Every man who has lotted here over the centuries, has looked up to the light and imagined climbing to freedom. So easy, so simple! And like shipwrecked men turning to seawater foregoing uncontrollable thirst, many have died trying. And then here there can be no true despair without hope. So as I terrorize Gotham, I will feed its people hope to poison their souls. I will let them believe that they can survive so that you can watch them climbing over each other to stay in the sun. You can watch me torture an entire city. And then when you’ve truly understood the depth of your failure, we will fulfill Ra’s Al Ghul’s destiny. We will destroy Gotham. And then, when that is done, and Gotham is… ashes Then you have my permission to die.

My name is Merely Ducard but I speak for Ra’s al Ghul… a man greatly feared by the criminal underworld. A mon who can offer you a path. Someone like you is only here by choice. You have been exploring the criminal fraternity but whatever your original intentions you have to become truly lost. The path of a man who shares his hatred of evil and wishes to serve true justice. The path of the League of Shadows.

Breathe in your fears. Face them. To conquer fear, you must become fear. You must bask in the fear of other men. And men fear most what they cannot see. You have to become a terrible thought. A wraith. You have to become an idea! Feel terror cloud your senses. Feel its power to distort. To control. And know that this power can be yours. Embrace your worst fear. Become one with the darkness.

You wanna know how I got them? So I had a wife. She was beautiful, like you, who tells me I worry too much, who tells me I ought to smile more, who gambles and gets in deep with the sharks. Hey. One day they carve her face. And we have no money for surgeries. She can’t take it. I just wanna see her smile again. I just want her to know that I don’t care about the scars. So, I do this to myself. And you know what? She can’t stand the sight of me. She leaves. Now I see the funny side. Now I’m always smiling.

You wanna know how I got these scars? My father was… a drinker, and a fiend. And one night, he goes off crazier than usual. Mommy gets the kitchen knife to defend herself. He doesn’t like that, not one bit. So, me watching he takes the knife to her, laughing while he does it. He turns to me and he says: “Why so serious?”. He comes at me with the knife “Why so serious?”. He sticks the blade in my mouth. “Let’s put a smile on that face.” and… Why so serious?

Every year, I took a holiday. I went to Florence, this cafe on the banks of the Arno. Every fine evening, I would sit there and order a Fernet Branca. I had this fantasy, that I would look across the tables and I would see you there with a wife maybe a couple of kids. You wouldn’t say anything to me, nor me to you. But we would both know that you’ve made it, that you were happy. I never wanted you to come back to Gotham. I always knew there was nothing here for you except pain and tragedy and I wanted something more for you than that. I still do.

Every man who has lotted here over the centuries, has looked up to the light and imagined climbing to freedom. So easy, so simple! And like shipwrecked men turning to seawater foregoing uncontrollable thirst, many have died trying. And then here there can be no true despair without hope. So as I terrorize Gotham, I will feed its people hope to poison their souls. I will let them believe that they can survive so that you can watch them climbing over each other to stay in the sun. You can watch me torture an entire city. And then when you’ve truly understood the depth of your failure, we will fulfill Ra’s Al Ghul’s destiny. We will destroy Gotham. And then, when that is done, and Gotham is… ashes Then you have my permission to die.

My name is Merely Ducard but I speak for Ra’s al Ghul… a man greatly feared by the criminal underworld. A mon who can offer you a path. Someone like you is only here by choice. You have been exploring the criminal fraternity but whatever your original intentions you have to become truly lost. The path of a man who shares his hatred of evil and wishes to serve true justice. The path of the League of Shadows.