Ra’s al Ghul is coming to Gotham, and it sounds like he’s got big plans for Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz). In this new featurette, seen first on CBR, centered on the character’s arrival in Monday’s season finale, Game of Thrones veteran Alexander Siddig discusses his take on Ra’s and the character’s motivations.
“Every time I approach a scene, I’m sort of figuring out — I want to land this character. I want to make an impact. I don’t want to disappoint the people who already love this show,” Siddig said in the video. “There’s a sense that he is omnipresent, and a deity of sorts, and that he can hear the prayers of his acolytes throughout the city.”
Siddig continued by stating that Ra’s can be “incredibly cruel at times, then kind and paternal at other times,” which coincides with his desire to be a “replacement father figure to Alfred” for Bruce. In a scene from the season finale glimpsed in the video, Ra’s tells Bruce that he could be the one thing that’s eluded him in his long life — a “true heir.”
Though, that likely comes with a price, and one that could make the show even darker as this season draws to a close: Siddig says Ra’s is looking to “get Bruce to cross a line that he should never cross.”
In the video, Siddig’s Gotham co-stars express excitement about the character coming to Fox’s DC Comics-based Batman prequel. Mazouz said he’s “beyond ecstatic,” and Erin Richards, who plays the show’s Barbara Kean, states, “Alexander as Ra’s al Ghul is just the most genius casting, because he is the most lovely person, and in my experience, they make the best villains.”
Siddig’s Ra’s is the second Ra’s al Ghul on prime time network television in recent years. Matthew Nable has played the character on The CW’s Arrowverse, in Arrow and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. The character was first seen in 1971’s Batman #232, and was created by Julius Schwartz, Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams.
It looks like Ra’s al Ghul isn’t the only prominent Batman character that will debut in the Gotham season finale: In a recent interview, Mazouz said that Harley Quinn will also appear in the episode, though details remain unconfirmed as to who will play the character (a popular fan theory predicted Richards’ Barbara may transform into the villain at some point).
The two-hour third season finale of Gotham airs 8 p.m. Monday, June 5, on Fox.