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Fridge: The Dark Knight Saga
    Fridge Brilliance 
  • Bane's treatment of Talia whilst they were both in the pit raises an interesting question: Did Bane choose to blow up the Gotham Rogues as play started because it would be more dramatic or did he hold off so that the child with the "lovely, lovely" voice wouldn't be killed?
  • Bruce Wayne drives a Lamborghini Murciélago when he wants to be "subtle" in both Batman Begins and TDK. Murciélago is Spanish for "bat."
  • Bane's motto seems to be "the fire rises". He says the phrase in the prologue, and it's turned up on T-shirts and so forth. Think back to The Dark Knight, when Alfred tells Bruce "some men just want to watch the world burn". —Jedd The Jedi
  • Notice that the movie posters are showing progressively less of the actual Batman and more emphasis on his logo, showing his transition from more a mere man to a symbol. Batman Begins has batman taking up most of the image, and the symbol is a tiny thing hovering above the title. The Dark Knight shrinks Batman down to half the image and puts TWO much larger bat symbols OVER the batman. The Dark Knight Rises Is just the symbol appearing out of the collapsing city, showing that he's now become an intangible construct of your Batman fearing mind. The same is done with Gotham city, being incorporated more and more into the poster. I have no idea about this really, his growing commitment to the city maybe.
    • There is a significant amount of time in the movie in which Bruce Wayne is not in Gotham, yet Batman is still a concept that is discussed. The city acknowledges Batman as a part of itself rather than a separate entity, i.e., Bruce Wayne. This also explains why questions concerning Batman's identity are rare in TDK, and almost absent in TDKR - it's not the person that matters, but what Batman means to the city.
    • He's a symbol not only of fear, but also of Gotham City. Without Gotham City, there is no Batman — but without Batman, is there a Gotham City?
    • Batman Begins is the story of Batman. The Dark Knight is about the relationship between people and symbols, centred on the juxtaposition of Bruce Wayne as a man and Batman as a symbol. Given the images and trailers that've appeared so far, maybe The Dark Knight Rises is about what happens when the person and the symbol are divorced from one another completely? Does the symbol Batman need the man Bruce Wayne? Does Bruce need Batman?
    • The TDKR logo is also an absence of Batman. And as long as we're here, someone noticed that the colors of the posters follow those of a night cycle.
  • Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. I was recently thinking back on Batman's "One Rule" he tells Joker about, and how he refuses to let the Joker fall to his death despite having refused to save Ra's Al Ghul in Batman Begins, and then it hit me. The line where Batman says "I won't kill you, but I don't have to save you" takes on a whole meaning when you remember that the comic version of this character is IMMORTAL. Batman knows that the fall won't kill him, and so he lets him fall in the same way he did the mobster in The Dark Knight.
    • The problem with that, however, is that it would seem that Batman doesn't know this about Ra's Al Ghul, or that Ra's isn't immortal in the movies. When the decoy Al Ghul is crushed in the mansion at the beginning of the movie, Bruce is of the opinion that he's dead. This is confirmed later in the movie during his birthday party when some random rich woman introduces him to "Ra's Al Ghul", and he tells the imposter "You aren't Ra's Al Ghul. I watched him die."
    • A much simpler explanation: Ducard put himself on the train, and forgot his surroundings, ultimately putting HIMSELF in danger. However, Batman THREW the Joker over the edge, which would have made HIM responsible. Yes, Batman jacked up the train, but had Ducard minded his own advice, he'd have had plenty of chance to get off the train using his super ninja magic or whatnot.
    • Or the simplest explanation: he didn't care that much back then. Presumably, after the Joker's social experiments and Harvey's corruption he saw the greater value in solid ideals. Character Development.
    • Perhaps Bruce figured that Ra's, being just as talented as he is, could have chosen to escape the train himself. Bruce doesn't have to save Ra's, but Ra's could have saved himself... but chose to die. It wasn't murder, it was suicide.
      • Or negligence, or incompetence. Both probably punishable by death in the League's eyes anyway.
    • It seems that the name Ra's Al Ghul is to the Nolanverse that The Dread Pirate Roberts is to Princess Bride. It's ultimately the name, not the man, that makes the legend.
  • Why does Talia, the daughter of a man known to be largely based out of the Middle East/Far East, have a French accent? What name did Ra's use when he first appeared in Begins? Ducard, which is French!
  • Many epileptic trees have been planted on the nature of Ducard/Ra's Al Ghul. While it seems most agree he was always Ra's, consider this. Ducard teaches Bruce to be more than a man, an "idea", a "legend", and ultimately implants Bruce's idea for Batman to be, not just a man, but a symbol. So could it be, rather than one person, Ra's Al Ghul is something more? A mantle to be taken up, a symbol! Brilliant.
    • Since the original version of the character is literally immortal, it would make sense in the more realistic Nolanverse that Ra's al Ghul would be a name for successive leaders of the League of Shadows to use rather than a specific person.
    • If that were the case, consider this: Liam Neeson's Ra's al Ghul was actually born Henri Ducard and lived with that name, until the day that Ken Watanabe's Ra's, who was the leader of the League, was killed when Bruce burned the League's temple down. When that happened, Ducard, Ra's second-in-command, inherited the title of Ra's al Ghul. When Ducard/Ra's arrives at Wayne Manor at the beginning of the third act, he says "Is Ra's al Ghul immortal? Are his methods supernatural?" Ra's al Ghul may not be immortal, but the title is, if it something that can be inherited. Even more so when you consider that the League has been around since before Roman times. Think of how many men or women (why not?) have taken up the Ra's al Ghul mantle. Similar to the alter-egos of superheroes which can be passed down from person-to-person. And of course, we have the famous line given by Ducard/Ra's on which Bruce based a major point of his alter-ego: "Theatricality and deception are powerful allies." Ducard/Ra's gives the "Is Ra's al Ghul immortal?" line to DECEIVE Bruce into thinking that he had always been Ra's al Ghul.
  • This Troper was recently thinking about why does Batman do this growling voice every time he puts on the mask and suddenly realized: it's another form of disguise! Nobody in superhero-related media seems to be able to recognize the hero by his voice, even close relatives! But here, Batman changes his voice in order not to be recognized (he's a public person and stuff).
    • Yes! That's my biggest peeve when people critique the movie is that the voice is unnecessary? Come on, Falcone says in the first movie "You're Bruce Wayne. You'd have to go a thousand miles to find someone who doesn't know who you are." Bruce is definitely more popular than most his other counterparts (i.e. Burton's Wayne was more mysterious), and it'd be the equivalent of Charlie Sheen running around not disguising his voice. Someone is bound to notice that they sound familiar.
    • Still doesn't explain why he uses the voice in front of Lucius Fox though.
    • Because it's his Batman voice, and when he uses it in front of Fox, it's while he's being Batman.
    • No one is criticizing Bale for using "the voice." They're criticizing Bale for using "that incredibly stupid, distracting voice." Nolan and Bale didn't invent the fake voice. Michael Keaton created the first fake Batman voice (so effective, I might add, that my six-year-old self thought they were two different actors). Kevin Conroy was even more effective in the animated series. But Bale's voice has always been laughable and bizarre.
    • Actually the horrible voice in TDK is Nolan's doing, not Bale's. Bale altered his voice like you would expect but Nolan distorted it even further in editing. He say it in an interview but I don't remember a reason being given.
    • Over the course of the first two films, the voice gets gruffer and growlier as the list of people who've met both Batman and Bruce Wayne gets longer. Rewatch The Dark Knight and compare the voice before and after Batman has been introduced to Harvey Dent.
  • A bit of music Fridge Brilliance here. Everyone remembers that chilling scene with Joker escaping from prison and the race to the rescue happening concurrently. The track, "Agent of Chaos", contains a particular theme. This is NOT the first time this theme has played in the movie series. Altered from the original format to an extent, but the theme is intact. When did the theme play in Batman Begins? When Wayne Manor BURNS DOWN. We have been CONDITIONED to panic when this theme plays. And hopefully Nolan will be making good use of this in the third film.
    • For anyone curious, the Batman Begins version is called Myotis.
  • A meta-example: The first full-length trailer for Dark Knight Rises was attached to Sherlock Holmes 2. This might not seem that significant, until you deduce what Batman and Sherlock have in common...
  • It seemed odd at first to this troper that when training Bruce, Ducard was so negative about Thomas Wayne. But then you find out that the League of Shadows tried to destroy Gotham before, by causing a depression. And who messed up that plan? Thomas Wayne! Bruce is not the first Wayne to thwart them.
    • His disapproval makes even more sense as of the backstory revealed in Dark Knight Rises. Ducard failed to protect his wife and child when they were in prison. Of course that would shape his views on how a husband and father should act!
      • Yep, after Rises, Ducard's speech comes off at least partially as guilt and self-loathing due to the fact that Thomas Wayne's "failure to act" reminds him of having done the same thing, which led to Ducard's My Greatest Failure.
  • This Troper has realized that the League of Shadows and the Joker are actually similar. Both believe that humans are bastards, and try to force people into evil acts to justify their actions! The League claimed Gotham was a cesspit of corruption and crime. But they caused a lot of that by putting the city in a depression, increasing the desperation, and thus people would turn to crime because of that desperation. And in doing so, they would have criminals they could kill. The Joker is always trying to prove that deep down inside everyone is just as ugly as he is. He does it by forcing them into sadistic choices, and mind rapes.
    • If you think about it, the Shadows and the Joker came to the same basic conclusion about human nature, but took it in opposite directions. The =Lo S= think Humans Are Bastards but essentially want to scare humanity straight with dramatic examples of punishing evil, and they manipulated the citizens of Gotham towards crime to get the most dramatic example they could. Joker thinks Humans Are Bastards, but he revels in it and wants to force everybody else to do so as well. So the Shadows' response was to adopt an impossibly strict and rigid moral code all about punishing evil, while the Joker's was to gleefully abandon morality altogether.
      • more fridge logic when one realizes that, considering =Lo S= villains are present in the first and third movies, the Joker may have been somehow funded/influenced/set in motion by the League of Shadows. He does keep changing the stories about his background, after all, and even before getting access to the mob's resources he seems to be unusually well supplied for a nihilistic terrorist with no apparent allies.
  • In Batman Begins, Bruce says that as a symbol, he can be incorruptible. At first, I thought that the ending of The Dark Knight proved him wrong: by taking the blame for Harvey's crimes, he corrupted the symbol (Batman). However, I later realized that there is a character in The Dark Knight who was corrupted as a man, but remained uncorruptible as a symbol: Harvey Dent.
  • Some people get a chuckle from the fact that Batman breathes through his mouth in these films. Look closely at his mask: it covers his nose completely, even the underside. In-universe, there's probably some kind of underwater breathing apparatus in there, but from the outside, it just results in Batman having to breathe through his mouth.
  • A pattern I noticed in few lines from The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises;
    The Joker: All you people care about is money. This city deserves a better class of criminal, and I'm gonna give it to 'em.
And then;
Miranda Tate: But you understand only money, and the power you think it buys. So why waste my time, indeed.
And finally;
John Dagget: I've paid you a small fortune...
Bane: And this gives you power over me...?
  • All of which are part of a running theme of the villains, like Batman, holding themselves up as symbols to higher ideals than money.
  • In Batman Begins, Henri Ducard Ra's al Ghul tells Bruce that he must become a wraith, a terrible thought or idea. What happens in The Dark Knight Rises? Bruce encounters Ra's al Ghul as a hallucination, a haunting thought that exists in his own mind.
  • While Dent has some similarities with Blake as a potential successor and ally to Batman, he's also a good foil with Selina Kyle(who can also be contrasted with Rachel). Both end up getting manipulated by the primary villains of their movies, and betray Batman at some point Dent by succumbing to his rage over Rachel's death, and Selina selling him out to Bane. But their arc goes in opposite directions; Selina starts out as a thief who steals to get buy and holds a vendetta against the wealthy, gradually understands the lengths Bruce actually goes towards, while Harvey, despite his initial support of Batman falls to the Joker's manipulations and doesn't see the error.
  • I've heard some confusion over the fact that, while Bane seems to treat the growing up in prison backstory as true, the child in the story is later revealed to be Talia. I'd pondered this myself, but then came to this: just because he's not that child doesn't mean he wasn't also born in the Pit! As a matter of fact, this underpins his saving of Talia; he didn't want her to go through the same thing he experienced! Of course, given that the implication there is that the prisoners were going to rape her... And, Fridge Horror.
  • "Either you die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain." First, keep in mind that this doesn't just have to be limited to someone becoming a Fallen Hero, but it can also be merely the perception of the person in question changing, even if their actual nature didn't change. Second, this can be applied to various characters from all 3 movies and, of course, Batman himself. For example:
    • Ducard, it turns out, was always a villain, but Bruce Wayne saw him as a personal hero, and had Ducard died in the explosion, Bruce always would have seen him that way. Because Ducard lived, Bruce later learned that his perception of Ducard was wrong, and Ducard did in fact become the villain.
    • Harvey Dent, obviously.
    • Had Bane died as a result of the beating he took in prison, it would have been quite the Heroic Sacrifice and he would have legitimately died a hero. Because he didn't, he lived, and eventually became a villain. Less obviously, if anything had gone wrong with Talia's plan, and she died before Batman came back and she revealed her true identity, she would have been considered a hero or a martyr by people like Bruce, Lucius, Gordon, etc. Because that didn't happen, she was eventually revealed to be a villain.
    • Batman himself was a hero to the people of Gotham until they came to see him as a villain due to him Taking the Heat for Harvey's misdeeds. (In his own words, "I'm whatever Gotham needs me to be"–and if Gotham needs him to be the villain, so be it.) But that perception was wiped out when he returned to Gotham... and appeared to die heroically.
  • The movies draw a clear parallel between Bruce and Harvey, as both of them are deeply affected by the loss of their families. However, Bruce was able to become a force for good while Harvey stuck to selfish revenge. Why did Harvey turn out bad? Bruce had Rachel to set him straight and Harvey didn't (obviously).

Batman Begins
  • Batman Begins; this country troper was always a little miffed that Jonathan Crane was able to get on a panicked horse and make it run through very narrow streets and rear up for him. She was quite certain the filmmakers just wanted to throw in a version of the iconic comics image of Scarecrow on a black horse and were city boys who had absolutely no idea about horse's behavior. Then she read Scarecrow: Year One, in which Crane grew up on a farm in Georgia. No actual horses, but it's possible he would have learned to ride. The filmmakers for Batman Begins probably knew exactly how damn hard it would be to get a horse to do that in that situation - they were hinting that it wasn't Crane's first rodeo.
    • Its more than likely that its a Shout-Out to The Long Halloween in which an imposter scarecrow escapes from Arkham via horse.
    • Also, it's implied that he didn't take just any horse, it was a police mount from one of the officers sent to the Narrows. In all likelihood, that horse was trained to be at least somewhat calmer in chaotic conditions.
  • In Begins, the incident with the League was probably what caused Batman to start his no-killing policy. Before, he had no problem trying to kill bad guys, like Joe Chill, but when presented with an uninterrupted chance to kill a murderer in cold blood, he choked, and bought down the entire building trying to escape. That's not a plot hole, that's character development.
    • Also, Bruce Wayne may have killed people, if in a combination of panic and self-defense, but Batman doesn't.
  • Listen to the notes that have to be played on the piano to open the Batcave in Batman Begins. Unless you're completely tone deaf, you'll notice that they're horribly discordant, do not work next to each other in that order and never could under any circumstances. Basically, they're horrible. The Fridge Brilliance is that since they're so incompatible musically, it's highly unlikely that anyone will ever play those notes in that order except to open the Batcave, preventing the Batcave from being opened by accident while someone plays the piano or whatever.
  • What little criticism Batman Begins received was about the jump-cut-heavy fight scenes, which made the action a bit too frenetic for some. Fridge Brilliance: Nolan stated he had a pragmatic reason for this, wanting to show Batman as a scarily fast attacker where the targets could not make heads or tails what they were being overwhelmed with. Nevertheless, he used more tracking shots for The Dark Knight's action scenes.
    • That doesn't explain why the action is equally frenetic in the opening fight, in broad daylight, before Bruce received his League training; or against members of the League, who've received the same training and never lose track of him.
    • It's because Nolan couldn't direct a fight sequence until Inception and the Batsuit is ill-fitting and awkward. The tracking shots make this very obvious.
      • Except for the fact that Dark Knight was made before Inception, and it had improved fight scenes. Pretty much the same thing happened in the second and third Bourne films. Director gets complaints about the jumpy fight scenes, pulls back on the jitter cam. In the opening fight, Bruce is still a very good fighter, by normal standards, as Ducard notes. But he's savage, and raw. As for the League fight, who says its his enemies' perception? Maybe it's Batman, who thinks he's about to be overwhelmed.
  • As I watched Batman Begins again, I realized that Wayne Manor is a metaphor for the legacy of Thomas Wayne. Near the start of the film, Bruce is considering killing Chill to avenge his parents, which goes against what his father stood for, and will probably result in him being thrown in jail, preventing him from pursuing his father's work. At this point, he tells Alfred that if he had his way, he'd tear the Manor down, brick by brick. Later, when the League of Shadows comes to destroy Gotham, rendering Thomas and Marta Wayne's efforts to save the city useless, they burn Wayne Manor down. Finally, at the end, Bruce has saved Gotham and decided to become its protector, continuing his father's work. Thus, he rebuilds Wayne Manor, brick by brick.

The Dark Knight
  • The Dark Knight spoilers: The scene where the Joker sets all the money he is paid by the mob bosses on fire was fairly interesting, and one of the few moments where the Joker stops being profoundly terrifying for a minute and is funny again. Until half an hour after walking out of the theater, when I thought back, and remembered that there was a man, bound and gagged, sitting on top of the money. And the camera cuts had managed to make me forget about it by simply not showing him. It turned the scene all the way around to "creepy" again. —Kefkakrazy
    • That was no random Mook, that was Lau, the Chinese mafia accountant. I had to watch it a second time before I caught that. -abcd_z
      • And what was Ra's al Ghul's long-term plan in Batman Begins? Destroy Gotham's economy. The Wayne family screwed that up, so he went to plan B and failed. OK, kids, what happens when you take a bunch of money from a given economy and destroy it in one fell swoop? GO JOKER! —Chadius
      • You get a small decrease in overall liquidity, but actually, having less currency in circulation is de-inflationary. Not that it matters much today anyway, when most of the money in existence is purely digital.
    • In the scene where Harvey Dent is at the dinner party, shortly before the Joker arrives, he has a conversation with Alfred. He asks him "So you've known Rachel your whole life?". He replies "Not yet, sir." Guess who dies first?
    • At first, I passed off the "only burning my half" as a brilliant example of The Joker's humor. It wasn't until later that I thought about how vital this scene is to setting The Joker up as Batman's mirror. To be a mirror, his motives have to be as pure as Batman's are. He's as dedicated to mayhem as Batman is to justice. He's more than a man — he's a force. For that to be legitimate, money can't play into things. The money scene, which for any other villain would be the sum of all their efforts, their crowning moment before the hero intervenes to set things right, instead serves as an opportunity for The Joker to declare exactly what kind of man he is. Money doesn't matter to him. He's doing this because Gotham deserves a "better class of criminal", one that isn’t in this for monetary gains.
    • "Only burning half." Foreshadowing, foreshadowing, foreshadowing! -JET 73 L
      • One problem, that scene came AFTER Harvey's disfigurement.
      • I never noticed that, that's interesting! And it gets me thinking: specifically, the Joker says, "I'm only burning my half." (I checked). Now, what is the Joker trying to prove throughout the movie? That everyone is as ugly on the inside as he is. By saying he's only burning his half, it implies that the half of Harvey that he burns is already "his" - that is, there was already the potential for madness and evil in Harvey. The Joker (or so he believes) only brings it to the surface. The burns visually represent Two-Face's "evil" side, but the burns themselves were only part of the equation. -Munkiman
      • Well, of course there was already potential for madness and evil in Harvey. He's a lawyer. - Smerf
      • To add another foreshadowing twist, remember Alfred's story to Bruce Wayne about his trip to Borneo and met the sadistic leader with a horde of diamonds he did not care about having as a warning about the Joker's behavior. "Only burning half." —The Unknown
      • Which makes the Joker, in a way, better than Alfred's company—they burned the whole forest down for money, while the Joker is burning his half of the mob money.
      • Yep, it's pretty unsubtle: "Some men don't care about money. Some men just wanna watch the world burn."
      • Also, the Joker says "only burning my half" - claiming full responsibility for Harvey's transformation, that the "evil" half of Harvey essentially belongs to him.
      • The best part of that scene for me is that "only burning my half" is absurd: the fire's gonna spread to the entire pile anyway. Symbolic of more than one thing: symbolic of the way the Joker's chaos spreads around the city, and also of the way Harvey's burns actually turn him entirely evil (with things like shooting the driver) instead of only half.
      • I always saw that as the Joker's literal half. There was another pile just as big that belong to the mob. Maybe I missed something.
      • Yeah, he was just Joking to the Chechen to Troll him For the Evulz.
    • And I only realized when someone pointed it out to me that the Joker lied! Batman goes to rescue Rachel and sends the police after Dent. But it's Batman who rescues Harvey and the cops who see Rachel blow up. Knowing that the Joker does things like this adds another layer to the scene with the two boats... —Daibhid C
      • Oh, but that's the whole point, don't you see? The way the Joker explains it to Batman in the interrogation room, he makes it out that his game is to force Batman to make the devil's choice about who to save between Dent and Rachel - the man Gotham needs versus the woman he loves. But by switching them around, he forces Batman to commit to his choice, only to find out that he's got the OPPOSITE of what he wanted. Either way, Joker wins TWICE. —Arcane Azmadi
      • Additionally, that little maneuver was pivotal in getting Harvey to do his Face-Heel Turn. By saying "I just do things. The mob has plans. The cops have plans. Gordon's got plans. You know... they're schemers. Schemers trying to control their little worlds. I'm not a schemer. I try to show the schemers how pathetic their attempts to control things really are." and later "Nobody panics when things go 'according to plan'..." Joker was implying to Harvey that it wasn't his fault that Rachel died, it was the Police and Batman's for choosing their precious district attorney over her, while at the same time admitting that he did the switch to screw with them.
      • But if the Joker admitted that he did the switch to Harvey that meant that when Batman, clearly the more effective rescuer, pulled out Harvey he had actually been trying to save Rachel. No one chose Harvey over Rachel. Rachel was the one who was supposed to get saved while the less-effective police force was sent after Harvey in the unlikely event that they could save both. The Joker admitted that not only is it his fault that Rachel is dead because he put a bomb on her in the first place but it's also his fault in that his lies prevented Batman from saving her. And he blames Batman for this because...?
    • The Joker's switch was a brilliant move because it ensured that Dent would live. Think about it... he knows Batman will save Rachel. He is trying to corrupt one of the two knights Gotham has. If Dent dies, he loses one knight and the other manages to save his love. By tricking Batman into saving Dent, he ensures that both knights are in play while also pitting them against each other. The Joker can lie all he wants about plans... but he truly is a Chess Master.
      • With the reversed choice in that scene in mind, consider the Ferry Boat scene. The Joker plainly lays out two choices, kill, or die. But what reason does he give us to believe that he is playing the choice straight this time? The thought occurred to me in a moment of chilling Fridge Brilliance: what if the detonators that each boat holds in their hands do not trigger the explosives on the other boat, but the ones on the same boat? Then, anyone who triggers their detonator would be killing themselves instead. Given the Joker's love of irony and glee in twisting familiar concepts into cruel mockeries, I found it to be exactly the sort of thing he would do to display 'Justice' in this manner. Fortunately, there was a Third Option.—Over William
      • Actually the idea that the detonator on each boat blew up the actual boats they were on would be in a reference to the early "Only burning my half" scene. Look at it like this: The Joker wants to bring humanity's true nature to the surface, to show how they're like him, to show that they're his people. Whoever pulled the trigger would be his people, and that would be the half that burned in a fiery explosion. —Meraxa
      • Am I the only person who, upon hearing the Joker's statement regarding the bombs on the ferries, assumed that had one of the detonators been triggered, both ferries would have exploded? Because that would have been in character for the Joker? — Jack Butler
      • I'd always had a problem with the "it'd blow up your own/both boats" theory, and I just now realized why, conveniently in a moment of Fridge Brilliance. Joker is trying to prove Humans Are Bastards, right? If the people who turned the key died, they would be dead bastards. However, if they were to actually live through the ordeal, they would go through the rest of their lives knowing Joker was right, and that they sentenced hundreds of people to their deaths. How's THAT for breaking Gotham's spirit?
      • Well, consider this: If it was rigged to blow up the boat that gave in, he could have never explained this. As a result, everyone on the surviving boat would be viewed as the people who blew up a bunch of others in cold blood. Most of the boat, in fact, would probably have no idea it wasn't true, and would be suspicious of the rest of the passengers, thinking they did it. And god help whoever happened to be near the controller at that point; they'd probably never be trusted again. So he gets some extra psycho irony to laugh about: not only do the people who take his Schmuck Bait die, the other group gets viewed as evil no matter what they actually did.— Phoenix Fire
      • Alternately, the Joker probably guessed it would be the "good people" who pushed the button since they had more to live for. I always thought he would have let Gotham remain under the idea that the thugs killed a bunch of innocent citizens to save themselves just long enough for a lynch mob to form, then after utter mayhem erupts and a few more people die, call the news and tell everyone the truth. That'd give Gotham something to chew on.
      • On the other hand, the detonator was in clear view the whole time, and even if Joker were to create suspicion like that, each person on the boat would still be convinced of their own innocence. It works a whole lot better for Joker to prove Humans Are Bastards if he were to actually make people kill each other; it just doesn't seem like something Joker would lie about this time. True, he could have the guy holding the detonator look like the bad guy without his doing anything, but how much better would it work out for him if he successfully proved people can be made into monsters, as his victims actually realize this for themselves?
      • Doesn't seem like something he would lie about this time? That's exactly the attitude that he would exploit. He's not JUST trying to prove something. He also wants to create havoc for kicks. Having the detonators blow up their own boats would satisfy both goals just fine.
      • I had a weird moment of Brilliance with this scene; you see, I had always been absolutely certain that the Joker had given the people on the boats the detonator for their own bombs; it wasn't until later that I realized that the fact is never mention or implied or as some mention not that at all! I just knew it because that was what the Joker do and there was no need to establish that.
      • It's entirely possible that neither boat would have blown up. That would be quite a prank, wouldn't it? And still sit on the detonator's conscience all his/her life. I think that may be part of the point: that there is no telling what would have happened. Maybe neither boat, maybe both boats, maybe the same, maybe the other. Maybe it wouldn't have been an explosion at all but his laughing gag or something. With the Joker, you just don't know. His unpredictability is his deadliest forte.
      • No, because when they didn't blow up by the deadline, Joker tried to fire his detonator.
      • Going on if the detonators blew up their own boats, it works out either way for the Joker. It doesn't matter what the people on the ship know, they're being watched by the entire city. The Joker making it clear that he intends to blow up both boats is the perfect cover. If only one boat blows up, nobody is going to believe that the Joker was responsible for it. Also, if the citizens boat blows, the criminals become dehumanized and mobbed after. If the criminal boat blows, there'd be no way to determine which citizen did it, so they would all be criminalized by the city. In truth, Joker blowing both ships us was the last thing he wanted because it only makes him out as more of a monster when what he really wants is to make himself and the people of Gotham city indistinguishable. -Rocky Samson
      • I just had a thought, but it isn't very plausible, the biggest joke on them would not to blow up the other boat, not to blow up theirs, not blow up both; Blow up a part of the city or something. This doesn't really fit with The Joker's plans, but hey it would be scary.
      • The problem with the "blow up both boats" and "blow up own boat" thing is that it doesn't really fit what the Joker's trying to prove. It would be great if he was just trolling them for the lulz, but he's trying to make a point about how, when people have their back against a wall, they're just as murderous as he is. Now, the public perception of the people on the boat is ultimately meaningless. You have one boat of innocent civilians and one boat of murderous criminals. If the criminal boat explodes, people outside the situation will reason that whoever blew up the boat did it to protect innocent people. Given the choice between the two boats, a lot of people who don't have to push the button themselves would immediately say, "Blow up the criminals, save the innocents." It's only a hard decision when you have to be the one to take a life. Nobody would care that they think someone on that boat murdered a bunch of murderers. Similarly, if the civilian boat explodes, everyone would look at that as, "Oh, a bunch of murderous thugs killed people. What else is new?" No matter what happens, even if the detonators blow their own boats up, nobody cares because either outcome would be reasonable and within expected parameters as an outcome of the situation. The only people who will be affected by the events are the ones on the boats. Forcing one group or the other to murder a lot of people to save themselves will have a devastating impact on the people who had to commit the act, and makes a point to those people about what atrocities they are capable of when cornered and desperate. Killing them in the process serves no purpose, undermines his goal, and leaves him walking away with nothing to show for his efforts. Yes, I get that this is the Joker, but he was trying to accomplish something, and when the only evidence for why he would completely undermine his own goal is "because he's the Joker", it's not a terribly compelling argument. A point could be raised about how we know that he cared at all about making the point he claimed to be trying to make with the boats, and the answer is because he had a detonator too. If he just wanted to kill a bunch of people for the lulz and make the other boat think they did it, he could have rigged his detonator to blow up one of the boats and fired it himself at any point during the deliberation process. He clearly wanted them to make the choice to commit the murder of their own accord and act on it.
      • I always assumed that all three detonators (the Joker's plus one on each boat) would just blow up both boats. Remember, Joker isn't trying to prove anything to the people on the boat - he's trying to prove it to Gordon and Batman (he's already turned Harvey). Going back to the money burning scene, he said that he was only going to burn his half of the money - but sets the whole pile on fire anyway, along with Lau. It's symbolic of Harvey - Joker burns half of his face, but destroys all of the man. He says that only one of Rachel or Dent can be saved, but in the end neither can be. So, he might say that he's going to only blow up one boat but in reality he'll take both of them. Batman and Gordon will be left with the knowledge that people will turn on each other when their backs are against the wall and that the complete destruction of everything is inevitable. In a way, it's very similar to Bane's philosophy on despair and hope: show them a way out and let them tear each other apart trying to get there. - The Bat Pencil
      • That doesn't work at all, though. Even if the Joker's point is to teach Gordon and Batman and not the people on the boats, if both the boats explode, Batman and Gordon will just assume that the Joker blew them both up because he's an asshole, and nothing will be "learned" from the experience. Killing both the boats defeats the entire purpose of the boat exercise regardless of whether it's meant for the people inside the boats or out.
    • The Joker's dual backstories. I realized several hours later that the back stories have not one, not two, but three completely separate layers. Layer the first. He's trying to scare Gambol and Rachel by telling them about his scars. Layer the second. Each story is tailored to the listener. Rachel is a woman about to be married... so he tells her a story about how his wife committed suicide. Gambol is a gangster, likely with a higher emphasis on family... so The Joker tells him a story about how his father was an abusive alcoholic. Finally, both scenes are parodies of the stock standard Freudian Excuse in comics. Where the majority of supervillains were either abused by their fathers (literally, 90% of all male supervillains), or had self-inflicted misfortunes (Penance, anyone?). -Mike Arrow
      • This was before Rachel had agreed to marry Harvey or before anyone but Harvey, Rachel, and anyone they might have told knew about it. Why would the Joker realize that she had been proposed to but was thinking about it?
      • Now you've got me wondering what story he was going to tell Batman. - Ronfar
      • I've always thought it'd go something like this:
        Heath Ledger: He was a great knife-maker, my father. When the one-armed man appeared and requested a special knife, my father took the job. He slaved a year before he was done. The one-armed man returned and demanded it…but at one-tenth his promised price. My father refused. Without a word, the one-armed man slashed him through the heart. I loved my father, so naturally I challenged this man to a duel. I failed... the one-armed man left me alive, but he gave me this (a scar on his cheek) and this (another scar)...
      • Batman, of course, being who he is, would know exactly where it came from.
      • Batman is many things, but I have trouble believing he's seen too many movies in his life. He doesn't exactly have time for Movie Marathon Fridays.
      • Considering Batman's obsession with law and order, he'd probably say that they were inflicted by a sadistic cop or something. Or better yet - a vigilante! - Unknown Troper
      • While reading all these things about the Joker, I came to the conclusion that they're probably all TRUE. It's the Joker. He'd just as easily lie to you as tell you the truth, but there's really no way to prove it. Which just makes it that much more frustrating, which is EXACTLY WHAT THE JOKER WANTS! - Maximus
      • They all ARE true. He only tells two stories, two scars, two scars that look different in type. While it does make it impossible to conclude what he would have said to Batman, my assumption would have been something simple that would have compared them to each other, like "These are from my loved ones. They made me who I am."
      • "If I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!" - Joker, The Killing Joke by Alan Moore
      • The Joker was almost certainly lying about the scars, and about the boats, and about almost everything he ever said. Why? Because the only true thing he ever said is that he's an agent of chaos. He's never going to tell you the truth, if he can help it, because the truth is neat, and orderly, and boring. And it's not like any of the people he tells about his scars are there for the other stories. If he lies to someone, and they know he's lying, they still don't know anything. If he lies to someone, and they believe him, then he's successfully gotten to them. If he lies, then the net effect in every scenario will be to further his goal of spreading confusion and chaos. If, however, he tells the truth, then some people might not believe him, and he's trolled them by not trolling them, but a lot of people will believe him. Which means he told the truth, and they accepted it at face value, and everything is copacetic. And that is NOT acceptable.
      • The Joker said a lot of things that were true. Like when he pointed out that the TV's plan was terrible because Batman has no jurisdiction. Or when asked if he thinks he could steal the mob's money and walk away, and he replied, "Yeah." How about, "I kill the bus driver." or "Every day that Batman doesn't take off his mask, someone will die," or his promise to blow up a hospital? Even during his manipulations, he says a lot of things that are, in and of themselves, true, like "I just want my phone call." To my knowledge, the only lie he actually tells in the entire movie is when he mixes up Rachel and Harvey's locations. The rest of the film, every word that comes out of his mouth is true.
      • One does not have to lie to deceive. Picking and choosing which truths to tell, and what context to tell them in, is a pretty good way to lie without lying.
      • Joker licks his scars several times during the movie, implying that either or both of them were attained much more recently than he's letting on.
      • I'm going with the assumption it's more of just a mannerism to show insanity.
    • Consider that in prison, convicted child abusers need to be isolated. In short, criminals like kids. In the good way. I thought it was absolute perfect genius the prisoners would give up their lives for the kids. - Lots42.

    • In a movie full of Ironic Echoes, one struck me hard, just days after getting the DVD, even though I saw it in the theater. Harvey and his trademark two-headed coin, an obvious sign of things to come, is first indicative of not his reliance on chance, but his apparent vigilant philosophy, as noted by Rachel: "You create your own luck?. It demonstrates just how far things have gone when Joker pulls his Break Them by Talking and convinces him that luck and chance are inescapable. Despite the fact that Harvey and Rachel weren't targeted by chance at all, nor that he'd be the one saved instead of Rachel, Joker successfully convinces him that it was so. And thus he creates the Two-Face we all know and cringe from. - Kryptik
      • And on top of that, as I realized on rewatching it on DVD myself, Two-Face's coin doesn't work with pure randomness: it comes up good head, then bad head, then good head and so on in a perfectly alternating pattern until the end. The instrument Two-Face uses to enact random chance is perfectly, mechanically predictable, which tells you just how twisted he is (and helps undercut the Joker's logic). - Omar Karindu
      • Uh, I think that was just an unfortunate coincidence that it turned out that way, since there's never any suggestion that Two-Face is cheating on the coin toss (at least, not after his double-headed coin is burned on one side anyway). —Arcane Azmadi
      • This is more of a Two-Face in general thing, but the scars on the "bad" side make it lighter, and therefore, it's more likely to come up in a toss. — RubberLotus
      • By the logic of perfect switching back and forth between life and death sides of the coin, Two-Face's last flip should have ended up on death. But after Batman tackles him, the coin landed on the cement on the life side. Because he refused to believe in the "One Bad Day" theory like Two-Face and the Joker, Batman changed the outcome of that flip and thereby disproved the theory. What a perfect way to subtly reinforce the theme of the movie. — KJ Mackley
      • Another thought on the coin. When he was the idealistic crusading DA, his coin had two sides, both of them the "Good" side. Regardless of chance, he was going to do the right thing, no matter what, because there is no other option. After Rachel dies, the coin is defaced on one side, showing that he now has the capability in him to do bad.
      • After Harvey becomes Two-Face, he goes around claiming that "the only morality in a cruel world is chance". Except he doesn't, really, shoot people by chance; he's the one who chooses who he shoots, made very clear in the scene where he shoots Maroni's driver. Bit of an Ironic Echo of his line from before "I make my own luck"... — Black Humor
      • Paying close attention to the scene, Two-Face clips the coin twice: One for Maroni (which comes out heads, sparing Maroni the gunshot) and one for his driver (which comes out tails, ergo Harvey shooting him and crashing the car). He's been stated to be going for everyone involved in Rachel's death, including people indirectly involved, hence why his shooting of Maroni's driver is perfectly in accordance with his current M.O. of leaving EVERYTHING to chance. —Shiki
    • On subsequent viewing, I picked up some richer subtext than the first time around, particularly regarding the scene when the Joker is apprehended. I had thought Batman's game of chicken, resulting in his Batpod wipeout, was a little odd. Now I see that this happened because he really was thinking about running the Joker down (in keeping with Batman's struggle over what he "had to become" to beat men like him), but couldn't do it at the last second. I also realized this was the exact moment that the Joker decided Batman was "just too much fun" to kill. - Tarsus
      • Under this interpretation, when the Batpod crashes, look at the Joker's face when he turns to look at Batman. Not before, not after, during. - randomfanboy
    • It wasn't until I got home from the theater that I grasped the subtleties of the ending. Earlier in the film, it is very briefly alluded to that Batman is having difficulty: the criminals of Gotham have figured out that Batman won't kill them, and they no longer fear him as they once did. By accepting the blame for the killings committed by Two-Face, Batman not only prevents Dent's name from being tarnished, but he gives the crooks reason to believe that he's willing to kill. They have a reason to fear him again, and Batman doesn't need to violate his code against killing. -Lord Carnifex
      • He also solved the problem of the copycats that were emulating him. People stopped "looking up to him". He didn't wanted to be a symbol of what's good, he wanted to be a symbol of fear to the criminals of Gotham. - Solka Truesilver
      • But none of that matters since he then retired for eight years.
    • I realized that the Rachel/Dent choice isn't just a cruel trick on Batman and the cops, it's also one for the victims. Both Dent and Rachel think that they are the one that's going to be saved over the other. As D.A. is more important than A.D.A., Dent sees himself as more valuable to the police. Dent also thinks he has a stronger relationship with Batman since Batman met with him face to face and he just risked himself to protect Batman's identity. Rachel thinks she's going to live because of her own relationship with Batman, who might take the chance to get rid of her fiance. If you listen to their conversation, both Rachel and Dent are trying keep the other calm because they know the other is being left to die. - Polly Nim
      • Having just read this, I re-watched it and saw Rachel's expression as she realizes Harvey is being rescued, and not her... and she seems to suddenly realize she is about to die. Never saw that expression before.
      • And that lead me to the realization that even after all the talking Bruce had done about giving up being Batman, and his clear intent to save her, she died thinking he chose saving Harvey over her. Thus she died believing that in the end, Bruce chose the Batman over her. Relief, betrayal, and sudden fear of death. - Stealth Marmot
      • This sounds good for further tragic value, but what I distinctly remember was that, like many lovers, they are precisely wishing that the other would be saved instead of them. For one, Harvey was going ballistic ("NO! WHY ME! NOT ME!") when he saw Batman about to save him. And even if Rachel showed a few seconds of shock at these turn of events, she went back to being resigned to her fate (not too different from Ducard/Ra's al Ghul). -Tropers/Sagetsu
    • I came to understand that the day after Rachel's death and the death of Batman's parents are stylistically very very similar. First, there's Bruce Wayne looking out in his own world, when Alfred comes in wanting to prepare something to help take his mind off of things. Initially Bruce is unresponsive, so Alfred leaves with a "Very well", but then Bruce says, "Alfred." and then Alfred has to give some comforting words to Bruce in order to help the disillusioned person. In the first movie it was to help rid Bruce of his self guilt over leaving the theater, to provide comfort, and the first spark that "It was his fault, and his alone." to inspire the future Batman. In The Dark Knight, it's to remind him that, "You have inspired good, but you spat in the face of Gotham's criminals. Things were always going to get worse before they got better." This congruency makes the scene much more different because it lends extra depth to the idea of Alfred as Bruce's father figure after the death of his real father, and that even in the worst of time, he'll have something to say to comfort and encourage him. -Eric W
    • There is a further, stronger, parallel between Alfred and Bruce across Batman Begins & The Dark Knight. In Batman Begins, there is a subtext of Bruce searching for a father figure, which by the end of the movie and throughout The Dark Knight, is Alfred. When Rachel gives Alfred her letter to Bruce, Alfred reads and then later burns the letter because its contents would destroy Bruce after he'd sacrificed so much. For Alfred, the truth is not as important as giving people the reward they deserve and the drive to keep going. Then, at the end of The Dark Knight, Bruce/Batman takes the blame for Two Face's murders, and he gives the reason that "the truth isn't good enough. Sometimes people deserve more. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded". Bruce has taken on Alfred as a father figure so completely that he's internalized Alfred's values and is expressing them as Batman, and without even realizing that Alfred is treating him the same way. The fact that Batman delivers his reasoning as a voice-over to Alfred burning the letter is very anvilicious. - Lamartine
    • When Alfred tells Bruce that the only way he caught the jewel thief was to burn down the forest, I thought that he was just providing a cautionary tale about the lengths Bruce might have to go to stop the Joker. However, then I remembered Alfred describing earlier that the only thing the thief wanted was to "watch the world burn". So, in order to catch the thief, Alfred had to do exactly what the thief wanted! This is prophetic because in the end of the movie, in order to stop the Joker, Batman has to sacrifice his heroic image by taking the blame for Harvey's crimes. If you remember from earlier in the film, the Joker's main strategy was to turn Gotham against Batman! - Spoon Of Evil
      • That sounds cool, but there's no indication the thief wanted them to literally burn down the forest. Maybe you're right, but it dosn't actually say that.
      • No, even better than that: there are three things the Joker wants: to kill off the criminals who are in it for the money, to make Harvey Dent violate his moral code, and to make Batman violate his "one rule". He gets all three. -Black Humor
      • It gets even better for him than that. Batman doesn't kill the Joker - he kills Dent. He broke his code not by becoming a criminal, but by killing to fulfill his goal. It was to save Gordon's son, but he was still forced to cross the line just like Alfred did - and it was in a way that even benefited the Joker, who still lives to see his triumph. Conversely, Batman and the Joker both won - the Joker accomplished his three main goals; Batman accomplishes his, in becoming the hero the city needs (though in a horrible, twisted way).
      • This troper never got the impression that Batman was trying to kill Harvey, just that he was trying to stop him and killed him inadvertently.
      • What I took from Alfred's line was that it had to do with Batman's use of the cellphone sonar device, which in Lucius's eyes seems incredibly immoral. Just as Alfred exposes the thief by burning down his hiding place, Batman exposes the Joker by removing all of the privacy and anonymity of not only the Joker, but all of Gotham.
  • One moment that appealed to me was during the Batman/Joker discussion in the cell. At one point, the Joker says/quotes the Jerry Maguire line "You... complete me!" At first it just sounds like a throwaway line for a cheap laugh until you consider the source: in the movie, Jerry Maguire, until the scene that line comes from, almost always gets around with a rictus grin on his face - Does This Remind You of Anything?? Also, Jerry Maguire's meant to be seen as an antihero - again, probably how the Joker sees himself. — Saintheart
  • Two pieces of Alfred's dialogue within Batman Begins and The Dark Knight are very similar. The first happens just after Bruce's parents die in Begins, and the second after Rachel dies in Dark Knight.
    Alfred: "I thought I'd prepare a little supper... (Bruce looks out his window, silent). Very well, then."
    Alfred: "I thought I'd prepare a little breakfast... Very well, then."
    • This troper recognized that when Alfred gave the line in the second film, which only made the dialogue that followed so much more brilliant and wrenching. In the first movie, Bruce Wayne is just a little boy, who was in no way responsible for his parents' death — and as with the second movie, he asks Alfred, in effect, whether he was responsible for the deaths that have just occurred. Alfred's response is clear in the first movie: it was not Bruce's fault. But in the second movie, rather than comfort Bruce Wayne, he addresses him as an adult: "You spat in the faces of Gotham's criminals. Did you not think there would be some casualties?" It's both an acknowledgment by Alfred that Bruce is an adult fully capable of making his own decisions, and also a restatement of the sorrow, if not slight disapproval, that Alfred has for Batman. Bruce had the excuse of being a child and being innocent when Alfred first comforts him this way; in the second movie, he's neither a child nor an innocent, so Alfred serves it to him straight. Even so, that scene from the first movie is one of my Tear Jerker favorites; I still cry like a baby when that one comes up, and to have that scene restated and then raked over was like pulling a scab off a healed wound. Brilliant. —Saintheart
  • In the opening, Joker hides among the bank robbers working for him. During the car chase scene, Gordon hides among the cops. There's a recurring theme of hiding things, all though the movie. — Jonn
    • Not just hiding, but hiding in plain sight. Both those examples, as well as Joker hiding among the cops during the assassination attempt, are all hiding in plain sight.— Otaku X
      • And in Begins both Ducard and Batman made a tactic out of hiding amongst identically dressed ninjas during Batman's initiation into the League of Shadows.
      • It's even present in the first shot of the film. Remember the film starts with the Joker having his clown mask off. He doesn't remove it at any point to put his makeup on during the opening sequence, with the conclusion being he had it on the entire time he was just standing there in the middle of the street, quite openly, for everyone to see his face. He is hiding right there in plain sight.
      • And yet no one even looked twice at him. A subtle commentary on how evil is always within us, we just don't recognize it—or don't want to recognize it?
      • Notice how little concern citizens on the street have as The Joker and his thugs come out of their Suburban and run to the bank entrance.
      • If you saw a man, in a city notoriously full of crazies, looking like that, would you do anything about it? I know I would just get the hell out ASAP.
    • Batman reverses this trend. Even his enemies can tell him apart from numerous vigilante copycats—because for Batman, the cowl isn't a disguise. — Leradny
  • Remember the scene where Batman holds a mafia guy over a ledge to scare him and he retorts that "a fall from this height wouldn't kill me" to which Batman says "I know. I'm counting on it" and drops him anyway? That's exactly what he'd hope would happen to Harvey when he tackled him!
    • Also remember that Harvey was already severely injured (having already survived being badly burned & then a car crash), it wasn't just the fall that killed him. Batman didn't know about the crash and thus didn't know about Harvey's other injuries, his death was completely accidental. The fall was just the final nail in the coffin.
      • Thinking is not a free action. Batman was bleeding and injured from a gunshot wound and had seconds to form any manner of plan. Tackling Harvey off the ledge was a reaction; he didn't have time or energy to consider all the possible routes. At that point, protecting Gordon's son took priority over anything else, and Batman could just as easily have died in that fall as Harvey (in fact, given how the two of them went over, it wouldn't surprise me if Batman actually landed on Harvey)).
  • The Joker says he doesn't make plans, but this obviously isn't true. Because he's lying. He's a consummate liar, remember? He says whatever would twist the knife more. For someone like Harvey, who has dedicated his life to Lawful Good, saying he's Chaotic Neutral is an excellent way to hurt him.
    • Actually, I think what he meant is that his plans don't have specific goals. For example, he wasn't actually TRYING to turn Harvey Dent into Two-Face. There was so many things that could have happened instead. Harvey could have died. Both of them could have died. Rachel could have become Two-Face. But whatever happens in the end doesn't really matter to Joker, because it always works in his favor.
    • Except... Joker actually clearly plans everything he does, to the point where he's annoyed when his bombs only trigger after a few seconds of delay. He's just as much of a planner as everyone else!
      • That was actually improvised by Heath Ledger. There was a problem with the pyrotechnics and he just stood there and fiddled with the remote in-character. Notice his Oh Crap face when the bomb does go off.
      • Except he would have had to rig the charges in the hospital days, if not weeks earlier. Long before he would have any way of knowing someone would come out knowing Batman's identity; even before he'd know he didn't want to kill the Batman. The Joker rigged those charges not because he specifically planned to have a threat to hold over Gotham to force them to kill Reese, but just in case he would need to blow up a hospital at some point in the near future. Or just because he felt like it.
  • A brilliant, perhaps unintentional one, here. Many remember the scene of the Joker crashing Bruce's party, entering with: "Where. Is. Harvey. Dent?". However, shortly before that scene, where Bruce himself joins the party he asks "Where is Harvey-" and cuts off as he sees him, implying he may have been about to say Dent. Coincidence, or an attempt to draw parallels between Batman and Joker? Probably the former.
    • It was absolutely on purpose, and is absolutely brilliant. Both of them show up late, make big dramatic entrances, surrounded by a group of people, and immediately ask where Harvey is. It's entirely to subtly show parallels, and the contrasts; both of them are costumed people, Batman works outside of the police to help them deal with an enemy who has them on the ropes, using theatricality and manipulating emotions to win, and the Joker does the exact same thing for the mob. In both cases each of them sees Harvey Dent as the person that will carry on their mission.
    • Perhaps it was a message - how good and evil can be very alike, yet different. Or a foreshadow - "Batman's gonna be like Joker-a criminal".
  • This Troper was rewatching The Dark Knight, and something occurred to them during the scene in which Dent catches up with Wuertz. When Two-Face grills him about what the mob did to him and Rachel, Wuertz responds with "I didn't know what they were gonna do to you!" Harvey then spins his coin and says "Funny, because I don't know what's gonna happen to you." The first few times this Troper always thought a better line would be "Funny, because I don't know what I'M gonna do to you." but then it dawned on them. When Two-Face uses the coin, he abdicates responsibility for his actions, so Harvey would never use that line. To Harvey, the coin killed Wuertz.
  • This may be more of a explanation of a Title Drop, but one might think that it is called the Dark Knight just because that is one of batman's nicknames, but when you think about it throughout the movie everybody calls Harvey Dent The "White Knight". This is because he is the ideal model of a pure hero (especially in Bruce's eyes). In the movie he takes down hundreds of criminals and cleans up Gotham in a non-dangerous, legal and respectable way all without wearing a mask. But at the end Gordon gives his speech about how Batman does the same but in an imperfect and reckless way, but that is what needs to happen to stop the monstrous threats like the Joker, which is why Batman is the hero Gotham "Deserves, but not the one it needs". So to summarize Batman is a corrupt version of Gotham's hero the White Knight making him The Dark Knight.
    • Remember the dinner scene between Harvey, Bruce, Rachel, and Bruce's Russian ballerina date? How the ballerina holds a piece of white paper over Harvey Dent's eyes, suggesting he could be Batman. The point being: Harvey is Gotham's white knight, with a white mask, at that point, while Batman's is unremittingly dark.
    • Also, remember Dent's speech before he 'reveals' himself to be the Batman, where he says, "The night is always darkest just before the dawn." 'The Dark Knight' can also be interpreted as 'The Dark Night', the dark night being the reign of terror on Gotham being perpetrated by the Joker.
  • The bank managed played by William Fichtner tell the Joker that "The criminals in this town used to believe in things: honor, dignity...". It always confused me: what kind of criminals believe in such things, really? Only lately did I realize that a a manager of a mob bank, he was working for some high-ranked criminals and probably came up with the whole "honor and dignity" thing to justify his actions to his own consciousness.
    • Organized crime generally tends to have their own code of honor, preferring to think of themselves as businessmen than crime. The higher in the mob you go, the more detached from the down-and-dirty acts of crime you become, and the more you can hold yourself to loftier ideals.
  • It occurred to me that the Joker was very skillfully manipulating Batman into the person that the Joker wanted him to be. Thinking over the hostage bit, when Gordon and the police were on their way to save Dent, or so they thought, both Gordon and Batman believed the Joker when he told them where he was holding Harvey and Rachel. This had two possible outcomes, with Batman in the position of making a Sadistic Choice either way. If the locations hadn't been switched, and Batman successfully saved Rachel, that would leave Gotham without its White Knight, which would pave the way for a new era of crime and corruption in the city - just what the Joker promised the mob guys earlier in the film. However, the second way, as had occurred in the movie, was also immensely profitable to the Joker. With Rachel dead, there's nothing standing in the way of Batman devoting himself to fighting crime, and the Joker would have his opponent. Not to mention, he STILL takes down the White Knight side of Dent by exploiting his bitterness at surviving. Either way, the Joker wins.
    • It runs a little deeper than that. The Joker has affectively put Batman in the same position he gave the two boats, he simply hasn't informed him of it. Either he condemns the DA to death in order to save the girl, then has to face the D.A. knowing that he was ready to throw away his life for personal gain, or he condemns the woman he loves to die in order to save the D.A., only to have to face her knowing he made that choice. No matter what happens, everyone loses; Batman gets to live with knowing that whichever one survives, he made the choice to let them die. Likewise, the survivor gets to live knowing that Batman allowed their lover to die. Honestly, whichever gets blowed up was probably the most merciful outcome of the three.
  • The Joker's declaration that "I think you and I are destined to do this forever". He's not talking about a rematch! He no longer cares if he gets imprisoned forever or even executed for his crimes. He already won when Batman failed to rescue the woman he loved. The Joker knows that Batman is the sort of person who would obsess over every mistake he made, wondering if he could have done something different and saved her. That's why they two of them will be battling forever.
  • Why didn't Joker tell Harvey a scar story? Because he would've already heard one from the people at the party, especially Rachel. He does, however, tell him a different lie; that he's entirely Chaotic evil without any real plans whatsoever. For someone like Harvey, who has lived his life by The Plan, the idea that one lunatic could do so much damage hits him right in the soft spots.
    • There were two likely outcomes to that situation; Joker convinces Harvey and blows up the hospital, Joker doesn't convince Dent and Dent kills him in cold blood (making him a murderer), Joker doesn't convince Dent and blows up the hospital (making him a martyr?), but Batman is still put off kilter by the loss of Dent and Rachel.
  • The fact that Two-Face is Killed Off for Real, rather than living to become a villain in the sequel, may have surprised a lot of people, but it actually makes a lot of sense. In this version, Two-Face isn't just scarred in his big accident—the guy has half of his face burned clean off by gasoline, leaving the underlying muscle raw and exposed. Let's be honest: Rule of Drama aside, if he'd survived long enough to have a role in the sequel, he would have died of infection before the end of the movie. Having him go out with a bang in the second movie was the most logical course of action.
    • Harvey Dent was the antagonist of The Dark Knight. The Joker was an agent of chaos who lit and fanned the flames of conflict, but the main dramatic conflict was between Bruce and Harvey. The former is the dark, hounded hero while the latter is the white knight, and Bruce sees this as a chance for him to finish being Batman and leave the role of cleaning up Gotham to someone who can do the job better. The characters have arcs that go on opposing trajectories: when confronted with the Joker's chatoic brand of villainy (and Rachel's death), Harvey crumbles and (literally) shows a darker, crueler side of himself, while Batman actually rises to the challenge, cements his "one rule" and becomes the paragon he needs to be to oppose the Joker. This is why the climax of the film isn't Batman vs. Joker, it's Batman vs. Two-Face.
  • Batman taking the charge for Dent's killings gave Dent 2 "faces": one is the face of a hero, as viewed by the city, and the other of a villain, as viewed by Batman and Gordon. Harvey had truly become a "two-faced" person, not just a nickname.
  • For the first half of Dent's vigilante spree, the coin seems fair and balanced. Let's look at the verdicts and whatever evidence may be present:
    • The Joker: Implied to be guilty, but considering how Dent was holding his gun, he wouldn't have been able to kill the Joker anyway except under two conditions. He's the one that rigged the warehouses, and he's the one who knew where both Harvey and Rachel were being held, so he was probably the one who gave Dent's warehouse to Wuertz and Rachel's warehouse to Maroni's driver. And yet, he considers what happened to both of them to be just business.
    • Detective Wuertz: Guilty as charged. The guy's statements to him at the bar are contradictory: first, he mentions that he thought Dent was dead, and then that he didn't know what the Joker's goons were going to do to Dent. This makes it clear enough that he willfully assisted the Joker in trying to murder Dent. Plus, he refused to rat the other corrupt cop on Gordon's force.
    • Sal Maroni: Not guilty. It's hinted that he never really wanted to hire the Joker in the first place, and when Rachel is killed his doubts are confirmed; right before the Joker attacks the hospital, he rats the clown to Gordon, something he earlier wouldn't do even at the urging of the Batman (mainly because at the time, he was too scared of a vicious and violent reprisal against the Falcone crime family). Whether he survived afterwards, though, is up for debate, because the verdict for...
    • Maroni's driver: Guilty. It's hinted that he's one of two drivers that take Rachel and Dent to the warehouses to face imminent incineration unless Batman and Gordon picked them up before the warehouses went up in smoke. And yes, it's entirely possible that he was completely willing to assist the Joker, unlike Maroni.
    • Detective Ramirez: Not guilty. Her statements when confronted by Dent indicated that she was coerced into handing Rachel over to the Joker's goons and that she didn't want either her mother or Rachel to perish.
That said, only when Dent kidnaps Gordon's family does it become completely obvious just how twisted he's become due to the Joker's machinations; Batman is judged guilty and tagged, and Dent is judged not guilty. However, after Batman tackles Dent to try to subdue him but winds up inadvertently killing him instead, it's revealed that James Jr. got judged not guilty, just for symbolism's sake ("Funny Aneurysm" Moment in 3... 2... 1...!).
  • I found Gordon's reason for seeing Harvey as the villain as a bit like Protagonist-Centered Morality; he seemed more angry that Dent was trying to attack his son rather than for his other crimes (understandable, but still a bit more focused on personal matters). But then, I realized that it was trying to hammer in the contrast. Before that, most his revenge spree could be interpreted as Pay Evil unto Evil. Attacking Gordon's family marked how he had gone off the edge.
    • Gordon's reason for seeing Harvey as the villain is because Harvey was holding a gun to his son's head. Gordon is a human being with human emotions. Logic, reason, and good v. evil morality all cease to matter when a man is holding a gun to your son's head. No matter what else he may have done, and how you perceive the morality of his vigilante spree, to Gordon, he will always be the man who held a gun to his son's head, and nothing more.
    • It's significant because in the other instances he was attacking people who knew they had some guilt on their hands. In Gordon's case, he was attacking a complete innocent.
    • Harvey judging himself before judging Gordon's son may not just be because he personally feels some responsibility for what had happened to Rachel. He knew he didn't want to hurt Gordon's son, so after tagging the Batman after the coin judges him guilty, Harvey knows he has one last chance to avoid things having to come to killing a child, so he puts the gun to his own head and flips for himself, fully prepared to commit suicide if judged guilty.
  • Several of the Joker's origin stories as presented in other media portray his creation as the end result of him being poisoned. Maybe the truth of the matter is that he got hit by the fear toxin (a concentrated dose, even!) during the climax of Begins and went from a mild-mannered actor to a batshit crazy psychopath in one night...
  • Some people have pointed out that it is strange that the Joker seemingly gets offended when people call him a freak but he has no problem calling himself and Batman freaks. It was only after multiple views that this Troper realized that the Joker isn't offended by the word 'freak' but HOW it is used; the mob calls him a freak like it is a bad thing. He knows he is a freak and Batman is a freak but sees both of them as the next step, above the people. They are freaks because they are better than normal. Being a freak isn't bad... it is the only way to survive.
  • The Joker's goal throughout this film is to spread anarchy and chaos. I just noticed something during the ferry scene. The ordinary citizens decide to vote on whether they detonate or not. Then it was decided on a vote 396 out of 536 that they should (which is a 74% majority), but they still don't do it. Voting is a democratic process. So as a whole, they democratically voted to blow up the ship. But they decide not to do it anyway. Everyone turns their back on the decision the group made as a whole, and that, by extension, is anarchy.
    • Even so, that they decided not to do it anyway (in unison, at that!) proves that the Joker only succeeded at half (there's that word again) of his goal, because though it was an act of anarchy, no chaos occurred in the process.
  • Re-watching this movie, I only realized through this page that Harvey's coin was 2 headed, and as pointed above, he would do the right thing no matter what side it landed on. This would probably fit more as a personal Epileptic Tree, but here goes. Remember that his coin was burned on one side following the warehouse explosion and the death of Rachel. I imagine that if the coin hadn't burned, yet he still became Two-Face, his twisted morality would have meant that, instead of doing the morally correct option, he would do what HE thought was right. Meaning, pretty much everyone involved in Rachel's death would have DIED, because he thought it was "right" and "fair".
  • In the hospital scene with Dent and Gordon, Dent at one point says, "Why should I hide who I am?" Fridge Brilliance: As he turns around to say that, the camera effectively hides what he has become a mere second before showing his Nightmare Face. Irony and Visual Pun combine gloriously here.
  • The defining word for this movie has to be half. Let's look at the examples, whether invoked, Brilliance, or metaphorical:
    • The Joker wants to expose the other half of people for them to do bad.
    • Joker wants half of the mob's money.
    • Half of Harvey's two-headed coin is burned.
    • Half of Harvey's face is burned.
    • Joker burns half of the mob money.
    • By the end, Batman has corrupted half of his image; adults despise and/or fear him, ut he is adored by children, who hope for his eventual return.
    • The only burning my half Brilliance in regards to Harvey's condition.
    • The poster for The Dark Knight shrinks Batman down to half the image.
    • For the first half of Dent's vigilante spree, the coin seems fair and balanced.
    • The Brilliance of the Joker only succeeding at half of his goal with the civilian boat: Anarchy, but not chaos.
    • Natasha covers half of Harvey's face with a white piece of paper when thinking that he could be Batman.
    • Gordon's son gets the same chance Rachel had. Fifty-fifty, or half. This extends to Joker, Wuertz, Maroni, his driver, Ramirez, Batman, and Dent himself.
    • Dent tells Wuertz that he's half dead
      • All of these are highlighting halves of things. Brilliant.
  • One troper noted above that the League Of Shadows could have funded the Joker to destroy Gotham, and this can be valid for several reasons. One, because the personification of Ra's Al Ghul varies widely from version to version. For this Brilliance, I'm fastforwarding to one movie that involved Joker and Ra's on a large scale.(Warning: Spoilers) In UTRD, Ra's is perfectly willing to hire the Joker as a distraction for Batman, but he underestimates his control over him when he kills Jason Todd. This Ra's is saddened to the death of him, and becomes The Atoner. Now, go back to this film and look at Joker's actions. Multiple Choice Past? Something someone working for a secret mastermind would do. Chaos? What Ra's wanted in the first film. Destruction? His ultimate goal for Gotham. Like Ra's, the Mob underestimated their control over him, and he let loose in the wham scene across each film. Something Ra's isn't afraid of, because he brings chaos and destruction, which will only go higher with the Joker's escalating acts of terrorism. The League might not be present in person, but in a metaphorical way, in a madman no one would see coming.
  • Of course Harvey falls for the Joker's speech about how he didn't mastermind the Rachel and Harvey bomb setup. Harvey is a prosecutor who goes after organized crime. And the guys out on the street, doing the grunt work in organized crime, aren't in any position to make decisions, they aren't the masterminds. So when Joker users some Weasel Words, starts talking up the "schemers", and saying that for the Joker, it was Nothing Personal, that fits right in line with Harvey's already established mode of thinking. He automatically reverts to thinking of the Joker as being in the same role as a gang enforcer: just someone doing the bidding of a superior. "The Joker's just a mad dog, I want the one who let him off the leash."
This also fits in with other themes the movie has run with before including that people don't really understand the Joker, because his worldview is too alien to them, (how well can someone who does want something logical like order, money, and control understand the man who just wants to watch the world burn) and Joker exploits that misunderstanding and underestimation to his benefit. Because Harvey will believe his lies, Joker can turn Harvey into the Fallen Hero and crazed psychopath, just like Batman consistently is one step behind the Joker, or the SWAT team can be tricked into targeting innocent doctors instead of the thugs they're after. The Joker's greatest weapon is being an Outside-Context Villain, and being able to hide just how far outside of context he is to fool people who wouldn't imagine what he's really like and really up to.
  • A moment of Brilliance came for me reading the novelization. Normally I dislike it due to it rewording the scenes. However, one hit me so hard that I couldn't stop thinking about it. Compare these 2 quotes from both film and novel:
Film Joker: "I'm only burning my half."
Novelization Joker: "I'm only burning my half. "Of course, your half will burn with it. Nothing to be done, I'm afraid."
  • This becomes one of the most powerful quotes to describe Joker's methods of corruption, and since, I can't look at Two-Face without looking at this quote.
  • I got Brilliance for this movie from, of all places, my Physics class. At one point we were discussing collision force and Newton's laws, and one came out with: "What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?" He got an answer in the form of: "The unstoppable force has to alter or force the immovable object to move." Now, back to TDK. Despite being a somewhat obvious Fridge, I'll elaborate. Joker sees himself as the unstoppable force(of madness, insanity and destruction), and Batman as the immovable object(a paragon of order, non-lethality, peace, as well as a believer in Rousseau's theory).
    • For the Joker to move Batman, he has to make the immovable object, well, move, and he achieves this by causing chaos and disaster similar to what the League Of Shadows did in Begins, which moved Batman quite a bit when he exploded Rachel in the address switch Sadistic Choice with Harvey Dent. Every person has a weak spot, and Joker had to find Batman's, which he did, and moved Batman to the point of him going to great lengths to stopping the Joker, which include removing everyone's privacy with sonar, fighting SWAT teams to prevent innocent deaths, and nearly killing the Joker when defeating him. The theoretical unstoppable force was stopped eventually, but at the cost of the Joker forcing Bruce Wayne to pull what is effectively a Skrull impostor messing with your reputation meets The Power of Legacy to protect Harvey's posthumous reputation to fight crime. Pyrrhic Victory at it's finest. All because the Joker made a very good metaphor of being unstoppable, and the Joker being a master corrupter and most of Gotham being corrupt anyway probably helped.
  • Joker: "It's not about the money; it's about sending a message." Two-Face: "It's not about what I want! It's about what's fair!" What does it mean? I'm not sure. It's not an indication of Two-Face drawing influence from the Joker, since the former was not present when the latter said his line. It could be Nolan's why of making clear that neither of these villains are pursuing the normal, often cliched motivations. It could be a nice contrast between the two, while still highlighting their similarities. It's up for grabs.
    • The above lines provide a contrast between the two; the Joker wants to serve only himself, whereas Two-Face wants to serve only cold-blooded justice according to coin flips. The Joker throws away money in favor of his own interests, whereas Two-Face throws away his own interests in favor of justice.

The Dark Knight Rises
  • Bruce is retired largely because of a leg injury. A leg injury he suffered when he killed Harvey at the end of the Dark Knight. Bruce can be seen limping when he runs away.
  • The non-use of the name "Catwoman" during the movie makes more sense when you notice that this incarnation of Selina Kyle isn't trying to hide her identity (apparent from her minimalist mask); instead, she's simply trying to erase her past criminal record. And out-of-universe, it may have been also to sever ties with the much-maligned Catwoman movie. In fact, in this respect, Selina can be considered a Bizarro Universe counterpart of Patience Philips: while Selina captures the entire essence of Catwoman except the name (and even still uses it in merchandise and stuff), Patience uses Catwoman's name and has little else to do with the character.
  • In Rises, John Blake makes a joke about mutant crocodiles in the sewers. Fridge Brilliance because, in the animated film Gotham Knight, Batman fought Killer Croc. It makes sense that rumors of the battle floated around the GCPD.
  • What is the absolute last thing the Batman is seen doing in The Dark Knight Rises? He's rising into the air, taking the bomb with him.
    • The final shot of the film is Blake on that platform in the Batcave, rising into the air and out of frame.
  • "Theatricality and deception are powerful weapons." Such as, for instance, pretending to be your greatest enemy's ally while your boyfriend does your job. Also, the assumption that Bane had the trigger was based on the assumption Bane was in charge.
    • They're powerful weapons for the uninitiated. But Bane and Batman are initiated. Assuming the above reasoning, that would mean that Talia was uninitiated.
    • Everything Bane says about hope being poisonous? Talia spent the entire movie doing exactly that to Bruce.
  • Selina's stilettos are her equivalent of Batman's gauntlets, except hers, fitting with her personality, are show-offy as well as practical.
  • The reason Bane is pretty much a No Sell during his first fight with Batman? His mask provides him with pain-numbing gas. It's not that Batman can't hurt him - it's just that Bane doesn't feel it.
  • By the time Rises roles around, Batman has, quite literally, become a symbol.
  • That monologue that Bane gives in during the fight in the sewer about how he "was born in darkness" and "didn't see the light until [he] was already a man" becomes a lot more resonant when you realize that Bane protected Talia Al Ghul in the Pit and that she escaped thanks to him, Talia was the single ray of purity and innocence in that hellhole.
  • It's no surprise that Ra's al Ghul has no faith in prisons as a form of justice and punishment: they did nothing to curb the criminality of the inmates who murdered (and likely raped) his wife and would've killed his child too.
  • Bane's voice: You would be expecting a angrier voice perhaps, not one that at times sounds a bit jolly. Bane's mask feeds anesthetics because otherwise he would die of pain. Bane is probably on a near constant high. Explains his endurance against hits too.
    • "Would you die if I took it off?" "It would be quite painful."
  • As Ra's Al Ghul tells Bruce in his vision: "There are many forms of immortality". Like continuing one's genetic line through offspring, for instance.
    • That line is especially poignant because the vision of Ra's plants the idea that immortality can be attained through a successor. Bane and Talia are carrying on where Ra's left off, finishing his dream of destroying Gotham. Bruce always wanted Batman to be a symbol; eternal, everlasting, exactly as Ra's al Ghul already is. By putting the idea of immortality through successors in Bruce's head, the story is set up for Bruce to leave Batman to Blake at the end.
  • Gotham is the Pit. Not literally, but what are they? Inescapable prisons offering a glimmer of hope that can never be reached. Bruce initially planned to return to Gotham until crime was stopped, and by Rises, he's resigned himself to the city, with no fear of simply dying. But Selina and Miranda both give him a glimmer of life beyond Batman and Rachel. In the Pit he learns that a fear of death is needed to succeed, which helps him escape the Pit and reach the hopeful outside. What happens in the end of Rises? He fears death and manages to escape the Bat before the bomb goes off, reaching the hope of a life with Selina.
  • Many people complain that Bane's new, Jolly voice makes him much harder to take seriously as a Big Bad than Heath Ledger's Joker. But Bane's not the Big Bad. Is he?
  • Think about what John Blake goes through - finding himself crippled by the system he's been serving, then deciding to throw it off altogether and go full-bore into vigilanteism, thanks to some effort on Bruce Wayne's part. You've essentially got a rare POSITIVE version of what the Joker did to Harvey Dent. Not So Different, eh?
  • The Dent Act increased the Joker's victory in TDK. He made Harvey Dent become Two-Face, he made Batman kill, and he also managed to corrupt Gordon, one of the few reliable cops in Gotham. Throughout Gordon's eight years of being commissioner, he was struggling with the knowledge his position is based on a lie. Sure, he was promoted for catching the Joker, but he knowingly watched hundreds of people going to jail without a chance of appeal, just because they somehow could be linked to the mafia. Reflecting on how corrupt Gotham's police is, nobody would be surprised if there were a lot of people who got in just because they might have pissed off a crooked cop. Regarding that Gordon willingly accepted that fact -he never felt guilty enough to reveal the truth over the course of 8 years - just to protect Dent's reputation implies that the Joker actually defeated the whole Batman-Dent-Gordon-trinity even further then it was implied in TDK.
    • Of course, the whole thing wasn't Gordon's idea—pinning the blame on Batman for Dent's death and those of the other four casualties of Dent's spree was actually Batman's idea, and it simply mushroomed into one of the biggest secrets Gordon ever had to keep for the sake of destroying organized crime within Gotham.
    • Indeed, by the time this film comes around innocent victims may have been imprisoned far too often for Mayor Garcia to stand any more false imprisonments even he can't overturn, which may explain the budget cuts that shrunk Gotham's police force, and among the cops Gordon was forced to axe were the more corrupt ones, so by the 8th annual Harvey Dent Day there may not have been any more corrupt cops to have to avoid crossing. Of course, if Bane's takeover of Gotham later in the film is something to go by, that would've come with a very heavy price...
  • A throw away line about Bane's past indicates that his other major accomplishment as a mercenary was the overthrow of some small African nation. Where is the prison in which he was entombed located? Why is he now considered by the inmates of the prison to be in charge? It seems that Bane's first act was to knock over the country that was responsible for his imprisonment and the death of Talia's mother as well as Talia being raised in the pit. Also explains were a lot of his resources and recruits came from.
  • Batman disappears for eight years after The Dark Knight, which has been mentioned several times on this page. But then one recalls that Harvey had put away most of the influential bosses before dying, and even more criminals were put away in the Dent Act so that Gotham was at its most crime-free in years. Even if Batman wanted to stop one-off crimes like thievery, the cops would just chase him instead of the criminal, or throw the case away due to involving a wanted fugitive. There was no need for Batman, and judging by how everyone switched gears to him instead of Bane, his presence would have just tied up the force with frivolous calls or chases.
  • Batman never drops the voice while in costume, even after Catwoman disappears on him and to his knowledge there is no one watching. This could be explained by him being exceptionally paranoid. But it could also be explained by the fact that someone is still watching him: The audience.
    • Because while in costume he is Batman. Not Bruce Wayne. And Batman doesn't use Bruce Wayne's voice (if you know what I mean).
  • I was thinking: how could Bane smash through concrete like it was foam and paper mache? Then I realized, the pain gas he takes is actually venom, the super steroid from the comics in a gaseous state. Thus the more he breaths in, the stronger he gets. And if his mask's damaged he loses the ability to regulate the venom, and if a pipe is popped it means its leaking out and he gets weaker. Exactly what happens on screen.
  • Batman firing at a tumbler with Talia in it seems to be a disregard of Batman's one rule. Then you realize the tumbler itself didn't have a scratch on it until it fell. It makes sense that the Bat's cannons were designed to keep from harming Batman's other vehicles. He had most likely intended to stop Talia nonlethally, and if Batman hadn't forgotten she was driving over a bridge, she would have survived.
  • Bane's mask is constantly feeding him anesthetic gas so he Feels No Pain. He's high on some level constantly. It's also why he never seems to shout.
  • This troper, like many others, was wondering why Bruce's back was fixed so easily, while down in the pit. Then I remembered that Bane, and the League of Shadows, used the prison to store many of their other enemies. Now, if the Bane in this film is anything like his comic-book counterpart then breaking his opponent's back is probably his signature finishing move. So the reason that the doctor in the pit was able to fix Bruce's back so easily is probably because Bane has broken the backs of plenty of other prisoners down there, in the exact same way.
  • When Bruce first left Gotham in order to train, his long absence made Earle declare him dead. He was outraged at such a thing back then. Now again, what is his ultimate plan, almost 10 years later? Goddamned Crazy Prepared Batman indeed.
  • If you think about it, specially with the importance given to symbols and masks in this trilogy, what is the climax of both Bats vs. Bane fights? That's right, the destruction of their masks. Bane smashing Bats' cowl, destroying the symbol and leaving a broken man, and Bats punching and messing up his inhaler, destroying his near-invulnerability, and beating him up just like any other thug.
  • The man who stands up to the Joker in the previous film with the line "We're not intimidated by thugs!" isn't named, and neither is the board member portrayed by the same actor. However, it's possible that Bruce rewarded the man for his bravery by giving him a position on the board.
  • Though he's pissed off at Alfred for hiding the truth about Rachel, and Alfred considers leaving Bruce and, subsequently, his apparent death saving Gotham to be his greatest failure, Bruce didn't amend his will (the last time he amended his will was before he went on his seven-year odyssey nearly 10 years earlier) because in spite of it all, he wanted to reward Alfred for all his years of loyal service.
  • According to legend, Bane was excommunicated from the League of Shadows for being too much of an extremist. Then Talia says he was excommunicated for his connection to the prison where she had been confined for the first years of her life and makes no mention of his extremist behavior. Now remember that Ra's al Ghul is not a fan of nuclear weapons, but Talia wants to nuke Gotham into oblivion, and Bane is in support of that plan. Therefore, Talia can deny it all she wants, but the truth of the matter is that Bane was excommunicated because he wanted to nuke a city targeted by the League.

    Fridge Logic 
  • The convoy chase scene in The Dark Knight where they divert down onto Lower Fifth. Bearing in mind that this is a police convoy on closed streets, it would have been entirely possible to bend the laws of the road to stick to their defined route and keep their air support. Yes, it was an attempt to draw out the Joker, but that's not a good excuse to waltz into an unknown trap.
    • Wasn't their planned route blocked by, y'know, ''a flaming fire truck? The most important thing for a convoy to do is to keep moving, even if you suspect an ambush.
    • Their side of the road was blocked, the "wrong side" of the road was available, and there was no on-coming traffic because the police had cleared the route.
      • If you take a close look at the top of the shot (maybe easier if you have the IMAX view) the "wrong side" is actually blocked by police vehicles to prevent oncoming traffic from passing through. The convoy would've had to stop in order for the blockade to be removed, and any amount of stop time could mean death. Taking Lower Main was the "best" option.
  • Also in the chase scene, how did the clowns know where to launch their lines to fuck up the helicopter? It could've ascended at any time.
    • One has to assume that the Joker set them up at the firstn off-route off "Lower Fifth," assuming that if they made it out of his trap they would immediately look for air support.
  • If the giant sonar grid imager was only to be used by Lucius Fox and Bruce knew it would be destroyed after the Joker was captured, why does it have five identical chairs and computer stations?
    • Looks. It's in a (for Batman) public area that more people than just Lucius can get into. Even if Wayne restricted access to that room, someone had to build it. Hence the need for it to look normal. Another option could be that the computer was repurposed from something else and tossing out the extra chairs was an unnecessary opening for questions.
      • For that matter, it might have taken a whole bunch of programmers to build. You might need five very good coders to finish that sort of thing, even after it was mostly assembled.
  • The Nomex survival suit Batman used in the first film was capable of stopping a knife attack and a glancing hit from a bullet. Batman eschews it in favour of lighter armor that makes him more vulnerable to both. In The Dark Knight, Batman suffers a glancing gut shot and in The Dark Knight Rises, he gets a knife in the kidneys. How easily he could have turned the tables if he'd kept the tougher armor...
    • The new armor being lighter than the first one is exactly the point in changing the armor. Batman traded protection for mobility.In his original armor,he couldn't even turn his head.
  • This troper is always confused when fans play the "[Joker actor] is better than [Joker actor]" game, esp. in the aftermath of Heath Ledger posthumously winning the Academy Award. How can the various performances be compared? Sure, they're playing the same character in name and very broad strokes, but each interpretation and each Batman universe in television and film are so vastly different from the others, I don't think they can be apples to apples. From Cesar Romero in the campy 60's show to Nicholson in Burton's Gothic, grotesque world to Mark Hamill's Joker in the DCAU (who's not shackled by reality in animation, but also had to play within the rules of Saturday morning TV) to Ledger in the more grounded Nolan universe, these are four very distinct types of performances that are hard to compare outside of the name (hell, even Hamill's performance in the Arkham games could be a separate entity, given he could go to darker places now that his Joker was freed from children's television). I'm even more befuddled by fans trying to argue that one performance "is more true to the comics" than another; Bob Kane himself has said that the beauty of Batman is that its world could be interpreted in endless ways. Because there's no true, concrete Joker, who's really to say one's more authentic to the next considering how radically different the character can be from one iteration to the next, not just in comics, but in film (consider the Jack Napier background in Burton's film in contrast to the enigmatic Joker of Nolan's). As someone who's a fan of the B:TAS series, the Burton films, and the Nolan films, why can't we appreciate how each performance works within the diverse Bat-universes they occupy and co-exist together, as opposed to having endless fruitless debates about who's better, who's more "authentic", etc.?
    • That all actually acts as a bit of Fridge Brilliance. In every universe, the Joker is generally the villain to push Batman the furthest, without ever pushing too far. Example, B:TAS Joker wouldn't fit in the Nolanverse series. Similarly, 60's Joker would be utterly lost in B:TAS. No matter the adaption, the Joker becomes the villain that version of Batman needs to reach his fullest potential.
  • Much is made of Batman's Thou Shalt Not Kill ethic, but of the saga's six major villains (Scarecrow, Ras al Ghul, Joker, Two-Face, Bane, and Talia) only two, Joker and Scarecrow, survive to the end.

    Fridge Horror 
  • In Batman Begins, remember the really cool scene riding the Batmobile over the rooftops with that girl inside? Got it? Now remember she was still under the influence of the Scarecrow's literal Nightmare Fuel and imagine what that already scary ride must have looked like...
    • Remember in the Dark Knight, how there was all that build-up about the Joker causing people in Gotham to turn on each other and let them tear the city apart? Remember how it took time to do, and Batman had time to head it off? Yeah, Scarecrow's fear toxin could have done all of that in about thirty seconds if Batman hadn't stopped the train.
      • Also, he took his time stopping the train. At least few thousand apartments were passed at that point already, so while most of Gotham City was saved, at least few thousand denizens went mad any way.
      • That explains why so many Gothamites are crazy... which may also explain the Joker. That's right, the Joker was created by the machinations of the League of Shadows!
    • Bruce refuses to execute the petty criminal at the end of his training, but as he escapes he deliberately burns down the entire building in desperation, with all the trainees inside and including the petty criminal who was tied up. Which explains why Batman is so determined to avoid killing.
    • Rewatching the final scene from Batman Begins knowing in hindsight just how much destruction The Joker would cause in the next film sends more of a chill down my spine than it did when I first watched the film. With all my knowledge of Batman, nothing quite prepared me for what I would see in three years time.
  • A bit of Fridge Horror from the comics. Harvey calls the coin his father's lucky coin. Seems like a random line until you realise that in the comics Harvey's dad would flip that coin to decide whether or not to beat Harvey. Heads he would; tails he wouldn't. Now what's unique about Harvey's coin.....
  • Before his corruption, Harvey was called "Two-Face" by Gordon and others. Now, if he's really a righteous White Knight, then why does he have such a nickname?
    • Because, being a detective in internal affairs (which was his job before he became a DA), he was tasked with the job of rooting out corruption in the police force itself- essencialy spying on his co-workers. Since the GCPD is full of corrupt cops, it makes sense for them to think of Harvey as a "two- faced" traitor. Nothing to do with his actual personality.
    • On that note, Harvey is nice in public and to Rachel, and also keeps his cool when getting shot at. But he is very easily angered by the equally upstanding Gordon for working with corrupt cops... even though Gordon has no other feasible choice besides the masked vigilante.
  • In the scene from The Dark Knight where the Joker is meeting with the mob bosses and he proposes killing Batman, on boss retorts "If it's so simple, why haven't you done it already?" The Joker replies "If you're good at something, never do it for free." Now, pause for a moment. Consider that Joker's not saying he's good at just killing people in general, and he's not just being really loopy. How does he know if he's good at killing vigilantes unless he's done it several times before?
    • Just to add more proof. Remember the other vigilante the joker killed? The Batman wannabe? Yeah, well there were more than just one of those guys running around and that's just the one WE KNOW ABOUT. And we know how sadistic the Joker is and if you didn't before, you knew after seeing THAT scene.
    • I always took it as he is good at killing people, not vigilantes in specific.
    • Or maybe that's why there's no Green Arrow or The Question in the Dark Knight Saga...
  • Some scenes in The Dark Knight with Gordon's son become somewhat creepy with the recent development in the comics that James Jr. grows up to be a psychopath
  • Which sounds more like the Joker: Steal a firetruck to set it on fire and use as a roadblock, or wait for a fire truck loaded with firemen to set on fire and use as a road block.
  • This may not count as Fridge Horror, given how the initial situation was already horrible, but the ending of The Dark Knight is even sadder now that The Dark Knight Rises has been released and we know how that scene affected Gordon's family in years to come.
  • "Five dead, two of them cops." That would mean that Dent managed to ice anywhere between one and three people offscreen and that there may have been at least one more corrupt cop in the GCPD besides Wuertz (who is confirmed dead) and Ramirez by the time TDK takes place.
  • In Rises, the Gender Neutral Writing surrounding Talia as a child makes sense in light of the fact that she was born in a prison, so there would have been very practical reasons for hiding the fact that she was female, and add to that the heavy implication that her mother was raped before the other prisoners killed her and it reaches a whole new level of Fridge Horror.
    • Adding to this, it doesn't initially make sense that young Bane's protector should be attacked in the riot for helping him escape. But after Talia's reveal as the child in the Pit, the reason becomes perfectly and horrifyingly clear: he cost the prisoners the only other female down there.
  • In Rises Bruce kicks down a rope after escaping the prison pit for the other inmates to escape. But why were they there to begin with? Maybe they were murderers and rapists that Bruce just helped out of their prison.
    • Considering that the prison has been under Bane's power for years at that point, it's unlikely that any of the prisoners had a fair hearing, whatever they may or may not be guilty of. And it was strongly implied that Talia had all her mother's killers executed when Ra's al Ghul's men stormed the place.
    • Bruce had been down there a good while at that point. I'm sure he had time to decide they're not such bad guys.
      • They already had a rope and couldn't escape. How is Batman giving them another rope any help at all? Besides, the only two people to have ever escaped didn't use a rope.
      • The rope they had wasn't attached at the top hanging down. The rope Bruce drops, they can just grab it and climb straight up.
    • I think the doctor that helps Bruce get back on his feet said that everyone in the Pit were actually Bane's enemies.
      • Still a bit of fridge horror, since one of the stated purposes of the League of Shadows was to maintain order in the world. A rather sociopathic order, but still, most of the people who are a threat to the order of the _entire world_ are much more likely to be in the category of "competing supervillian" than "hapless bystander". The pit is essentially the mundane version of the Phantom Zone.
      • That is based on the premise that ALL enemies of the League of Shadows are threats to the order of the entire world, and not just enemies of the League of Shadows. That premise is invalidated by Bruce himself. There may have been a few supervillains in the making down there - or there may have been a bunch of people wronged by the League, or given a harsh sentence for opposing it - or even both.
      • In addition to all of this, one of the reasons why the original prisoners were so brutal to Talia and her mother in the first place is because they were the wife and (for all they knew) child of the warlord that threw them down there. Still terrible, yes, but if the ones helped by Bruce were the same as the ones from before it's possible they wouldn't behave that way to everyone they encountered.
  • In The Dark Knight, Batman flips the truck to capture the Joker. The Joker and a goon survive, albeit dazed. Good thing they wore their seat belts. But wait! We saw earlier that there were other goons inside the trailer of the truck. They weren't wearing seat belts...
  • In the famous money burning scene in The Dark Knight, the Joker threatens Chechen to cut him into little pieces and feed him to his dogs. What if it wasn't just a vague threat, and he actually did it? We don't see Chechen anymore and the Joker's definitely crazy enough to do this.
    • He actually did it in the book; at the very least, it sounded more like an order than a threat.
  • Remember what the Joker said about ordinary people, how they will eat each other when things go bad? What happens in The Dark Knight Rises? The people go nuts and begin attacking each other. The Joker was right all along. He just failed to push the ordinary people hard enough.
    • It's also a bit scary how the people might have attacked the upper class members off screen. The on screen shots were pretty brief, but you can see them dragging them out of hiding. A lot of these people are either ex-convicts or crazed mobs targeting women and children. You got to wonder just how far they went into attacking them.
  • After the Joker tosses Rachel out the window in The Dark Knight and Batman leaps after her, we don't see what happens next. Presumably, the Joker made a getaway, but being who he is, it's very unlikely he did so without shooting as many people as he could to piss off Batman and Harvey first.
  • Serious Fridge Horror for any comic readers in Rises. (WARNING: SPOILERS)
    • After Bruce is bankrupt as part of Bane's scheme, he and Miranda Tate Talia Al Ghul reside in Wayne Manor, where they proceed to have sex. Stop here. Now, go read Batman&Son. Bruce had a biological son from Talia Al Ghul. Skip to the end of the film, where Miranda (who has dropped her secret identity) dies. If you haven't guessed already, Batman himself indirectly violated his one rule. Not that this Horror hasn't happened already.
  • One of the Joker's goals is to get people to abandon their principles in the face of trouble. Fox objects to Batman's cell phone plan, then goes along with it because it's an emergency. Ergo, did the Joker win?
    • He didn't. Fox was willing to do it once, and only once, and he destroyed the device afterwards.
  • Jen might not survive very long without Selina's protection. She seems a little clueless generally and it is probably only a matter of time before she tries to rob the wrong guy - especially since The Dark Knight Rises implies she isn't a very good pick pocket.
  • Many viewers complain about Bruce's off-camera return to a quarantined Gotham after escaping from the Pit. To do so, he would have had to fly in (unlikely, since Bruce probably didn't have access to an aircraft or an unobserved place to land within city limits, and since the military was monitoring the Gotham airspace), traverse the remaining undamaged, but heavily-guarded bridge, or cross the thin ice that killed everyone else who tried to do that. But in "Begins" he is constantly reminded by Ra's/Ducard to "mind his surroundings" and the lesson is driven home during a training duel on a sheet of cracking ice when Bruce initially seems to defeat Ra's, but then Ra's causes Bruce to fall through. Yep, Ra's himself taught Bruce the skills necessary to cross the ice to re-enter Gotham.

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