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|“||I've been waiting a long time for this, Bruce. Together.... we will make Gotham pay!||„|
|~ The Shaman|
The Shaman is the true main antagonist of the third season of the FOX TV series Gotham, first appearing as a direct threat in the Heroes Rise arc.
The Shaman is the leader of the mysterious Court of Owls, an organization which controls the city of Gotham. Believing that the city has taken a wrong way, he and the Court intend to destroy it completely in order to reshape the new Gotham more to their liking. When Bruce Wayne starts investigating the Court, the Court has him kidnapped and brought to the Shaman's hidden mountain temple. There, the Shaman begins to train Bruce to become the protector of the new Gotham. However, it is revealed that his training serves only to indoctrinate Bruce, with the Shaman eventually succeeding in turning Bruce into a brainwashed puppet.
He is portrayed by Raymond J. Barry, who also portrayed Caleb Warrens in The Purge film series.
After learning that one of his disciples inside the Court had Thomas and Martha Wayne murdered, the Shaman angrily had him brought before him. As the man knelt before the Shaman, the Shaman angrily states that the Waynes were important leaders of Gotham whom both the city and the Shaman himself respected. After the man assured him that at least their son Bruce was unharmed, the Shaman angrily states that at least that, the man had done right. The Shaman then revealed a knife and killed the man.
Capturing Bruce Wayne
After Bruce Wayne started investigate the Court of Owls, the Court kidnaps Bruce, replaces him with the clone from Indian Hill, and delivers the real Bruce to the Shaman's mountain headquarter, called "The Temple". Eventually, Bruce regains consciousness. When meeting the Shaman, Bruce claims that he will manage to get back to Gotham City. The Shaman replies that Bruce definitely will but that the Court's plan will have already succeeded when he does.
During his attempts to flee, Bruce finds him in the same corridor again and again. Eventually, he walks past his cell and finds the Shaman awaiting him inside. Bruce is surprised and asks the Shaman whether the corridors are all shaped the same.
Bruce and the Shaman sit down and the Shaman produces a set of acupuncture needles which have a weirdly shaped pin on their end. When Bruce asks what the needles will be used for, the Shaman holds it near Bruce's forehead. Bruce suddenly starts hallucinating and is transported back in time into the alley his parents were murdered. After emerging once again, a horrified Bruce asks the Shaman why he would transport Bruce back to this horrible day. The Shaman replies that Bruce has never left this alley and has lived there ever since.
When the Shaman turns up for another session, Bruce tries to ambush him but is swiftly overpowered. Although he apologizes and begs for mercy, the Shaman draws another needle and transports Bruce back into his mind . to the alley his parents were killed. There, Bruce attempts to attack the Shaman but the old man easily fends of all of Bruce's attacks and eventually hits him into the chest - throwing Bruce back several feet. The Shaman claims that there is still so much more that he has to teach Bruce and that he will shape Bruce into what he needs to be to be Gotham's protector.
Training Bruce Wayne
|“||All this pain and anger! You think it's strength... it's not! You think you can harness it -.you can't! You think it's part of you, but is doesn't have to be...||„|
|~ The Shaman while Bruce fights his disciple|
The Shaman also has one of his disciples training Bruce how to sword-fight. Bruce is appalled and eventually refuses to cooperate. The Shaman seems annoyed but tells Bruce to pick up his stick again. He promises Bruce that the Shaman will let him go when Bruce manages to defeat his opponent in battle. Bruce gets back up and fights the man but is easily defeated.
In order to further shape Bruce, the Shaman brings Bruce back into another memory - the wake of his parents. Bruce reveals to the Shaman that Bruce left during the wake because he was angry that everyone was only concerned about him when his parents had been murdered. Bruce states that he kept his father's cufflinks from that day, claiming that he could not let them go. By convincing Bruce to now let go, the Shaman helps Bruce who is now no longer controlled by the pain of that memory. Due to the immensity of the situation, Bruce passes out and the Shaman tells the unconscious Bruce that together, they will make Gotham pay.
The next day, Bruce fights the Shaman's disciple again and wins the fight. The Shaman asks what Bruce felt during the fight and is pleased when Bruce states he felt nothing. Bruce then asks whether he can go home and the Shaman states that he could if he wished to. However, he also states that if Bruce stays, the Shaman will take the pain of his past from Bruce completely and that Bruce will return to Gotham with a power yet unknown to him. After considering for a moment, Bruce agrees to stay. The Shaman later calls Kathryn Monroe, his right hand in Gotham, and informs her about the progress he has been making with Bruce. He reveals to Kathryn that he and Bruce will leave their locating the very night and that they will be returning to Gotham.
Return to Gotham
|“||You see, Bruce, the pain of our memories can scar us but it also defines us; take away that pain and your mind becomes clay for me to mold. I told you the truth, we will destroy the Court of Owls and in so doing you will become the perfect weapon, for you will do whatever I say - won't you?||„|
|~ The Shaman reveals that he indoctrinated Bruce|
The Shaman and Bruce arrive in Gotham at night, taking residence in a mansion outside of the city. There, the two continue their sessions and the Shaman states that there is a final memory. Bruce realizes that the Shaman is planning to take the memory of the death of Bruce's parents from him. The Shaman urges him to do what's necessary in order to banish the memories, but Bruce is unable to do so. When Bruce tearfully tells the Shaman that he wants to, but cannot do it, the Shaman decides that it is time to tell Bruce "the truth". To do so, the Shaman uses another needle which, this time, transports both him and Bruce into the Shaman's memory. The Shaman shows Bruce how he killed the Court member who ordered the death of his family. The Shaman then states that the Court's days are over and that they have to finally pay for their crimes. Fueled by this revelation, Bruce manages to seal his mind off the pain of his parents' deaths, much to the delight of the Shaman. After they return to the real world, the Shaman asks Bruce how he feels now about the death of his parents and Bruce reveals that he feels nothing.
Back at the mansion, the two are disrupted by a Talon of the Court. The Shaman reveals to Bruce that the Talon's are loyal servants of the Court and that they have been trained almost since birth. He tells the Talon to cut off his finger which the man does without reluctance. The Shaman then reveals that by sealing Bruce's memories, he managed to indoctrinate Bruce in a way similar to the Talons and when he asks whether Bruce will do his bidding from now on, Bruce tells him that he will.
- His plan to destroy Gotham City because he believes it to be corrupt is similar to Ra's al Ghul's plan in Batman Begins. Both also serve as a mentor figure to Bruce Wayne and massively influence him on his way of becoming Batman. As Ra's is confirmed to appear later in the season (portrayed by Alexander Siddig), it is possible that the Shaman is either his right-hand man, Ra's himself in disguise, or an older non-disguised Ra's who seeks to destroy the city, find the Lazarus Pit and regain youth (after which he will be portrayed by Siddig).
- Due to being the leader of the Court of Owls, the Shaman is the true main antagonist of the series.