- "Innocent is a strong word to throw around Gotham, Bruce. I honor my father by finishing his work. Vengeance against the man who killed him is simply a reward for my patience. You see, it's the slow knife...the knife that takes its time. The knife...that waits years without forgetting...then slips quietly between the bones. That's the knife...that cuts deepest."
- ―Talia al Ghul[src]
Talia al Ghul was the daughter of Ra's al Ghul and the leader of the League of Shadows. Following the death of her father, she took up his mantle as his heir and patiently sought Gotham City's destruction with the aid of her ally Bane. She manipulated Bruce Wayne and his allies while masquerading as wealthy businesswoman and philanthropist Miranda Tate. She was portrayed by Marion Cotillard as an adult and by Joey King as an older child and Harry Coles as a younger child in The Dark Knight Rises.
- "...No ordinary child. A child born in hell. Forged from suffering. Hardened by pain."
- "...The child had a friend, a protector, who showed the others that this innocence was their redemption."
As an older child, she was protected by her friend Bane and climbed out of the Pit, the adrenaline caused by her fear gave her the strength to make the jump required to escape. She then found her father, who had joined the League of Shadows and became known as Ra's al Ghul, and brought him to the Pit with the League of Shadows to enact vengeance for the death of his wife. There, he found Bane after the prisoners and doctor had irreparably damaged him after he helped Talia escape. Both Talia and her protector were then trained in the ways of the League.
Ra's began to see Bane as a reminder of the hell he left Talia's mother to die in. Bane was then excommunicated from the League of Shadows, due to as Talia put it, because he loved her. It was something she could not forgive her father for until she learned that Batman was responsible for his death in their confrontation during his assault on the Gotham Narrows. She knew the identity of the perpetrator: Bruce Wayne.
She committed to ensuring that the League of Shadows fulfilled its mission to restore balance to the world by destroying Gotham City. Talia took on the identity of Miranda Tate and blended into Gotham society, and many years later the un-excommunicated Bane and the rest of the League arrived in Gotham covertly through the use of John Daggett.
The Dark Knight Rises
- "You have to invest if you want to restore balance to the world."
- ―Talia al Ghul to Bruce Wayne[src]
When Bruce lost all of his money due to identity theft and bad stock trades, he feared a takeover of Wayne Enterprises and the reactor by Daggett and so he showed Miranda the reactor in its bunker under the Gotham River. He told her to take control of the company and the reactor, to keep the reactor safe or destroy it if need be. At their next board meeting, she became the new CEO of Wayne Enterprises. Daggett was then killed by Bane after the meeting.
- "I could try explaining that a save-the-world project, vain or not, is worth investing in, Mr. Daggett. But you understand only money, and the power you think it buys."
- ―Talia al Ghul to John Daggett[src]
- "Suffering builds character."
- ―Talia al Ghul to Bruce Wayne[src]
She made an excuse for the scar on her back as Bruce traced it with his fingers. Miranda suggested that they leave Gotham together on her plane, to which he replied, "Someday perhaps. Not tonight," as he'd planned to meet with Selina Kyle to take him to Bane. He was defeated by Bane and sent to the Pit, and there he learned about the child of Ra's al Ghul and mistakenly assumed it to be Bane. The legend of the child's escape from the Pit inspired Bruce to believe that escape was possible.
- "An heir to ensure the League of Shadows fulfills its duty to restore balance to civilization."
- ―Bruce Wayne's hallucination of Ra's al Ghul[src]
Guiding EventsSoon, a meeting was called by Miranda with a skeptical Lucius to discuss the fusion reactor at Wayne Enterprises, but there Bane and the mercenaries were waiting for them in the board room. They took the two of them and Douglas Fredericks to the underground bunker where the Wanye Enterprises fusion reactor was held. When Fredericks' life was threatened, Miranda told them to stop and the reactor was turned on with her and Lucius's hand prints.
Dr. Leonid Pavel, a nuclear physicist kidnapped by Bane, turned the reactor into a nuclear bomb and Bane had the core removed. Miranda and Lucius were then released. The bomb was taken to the Gotham City Stadium and there the world was told by Bane that an anonymous citizen, an "unsung hero," controlled the trigger to its detonation. The bomb was later taken to a truck to patrol the streets of Gotham.
After Bane took over Gotham, Miranda and the other Wayne Enterprise board members hid with the help of a rag tag group of cops that hoped to free the city. Special forces men led by Captain Jones from the U.S. government infiltrated the city and were brought by John Blake to a meeting with Lucius and Miranda to discuss the bomb. However, Bane and the mercenaries arrived there and killed the special forces men. "Someone sold us out!" Blake said as he escaped with Miranda, while the mercenaries took Lucius hostage as the rest of the board members were sent to exile by Jonathan Crane in a kangaroo court. Miranda assisted Jim Gordon in tracking the bomb truck until both were taken captive by a mercenary band led by Barsad. Gordon later discovered that he had been misled into tracking a decoy.
- "Do what's necessary."
- ―Talia al Ghul to Bruce Wayne[src]
After five months, Bruce finally escaped the Pit and returned to free Gotham. He met up with Lucius and Miranda as captives, and told Miranda he would not forget about her. Selina helped to rescue Lucius and Batman rescued Gordon, from whom he was told that Bane had Miranda.
Batman presented Selina with the Batpod, and she muttered, "You're gonna wage a war to save your stuck-up girlfriend." Rallying an army of officers, Batman and the cops attacked Bane and his men as Miranda watched from the lobby of Gotham City Hall. Batman damaged Bane's mask in their confrontation at city hall and caused him immense pain and Batman gained the advantage over him in the fight.
As Batman interrogated him on where the trigger to the nuclear bomb resided, Miranda stabbed Batman and revealed her true identity as Talia, the child of Ra's al Ghul, and the anonymous citizen who had the trigger to the bomb. She told him she was finishing her father's work by destroying the city and told the tale of her past as she repaired Bane's mask. She then hit the trigger, only to discover that her signal was blocked by Gordon.
"Maybe your knife...was too slow," Batman commented on her plan. She ordered for a convoy to protect the bomb as it counted down to detonation and told Bane to guard Batman before she said her final goodbye to Bane. She left the lobby of city hall to be escorted from a Tumbler to the bomb truck. Barsad was killed during the escort by Peter Foley and Foley was then killed by Talia's Tumbler.
The Convoy Battle
Bane was killed by canon fire from the Batpod as Selina arrived to help Batman and she on the Batpod and Batman in the Bat gave chase and dismantled the convoy of Tumblers as they attempted to lead the truck back to the reactor room where Lucius was waiting. Batman fired upon Talia's truck and she swerved off the roadway where the truck fell and she was fatally wounded.
In the throes of death, she revealed to Batman that she had anticipated that he was attempting to lure her back to the reactor bunker, and she remotely activated the emergency flood to ensure that they failed in stabilizing the bomb in the reactor. Lucius narrowly escaped the flood in the bunker. She died believing that her plan to destroy the city that killed her father would come true.
- "There's...no way...this bomb...will be stopped. Prepare yourselves. My father's...work...is done."
- ―Talia al Ghul to Batman, Catwoman, and Gordon[src]
However, the plan failed as Batman flew the Bat and the bomb over the Gotham bay and let it go where it exploded harmlessly, thus, saving the citizens of Gotham and leaving Talia's death in vain.
Talia became the only known person until Bruce Wayne to climb out and escape the Pit prison, and she did it as a child. Trained by the League of Shadows as a youth, she became a master in the art of deception as well as in persistence and patience. Her lovely demeanor, beauty, smarts, charity, and eco-friendly facade were tools in her deception. She uses her wealth and father's inheritance to restore the world to balance through destruction. Her patience could be a weakness, as she waited too much time to detonate the nuclear bomb or to have Bruce Wayne/Batman killed off, choosing to indulge her desire to have him witness Gotham's demise.
In other media
Batman Begins novelization
Talia is mentioned in the Journals of Ra's al Ghul in the film's novelization (written by character creator Dennis O'Neil), where Ra's considers summoning her from Switzerland if Bruce Wayne passed his tests. Ra's writes in his journal, "It would be good to see my daughter once more."
Batman Begins disc special features
Talia is mentioned in Ra's al Ghul's character biography in the Blu-ray and DVD special features of the film: "It is little known that Ra's Al Ghul has a child – daughter Talia."
Behind the scenes
- Actress Marion Cotillard was director Christopher Nolan's "immediate" choice for the role of Miranda Tate; she said she was approached while he was writing the screenplay in 2010. However, she did not commit to the film right away because she was pregnant at the time and actresses Naomi Watts, Rachel Weisz, and Kate Winslet were met with and auditioned for the role.
- Marion Cotillard gave birth to her first child in May 2011 about a month before she began filming.
- Young actress Leilah de Meza was approached for the role of young Talia but the role was declined.
- Actress India Wadsworth portrays Talia's mother and Ra's al Ghul's wife and is of mixed Chinese heritage, such as Talia's mother has in the comics.
- She is the first live action portrayal of Talia.
- There are four incarnations of the character depicted in the film: one as a baby in prison, one as a young child in prison, one as an older child in prison, and one as an adult in Gotham City,
- The same dramatic music cue plays before the bomb truck with Talia falls as when the train with the microwave emitter runs off of track with Ra's al Ghul in Batman Begins and just as Batman tosses The Joker and he falls in The Dark Knight.