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Nyssa al Ghul (Arrowverse)

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"I am Nyssa. Daughter of Ra's al Ghul. Heir to the Demon"
~ Nyssa

Nyssa al Ghul, also known as Nyssa Raatko (Arabic: نيسا رعتكو‎) is an antagonist appearing in the TV Show Arrow. She is the daughter of Ra's 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.


Born in May 10, 1985, Nyssa was raised in the League of Assassins and by 8 years old she became a skilled swordswomen. She also brought in Malcolm Merlyn in 1993 to be trained in the League. She gave him the name "Al Sa-Her" (Arabic for "Magician") after he pulled a coin from her as a magic trick. Many years later, She met a girl named Sara after she was swept away in a ship called the Amazo. She took her to Nana Parbat and nursed her back to health and eventually fell in love with her.

In 2013 following Malcolm Merlyn's undertaking Sara left Nanda Parbat to check on her family but failed to return after several weeks and Nyssa eventually learned that she'd refused to return home. Following this Nyssa set out to find Sara and use any means to find her beloved.

Season 2

Sara fled from the League and came to Starling City to check on her family. After many Assassins failed to catch her, she had one of the assassins who were in Starling City poison Sara's sister Laurel and eventually came to Starling City to find her. After reuniting with Sara, Nyssa then try to talk Sara into coming home but she refused. She then kidnapped Sara's mother and threatened to kill her if she didnt come with her. As Sara and Oliver Queen came to rescue her mother, Sara then poisoned herself. Nyssa then fought Oliver and was overpowered by him. Just as Oliver overpowered her, Sara begged him not to kill her. Nyssa then released Sara from the League.

Later, Sara visited the League and asked for their help as Slade Wilson and his mirakuru-enhanced army were attacking the city, Nyssa agreed to help only if Sara returned to the League. However even though Nyssa and her crew helped Oliver and his team take down Slade's army, Oliver often didn't approved of her methods especially since he wasn't a killer such as when she killed Slade's right hand woman Isabel Rochev.

Season 3

The assassin's once again turned their attention to hunting down Malcolm Merlyn and had sent Sara to Starling City to find. However, she was mysterious assassinated and after not hearing from her, Nyssa once again came to Starling City to find her. Nyssa storms into the Arrowcave, aiming an arrow at Oliver. Oliver informed her of the death of Sara. Shocked with grief, she revealed that Malcolm Merlyn was still alive and that Sara had come to Starling City to trace a rumour that he was here. She visited Sara's grave where she meets Laurel, she swears a blood oath to avenge Sara's life using the Arabic Words "أقصم بحياتي", which mean I swear on my life, the rest of the oath is undistinguishable. She went to Sara's safehouse where she and Oliver found pictures and notes Sara had made while investigating Malcolm. Team Arrow and Nyssa found out Merlyn was hiding in a Buddhist temple. Infiltrating the temple she confronted the leader who was meditating (unaware it was Merlyn, as the leader had passed away years ago).

Realizing it was Malcolm, she tried to kill him however he incapacitated her easily and fled the scene. Oliver managed to put a tracker on him. Nyssa was angry at Oliver that he did not attempt to kill him. After learning Oliver had talked to Malcolm and did not believe he killed Sara she became furious at him. Learning Thea was actually his daughter, she kidnapped Thea. Trying to lure Malcolm in, Oliver freed Thea and the two started a fight. Merlyn showed up and a wild melee started in which Malcolm managed to overpower Nyssa, and told her he did not kill Sara and suspected her own father Ra's al Ghul to be the killer. After a discussion Oliver refused to kill Malcolm, and told Nyssa he would not allow the League of Assassins to come near him. Angered by Oliver she shared her thought with Laurel and encouraged in her training to become stronger before leaving Starling City. She was later shown informing her father, who assured her Malcolm would face justice. She did appear to have doubts about Malcolm's guilt in Sara's death, especially when her father stated that Sara "was never truly one of us". Upon hearing of Oliver's decision to protect Malcolm, he declared war.

She later left to Starling city with a group of assassins and captured Oliver. She informed him that he had 48 hours to find Sara her killer or the League would start killing citizens. After this she was present when the deathline had passed and her father talked with Oliver. Oliver said he had killed Sara which made her react in disbelief. Oliver lied that he killed her because she begged him as she did not want to return to the League. He then challenged her father for a trial by combat which he accepted. She was present on the mountain where Oliver and her father would have the duel. She said she envied Oliver as he would see Sara soon (in death). Her father engaged Oliver in combat. Being unarmed Ra's easily dodged Oliver's sword strikes. He ultimately mortally stabbed him and threw him off the mountain.

Nyssa later confronted her father about that Oliver is still alive. Her father said he was aware and that Oliver did not killed Sara. Nyssa questions if he ever approved of her relationship with Sara. He said he knew their love would only end in heartbreak. Nyssa mentioned that even if Oliver did not kill Sara he still deserves to die for defying her father.  Nyssa and a group of assassins went to Starling City as they looked for Malcolm Merlyn, they got contacted by Thea who offers them Malcolm Merlyn in return for safety. Nyssa agreed and Thea tells them where Malcolm is. Nyssa and her team find Malcolm as he is getting attacked by Laurel. He easily fended her off and took her baton, after which she pulled a gun on him.

Her assassins quickly disarmed Laurel and surrounded Malcolm. Nyssa faced Malcolm in a duel while she used her scimitar and he used the baton of Laurel. After a short fight she managed to overpower him and knocked him out.  Preparing to leave by helicopter Nyssa told Malcolm he would suffer for what he did. Malcolm replied that her father only wanted to punish him for the undertaking and the he never cared for Sara. Malcolm said her love for Sara made her unable to take the place of her father. Oliver Queen came to his rescue. Nyssa ordered her men to leave with Malcolm while she prepared to hold Oliver off. She fought Oliver however he managed to tie her up with a trick arrow and capture her. As the helicopter flew Malcolm away she mentioned to Oliver that Malcolm will never be seen again. Nyssa got locked up in a cage in the Arrowcave. She spend her time meditating as Oliver and his team discussed what to do.

Oliver send the rest away as he asked her where Nanda Parbat is. Nyssa explained that every action of him had frustrated the vengeance for the death of Sara, and she tells him the location as she is certain he will die there. Laurel later brought her water and Nyssa said Malcolm will get tortured by her father, but Laurel does not seem please now the killer will be punished. Laurel said she hated Merlyn and that he was like a piece of Sara that still existed. However now he is gone she can not even remember the sound of Sara her laugh. Nyssa told her that the first time Sara was brought to her father she was the witness of a demonstration of his power, however she simply laughed as she was completely innocent. It was that moment Nyssa fell in love with her. A touched Laurel thanks her for sharing this. Thea later visited her at her cage as she explains she can not live with the guilth of what she did. Thea explained to Nyssa that she lied to her and that she was the one who killed Sara. Thea then opens the cagedoor and hands Nyssa her scimitar as she says she can have her revenge.


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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


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.


  • 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.


This article uses material from the Nyssa al Ghul on the Arrow wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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