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Brenton Thwaites teases ‘Titans’ Season 4, says Dick Grayson embraces his inner ‘father figure’

HBO Max’s messed-up superheroes seriously need a mentor… so why not someone who’s been there already?

By Benjamin Bullard
Titans Season 4

HBO Max swings back to the youthful side of DC’s gritty urban playground with the premiere of Season 4 of Titans, and the series has never been rifer with angsty intrigue. Lex Luthor is set to unleash literal new horrors just as the dysfunctional good-guy gang coalesces into a character menagerie of heroes who each brings some serious baggage into the series’ all-new fourth season.

Season 4 features a fearsome new plot pivot towards dark magic and the supernatural, as Lex (Titus Welliver) steps up the villainous vibes while making shady overtures to draw genetic half-clone Conner Kent aka Superboy (Joshua Orpin) into his evil family orbit. Conner’s not the only Titan standing at an emotional crossroads this season: Kory Anders aka Starfire (Anna Diop), Gar Logan aka Beast Boy (Ryan Potter) and more all have some tough choices to make...and not just about where to land the next punch.

Faced with so much inner turmoil, these kids definitely need a mentor — a role the series has slowly been building out for Brenton Thwaites’ Dick Grayson (aka Nightwing) — to provide the emotional glue that holds the Titans together. Speaking recently with SYFY WIRE and other media at a New York Comic Con roundtable, Thwaites said Dick is (mostly) up to the task of stepping into that “father figure” function… if only because he’s already seen things from the other side.

“In Season 1, [Dick Grayson] just wanted to break away from what he would call ‘abuse,’” said Thwaites. “You know, being taught things, at a young age, that he probably shouldn’t have been taught. Being exposed to a world of crime and goings-on in Gotham that he was probably too young to be exposed to."

“And I also think that, throughout Seasons 1, 2, and 3, he’s been dealing with the death of his parents in different ways," Thwaites continued. "In Season 3, he lands on the right way, which is to try and be that father figure for younger people that need him; to try and be the best person that he can be — but also step up into that patriarchal role for people that have talents that may have the same PTSD going on; that may have lost their parents, that may need some father figure in their lives.”

Nightwing as the Titans’ resident Bat-daddy? It seems to say a lot about how close to the edge the group manages to operate without permanently losing one of their own. But, executive producer Greg Walker said that’s kind of the point: “Being a parent myself, you get a second chance with a second kid to make up for your mistakes the first time around.”

“I think we ask and answer a lot of questions that have been kind of hanging out about Titans the entire time,” Walker added. “We talk [in Season 4] and about Dick and Kory, and their relationship and how it evolves. We talk about the stress of the family — what family looks like as the kids get older. I’m excited about that on a character level.”

It’s all set to play out across 12 new episodes that Walker says will deliver tons of action (including eight or nine epic fight sequences) to spice up all those weighty tough choices. But the Titans will likely walk away from this season’s wreckage a changed group; one whose heroes can’t go back to a safer, simpler starting point.

“[T]here’s an incredible character arc that takes place in Season 4 that I’m really excited for people to see,” said Orpin — careful not to imply that he’s talking about his own Superboy role — “because it’s not often that you get to have such a journey within one character, within one season of a TV show.” But he’s quick to add that Conner Kent’s unresolved issues as the MIA offspring of Superman and Lex Luthor won’t be left dangling, either.

“I think there are some bangers this season. I think there are some really strong episodes,” he teased, flagging a midseason moment as the one to watch for Superboy’s unfolding personal saga. “…[F]or Conner, it’s episode six that I’m gonna be watching keenly, to see how people react to that episode. It’s tough to talk about without giving anything away.”

We wouldn’t dream of asking — especially since the new season’s already here.

Catch the Season 4 premiere tonight, Nov. 3, as Titans suits up for the series’ big return at HBO Max. Tyler McCarthy contributed to this report.

Looking for more superhero action? Stream Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider, and more on Peacock right now.