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Damien Darhk
"You’re all fretting about this city dying. I'm here on behalf of an organization that wants you to let it die."

Species: Human (Empowered via Lazarus Pit and magic)

Known Aliases: The Black Knight, "Odin"

Affliations: The League of Assassins, The H.I.V.E, The Legion of Doom, The Cult of Mallus

Played By: Neal McDonough

Appearances: Arrow | Heroes Join Forcesnote  | Legends of Tomorrow | Invasion note  | The Flashnote 

"Nora's gone. It's just Mallus now. You must be enjoying this, seeing your nemesis with a broken heart."
"I didn't know you had a heart to break. Where was it the night you murdered my sister?"
"Look, what I did was unforgivable. But back then, I hadn't loved anyone to understand the pain that I caused. Not that it's any comfort, but if I could take it all back, I would."

The presumed leader of the H.I.V.E. organization. He was once a part of the League of Assassins, but when his ambitions got too great, he narrowly escaped execution and formed the H.I.V.E. along with water from the Lazarus Pit and a faction of the League. He possesses mysterious mystical abilities apparently originating from a blood ritual.

Green Arrow eventually killed him, but the Legends would end up fighting his past self as a member of Eobard Thawne's Legion of Doom, though things were ultimately put right. However, Darhk left behind a daughter, sweet kid really. But she grew up and learned all manner of dark spells in service of the demon Mallus. And eventually, Mallus declared that he wanted Damien Darhk back alive to serve him as well. After his resurrection, he also remembered everything his past self went through.

As fate would have it though, Damien came to realize the wrongness of his actions when he saw what Mallus did to his only daughter and decided to finally atone for his sins...

see the Arrowverse: Earth-2 for his Earth-2 counterpart

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  • Achilles' Heel:
    • He is vulnerable to surprise attacks. While his Mind over Matter abilities can stop bullets and arrows, he has to know they're coming. He's been beaten twice by unexpected blows.
    • He appears to require holding out his hands to properly focus his powers. Hence disabling his arms hinders his telekinesis.
  • Action Dad: He has one daughter and is a highly skilled fighter, able to fight on par with Sarah, not even mentioning his magic.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: He laughs like a prankster when he finds out that Stein and Jax have switched bodies.
  • Adaptational Badass: Far more powerful than his comics counterpart ever was, being proficient in Blood Magic which allows him to utilize telekinesis and draining life-force from his victims. Also, he was never the leader of H.I.V.E. in the comics, at best being second-in-command.
  • Adaptational Superpower Change: About the only thing retained from comics Darhk was him being Long-Lived, having a much younger physical appearance than his age should suggest. Pretty much everything else he has here is him winning big on the Superpower Lottery, see Adaptational Badass above for the full list.
  • Adaptation Expansion: His backstory is much more fleshed out, having a long established history with the League of Assassins and being a former potential successor to Ra's al-Ghul before becoming bitter enemies. In the comics he's a very minor villain with a largely Mysterious Past and is killed off much sooner.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: His comics counterpart was never a member of the League of Assassins and had no connection with Ra's al-Ghul.
  • Affably Evil: He graduates from Faux Affably Evil to this in Legends of Tomorrow Season 3. While for the most he's still a villain who has no qualms with murdering innocents, there are several instances where he is genuinely polite and sincere towards the Legends. He even manages to pull a Heel–Face Turn after realizing Being Evil Sucks and tries to atone for his actions.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Frequently addresses his daughter as "Nora-doll."
  • The Ageless: Thanks to the Lazarus Pit, he still looks the same as he does in The '40s.
  • Age Lift: Comics Darhk is a young man comparable in age to several of the older Teen Titans members. In the series, he's played by 49 year old Neal McDonough—and that's without getting into the fact that this Darhk is a peer of Ra's al-Ghul and is Really 700 Years Old.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: He's not highly respected by the "partners" in HIVE, and most dismiss his magic powers believing him to be a mere charlatan.
  • Alliterative Name: Damien Darhk.
    Felicity: It's the fault of only one man, and he has an extremely on-the-nose and alliterative name.
  • Always a Child to Parent: Played for Laughs in his relationship with adult Nora, though from his point of view, she was literally just a child the last time he was alive.
  • Always Someone Better: To Ra's Al-Ghul. Ra's is always hunting him, yet he's able to slip away at the last minute.
  • Ancient Artifact: Damien's powers came from the Khushu Idol, a totem that channels and harnesses primordial energies; specifically energies that come from death, destruction, and fear.
  • And Starring: He is credited with the "Special Appearance By" citation until he becomes a regular for Legends Season Three.
  • And Your Little Dog, Too!: Not that Oliver wasn't opposed to him before, but it really becomes personal when Darhk kidnaps all his friends and tries to gas them.
  • Annoying Arrows: Arrows have very little effect on him, he's able to halt them in midair thanks to his telekinesis, and if one does manage to hit him in the chest he pulls them out and then carries on fighting. Ironic that he ultimately, ends up being killed by an arrow.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • To Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, and all of Team Arrow in general. While he has the least personal connection when compared to previous antagonists, his various Kick the Dog actions like attempting to gas Team Arrow to death, crippling Felicity, kidnapping Oliver's son William, and killing Laurel, cemented his villain status and made all of Team Arrow bitterly despise him.
    • Became this to Sara for killing Laurel, and later becoming the most recurrent adversary for the Legends. Sara absolutely despises him and whenever he surfaces she wants nothing more than to kill him and put him back in the ground.
    • Was (allegedly) this to Ra's al Ghul. Ra's plan to destroy Star(ling) City so Oliver can officially ascend as his heir was also a ploy to take out Darhk.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: His Upswipz dating-app profile.
    HOBBIES: I enjoy destroying the world to remake it in my image. And I like trying new restaurants.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • A very minor character in the source material, here he's a major player.
    • In Legends after a small Continuity Cameo in Season One, he becomes a major character in the subsequent seasons.
  • Ascended Fanboy: He expresses admiration for Grodd, calling himself the ape's biggest fan, and is quite excited to invite him to the Cult of Mallus.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The leader of H.I.V.E. and a former member of the League of Assassins.
  • Ax-Crazy: Darhk loves to kill and always prefers it as the first approach.
  • Baby Talk: He likes to talk down to his enemies in order to belittle them, especially Team Arrow.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • He returns from the dead in Season Three of Legends by the power of Mallus, with his daughter acting as a medium.
    • Briefly returns again as in Encore in Season 5's "Legends Of Tomorrow S 5 E 6 Mr Parkers Cul De Sac", only to die again at the end of the episode.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: He always looked quite fashionable, and dresses very stylish even in the past.
  • Badass Normal: Before he got his magic powers, he fought with his hands and was very effective at it too. He's still capable of doing so, but he's gotten rusty due to lack of practice.
  • Bad Boss: He does not take failure well. This ends up coming back to bite him after his arrest; the rest of H.I.V.E. are content to let Darhk rot in prison for (in Merlyn's words) "killing other members when you get miffed". Darhk is forced to strike a deal with Merlyn to secure his escape.
  • Bad Powers, Bad People: Of course the guy who drains peoples' souls to power his magic is a bad dude.
  • Been There, Shaped History: He's the reason why the invention of Cold Fusion remained unknown to the world. It was invented by a German scientist in 1962, however at that point Darhk was a hired assassin and had him murdered so he wouldn't be a threat to the oil industry.
  • Being Evil Sucks: Darhk learns this in Legends of Tomorrow Season Three. He has been constantly torn between freeing Mallus and ruling the world as a god, with protecting his daughter who is in danger from the Demonic Possession from said demon that Darhk is working for. He ultimately decided world domination isn't worth the price of his daughter. During his Heel Realization he remarks that he was a terrible father as his obsession with world domination caused him to die and then led his daughter to be all alone.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: After getting resurrected by Astra as an Encore and refusing to cause harm, he commits Seppuku with the Hell Sword, rather than facing her wrath and eternal torture in Hell.
  • Big Bad:
    • The main antagonist of Arrow Season Four.
    • In Season Two of Legends he's part of a Big Bad Duumvirate in the Legion of Doom, though it's clear that they're all outranked by Eobard Thawne.
    • While Mallus is the Big Bad of Season Three, he's a Sealed Evil in a Can with Darhk as the leader of his cult, so Damien and Nora are collectively The Heavy.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate:
    • He has "partners" inside HIVE, and they're not happy about how Green Arrow's vigilante activities are interfering with their plans for Star City. After getting freed from prison, he kills them, solidifying himself as the sole Big Bad.
      • He strikes up a partnership with Merlyn in the second half of Season Four, though the latter gets quickly Demoted to Dragon.
    • His past self in Legends Season 2 strikes up a partnership with Malcolm Merlyn, Eobard Thawne and later Leonard Snart, though all of them are pretty much just reduced to Eobard Thawne's pawns, who doesn't do equal partnerships.
    • In Legends Season Three, he and his daughter Nora are the leaders of the Cult of Mallus, also consisting of Kuasa and Grodd, though once again he ends up being a pawn, this time of Mallus.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In "No Country for Old Dads", he comes to the rescue of his daughter and Ray from the past Darhk of the 60s.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He presented himself to Quentin Lance as a savior with money and resources to save Star City, when he actually wanted to destroy it. Turns out he has plans for a new world order; Star City is merely where it's going to happen first.
  • Blood Magic: His superpowers are enhanced by the blood of his victims. Blood is also used to resurrect him.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Oh boy. It's hard to keep tally on how often he could have finished Team Arrow off, but didn't because of being a gloating idiot. It's rather fitting, actually; with Darhk's Wicked Cultured demeanor, Bad Boss tendencies, and over-the-top plans for world domination, he's about as close as this series is likely to get to having an actual Bond villain.
  • Break the Haughty:
    • In "Brotherhood", he finds out that his magic has no effect on Thea (in fact, trying to use it on her hurts him) and that Mayoral Candidate Oliver Queen is not a man who breaks under threats.
    • He's very dismissive of Anarky, a big mistake on his part, since Machin's the only person outside of Team Arrow to be a serious threat to him.
    • His wife's death causes him to turn into a Death Seeker who wants to destroy everything in the world, including himself and his own daughter.
  • Breakout Villain: Prior to his appearance in the show, Damien Darhk was practically unheard of outside of comics. This version made him into an iconic villain, popular enough that he becomes a major recurring villain in Legends from Season Two onwards.
  • Brought Down to Normal: In "Taken", Mari McCabe destroys the idol that fuels his magical abilities. He's still able to fight Oliver in combat fairly well, but is ultimately defeated. He manages to rebuild the idol and reclaim his magic in "Eleven Fifty-nine". Meanwhile, over on Legends, his incarnation in The '40s has no powers, but still remains badass due to his training from the League of Assassins.
  • Bumbling Dad: When he's not busy killing innocents and villaining it up, he's quite chipper and dorky as a father complete with dad jokes.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Never asked why a woman he'd never met before was trying to kill him.
  • Came Back Strong: In Legends Season Three, he's even more powerful than after Havenrock was decimated, and he's regained his memories of his time as a member of the Legion of Doom.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: When he pulls a You Said You Would Let Them Go on Oliver at one point and Oliver calls him out, Darhk simply replies, "Bad guy, remember?"
  • Celebrity Paradox: Thea alludes to Avengers: Age of Ultron in the second annual Crossover with The Flash (2014), which Word of God would later confirm. This means that the Marvel Cinematic Universe exists in the Arrowverse. His actor plays Dum-Dum Dugan, who is heavily associated with the Captain America films series.
  • Characterization Marches On: When he returns Back from the Dead in Legends of Tomorrow Season Three, he has gotten over his Villainous Breakdown over the death of his wife and is no longer a Death Seeker. Since his daughter has already grown up and has long since gotten over the death of his late wife, he's no longer burdened by the guilt of her having to grow up without a mother, and happily uses a dating app with his daughter's permission.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Makes an Early Bird Continuity Cameo in Legends of Tomorrow's first season before becoming part of its Big Bad Duumvirate in the second and third.
    • This also counts for his time on Arrow. Before debuting as Season 4's Big Bad, he was an unseen character that Ra's was targeting at the end of season 3, as they were both rivals. Prior to that reveleation, Darkh has been an unseen benefactor to many crimes in previous seasons, which include the failed attempt to steal Malcolm's earth generator in season 2, Mark Shaw trying to steal a list of names from Argus, and giving terrorist Gholem Qadir safe passage back to Markovia. All this seemed to build Darkh up to become the Greater-Scope Villain in season 4.
  • Composite Character:
    • He's named after a minor Teen Titans villain, but his motives are similar to that of Ra's Al-Ghul; his belief that Star City is beyond saving and must be allowed to die is not unlike Ra's attitude toward Gotham in Batman Begins. Fittingly, he was a member of the League of Assassins himself, and so likely took on their ideology.
    • He seems to be an amalgamation of his comic namesake and Dr. Ebeneezer Darrk, who is the only other person other than Ra's Al-Ghul to lead The League of Assassins. Both Darrk and Ra's also had a fallout.
    • His status as the psychic leader of H.I.V.E. who utilized Blood Magic seems to have been taken from the version of Brother Blood from the 2003 Teen Titans cartoon.
    • His position as the one nominally in charge of a cult devoted to an Expy of Trigon, coupled with the aforementioned Blood Magic, takes deliberate cues from the comic version of Brother Blood, much more than the version of the character on Arrow.
  • Conflict Killer: His murder of Laurel is ultimately what causes Felicity to put aside her tensions with Team Arrow (and Oliver in particular) and to rejoin them, seemingly for good.
  • Connected All Along: He met Thawne prior to their first encounter in WWII, but we never get any details on this.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist:
    • Darhk is the first Arrow Big Bad who has no personal connection whatsoever with Oliver Queen prior to encountering his superhero persona. He's also the first antagonist who doesn't fight with conventional methods, using magic rather than fists or weapons, although he can fight like a normal if he needs to. He also has much bigger agendas than the typical Arrow antagonist, having plans to lay waste to the entire world rather than just Star City. Also, unlike any other main antagonists, he doesn't have a costume (wearing a suit all the time), and doesn't have a codename for a villainous Secret Identity, but even then has great success concealing his villain identity from the public. In fact he’s the only Arrow Big Bad period who is not an Evil Counterpart to to Oliver at all, being as different as night and day (unless one counts Cayden James).
    • As outlined below in "Foil", Darhk also heavily contrasts Ra's Al-Ghul, his immediate predecessor as Arrow's Big Bad.
    • In Legends Of Tomorrow he's very similar to Vandal Savage, he's an immortal sociopath who The Captain is hunting down because they murdered a loved one. But Savage, until the very end of the season didn't have access to time travel and had to take The Slow Path in his encounters with the Legends, never sure when in his life they'd show up. Darhk regularly had access to time-travel and was therefore always on equal footing with the Legends.
  • Control Freak: He resents his "partners" making plans to take out Green Arrow without his approval.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: His concentration on becoming an Evil Sorcerer has led him to neglect his hand-to-hand combat skills to the point that Oliver can defeat him. This is especially shown in "Out of Time", which takes place chronologically before he obtained his magic totem, where he fights far better in close combat.

  • Dark Is Evil: Darhk's fondness for dark suits and Black Magic certainly help demonstrate that he isn't one of the good guys.
  • Dark Messiah: His own men view him as a savior and Andy goes out of his way to compare him to Jesus Christ.
  • Deader than Dead: After he commits suicide with the Hell Sword.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • He shows a dry sense of humor in his dealings with Quentin.
      Darhk: Are you sticking around for a cupcake or something?
    • And in full force in Legends of Tomorrow.
      Ray: See, I'm kind of a science dork...
      Darhk: Kind of?
  • Death Is Cheap: Easily the worst offender in the Arrowverse. No matter how he's killed off, he just. Will not. Stay. Dead.
  • Death Seeker: After his wife dies and the entire remodeled underground society is destroyed, Darhk orders HIVE to destroy the entire world anyway with him on it.
  • Debt Detester: Green Arrow saved his family from Anarky, something he's really not happy about, so he goes to ground for a few weeks as "gratitude".
  • Despair Event Horizon: His wife's death results in him becoming a full on Death Seeker attempting to kill everything, including himself.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Runs a Nebulous Evil Organization that operates worldwide with a goal of a "new world order."
  • Doomed by Canon: His future self died in the Arrow Season 4 finale. He wanted to prevent it by joining the Legion of Doom.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: In Season Three of Legends as the leader of the Cult of Mallus.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: If he allows himself to become subservient it's for his own reasons.
  • Dramatic Irony: His past self was plucked from 1987, the year Sara Lance (who wants him dead all season long) was born.
  • The Dreaded: Has this reputation in the criminal and mystical world. Even John Constantine (a man who fights demons and mocks angels) is scared stiff of him, telling Oliver to flat out leave Star City while he can.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: Good lord, yes. Not only he relayed too much of his powers, but once he harnesses enough of the Khushu idol, Darhk goes full on Emperor Palpatine once he becomes God-like in the final episodes of Season Four.
  • Dull Surprise: It's very difficult for Damien to be bewildered.
    • During "Taken" when Vixen snatches his totem, he still remains calm and matter-of-factly says "well, that happened."
    • In "Compromised", the FBI showing up and initiating a gun fight while he's brokering a deal only seems to mildly irritate him, where he eye rolls then reaches for his gun.
    • In the same episode, Sara throwing a shuriken into his hand barely phases him, as he pulls it out with a slight look of discomfort. Though her Breaking Speech about how his Genesis plan fails and how he will die, does noticeably unsettle him.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Reveals to Quentin that he has a daughter, and that if she was brought back from the dead without a soul, as Sara was, the most loving thing a father could do is put her out of her misery.
    • Somewhat unique among Arrow villains, in that his family seems to love him just as much as he loves them. Since this is after Oliver reveals Damien's identity, it can be assumed they know what he does. His wife turns out to not only know, but also be an active supporter for H.I.V.E. When Ruve perishes in his underground city thanks to Anarky, Darhk intends to destroy the entire world by bringing Hell on Earth knowing that he would die in the process.
    • His daughter cares for him so much that she orchestrated a ritual to resurrect him from the dead.
    • Despite his quest to get all six Zambesi Totems before the Legends, and having earlier stolen Amaya's necklace in that episode, Damien immediately gives her necklace back when Ray demands it in exchange for saving Nora's life.
    • Darhk reveals to Nate that while he wanted to destroy the world and remake it in his own image, he was doing it for his daughter, and achieving his goal was not worth the price of her life.
    • Comes full circle in "Guest Starring John Noble" where Damien finally has a Heel Realization when he sees Nora being overtaken by Mallus. He's willing to completely give up on his evil ways and turns to the Legends in defeating the demon if it means saving his daughter, going by the Legends every demand. Even after he betrays the Legends, he's doing so out of love for his daughter (as he believes killing Mallus would also kill her). There's an amusing scene where he pleads with the Legends to let him destroy the village to save his daughter, while in despair that the Legends are unable to understand his predicament.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He fires Lonnie Machin after he kidnaps a mayoral candidate's daughter, though it's more a case of Pragmatic Villainy; he chides Machin for prizing anarchy while H.I.V.E. believes in order, discipline, and refinement.
    • He also believes the Nazis are "monsters," although he sees them as a sort of Necessarily Evil.
    • Save Damien's family and he'll at least let you walk away to deal with you later as thanks. His wife on the other hand, would rather he kill you right then anyway.
    • Finally, the prospect of losing his daughter for good is what ultimately prompts his Heel Realization and helps the Legends stop Mallus.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • To Oliver. Both are former members of the League of Assassins and potential successors to Ra's al-Ghul, before defying the man and becoming enemies with him. However their paths they then choose drastically diverge. Oliver choosing to use his newfound abilities to protect Star City, while Darhk seeks to destroy it as part of his plan to remake the world In Their Own Image. Both are fathers, however Oliver has an estranged son he didn't know about from his former flame, while Darhk has a healthy marriage with a daughter. In the end, Oliver also learns light magic to counter Darhk's dark based magic.
    • To Sara. Both are once again former League members who have been exposed to the supernatural effects of the Lazarus Pit. Both also end up becoming members of time travelling Super Teams. However Sara is always on the Time Police side while Darhk is a Time Criminal who joins up with the Legion of Doom and later the Cult of Mallus. Sara is a Badass Normal who relies on her physical ability honed from the League, and despite gaining a degree of supernatural ability still Fights Like a Normal, while Darhk relies on his magical powers while his physical fighting ability has become rusty due to lack of practice and is often a Squishy Wizard when forced to fight traditionally.
  • Evil Is One Big, Happy Family: He doesn't just love his family, they are all in on the evil with him and actively support his villainous agenda. His wife assisted him as part of The HIVE on Arrow, while his grownup daughter fought by his side as members of Mallus' cult in Legends of Tomorrow.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: More like evil has a Dad sense of humor.
    Nora: I'm annoyed.
    Darhk: Hi Annoyed, I'm Dad.
  • Eviler than Thou: To Ra's Al-Ghul and the League of Assassins — they at least have a sense of honor and morality, however twisted. Darhk's motives seem to be fueled by Social Darwinism — Star City can't be saved, so just let it die.
  • Evil Is Funny: Sure he's evil, but he is still a hilarious Deadpan Snarker, and is generally outright gleeful at times, especially when using his powers.
  • Evil Is Hammy: While he's a Well-Intentioned Extremist and a Visionary Villain, it's clear that Darhk really enjoys being the bad guy.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Learns the hard way that allying with Mallus was not a smart idea, when his daughter keeps losing herself under the demon's control.
  • Evil Is Petty: He guts Laurel with an arrow as payback for her father double-crossing Darhk and getting him sent to prison.
  • Evil Overlord: He's trying to be seen as the hero of his new world order once his Evil Plan comes to fruition.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Is very proficient in black magic.
  • Exact Words: In "Helen Hunt", he agrees to Sara's terms to fight only with League training and no magic, however this doesn't include his daughter who does use her magic to prevent Sara from killing Darhk.
  • Expy: As the head of a Nebulous Evil Organisation with a penchant for inventive, violent dispatches of unsatisfactory minions, and whose minions encounter the protagonist before he himself does, Darhk comes across as Ernst Stavro Blofeld with magical powers. His first appearance in Legends of Tomorrow even has Darhk wearing a light gray Nehru suit, just like Blofeld did in two of his cinematic appearances. Ray even directly compares H.I.V.E. to SPECTRE.
  • Fake Guest Star: In Arrow Season Four, he was much more involved than the other Big Bads, to the point that only a handful of episodes didn't feature him.
  • Fallen Hero: Neal McDonough states Darhk used to very similar to Oliver at some point in his life.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He's remarkably civil in conversation, but he's trying to destroy Star City, and murders one of his own men without remorse when the man fails him. Darhk also demonstrates a certain playful, gregarious humor with people, even when he's obviously ready to kill them and has no problem threatening the people they love. By "Genesis", he admits he's gotten sick of "being nice".
  • Fedora of Asskicking: He wears this in the 30's and 40's, since he dressed like a gangster during that time.
  • Fights Like a Normal: While he prefers using his powerful blood magic, if that's not an option for whatever reason, he has no issue with fighting with his fists, which he can do exceptionally well due to his League of Assassins training.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: According to his lawyer the man with the extremely on-the-nose and alliterative name is actually Kenneth Bender, an innocent citizen of Markovia.
  • Foil:
    • To Ra's Al-Ghul. They're both Knight Templar masterminds who are Really 700 Years Old, and they were even friends when they first joined the League of Assassins. There are quite a few differences between them, as well: Ra's' order uses ancient trappings and traditions, while Darhk's is clearly on the cutting-edge of technology; unlike the Affably Evil Ra's, Darhk is plainly Faux Affably Evil; Ra's was the unquestioned master of his group, while Darhk has unidentified "partners" who can override his authority; Ra's was stoic and reserved, while Darhk is more emotional and demonstrates a sense of humour; Ra's had no intention of killing Oliver unless he had to, while Darhk is fine with killing him at the earliest opportunity; aside from his use of the Lazarus Pit, Ra's preferred more mundane methods to accomplish his goals, while Darhk freely uses sorcery. Even their appearances contrast: Ra's was dark-haired, bearded, and dressed in ancient-looking robes, while Darhk is blond, clean-shaven, and prefers modernly-sharp business suits.
    • To Malcolm Merlyn. Damien had been an immoral human being for centuries, and of his own choice, while Malcolm was driven to villainy relatively recently and through personal tragedy. Damien became a villain mostly for personal power and For the Evulz while Malcolm started out as a genuine Well-Intentioned Extremist. Both were also once members of the League of Assassins and had a falling out with Ra's Al Ghul, as well as lost their wives at some point. However, what separates them is their later Character Development. Malcolm eventually lost himself, trying to rationalize his every action, but eventually clearly looking out for himself first, even being willing to let his own daughter die to keep his power and being revealed as an absolute Dirty Coward once stripped of it and at the mercy of somebody. Even his supposed Heroic Sacrifice for Thea was later rendered weak by the revelation that he was secretly looking for three new Lazarus Pits. Damien on the other hand got hit by a massive Heel Realization once he saw how his actions put his beloved daughter at risk. He went so far as to agree and actually ask Sara to kill him once it was all over, and when there was only one way left to save Nora, he immediately gave his life for her without any hesitation.
  • Force-Choke: He loves doing these to his enemies.
  • For the Evulz:
    • He may be a Visionary Villain, but a lot of the evil things he does is simply for the kicks.
    • The reason why he helped the Nazis build an atomic bomb in WWII.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Similar to Ra's prior to Season Three, he has never gotten directly involved with the Arrow and his allies beforehand, but he's had quite a bit of influence throughout the series.

  • I Have Your Wife: He is terrified when Anarky holds his wife and daughter hostage, with the intent to burn them.
  • Have We Met Yet?: His past self didn't kill Laurel yet so he was flummoxed why Sara wanted him dead.
  • The Heavy: In Legends of Tomorrow Season Three, he's The Dragon to Mallus, but is actually the main threat that opposes the Legends for the majority of the season.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Just when he realizes the wrongness of all his actions, he is forced to perform a Heroic Sacrifice for his daughter.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Genuinely pulls one during his brief resurrection as an Encore. Unfortunately, he doesn't live too long afterwards.
    • When he returns to villainy in the Reverse-Flashpoint timeline created by Thawne, Barry manages to sway him over using his love for his daughter. He agrees to help Barry to restore history and seems to genuinely reform, where even after the timeline is reset a remnant of Darhk would remain in the Timestone to guide and motivate Iris.
  • Heel Realization: In "Guest Starring John Noble" Darhk comes full circle when he sees his daughter taken over by Mallus thanks to his own greed, and regrets all of the villainy he had done in the past. He reminisces that he was a terrible father as his obsession with world domination led to his death and Nora growing up without a father. He even admits to Sara that it was wrong of him to kill her sister, which he did so because he hadn't yet experienced enough love to realize the pain he caused and he would undo said actions if he could.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Takes his daughter's place as Mallus's vessel without any hesitation.
  • Hero Killer: He personally kills Laurel, in order to get back at Captain Lance for betraying him. According to Rip he was also due to kill Sara if she hadn't been recruited onto the Waverider.
  • I Am a Monster: After his Heel–Face Turn he tells Nora he didn't want her to become a monster like him.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: Does not appear in the Arrowverse until its fourth year but end up becoming one of the most well known villains on the franchise.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: His cold blue eyes are quite terrifying.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Surprisingly, he gives Ray Palmer his blessing after he ties the knot with Nora, but does want him that he'd better make her happy or elses he'll come for him.
  • I Hate Past Me: He gets into a scuffle with his past self from the 60s who happens to be a Professional Killer that has no qualms with killing his daughter. The two Darhks fight it out and Present Darhk absolutely despises his past self.
  • In Name Only: Has almost nothing in common with the comics Damien Darhk. Aside from his name and being a member of HIVE he's largely an original character. This is especially the case after he's transplanted to Legends of Tomorrow where he's the franchise's go to Laughably Evil mystical supervillain.
  • In Their Own Image: The end game for his Genesis plan was to lay waste to the world and start it anew with a select few which would be his ideal world.
  • Joker Immunity: Darhk could give Thawne a run for his money in this area, being one stubborn bastard who simply will not stay dead for long.
    • After his death at the hands of Green Arrow, Thawne travels back in time 29 years before his established death and recruits his younger self to join the Legion of Doom and aid him in his journey to assemble the Spear of Destiny and rewrite time in their favor. Eventually, the Legends defeated the Legion and Darhk was returned to his time period with his memories of their quest erased, essentially "killing" him by living out his life until he reaches the point in time where Oliver drives an arrow through his abdomen.
    • Not long after his now adult daughter revives him by exhuming his corpse and bringing it to 1895 London to perform a ritual on it. He dies once more when he sacrifices his life to save Nora from Mallus.
    • He comes back again when Astra Logue revives him, but this time after making amends with his daughter and the Legends, he kills himself in a much more permanent way by outright vanquishing his soul.
    • But turns out even being Deader than Dead isn't a surefire way to keep him gone. He makes a return once again in Armageddon, in the Alternate Timeline Thawne created, once again alive and active as a villain. Even after teaming up with Barry to restore history, a remnant of Darhk would remain inside the timestone to help Iris later in the season.
  • Karmic Death: He dies exactly like how he killed Laurel; helplessly immobilized and stabbed with an arrow. And gets another one taking his daughter's place as Mallus's vessel, after convincing her to be his willing servant in the first place.
  • Knight Templar: Darhk describes his goal as "a new beginning for the world".
  • Knight Templar Parent: While he would've preferred John Constantine as his son-in-law, he ultimately gives Ray his blessings, but threatens him in case he ever lets any harm befall Nora.
  • Kryptonite Factor:
    • Those who are under the effect of the Lazarus Pit, such as Thea, have an odd effect on him. Where his Death Touch affects him instead and Thea's bloodlust vanishes.
    • His Black Magic has one fatal flaw; it is powered by death and fear, so it can be countered through light and hope, which is what powers Oliver's light based magic. Upon Damien using the death of all the residents in a whole city to empower his magic, it takes Oliver rallying another city and uprising against him to negate his powers.
  • Kung-Fu Wizard: Equally adept with hand-to-hand combat and magic in theory, though he's gotten less so with the former as he concentrates on the latter.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: The Legends wipe his memories and put him back when Thawne recruited him, so he essentially lives out his life. This gets undone after his resurrection by Mallus.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: His allies are content to let him stay in prison for killing their members when angry.
  • Laughably Evil: He's a cruel, cold, unrepentant, son of a bitch, but he's so hilarious. He goes about his villainy like a Manchild, is known to make cringey jokes, and many of kills fall under Black Comedy.
  • Leader Wannabe: Considered himself worthy of being the next Ra's when he was with the League, but the previous Ra's instead chose his friend as he had less pride.
  • Let Me Get This Straight...: Darhk has this reaction when Sara plonks him back into his rightful place in the timeline without any consequence.
  • Long Game: He is planning Genesis as early as The '70s.

  • Made of Iron: He's quite tough, he was able to shake off a close-range explosive arrow from Malcolm once and he also withstood getting two arrows in the torso from Thea, when he didn't have his magic.
  • Magic Knight: A former member of the League of Assassins skilled in using a variety of weapons and empowered with magic powers thanks to the Khushu Idol. Deconstructed in that years of relying on his sorcery caused his physical combat skills to atrophy.
  • Magitek: Darhk utilizes both magic and scientific warfare in his quest to take over the world.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: He wears fancy suits and has a chauffeur driven limousine.
  • Meaningful Name: His first name Damian is a big clue about what his evil plans are.
  • Mind over Matter: He telekinetically stopped several arrows Oliver fired at him, and shows the same capability with Double Down's cards, to the point of telekinetically tossing one from one hand to the other and back again as a demonstration of his abilities.
    • The power of his telekinesis is quite impressive. "Code of Silence" shows him mentally killing someone he's in a teleconference with... while the other man is all the way in Madrid!
    • It gets amplified in Legends of Tomorrow Season 3 where he can effortlessly toss whole people around the room with a wave of his hand.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: After he is arrested and the source of his magic destroyed, HIVE just leaves him there due to his tendency to kill members.
  • Moral Myopia:
    • He sees hurting Oliver's loved ones as an acceptable way to defeat his enemy. If his family however is put in danger? Absolutely unacceptable.
    • He sees vigilantes as "self-righteous heroes" who fail to grasp the scope of his plans that are for the greater good.
  • Motive Decay: The aim of his original Evil Plan — Genesis was to "cleanse" the Earth by destroying modern civilization, so that HIVE could rebuild it in their own image. In the Doomworld he's content with running Star City like his own personal kingdom. Zigzagged when he goes back to his original plan upon being resurrected by Mallus before turning against him in an attempt to save Nora.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Past Darhk recruited by Thawne is less subtle in his approach than his older future self, preferring to kill everyone on the scene before Merlyn suggests an alternative.
  • Murder-Suicide: On a global scale. After crossing the Despair Event Horizon, Darhk attempts to destroy the entire world with himself on it.
  • My Nayme Is: "Darhk" is pronounced the same way as "dark".
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Damien Darhk.
  • Near-Villain Victory: He was about to kill Oliver in "Legends of Today," but luckily for Oliver, Flash interfered.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: He taunts Team Arrow for bringing "arrows to a gun fight", only for one of Oliver's arrows to magnetically pull all of the enemies' guns out of their hands.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: His initial dismissal of Anarky results in his fired underling destroying his entire underground city and murdering his wife.
  • Not So Above It All: In "Doomworld", Nate uses the Spear of Destiny to knock away Eobard Thawne, delighting Damien, which nearly leads him and Nate to high-five. However he promptly remembers he's an evil villain, beats up Nate, and steals the Spear back.
  • Not So Stoic:
    • Sara's Breaking Speech about how his Genesis plan will fail and he'll die visibly unnerves him, and is what motivates him to join the Legion.
    • For any matters regarding the safety of his family, especially his daughter, will cause him to take matters seriously.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: He states his belief that by destroying the world he's allowing it to reset and usher in a better era. Except he openly admits to being evil, shows far more cruelty and sadism than needed in his endeavors, and later admits he really just wanted to remake the world In Their Own Image.
  • Obviously Evil: His first name is the same as the anti-christ from popular culture and there's his second name's pronunciation. Also he favours black and dabbles in Blood Magic.
  • Offing the Offspring: His end game in the fourth season finale is to provide a peaceful death for him and his daughter.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Almost literally, if other characters (and the camera) look away for a second he can disappear.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: "Genesis" reveals he plans to destroy the entire world with nuclear annihilation. Becomes even more so following his wife's death.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Zig-zagged. In "Green Arrow," he personally carries out a mission to orchestrate a train crash, but after that he seems content to let his agents do the dirty work. But once Ollie outs his existence to the world, he's decided to take a more direct approach.
  • Outside-Genre Foe: His abilities aren't even in the same category as the metahumans Central City has been dealing with, but straight-up magic. A sharp departure from the relatively grounded villains of the previous seasons. This makes his transplant over to Legends of Tomorrow more fitting, as his mystical abilities are more at home with the fantastical nature of that show.

  • Papa Wolf: He will do anything to keep his daughter Nora out of harm's way.
  • Paradox Person: Theoretically, the act of him being plucked from the timeline alone should have caused drastic changes in history, especially Arrow's. It becomes a moot point when he gets dropped back into The '80s like nothing changed.
  • Perpetual Smiler: Darhk is seldom without an amused or smug look on his face.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • On hearing what happened to Sara Lance regarding the Lazarus Pit, he seems sincere in telling her father that he should put her out of her misery, since she is The Soulless.
    • After Team Arrow saves his wife and child from Anarky, he tells the Green Arrow he will give him a month to spend time with his own loved ones.
    • When teaming up with the Legends to save his daughter, he actually gives his Arch-Enemy Sara Lance a completely sincere You Are Better Than You Think You Are speech.
  • Polite Villains, Rude Heroes: Darhk has a degree of sophistication and is very civil, while Oliver as the Green Arrow is very vicious toward his enemies, and Quentin Lance is extremely rude and openly curses at others.
  • Power at a Price: Despite having an advanced magical level, Darhk is seen performing a blood magic ritual that seems to imbue him with magic. This indicates his powers come from a high and mortal price.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Why kill your competition in the villain game when you can just drug them to be your foot soldiers instead? Just ask Andy Diggle.
  • Professional Killer: He was the world's greatest assassin back in the 60s.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: In Legends Season 2.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Has moments of childish glee, usually related to messing with, hurting, or killing someone, such as when he just can't resist trying to "take a peeksie" under the Green Arrow's mask. His portrayer also describes him as "a 9-year old throwing a tantrum" when he doesn't get his way. As it turns out, he is capable of some insanely violent temper tantrums. Even his own daughter calls him a manchild to his face.
  • Psychotic Smirk: He gets too carried away in his villainous actions.
  • Really 700 Years Old: He's roughly the same age as Ra's due to stolen water from the Lazarus Pit. It causes a bit of a problem for him when he tries dating via Upswipz as the age tab doesn't go past 199.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Pulls a genuine Heel–Face Turn after being resurrected as an Encore, but promptly commits suicide with Genghis Khan's Hell Sword afterwards, rather than facing eternaly torture at Astra's hands.
  • The Rival: To Ra's. He was just as capable as his fellow heir was and wanted to become the leader of the League, but was considered too prideful and later became a bitter rival to his former friend.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant: He and his organization are generally antagonists for the Teen Titans in the source material. Also In-Universe, technically, thanks to being Transplanted from Arrow to Legends.
  • Running Gag: In the third season of Legends, due to his concerns over Nora being Mallus's vessel, he keeps ending up in spontaneous, impromptu therapy sessions with heroes he's captured: first with Ray, then with Nate. In the latter's case, he's distraught to the point where he has to fake a torture session.
  • Sadist: For all of his Knight Templar rhetoric and feigned affability, there's little doubt that Darhk deeply enjoys hurting and killing other people with his magic.
  • Saved by Canon: The Legends couldn't kill his past self, otherwise it would've screwed with history.
  • Screw Destiny: His main motivation for teaming up with Thawne was to stop the future failure of his Genesis plan.
  • Seen It All: Since he's immortal, nothing really phases him.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: As the image shows, Damien Darhk favors dark, stylish suits.
  • Smug Smiler: Just look at his profile image.
  • Smug Super: He's very high up on the horse compared to other villains. This is mainly because he has amazing superpowers to back up his skills as a villain.
  • Squishy Wizard: Subverted. While he mostly favors his powers, he's still a League of Assassins-trained fighter. Whenever his powers are disabled, he is still able to put up quite a fight in hand-to-hand combat, though due to his over reliance on his magic he is out of practice. The first time Oliver defeated him when Mari broke his totem, was largely due to him getting taken by surprise and did not anticipate a situation where he'd be without his powers. The second time around, Darhk is able to hold his own against Oliver for quite some time, but ultimately is still defeated due to being out of practice in comparison to Oliver.
  • The Starscream: He takes control of the HIVE council himself.
  • Start My Own: He created H.I.V.E. after he failed to become the next Ra's Al-Ghul.
  • Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum: Goes through one after his Villainous Breakdown. Since he's no longer able to remake the world in his own image and has lost his wife, he decides to let the entire world burn and himself with it.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham:
    • An inverted villainous example. Damien hasn't directly confronted or even had any extended interaction with Barry Allen who is The Flash. While at some point Damien has faced and fought nearly every other hero on Earth-1 he has never faced or even gone near Flash or central city. Given that Damien is a manipulator and for the most part seems to be willing if not prepared to fight any of the other heroes or even use them in his plans, this omission is glaring. This is probably justified in that Barry is the most powerful superhuman character on Earth-1 and his abilities have increased so much that only the truly powerful, truly brilliant, or truly insane seek a confrontation with him. Let's face it, Barry could have Damien on the ground and in restraints before Damien even realized he moved.
    • Subverted in Legends of Tomorrow where Darhk is shown to have little trouble dealing with speedsters like Eobard or Wally. In fact he makes it an effort to incapacitate the speedster first.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: In Legends Season 3, Ray and Nate both come to sympathise him over his predicament with his daughter Nora, both with parent-child issues and with her looming demise of Mallus takes her over.

  • They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!: When HIVE operative Mina Fayad tries to address him as Damien, he makes it quite clear to her that he's Mr. Darhk.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: Darhk looks more like a kind middle-aged man rather than the complete monster he actually is underneath his gentle facade.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Killing Laurel marks the point where Team Arrow goes from wanting him behind bars to wanting him dead. Notably, even after he pulls a Heel–Face Turn, Sara cannot forgive him for it.
  • Token Super: Darhk serves as this for the HIVE. His organisation is a large syndicate of cult like loyalists with no powers. While Darhk is a master of Blood Magic capable of telekinesis and Life Draining.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Upon his resurrection in Legends of Tomorrow in Season 3, his powers appear to be amplified even further and he's no longer reliant on his Khusu idol.
    • On the other hand, his physical fighting ability has taken a hit due to over reliance on magical powers, being overwhelmed by the likes of Oliver and Sara in melee battles. Past versions of him are shown to be far more competent in physical battles.
  • Too Powerful to Live: After all non-lethal methods were attempted, including imprisoning Darhk before he broke out. Darhk was deemed too dangerous to keep alive, especially after his Villainous Breakdown, so Oliver resorted to putting him down to end the threat he posed.
    Oliver: You killed a friend of mine. You killed tens of thousands of innocent people. With Slade Wilson I had a choice, this time I don't.
  • Touch of Death: His touch drains the life of his enemies and heals/restores his magical power to him at the same time.
  • Tranquil Fury: When Oliver ousts him as the mastermind behind the recent attacks on Star City, he telekinetically crushes the television he's watching from without saying a word. It’s easy to tell that he's incredibly vexed just by looking at his expression.
  • Transplant: A variant in that his past self is a main villain for Legends of Tomorrow' Season Two, since his future self was killed off in Season Four of Arrow, where he served as the season's Big Bad. It becomes more complicated when he's brought back from the dead by his daughter to be one of the villains in Legends Season Three.
  • Ultimate Authority Mayor: In "Doomworld", he runs Star City like his own kingdom.
  • Vampiric Draining: He can absorb to life force of others to restore his own powers.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Due to his overreliance on the totem's powers, he gets beaten twice by Oliver when he gets depowered, though he does put up a good fight in both of them. This even extends to his powers, when Oliver gains his own powers that counteracts Darhk's, he actually starts to struggle more against him, as Darhk never really thought of improving his skills with his powers.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • It's subtle, but he's not taking Team Arrow's constant interference with his plans, or his operatives' inability to stop them, well at all. He doesn't lose his cool, but he kills any one of his own men who fails at anything regarding Team Arrow.
    • In "Dark Waters" he has a full blown one when Oliver holds a press conference telling Star City about Darhk and HIVE's existence and he uses his magic to blow up the TV he's watching it on in a fit of rage.
    • Upon hearing of his wife's death, he transitions into a suicidal maniac who wants to destroy all life, including himself.
  • Villainous Friendship:
    • With Thawne, although Darhk made him "earn" it first. Subverted as Thawne treats his comrades more like henchmen and by the finale he doesn't care about them at all.
    • Played straight with Malcolm after they settle their differences when they realize that Thawne is intentionally trying to keep them at each other's throats. He also gets along quite well with Snart.
  • Villains Out Shopping: In "No Country For Old Dads", he's trying out the Upswipz dating app to find a match, as he feels it's time he got over mourning his late wife. Though he does so while telekinetically throwing Alan the Upswipz executive around the room, before snapping his neck after he's done with his fun.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: In The '80s he's worked as an adviser in the Reagan White House.
  • Visionary Villain: If his comments on "breath[ing] a new life" into Star City and the world are any indication, he's one of these. However, as shown in "Doomworld", he is also fine with turning Star City into his own personal hellhole playground.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: His powers come from a totem. When it gets destroyed, not only does he lose his telekinesis, he also loses a large chunk of his fighting prowess and ends up swinging like a tired old man, unlike the fighting machine he was in his first few episodes. But once he gets it back...
  • What You Are in the Dark: Despite all his Well-Intentioned Extremist rhetoric, he uses the Spear to turn Star City into a hellhole with himself in charge as the Ultimate Authority Mayor.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Extremely fair blond hair, but he's as nasty as you'd expect with a name like "Damien Darhk".
  • Worf Had the Flu: If his fight with Green Arrow in "Blood Debts" is any indication, he's so used to relying on his magic that his combat skills aren't what you'd expect from a former top member of the League of Assassins. He was too pissed off at Anarky kidnapping his family that he got sloppy with rage.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Has no qualms about attacking women, he even murdered Laurel.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He abducted Oliver's son and threatened to execute him if Oliver didn't give in to his demands. He later attempts to kill John Diggle's infant daughter.
  • You Have Failed Me: Pretty common with him. If someone fails to either kill Team Arrow or to die when they're supposed to instead of being caught, he kills them. This ends up biting him in the rear when he's arrested and informed that the rest of HIVE is tired of losing guys just because he gets a bit miffed and leave him in jail.