Nyssa al Ghul is about to enter the fight of her life.
On Wednesday’s all-new Arrow, Oliver Queen transforms into the rightful heir to the Demon as Al Sah-him, but he has one final task left to complete: Get rid of all his contenders – including Nyssa. While Oliver succumbs to his new status quo, Nyssa has been steering clear of League activities, acting as Laurel’s sensei and figuring out her next move. But when Oliver returns to Starling City to fulfill his destiny as Al Sah-him, all hell breaks loose.
Actress Katrina Law jumped on the phone with ETonline ahead of tonight’s episode to dish on all things Arrow, including the impending showdown between Nyssa and Oliver.
ETonline: It’s great to see Nyssa back for the last episodes of the season! It’s been a few weeks since we’ve last seen Nyssa. What has she been up to and how does she feel about what is going on with Oliver, Team Arrow and her father Ra’s al Ghul – there’s so much drama.
Katrina Law: (Laughs.) Yup! For the most part Nyssa has been hanging out with Laurel and she’s been putting her through her training program, trying to get her to become less of an emotional attachment fighter and more about technique and having a foundation for her fighting style. And I think Laurel has been taking her on shopping sprees and getting her hair did. (Laughs.) For the most part, Nyssa has been trying not to focus on the League of Assassins and everything that’s going on. She’s pissed and angry and hurt but there’s nothing she can do about it, so she’s trying to put her focus on other places. But yeah, it’s great to be back.
But she’ll be forced to confront her feelings about her father betraying her in short order. How difficult is it for Nyssa to come to terms with the fact that Ra’s passed her over as heir to the demon for Oliver?
Nyssa is beyond hurt and devastated that she was passed over by her father for the next Ra’s al Ghul, though judging by her reactions that she’s had so far about having her title taken from her, Nyssa is very respectful of the League of Assassins, their traditions, their superstitions and all the ramifications that go along with being a League member. The fact that she didn’t rebel against her father when he took away her title and that she bowed down gracefully and said “OK, I’m going to remove myself from this situation” just shows how much respect Nyssa has for her father and also for the League of Assassins.
What is her true opinion about Oliver potentially taking up the Ra’s mantle?
It’s very hard for her to look at Oliver because I don’t think she’ll ever respect him as the new Ra’s al Ghul but I do think – I don’t know for sure – if push came to shove, she would accept him as the new Ra’s al Ghul because that’s just what the League does. You follow tradition. Your entire life is in service of the League so whatever is best for the League is what you do even if it may go against your personal wants and needs.
Is there a very small part of her that thinks, “Maybe this is my way out of the only life I’ve ever known”?
That is a very optimistic and healthy point of view that you have there! (Laughs.) I don’t necessarily think Nyssa has it. Nyssa is a fighter – there’s no talk of suicide, there’s none of that, but at the same time, she’s so hurt and so bitter that she’s trying her best to get through her day without feeling this impending rage. By helping Laurel, that’s been a great therapy for Nyssa – the fact that Laurel has been kind and has opened up her heart, her world and even her home to Nyssa is something that she’s never experienced before and didn’t expect, and by having a purpose outside of the League right now has been helpful. It’s also been helping Nyssa see that there are different shades of the world other than black and white. There are things besides death and agendas outside the League of Assassins that she’s experiencing for the first time – I don’t know that she really wants them, but maybe, if she lives past this episode, maybe she would embrace them. The world outside of the one she’s used to she’s very curious about but she struggles between what she knows and what she’s learning.
In what we’ve seen from the promos, one of Oliver’s first tasks as Al Sah-him is to bring Nyssa back to Nanda Parbat. What can we expect from Nyssa vs. Oliver?
It’s life or death basically. When you accept the role of Ra’s al Ghul, one of your duties it to take out your contenders, and Ra’s says to Oliver or Al Sah-him, now that you’ve accepted this role, you have to eliminate your contenders. Everybody knows that one of his biggest contenders is Nyssa. When Oliver comes to Starling, it’s essentially to kill Nyssa or bring her back to Nanda Parbat to be killed. This episode is life or death for her.
Oliver goes through a massive transformation to become Al Sah-him, and I imagine it’s not just physical changes he endures. Are there certain things about the League that Nyssa is aware of that Oliver should have also considered before joining?
I don’t know that Oliver knew exactly what he was getting into when he accepted the title of Ra’s al Ghul. A lot of this is going to be a surprise to him as it will be for the audience. Definitely the memory wipe or at least the transformation from Oliver to Al Sah-him is debating your past or not having respect for your past anymore. It changes a person and it makes you do things you would never do before and it makes you believe in things [you never would have] – you’re essentially being brainwashed into becoming another person who solely functions for the League of Assassins. Before, Oliver’s main concern was the safety of the people in Starling City, his family and friends. That is no longer his primary concern.
Back in March, executive producer Marc Guggenheim revealed that there would be a second wedding. Some fans have speculated that Nyssa could possibly be in play. How connected is she to said wedding?
Nyssa is connected to the wedding as much as any other member of Team Arrow is connected to the wedding. Everybody is shocked and nobody sees it coming. I can’t say too much about it but it’s definitely a shock to everybody.
An early finale hint put Ra’s, Oliver and Nyssa in a scene filmed on a new set that looked like a cargo plane of some sort. Anything you can hint to?
I can’t speak specifically to my character being there, but it’s definitely a showdown of epic proportions. I did see the cargo plane – they built it from scratch and it’s amazing! It was on these hydraulic lifts so the whole thing actually moves and there’s a safety zone you couldn’t be in because if you were in that safety zone and the thing hit you, you would have broken bones all over the place because that was how violently this thing was shaking. Everybody who saw it, their jaws just hit the floor. Whatever that scene is, it’s epic and massive and it’s wonderful and I’m excited to see it!
Are you excited for Nyssa's return? Tell us what you're looking forward to most by tweeting Philiana Ng at @insidethetube!
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.