Why Titans' Brenton Thwaites Was Originally 'Frustrated' By Season 3's Big Nightwing Twist

Warning: SPOILERS for Titans Season 3 are ahead!

Titans Season 3 saw Brenton Thwaites’ Dick Grayson and his Titans cohorts trying to keep Gotham City safe from Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow and Jason Todd/Red Hood following Bruce Wayne’s departure as Batman, and the hero now known as Nightwing paid a fatal price to in his efforts to protect his old vigilante stomping grounds. At the end of the episode “The Call Is Coming from Inside the House,” Dick was killed by a crowd riled up by this season’s main antagonists, and while this resulted in his demise, he was resurrected in the following episode, “Prodigal,” when Raven and Beast Boy deposited him into a Lazarus Pit. However, when Thwaites learned about the plot twist, he was initially frustrated with this development in Dick’s arc.

During my recent conversation with Brenton Thwaites about his experience on Titans Season 3, I asked how he reacted when he first learned that Dick Grayson would die, and then swiftly be brought back to life as this latest season was winding down. He responded thusly:

To be honest with you, I was kind of frustrated with it because of this: we treat death very seriously on Titans, and I just thought that killing the main guy and bringing him back to life would take away from the stakes in future seasons. But when I watched it, it was just told in a very different way. I realized that you don’t really feel at any point that Dick will be dead forever. That was my fear, that we’ve lost our superhero for episodes and episodes. For him to just reappear and come back to life, I was afraid that would be cheapening the show. However, the idea of the Lazarus Pit is introduced, and obviously the fans would already know that it has healing properties. As I watched the whole story piece together, I realized it was a necessary evil almost to build into the storyline, that there are real consequences and Gotham’s kind of lost its mind. I think it was a positive in the end, but to begin with, there was a lot of conversations with Greg Walker fleshing out the idea of Dick dying and who would kill him and what it would represent. Yeah, mate, I like that they did that and how bold of a choice it was, but originally, it was hard to accept.

Titans may be a comic book show, i.e. inspired by source material where resurrection is commonplace, but as Brenton Thwaites pointed out, the now-HBO Max show takes death more seriously. So originally the actor was concerned that taking Dick down this path would reduce the stakes in future Titans seasons, but upon seeing how this sequence of events was framed so that it was clear Dick wouldn’t be gone for long, and well as following chats with executive producer Greg Walker, Thwaites came around on the plot twist. Plus, like he said, plenty of Titans viewers were already aware of the healing power of the Lazarus Pit, and even those unfamiliar with the comics had already been clued in on that, having seen Jason Todd be tossed in there after he was murdered by The Joker in the flashback episode “Lazarus.”

As far as Dick Grayson’s Lazarus Pit resurrection goes, while his body was being healed in “Prodigal,” he was bombarded by a series of bizarre visions. So while Nightwing emerged from the Pit physically fine, I inquired with Brenton Thwaites about if the resurrection will have a mental effect on him going forward. Here’s what the actor had to say:

I sort of think it might be a positive thing. We wanted to have this storyline that gave him a bit of gusto towards the end of the finale. Having those visions in the Pit was kind of a representation of many things. His fears, his insecurities, his guilt. Because l guess like any of us, he’s his worst critic, so guilt is a huge thing for Dick. I think there’s a lot of that that may be behind him now, so it’s almost a good placeholder for Dick before the Lazarus Pit, as opposed to Dick post-Lazarus Pit. He’s feeling confident, he’s dealt with his fears, he’s put his trauma with Bruce behind him. I don’t think that he’ll [just become a] happy, wonderful, confident superhero. I think he’ll have elements of vulnerability that we’ll see throughout the next however many seasons, but I do feel like it was a good placeholder for him moving forward.

Of course, Dick Grayson wasn’t the only character in Titans Season 3 to be brought back to life, as Donna Troy and Tim Drake managed to escape the afterlife in “Souls,” though Hank Hall was unfortunately left behind. It’s reasonable to assume there will be a few other resurrections across Titans’ future seasons, but with Dick, Brenton Thwaites sees his character’s time in the Lazarus Pit as a good marker for the character’s life. He’ll will still face challenges and adversity as his superhero journey continues, but Thwaites believes Dick’s second lease on life, as well as everything else he went through in Season 3, has left him in a better mindset.

Titans Season 3 is now available in its entirety on HBO Max, and it was announced at DC FanDome last weekend that the series will return for Season 4. While we wait for news about that next round of superhero action, look through our fall 2021 TV premiere schedule to learn what’s airing right now or in the near future.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.