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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
The Dark Knight Saga
"Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded."

If Heath Ledger survived The Joker would have been the judge.
Well wouldn't you think too.

All of the mobsters survived the Joker.
Gambol, the Chechen, and Maroni all survived. Joker threatened to feed the Chechen to dogs but we never see him do it and he is captured by the police shortly afterwards. Odds are, his men, who probably have Mafia loyalty, release him afterwards. Maroni's fate lands heads up yet he did get in a car crash. But Two-Face wouldn't want to kill someone that his coin told him not to. So the crash just incapacitated Maroni for a while so Two Face could escape the car. Gambol had his cheek slashed open and that's it. It, as many fans pointed out, shouldn't be fatal. The Joker left the building and told his henchmen to supervise the "tryouts." If I was Gambol, I'd use the distraction and then get the hell out of the building, get to a hospital, and then get as far away from Gotham as he could.

Rachel Dawes died soon after the events of Batman Begins.
Maggie Gyllenhaal played an impostor who manipulated Bruce and Alfred using what she learned treating the real Rachel Dawes for fear toxin exposure and her own pharmaceuticals. She was recognized by the Joker and may or may not have died from his machinations. Maggie Gyllenhaal played Harleen Quinzel playing Rachel Dawes.

The Prison in 'Rises was the Lazarus Pit.
  • In the comics, the Lazarus Pit is synonymous with the League of Shadows. It's only fitting that Nolan and co. would rework it for the movies, which he did. In The Dark Knight Rises, the pit prison, located somewhere in, er, Morocco? Somewhere. In the second act, Bruce goes into the pit broken and after his months-long physical and spiritual recovery, emerges restored, just like the mystical pool from the DC universe, minus the mysticism. There are references to Ra's al Ghul's metaphorical resurrection from the pit as well, in the form of Talia and Bane carrying on his legacy after climbing to freedom and Bruce's hallucinogenic meeting with Ra's himself.

The Prison in 'Rises REALLY WAS the Lazarus Pit.
I mean in the mystical sense. Entering AND escaping the pit has the same super natural effects as the liquid dip in the comics. Only the effects of the pit are more subtle. That's how Batman was able to get to Gotham (from another country) fast enough before the bomb exploded as well as surviving the explosion in the first place. Ra's actually appeared before Bruce as well, he was exposed to the Pit to the point that he developed an astral form.
  • It explains Bane being older than he looks. If Bane was Talia's protector in the pit when Talia was a child, he had to be at least in his late teens, more likely his 20s, when she was born. Talia, meanwhile, looked only around 8 to 12 when she got out. This means that Bane likely had to be at least 30 before the League of Shadows got him out. This movie likely takes place 20 to 30 years after that, while Talia is in her 30s... Bane is probably between 50 and 60, but he's still capable of kicking huge amounts of ass. It's not impossible in real life, but it would have been seriously helped along by the Lazarus Pit, especially with that physique. As for the rest of the prisoners in the pit... Um... Maybe you specifically have to rise out of the pit to get its effects? To get the immortality offered by the pit, at least in the movie-verse, you may need to be strong enough in mind and body to rise.note 

The Joker is Koh.
I've been Spending too much time on the A:tLA page. Anyway, Koh is basically a troll anyhow and he did tell Aang that they would meet again (disregard the online game thingy). So! Going with the theory that the Spirit World is Just another dimension, Koh got bored with the avatarverse and peeked into the nolanverse. He spotted a man with an interesting face 'Jack Napier' after he had a be abused by his father, mutilated and self mutilated. I think even Napier would have some kind of reaction to Koh. Koh would then steal his face, put on some make up and seek out the nolanverse equivalent of the Avatar who is... Harvey Dent! Koh, still in his joker body/face also 'stole' Dent's face. or at least half. Harvey Dent is the Avatar.

The reason he wears makeup is because he wants to mimic his REAL face on the face of the man he stole.

Joker's name is J. Kerr
  • This was either is real name, and he saw that it resembled "Joker", or he decided to change his original name to it (like how Eddie Nashton -> Edward Nigma -> E.Nigma -> The Riddler). If he were caught, having a fake "real name" could cover for his actual name! Also, the J could stand for Jack, in reference to the last set films.

Bane is Ra's al Ghul.
Bane calls himself "Gotham's reckoning". Badass enough. He has the means, knowledge, and resources to detonate bridges, football stadiums, and orchestrate mass breakouts from Blackgate Prison / Arkham Asylum. Also fairly badass, and ultimately within the means of a terrorist of his caliber. But here's where things get interesting; Bane knows Batman's secret identity, which even eight years into retirement, Bruce has taken pains to protect. Bane is also a match for Batman's combat skills, and (assuming the trailers aren't lying their asses off) bests him at least once during the course of the film. And according to Word of God, the mask Bane wears is the result of an injury, possibly of the sent-careening-to-his-death-on-a-flaming-train variety...

And last but not least, the movie's trailers have a serious Occupy Gotham vibe. What was Ra's al Ghul's initial plan for destroying Gotham? Economics.
  • Sort of. He's the new leader of the League of Shadows, and he's introduced as Ra's al Ghul's son. It turns out to be a Red Herring, though.

Commissioner Gordon will die in Rises.
He's a likable major character in an action movie, on the verge of retirement, and was in the hospital in the first trailer. How much you wanna bet his last words will be "and you'll never have to?"
  • Jossed

Nolan will eventually make a movie of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
When the title of the third film was revealed, a pretty good number of people complained that it sounded awkward, and that they should have chosen a catchier title. Understandably, a few people wondered why he didn't bother to include the hero's name in the title. Could it be that he wanted to make the title sound similar to The Dark Knight Returns so that the name could be used for a fourth movie? The Dark Knight Rises being followed by Batman: The Dark Knight Returns—it definitely sounds fitting. Sure, Nolan has said that he wants Rises to definitively end the series, but that doesn't preclude the possibility of making a Distant Finale at some indeterminate point in the future. Theoretically, a Returns movie could function more as an epilogue to the series than as a sequel, and it would give him a chance to examine Batman's legacy and the effect that his crusade has on Gotham in the long run. He could even make a Batman Beyond movie, and it would serve the same purpose.
  • Loosely confirmed. The Dark Knight Rises is an amalgam of The Dark Knight Returns and Knightfall.

The series will end with Jimmy Gordon becoming Gotham's new superhero
The eight-year gap between The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises seems a little odd, especially since only four years have passed between those two movies in the real world. So why the time-skip? Could it be that they wanted to end the series at a point when Commissioner Gordon's son would be old enough to take up crime-fighting? The first trailer for Rises seems to imply that there's a distinct possibility that Gordon won't live through the third movie—this could give Gordon Jr. the motivation to become a vigilante, and it would give him a good origin story that mirrors Bruce's. Also, the fact that Bane is the villain of the series' final movie means that there's a distinct possibility that Bruce will wind up paralyzed by the end—if this does happen, he'll need someone to act as his successor.
  • I would like this far better than what happened to him in the comics.
  • Jossed. We briefly learn that Gordon's wife left him and moved to Cleveland with their children after the events of The Dark Knight. Beyond this, Jimmy and the other Gordon children are never mentioned. It's implied that Robin "John" Blake will become Batman's successor.

The League of Shadows is still around, and still as strong as ever
The big revelation about Henri Ducard being Ra's Al-Ghul still leaves an important question unanswered. As anyone who's read the comics knows, the name "Ra's Al-Ghul" means "The Demon's Head" in Arabic—why the hell would a clan of ninjas based in the mountains of East Asia take their marching orders from someone with an Arabic code-name? This is particularly surprising since, as Ducard indicates, the name has been passed down by the League's leaders for thousands of years. The answer? The League of Shadows that Bruce fought in the first movie was just a cell of a much larger organization whose leadership is based in the Middle East. By foiling their first attempt to destroy Gotham, Bruce merely got the attention of the really powerful men in the League's inner circle. By the time Rises comes around, they'll have had around ten years to plan their revenge against him. Maybe they're the ones holding Bane's leash...
  • Though most of this remains to be seen, the part about the League of Shadows having leaders based in the Middle East is starting to seem very likely. Remember that Ominous Latin Chanting in the trailers that caught everyone's attention? That's not Latin—it's Moroccan Arabic.
  • Confirmed. Ra's Al-Ghul was the leader, but his daughter took over after his death.

The Joker renamed the two dogs "Bud and Lou" at the end...
..since that's what his hyenas were called.

The Dark Knight Saga is in the same universe as Get Smart.
The Joker explicitly states to Harvey Dent, "I'm an agent of KAOS." KAOS recruited the Joker to devastate Gotham City, much like The League of Shadows, except for political or financial purposes. CONTROL hesitated to intervene because of the wild card that is Batman. However, now that Batman is temporarily out of the picture, CONTROL will send in Agent 99, aka Selina Kyle under the guise of Catwoman to disrupt KAOS' operations. Thus, Anne Hathaway is actually reprising her role from the Get Smart film in The Dark Knight Rises.

Batman is Patrick Bateman.
It was already heavily implied in American Psycho that Patrick Bateman's murders & general Axe Craziness was in fact all part of a delusion; he broke down even further, reimagining himself as he'd like to be (a good person, basically; note the similarity between the names Bateman and Batman) and reimagining New York as a highly stylised Gotham City. The Joker is a manifestation of all of Bateman's dark urges, the same urges that were manifesting themselves as fantasies of murder, mutilation & mayhem in American Psycho. & who knows? Perhaps Harvey Dent is based on a real-life DA candidate that Bateman doesn't trust, & perhaps Dr. Jonathan Crane was a psychiatrist Bateman saw (that's assuming someone finally noticed that he needs one) with whom he wasn't comfortable, &c., &c.. The lack of major female rôles is a consequence of Bateman's sexist tendencies. OR, even better, all of American Psycho was a delusion suffered by Bale's character in The Machinist, in an Inception-like maze of dreams within dreams.

Ra's al-Ghul is still alive.
The man has built a career around escaping death, and all we saw of his "demise" was the train crashing. Who's to say he couldn't have gotten to safety? After all, most of Begins was a lead-up to The Reveal that (the real) Ra's wasn't dead.
  • His appearance in Part 3 would be a great way to bookend the series, and would probably occur just prior to the endgame, likely with something like, "How many times do I have to tell you that Ra's al-Ghul is immortal?" and The Reveal that he's been manipulating things from behind the scenes throughout "The Dark Knight" and afterward, including the entire plot of the third movie which would come with its own false reveal.
  • Confirmed?
  • Not exactly, but close. His daughter took over the League of Shadows after he died. Also, Ra's did say something like the above statement to Bruce Wayne in a hallucination.

The Joker is a troll.
He causes chaos and havoc for the lulz, corrupts people, and his face bears a resemblance to the Trollface/Coolface mascot. He was probably an internet troll who decided to go public.
  • Yeah, but, he likes Maggie Gyllenhaal, so he can't be a troll.
    • He held a knife against her cheek and blew her up. He was like "Hello, beautiful (lol jk chipmunkface)"
  • This Troper is a geek, her sister refuses to read comics but will see the odd comic film. Coming out of the film, Troper and Troper's Sister were discussing Joker's makeup. Troper's Sister responded "He hasn't perfected putting it on yet." Then it hit me. There was no chemical spill, no tragic backstory...or we'd have seen one. This Joker is just a guy who decided to put on makeup and be a dick to Batman because he found it amusing.

Batman will die or, at the very least, be horribly crippled in the third movie.
This will push the Darker and Edgier angle of the series to its logical extreme.
  • After he is crippled, the Batman mantle will be taken up by Jean-Paul Valley.
    • And the movie will be titled Knightfall.
  • Well, the third movie, The Dark Knight Rises, now stars Bane. And we all know what that means...
  • This article makes a very good case as to why Nolan would do this.

Batman never intended for Harvey to die
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!
  • That's not WMG. That's just canon.
  • I don't believe Harvey's dead. Just because of Rule Of He's Still Alive In The Comics.
    • Then you should get used to Rule of Nolan's Movies Are Set On Their Own Free Continuity With Beginning Middle And End - Which Is TDKR.

The Joker can be two people.
Before you start throwing rotten fruit at me, just listen. What we need are a face, a body, and a voice. The face and body, we can get easily. The voice WILL be difficult. Now, who do we know that can pull off a Joker voice?

Mark Hamill.

Before you start to kill me, I've already run this by a friend who is cookoo for comic puffs, and he agrees with it!

The Joker is actually Ronald McDonald
Well, it makes sense when you really think about it.

The Joker is incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
Current administration notwithstanding, the Gotham City Police have the Joker in custody. His actions legally classify him as a terrorist and they've seen how much damage he can do when he's incarcerated even at the maximum security that a holding cell can provide. So they turn him over to the Federal Government as a prime terrorism suspect, the feds ship him to some sort of overseas prison or perhaps to a prison ship. Now suppose The Joker (being The Joker) escapes from Gitmo and begins wreaking havoc throughout Cuba. The feds send in the Marines to kill him and napalm a significant patch of jungle in hopes of ending the Joker for good. This can all happen off-screen and explain the Joker's absence. Bonus points for continuing the "burn the forest down" metaphor.

The Joker will be executed between The Dark Knight and the third movie
He's not the type to plead "not guilty" or enter an insanity plea which would keep him out of Arkham. He would gleefully and proudly take responsibility for all the destruction, death, and mayhem he caused. All that admitted premeditated murder only warrents one punishment. Plus it's a nice explaination to get rid of the Joker after Ledger's death and could impact the story when mysterious Joker-style crimes start popping up again.
  • You have never read of comic book in your entire life, have you? The Joker ALWAYS pleads Insanity, and he ALWAYS gets it. Also, he did in-fact plead Not Guilty once, because he honestly didn't kill the person they said he did. This is how Batman knew he was telling the truth, and he begrudgingly set out to find who was trying to frame the Joker.
    • I have read more comic books than it took to push the Flaming Carrot over the edge and this is not about comics, this is about the realism the movies are trying to establish and there is simply no way the Joker is making it to a third movie alive, he will either be exceuted or killed in prison. He's pissed off way too many people in that city to realistically be allowed to live.
      • Actually (speaking as a psychologist) the Joker could, potentially, plead insanity; all he'd have to do is convince people that he legitimately did not know that what he was doing was wrong, OR that he was compelled to do it by his mental illness and had no way of resisting. It has been demonstrated in the films that Gotham is the type of town where "convincing" a jury is easy enough if you have enough money to go around... though in the Joker's case, that would probably be a lot of money. (Let's hope he didn't burn all of those millions of dollars, hm?)
      • The thing is though is that the Joker wouldn't do that because he honestly doesn't think he's insane, he'd either plead guilty (because he's proud he did it) or not guilty (just for the fun of screwing with people during the proceedings).
      • The Joker could be declared mentally incompetent and be slung in Arkham until he is found competent again. That's unlikely, though.
      • He wouldn't be. He's legally a terrorist, and would be considered a federal-level criminal. Any evidence of bribery (and this trial would a case under national scrutiny) would get the case kicked up to a higher circuit court. In any realistic case he'd be in solitary for life, disappeared by Homeland Security, tortured in some Eastern European country, and detained somewhere, or put to death.
      • Also, pleading insanity is actually very difficult.
    • Joker from the comics always pleads insanity, but Ledger's Joker is different and more likely to plead guilty. His whole philosophy is based on the fact that he is willing to admit being a complete monster, unlike others who deny it.
  • Or they'll pull the whole "he's gone but we won't say why" option.

The Joker knew Batman was Bruce Wayne
Its quite clear that during his Hannibal Lecture, the Joker figured out that Batman was in love with Rachel, and he's already ruled out Harvey Dent being Batman. From there, it wouldn't be hard to run down the list of men who've been involved with Rachel, romantically or otherwise. From there, it wouldn't be hard to figure out which ones would have the resources and capabilities to do what Batman does. Who sits at the top of that list? Bruce Wayne. Now, why doesn't the Joker act on this? Because he doesn't care.
  • Oh but he does act on this. Forcing Batman to kill the man who stole his gal, which would of course lead to him questioning his morals, and then the dilemma of "Am I killing Two-Face for being an evil bitch, or am I killing Harvey Dent for stealing my bitch?"
  • Except that The Joker went out of his way to prevent the blackmailer from revealing who Batman is because he didn't want the secret spoiled. But that didn't mean he mightn't have suspected it. Yet as Lois Lane said as regards the Clark Kent/Superman thing when Supes revealed himself to her, "Suspecting something and believing it aren't necessarily the same thing."
  • Its not about Batman the person, its about Batman the symbol; if it got out that Bruce was Batman, the police would move in, and he'd be arrested. That would destroy the person, and leave the symbol in tact. Also, it would shift the public's attention off the symbol and onto the person. Joker wanted to destroy the whole concept of batman, not the person. He needed Batman as, for all intents and purposes, a separate entity from Bruce.

The Joker lied about his Prisoner's Dilemma
Both boat pilots were given the detonator to their own boat. The Joker lied when he said he was giving them the detonator to the other boat. I have absolutely no evidence for this, it just seems like something the Joker would do.
  • Alternatively, there were no explosives on any of the boats. He expected both sets of passengers to use the detonators, and letting everyone live with that guilt probably seemed funnier to him than killing them.
  • Alternatively, each detonator would blow up both boats. This would fit the Joker's personality even more.
    • Or even the Joker didn't know what detonator did what.
      • I do like the idea that the Joker intentionally stopped paying attention while constructing the detonators and setting the channels on the receivers.
    • The best thing about all three detonators blowing up both boats is that the Joker's entire explanation would still have been true: Each captain's detonator would blow up the other boat (along with his own), and his own boat would not blow up at midnight (because it already would have blown up when his detonator was used). Sure, some information was left out, but nothing he said would actually have been false.
  • The detonators blow up something entirely random. They push the button, and the camera does a fast cut to something random exploding.
    • Possibly the hospital.
    • Or the yellow van.
    • Maybe the detonators blow up THE JOKER!
      • As I said on the Fridge Brilliance page or somewhere, the great thing about the situation is that there's no telling what would have happened. The Joker's extreme unpredictability is what makes him the bogeyman of even the most vastly superpowered fellow DCU supervillains.
  • All three detonators only blow up the prisoners' boat. The Joker would get to tell the public that the civilians resorted to murder, no matter what the actual outcome was.
  • The detonators were designed to just blow themselves up when activated. The batteries were just small batteries inside the cases of larger batteries, the rest of the cases' insides being some sort of blasting material. It would have the benefit of both Classic Joker's lethal pranks (in this case, and upgraded palm buzzer), and it would have the mark of (fandom's perception of) the TDK Joker by permanently branding those who made the morally wrong choice but letting them survive no matter what choice the other made. This also means it would have been obvious once the boats docked that it was the prison warden or officer or whatever who pressed the button, and not some sort of little uprising among the cuffed and shackled prisoners against the armed man surrounded by guards who got the detonator in the first place.

The Prisoner's Dilemma would have done exactly what it claimed to.
  • Related to above. What reason does the Joker have to lie? The outcome as he's planned it is perfect one way or the other as he sees it. Either a whole bunch of civilians get blown up, in which case the prisoners would be blamed, or the boat staff would be blamed, or the boat full of civilians have just blown up an entire boat of other people, and the social experiment has proven that ordinary people are able to kill people if pushed too far, which is what the Joker already tried to prove with Two-Face and Batman himself. He has absolutely no reason for lying.
    • He had no reason to lie about the respective locations of Rachel and Harvey Dent, and he also had no reason to lie about where his scars came from. He's a liar. The reason is because it amuses him. If it did exactly what he said it would do, it would be terrible, but everybody would have known what to expect. But if he was lying, then the thesis statement of the social experiment is still valid, but now, in addition, he has wrought even more chaos.
      • He did have a reason to lie about where Rachel and Harvey were: namely, to fuck Batman's shit up. imagine how Batman felt when he saw it was Harvey? Now imagine, he's up fighting the Joker, suddenly one of the boats explodes. The Joker leers at Batman, his twisted grin splitting his pale face. "You see, Bats, each boat had a detonator, and each group was told it would blow up the other boat. But really it blew up their own boat!" Batman: "..."
      • This troper disagrees, the boat experiment really was about the people on the boat, not Batman. If he was successful, an entire boatful of people would have killed another boatful of people. That would have been a wonderful validation of the Joker's beliefs and ethos, and showed to a boatload of people how monstrous they really were. That's his philosophy as presented in the movie, to show how people really -are- when they're pressed. Allowing one boat to kill the other will show that sticking by "nobility" will get you killed by those who are more "honest." But having a boat's passengers blow themselves up would allow the surviving boat's crew to appear noble, uncorrupted, and rewarded for taking the high moral ground, just what the Joker despises. He lets those who have been corrupted and become raw and pure in his eyes to go, while killing those who resist baser instincts.
      • This is one reason why he doesn't kill Harvey Dent in the hospital, because as Two-Face, Harvey is a pure expression of the true violent self we try to hide under a veneer of nobility. Releasing Dent will show the people in the city that even the noblest will turn to murder and hatred.
      • New possibility. He did have a valid reason to lie. Because it's funny.

Mr. Reese uses his deductive reasoning and attention to detail to figure out who Batman really is, an ability shown by someone else... Mister Reese = Mysteries = The Riddler!
Makes as much sense as "E. Nigma"
  • After he was "saved" by Bruce Wayne from being killed, Reese decided to back off for awhile until the Joker situation is resolved or contained. Then he come back to stalk Batman/Bruce Wayne. As we see in the film, Reese is interested in making money and is not happy when Bruce disagrees with Lau's proposal. He may or may not be aware that Lau was a criminal. In the second sequel, not only will he try to blackmail Bruce for money or he'll reveal his secret identity, but he'll also figure out what really happened to Harvey Dent. He'll learn that Batman, Gordon and the few cops are hiding the truth that Harvey killed people, thus threatening people's faith and hopes. Reese may also find out that Rachel chose Harvey and emotionally defeat Batman (temporarily). If Harvey DOES come back, then Reese will probably tell Harvey that Bruce is Batman and tricks him into thinking he let Rachel die because if Bruce can't have her no one can.
    • The Nolanverse has stayed faithful to the comics as far as names go. Origins, not so much but Riddler wouldn't be the same without the E.Nigma.
      • If that were true, John Robin Blake would have been named Dick Grayson. This WMG is still valid until Jossed.

The Bank Manager Joker gassed is also on the road to becoming a traditional Batman villain.
Has a respect for traditional organized crime... Ventriloquist? Joker gives him a "doesn't kill you makes you stranger" line that sounds a lot like foreshadowing, then possibly disfigures him with some kind of toxin... Black Mask? Taking any suggestions.

Mister Reese is actually Mister E.
Eventually, he'll lose his eyes in an accident and get involved with magic.

Dent/Two-Face survived.
Expanding on this, Word of God only confirmed the death of Harvey Dent. Not Two-Face.

So did Rachel Dawes.
The equation: Some inconsistencies in her death scene + It's been announced that the actress who played Rachel may (with a big maybe) play Catwoman in the next sequel = Rachel survived and is to become Selina Kyle/the Catwoman!
  • It also makes sense because, in the story that part of the movie is based on, Harvey's wife survives, and she goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge because of what happened to him.
  • Jossed; Selina Kyle is played by Anne Hathaway and is a separate character.
  • And, at any rate, if Rachel Dawes survived, she'd probably be called Phantasm. "Bruce Wayne...your angel of death awaits."

If this is JUST gonna be a trilogy, then I'm Elvis, my dad is Bigfoot and my mom is Wonder Woman
Let's be realist here. Do you REALLY think Warner Bros is gonna kill one of their most lucrative cash cows? That is NOT a smart business decision, at all. Trust me, we are gonna get Dark Knight 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.... (just like the Saw movies).
  • Yo, Elvis Bigfoot, son of Diana. :P
  • The films with Nolan are going to end with three. Warner will almost certainly make more with someone else, hopefully not resulting in another Schumacher debacle.
    • Schumacle?
  • There are several directors that could make a good batman film.
    • If I recall back in the 90's Alex Proyas was considered because of his work on The Crow.
    • Imagine giving the reigns to Joss Wheedon.
    • Or someone like Tarsem Singh, especially after his work on The Cell, and The Fall.
  • So when is New Line going to make Lord of the Rings 4?
    • It comes out this Xmas, it's called the Hobbit. Same cast, crew, FX team, director.....
    • Well, that's a limited literary adaptation, while Batman has over 60 years of comics and tens of villains to draw on. And on a technical note to that claim, Observe!

The Joker's scars were self-inflicted.
Consider his fascination with knives, and the way he's always drawing attention to his scars. It's reasonable to imagine that he did them himself, not to cheer up some phony-baloney wife or anything, but as another part of his theatrical image, another layer of "war paint". Or he did it because he was bored one day - this is The Joker, after all.
  • To go even further, he made them specifically so he could tell people bull about how he got his scars.
  • A theory flying about in Batman boards before the film came out was that the one scar was part of an accident or an attack and the other is self-inflicted, to even it up.
    • This, plus the bullet theory from just below, is the most likely. Here are some high detail images of some "Heath Ledger as The Joker" action figures. The scar on the right cheek is clearly a carved smile, while the left cheek looks considerably messier. It actually looks like a hole instead of a cut.

The Joker's scars were NOT self-inflicted.
His reaction when Gambol and the Chechen call him a freak suggests that this is not exactly his favorite nickname, although he refers to himself as such. It seems likely that the wounds that caused the scars were inflicted when he was quite young, and the taunting over it led to his aversion to being called a freak. The different stories about their origins - all of them horrific - is a coping mechanism that allows him to scare the crap out of people without sharing the painful truth behind it. (Note that this possibility, while sad, does not excuse any of the horrible things that he does, nor am I trying to say that it does.)
  • I'm thinking his origin will be based on The Killing Joke.
  • I had a thought that Jack Napier had his face shot by a sniper, the bullet only hit the side of his face and blew up the cheeks. Think about it, why is it always a knife? A bullet can do the same thing.

One of the Joker's scars was not self-inflicted, but the other was
Looking at the scars, one is a very clean, recognizable smile. The other is a mangled mess. While this troper was looking at facial appliances at a party shop for his Joker costume, he noticed that a .38 bullet wound appliance looks almost exactly like the mangled scar. So the first wound was inflicted on him by someone else, the other by himself to "even things out". Which leads us to...

The Joker told the truth about his scars.
The cleanly cut smiling scar was from his father, Joker gives a similar one to his victim after the story. The messy scar was self-inflicted for his wife.

The Joker's Start of Darkness had something to do with the Mob
While the Joker wreaks havoc indiscriminately thoughout the movie, he seems to have a thing for organized crime. He specifically chooses a mob bank for the opening heist, he walks into a meeting of the different gangs fully armed and prepared to detonate the entire building, and when telling Batman he doesn't want to kill him specifically states that he would have to "go back to robbing mob banks?". Both of his stories involve a woman close to him being harmed, which could be him leading up to telling Batman a story about his "poor beautiful daughter" before Bats catches him by surprise. Going with either the WMG above or the completely not self-inflicted WMG, it would make sense if he had somehow survived getting shot IN THE MOUTH by a mobster for whatever reason, possibly actually losing a woman close to him in the process. The incident makes him undergo a self-Hannibal Lecture that sets him on the path we see in the movie.
  • Well, you see, it's because it's organized crime.
  • Nope, he goes after the mob because Batman is going after the mob.

Mike Engel will become The Question.
After his torture at the hands of the Joker, he's severely imbalanced. He'll be inspired by the idea of a Batman that kills and don a faceless mask.
  • Vic Sage (The Question's secret identity) is a news anchor, that's what inspired this Wild Mass Guess. And Mike Engel was the news anchor who starred in the Gotham Tonight featurettes and appeared several times in the movie. Was hung upside down and read the Joker's threat? Played by Anthony Michael Hall? Any of this ringin' a bell?

The blonde kid from Batman Begins is named Jason Todd
Just for fun

The Joker is Tyler Durden/The Narrator of Fight Club
In the original novel, the Narrator ended up in a mental institution after shooting himself in the head to eliminate Tyler. Given Tyler and the Joker's mutual love for anarchy, skill in recruiting mooks, and the Narrator's past history of Dissociative Identity Disorder, what's to say he didn't undergo another personality fragmentation and end up as a murderous clown?
  • And, in the novel, both his cheeks are torn to pieces by the end. Hmmm...
    • "You wanna know how I got these scars? I had a split personality, you see..."
      • "And my alter ego looked like Brad Pitt and he was insane—he wanted to destroy the world. So I took a gun to my mouth to try to stop him. Instead, I became him. But I don't look like Brad Pitt—why can't I look like Brad Pitt? If I am him, then I should look like him, right? Then why do I look like this?"
  • Would the logical conclusion be, that Joker is the way older Calvin?
  • He and Joker also share a taste for being hit, and laughing manically while this is happening.
  • Also, the Narrator is sometimes referred to as "Jack". It's unclear how canonical this is, but the Tim Burton films do have that as the Joker's real name...

Bruce Wayne IS the Joker
Bruce Wayne is seriously messed up. He stalks the night dressed as a bat. He NEEDS his psychotic side to be unleashed. So he develops another persona, The Joker, his evil split personality, who does all the things Batman wants to, but can't.
  • This means that every scene in which the Joker and Batman are together it is within Batmans mind. When he beats the shit out of the Joker in the interrogation it is, in fact the Joker beating himself up. He's the only one that doesn't understand that he has a split personality. Batman never goes to find Rachel in the warehouse, he understands what will happen and imagines it because he is the Joker.
  • The fight scene at the end is his internal conflict being resolved.
  • The scars? Make up. Prosthetics. Heath Ledger pulled it off, why not Bruce Wayne?
  • Bruce kills Rachel because he has come to despise her.
  • He kills the innocents of Gotham because he realizes that they resent him and he's returning the favor.
  • He drives Harvey insane because he stole Rachel.
  • He can never get his story right because he's making it up as he goes along.
  • Did you see I'm Not There? Batman and The Joker are the same man, and his name is Bob Dylan!

Most of The Dark Knight never happens- it is simply Bruce's fantasy.
At the start of the film, Harvey has mostly cleaned up the city. Without the outrageous levels of crime, Batman is no longer wanted or needed by the city, who now want white knight lawkeepers rather than uncontrollable vigilantes. But Bruce Wayne still needs Batman. He needs to escape the monotony and loneliness of a life with one (busy) friend and no challenges or responsibilities. He needs to be respected and feared for something other than the wealth his parents' deaths brought him. Most of all, he still needs further revenge on criminals for his parents' deaths. The Dark Knight is his guilty fantasy, where his deepest desires play out:
  • A new, unrepentantly evil and extremely dangerous criminal appears, who only Batman can deal with. He tortures and kills the people who impersonate Batman, the people of Gotham (who no longer need Batman) and the legal system that is replacing Batman.
  • Lucius, Bruce's only close companion and parent substitute, is close to perfect- competent at everything, very wise and incorruptible.
  • Rachel dies for choosing a relationship with another man over waiting for him.
  • Harvey, who stole both Rachel and Batman's reason for existing, loses Rachel, suffers horribly, proves not to have the moral fortitude to deal with her death without turning evil (unlike Bruce) and is killed by Batman.
  • Tellingly, by the end of the film, nearly every single protagonist in the film who's not entirely a Red Shirt has been forced to choose between their loved ones and doing the right thing, just as Bruce is being forced to choose between honouring his parents' memory by continuing to be Batman and doing the right thing and gracefully retiring as the now unnecessary Batman.

The Joker is a demon
The Joker came out of nowhere, has no identity, no past and seems to exist solely to cause chaos. Evil people in real life have at least something else they like to do besides cause trouble and always have some kind of past. It could be that the Joker is a demon or spirit sent to cause chaos and misery on Earth. He could also be sent by God as a test of people's faith and righteousness if I may dip into my inner Christian. I know it's part of the mystery of the character, but Two-Face and Batman and Scarecrow got histories so why not the Joker? Even he can't get his own history straight with his "Why So Serious?" tales that change every time he tells it. Either he is that much of a psychopath or he doesn't have a history at all.

The Joker is Loki
Loki could pull off some pretty freaky stuff, and if the rest of the Asgard got fed up and kicked him out, he'd have to find someone else to torment. Even without his supernatural power, he's still got the knowledge and motivation to cause chaos in the human world. If Joker is freakier than Loki, it could be because a) Loki went crazier and that's why he was kicked out, or b) he went completely unhinged as a result of being exiled.
  • "Wanna know how I got these scars? Well, there was this time I wagered my head to a bunch of dwarves..."
    • It makes so much sense! D: He went Crazy after he was impregnated by the horse and his brother used his eight legged demon horse son as a steed!

The Joker was a former Yakuza member
I can't think of any other reason for the dragon tattoo.

The Joker is J.D. from Heathers
J.D. didn't really kill himself, this was just a cover story he convinced Veronica to tell. Reasoning: Christian Slater's performance got compared to Jack Nicholson's work, but as far as Jokers go, his performance bore a scary resemblance to Heath Ledger's.
  • "Greetings and Salutations Commissioner..."
  • !!!!! This awesome theory wins 150 Internet Points!

The Joker is The Almighty Janitor from Scrubs
They both have malleable backstories, and they're both advocates for chaos For the Lulz.
  • He accidentally killed J.D in a prank gone wrong. Instead of admitting his guilt, he convinced himself it was part of the joke.
    • (Summons army of squirrels)"Why so serious?"
  • So does this mean Squirrel Girl is the Joker's daughter? (5th and 7th entries)

The Joker is...Ennis del Mar of Brokeback Mountain.
Driven insane by the death of his beloved Jack, Ennis takes on the persona of the Joker and pretends to be insane and uses his vendetta against logic & the Batman as a smokescreen for his true plot - to do away with Jack's long-lost big-city big-shot sister whose casual homophobic abuse of her brother contributed to his emotional problems and led to his death, causing her to create a false identity for herself as Rachel Dawes.

Nolanverse Joker has Congenital Analgia
He never once appears to feel pain. Even when the detonator is shot out of his hand with the bat-spikes, his reaction seems more like surprise. His disfiguring scars are the result of a minor injury which went untreated & became infected, which is a common problem with people who have the condition. This may also be the source of his lack of empathy; he himself has no concept of pain, and so he doesn't understand when other people feel it & has long since given up trying.
  • Heath Ledger's Joker appears to have pain when Batman interrogates him, but continues to act all-powerful, anyway. That pause before he says "see?' is telling.
    • That could easily have been the Joker checking to see if his jaw or teeth were broken, or his lips had split. And remember, Batman went for the head first, so Joker was "all fuzzy."
      • Oooor maybe he's a run of the mill sadomasochist? I always assumed he got pleasure out of the pain or some such.

The Joker Was a Doctor, ME, Coroner, Undertaker or something that required medical training
This seems to come out of nowhere, but how else did he keep the poor mook with the bomb in his stomach alive for a relatively long period of time after its implantation? An ME or coroner (or even a doctor depending on where they practiced) would have to deal with some really sick crap for their job, the different scar stories could have been inspired by things he actually saw before he went over the edge.
  • Maybe he had some mooks with medical training? But that's actually a really cool idea. Explains why he's so damn good at finding inventive ways to hurt people. Though the Joker as a funeral home director would just scare the crap out of me.

Nolanverse Joker abuses painkillers
This touches on some of the reasoning behind the Congenital Analgia WMG and an ambiguous scene from the non-canon Joker TPB using a very Nolanverse-esque Joker. If you watch, the Joker walks with a fairly pronounced limp throughout the movie. During my first viewing I assumed it was from the truck crash, but watching again, he has the same shuffle in the bank, implying he has some sort of damage to either his leg(s) or back. Despite this, he doesn't seem to feel much pain, even jumping into the bus and hopping across the seats, but as this troper's experience managing long-term pain with opiates (Vicodin and Percocet, NOT at the same time) can attest, it's entirely possible to do things that would normally cause you to collapse in agony... so long as it doesn't take long. This would also account for the Joker's... somewhat, ahh... unique way of phrasing. He's literally choosing every word, making sure he's saying exactly what he means. Add onto that the fact that Ledger died from an accidental prescription drug overdose that included Vicodin and Percocet...
  • If you combine this WMG with the WMG that the Joker is a doctor of some sort, it can only mean one thing. The Joker is really House!
    • Nolanverse Bane has had his Venom replaced with aerosol painkillers, so this looks more likely now...

Lau has a daughter
Lau, the Chinese account who hid the money for the mobs and fled back to Hong Kong, was killed by the Joker who tie him on top of his half of the money and burned it. Before Batman took him back to Gotham, he was seen talking on the phone. To who? His wife? Supposedly he's married, and has a daughter named Sandra. They may or may not be aware of his criminal activities. But when it got out that Lau is dead, his family was devastated. His daughter blamed the Batman for causing his death. So she left home and began her journey training to fight Batman. She may even meet with the League of Shadows, who are willing to train her since they both want revenge on Bruce Wayne/Batman. By the time she faces the Batman, she takes the name "Lady Shiva". Lau's last name may reveal to be Woosan.
  • Lau was his last name. Note how Lucius calls him "Mr. Lau."
  • Hmmm... a gangster with a daughter, who's murdered by another gangster? In a Demythtified Batman setting that could always use a non-Batgirl-or-Robin sidekick? Huntress.
    • Daughter named Sandra? Possibly short for...Cassandra?

Batman rebuilds his surveillance sonar engine
Like the fact that it's immoral is going to stop him.
  • Moreover, he will program it into attack drones and set it to monitor his own actions, to destroy him if he goes too far.
  • He'll rebuilt it in the cave(WITH A BUNCH OF SCRAPS) under his still-being-rebuild mansion. Can anyone say, Batcomputer?
    • When this troper saw TDK for the first time, exposure to the 60's cartoon series from a young age made me sure the sonar rig would be the Batcomputer. Hoping for future rights to say I Knew It!

Heath Ledger's death was a PR trick and a means for his personal gain
I know that this by all reasons borders to what's okay to say and what is not, but it has bothered me since it happened it needs to be said. Don't get me wrong, Heath Ledgers death was extremely tragic, but it boosted this already insanely hyped movie to unearthly proportions. And not only that, it ended his acting career at the highest point it by all probability was going to be able to reach. There is no possibility for his career to go downwards from his death and on, and the movie will always be remembered not only for his astonishing acting, but also for being the last movie he was in. I seriously waited for him to pop up from nowhere and go "Tada, magic trick!". But, that unfortunately never happened. May he rest forever.

Batman had a more... selfish reason for taking the blame for Two-Face's killings
In The Dark Knight, Batman seemed to have a hard time interrogating Sal Marone when he was trying to track down the Joker. Sal knew, just as he mentioned everyone else knew, that Batman didn't kill. So the worst thing he could do to them is beat them to a pulp, or break their legs like Sal. It'll heal. They'll get better. But if they rat on him, someone else will kill them. Batman realized that his Thou Shalt Not Kill policy was starting to become a liability. But the dilemma was that he wouldn't kill, otherwise he would become like them. So he takes a third option: he creates the illusion of a Batman that does kill. If word got out that Batman lost it and killed those mob bosses and crooked cops, criminals would fear him more and he wouldn't have to get his hands dirty. Basically he gets to have his cake and eat it too.
  • That's probably one of his reasons, yes.

The Joker drove Dr. Crane insane
It's practically guaranteed that the Joker was held in Arkham Asylum during the events of Batman Begins. Perhaps some time before Bruce returned to Gotham, Dr. Crane (who might've been a regular psychiatrist at the time) was doing some counseling sessions with Mr. "Glasgow Smile" in an attempt to get inside his head. He would toy with Crane by pretending to play along. Each day Joker would tell his story in a way that completely contradicted what he told the previous day. When Crane finally calls him on it, Joker delivers a Hannibal Lecture about how he doesn't really care about making him "better," he just wants to find out what made him sick so Crane could write another book or something (Yeah, I know, you've heard this before), and how Joker knew that's what he wanted by dangling it in front of him like a cat toy. Hell, he might've even said something like, "once you realize what a joke everything is, being the Joker is the only thing that makes sense." This ultimately turns Dr. Crane into the Nietzsche Wannabe that he is at the beginning of the movie.

Dr. Crane drove the Joker insane
Pre-madness Joker is a rather panicky sort barely scratching by in The Narrows. Maybe he has an unstable home life, maybe he just worries about everything. Either way, when Scarecrow's fear toxin breaks out it's Armageddon in his head. Everything that ever frightened him hits without respite, flicking from nightmare to nightmare. He goes nuts. Not only could this support the multiple-choice past, it could also explain how he got those scars to begin with. That crowd in BB did get pretty violent...

The Joker is from The Sandman
Either he is a nightmare clown who escaped the Dreaming or he's someone from Delirium's realm. That's why there were no records of him.
  • The Corinthian would be all over that. Admit it. Like the Corinthian, who presumably doesn't leave fingerprints or physical evidence besides his victims (mutilated in his calling-card fashion), the Joker can only be tracked by the trail of damage he leaves. They would so get it on get along like a house on fire.

Dr. Crane is secretly a country boy.
If the fear toxin affects all living things, the horses the mounted policemen rode at the end of Batman Begins should have been panicking too. Even if the toxin doesn't affect animals, horses are some of the jumpiest animals in the world. Sure, they're well-trained police horses, but everyone is panicking, screaming, and who knows what happened to their riders so the horses would be pretty spooked, and yet Dr. Crane managed to get hold of one and ride it, even getting it to rear for him when he was trying to intimidate Rachel Dawes? Either that was a really blatant case of Did Not Do Research (horses do not act like that for just anyone!) or this is not Dr. Crane's first rodeo.
  • Hmmm, it does sometimes sound like he's hiding SOME kind of accent.
  • And scarecrows aren't exactly used in cities.
    • In this troper's personal continuity, Crane is so a former country boy. Something about his demeanor...
  • Anyone who likes this idea may enjoy the Year One: Scarecrow comic.
    • Maybe the toxin really only works on human brain chemistry, and the whole "effects all living things" was just a lie or mistake?
      • Still wouldn't change the fact that all the chaos in the streets would spook a horse. Gunfire, screams... I mean the sheer would set a horse off. trust me, I know. Horses a jumpy little bitches.

Ramirez will search for redemption and will follow the steps of Renee Montoya.
After the events in Dark Knight, Ramirez will be devastated and will vow to become a better cop and person to atone for what she did. While some people are born heroes some are made, and since she is still breathing it isn't too late yet.
  • Or in a little different possibility she resigns/is expelled from the police force after the events and still will try to atone for what she did. Becoming eventually the Question. (Being the successor of this universe version Vic is a possibility...)
    • What about introducing Montoya herself? The villain(s) in the third movie will have to be incredibly hardcore, so Batman could use some more allies. Montoya is such a complex character in her own right that the movie wouldn't even need to show her becoming the Question (another masked hero might take the focus off Batman, and the poor dear needs his franchise back after the Joker took over...) but a few suble in-jokes that reference her future and appease the comic fans couldn't hurt.
  • Interesting as this idea would be, it's possible that Ramirez died off-screen. At the end of The Dark Knight, Gordon mentions that Two-Face killed five people, two of whom were cops. The only cops Two-Face was shown interacting with were Gordon, who he obviously didn't kill; Wuerzt, who he killed; and Ramirez, who he decided to spare, but knocked out with a Tap on the Head before he left. Apparently, in spite of what Harvey intended, the blow was fatal.
    • Gordon doesn't say Two-Face killed five people; he said "5 dead, 2 of 'em cops, you can't sweep this up." Wuertz, Moroni, Moroni's driver, the cop that was killed in the hospital (Gordon wouldn't be able to pin it on the Joker because as far as the GPD is concerned, the Hannibal Lecture never happened) and Harvey himself (though as some would say, not necessarily Two-Face).
  • Ramirez was clearly just an Expy of Montoya to begin with anyway, so who knows?
  • The problem from a fandom point of view that Montoya is incredibly upstanding, so Ramirez could never be a true Expy beyond the fact that she's a hispanic cop who Gordon likes. Montoya had the opportunity to kill someone who she knew absolutely, with incontrivertable proof and a practica confession, had killed her partner, but she still couldn't do it because it was wrong. Montoya isn't someone who could sell out like Ramirez did. If Ramirez really did become explictly a Montoya clone then the fans of Montoya and the Question would go nuts (I might not be a traditional fanboy, but for me this would be the one step too far over the line for the Nolanverse.)

Mr. Reese's discovery of Batman's identity was a set up for a new, more traditional Batmobile.
No doubt Fox told Bruce how Reese figured out the secret, and both of them are probably thinking someone else might figure it out, particularly those in the military who might have commissioned the Tumbler in the first place. And with the Tumbler destroyed, Batman's gonna need a new vehicle. So, rather than take an off-the-shelf military project and paint it black again, Bruce is probably going to take a high performance sports car, and heavily modify it, adding armor, weapons, etc., to the point where most wouldn't even be able to tell what car it was originally based on.
  • Maybe the very same Lambourghini he raced to the scene in during that very same sequence?

Admittedly, this is mostly wishful thinking cuz I love the classic Batmobile look, but a Troper can hope, can't he?
  • Yes he can. Imagine how great the trailer for the 3rd movie could be with a straight-up honest-to-God Batmobile.
    • That means, he'll have to find a mechanic who can build a new stylistic Batmobile. Maybe an old friend of Lucius Fox.
      • Yeah! A mute, hunchbacked, homeless friend of Lucius Fox. Named Ed.
      • ...What.
      • It's a reference to a rather unknown (by the public) character from the Bat-comics by the name of Harold, who was a mute, hunchbacked social outcast that happened to be very good with electronics and engineering. He worked on several upgrades for the Batmobile and outfitted the Bat-cave with various security devices. The average Bat-comic reader that didn't grow up in the nineties will most likely remember him as the C-List Fodder guy that got shot near the end of the "Hush" arc.

The mobs of Gotham will lose their control of the city.
After all the work Harvey has done to put them behind bars and Gordon becoming commissioner, the mob influence will virtually die out by the next sequel. It helps more that everyone believes that Batman killed Harvey, the mobs now believe that Batman ditched the no-killing rule. Without the mobs, criminals like the Joker and Scarecrow will take over. Plus, the crooked cops still working for the mobs will either be found out or forced to sever their connections with them.
  • Not to mention all the mob bosses that were killed in the cross-fire: Sal Maroni, Gamble, and the Chechen with the dogs. And, half of the mob's funds went up in flames thanks to the Joker, and Mr. Lau, the mob's last resort for laundering their money, is dead.
    • Essentially confirmed. Gotham's streets are fairly safe at the beginning of DKR.

God has a sense of irony
Think about it. Two Face dies in the movie and Eckhart lives in real life. The Joker lives in the movie and Heath dies in real life.

Barbara wants her father's approval.
Granted, its never been stated that Gordon's daughter is named "Barbara," but...well, come on, we all know it. Furthermore, she was present when Two-Face confirmed that daddy loved James Jr. more than her. Sounds like someone might decide to put on a batsuit and try to win daddy's approval.
  • Remember, also, that comics canon states that Barbara is actually Gordon's niece and that she is adopted. Can we say "abandonment complex driving her to seek approval"? Yes, we can.

The Joker has ascended to the status of a really viral meme
There will be copycats. At least one of them will be a really scary, serious contender who comes forward as the new Joker.
  • That's who'll show up in the later movie(s). It may or may not be a different person each time.
    • Joker is Gotham's Anonymous.
    • So the Joker is yet another Stand Alone Complex.
    • Copycats? Maybe we'll get Jokerz in the next film.
  • On a Meta level, this has turned into either a Harsher in Hindsight or "Funny Aneurysm" Moment after what happened in Aurora.

The Joker is the Joker Spirit from Persona 2
And that's where the new Joker will come from; people trying to check their voicemail.

The Joker isn't wearing makeup
I know he never fell into a chemical bath this time, but maybe his face is simply tattooed, and he was actually wearing makeup in that scene where his face is flesh-coloured.

The Joker is...Charlie Brown.
The scars come from a freak accident from a failed attempt to kick a football.
  • Of course!
  • And his first victim was the Kite-Eating-Tree.
  • Either that, or a bad line drive.

Ramirez is suffering from unrequited love for Commissioner Gordon.
Something about the look on her face when he asks about her mother and the way she screams "No Commissioner" and lunges to hold him back at the warehouse makes it seem like her feelings toward him are more than professional admiration.
  • Barbara (his wife) finds out and thinks James is having an affair. So she leaves him, taking her son with her while their daughter stays. Maybe the real reason is the stress of keeping the truth about Two-Face a secret and believes Gotham City isn't safe for anyone anymore.
  • Or, Ramirez is Gordon's daughter. Hence the look about her mother. Leaves some interesting possibilities open, doesn't it?

Bane will be a member of the League of Shadows
It's shown how the League of Shadows recruits those who have been the victims of great injustice, and that they are willing to look in prison's to do so. Bane's backstory with him having been imprisoned for his fathers crime fills the injustice part. He can be recruited, but unlike Bruce, when the time comes, he embraces the eye for an eye mentality. His mask is just his way of showing that he will not be intimidated by Batman's tactics, and that he regards himself as Batmans equal or better.
  • Did you read my story?
  • Confirmed.

The Joker was part of a whole family of villains, stretching back as far as the beginning of the 20th century.
I don't know who was this before the beginning of the 20th century, But the evil began, as far as I know, With a particularly memorable man named Frank Booth. He had an illegitimate child sometime before the movie, And this force of evil passed from him into his son, Hannibal. Sometime before Red Dragon, When Lecter was still free, He had a son, Not that he knew. This son grew up to be the man who would become the Joker. He traveled for a while, Becoming slowly more monstrous as he looked for Hannibal, Then the two met and had a duel between two Monsters. The man who would become the Joker won, proving that he had surpassed Hannibal in every way. Although, Before Hannibal died, He gave his successor a distinctive mark as what he thought was a gift...Two cuts, One along each cheek.

The Joker knows that he's the villain in a Batman movie
The Joker does everything that he does because he knows that no one is real, not even him, that they all exist solely to entertain their audience. He knows that he can't beat Batman, because Batman is the hero, and he isn't insane enough to fancy that escaping into the real world is an actual possibility, so he does the only thing he can do, he targets the audience with the moral dilemmas he creates. He doesn't care about how Batman reacts to him, or how the people of Gotham City do. He knows that they'll make the "right" choices in the end and he'll loose. What he does care about is the audience in the real world. He wants to make them think for a moment about what they would do in similar situations. Would they sacrifice themselves for stangers? Would they murder strangers to save themselves? He knows that if they're forced to think about these things most of them won't have easy answers, because they don't live in a movie.
  • That's actually a good idea. It could be a symptom of the Joker's insanity. After all, the also insane Deadpool knows that he is in a comic book

The Joker's scars were inflicted by Carmine Falcone.
It would be nicely ironic if the same man was responsible for creating both Batman and The Joker.
  • (1) That's not what "ironic" means. (2) It was never established that Carmine Falcone was responsible for creating Batman. Chill was operating on his own. Falcone just happened to share a cell with him afterward.
  • Actually, Carmine gave a rather stirring speech ("You always fear what you don't understand") to Bruce just moments before he took off on his seven year journey, so it's hard to argue that he didn't have a major role in creating Batman (and thus causing his own eventual downfall).

Rachel Dawes is really Raven.
And this is just her latest adventure. And when she got blown up, she reformed somewhere in South America.

Rachel Dawes is really Raven.
Why not?

Rachel Dawes is really Raven.
How else could she know that Batman would save Harvey?
  • Only she didn't know. That's precisely the point of the dialog between her and Harvey before Batman arrives: we see that she's really convinced that Bruce will come for her (like he would have if the Joker didn't lie to him) and she's trying to help by asking him if he can somehow save himself because she thinks it's the only chance he has. She says she accepts to marry him because she thinks it's the last chance she has to do so before HE dies (in a way it would have been cruel if she knew she was going to blow up and leave him behind). And the expression on her face when she hears Harvey yell at Batman on the other side of the line is sheer surprise. That's why this scene is so poignant, we really believe that Batman will save Rachel and so does she.

Harvey and Rachel's deaths will ultimately benefit Gotham.
Think of it. After the deaths of two of their most dedicated crusaders, and the Batman apparently goes rogue, Gotham comes to be seen as the worst place in the state. As a result, it becomes a dumping ground for honest, sane cops from other areas who all the corrupt cops regard as a pain in the ass. Like Serpico. As good cops come in, and replace the bad cops, Gotham gradually becomes a utopia.

Harvey and Rachel are dead, but they will be in the next movie.
After all that happened in the last movie, and the way it ended, Bruce Wayne starts losing sleep, and it takes its toll on him. Eventually he starts hallucinating, and Harvey, Rachel, and his parents start appearing and talking to him, kind of like Tommy Gavin in Rescue Me.

The third film will incorporate its main story elements from The Dark Knight Returns.
This just has to happen. Batman has disappeared from the public eye for a few years, with the city united against him, and Gotham enjoys a brief period of peace and prosperity (at least as much as Gotham could hope to expect) before falling back into chaos at the hands of a massive gang, possibly led by the Riddler. Bats decides he has to return to the fold, and, of course, it doesn't go well. Gordon is on his last breath of tolerance as well, struggling to keep the city intact. This could lead to a massive showdown between Bats and the final villain, as well as give rise to the possibility of introducing Robin and Catwoman. Plus, it would be a great opportunity for Batman to teach the "copycats" from the previous film how to be effective crime-fighters, just like the "Sons of Batman" from the comic, as they will probably be among the few who still believe in him after his disappearance. As far as this troper is concerned, this is the way to go.
  • Probably to try something different from the established comic book mythos, Robin will not be Dick Grayson. Instead, it will be either Jason Todd (a street orphan whose circus acrobat parents were killed by the main villain) or Tim Drake (Batman fan who needs his help to find his kidnapped parents).
  • Confirmed! It borrows directly and frequently from 'Returns and Knightfall.

The Nolan films take place around the Burton films
Because I am working on a time line of the Omniverse (every single connected fictional universe from the DCU to Disneyland) I like to stream line as much of the universes together as possible (i.e. making the non-DCAU shows fit into the DCAU, (more on that on the DCAU WMG page)), I've done the same for the Batman films, all of them. The only exceptions being the animated films as they take place in the DCAU and the Adam West film as it takes place in the Adamwestverse (I'm also going to go ahead and say that the two serials from the 40s take place in the same universe as Adam West, for the simple fact that the Robin's from the West series and the serials are from the same mold as it were, the Legends of the Superheros also take place in this universe as Adam West's Batman as Frank Gorshin plays the Riddler in both of them). Any way, I'm thinking the time line would go somthing like this;

~Most of Batman Begins, all the way up until Ras Al' Ghul meets his demise on the train. ~The beginning of Batman (1989 film), up until the Jack Naiper becomes the Joker.

~The final scenes of Batman Begins.

~The rest of Batman (1989) stop just before Joker kidnaps Vicki Vale

~The Dark Knight

~The end of Batman (1989), with the Joker kidnapping Vicki and eventually falling to his death.

~The rest of the Batman films (from Batman Returns to Batman and Robin)

~Birds of Prey the TV series would take place next, in the future.

As for the Catwoman film, I haven't seen it, but I know that it doesn't star Selina Kyle like Batman Returns does, so who knows. I guess it could fit in at some point before Birds of Prey TV series. So yeah...
  • And the burned-out part of the Narrows is rebuilt and nicknamed "New Gotham", thus fitting the BOP continuity.
    • It actually doesn't make sense. In the Nolanverse, Bruce KNEW and SAW that Joe Chill killed his parents. There's no such "Jack Napier" in the scene. Plus, we all know that Bruce's one true love is Rachel. So...he is swinging to Vicki Vale all along? And why would he downgrade his suit from that in Batman Begins to that in Batman (considering the armor didn't take tangible damage)? Try to explain how Napier's boss will fill in when you realize that the underground crime of Gotham is run by Falcone (even before Bruce's parents died) THEN Maroni. This WMG is the least plausible among the list.
      • This troper thinks this idea is still cool and could work. You just have to remove Harvey Dent's presence at the end of Batman and change the news report about Harvey Dent early in Batman Forever. In fact, an early script of the 1989 film included Bruce being trained by Henri Drucard and Gordon consoling young Bruce. For more ideas for your timeline, check out this site, it includes profiles on characters from the Tim Burton/Schumacher films and notes from scripts. This troper is also doing something similar, like having Harvey Dent in Batman Returns as in the original script and changing Batman Forever, Batman and Robin, and Catwoman to fit the style of the first two movies, and the canceled Batman Triumphant would follow.
      • With the latest film out, this idea is 100% jossed.

The fear toxin is harmful when digested
It's just the effects are a lot more subtle. The toxin stays in the human body and slowly builds up waiting for the right trigger: fear. Adrenaline releases the toxin into the brain… only by this point either it's lost it's effects or a limit form of Immunity has develop so that rather going outright ballstothewallmad the subject feels an additive euphoric and increased inability to separate reality from fantasy. Gotham being an high density urban environment means that that only regular physical danger that the average person is likely to face is criminal in nature, (i.e. good old cops and robbers). Because of this people who commit (or are exposed to) violent crimes start to take more risk and slowly lose connection with social norms. this can only lead to one thing: a new more dangerous breed of criminal.

Super Villains.

Think of it a as sort of non super power Meta Origin to batman's growing Rogues Gallery. when someone stress in Gotham there's a very real chance they flip out put on a absurd outfit and blow up a bank because their brain are chemically wired that way. A Crime Related Mental Disorder if you will.

Now this is speculation admittedly but it helps explain the rather odd actions of many characters in The Dark Knight. Such as why Harvey Dent (an upstanding DA, vowed to protect and serve) after a tragedy and injury quickly becomes little better (or gimmicky) than the psychos he puts away. why the Batman inspired vigilantes think they can fight crime wearing Hockey pads. As well as How the joker can easily recruit people for his anarchy. The man's violently insane and offers nothing but a war with the police. However In the mind of the average Gotham street gangster this doesn't seem like a bad idea because basically they're high with him around him. hell the Joker suggest this with his last lines.

Insanity is a lot like gravity, all it takes is a little push.

The Riddler vs. The Penguin in a gang war. Call them something a little less Batman-camp but make it fairly thinly veiled. Batman has to clean up the streets with his growly voice of doom.

The Joker is Ferris Bueller
Think about it, he's a young prototype of the Joker from The Dark Knight. They both have no rules and in spite of being rather unlikable (Ferris being a manipulative, ungrateful bastard and Joker a clearly violent and insane psychopath), have an inexplicable talent for being charismatic and getting people to follow their orders. Clearly, at some point the backlash from Ferris' bullshit antics during the movie (his faking a terminal illness and causing so much money to be spent for nothing) will cause widespread contempt for the Bueller family to spread through Chicago like wildfire, prompting them to move to Gotham city.

Ferris hasn't learned anything, though, and continues to fuck around and cause trouble, and his father takes to the bottle to cope, and as the problem continues to fester unchecked, he becomes abusive, while the "maturing" Ferris starts to become a juvenile criminal of a much stickier kind than he was in the past (gets into fights and starts ransacking people's homes, in other words worse stuff than abusing his friends' trust and wasting their time). This culminates in the "Why so serious" scene which Joker relates to Gambol how he got those scars. Ferris' life goes downhill from there pretty fast.
  • Let's just hope Sloane wasn't his "beautiful wife"

Rachel Dawes is a (the?) villain for the final film
NO, NOT AS CATWOMAN. If you notice the camera angles during the scene when Rachel was supposed to be blown away, you only see the background explode and her hair swishing in the wind. What if she really wasn't at the location Joker said she was? It was never explicitly said that her body was found. Joker's game may not have ended with Harvey Dent and he is sitting back, waiting for Rachel to react to the revelation of Harvey's true nature and his violent death at 'the hands of Batman'. Rachel could attempt a crusade of her own as a harbinger of true justice and tormenting Bruce/Batman as a means of revenge for all the pain he's indirectly put her through.
  • And she takes up the mantle of The Phantasm.

Batman is The Messiah
Gotham is only a small part of humanity's overall decay. Bruce/Batman is pit against the Joker, a harbinger of chaos (see WMG above), and strives to protect and prove that there is hope for humanity. He may or may not be aware of his role as an agent of God, but there is something about the myth of the Batman that is important for him to maintain, explaining the lengths he goes to 'be what Gotham (i.e.:humanity) needs him to be'.

Ras Al Ghul is the Joker
After nearly having been killed by the runaway train, he manages to escape, but also went insane over his massive failure. He dons war-paint and murders people to get Batman's attention. When that didn't work, he decided to infiltrate the mafia underworld to get hired by them and concoct a huge plan that not only made Bruce/Batman re-think his quest and end up branding him a fugitive, it also got rid of several corrupt bureacrats and most of the mobsters. His original goal was to save Gotham from its own corruption and he succeeded in a way, as The Joker. It was the perfect revenge.
  • Also explains why he doesn't have fingerprints or any other form of identification.

Batman or Iron Man: one of them will break the aforementioned curse
Both follow the curse so far, and are set for their third movie.
  • Iron Man 2 wasn't as good as the first one. Not by a long shot.

Rachel will kill Scarecrow.
So, let's say she comes back as another vigilante(maybe Catwoman, maybe not), and her ordeal has caused her to abandon the no-kill policy she inspired Bruce to adopt, so we need to see her kill someone, to indicate she's changed. Who better than the man who almost turned her into a vegetable?

The Joker's real plan was to corrupt Rachel.
Crazy people can smell their own, so he must have realized Harvey was hardly the white knight he was made out to be, and that turning him into a psycho would be no challenge at all. If they do have it that Carmine Falcone inflicted his scars, it's possible he was there the night Bruce confronted him, and may have overheard Rachel browbeating him. From this, as well as Batman suddenly appearing practically the day Bruce Wayne returns, he may know Bruce is Batman. Then, the night of the party, he sees Rachel, and remembers her, and decides to test her, by getting right in her face. She passes when she knees him in the balls, and he decides, "This chick is way more fun than Harvey! Let's see what I can do with her!"

Joker's final Sadistic Choice was also a Xanatos Gambit: Whichever person lived would hate Batman for letting the other die.
If Harvey died, Rachel would be that much easier to turn against Bruce—thus, Harley Quinn. Ditto for Rachel—Rachel dead=Harvey Two-Face.

Alfred is a retired James Bond
Let's see the evidence he is very obviously a Retired Badass Normal, he was a British secret agent and he doesn't get surprised. Besides James Bond is an alias used by the best agent of the MI6. Which could lead to this scene:

Alfred aproches Bruce, who is talking to Daniel Craig in a tux Do you need something Master Wayne

No Alfred, Thank you.

And you Mr...

Bond, Jam..

James Bond, good to see that the boys are getting original, Mr Craig.

Or add a reveal that M was Alfred's Bond Girl.
  • Which would make Lucius Q. Suddenly it all adds up....
    • Funny, because Michael Caine was actually considered for the role of Bond after Connery left the franchise, though he turned it down.

Alfred is part of the Butler family
He changed his name for some reason, possibly due to what he did in Burma, but still carried out the family tradition of being the butler of a rich family.

The third film will be Lighter and Softer (or at least lighter, anyway).
This occurred to me the very first time I saw the trailer and heard Harvey Dent say, "The night is always darkest before the dawn...but the dawn IS coming!" Because it would all be well in keeping with the traditional interpretation of the three-act structure of a trilogy.
  • Nope, it's just as dark or DARKER than the second film.
    • Not necessarily. That's up to the viewer to decide. The Dark Knight has a real Downer Ending. In TDK, the Joker technically wins (Batman breaks his rule, albeit, accidentally), Commissioner Gordon has to perpetuate a lie to keep his city safe, the main love interest is brutally murdered, Gotham's white knight is broken and killed and the dark knight is forced into hiding. 'Rises ends on a much more optimistic note.
    • In any case, The Dark Knight Rises was lighter as far as photography was concerned.
      • All of Batman's confrontations with the Joker in The Dark Knight take place at night or a dimly-lit room, except for part of the interrogation. The final fight with Bane occurs outdoors in bright sunshine.

Vicki Vale will be in Batman 3
Rachel is now dead, and it is highly unlikely that she will return, due to the, for the most part, realistic feel that these 2 movies have going for them. It's possible that there will be no woman/love interest, but there will probably be someone to fill the role left by Rachel. Vicki Vale is a photo journalist, and the Batman's recent turn to crime as perceived by the public is news that she might cover. In fact, unlike in '89, she might be staunchly against Batman, and might have an agenda of exposing even more of his crimes.

Batman Really Becomes Batman in the Third Film
In Batman Begins, Batman's methodology, gadgets and even his costume borrow elements that have been developed earlier for other purposes and his League of Assassins training. Even his first Bat-signal is really, really makeshift. In the second film, he gets a new specially-made suit, but is still driving around the Tumbler, which is unmodified apart from the addition of the Bat-Pod. This is all justified in that the series is aiming to be more real-word based. In the third film, Batman really comes into his own and will get to drive a more customized Batmobile and his gadgets will be more original.

The Joker is Cobb from Nolan's first film, Following.
Both characters are Spooks with no past and the ability to completely disappear when they wish. Both make their living as theives and contract killers. Both are believers in the importance of dressing well. Both like to operate from the "dead spaces" of large cities. Both are silver-tongued decievers, spinning philosophical monologues on their crimes and tricking anyone who listens into serving as their Unwitting Pawn. Both pull off very elaborate Batman Gambits with almost no hitches. Both of them are more interested in sending a message than in earning money.

Clearly, sometime after the end of Following, Cobb manages to tick off the wrong mobster and gets a permanent smile put on his face. He flees to the US, but the damage is already done. Cobb gains a thorough hatred of organized crime, and changes his personal philosophy from sociopathic hedonism to something worse. Finally, a combination of Batman's example and exposure to Crane's fear toxin inspires him to be reborn as Batman's opposite, a clown and an avatar of chaos.
  • Also, the Mystery Man from David Lynch's Lost Highway is an aged Joker, probably twenty years or so after the Batman continuity.

The Joker was right, he was just unlucky.
In the social experiment, it wasn't the noble aspects of the human spirit choosing to do the right thing that prevented the people on the boats from blowing each other(or themselves) up. For the civilians, they clearly voted 4 to 1 in favor of blowing up the other boat. It was groupthink, peer pressure, and shame that stayed their hand, not human decency. None of them were willing to step up, infront of all those judging eyes, and be the one to do it. They just sat, like sheep, hoping someone else would have the guts. If there had been a single sociopath on that boat(which, statistically, there should have been) or someone who had something really worth living for, they would have taken the detonator and blown the other boat straight to hell.

On the inmate's boat, the guy with the detonator let the prisoner take it fully expecting that he was going to blow up the other boat. He wanted to, but he couldn't stand the thought of having to face judgement for doing it himself. Again, it was dumb luck that the prisoner was a good enough person to throw it overboard- or perhaps he wasn't, maybe he was a sadist who was intentionally trying to get them all killed.

In either case, the Joker was right about the ugly face of humanity. He just overestimated their survival instinct.
  • I agree. The problem with the Joker's last experiment is that being in a crowd defused everyone's sense of responsibility. ("Somebody else can detonate the other boat.") If they had to take action to stop the other boat from blowing up, but passivity would have saved them, the Joker's plan might have worked!
    • Then again, the choices were "let one boat full of people die, or let two boats full of people die", the difference being that choosing to destroy the other boat and doing so before the other boat could destroy them would have guaranteed their lives, but letting the other boat make the choice would have made it a gamble of unknown odds (a more complex version of The Prisoner's Dilemma) on whether the other boat would have killed them or two boats full of good/cowardy people would have died.
  • I see it possible that some people on the boat were like the ones at the beginning of this page and thought the explosions wouldn't necessarily blow up the other ship but themselves, or maybe something different like an orphanage.

The Joker eventually becomes Jigsaw.
(This is actually a friend's theory but I like it.) Let's assume that Nolanverse Arkham is not a Cardboard Prison like in the comics. They get hold of the Joker, and immediately put him on heavy medication with intensive (perhaps even illegal therapy). Over the years, they manage to drill morality into his head, some civil rights lawyers get involved and negotiate his release. What they and the doctors have failed to realize is that they've failed to drill in empathy and he's still just as crazy as ever, but now with an obsession with morality.

"I killed these people" is a covert admission that Batman may resort to murder in future.
But only in extreme circumstances. Thing is, The Joker and, we can assume, future villains following in his footsteps have created conditions as desperate as this for Bats to resort to such a thing. And how can they escalate past him killing? At the very least, he'll publically fake murdering some mooks, in a very elaborate manner, to "confirm" the rumours about him.

The Joker is D-Fens
We never see the body after he got shot, so it's possible he survived. Of course, after his wife and daughter left him, he wouldn't have much left to live for, and being a former missile engineer would explain how he knows so much about explosives.

The Joker is the AU version of the protagonist from The Adjustment Bureau
He failed to escape Richardson and his men and ended up getting lobotomized. He went insane from this and adapted a Rage Against the Heavens attitude to try and screw around with "The Plan" as much as he could. The "wife" he was referring to when he talked to Rachel was in fact Elise. He just couldn't fully remember her.

The Joker has several moments of pure lucidity during the film
The popular theory is that the Joker is always, completely, totally insane. I actually think that during the course of the movie the Joker has a quite a few moments where he is completely sane and being completely honest, he just spends so much time in his own world no one can tell. I can't exactly explain why, has a lot to do with Ledger's acting, there's just a slight undercurrent to his attitude and his voice during certain scenes.
  • I think Joker really was pissed at Batman for slamming his head into the table in the interrogation room. Not for the pain, but because he thinks Batman is above being that crude and unsubtle. In other words if the Goddamn Batman is going to go bad cop on you, you expect something a little more then just a bang on the head.
  • I think he meant it when he told Batman that he thought Batman letting Dent take the fall as the Batman was cold, even for him.
  • I think he was honestly impressed at Dent's plan to let him live or die based on the flip of a coin. For a guy as far our as the Joker, it probably does impress him to be put into a situation that is out there even for him.
  • I think he was being purely matter of factual when he response to an outraged mobster asking "Do you think you can steal from us!" with a simple, direct, deadpan "Yeah."
  • Harvey was much more insane than the Joker. The Joker knows he is messed up, that itself is lucidity manifested, while harvey just left everything to a coin.

The Joker was faking insanity the whole time
The makeup, the clothes, the weird speech patterns - the whole thing is a deliberate act. Why? He was thinking ahead. Way ahead. He knows if he gets captured, he can cop an insanity plea. He probably already has a fail-safe to get him out of Arkham. In short, he's not crazy - he's Crazy-Prepared.

ALL of the characters on screen are Expys of some other character in some other continuity
  • Lau is The Calculator.
  • The Scary Black Man on the boat is Killer Croc.
    • The boat prisoner certainly resembles the alternative version of Croc seen in Azrello's "Joker" comic.
  • The Jumpy Thug at the dock is an obscure one-off thug named Bigger Melvin.
  • The Gotham Bank Manager is the Penny Plunderer.
  • The mental patient that Harvey Dent intimidates (Thomas Schiff) is the Mad Hatter.
  • Rachel Dawes is Julie Madison.
  • Mr. Earle is an expy of Max Shrek.
  • As said above, the blonde boy in Begins is Jason Todd.
  • Gambol is Carlton Duquesne.
    • Alternatively, Gambol is King of the Royal Flush Gang
    • Or Rupert Thorne
  • The fat prisoner with the cell phone in his chest is Humpty-Dumpty.
  • The news anchor Mike Engel is Jack Ryder, minus the Creeper alter-ego.
    • Or as suggested above, he's Vic Sage, the original Question.
  • As suggested above, Mr. Reese (Mysteries) is the Riddler.
  • John Daggett is Roland Daggett.
    • Phillip Stryver is Germs.
  • Bane, with his nifty life support system, is a semi-expy of Mr. Freeze
  • Bane's unnamed Dragon could be seen as Deadshot, since he manages to hold the police off with nothing but a Sniper gun and a damn good aim.

Both stories that the Joker told are the truth, but with the roles reversed
  • It was THE JOKER who carved his mother with a knife, and "put a smile on that face" for his father.
  • Likewise, it was the Joker who got in deep with the Sharks and gets his trademark grin from them (or maybe one half, and the other was self-inflicted). His wife's "leaving" may have been literal, figurative, or both on separate occasions.
  • Had he been able to tell Batman another story, we would have had another wrinkle in the tale.

A lot of Dark Knight could have been avoided if Sgt. Foley existed in it.
RAMIREZ! Bring down the mob, stop Joker and his plans, save Rachel and Harvey and buy me a burger!

Like the Joker, The Riddler will seem to have no past and no contacts, but for different reasons...
  • Because his name is Leonard and he thinks Batman is his new "John G".

The Joker is the protagonist from Fight Club.
  • No Name Given
  • The bullet wound Norton's character self-inflicts at the end of Fight Club is consistent with the Joker's scar.
  • After leading a revolution and blowing up those buildings, the character got a taste for anarchy maybe after running from law enforcement.
  • A tragedy involving Marla could send him totally over the deep end.
  • He already has problems with sanity. Maybe Tyler came back with a vengeance and obliterated everything else in his head.
  • The Joker's and Tyler's knowledge of chemistry and tendencies toward being Crazy-Prepared are consistent.

The Dark Knight Rises will end with Bruce accepting an invitation to a special charity show at Haley's Circus
The main attraction will be The Flying Graysons.

The Dark Knight Rises will begin with a nightmare sequence, going back to "that night".
In the nightmare, Bruce saves Rachel, but then she ends up horribly burned. This would be an interesting foreshadowing to her not being dead, but now being a total psycho.
  • If it's not bad enough, the dream will end with Rachel screaming that she doesn't love Bruce anymore, that she chose to marry Harvey Dent. This will linger on his mind, and will tell Alfred if Rachel ever said anything to him the night of her death. He'll noticed Alfred seem hesitant at first before he said no. Later he'll tell him to come clean about the letter he burned. Bruce will understandably be upset at not only Rachel's decision, but for Alfred breaking his trust. Eventually, Bruce forgives him.

The Joker is a manifestation of the Crimson King
He says "I am an agent of chaos..." In other words, he's an agent of the Random/the Red/Dis. It is also possible that he is one of Randall Flagg's forms. Indeed, the Marvel Universe is confirmed in Wolves Of The Calla to be a part of the Dark Tower multiverse, and since The DCU often crosses over with the Marvel Universe, it's not too far-fetched.

Scarecrow will be the villian in The Dark Knight Rises
He'll reveal he was actually a competent villian all along.
  • It would be a nice way to bookend the series. And besides, Scarecrow is actually just as scary as the Joker when you sit there and think about it. Fear toxin in the air vents of City Hall or the police department could wreak havoc in seconds, assuming people aren't already innoculated after the events of Batman Begins. And Nolan obviously loves the idea of foils, and Scarecrow wasn't fully explored as a character, and therefore his role as a foil wasn't fully realized. (Batman uses fear as a means to an end, for Scarecrow fear is the end, Batman chose bats because they scare him, Scarecrow chose a scarecrow because it scares what scares him, etc ...)

The writers meant for the second movie to be a superhero-themed retelling of the epic poems Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained.
Joker is clearly the Faux Affably Evil Satanic figure with an agenda to overthrow the present social order. He'll kill people himself, but his chief MO seems to be either to tempt or corrupt others to fit into his plan. Harvey Dent is Adam. He ultimately gives into the Joker. The climax of the film, while also an homage to the 1989 film, is similar to the climax of Paradise Regained, where Satan falls off a building after failing to tempt Jesus.
  • "Ever danced with the devil in the pale moon light?"
  • This fits in with the first one, which had many allusions to the story of [[Faust]]. Just like Dr. Faust, Bruce Wayne is a dissatisfied intellectual who yearns for more than his social standing can give him. It's at this critical time that Ra's Al Ghul comes in and offers Bruce the chance to become a legend, just like Mephistopheles. Another parallel includes Bruce's relationship with Rachel, whose innocence stands as potential collateral damage for Bruce's vigilantism. And like later interpretations of the Faustian legend, Bruce ultimately rejects Rha's deceptions and strives for the greater good. And to top it all off? The play that the Waynes go to see on the night of their murder is Arrigo Boito's ''Mefistofele'', a retelling of Faust. This just leaves the question: which gothic pseudo-Christian myth involving the devil will The Dark Knight Rises be based on? ''Dante's Inferno''?

Bane will break Batman halfway through The Dark Knight Rises
As a part of the whole rising concept, Batman will reach rock bottom at one point in the film. Shortly after that Bane will break Batmans back. At this point Bruce will question whether or not to continue being Batman. Bruce will realize that Gotham needs Batman and will from that point "rise".
  • Confirmed.

Batman was aware the Joker switched Harvey's and Rachel's locations
...and saved Dent on purpose. Upon hearing the locations, Batman must have realized or at least suspected the Joker was pulling a trick play. In the few seconds he had, Bruce made the impossible choice: oldest friend and the love of his life, or Gotham's White Knight? He upheld his duty as Batman to do what was ultimately best for Gotham, and saved the District Attorney who had still had a duty to combat the city's crime. This isn't to say he signed Rachel's death warrant, he still hoped Gordon would make it to her in time, but Batman did what he needed to do. As for why he told Gordon he was going after Rachel- there simply wasn't enough time to explain, and if he said he was going for Harvey they would head for the same location.

Bane will actually be the Big Bad of The Dark Knight Rises
Bane, in most animiated canons and the movies, is a bounty hunter hired to kill Batman or generally a minion, where in the comics, he was working of his own accord and after breaking Batman's back to increase his reputation and because of a nightmare he had of a demonic bat, as well as figuring out Batman's secret identity. After doing so he became the ruler of the Gothum criminal underworld. So he may be the main antongist of the film as opposed to a secondary one. It'd also fit into a scene in the Batman Begins film, when Batman was gliding over the city and the effects of Scarecrow's fear gas was making people see him as a demonic bat. Bane was among them and has been seeking a way to kill Batman believing he's the same bat from his dreams. This works by making him a more complex character than the brute in Batman and Robin as well, possibly even making him sympathatic.
  • He sort of is, although Talia turns out to be the mastermind.

Rachel's role in The Dark Knight Rises will mirror that of Jason Todd
Considering how pissed off she was at Bruce before her supposed death in The Dark Knight, and the fact he also allegedly died in an explosion, it makes sense that she would come back at him in a manner similar to Jason.

Miranda Tate is Talia al Ghul
It's been announced that Marion Cotillard's character in Rises will simply be a member of the Wayne Enterprises board who wants to help Bruce reestablish his father's philanthropic work. It's also been rumoured that a young Ra's al Ghul has been cast for the film, which suggests he's going to have some involvement on the plot, which is why until the Tate announcement everyone was guessing that Cotillard would be playing Talia. And it's entirely possible that she still is.
  • If you're going after the man who killed your father and destroyed everything he built, the first thing you want to do (as a Criminal Mastermind) is destroy everything his father built. What better way to begin than by getting yourself on the board of his father's company? It's all a cunning scheme to destroy the Wayne Foundation (or its movie universe equivalent). "Tate" could even be a deliberate misspelling of "Tete", the French for "head" (Talia's alias when she went corporate in the comics).
    • Think about the name Miranda for a second. The most famous Miranda is the one from Shakespeare's the Tempest, the daughter of the aging wizard Prospero, who lived in sheltered isolation under her father's care, growing dependent on him even as he plots against a world that wrong him. Sounds a lot like Talia and her dad. The only other people Miranda encountered before the shipwreck that kicks off the story are the brutish yet cunning Caliban, who grew up in isolation on this prison island, and the graceful spirit Ariel. Caliban sounds ALOT like Bane, and Aerial's grace and femininity (though originally male, Ariel is usually depicted as female in modern stagings) recalls Catwoman. Ariel even comes from the Hebrew words for "Lion of the Lord." What are three of the major themes of the Tempest? Theatricality ("all the world's a stage"), change, and knowing when it's time to step down.
      • Actually, "All the world's a stage..." was from As You Like It. But other than that...wow. That's one of the best theories about Miranda I've seen so far.
    • Confirmed. Miranda is Talia, who is Bane's lover and co-conspirator.

The Joker was a League of Shadows Sleeper Agent
The apparent destruction of the League "activated" him. His plot to destroy Gotham's soul was an act of pure spite on the League's behalf, to show Batman that his efforts to save Gotham the "noble" way were in vain.

Batman did intentionally kill Harvey...out of mercy.
Given the state of the guy, the only thing that could possibly have been keeping him alive at that point was revenge. Bruce, knowing the nature of revenge, knew that, no matter who he killed, he would keep seeing more targets, and he would never stop until even his rage wasn't enough to hold him together, and in the meantime, he'd continue to be in unimaginable pain. So, Bruce did what he had to, even if it did technically mean breaking his one rule.
  • Not to mention Harvey refused to take painkillers. He was literally in a lot of pain only being able to move thanks to his insanity.

Or, rather, a physical manifestation of various aspects of the Wilkerson brothers' psyches. The brothers tried a magick ritual one Halloween night to play the mother of all pranks on Lois and Hal, and, being the short-sighted idiots they were, accidently pissed off some force on the other side that killed them and used their souls to build a monster. Reese's sadism, Malcolm's intelligence, Francis' determination to rebel, and Dewey's artistic tendencies, all rolled into the most evil motherfucker on God's green earth, determined to do what the boys did best: Upset the natural order and create chaos.

During the endgame of the film, Bane will capture Gordon's daughter and attempt to put her in a wheelchair, but Batman will intervene. Bane gives him a Sadistic Choice. Let young Gordon's legs get broken, or have your own legs get brokwn. Batman will sacrifice himself to save her. And as a new day dawns on Gotham, Gordon will note how they will always remember THE Dark Knight.
  • Alan Moore wrote The Killing Joke, and breaking legs won't really cripple you for life, unless you really destroy them. It's spinal cord injuries that cause that kind of damage - that's what Barbara Gordon and Batman both suffered.
  • My points till stand.
  • Unlike Barbara.
  • Zing!

Bane won't use Venom
The promo image just shows Tom Hardy with a Cool Mask and a little extra muscle, and not much to suggest he'll use Venom. Instead Nolan and Hardy will concentrate on Bane's personality and do away with his gimmick, like how Ra's al Ghul didn't have his Lazarus Pits and Joker didn't have laughing gas (and other toys).
  • Except he's inhumanly strong in the film. He's able to absorb blow after blow from Batman without much to show for it. Most likely it's just to make him more realistic.
  • Maybe the Joker just didn't get around to using his Joker gas yet....

Ra's al-Ghul is a Legacy Character
Instead of actually being immortal like in the comics, the identity "Ra's al-Ghul" is passed down and assumed by every leader of the League of Shadows. In Batman Begins, the character's original name actually was Henri Ducard. The story he told Bruce about his wife was true, but it happened before he took on the "Ra's al-Ghul" identity.
  • Jossed by The Dark Knight Rises Talia is the daughter of Ra's Al-Ghul. Zig zagged in that while they're still different characters, both Bane and her desire to "fullfill his destiny".
    • Not necessarily Jossed, just not acted upon. If Ra's Al-Ghul is a male name, Talia had adequate reason not to adopt it like her father did. Her own successor might still opt to do so, assuming the League of Shadows wasn't completely wiped out in Rises.

The Joker doesn't actually know his own backstory
He may have had actual motives for his destructive behavior at one point, but The Dark Side Will Make You Forget.

Dent was the second cop killed
It was mentioned earlier in TDK that Harvey Dent had worked Internal Officers before becoming a DA so when Gordon says "five dead two of them cops" he is referring to Maroni, his driver, the other man he killed to get in the car, Wuertz, and Harvey himself.
  • Possibly Jossed. The other cop might have been then one Joker shot outside of Harvey's hospital room.

Black Widow in this timeline was/is/will be The Vamp meets I'm a Humanitarian.
Hence her appellation.

King Tut in this timeline was an escapee from Arkham.
He escaped in Batman Begins and Batman caught him soon after.

Bane breaks Gordon, not Batman
He doesn't just want to break him physically, but mentally and emotionally, so he goes after his one true friend within Gotham (at least what everyone already perceives Gordon as) instead of Batman directly. Gordon's trauma is what ultimately leads to Batman's redemption as he takes on Bane.
  • Suggested at least by the trailer, which features Gordon in the hospital. Hmm....
    • Jossed. There's a direct recreation of the back break from Knightfall

Bane will get close to doing the move that breaks Batman's back
But Batman will manage to get away just before it happens.
  • Nope, he succeeds.

The man shown in the background behind Batman in the teaser is...
Red Hood. At the end of the teaser, if you look in the background when Batman and Bane are shown face to face, you can just about see someone watching them.
  • Jossed. It was one of Bane's henchmen.

Rises was originally supposed to be titled Knightfall
What with the "every journey has an end" theme the trailers have been expressing, making a title a reference to rising (as in, from a depression) seems a bit inappropriate. Nolan probably planned to call it Knightfall, or something else along those lines, but the ever-wonderful executives forced him to change the title as an obviously shamless way to cash in on the success of The Dark Knight.

If Rachel does come back, this will be inevitable.

Alfred is Alfie.
A couple of decades after the swingin' sixties, Alfred "Alfie" Elkins decided to move to Gotham City and settle down. Also, his life detoured to Burma somewhere along the way.

Bruce was more affected by Ducard's (Ra's Al Ghul's) betrayal than he let on.
There are a couple hints over the series that he was close to Ducard while at the league of shadows, what with Ducard having been his mentor. When the house burned down, the only life Bruce tried to save, aside from his own, was Ducard's. Also note that, while Bruce disagrees with several of Ducard's philosophies, (i.e. when a city becomes corrupt, it must be destroyed,) he took others to heart, such as the idea that a symbol is much more powerful than a person could ever be. There's also another philosophy from Batman Begins that gets brought back in The Dark Knight: early in Begins, while training Bruce, Ducard mentions that criminals aren't complicated, which is brought back by Bruce in the sequel, when trying to figure out what the Joker wanted. All this seems to indicate that the two were relatively close in the league of shadows. Thus, when Bruce realizes that Ducard had been Ra's Al Ghul the whole time, and Ducard proceeded to burn down his house and make multiple attempts on his life, if affected Bruce more than we see. One possible example is when a beam of wood falls down on Bruce and pins him to the ground. Even though he's prepared himself for eventualities like this, he's unwilling to lift the wood, until Alfred comes along and helps him to his feet. No comment on any implications if this theory is true...

The Joker is an AU version of Giygas.
Why not? They're both Nightmare Fuel personified, they both create memes every time they speak, they both all-too-often wear leather pants, they both corrupt multiple people when they appear, both are working from obscure, twisted motives- if they're working from any motives at all... Need I go on?

Rises will show Alfred's badass side
His military career has been alluded to multiple times, as well as the subtle implication that when he mentioned people who can't be bullied or reasoned with, and just want to watch the world burn, he may have been referring to himself (see the Nightmare Fuel page for more evidence), it would be a waste not to showcase his hidden talents.

Lucius Fox is actually Xzibit.
He heard you like bikes, so he put a bike in your car so you can drive while you drive.

The Joker's origin is similar to that of The Killing Joke.
Half of his stories were true, because he remembered them wrong. He did get a blade stuck in his mouth after the woman he loved the most died. There was gambling involved, and 'sharks' too. Let's see.
  • 1. Jack Napier lives a pathetic life in the Narrows. You can have a small look at it in Batman Begins, where you can hear a woman screaming at a man to get a job. That is because Napier just got
fired from his job at a chemical plant.
  • 2. He decides to join the mob as a small-time gangster in order to feed his pregnant wife. Their target for a robbing is going to be the plant he worked at, as such, he will go there as the "Red Hood.".
  • 3. He learns that his wife has been killed in a household accident involving an oven fire. This is what happens to Rachel in the Dark Knight. He tries to weasel out, but the mob forces his hand.
  • 4. The heist at the plant goes awry - in an act of revenge, one of the criminals take out a knife and sticks the blade in his mouth, creating the smile the Joker is famous for.
  • 5. The police arrives - The Joker, the last man of the team, is scared out of his mind and makes a run for it. He escapes by jumping in a polluted river, which turns his hair a sickly shade of brown/green.
  • 6. Once he comes out of the water, he runs to a nearby bar and goes for the bathrooms. There, he looks at himself in the mirror. The pollution has changed the color of his hair; over his face is some sort of white substance, similar to the one found inside lightbulbs, his eyesockets are dark because he has not slept in days, and finally, his mouth and lips are bright red due to the blood still coming out from his fresh wounds. Mr. J hides in a corner and starts chuckling.
  • The owners of the bar find him there, and, unable to get any info out of him, decide to have him placed in Arkham. He does not stay there for long, though, and is out in the open in the finale of Batman Begins.

Dark Knight Rises is going to end with Bruce adopting Dick Grayson, or at least end with him attending Haly's Circus.
Ok hear me out, Nolan said that as long as he is directing there won't be a Robin for a while. This was stated because Dick was only a child when batman was starting out. However he did not say how old Dick was at the time. Our guess would be depending how old Bruce is in this continuity. If he were say in his early twenties. Dick would be 2 - 4 years old. In his late twenties to early thirties 8 - 12. Now it is debatable, but 8 - 12 was the argument of how old Dick was in the comics when he first started out as Robin. It was when his parents died, and it was when Bruce adopted him. Another way Nolan would get away with it would be that he only said Robin wasn't gonna be in the movie. He never said anything about the aliases. Plus back then Robin hasn't even been invented yet so he could have Tim, Dick and Jason around and we wouldn't know it until they were referred to by name. Another way of going about this would be that Barbra Gordon was still a child in Dark Knight, and depending on what continuity she would either be younger than or the same age as Dick. Lastly, Nolan said as long as "He" is directing there wouldn't be a Robin. Though Rises has been noted to be the last of the Nolan Trilogy, if it's successful they can green-light another sequel. Nolan may not direct it but somebody else would. For all we know it's his way of saying "I done the Batman story, get someone else to do Robin."
  • There's been theories floating around that Dick may very well be in the movie, just not at Robin yet. The big idea is that Bruce adopts him after his parents are killed in one of Bane's attacks.

Nolan is including Catwoman and Miranda Tate as a response criticism of the way he handles female characters
Over the course of two movies there has only been one major female character (Rachel) and she is killed off two-thirds of the way through The Dark Knight. Nolan has somewhat of a notorious history of killing off female characters just to give his male characters something to angst over, of which Rachel is one example. (Others include Leonard's wife, Borden AND Angiers' wives and Mal). Now it's his final Batman movie and suddenly there are not only two major female characters (Catwoman and Miranda Tate, and that's not even buying into the theory that Miranda is Talia) but also at least one other supporting female character (a "streetwise Gotham girl", most likely Holly Robinson) Nolan has already admitted to being aware of his tendency to treat female characters this way, so perhaps this is his way of making up for it - by adding a host of female characters to the cast. Whether he knows what he's doing is, of course, something we'll have to wait and see.

Bane will come to Gotham claiming to know who the Batman is and goes on a reign of terror to break him. The only problem? He thinks that Batman's Harvey Dent not Bruce Wayne
There have been promo photo's taken that we see Bane holding up a picture of Harvey Dent whilst stood on a batmobile. The thing is however, that he's proclaiming that Gotham's White Knight isn't dead at all... instead he's the Dark Knight and Bane is convinved that he faked his own death to act as Batman full time.

Before Joker became the Joker, he was a tailor.
An offhand by Gordon mentioned that J's clothes were apparently custom made with no tags. Since I can't imagine any store selling that set of clothes, especially the purple overcoat, it makes sense if he was a tailor before he went bonkers and made his own clothes.
  • ...The whole point of custom made clothes is that you can ask a tailor for whatever you want and as long as you have enough money they'll make it without asking questions.

Alfred was in the SAS
]] He tells a story about fighting a warlord in Borneo. Guess what the SAS was doing in the 60s. Fighting the Indonesians, helping the British colonizers and winning the hearts and minds of the people in Borneo.
  • But Alfred said he was in Burma, not Borneo.

Batman will kill Bane by disabling his mask
In many confrontations between the two, Batman would cut off his supply of Venom to defeat him. His mask seems to be a substitute for Venom, which appears to not be in the film. Since his anesthetic-pumping mask is keeping him alive, Batman may disable it, unintentionally or not, to win. Perhaps a thrown Batarang after he has been paralyzed...

Alfred is really a retired Harry Palmer
Sorry if this moves any top WMGs here but this guess is a pretty good one. Think about it both characters are played by Michael Caine, both wear glasses, both are trained former military special ops guys. both are pretty good gourmet chefs, so to add to the many other "Alfred is really" WMGs Dark Knight Alfred is really retired british spy Harry Palmer in disguise.

Harry was probably friends of someone in the Wayne family (either Bruce s grandfather or one of his uncles) due to Wayne Corps military interests (which have included British special ops or MI-5). At some unseen point Harry was named as infant Bruce's godfather. And at some other point Harry took the job as the Wayne butler simply because he was starting to get bored with his retired life.

After the death of Bruce's parents however Harry's role as godparent and caregiver became more serious. So throughout Bruce's bodyguard as well as Manny (Man Nanny).

Bane wants to destroy Gotham with a nuclear bomb
It's recently been revealed that Alon Abouboul's "mad scientist" is a nuclear scientist. Perhaps he will be recruited by Bane to create a bomb to destroy Gotham.
  • Confirmed.

Bruce knows Bane
Just a little theory inspired by the trailer for TDKR. After leaving Gotham to live among criminals, Bruce crossed paths with Bane in prison, possibly at some sort of brawl or an attempted breakout. Supposing it's also true Bane later became a member of the League of Shadows as hypothesized above, he might also have been the one who tipped them off about Wayne in the first place.

Bane will be The Dragon
To who is anyone's guess.
  • Ra's al-Ghul who turns out to be either somehow alive or immortal, maybe?
  • Alternatively, Bane was Ra's dragon, but was Dragon His Feet in Begins and has since become a Dragon Ascendant. In the comics, Bane was Ras' second choice for heir to the League of Shadows after Bats turned him down. Maybe the same thing happened here, only off screen.
  • Talia is a strong candidate for being revealed as The Man Behind the Man.
    • Confirmed.

Bane is manipulating and will betray Catwoman
The trailers seemed to suggest that they're working together and Selina seems to have a grudge against Bruce Wayne and the rest of Gotham's elite. At some point she will either realize the true horror of his plan or figure out that Bane plans on throwing her to the wolves once he's done with her, at which point she will defect and aid Batman.

In Rises Bruce has already adopted a young Dick Grayson
Although not actively grooming him to be a crimefighter certain similarities between Bruce and Dick are what prompt Alfred's Tear Jerker speech heard in the trailer. The speech is less about his failing Bruce and more about his refusal to fail Dick.

Miranda Tate is a female Expy of Derek Powers
The trilogy will end with Bruce either dying or going into seclusion, and she will become the new CEO of Wayne Enterprises. Over the course of 30 years (give or take) she'll end up going batshit (heh) insane and becoming an evil Corrupt Corporate Executive. At some point, she'll order the assassination of Warren McGinnis, and Bruce will take Warren's son Terry under his wing as the new Batman. Nolan has said repeatedly that Rises will definitively end Bruce Wayne's story—but if someone else really wanted to keep the story going without resorting to a complete reboot, a Batman Beyond movie could definitely be a possibility. Christian Bale would probably go along with it, if only for the artistic challenge of playing a seventy-something Bruce Wayne. And much like the above WMG about The Dark Knight Returns, it would sound very fitting if the series began with Batman Begins and ended with Batman Beyond.
  • Jossed. She's actually Talia al-Ghul using an alias.

Bane will use a freedom fighter image or believe he's one
Based on early snippets of his voice which have him talking about "liberation" and "take control of your city", he might go with a Rebel Leader image to get the masses of Gotham on his side. This ties in to my next theory that since the Big Bad of each Batman film sought the self-destruction of Gotham City thorugh various methods, Bane will too. Ra's al Ghul (Batman Begins) wanted to use fear, The Joker (The Dark Knight) wanted to use chaos, so Bane (The Dark Knight Rises) will use self-righteousness to get the Gothamites to destroy themselves by having them think they're doing what is right. This also ties in to what the secondary villain are like since Scarecrow produces fear gas, Harvey Dent gets warped into Two-Face by chaos, and Catwoman will probably have self-righteous motives.
  • It also makes sense, because those three themes are also aspects of Batman: a self-appointed vigilante who terrorizes criminals has to walk a fine line if he doesn't want to give into madness (the chaos of DK), to overcome his own fears (as in Begins), or become a self-righteous, solipsistic tool(in this hypothetical version of DKR).

Rises will be dedicated to the memory of Heath Ledger.
Because come on. It's too perfect not to happen.

Batman's scallops will turn the tide during his final fight with Bane.
Because they did in both his fight with Ras and the Joker.

Jim Gordon is Sirius Black with Amnesia.
The Actor Rule (idea shamelessly stolen from here). This is what really happened after Sirius fell through the veil. He ended up lost and confused in a muggle city with fractured memories of his own life. He remembers the name "James" is important so he becomes "James" or rather Jim Gordon.

Bane will figure out Batman's identity.
The newest trailer shows them fighting in what looks like the batcave, my guess being that he figure's out Bruce Wayne is Batman (in a way possibly similar to DAVE from The Batman) breaks into the batcave and beats the ever living crap out of him. Showing just how much of a threat he is.
  • Confirmed, possibly, by this new trailer. At the beginning of their underground/Batcave brawl, Bane addresses "Mr Wayne".
  • I was almost right, Bane does know Batman's identity but doesn't go after him, Batman goes after Bane and gets the ever living crap out of him but just in his own base.

Who is Bruce kissing in the latest trailer?
It doesn't look like Marion Cotillard, it sure as hell doesn't look like Anne Hathaway, in fact, if I didn't know any better, it actually looks like...
  • It is Marion Cotillard. Looks just like her, because it is her.
    • It looks vaguely like Marion.
    • Same highly distinctive sleepy eyes and prominent chin and facial structure, same everything else. It's Cotillard. Gyllenhaal is also really easy to pick out of a police line-up, and it isn't her.
    • Oh hey, it was Marion Cotillard.

There will be a nod to the Joker
After the credits we'll have a stinger in Arkham Asylum. We see a cell door hanging open, a guard dead on the ground and either a convientaly placed playing card or manical laughter echoing down the halls. This way they could give a nod to the Joker's status as Batman's nemesis without having to show him and let the series end on a 'The Adventure Continues' note.
  • That seems kinda clichéd. I was thinking it would be cool if, during a scene with Bane releasing prisoners, one of his men would find a locked cell, open it to free the guy inside, only to find it completely empty...save for red and black graffiti all over the walls, and a few notes of Joker's theme from the previous movie's soundtrack playing. Confused, he backs out and continues his job. This would imply that Joker had already escaped from Arkham by himself, as he always does, but just like his origin story we wouldn't have any idea how he did it or where he is by the end of the story. It would also be a fitting send off to Heath Ledger. It probably won't happen, but it's just what I would do if I were Christopher Nolan.
  • There's bound to be something, even if it's simple. They threw one into Begins, and I think it would be appropriate to throw one in here. His impact in Dark Knight was too strong to just pretend he doesn't have a presence in Gotham anymore, even if behind bars.
Jossed by Nolan. There won't be any mention to the Joker.
  • Got a source on that? It's been stated that he won't be in the movie, but I hadn't heard there won't be any kind of Callback.
  • Then again a few months ago Ridley Scott was telling us there would be no Xenmomorphs in Prometheus.
  • Nope, no mention of the Joker at all.

Bane's "anesthetic" is actually an inhalant form of Venom
It would fit in with the rest of the series (powerful drugs in aerosol form), as well as remaining faithful to the comics. Venom would increase Bane's strength, as well as his tolerance for pain, allowing him to get through his chronic pain and stand up to Batman in one on one combat.

Catwoman will be a Marxist.

  • Jossed by her whispering in Bruce's ear that, "You don't owe these people anything." If she were a Marxist she wouldn't tell the richest man in the country, if not the world, that he didn't owe anything to anyone.
    • We don't know the context of the line, and Batman is a such an unusual man and so incredibly self-sacrificing that she may simply be making an exception. For all we know, she could be talking about figures of power and authority who want Batman back once Bane goes on a rampage.
    • Or maybe, if any, she's talking to Batman (the legend/symbol which is about as close to an ideology in this fictional setup) and not to the Bruce Wayne (the man who's part of the bourgeois) she knows: if any, we aren't even sure that she knows (yet) that they are one and the same. This ain't Batman Returns after all.
    • By that time, Bruce Wayne was broke.

Commissioner Loeb was just as corrupt as he was in the comics.
The real reason he set up a task force for Batman was that the latter was hitting the mob. In Dark Knight, the reason he wasn't taking the Joker's threat seriously is because he thought the mob had his back.
  • Jossed in Gotham Tonight. He personally hadpicked Gordon to lead the Major Crimes Unit and publically acusses Maroni of corruption.

The Joker meant for the citizens of Gotham to have an in-universe moment of collective Fridge Brilliance and Fridge Horror as a result of the detonator scenario especially if the civilians' boat had blown up.
That night, when wandering to their medicine cabinet for some sleep medication and stomach settlers, the mildly traumatized citizens would notice that in a prison boat, the only people not in shackles and cuffs are the armed guards, police officers, and maybe warden. How could the prisoners have pressed the button unless not only had all of the guards and officers allowed them, but one had actually given it to them? The next day, hundreds of Gotham residents would wake up, go to work, and promptly give the GCPD their busiest day since the Narrows were filled with fear gas.

The Dark Knight Rises only once Batman dies a literal death.
He watches over Gotham for eternity. He stopped being the hero Gotham needed when he stopped being a hero; Now, after Rises, he'll be the hero Gotham deserves- a dead one.
For a lighter view of this title interpretation: Batman gets the civilian equivalent of a canonization, and the legend of the Dark Knight returning after his disappearance hovers over Gotham like an eternal bat signal, proving that while amateur vigilantes are more trouble than they're worth, good vigilantes carry out the spirit of Batman, even after the man behind the one and only cowl has died.
Either way, my guess is that "rises" is in the euphemistic sense, one way or another.

Bruce stopped being Batman becuase...
Trailers and such seem to imply Burce may have retired becuase Gotham has gotten better, but I think he hung up his cowl becuase he broke his one one rule and killed someone. Probably as a result of something Joker did. Hell, Joker may have finally pushed bats too far and gotten killed becuase of it. Just like he wanted. In Batman Beyond he stopped not because of heart problems but because he had a rough night and was forced to point a gun at someone, and almost shot him.
  • The theory about Joker's death has been Jossed for now. Word of God is that he was put on trial and swiftly executed for his crimes after the events of The Dark Knight, though no one will mention this during Rises. Granted, this was done more to handwave his absence than for any other reason, but it still stands.
    • Apparently not everyone got that memo; while the Joker isn't mentioned in the film proper, the novelization says that he's alive and is currently the sole inmate at Arkham.
    • Actually, there was no such Word of God on the issue, just fanon. Nolan simply said that the Joker would not be mentioned in DKR.

Scarecrow is the mastermind behind Bane and everything in the next movie
This theory's only got a little over a week's worth of relevance before it's inevitably Jossed, but oh well.
  • It seems more like that he's a weathervane who will turn to wherever the wind blows. He used to be in cahoots with R'as al Ghul, so joining Bane would have been a natural move.

We know he's going to be in this movie, and thus he will be the only main villain appearing in all three movies. Sick of being pushed to the sidelines, Crane orchestrated a plan over the last eight years to completely decimate both Batman and Gotham City. He's got the brains to do it, and this plan will strike fear into the hearts of Gotham's elite as well as the Bat. He's a dark reflection of Batman (using fear on his enemies as Batman does to criminals), and it would be nice to see him get a little recognition.

The Adam West show had Riddler as Batman's archenemy instead of Joker, likely because of the incredible Frank Gorshin's performance, so why can't Nolan's trilogy make Scarecrow the archvillain?

Who is the traitor?
The extended consumer advice by the BBFC revealed this intresting little nugget:

A stabbing carries little visual detail and the focus is on the treachery of the character using the knife rather than on any sense of relish in violence.

Of course this raises the question of who is the traitor they reffer to.
  • Catwoman: We know Selina's ethics will be ambigous and there have been reffrences to Catwoman using a knife. Then again it might be predictable and while unscrupulous it seems out of place for her to stoop to outright murder.
  • Miranda Tate: If she turns out to be Talia all the more likely.
    • Confirmed
  • John Blake: As an orignal character Nolan has more freedom to take his character to places the audience wouldn't expect. It could be a great bit of misdirection, build him up as an idealistic Audience Surrogate only for him to be Evil All Along.
  • One of Gordon's Men: They have a bad record for loyalty.
  • The Joker: I know it's been jossed by Word of God... But can't a man dream? (Cries manly tears into the keyboard). Perhaps he'll be in disguise, like in the Bank Robbery, plus a knife is mentioned in the advice.
  • The Traitor in question actually betrays Bane to help out Batman

Bane's Gotham is a terrifyingly accurate depiction of life in CWCville.
A depraved madman who considers himself a perfect hero rules a city with an iron fist, policing it with interchangeable madmen armed with weaponry stolen from other, better sources. His enemies include the police and the actual hero of the story. His foes are executed through horrific mock trials, including the leaders of the resistance movement though in the end, as in real life, this obviously didn't take. There are even soup hotels, albeit run by the protagonists.

Talia
is not dead. She is still alive, and will give birth to Damian while in prison.
  • After five months, she'd be showing, and there'd be little chance of the child surviving that impact.
    • Not necessarily. Some women can go their whole pregnancy without showing much more than a little weight gain. Besides, people have survived worse in the Nolan-verse...
    • Yeah, but typically not women with figures like Marion Cotillard. In any case, Talia and Batman's relationship in the film is very different than the comic book version, and unlikely to produce someone like Damian.
    • Calm down, it IS WMG here
  • I like this theory almost purely for the literary (cinematic?) symmetry.
  • Or possibly not even in prison. I mean, who can prove she was actually a bad guy, rather than a hostage who cooperated to keep people alive? The aftermath of the League's rule over Gotham is going to be confusing as hell, and if any of her minions are captured they're probably not going to sell her out. A decent lawyer could keep her out of jail, and she'd probably even be able to keep her place on the Wayne board. Bruce Wayne would have to return to rescue his father's legacy.

Ginty, the heroic convict...
...from TDK, was killed by either Bane or one of the other inmates when the former took over.
"You ain't for us, therefore you're against us." In pace requiescat.
  • I would like to imagine that he was put to a lower security prison with a shortened sentence as a reward for his actions. A guy who does that is unlikely to return to a life of crime.
    • Assuming, of course, he also gets enough money as a reward so that he'll never have to return to a life of crime...

Papa Napier was actually a very good father.
The Joker simply chose to be evil. It's called free will.

Bane's life-support mask was based on a prototype designed by Victor Fries.

The "clean slate" still doesn't exist
by the end of the movie What Bruce offers her as a clean slate is his proposal of marriage and their going into hiding.

Bruce Wayne died.
The only evidence we have that Batman survived the explosion is A) He patched the autopilot on the Bat, B) Alfred apparently seeing him in a cafe.
  • For the Bat's autopilot to be fixed, we have to believe that Bruce Wayne is a better software than Lucius Fox, the guy he goes to for everything technology related. We have no confirmation that the patch actually works, merely that it's there.
    • Lucius implies that Bruce is as smart as he is, it's just that Bruce is too busy being Batman to do all the things he has Lucius do.
  • Alfred is emotionally distraught, and the cafe scene almost exactly matches a fantasy he admits to having had for years. He is not a reliable observer.
    • If Alfred is imagining the scene, why is Selina there? He only met her while she was working as a maid, then learns she's really a thief, and leaves before any sort of romance begins. It's more likely he would have imagined Rachel.
On the other hand, we do see Batman in the cockpit of the Bat five seconds before the bomb explodes, far too late to finally bail. Conclusion: Nolan gave us a deceptive ending, again.
  • He's the goddamn Batman. Five seconds is all he needs.
    • No, five seconds is all Superman needs. Batman would have barely hit the water in five seconds, let alone had time to swim six miles.
    • Theoretically, he could have jetisoned and glided. If The Bat was travelling at top speed it could have gotten far enough away, with him gliding in the opposite direction, for him to escape the blast (if the blast wave didn't help the glide). Still highly unlikely in real life, but this isn't real life.
    • Correction: we see Batman in a cockpit sometime before the last five seconds. Thanks to cunning editing, we don't know when exactly he's last in the cockpit and there's nothing to confirm he was in the plane carting the bomb. Most likely he punched under the cover of the explosion that broke through the buildings/wall/whatever and flew off in a second Batwing.
  • The last shot we see of Batman is him sitting in his seat. The shot is too close to show the interior of the Bat. He could have ejected at any point and was just resting due to his knife wound.

Similar to Batmen Begins, Scarecrow once again believes he is fulfilling the League of Shadows plan when he is really only a pawn.

The only way I can imagine Crane becoming rising to the position of People's Judge is with the help of his connections to the League of Shadows. He buys the hype and still thinks the plan in anarchy.
  • The criminals of Gotham might have a long memory and remember that a decade earlier he bailed a lot of them out that night in the Narrows. Making him a judge probably seemed fitting to them (since he also kept them out of prison and in the asylums instead).

Nolan will screw around with the reboot.
  • He'll be too indignant to restart his magnum opus, but will not openly sabotage the 2015 film. Instead, he will act as a Literal Genie whenever anyone asks him to do anything, will never volunteer advice of his own free will, and will get himself fired/ ruin the movie completely. Or he could ask any of his villain actors to become Clayface. Or do it himself.

Bruce Wayne became a thief after retiring as Batman
  • He's lost his fortune, and is pretending to be dead. He has no documentation, no verifiable work history, and no references. All he has left are his thief girlfriend and a set of skills that would be very useful for a thief to have. How else would he fund his new life?

Bane is the Joker.
  • There's an issue of MAD magazine that has a cartoon that shows Batman pulling off Bane's mask only to show the Joker. It would explain where the Joker is and why Bane never takes off his mask and why his voice is distorted. True, we did briefly see an unmasked Bane in a Flashback, but maybe that was the real Bane who was killed and the Joker took on his identity.

Bruce and Selina get hitched and have a daughter.

The dark knight rises was a big O finale edited to be a Batman finale
Bruce is Roger, Selina is Dorothy(based on her maid outfit,) and Miranda is Angel. Gotham turns into the reverse of the city in the Big O. It's an island surrounded by water, while in Big O it's a city surrounded by desert. Batman goes though many things Roger went through(Mostly without the Meta).

There will be a new series focused on the three original Robins.
Rather than John Blake taking over as a second Batman, he decides to be come Robin 0 (The first before Dick Grayson.) He will fight crime until Batman resurfaces and will pass the Mantle to Dick Grayson, whom in turn would pass it to Jason Todd, who would die so Tim Drake could be one. It would explain why Bale, and to an extent Batman will not be in the series when Robin is around.

Selina has shortened heel tendons
That's why she wears high heels even when it would be impractical, such as on her catsuit- it's painful to walk without them.

John Blake is the Joker

Think about it. We never learn the Joker's real name, and his character is only in action for about six months (a year if you count The Joker Blogs) and then his actions are completely off the books. Who's to say he didn't escape and resume his old identity, perhaps even getting some corrective surgery on his face. He becomes a cop, deduces Batman's identity because... he's the Joker, and prepares to gain the trust of Bruce Wayne so he can get access to his equipment and bring Gotham to it's knees. And once he has done that, he could pop in to see Bruce Wayne and shove his failure right in his face.

The Joker is the character Jerry Seinfeld played in Seinfeld.
Hear me out. A belief that the two seemingly disparate characters share is nihilism. Seinfeld proudly espoused this, being a "show about nothing" where the characters change and learn little, if anything at all, over the course of nine seasons. They seem to accept that life is random and chaotic and pointless, and all they can do is complain and laugh. As to how on Earth a guy like Jerry could become a maniac, recall that in the series finale, Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer are sentenced to prison for a year (if I may add, they are imprisoned for making fun of a man as he was carjacked at gunpoint, or "doing nothing"). As the Joker has shown us before, a normal person can change in a timeframe as short as one day. Who knows what could happen during a year in a New York prison? It helps for this theory that the Joker of this saga's past is left open. In the decade between Jerry's jail sentence and the events of The Dark Knight, he could have developed his Joker persona, became a master criminal, left New York City, and reached Gotham City. Does it make sense, or should I not write this fan fic?

The Joker is a Wammy's House Reject.
Contrary to what he says in his Break Them by Talking sessions he's very good at planning. No one knows his true name or past. And the Joker says he "hated his father." Wammy's seems to be full of Well Done Son Guys and Beyond Birthday seems to think L was neglectful towards his orphans. The Joker probably went by the code letter J and was best buds with Beyond Birthday and like Beyond, Mr. J decided he had no use for L's plans and decided to drop out to cause murder and mayhem instead.

Ra's Al Ghul wasn't a hallucination
In the time between the end of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises, Ra's Al Ghul was resurrected using a Lazarus pit. This was how Bane and Talia planned to survive the destruction of Gotham. After the bomb detonated, other members of the League of Shadows would come and reclaim their bodies and take them to a Lazarus Pit. As for why Bruce Wayne saw him fade away. He was in immense pain at the time and probably thought Ra's was just a hallucination.
  • If he was really there he would probably correct Bruce's statement that Bane was his child.
  • if this is true, it raises the possibility that Ra's could resurrect both Talia and Bane. He could even resurrect Two-Face at a stretch (Dent may have been cremated but this is Ra's we're dealing with.) Of course none of this couldn't and shouldn't apply to the Nolanverse, but it could be an awesome way to keep all the villains alive.

James Gordon is not the same character as in the comics.
We clearly aren't looking at the same Gordon family as in the comics. It's the same old Jim but his family is an alternate one and this son is definitely not the one we know.

The Joker is Luther following the events of the Warriors.
Luther when questioned about his shooting of Cyrus reply's "No reason. I just... like doing things like that!" which is similar to the Jokers actions in Dark Knight or as Alfred puts it in the film "Some men just want to watch the world burn". so following the events of the Warriors Luther manages to somehow the survive the Riffs escaping with facial scars and causing an already insane person to become much much worse.

The Pit wasn't in the Middle East.
If the Pit was across the sea in some foreign country, how would Bruce get back to Gotham? He didn't have money or identification on him, and he probably didn't know the local language. Instead, the Pit was somewhere much closer to home: the Nevada desert. When Bruce got out of the desert, he probably hitched a ride with some person driving to Las Vegas. As Bruce came from a wealthy family, he may have had a family friend who owned a casino or hotel there. Meeting up with this friend, he got a plane ride back to Gotham, where he may have parachuted to the ground, for all of Gotham's entrances were closed off. That would explain how he moved from the Pit to Gotham with just the clothes on his back.

The Joker is going to go into movie retirement for a couple of years.
Admittedly, this isn't strictly related to these films, but I didn't know where else to put it. Heath Ledger has left some incredibly big shoes to fill, due to the majesty of his performance and the Dead Artists Are Better trope. In light of this, Warner Bros. will basically put the Joker into retirement for any future Batman live-action films, until enough time has passed that the pressure isn't quite as enormous and they're confident that they have an actor who who can deliver a strong enough performance to stand on his own.

Bane was also born in the pit
While Bane is beating the crap out of Batman, he says he didn't see the light until he was a man. That he was born in darkness, while Batman only adopted the shadows after he was older. This seems to hint that he, too, was born in that pit like Talia was. It also gives a reason for him to act as her protector: he'd been through a childhood in Hell on Earth too. He wanted to give her the chance at innocence and safety that he'd never had.

The Joker is actually... ...the Joker
...from the animated series. Somehow, he managed to pop into the Nolanverse. He's the only one who's aware that he's in a movie, and he's loving it. He pops up out of seemingly nowhere because he came into the world that way only months ago. He has no explanation, no back story, and he disappears back into the animated universe between movies, after he's had his fun. After all, he gets to do things he could NEVER do on a cartoon show!
The reason why there is no other superheroes in the nolanverse
Is because the Joker has already killed them all because after all if your good at something why do it for free.

Bruce Wayne will return to Gotham.
There are so many characters and villains that haven't appeared yet, and storylines from the comics that haven't been resolved. For all we know the 2015 reboot could be a Stealth Sequel.

Upon implementing the Clean Slate, the last name Bruce and Selena selected as their new identity is "McGinnis"
And they have twins; a son named Terry and a daughter named Helena who marries into the Bertinelli family only to her husband and kids murdered in front of her via car bomb. This starts her path to becoming Huntress. Meanwhile, Terry becomes Batman after Blake retires from being Batman so he can serve the "Old Man Bruce" role.

The Joker was John Blake's brother.
Okay, the only real source of this is that Heath Ledger looked uncannily like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but wouldn't it add a neat wrinkle to the story?

Crane had MPD, or a similar disorder
MPD, or Multiple Personality Disorder, is a condition where the patient's brain develops a second (or third, or fourth, etc) personality to help cope with extreme trauma and/or abuse. Crane may have had latent MPD or a similar dissociative disorder, which caused him to develop the persona of the Scarecrow. Contrast the quiet, levelheaded Crane with the much more outspoken and insane Scarecrow. Though he was able to keep his condition under control most of the time (being a psychologist would have taught him coping mechanisms), the concentrated dose of fear toxin that he was exposed to shattered his psyche and left Crane's body fully in control of the much more powerful Scarecrow persona.

Bane killed the Joker (or had him killed, at any rate)
Assuming the Joker was in Arkham at all, Bane would almost certainly have taken him into account (he thought of nearly everything else). And not being stupid, he'd know that he couldn't control the Joker, and that the Joker would probably mess with his plans. So he did the smart thing, and ensured that the Joker was disposed of.

The Joker doesn't follow the idea of chaos- he is a follower of the Chaos gods.
The joker didn't cause all that destruction for fun; it was part of a summoning ritual. If the boat bomb plan happened the way he planned it, a portal would have opened and through it would come daemons and Chaos space marines. Goodbye Gotham.......

The Joker is Jim Moriarty from Sherlock.
After believing he defeated Sherlock Holmes, although he was scarred in the process, Moriarty found himself bored once again by life. He realized that the only worthy opponent left was across the sea in Gotham City. Learning what he could about Batman, he decided to match his new chosen enemy's theatricality by putting on a purple suit and clown makeup and giving himself the name of 'The Joker.'

Bruce Wayne will become Batman again after...

The Penguin becomes the mayor of Gotham and turns it back into a crime ridden city.

Wayne Enterprises creates a product that messes with DNA and creates Man-Bat, Killer Croc, Posion Ivy, and/or Clayface.

Catwoman steals from Black Mask who then goes after her for revenge.

Lady Shiva regroups the League of Shadows and continues the assault on the Bat Family.

The Justice League asks him to join them.

The real reason The Joker isn't seen or heard of in The Dark Knight Rises is because he was sent to Guantanamo Bay.
Being a notorious terrorist, it only makes sense that they sent him away through The Patriot Act. He also may have been executed.

The League of Shadows and everyone who trained under them are Assassins
Henri Ducard (Ra's al Ghul) is the Mentor the Assassins up until his death. Batman trained under them as well, making him an Assassin as well, but he left the Order before he ever actually killed anyone and is therefore a rogue Assassin. However, the branch of the Assassins led by Ra's (and later Bane) are ALSO rogues, as they clearly take some un-Assassin-like stances towards how to better the world.

In the movie universe, Gotham replaced New York City
I float this idea because:
  • In The Dark Knight Rises, when Bane's bombs are destroying the bridges, we have an aerial shot that is clearly Manhattan (albeit with a few bridges digitally inserted on the Hudson River - you know they're CGI because the first bridge to cross the Hudson is the George Washington Bridge at 175th Street).
  • You might need to do comparison shots, but the paint scheme on the GCPD's patrol cars is identical to the paint scheme that was used on the NYPD's fleet in the early 1990s (the obvious differences being that the GCPD cars have a darker shade of blue than the 1990s NYPD cars.

The Joker was in the military
Throughout the movie, the Joker shows remarkable comfort with military-grade weaponry like grenades, explosives, and machine guns. He's also shown to be able to blow up whole building complexes and hit a moving vehicle with a rocket launcher from inside a speeding truck. And unless the Joker grew up in the city from the GTA games, the only place he could have practiced that is the military. Actually, a stint in the military would explain a lot of other things about the character, like the, well, military precision of his tactics, including the time he killed a guy using a precisely timed school bus. Plus, there's a seemingly random piece of dialogue that Joker says about blowing up a truckload of soldiers. Of all the things he could have used as an example, it's interesting that the Joker would bring up soldiers getting blown up, especially as shrapnel wounds would be the perfect explanation for his scars. Add some inevitable PTSD into the mix and suddenly you see Ledger's Clown Prince of Crime for who he really is: an ex-soldier who became disfigured, snapped, and later spent the entire movie killing mayors, district attorneys, and police commissioners, aka people who in his troubled mind were representatives of the government that sent him to war.
  • Really? You couldn't have paraphrased that Cracked article? You just had to copy it directly onto the wiki? I mean, don't get me wrong, I it makes perfect sense and I agree completely, but couldn't you at least have tried to put it into your own words?

The above was just a mind game...

The Joker may have experience with weaponry, precision timing, and scarring that corresponds to an explosion, but that doesn't explain his ability to make the most of the terror he creates, not to mention what must have been a perfect disappearance, with the ability to now have 'no name given' for an identity. Military training also isn't the best explanation for his apparent first-hand experience with enhanced interrogation. As such, I'd argue that instead of a military background, Nolan's Joker used to work for an intelligence agency (and not necessarily American. After all, the way he talks appears to mask a much deeper voice, and the Gotham accent might be faked as well.). His work brought him in contact with the worst aspects of intelligence though, possibly leading to his experience with terror, torture, and capture at the hands of an enemy, explaining his injuries. With his previous identity believed dead, and his survival leaving him with a mix of intense physical and emotional scarring, the Joker set out to make a mockery of what he saw as a society whose plans appeared as impersonal as they were calculating.

The Joker genuinely forgot who was at which address.
He seemed to have a bit of difficulty recalling where Harvey and Rachel were.

The Joker's real identity is Patrick Verona.
from 10 Things I Hate About You. Both are feared but oddly charismatic madmen with ambiguous origins and are more interested in fire than money. They even have the same haircut. Of course if Patrick is a teenage joker, than Kat must have had something to do with how he got those scars.

The events of The Dark Knight end after the Joker crashes the party.
We all know that shooting a shotgun with one hand would've broken his wrist or at (least threw him off long enough to get tackled) thus having a few people take him down. His thugs get arrested and the rest of the movie and TDKR never happened. They are merely two big what if scenarios.
Batman & RobinWMG/FilmBattle: Los Angeles

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