Heroine Overview

Nyssa Raatko, better known as Nyssa al Ghul (Arabic: نيسا رعتكو‎) is an anti-heroine/antagonist appearing in the CW superhero TV series Arrow, as an anti-heroine in Seasons 2, 4, 5 and 6 and a supporting antagonist in Season 3. She is the daughter of Ra's al Ghul, sister of Talia al Ghul and a high-ranking member of the League of Assassins. She was also a close friend and ex-lover of Sara Lance. Nyssa later becomes the wife of Oliver Queen, who has joined the league in the attempt to defeat Ra's.

She is portrayed by Katrina Law.

Personality

In the heat of battle, Nyssa shows a cold 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 Assassin as well as Ra's Al Ghul's daughter, Nyssa shows a warm, kind, and caring side.

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 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 show 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.

She is shown to be a yandere as she tried to kill Sara's parents, and poison Sara's sister to bring Sara back to her.

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 ex-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 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, although it was later revealed she was partly correct as he had drugged Thea and had her kill Sara, however, she did not actually have any evidence that Malcolm was the culprit, as Nyssa's actions were not only out of line, but also out of control.

Nyssa is extremely arrogant towards opponents who are more powerful and skilled then she, like Oliver Queen and Malcolm Merlyn, the latter that she threatened to kill, but failed miserably, she also has a habit of making promises she cannot keep, like when she told Quentin Lance she would die before she lets Sara die, and yet she failed to protect Sara and later promise to kill Malcolm was Sara's death, and also failed miserably.

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 honourific "sensei" before threatening to kill him over Malcolm's location.

She does not have a sense of justice and honor, as Nyssa believes revenge is justice, which is quite the opposite.

Despite her intelligent and calculating personality, 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 his blade, 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). Nyssa is not always without compassion or reason however. 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 rather than going for lethal methods.

Abilities

  • Peak of human physical condition: As a highly skilled assassin, Nyssa is shown to be in top physical condition with fast reflexes. Nyssa is also noticeably much faster than Oliver and Malcolm, despite the former being the same age as her.
  • League of Assassins training: It can be assumed that Nyssa has gone through the training all League members do. She likely possesses skills with a variety of other melee weapons such as swords, darts or the dagger that she keeps at her thigh.
  • Master hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: Nyssa has displayed that she is highly skilled in hand-to-hand combat and martial arts, with a prowess that seems to rival Oliver's. She was able to easily beat five armed guards in a matter of seconds. She faced the Arrow head on in a close quarters battle in which she almost beat him. She proved herself an agile fighter, using her light weight and flexibility to her advantage. Despite being bested by both Oliver and Malcolm in the past she was able to defeat Malcolm in single comba, (however, she only manage defeat Malcolm, because she caught him off guard). In every single one of her confrontations against Oliver, she was never able to defeat the latter.
  • Master archer: Nyssa demonstrated skills in archery that also rivaled Oliver's. She was able to fire multiple arrows in rapid succession from a moving car at an even faster moving target. She was able to face off against the Arrow in a duel of archers and nearly won; depriving the Arrow of his quiver with one of her arrows. She was able to quickly fire arrows while dodging his shots at her. Keeping up with the Arrow in this fashion had only been done by Malcolm Merlyn.
  • Master swordswoman: As a member of the League of Assassins, Nyssa is a master swordswoman. In "The Magician", she used a sword against Oliver and Malcolm. Using her sword she was able to defeat and capture Malcolm. However, in "Al Sah-him", in her sword duel against Oliver, she was swiftly subdued by the latter. In "My Name Is Oliver Queen", she was able to defeat some assassins using Oliver's sword by herself.
  • Free running/Acrobatics: Nyssa is shown to be highly skilled in entering and leaving buildings. Like Sara she uses a scarf to quickly descend down from ceilings.
  • High-level intellect/Master tactician/Leader: Nyssa is highly intelligent as she was able to devise a plan to poison Laurel and kidnapped Dinah to drawback Sara and kidnapped Thea to lure Malcolm Merlyn. As the former heir to the demon she displayed leadership skills as she lead a team of assassins against Slade's Mirakuru army and to capture Malcolm Merlyn.
  • Toxicology/First aid: Nyssa displayed a familiarity with poisons, using a small amount to poison Laurel Lance in a ruse to bring Sara back, as well as knowing that Sara was poisoned immediately. She later used a dart to make Roy pass out. She is skilled in first aid, she treated the sword wound on Oliver's hand and nursed Sara back to health.
  • Multilingualism: Nyssa is capable of fluently speaking English and Arabic.
  • Meditation: Nyssa is skilled in Meditation, she was able to stay calm while held captive in a cell by Team Arrow.

Equipment

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Customized Hunting Arrows: Nyssa carries a number of black arrows with her at all times. These arrows feature a special red fletching and tip.
  • Trick arrows: In "Al Sah-him", 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.
  • Dagger: Nyssa carries a personalized dagger at her right thigh. It features a gold trim and a marked blade. She draws this dagger upon seeing Sara and during her battle against the Arrow.
  • Sword: Nyssa can proficiently wield a sword. It is unknown what type of sword it is.
  • 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.

Victims

  • Isabel Rochev/Ravager

Indirectly

  • Several League of Assassins members
  • Several members of Talia al Ghul's cult

Relationships

Sara Lance

At some point Nyssa met Sara bought her the League of Assassins, the two later became lovers, however, Sara left the League, as she did not want to kill people anymore, much to her heartbreak, however Nyssa let her go, as she realize, Sara would just commit suicide to avoid returning to the League.

After Sara got killed she became furious and was convinced Malcolm 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, although it was later revealed she was partly correct as he had drugged Thea and had her kill Sara, however, she did not actually have any evidence that Malcolm was the culprit, as Nyssa's actions were not only out of line, but also out of control.

Her actions went too far, as she threatening to kill 50 people just to draw out Sara's killer, under the misguided belief that Sara would want her death avenged no matter the means and so dishonoring Sara's memory. However, She disapproved of bringing Sara back to life via the Lazarus Pit since she wouldn't be the same person she once knew.

Oliver Queen

When Nyssa first met Al Sah-him, back when he was known as Oliver Queen, she immediately had a bad start in a relationship with him, she hates Al Sah-him, for no apparent reason; for defeating her in battle, robbing her of her so-called justice for the death of Sara Lance, and for supposedly stealing her position as the next leader of the League, initially Ra's had ordered Al Sah-him to kill Nyssa for her betrayal - but stopped him at the last second - reasoning that Al Sah-him had emotionally broken Nyssa (something that Ra's was unable to do as an heir to the demon, to his ex-best friend Damien Darhk and that her death would serve no purpose, Ra's decides that the two should marry to unite their families bloodlines, much to Nyssa's dismay, Nyssa boldly states that she would rather die than become Oliver's wife, however, Ra's emphasised that she has no choice in the matter. Later she was brought before her father and Oliver for dinner, the night before her wedding when she once again refused to marry Oliver. Ra's threatened that if she did not marry him, she would suffer the pain of a thousand deaths. Unknown to her father at the time, she had secretly procured and hidden a knife while she was at their dinner in the hope of assassinating Oliver at the soonest opportunity to avoid marrying him. When the wedding begins Nyssa walks down the aisle, making her attempt as the Priestess spoke of their ceremony. She tries to stab Al Sah-him with the knife, only to be disarmed by him, after which Al Sah-him calmly instructs the Priestess to continue. Nyssa is reluctant to continue with the necessary rituals to seal their matrimony - but a threatening look from her father forces her to resign herself to her fate and go through with the wedding, and so - the ceremony ends with Al Sah-him and Nyssa being officially married.

While not completely explicit, her animosity towards Al Sah-him might be lessening, as she has shown multiple times that in "My Name Is Oliver Queen", 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 Al Sah-him to the ground; and later when she treated his sword wound after his battle with Ra's. Notably, Nyssa held no ill-will against Al Sah-him 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.

Laurel Lance

At first, Nyssa didn't like Laurel and mentioned she wasn't worthy to wear the jacket of Sara. She later changed her mind and mentioned Laurel reminded her of Sara and was friendly with her even after she considered Oliver an enemy. Nyssa later shared memories with Laurel about Sara and later even asked her to dinner and offered to train her.

Trivia

  • Nyssa's relationship with Sara, and even being named Nyssa, is the result of a time paradox. A time displaced Sara traveled back to the 1960s to join the League of Assassins back then, but before leaving Sara told Ra's that he would have a second daughter he would name Nyssa and told him to send her to Lian Yu around 2008 where Nyssa would meet Sara's younger self.

See also

Navigation

           Arrowverse logo.png Heroes

Arrow
Oliver Queen/Green Arrow | John Diggle | Felicity Smoak | Thea Queen | Laurel Lance (Earth-1) | Quentin Lance | Sara Lance | Nyssa al Ghul | Lyla Michaels | Curtis Holt | Rene Ramirez | Dinah Drake | Laurel Lance (Earth-2) | Roy Harper | Ray Palmer | Slade Wilson | Helena Bertinelli | Monitor

The Flash
Barry Allen/The Flash | Iris West-Allen | Cisco Ramon | Caitlin Snow | Joe West | Wally West | Jesse Chambers Wells | Harrison Wells (Earth Two) | Jay Garrick | Ralph Dibny | Kamilla Hwang | Barry Allen (Earth 90) | Monitor

Legends of Tomorrow
Sara Lance | Ray Palmer | Mick Rory | Leonard Snart | Rip Hunter | Jefferson Jackson | Martin Stein | John Constantine | Ava Sharpe | Gary Green | Nate Heywood | Zari Tarazi | Damien Darhk | Nora Darhk | Amanda Jiwe | Charlie

Supergirl
Kara Danvers/Supergirl | Alex Danvers | James Olsen | Winn Schott | Cat Grant | J'onn J'onnz | Lena Luthor | Clark Kent/Superman | Maggie Sawyer | Mon-El | M'gann M'orzz | Querl Dox | Nia Nal | Kelly Olsen | Monitor

Batwoman
Kate Kane/Batwoman | Luke Fox | Mary Hamilton | Jacob Kane | Sophie Moore | Julia Pennyworth | Monitor

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.