Ra's al Ghul (Batman Begins)

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Ra's al Ghul

The founder and leader of the League of Shadows, the man known only as Ra's al Ghul was greatly feared by the criminal element. Ra's al Ghul led a centuries long campaign to save humanity and the world. He sacked Rome, spread the Black Plague, burned London to the ground.

Ra's al Ghul long planned a strike against Gotham City, for years using economics as a weapon, planning to cripple the city into reforming itself. When that failed, he'd decided to destroy it, and that fear itself would be his weapon.

Soon enough, Bruce Wayne came to his attention, having years ago fled Gotham and now living in a Chinese prison. Ra's al Ghul immedietly set about to recruit him, and would take care of this personally. Not trusting him yet, Ra's took on the alias Henri Ducard and visited Bruce in his cell, offering him a way to fight criminals and membership in the League of Shadows. Bruce agreed and journeyed towards the home of Ra's al Ghul atop a great mountain and learned the arts of a great warrior, being personally trained by "Ducard," Ra's himself using a decoy to stand in for him till Bruce's training was complete. Over time, Ra's grew to care about Bruce, wanting him at his side, feeling that he may have found the heir he always wanted.

Bruce soom proved worthy, and the final test came. Ra's al Ghul commanded that Bruce execute a murderer, but Bruce refused. He would fight criminals but not be an executioner. Ra's then revealed to Bruce what his purpose was, to lead the League into Gotham and destroy it, as it has become corrupt and decadent. Bruce refused and escaped, burning down the temple, and Ra's al Ghul's decoy was killed in the fire. Bruce himself saving the life of Ducard and leaving him to recover.

But Ra's al Ghul recovered and used an Arkham Asylum psychiatrist named Dr. Jonathan Crane to weaponize the fumes from a rare Blue Poppy into a fear gas, telling him they were going to hold Gotham City for ransom. The League then stole an experimental microwave generator from Wayne Enterprises as part of the plan. Crane would poison the city's water supply with his new fear toxin, and Ra's al Ghul would use the generator to heat the water into a vapor which the entire city would breathe in, and then the city would tear itself apart.

Months later, Ra's al Ghul and the League crashed Bruce's birthday part, where Bruce realized the man who's life he saved, the man whom he still thought a friend, Henri Ducard never existed, that he was the true Ra's al Ghul along. Once more, Ra's offered Bruce a place at his side, but Bruce refused. Ra's al Ghul then burned down Wayne Manor, leaving Bruce for dead and prepared to spread the fear toxin.

Ra's al Ghul planned to use the Gotham monorail to carry the microwave generator into Wayne Tower, which housed the city's water mains but was opposed by Batman. The two clashed on board the moving train car, Ra's al Ghul accusing Wayne of being too weak to do what was necessary to fight injustice. But in the end, Batman proved the victor, the train was destroyed and Batman left Ra's to his fate, the train car flying off the tracks and crashing into the building and the microwave generator exploding.

While it is very likely Ra's al Ghul perished, if he is anything like his counterparts, he will one day return.

The False Ra's al Ghul

Above, the decoy during Wayne's training. Below, the decoy at Wayne's birthday party.

A stand in used by the real Ra's al Ghul while he tested Bruce Wayne. The decoy was killed when the lair of the League of Shadows collapsed on top of him.

Ra's al Ghul presumably used many decoys over the years to protect himself from assassinations, as a second one appeared at Bruce Wayne's birthday party. However, at that point, Bruce had figured out the identity of the real Ra's al Ghul.


According to the novelization, Ra's al Ghul was an immortal who used Lazarus Pits to live through the centuries. His origins were nearly identical to the DC comics version version. He also kept records and through the centuries fathered over four hundred daughters, and only two sons who did not live longer than one year. Ra's al Ghul's daughter Talia was living in Switzerland at the time he was training Bruce Wayne, and Ra's was planning to have her wed to Bruce once his training was complete.

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