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I’ve forgiven you for what you did all those years ago… which is why it’s going to be much harder forgiving you for this. You exposed the secret of the Desert Rose to the world. Coryana is the garden, and I am it’s keeper. My family has dedicated lifetimes to protecting it’s secret. History is littered with colonizers who come with their false ideals and pillage for their own profit. The African Diamond Trade, oil in the Middle East. Coryana is no different. Our garden will be ravaged, and our island will cease to exist.
~ Safiyah Sohail’s reasons for her actions.

Queen Safiyah Sohail is a major antagonist in the TV series Batwoman, serving as the unseen overarching antagonist of Season 1 and one of the two main antagonists (alongside Black Mask) of Season 2.

She is the fiercely protective ruler of a small community on the island of Coryana with as many enemies as aliases. She is compassionate and charismatic with both physical and psychological prowess. She is beloved by her people and will stop at nothing to protect what's hers. No one goes unnoticed by Safiyah, specifically when it comes to those who have encountered the Desert Rose.

She is portrayed by Shivani Ghai.

History

Early Life

At some point in her early life, Safiyah became the ruler of Coryana, a small Mediterranean island housed by a small community. Its greatest treaure was the Desert Rose, a rare and mysterious panacea capable of universal medicines and antidotes. Knowing how global individuals had wasted natural resources for profit, such as the African Diamond Trade and the oil in the Middle East, Safiyah created the strict rule that the Desert Rose must never be exported from the island. Being in charge of the Many Arms of Death, she had her top assassin Tatiana a.k.a. Whisper become her second-in-command. At some point during her rule, she met Ocean who had arrived at the island. They two became close and she came to see him as a brother-figure, eventually assigning him to train her army after she trained him herself.

After Catherine Hamilton-Kane took out one of Coryana's defences, Safiyah sent Tatiana and the Many Arms of Death to attack on of her yachts to teach her a lesson. They came across Beth Kane, also known as "Alice", aboard the yacht who attacked the assassins before being subdued. After Beth was brought to Coryana, Safiyah noticed her rage towards Catherine and was inspired by her escape from August Cartwright's captivity, deciding to train her as one of her soldiers. Thus, Safiyah placed her under Ocean's tutelage in combat training while she taught Beth how to channel her anger into power.

Over time, Safiyah started developing feelings for Beth but could never bring herself to tell her. Instead, she entrusted her with her most valued secrets, such as the foundations of Coryana and legend of the Desert Rose. She later realized that Ocean had stolen a Desert Rose and planned to leave Coryana with both it and Beth, whom he developed a romantic relationship with. Enraged by Ocean's betrayal and for stealing Beth's affections, Safiyah had Enigma erase their memories of each other. As a result, Beth's emerging conscience was suppressed, programming her to become completely consumed by her emotional scars and desire for revenge as Alice. Safiyah had Beth was sent back to Gotham under the belief that she had escaped. Unknown to Sofiyah, Alice took a Desert Rose with her, violating the rule and drawing Safiyah's anger. After Alice and Ocean was exiled, Safiyah tried to forget about her completely.

Dealings in Gotham

In 2019, Safiyah heard about Batwoman and decided to assassinate her. Thus, in 2019, she sent the Rifle to Gotham to retrieve a weapon capable of penetrating the Batsuit from Alice. However, the latter used him to kill the only three people who could fix said weapon right before giving it to him sabotaged. The Rifle warned Alice that Safiyah was going to be pissed for that. Safiyah was approached by Julia Pennyworth, who promised to give her Lucius Fox's journal if she stopped the Rifle from pursuing Batwoman, a condition to which the criminal agreed. After Julia infiltrated the Lookout, Safiyah called her and asked about her progress on the mission, prompting the latter to reply she will retrieve the journal and give it to her. However, after Julia discovered the journal's true content could be used to kill Batwoman, she terminated their deal which officially puts her in Safiyah's cross-hairs as well. Afterwards, she had Julia stalked by someone who took and gave Julia photographs of herself with Sophie Moore to show them that they were being watched.

Days after Kate Kane's private jet returned from National City exploded in mid-air outside Gotham, Alice found a note from Safiyah folded as a paper plane in her sewer hideaway; written across the newspaper article reporting on Kate's whereabouts was the message "Consider Us Even". Deducing that Safiyah was responsible, Alice sought revenge against Safiyah. Alice then her revenge by poisoning Gotham and curing it with the Desert Rose that she stole from Safiyah. Safiyah angered at the act, sent Whisper to Gotham to kidnap Alice and bring her back to Coryana for questioning and presumably execution.

Reunion with Alice

On Coryana, Safiyah and Alice talked about the past, but Alice was more interested in avenging Kate's death because she believed that Safiyah had killed her twin sister. After a brief scuffle, Safiyah told Alice that she didn't kill Kate and showed Alice a fake of Kate's unique necklace as proof that she knew the whereabouts of Alice's twin sister. Before being drugged and dismissed from Coryana with Sophie, Safiyah asked Alice to do a job for her, in which she had to find and kill Ocean in exchange, she would reunite with Kate. Safiyah told Alice that Kate would be returned to the island after Alice left. The job was for Alice to kill Ocean.

Upon learning that Ocean was staying at a hotel just outside Gotham, Safiyah sent members of the Many Arms of Death to kill him; however, they failed.

The next day, Safiyah answered a phone call intended for Tatiana from Alice; Alice wanted to know the real reason as to why Safiyah had sent her to kill Ocean; Safiyah replied that she could tell Alice, but that would make Alice's assignment harder, verifying for Alice that she and Ocean were once lovers. Later, Safiyah was called again by Alice, stating that she killed Ocean; Safiyah told her to bring the body to Coryana, and Alice agreed.

Personality

Safiyah Sohail is considered to be protective, compassionate, and charismatic with both physical and psychological prowess. She is beloved by her people but stops at nothing to protect what’s hers. Despite those good qualities about her, Safiyah is also considered to be ruthless, vengeful, and likely cold-hearted as she hates being betrayed and gets temperamental when someone uses the Desert Rose with her permission.

Gallery

Trivia

  • In the DC Comics, Safiyah is a former lover of Batwoman who kept the pirate nation of Coryana in check.
  • Given as how she claims to have nothing to do with Kate Kane's plane crashing and taking her hostage on Coryana, it is possible she could be lying and is using Alice for her plans. It was later confirmed that Kate was never been Safiyah's prisoner.
    • Which was confirmed to be true, as Safiyah used Alice to kill Ocean as revenge for betraying her.

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