Henri Ducard, best known as Ra's al Ghul ("Head of the Demon"), was the leader of the League of Shadows and the main antagonist of Batman Begins.

History Edit

Early Life Edit

The young Ra's al Ghul was a mercenary who fathered a child with the daughter of his employer, a local warlord. When Ra's was sentenced to a prison described as hell on earth, the warlord secured his release by sending Ra's wife and daughter to the prison in his place. Ra's later formed the League of Shadows, unaware of their imprisonment. When his daughter Talia escaped and located him, Ra's turned the League on the prison, killing the inmates and sparing the life of Bane, an inmate who helped Talia escape. Despite Bane's past actions, Ra's al Ghul was never able to accept him as anything but a "monster", and so excommunicated Bane from the League.

Terrorist Career Edit

The League of Shadows planned to destroy Gotham City, as it had grown too large and corrupt. They attempted to use economics to drive the city in poverty, ruining all balance in the city, but Thomas Wayne hindered them by bridging the gap between rich and poor. After he was murdered, other powerful people in Gotham took up his cause, so the city limped on but did not die.

After Wayne's death, his son Bruce started travelling Asia to try to understand the criminal mind. While in prison, Ducard visited him and told him that the League of Shadows could offer him training and direction. Bruce followed Ducard's instructions and climbed up to the training ground, where Ducard had planted a decoy Ra's al Ghul. Ducard acted as a mentor and instructor to Bruce, training him theatricality and deception.

Once Bruce was ready to lead the League of Shadows against Gotham, he faced his final test of executing an unarmed prisoner. He refused, setting fire to the building and saving Ducard's life. He went back to Gotham to become Batman. Ducard, however, stepped into his true identity of Ra's al Ghul, having employed Jonathan Crane to smuggle in fear toxin to Gotham and plant it in the water mains.

The League of Shadows then stole a microwave emitter from Wayne Enterprises, and Ducard visited Wayne Manor for Bruce's birthday party. He confronted Bruce, then set fire to his house and left him for dead. Ducard then gathered his troops and turned on the microwave emitter in The Narrows. He boarded the monorail heading for Wayne Tower, but Batman boarded and subdued him. Batman then jammed the controls so the monorail couldn't stop, while James Gordon blew out a section of track. Batman refused to save Ra's al Ghul as he crashed to his death, along with the microwave emitter.

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