Talia is indirectly responsible for the creation of Adrian Chase/Prometheus, as she was the one who encouraged Oliver to target those on The List, which resulted in Justin Claybourne's death. Talia also trained Chase on his journey to destroy Oliver.
- When Oliver asked how Talia could be Yao Fei's mentor when she was about half his age, she called it "a family secret". This is a nod to the Lazarus Pit before Oliver even met Ra's al Ghul.
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics, Talia is a daughter of Ra's al Ghul and lover of Bruce Wayne, also known as Batman, and the mother of their son, Damian Wayne, the fifth Robin.
- Though Talia is Nyssa's older sister in the Arrowverse, in the DC comics Nyssa is in fact Talia's older sister.
- Talia taking vengeance against and blaming Oliver for killing Ra's al Ghul bears some similarities to the plot of The Dark Knight Rises. In the film, Talia blames Batman for not choosing to save her father, which in her eyes, meant 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 she mostly operates behind the scenes.
- Talia mentioned having an "old enemy" in Gotham that apparently is Batman, despite in "" she spoke as if she actually met her enemy in person when she visited the city in 2017 after surviving Lian Yu's explosion while, as revealed in "", Bruce had disappeared from Gotham two years prior. However in "", it is revealed Bruce and Talia does have indeed a previous history together.