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Talia al Ghul (Arkhamverse)

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Talia al Ghūl
TaliaArkham1
General Information
Real name: Talia al Ghūl
First Appearance: Batman: Arkham City (Detective Comics #411)
Created by: Denny O'Neil
Bob Brown
Dick Giordano
Affiliations: Batman
League of Assassins
Rā's al Ghūl
The Joker
Abilities: Extended lifespan through the use of Lazarus Pits.
Portrayed by: Stana Katic (Voice)


"You must show you are willing to take a life to save the world."
―Talia al Ghūl to Batman [src]

The daughter of Ra's al Ghul, Talia al Ghul aids her father in his mission of bringing their self-defined perception of peace to the world through the eradication of most of its population. Having been trained to a physical and mental peak by her father, Talia is a true force to be reckoned with and uses her brilliant mind to implement and run several legitimate business empires to fund the League of Assassins' illegal operations throughout the globe. Despite being the second in command of the organization and the daughter of Ra's, Talia is not as ruthless as her father and is much more compassionate, namely during desperate circumstances, though she is nonetheless ruthless enough to be chosen as the heir to the League of Assassins over her sister Nyssa in the event that Batman refuses to replace Ra's.

She has been an enemy, ally, and lover of Batman since the pair met and became romantically involved. While Ra's cruelly manipulates Batman's love for his daughter in an attempt to enlist him in his plans, Talia's immense love towards the Dark Knight often conflicts with her loyalty towards her father, which begins to dwindle over the years. Aiding her father in a sinister conspiracy known as Arkham City, Talia's true loyalties are tested to the ultimate extremes throughout the long and brutal night.

Biography

Talia met Batman when he saved her from an attack, but in the process he was stabbed with a poison dagger. Talia took him and nursed him back to health and she unmasked him to tend to his wound. She introduced him to her father, who wanted to form an alliance with him. Bruce and Talia developed a relationship but Batman discovered Ra's al Ghul's murderous goals.

Before Arkham City

Five years later, and a year before the events of Arkham City, Batman and Talia would encounter each other in Metropolis which ended with them spending the night together. Talia herself appears to remember the night fondly and it is implied that this was the beginning of their love-hate relationship.

Batman revealed that his feelings for her hadn't changed, but neither did his view of Ra's. Talia offered to let Batman slay her father and take his place, but Batman refused. She returned to her father who revealed he scheduled a meeting with Hugo Strange.

Talia later was involved in the planning process alongside Ra's of Arkham City. The eve before Protocol 10 was to commence, however, she received a message from her father: Namely, due to the pit's restoration of him becoming less successful each time, he needs to find a successor, and that if Batman is unwilling to take the mantle of leader of the League of Assassins, then he will elect Talia to act as leader due to her merciless nature, especially when compared to her sister, Nyssa.

Batman: Arkham City

Because of her father's frail nature and growing psychosis, Talia has assumed duties as the second in command of the League of Assassins and is overseeing their operations in Gotham alongside her personal guard. While responding to an intruder alarm, Talia is surprised to find that her beloved is the intruder. Ordering that the assassin he tracked would be dealt with later, she spoke with Batman and expressed her concerns regarding his health. Much to her surprise, Bruce reveals that he's ready to undergo the Trials of the Demon and take his place by her side. 

She urged him to reconsider due to his weakened state due to the Titan poisoning and because he would have to violate his rules about killing, but led him to the chamber at his urging. Overjoyed that they would finally be together, Talia was distressed to learn that it had been a lie to gain access to her father to get a blood sample and that he had no intention of completing the Way of the Demon by killing Ra's. Outraged, Ra's threatened his own daughter, but was saved by Batman. Nonetheless, Talia stormed out because of the betrayals by both her father and her beloved.

Talia was, in secret, monitoring Batman because of his condition and followed him to Joker's Funland in the old Sionis Industries building. During this time she found Harley Quinn and duct taped Quinn to a pipe, taking the cure from Harley as well. There she finds Batman held at knifepoint by Joker and makes a deal with him; if he frees Batman, she will give him access to the Lazarus Pit and he will lead the League of Assassins by her side. While they're on their way to the League's lair, Joker turned against her and took her hostage in the Monarch Theatre. Batman pursues her after defeating Hugo Strange and confronts Joker, who demands the cure in exchange for Talia's life. Talia is able to stab the Joker with her ceremonial sword, much to the anger of Batman for her murdering Joker.

She then presents Batman with the cure to the Titan toxin, and Batman realizes that Talia did not really kill anyone: Joker was in fact Clayface the entire time. Talia is shot in the back by the real Joker and apologizes to Batman with her last breath. The cure falls from Talia's hands and rolls towards the waiting Clayface, who takes it into his body. Batman spends part of the fight attempting to dislodge the cure from Clayface's skull, and uses Talia's sword to fight Clayface. He also uses her blade to destroy the Lazarus Pit, preventing Joker from reaching immortality and possibly killing Clayface in the process. 

Post-Arkham City

Her equipment was placed at the evidence locker of the GCPD, with Batman mourning for Talia upon visiting her locker. In addition, because of her presumed death alongside the death and failed revival of Ra's al Ghul, there was a splintering of the League of Assassins between those loyal to Nyssa and those loyal to Ra's, which escalated into a bloody civil war around Halloween night.

An audio tape within the Elliot Memorial Hospital also reveals that, even if Strange had proven himself as a worthy successor, Ra's still would not have granted him immortality and control over the League, instead intending for Talia to take his place should Batman still refuse to cooperate and agree to become his successor. This cements Strange's role within the Arkham City conspiracy as nothing more than another mere pawn on the warlord's board to manipulate for his own ends and then dispatch when his usefulness had served its purpose, although Strange did at least have the foresight to anticipate a betrayal and take Ra's with him once it happened.

However, when visiting the morgue at Elliot Memorial Hospital, Talia's locker was left ajar and her body was not found even by detective vision.

Trivia

  • Unlike most versions of Talia who have dark hair, Talia has light brown hair in the game. However, in Arkham Unhinged, her light hair is revealed to be a dye.
  • Talia never had a biography in the previous game, and was only mentioned in her father's biography. She is one of four characters (the other three being Deadshot, Solomon Grundy and Nora Fries, who was only mentioned in her husband's biography) to appear in the game but not have a bio in Batman: Arkham Asylum.
  • Talia's body is missing during the entire battle between Batman and Clayface, suggesting her body was taken by the League of Assassins, or it could be an oversight on the developers' part.
  • Talia's involvement in the game was revealed through a tweet for her voice actress, Stana Katic rather than any official announcement, which suggests that either she was meant to have been revealed at a later time or was not intended to be revealed at all until she appears within the game itself. It's also possible that she was told that she was allowed to reveal it through a tweet.

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