After teasing fans with the identity of its season 3 villain, Arrow finally announced its new antagonist. And it’s a biggie.
Fans have been speculating that legendary DC Comics villain Ra’s al Ghul would appear in season 3 after being set up in the first two seasons.
And it turns out they were right.
The announcement was made Saturday night at the Night of DC Entertainment Comic-Con panel, which was hosted by Arrow star Stephen Amell.
Watch the trailer in which Ra’s al Ghul appears below:
“It really happened very organically in the sense that we had this notion that in episode 16 we were going to reveal that Malcolm Merlyn was trained by the League of Assassins and that’s because that’s because of the comic book,” executive producer Marc Guggenheim tells THR.
“We were like, you know what we’re going to do? We’re going to get away with a little reference about a guy in Nanda Parbat who changed his life.”
While “[t]hat was the beginning,” it was definitely not the end, as we learned that Sara Lance was also trained by the League of Assassins, becoming the Canary. And it was her relationship with Nyssa that brought the daughter of Ra’s al Ghul to Starling City in the first place.
Though we have no word yet on who will be playing the legendary villain, the Arrow bosses have been teasing what we can expect from him this season, even before we knew who we were dealing with.
“Slade had a very specific agenda — he was out for revenge and had set up this elaborate five-year plot,” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg recently told EW. “What’s interesting about the villain in season 3 is that he doesn’t necessarily disagree with [Oliver].”
“He doesn’t have any personal animus towards the Arrow, and he actually in some ways has a very similar worldview. [But] the Arrow is thinking too small.”
Kreisberg adds, “In some ways, as Oliver is struggling with whether or not he can be the Arrow and Oliver at the same time, the villain of season 3 is saying, ‘Being Oliver Queen is what’s holding you back from fulfilling your true destiny.’ So it’s a very interesting dynamic, but it is tied in the same way that Oliver last year was wrestling with, ‘Am I a hero or a killer?’ The theme of identity is tied up very much in how the villain is presented to Oliver.”
Arrow season 3 premieres Wednesday, October 8 at 8:00 p.m. ET on The CW.