Ever since Oliver Queen returned to Starling City after a lengthy, unplanned island vacation and decided to take up the art of unauthorized crime-fighting, all manner of heroes and villains have been flooding into the metropolis. The latest addition to Arrow season 2's roster is Nyssa al Ghul, who will be played by Spartacus star Katrina Law and will make her first appearance in episode 13, 'Heir to the Demon'.
In bringing to life the characters of the DC universe, Arrow has dipped into the pool of Spartacus talent more than once, with Manu Bennett playing Slade Wilson AKA Deathstroke and Cynthia Addai-Robinson having guest-starred as Amanda Waller. According to executive producer Andrew Kreisberg, this was one of the main reasons why Law wasn't cast as Shado, the other role she auditioned for.
"It actually came down to Katrina and Celina [Jade] and honestly, part of it was just that because we knew she'd have scenes with Slade, and it just felt like a 'Spartacus' overkill."
That doesn't necessarily mean that Nyssa will never cross paths with Slade, but her main storyline in Arrow revolves around her alliance with the League of Shadows and her attempts to bring Sara Lance AKA Black Canary back into the fold. Somewhat predictably, Sara isn't willing to just cooperate and so Nyssa kidnaps someone close to her (we're guessing it's probably Sin) as a means of persuasion.
You can check out some new images from the episode below, courtesy of IGN (click for the larger version).
Even viewers who haven't read the comics will probably already be familiar with the al Ghul family, thanks to Ra's al Ghul and Talia al Ghul both making an appearance in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy. In the above images, Nyssa is shown carrying a quiver of arrows - possibly because she's heard about the Arrow and wants to fight fire with fire - but in terms of personality Kreisberg says she bears a distinct resemblance to her sister.
"Our Nyssa certainly has shades of Talia... [Law is] somebody that we've been a fan of. When this part came up, we saw a lot of people for it, but she certainly is exotic and beautiful and smart and our stunt guys are over the moon, because she can do a lot of her own stunts.”
Kreisberg also describes Nyssa as "the next wave of the League of Assassins that comes to Starling City" and hints that "she has some interesting secrets." In that case she should fit right in with the vigilante and criminal underworld of Starling City, where everyone has a secret and no one is quite what they seem.
Arrow continues next Wednesday with ‘Tremors’ @8pm on The CW. 'Heir to the Demon' will air on February 5th.