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'Arrow' producers preview Nyssa al Ghul's 'surprising' debut

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Arrow 01
Cate Cameron/The CW

Nyssa al Ghul is coming to Starling City in Wednesday night’s Arrow, and things are going to get complicated, to say the least.

The character — played by Spartacus alum Katrina Law — arrives in town to track down Sarah, who had returned from her self-imposed exile to check on her sister (Katie Cassidy). Or, as executive producer Andrew Kreisberg puts it, the League of Assassins had “sent their first round of minions to come for Sarah and that didn’t go too well for them, so they’re bringing out the big guns.”

“And the way Nyssa comes into the story is in a far more provocative and surprising way than the last round that came in [episode] 2.05,” he teases.

Meanwhile Law, who is set to return at least one more time this season, says bringing the character to life was fun, largely because she’s been seen far less frequently in the comic books than some other characters that have been introduced. “I love that she hasn’t been in any movies and that the interpretation is left wide open to the writers and myself for what we want to do in everything, right down to how she looks in her costume,” she says. “Everything about her is wide open.”

Slowly filling out the world of the League is an important move, adds Kreisberg, because it adds context to the show’s big bad Malcolm Merlyn. “It really all goes back to Merlyn,” he says, “because Malcolm Merlyn, he was part of the League of Assassins. So although most people associate Ra’s al Ghul with Batman — which is true, because that’s where he started — he really encompasses much more than that.” And with the Dark Knight movies wrapped up, he adds, “it’s allowed us to open it up and…do it in a new way.”

The twists put on the character will be revealed in the new episode. (And, boy, are there twists!) But another big secret you might see come to light? One very important one involving the Queen family. In a Q&A earlier Wednesday on the Arrow Facebook page, Stephen Amell answered a fan question regarding when Oliver would find out about his sister Thea’s real father: “I wouldn’t miss tonight’s show.”

Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.