|Ra's al Ghul|
|Appeared in|| Batman Begins|
The Dark Knight Rises
|Actor|| Liam Neeson|
- "If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself an ideal, and if they can't stop you, then you become something else entirely. Legend, Mr. Wayne."
- ―Ra's al Ghul [src]
Ra's al Ghul was Batman's mentor. He and Dr. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow attempted to release Scarecrow's fear toxin into Gotham's sewers, but James Gordon and Batman stopped them. Gordon damaged some train tracks that were part of the tracks that the train with the fear toxin was on, and moments before it went off the tracks and crashed and exploded in a car garage, Batman said to Ra's: I won't kill you, but I don't have to save you. Ra's used his last moment to meditate. It is unknown if he survived the crash.
The young Ra's al Ghul was a skilled mercenary from an unknown Arabian kingdom in the employ of a local warlord, whose daughter he fell in love with and secretly married. When the warlord discovered this, Ra's was sentenced to a nearby ancient well-like prison described as hell on earth known as "the Pit", but the warlord secured his release by sending Ra's wife and unborn daughter, Talia, to the prison in his place. Ra's later joined an ancient organization of injustice called the League of Shadows and rose through the ranks relatively quickly until reaching the promotion as its leader, unaware of his family's imprisonment. When Talia escaped with the help of a fellow inmate called Bane and located her father, Ra's turned the League on the prison, killing the inmates responsible for his wife's murder but sparing Bane's life. Training his daughter and her protector in League's ways, Ra's was never able to accept Bane as anything but a "monster" who was a reminder of the hell that his wife was left to die in, and excommunicated Bane from the League.
- See: Ra's al Ghul (Decoy)
Mentoring Bruce Wayne
Ra's and the League of Shadows attempted to use economics as a mean of destruction upon Gotham City as a mission the League has practiced upon other cities for centuries to correct humanity's recurring fits of decadence and presumably protect civilization and the environment. However, they underestimated a few of Gotham's richest citizens, including Thomas Wayne, who nearly bankrupted Wayne Enterprises into helping the city by building a cheap public transportation system. This unfortunately led indirectly to his and his wife Martha's murder in front of their son Bruce at the hand of Joe Chill, who attempted to mug them after losing his job. Their deaths subsequently prompting the industries to band together and save the city.
Masquerading as an associate of his own decoy under the alias Henri Ducard, Ra's finds Bruce Wayne in a Chinese prison and offers him a "path." After Wayne is freed, he climbs up to the home of the League of Shadows, where Ducard is waiting. When asked if he is ready to begin, Wayne replies that he can barely stand. As a test, Ducard attacks Bruce and explains that death would not wait and neither should they. When he defeats Wayne, Ducard asks him what he fears.
After Wayne recovers, Ducard begins training him in every aspect of ninjutsu. Ducard is portrayed as a very skilled warrior and a stern teacher in these segments. Throughout his training, Bruce is unable to best Ducard, but comes extremely close during a sword battle, fought upon a frozen glacial lake. However, he forgets to take full notice of his surroundings and Ducard simply breaks the ice beneath him for the victory. While Bruce is recovering from the cold water, Ducard reveals what brought him to the League of Shadows. He once had a wife whom he loved very dearly. One day she was killed by a criminal. Ducard was almost consumed by anger until he learned to control it and channel it to obtain vengeance for his wife. The novelization also mentions that his daughter presumably Talia is in Switzerland.
At the end of his training, Ducard forces Bruce to face him while slightly drugged. Ducard hides among several of his men while Bruce attempts to locate him. Leaping out at Bruce from his hiding place, Ducard manages to wound Bruce slightly on his arm. Bruce, however, gives an identical injury to two of the other ninja, thus tricking Ducard into believing that Bruce has left him a 'sign'. When he rushes forward to capture his 'student', Bruce reveals the trick and defeats his master. As a final test, Ducard hands Bruce a sword and orders him to kill a captured convict, but Bruce refuses, having realized that he cannot fight evil with evil's methods, and that compassion is necessary to separate him from his enemies. Ducard explains that Bruce must do what is necessary to fight evil, while Ra's reveals that they have trained Bruce with the intention of him leading the League to destroy Gotham City, which they believe has become hopelessly corrupt. Bruce subsequently knocks Ducard out and sets the League's fortress aflame, apparently killing Ra's. Ducard is rescued by his pupil before the fortress collapses.
Ra's al Ghul's attack on Gotham
Months later, Ducard unexpectedly reappears, and reveals that he is actually the real Ra's al Ghul (Watanabe's character was a decoy, and Henri Ducard was merely an undercover name). In the ensuing confrontation, Ra's elaborates on the League of Shadows' exploits throughout history (sacking Rome, spreading the Black Death, and starting the Great Fire of London). Ra's explains that the League plans to use a fear toxin invented by their partner Dr. Jonathan Crane (alias the Scarecrow) to infect the city with mindless panic, and watch it destroy itself. Ra's then has his henchmen burn down Wayne Manor with the intent of killing Bruce.
With the aid of Alfred, Bruce survives the fire, and confronts Ra's al Ghul as Batman, Ra's commenting that Batman took his advice of "using theatricality" too literally before escaping and going on with his plans. Batman catches up, and teacher and student have one final battle on a runaway train. Ra's' arrogance is ultimately his downfall after Batman defeats him and reveals Gordon's assistance in taking the rails out of the tracks, using Batman's Batmobile; Batman tells Ra's that he himself has failed to be mindful of his own surroundings, as Bruce had learned before. Informing Ra's that he won't kill him, but that he doesn't have to save him, the hero leaves Ra's for dead on the train, which falls moments later into a car garage and explodes. Ra's uses his last moment to meditate and is killed in the explosion.
To be added
- Bruce Wayne/Batman - Student turned enemy.
- Talia al Ghul - Daughter.
- Bane - Student.
- Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow - Ally.
- Nolanverse (2 films)
Behind the scenes
- According to the novelization of Batman Begins, Ra's al Ghul has a daughter named Talia, who is Ra's daughter in comics' continuity.