Ra’s Al Ghul From ‘Arrow’: World’s Strangest Assassin

I suppose the story did specify that using the Lazarus Pits alters your mind.
E. Stephen Burnett | May 11, 2015 | 3 comments |
Ra's al Ghul (Matt Nable) from "Arrow"

I suppose the story did specify that using the Lazarus Pits alters your mind.

People have fun with Ra’s al Ghul1 in Batman Begins (with a short cameo in The Dark Knight Rises). I’m not sure they realize that another adaptation of Ra’s al Ghul2 from “Arrow,” season 3, is absolutely batguano insane.

Spoilerz ahead:

1a. Assassinates Oliver Queen.
1b. Is pleased that Oliver magically survives and appoints him as his heir.

2a. Sends his own daughter out to kill Oliver and company.
2b. Sends Oliver and company out to kill his own daughter.

3a. Commands Oliver to prove his loyalty by killing the same daughter.
3b. Stops Oliver at the last second and commands that they be married.

4a. Has secret mystic assassin herbs he can use to brainwash people.
4b. Never thought to use these to persuade Oliver to become his heir.

5a. As leader of a mystic assassins order, has sworn off romance forever.
5b. Totes ships “Ollicity.”

6a. Runs the world’s most secret ancient mystic assassin base, Nanda Parbat.
6b. Clearly also runs a multimillion dollar private airstrip operation out of the secret ancient mystic assassin base, Nanda Parbat, so he can send dozens of professional assassins presumably first-class across the planet on professional-assassination-related excursions back and forth to Starling City, over and over and over and over.
6c. Alternative: Either that or Ra’s sets a record for frequent-flier airline miles.

(Bonus) 7: Other “Arrow” heroes do not consistently pronounce Ra’s’s first(?) name.

And folks keep suggesting it’s “Arrow” that is more grounded and realistic.

“Arrow” fans: What have you thought of season 3 so far? The season 3 finale, “My Name is Oliver Queen,” airs this Wednesday, May 13. Meanwhile, the season 1 finale of super-series spinoff “The Flash,” titled, “Fast Enough,” airs next Tuesday, May 19.

  1. As portrayed by Liam Neeson.
  2. Portrayed very well by Matt Nable, who isn’t at fault for the flip-flopping story.
E. Stephen Burnett is coauthor of a nonfiction book about parenting and popular culture (title TBA), to release spring 2020 from New Growth Press. He also explores biblical truth and fantastic stories as editor in chief of Lorehaven Magazine and writer at Speculative Faith. He has also written for Christianity Today and Christ and Pop Culture. He and his wife, Lacy, live in the Austin area and serve as members of Southern Hills Baptist Church.

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Tim Frankovich
Tim Frankovich

You’ve pretty much nailed it.

In addition, the writing has been so sub-par this season that moments of “great emotion” have fallen completely flat.

Prime example: ending the episode with the entire supporting cast supposedly dying of a bio-weapon. As if there was a single viewer anywhere that thought that might actually happen… especially when 3 seconds later, they reveal how they’re rescued in the promo for the next episode!! It would have made a far more powerful ending and gotten people more excited for that next episode if this one had ended with that “surprise” rescuer showing up in the final second.

(Although the bonus 7 is actually consistent. Those within the League of Assassins call him “Raysh” while those without call him “Ras.” It’s intentional and was explained in an interview a few weeks back.)

Megan Ebba

“World’s Strangest Assassin” is a great moniker!  As a fan, I love so much about Season 3.  I love the “identity” theme as part of a hero’s journey.  If it were a book, I’d advise the writer to split it into two novels, because there was not enough time to develop all the characters without shortchanging their stories, and plot holes did occur.  See above, re: making Ra’s al Ghul be whatever they needed him to be for that particular episode instead of establishing his brand of crazycakes early on and sticking to it.

I learned so much about writing from watching Arrow this season! For example,  don’t underestimate your audience: no one for a second believed Laurel Lance’s journey to the Black Canary, but since it was in her contract we sat and nodded politely. Also, we all knew Ray Palmer was there as a placeholder for Felicity while he waited for his own show to start and so his inconsistencies were summarily ignored.  Luckily, when they write for their hero, the writing is tight, but Oliver’s stories would have had more emotional impact if the writing for adjacent characters was also as tight.  Like, Diggle, sidelined for no reason, when all they needed was one offhand “Lyla and I decided when she’s on a mission for ARGUS I’m out of the field because of the baby and vice versa.” But I came for the hero’s journey and stayed for the organic, can’t fake it if you tried, completely unique, slow-build, endgame love story, so I basically LOVED this season! I think “Superhero Feed” on Tumblr said it best when he posted, “Dear Flashback: Not now. Sincerely, everyone.” about 3×20. 🙂

Speaking of Olicity, I’m also paying very close attention to what I hope is going to be true: that the hero and the love of his life get to drive off into the sunset…but the story isn’t over.  Balancing a hero’s calling with the duties of work and family? I’m so there for that because we hardly ever get to see that. Come on Season 4, don’t fail me now!

(see how restrained this post was?!  I had like a thousand more babbling words…)