|“||I did fail you...I was a terrible father. I was obsessed with world domination. Because of that, I died. Leaving you all alone as a child, trapped with my name and my foolish dreams. Oh, I turned you into a demon long before Mallus did. That's why I'm begging you, do not let him take you away from me.||„|
|~ Damien trying to get through to his daughter.|
Damien Darhk is one of the main antagonists in the Arrowverse, first appearing in the CW TV series Arrow. Through he was a villain, he redeems himself so he can save his daughter from Mallus. He is mentioned in the third season and appears in the fourth season as the main antagonist. Darhk also appears as a recurring villain in the spin-off DC's Legends of Tomorrow, appearing as a minor antagonist in season 1, one of the two secondary antagonists (along with Malcolm Merlyn) in the second season and one of the secondary antagonists turned anti-hero/supporting protagonist in the third season of the series.
He was portrayed by Neal McDonough.
Damien apparently used to be arrogant and overconfident as he believed himself to be the worthy successor to the then-Ra's al Ghul. He was immensely intelligent, cunning and calculating as he managed to stay ahead of Ra's for years, evading him every time his ex-best friend tried to kill him. According to his late assistant, he was not someone who can be caught off guard so easily.
Damien was a perfectionist carefully planning out all his schemes and expects his subordinates to follow through without any mishaps. He will ruthlessly kill them for such failures if he believes they have not performed their duties to an adequate standard. Although he demanding good manners and respect from others, he was not above mocking people and their suffering.
Damien believes that the world was resistant to change and sees himself as one who brings about progress. He views his attacks on Star City as an act of mercy comparing it to putting down a dog on the street. He believes that to build something new and great the old must first be torn down first. Despite being marked for death by his old allies in the League of Assassins he has continued to follow the philosophy of the league and carries on with his own interpretation of it through his organization, H.I.V.E.. Despite his supposed good intentions, Damien has shown that he loves killing and torturing for his own amusement and it would give him great joy to watch the world burn regardless if he thought it was for the betterment of humanity.
Like many assassins, Damien was cold, cruel and ruthless, but he does have a sense of honor and good morals, for example; Damien has morals against torturing innocent children and says it was a line he would never cross. He became disgusted with Lonnie Machin for kidnapping Jessica Danforth's daughter Madison. Part of this might be related to Damien having a child of his own and understanding the pain of having a child in danger. Although he threatened William's life to get Oliver to give up his mayoral campaign and his attempts to fight Damien, displaying that he feels only if he was justified in carrying out such an action whereas he was angry at Lonnie for doing the same thing (albeit he still didn't cross the more line; regarding torturing innocent children) and Malcolm was the one who technically kidnap William, Damien chose not to release him from his captivity and would never have done so had Oliver not followed his instructions, and would not have harm William even if Oliver had refused to not followed his instruction; due to Damien being a parent himself. He also advised Quentin Lance to put his daughter back to her final rest as he believed that was more merciful than her enduring the consequences of her resurrection from the Lazarus Pit. He advised Quentin to do this as "one father to another".
Despite normally being serious and cruel, Damien was shown to have a definite (if sick) sense of humor. He grinned while mocking an A.R.G.U.S. guard whose life-force he was draining, declaring that it was fun and he could do it all day. Though confused when the Flash saved Green Arrow, as it happened so fast he had no idea what happened, he was also amused. His demeanor can be described as charmingly demented, as he is often quick to make light of whatever situation he is in, such as throwing in quips or comical references, regardless of the danger or gravity of what is occurring. This trait typically manifests through his smiling and jovial tone of voice at times that most people would consider inappropriate or unusual. It was a rather unnerving trait that intimidates his enemies and befuddles his allies on a regular basis. Upon his resurrection, he annoyingly asked "who stole my watch?", when he found that it was missing while all the witnesses were shocked or in awe to his revival.
Damien's ruthlessness was reserved for his enemies and keeping his men in place, and did not extend to his H.I.V.E. associates or family. He had protected his associates from Green Arrow, and weathered their sarcasm during setbacks without violent outbursts, such as when Oliver Queen showed his photo to the public. Where possible he will use persuasion to force his enemies to back down, only resorting to violence if they persist in getting in his way - though his methods of persuasion can themselves be quite violent.
Damien had little tolerance for disobedience, failure and disloyalty, as multiple times he threatens to kill Quentin Lance's daughter Laurel, if he ever betrays him, eventually going through with his threat after the latter betrays him, even killed Phaedra Nixon and Milo Armitage high-ranking members of his organization for their treachery; for allowing him to rot in prison.
Despite these negative traits of his, Damien was a loving husband and father; he cares about his wife Ruvé Adams and his daughter Nora Darhk, as he will kill anyone who dares try to harm them, he also had no tolerance for those who disrespect members of his family, as he killed Tomas for disrespecting his wife. Ultimately, once learning of his wife's death and the possible demise of his daughter, Damien lost all care for a better world, seeking to destroy it, regardless of who dies.
Ruvé's death and the destruction of Genesis had wracked all of Damien's hope for humanity, gaining a nihilistic and misanthropic perspective on everything. He truly believed that humanity was diseased and lacking in strength, unity and conviction, believing that Genesis was the only opportunity for the human race to restart through a peaceful utopian society (which ironically, most of its civilians are controlled through mind control) by starting anew. Damien still believes in what he was doing, claiming his goal to "cleanse (the world) of a millennia worth of rot" but now views the world as beyond saving, and its annihilation was a mercy. His grief over Ruvè had allowed himself to be engulfed over his insanity, as he was willing to kill himself and his daughter with the rest of the world but claims in the end the two would see Ruvé again.
Though he despises being treated as an underling or henchman, Damien has also displayed a willingness to work with others instead of a leader position to gain what he wants, displaying that he can work without his pride getting in the way especially the greater the self-benefit for him. Even though he hated working under Eobard Thawne’s control of Darhk tolerated it for the sake of his own survival in the future though with prompt from Malcolm Merlyn he forces Thawne to treat him as an equal partner. Similarly, Darhk has shown a sense of gratitude as he devoutly followed the time demon, Mallus after he resurrected him, even giving the demon his precious daughter and following out his orders with ruthless loyalty.
Due to his work with Eobard Thawne, Damien had developed a notable dislike of speedsters. This can largely be attributed to his negative interactions with the Reverse-Flash, as Eobard was often arrogant and condescending. This can also be seen in his contempt for Wally West when Kid Flash rescued Ray Palmer from being executed by Damien.
However, Damien proved that he did have a heart as he loved his daughter, Nora very much. When Ray had fatally shot her with a special gun designed to work against dark magic, he was immediately willing to trade Amaya's totem, which Damien had stolen, for a cure Ray had concocted, as Ray didn't want to be responsible for killing Nora. Although, when Nora immediately began to recover, he quickly double-crossed Ray, taking him prisoner. His love for his daughter was also shown when he, realizing that Mallus's freedom would be the death of his daughter, willingly allined himself with the Legends to keep Mallus imprisoned by preventing any further anacronisms, releasing Grodd in 1992 Zambesi to destroy the village only in an effort to stabilize the timestream. He was even willing to sacrifice himself for her, taking her place as Mallus's vessel after realizing that his host would die and that he loved Nora and he did not want to see her become a "Monster" like him.
After being resurrected by Mallus with the failure of his lifelong ambition “the Arc”, Damien has shown an even more sadistic and chaotic nature by reaping destruction across the timeline with his cabal to free his master, Mallus only to watch the world burn and rebuild it for the future. However, Darhk would show that he regretted his actions as he selfishly allowed his daughter to be corrupted so he could be revived, even sympathising with his hated enemy, Sara as he now understood the true agony of losing someone you love admitting that if he could take back murdering Laurel he would. Despite being enemies with the Legends, Damien has admitted that he liked Raymond because of his care for Nora (however misguided) and could sympathise with Nate with his problems even whilst Darhk was torturing him
Powers & Abilities
- Dark Magic: Damien Darhk is connected to the Khufu Idol, a mystical artifact that channels dark energies into him and allow him to gain mystical powers. Damien's skill in Dark Magic has made him very well known around the Mystical Community,with his profiency and power as a sorcerer being so advanced that even John Constantine would not dare face him.
- Negativity Empowerment:: It ha been stated that if a person who is facing him has more negative emotions the positive emotions, then that will only further empower him.
- Accelerated Healing: All the dark energies empowering him can even heal him. When he was shot in the abdomen with two arrows, upon reconnection to the Kyushu Idol, he healed instantly. This also makes him more resilient to physical trauma.
- Superhuman Strength: All the dark energies empowering him can greatly increase his physical strength. He was able to easily snap an arrow in half, lift a full grown human being with one hand and even throw Green Arrow with enough force to defrost he metal bar. He can easily overpower Green Arrow and Dark Archer using his strength.
- Teleportation: He can instantly relocate himself. He can catch his foes off-guard and even leave an area without a trace.
- Life-Force Siphoning: He could siphon the vital energies of a living being. This can temporarily boost his dark magic powers.
- Telekinesis: He could stop many projectiles and even choke groups of people with mere thought. With enough dark energy, he can even disintegrate oncoming projectiles and even stop an explosion in mid air.
- Superhuman Longevity: He has lived for hundreds of years. It is theorized that he had accomplished this through a combined use of the stolen Lazarus Pits and his dark magic.
- High Intelligence: He is extraordinarily intelligent, having amassed a vast set of knowledge relating to sciences, politics, media, secret cults, technology and mysticism. He even founded H.I.V.E, a secret organization and even avoided capture by Ra's al Ghul for many years.
- Master Martial Artist: Damien is an highly exceptional hand to hand combatant due to having received the highest level of training a League member can have. It is safe to assume his skill is on par with that of Ra's Ah ghul's own. In his prime,he was shown to be capable of defeating the highly proficient White Canary on numerous occasions without much effort,easily fending her off despite Sara using her Bo-staff and later swiftly pummeling Sara in a brawl. However,having solely relied on his powers,Damien has become rusty and depends on Magic to access much of his prime skills,evidenced when while he could defeat Oliver while he was rusty after he received League Training with ease and managed to almost stalemate him after Oliver has got back in shape,once he lost his Magic,Oliver swiftlt defeated him and just two Iron Heights Prisoners could bring him down. However,apparently having learned from this,Damien has seemingly retrained himself and was able to match and almost defeat oliver in their final fight despite his Dark Magic being negated by Oliver's White magic,altough he ultimately lost.
- Swordsmanship: Damien is also easily capable of using a sword masterfully. He could easily match up to Malcolm Merlyn and Sara Lance,notably,Malcolm was unable to beat Darhk and Sara had noticable difficulty doing so.
- White Magic: Magic utilizing goodness and light can overwhelm Damien's dark magic and allow the user to fight him physically and even potentially win.
- Powerlessness: If he does not regularly absorb negative energies, his powers will fade away. To keep his powers and sanity, he must regularly absorb negative energies, vital energies and perform blood rituals. If the Khusu Idol is destroyed, despite the fact that it can be repaired, his physicality will be severely weakened, that he can be defeated by normal people, despite his advanced combat prowess.
- 3x21: Al Sah-him (mentioned)
- 3x23: My Name Is Oliver Queen (mentioned)
- 4x01: Green Arrow
- 4x02: The Candidate
- 403: Restoration
- 4x04: Beyond Redemption
- 4x05: Haunted
- 4x06: Lost Souls
- 4x07: Brotherhood
- 4x09: Dark Waters
- 4x10: Blood Debts
- 4x13: Sins of the Father
- 4x14: Code of Silence
- 4x15: Taken
- 4x16: Broken Hearts
- 4x17: Beacon of Hope
- 4x18: Eleven-Fifty-Nine
- 4x20: Genesis
- 4x21: Monument Point
- 4x22: Lost in the Flood
- 4x23: Schism
- 2x08: Legends of Today
Legends of Tomorrow
- 1x02: Pilot, Part 2
- 2x01: Out of Time
- 2x05: Compromised
- 2x08: The Chicago Way
- 2x09: Raiders of the Lost Art
- 2x10: The Legion of Doom
- 2x12: Camelot/3000
- 2x15: Fellowship of the Spear
- 2x16: Doomworld
- 2x17: Aruba
- 3x05: Return of the Mack
- 3x06: Helen Hunt
- 3x07: Welcome to the Jungle
- 3x09: Beebo the God of War
- 3x10: Daddy Darhkest
- x12: The Curse of the Earth Totem
- 3x13: No Country for Old Dads
- 3x16: I, Ava
- 3x17: Guest Starring John Noble
- 3x18: The Good, The Bad and The Cuddly
- Darhk is the first villain of the Arrowverse to narrate the introduction of an episode. Normally, this is done by the respective heroes.
- Thus far, Darhk is responsible for the nuclear destrucion of two citys, Havenrock and New York. However, the latter has been revised by the Legends of Tomorrow.
- Darhk and Arrow's Season 5 antagonist Prometheus both encountered and fought the Green Arrow onboard a train for the first time.
- The wife of Neal McDonough, the actor who portrays Darhk, is also called Ruvé.
- Darhk's plan in Arrow's fourth season is just like that of Erica Kravid in the miniseries Heroes Reborn, a sequel to the superhero sci-fi series Heroes, and Paul Serene in the video-game Quantum Break. They both sought to preserve a small fraction of the world's population from an apocalyptic event (Quantum Break's Time Fracture, Heroes Reborn's solar flare and Darhk's nuclear missiles) for re-population. The difference is that he had intentionally sought to end the world while Paul and Erica thought it couldn't be saved, even though it could be.
- It seems that he doesn't know the Flash or at least does not recognize his signs, as he is completely oblivious what happened when Flash saves Oliver.
- It is implied that Darhk has a reputation throughout the world of magic. Even a powerful sorcerer like John Constantine is frightened by him and would rather leave Star City than to face him.
- During an argument at an arms auction in 1975, Damien was derisively nicknamed "The Master Race" by Mick Rory because of his blonde hair, blue eyes and Nazi-esque uniform. Ironically Damien himself stated to have despised the Nazis.
- Damien was aware that Malcolm Merlyn was Ra's al Ghul, and that his ex-best friend is dead; implying that he had some remaining connections within the League of Assassins before the League fell.
- Darhk is killed by Oliver in the exact same way that Darhk previously killed Laurel Lance: Being stabbed to death with an arrow.
- Darhk in 1962 looks like Anton Chigurh, another ruthless and successful assassin.