Batman: The Court of Owls Explained

Beware the Court of Owls, that watches all the time
Ruling Gotham from a shadowed perch, behind granite and lime
They watch at your hearth, they watch you in your bed
Speak not a whispered about them, or they’ll send a Talon for your head

This is the little nursery rhyme about the Court of Owls that is told to all the children in Gotham. But it’s only a nursery rhyme… right?

Well in Gotham City, filled with the most dangerous villains in all the world, anything is possible. And the worst of it all is how the Court operated in secrecy right under Batman‘s nose, proving they were so much more than a story in the shadows. They were a devastating threat to all of Gotham.

But who exactly are the Court of Owls? And why are they so dangerous?


In the early days of the city that would eventually become Gotham, a small group of powerful aristocrats formed a society. They called themselves the Court of Owls.

They used their influence to lay the groundwork for the city — not just the society, but the very architecture itself. Inside every important building there would be a hidden meeting room and tunnels to connect exactly where they needed. No one was going to get in their way, no matter the cost.


The Court of Owls uses their influence to control politics, culture, society, and even the criminal underworld in Gotham. That way, those truly in power stay in power. The rich get richer. The strong get stronger. But their influence extends far beyond just Gotham.

The Court of Owls is really just a smaller part of the Parliament of Owls that has been operating worldwide for centuries. Their goals are just the same. Ruling the world from the shadows, pulling the strings like puppet masters, all without getting their hands dirty.


Of course, the Court of Owls couldn’t enforce their will through sums of money alone. They have enforcers. Talons are elite assassins made to execute any and every plan that the Court of Owls mandates. They regenerate at superhuman levels, and each of them is trained to fight even more fiercely than the League of Assassins.

Talons are some of Batman‘s greatest foes. The Talons are so terrifying that even they made it into the nursery rhyme. And even if they die, they can be brought back to life and put back to sleep at any time with the Court’s unique serums.

Their Enemies

One of their greatest enemies in the history of Gotham is the equally influential, wealthy, and powerful Wayne family. The Waynes, in one way or another, have always fought for the betterment of Gotham City, and with Bruce’s plan to remodel the entire city and bring it brand new and modern technology across the board, he threatened their balance.

The Talons went after Bruce Wayne and tried to kill him, though they clearly didn’t know his secret identity. It turns out that Alan Wayne, Bruce’s highly superstitious great-great-grandfather, refused to build anything on the 13th floor of any building. That’s where the Court of Owls had their meeting and safe-houses all across Gotham.

When Bruce and Batman threatened their organization, they released their Talons in their city, and even tried to recruit the next Talon to be: Dick Greyson, Nightwing himself.

The Court of Owls is lurking in the shadows of Gotham and throughout the world, trying to orchestrate events that only benefit the few rich and powerful leaders involved. Their Talons are dangerous. After all, owls are the natural predator of the bat. And who knows where we will see them next?

Do you think Batman can truly defeat the Court of Owls? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!