The League of Shadows was an ancient and powerful secret society of assassins whose stated purpose was to restore balance to the world by enacting purges at various points in history. They were lead by Ra's al Ghul.
They targeted places they deemed were the greatest sources of civilisation's corruption and decadence, places that led to suffering and injustice. Acting as a self-appointed check against human corruption for thousands of years, some of the previous activities of the League included the Sacking of Rome, starting the Black Plague, the Great London Fire, and the Gotham Economic Depression.
The men who have sworn allegiance to the League of Shadows come from many different backgrounds; former soldiers, mercenaries, assassins, petty criminals, and ordinary men. However, all of them share a common similarity of hating what they define as evil and a desire to serve what they call true justice. Every member of the League of Shadows is fanatically loyal to the League's cause. It is this fanaticism in which every warrior knows that he is expendable, his life forfeit, if it means fulfilment of the League's plans. They are trained in the arts of theatricality and deception.
Thirty years before the events of The Dark Knight Rises, a foreign mercenary in an ancient part of the world was exiled by the warlord that he worked for because he married the warlord's daughter. The mercenary's pregnant wife was imprisoned in a Pit as price for his exile. The mercenary became Ra's al Ghul, the leader of the League of Shadows, and one day his young child, Talia, found her way back to him after escaping from the prison. The League stormed the ancient prison to exact revenge over the death of his wife in the prison. In the process they rescued an inmate, Bane, the protector of his young daughter in the prison. Talia and Bane were then trained by the League, but Bane was excommunicated by Ra's al Ghul for reminding Ra's of the hell he left his wife to die in and for loving Talia. Talia resented her father's decision. The League was then based on a mountain in the Himalayas (though other bases around the world may have existed).
They trained Bruce Wayne for some years, until he could best any of the League in single combat, but he rejected them when the time came for him to kill a criminal, having realized that he must retain his compassion or he would become like the criminals he fought. The League's original base was destroyed in the subsequent battle as Bruce fought Ra's, but either enough men escaped the blaze or Ra's had other groups in the world, as they eventually attempted to strike at Gotham. Despite their best efforts, Bruce Wayne, now Batman, was able to fight off four members of the League single-handedly before challenging Ra's himself.
The Dark Knight Rises
Talia al Ghul inherited the League of Shadows after the death of her father. She enlisted the help of her friend and protector, Bane, who had been exiled from the League by Ra's, to take control of the League alongside her. In order to honor the memory of her father and complete his work, as well as exacting revenge on the man who killed him, Talia and Bane devised a plan to hold Gotham City captive and ultimately destroy it, forcing Batman to watch without being able to do anything to save it. In order to do so, she created the fake identity of Miranda Tate and safely infiltrated Wayne Enterprises, quietly seizing control of it — with her and Bane manipulating John Daggett for this end — and its potentially dangerous resources, while Bane worked from the outside, taking control of the city by force and paving the way for the League's endgame.
- 4 Appearances of League of Shadows (Nolanverse)
- 1 Images that include League of Shadows (Nolanverse)
- Team Gallery: League of Shadows (Nolanverse)
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