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|“||Who controls Gotham, Jim? You've never heard of our secret council?||„|
The Court of Owls is a mysterious group that serves as the main antagonistic faction in the television series Gotham. They (or at least their unknown leader) serve as the force behind Hugo Strange.
The secret council of Gotham City, the Court rules the city from the shadows. They employed Hugo Strange to find a way to reanimate the dead, caring only for one thing - results. Although their true influence and power is merely implied as of yet, it must be noted that the thought of failing them causes Strange to go as far as risking Gotham's annihilation and that he would rather face death than disappointing them.
The court employed Hugo Strange to find a way to reanimate the dead.
After news from Theo Galavan's return from the dead are on the news, a mysterious female member of the Court decides that Strange has failed and makes a phone call, telling an other person that the Court must be gathered. The woman later contacts Strange, claiming that Strange lost sight of his mission, referring to his failure with Freeze and Azrael. Strange stands up to the woman, revealing that he succeeded to bring a person back completely. The woman asks whether Strange can repeat the process and Strange claims that he thinks he can. The woman grants him additional time and tells him to find out what Bruce and his companions know. She also orders Strange to destroy Indian Hill and every one of his experiments.
After interrogating Bruce, Lucius and Gordon, Strange contacts the owl-masked woman to assure her that none of them know about the Court. The woman then tells him that each and every of his experiments need to be destroyed, and Bruce, Jim and Lucius with them. She also stresses the point that none of Strange's experiments can be seen in Gotham City. Despite her pressure and Strange's best efforts, many of the experiments are eventually able to break free. Though Strange is arrested for his crimes in the end, Bruce vows to find the Court of Owls, aware of the fact that they are Strange's employers and the ones behind the murder of his parents.
Investigated by Bruce
Six months later, the woman is called by an unknown ally who informs her, that Bruce Wayne spoke to the Wayne Enterprises board members and threatened to expose evidence of their involvement with the Courl. The woman claims that Bruce leaves them no choice, then, and hangs up the phone. The woman then turns to one of the Court's agents, a man clad in black with a mask on his face, gives him Bruce's name and tells him to do "it" silently.
The agent later arrives at Wayne Manor at night, where he is confronted by Alfred. He attacks Alfred and knocks him out after a fight. When Bruce arrives, alerted by the noise, the agent hides in the shadow and waits until Bruce rushes to Alfred's side. He then grabs Bruce from behind, throttles him unconscious and takes Bruce with him, leaving Alfred behind. Bruce is brought before the woman who removes her mask. Bruce recognizes the woman and claims that he knows her, he has seen her at events of Wayne Enterprises. The woman tells Bruce that her name is Kathryn and that she represents the group Bruce asked to speak with. Bruce asks Kathryn who exactly this group is, but Kathryn tells him that their name is not important. She then reminds Bruce of his threat to go public with what he knows about her organization. She demands to know how much Bruce knows but he reveals that he did not know anything certain until know.
Bruce then tries to make a deal with Kathryn, attempting to ensure the safety of himself and his friends. Kathryn wants to know what Bruce is offering and shrugs off when Bruce mentions Wayne enterprises, claiming Bruce cannot offer her what she already possesses. Bruce tells her that he wasn't finished and tells her that in case of his death, every aspect and file of Wayne Enterprises would be searched and that the existance of Kathryn's group would thus becume public. Kathryn claims that this indeed would be unfortunate, but that the group would weather the storm. Kathryn calls Bruce an extraordinary man but tells him that Bruce does not offer enough. Kathryn tells him that the court also requires that Bruce stops investigating her group's involvement in Wayne Enterprises and in his parent's murders and that any tiny attempt to do so would nullify their agreement. Although he is quite unhappy with this deal, Bruce agrees. Kathryn claims that she is content with their agreement and that Bruce will not see her again. Bruce is then again knocked unconscious by the Talon and returned to Wayne Manor.
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- Executive producer John Stephens said about the court:"The Court of Owls is like an Illuminati. They are a shadowy group of powerful people who have controlled Gotham for centuries. They might, or might not, be behind the Wayne murders. They have financed and directed Indian Hill and Hugo Strange's research. We will not learn all that much about them in the finale, save for the fact they are the people behind Hugo Strange and are most likely the culprits behind Martha and Thomas Wayne's murders. Bruce will learn of their existence, but not necessarily their name. That will obviously push him forward."
- The Court of Owls appear to be alluded to a couple of times in the first season as an unseen power. In the episode "Lovecraft", assassins are sent after Selina Kyle and Dick Lovecraft as they "know too much". When Jim Gordon confronts Lovecraft believing he called out the hit, Lovecraft makes a reference to bigger people who run the city, and that he himself is a nobody. Before Lovecraft could elaborate further though, he was killed by Copperhead.
- The Court of Owls could very well be the true main antagonists of the series as a whole since they were indirectly involved in the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents (Hugo Strange, who answers to them, orchestrated said murder) and happen to control all of Gotham.