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Future Members of Batman's Rogues' Gallery

    Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin 

The self-styled "King" of the Gotham underworld, having worked his way up from Fish Mooney's umbrella boy via a complex series of manipulations, betrayals and outright murder. He's had a few major falls from grace since then, but always manages to claw his way back into power.

As much as he distorts and upends it for his own gain, Penguin tries to stay within the framework of organised crime. Consequently, see his entry in the Gotham Mob page for tropes on him.

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    Edward Nygma/The Riddler 

Edward Nygma

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/1b5ca5a9600979e174dfaf325e521a.jpg
"Spread the word to all your friends. The Riddler is coming!"
Played By: Cory Michael Smith

"This is who I am. It was just finally admitting the truth to myself. Well, that and murdering some people."

A crime scene analyst who works for the Gotham City Police Department and often presents his information in riddles. After his accidental killing of his crush's abusive boyfriend, he starts a downward spiral that involves him killing his girlfriend, framing Gordon for it and eventually becoming the full-fledged Riddler in season 3.


  • Accidental Murder: He accidentally strangles his girlfriend Kristen while trying desperately to prevent her freaking out over the revelation he killed her abusive ex-boyfriend Tom.
  • Adaptational Badass: One of the most formidable versions of the Riddler yet seen. Without Batman around to rival him he's the Evil Genius of the show and nowhere near as bogged down with his riddling compulsion as the comics.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Red-haired in the comics but dark-haired here. Played with as he originally had black hair in the comics but is almost exclusively drawn as a redhead nowadays.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Downplayed, but much of his descent into darkness is spurred on by his love for certain characters and desire to help them. He kills Tom to protect Miss Kringle, in season 3 helps Oswald become mayor out of genuine friendship and after falling in love with Isabella goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Oswald for killing her. In "They Did What?" he willingly stays to help Gordon and Oswald stop Bane destroying Gotham.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: After his Face–Heel Turn. In the comics, he was only an evil mastermind with a quirk for riddles. He was one of Batman's friendliest enemies and even became a rival detective of Batman's for a time. In the show, he becomes an Ax-Crazy serial killer, murdering several people in an attempt to cover up his tracks. He then frames Gordon for the murder of a fellow officer, sending him to Blackgate. He is shown to have little remorse in retrospect for the murders he commits, saying that they free him.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: At the start. He has No Social Skills and is often smug and annoying with his riddles, but in this incarnation, he's a competent and effective police forensic scientist who often provides Gordon and Bullock with critical information. Most notable when he finds out Gordon's been fired - he informs Gordon he intends to protest to the highest authority (even if he's not sure who that is) and actually gives Gordon an awkward hug before leaving. Needless to say, after becoming the Riddler that all goes out the window.
  • Adjusting Your Glasses: By the bridge as he descends into Strange's experimentation facility.
  • Admiring the Abomination: His reaction to several people collapsing as their bones turn to dust inside them is an awestruck "Fascinating!" He later shows an interest in crimes beyond the forensics.
  • Adorkable: Nerdy glasses, obsession with riddles, interest and profession in science? He definitely qualifies as this. Not so much after he goes off the deep end and starts killing people.
  • Affably Evil: Upon his initial descent into villainy, Nygma retains his Adorkable demeanor.
    • Faux Affably Evil: ...but by the middle of season 3 the Riddler (with his attendant massive ego) is in full control. He's still polite and cheerful, but God help you if you piss him off.
  • Age Lift: Riddler is now apparently around Gordon's age, while usually he is around Batman's age.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: He has to speak in riddles, is visibly annoyed and disappointed when not taken up on them, and he has a textbook case of No Social Skills, which line up on the Asperger's spectrum. He also has signs of Super OCD, carefully picking onions out of his lunch and reorganizing the station's archives to what he finds a superior structure. This could be a case of Shown Their Work on the part of the writers, trying to ground character behavior in real-life disorders; "If the Joker is a sociopath, and Two-Face is bipolar, what real-life mental conditions would make someone act like the Riddler of the comics?"
  • Ambiguous Situation: In season 5 - he's blacking out and waking up randomly all over the now-derelict city. He assumes it's the Ed personality, but doesn't seem to be aware that he's been in the care of Hugo Strange - who actually put a mind-control chip in his head, rendering him Brainwashed and Crazy whenever Eduardo needed a killer inside Gotham.
  • Arc Villain: For the latter half of both seasons 2 and 3.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • He and Oswald became this to each other after Oswald murdered Ed's girlfriend and Ed destroyed Oswald's criminal empire. Eventually subverted after Penguin reawakens his Riddler personality and later saves his life from Sofia's men - when Riddler later betrays him he tells him he has no ill will towards him, he's just doing it to protect Lee.
    • He can also be considered one for Gordon, seeing as he framed Jim for murder and may have indirectly caused Lee's miscarriage. Resurfaces in season 4 where he starts getting paranoid Gordon will take the now-Tetch afflicted Lee away from him.
    • Also develops a fixation on Lucius Fox in season 3 after Fox proves capable of working out his riddles.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: When he realises Penguin is going to rig an election he has an excellent chance of winning fairly, he pays a little girl to feed Oswald compliments about getting rid of Strange's monsters. A delighted Penguin mouths off that people look at him differently now and genuinely appreciate him - then Ed reveals the ruse, just to show him how hollow paid adulation is.
    Ed: And how do you feel now?
  • Attention Whore: He is the Riddler, after all. Before his Face–Heel Turn he's simply desperate for someone to appreciate his skills, all the more so as he's routinely belittled by Bullock. After becoming the Riddler it manifests in his monumental ego testing others with riddles, usually in front of others, so he can prove he's the smartest man in the room.
  • Ax-Crazy: After suffering a serious Sanity Slippage, Nygma begins killing people left and right while trying to hide his ex-girlfriend's corpse, to the point where he fully embraces the idea of killing others because it provides a sense of power to him. He kinda sorta acts somewhere close to his old self (albeit colder and with more arrogance) during his Villainous Friendship with Penguin in season 3, but he goes off the deep end once more after finding out Isabella was murdered by Penguin. By the end of Season 3 he's the Riddler in full and any trace of the basically decent Ed is buried under the Riddler's massive ego and a pile of bodies.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In "Mad Grey Dawn."
  • Badass Boast:
    • A particularly good one, given how well he lives up to it over season 3:
    Hallucination Penguin: I hate to burst your bubble, but no one is going to be afraid of "The Riddler".
    Ed: Maybe not yet. But they will be.
    • Again at the end of season 5, where the people's lack of appreciation for his bravery leads to a serious case of Sanity Slippage.
    Riddler: Common criminals? Never again. I've shown this city who I truly am once before, and I will do it again! They will BOW to the Riddler, and they won't get up until I permit them to!
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: He starts wearing his trademark green suit and bowler hat in Season 3.
  • Batman Gambit: Pulls off a spectacular one on Gordon in "Mad Grey Dawn" to disgrace him.
  • Berserk Button: He's got a few, most of which stem from him viewing himself as a No Respect Guy - as his darker side takes over, don't insult him or physically attack him. Don't EVER harm people he loves (as Tom and Penguin find out the hard way), don't get his riddles wrong, and always call him the Riddler. Lately, telling him Lee doesn't love him is another good way to get on his bad sidenote  - and definitely don't name your dog after him.
  • Big "NO!": After realizing that he killed Kristen.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: His compulsion with riddles, which ended up working to his advantage in "Mad Grey Dawn", ends up being his downfall when a riddle about death buys the GCPD enough time to close in on him.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: When Hugo Strange resurrects him, he puts a mind-control chip in his head, leading him to be remote-controlled into atrocities like the Haven bombing by Eduardo.
  • Break the Cutie: He commits his first murder on Miss Kringle's Abusive Boyfriend, triggering his Start of Darkness.
  • Bullying a Dragon: It's implied his bullying a not-so-catatonic Jeremiah Valeska was the reason he was set up as the fall guy for bombing Wayne Towers.
  • Butt-Monkey: During the final quarter of the second season, after he had been busted. Not only is he shipped off to Arkham, he also has a foiled escape attempt which results in his being briefly locked up with one of Arkham's most rabid inmates, and then in the season finale he gets used and betrayed by both Strange and Gordon.
  • Came Back Wrong: Being frozen in ice hasn't done wonders for his intelligence, in fact he's suffered a huge blow in cognitive thinking and no longer able to solve his favorite riddles. He spends much of his time post-thawing trying to get it back. This is because the Ed personality is now back in control. It takes Penguin of all people to snap him back to himself.
  • Cartwright Curse: Be it by his own hand or just plain bad luck, Nygma can never seem to have a girlfriend survive a relationship with him. Having Penguin be in love with him certainly didn't help. Poor Isabella...
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Deconstructed. His unusualness is the main reason he's so ostracized.
  • The Comically Serious: Occasionally.
    Riddler: We have a great deal to talk about. But first... Did you name your dog after me?!
  • Complexity Addiction: As Penguin points out just before having him frozen, he needs to compulsively see something through in as exacting a fashion as possible, meaning he'll always throw out the simple way of doing things in order to show off his own intelligence - even if it costs him in the long run.
  • The Corrupter: Believe it or not, but he manages to convince the Penguin to enjoy the fact that his mother is dead because now she can no longer hold him back. It takes a while, but Penguin is seen to get progressively worse from this point on.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • As shown in "Into the Woods", he keeps a chair in his apartment secretly wired to his building's electricity, apparently just on the off chance that he'll ever need to knock out somebody who happens to be sitting there.
    • His season 5 lair has pressure-sensitive IEDs at random points round it - and a heart monitor to detonate them if Riddler's heartbeat changes too much.
  • Creepy Cute: In-Universe and out. He's very Adorkable and not bad-looking in a nerdy way, but even before his Sanity Slippage his cheerful scientific curiosity about horrific crimes and awkward expressions of affection toward Miss Kringle can go beyond normal social awkwardness and endearing quirkiness into disturbing territory.
    Miss Kringle: I think you left this on my desk.
    Edward: It's a riddle.
    Miss Kringle: It's a cupcake with a live bullet in it.
    Edward: It's a riddle.
  • Curse of the Ancients: Just before he's arrested for murder and obstruction and perversion of justice: "Aw, crud." In fact, during the final quarter of the second season he shows a tendency to resort to this when things go to hell.
  • Deadpan Snarker: His split personality has a tendency to snark towards him. For example, in "Damned If You Do", when he appears in a mirror and Nygma accuses him of copying him:
    Split!Nygma: Dude. It's a mirror, it's how they work.
  • Delighting in Riddles: His signature style, which really annoys his colleagues. Becomes a lot less humourous from season 2 onwards, becoming harbingers of death if you get them wrong...
  • Disney Death: At the end of Season 4, he and Lee stab each other seemingly to death. Thanks to the Penguin and Hugo Strange it doesn't stick.
  • The Dog Bites Back:
    • After the ME gets him suspended, Nygma does a little digging. Turns out the ME likes to steal body parts. (Or Nygma planted them to frame him.) One anonymous tip off later...
    • When Nygma discovers that Kristen Kringle's boyfriend Tom is abusing her, he confronts Tom who just blows him off. Later that night, Nygma waits outside Kringle's house when Tom comes around drunk and stumbling. Nygma confronts him again. Tom gut punches Nygma. Nygma retaliates by stabbing Tom AT LEAST a dozen times. Afterwards, he has quite the breakdown, simultaneously laughing and freaking out.
    • Then there's his paying Penguin back for murdering Isabella by ruining his mayorship, driving him to near-insanity and killing him (though that part didn't stick).
  • Double Agent: He's a murderer who's working for the GCPD's forensics division.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: The Riddler flat-out states he has no interest in running the criminal underworld, and willingly helps others like Penguin, Barbara, and Lee take control of it to pursue his own goals.
  • The Dreaded: Him entering the GCPD precinct in "Anything for You" is enough to make everyone in the building turn silent.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: The rest of the police often take his brilliant forensics work for granted, and in particular because they think he's annoying, they often shoo him away as soon as possible or ignore him. One of the principle reasons he ends up going down the path he does.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • When he bumps into Selina (who's looking for Firefly) during his Arkham escape attempt, he warns her the hell away from Hugo Strange. All the more notable as he barely knows her at this point.
    • After he figures out what he thinks is his other personality committed the Haven bombing he's utterly horrified he could have killed so many people, including children. In subsequent conversation with Jim, he clarifies that while he's killed a ton of people who have hurt him personally, he doesn't go in for the mass murder of those he doesn't know.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Wigs the hell out when Lucius Fox answers one of his riddles, quite reasonably, with the answer love (Ed's answer was loneliness). Used against him in season 4, when Lee gives him a riddle he easily works out the answer to: I love you. Except, due to this (and lingering feelings for Lee) he's incapable of actually saying it out loud.
  • Evil Feels Good: His murder of Kristen is anything but - but when he's able to fob Lee Thompkins off while disposing of her body, his split personality is then able to make him admit that while killing Kristen was terrible, killing her and outsmarting Lee to get away with it felt, in his own words, "beautiful".
  • Evil Genius: Possibly the smartest character on the whole show, rivalled only by Jeremiah Valeska. If it weren't for his compulsions and split personality tripping him up, he'd be unstoppable.
  • Evil Is Petty: Like the comics Riddler, he tends to react to people getting his riddles right rather poorly. He also once killed an actor playing Hamlet because he found his performance underwhelming.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Once he goes bad, he starts acting much more theatrical than usual (in a creepy sort of way).
  • Evil Laugh: Has an outstanding cackle that comes up whenever things go his way, particularly in seasons 4 and 5. Best heard in the closing moments of this video.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Whenever his Riddler persona surfaces, his voice becomes much deeper and gravelly than his Ed side.
  • Expy: His Split Personality seems to be a combination of both the Frank Gorshin and Jim Carrey Riddler personalities.
  • Face–Heel Turn: After murdering the girl who he loved, Nygma begins to fully embrace his lust for evil. By the end of season 2 he's the Riddler in all but name, and season 3 has him not only take the name but don the iconic green suit.
  • Foreshadowing: The license plate on his car says "RIDL LVR". While it's short for "Riddle Lover", it's also a mere letter away from "RIDDLER".
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: He still wears glasses after pulling his Face–Heel Turn.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: On the GCPD initially - he's brilliant but annoys everyone with his insistence on riddles and over-enthusiasm for the weirder cases they take. Jim's the only one that likes him, but even that's strained sometimes. Gets better once he starts dating Kristen, as Jim and Lee Thompkins try and befriend him outside of work. Then he kills Kristen and it all falls apart.
    • Taken Up to Eleven when Oswald becomes mayor and appoints him his liason with the GCPD - everybody hates him for his prior actions. Gordon and Bullock loathe him for his prior framing of Jim, Lee slaps him for Kristen's murder (and dares him to do something about it given she's marrying Carmine Falcone's son) and Barnes even makes it clear that he only tolerates his presence at the station because he likes his own job more than he likes Nygma. Lucius is the only one that even tries to work with him out of a grudging respect for his intellect.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: In season 1 Nygma is just the GCPD's forensic scientist. In season 3, he's a feared criminal genius that can even pose a threat to the Court of Owls.
  • The GM Is A Cheating Bastard: When Lucius is able to come up with quite reasonable answers to his riddles to save Harvey's life, he insists only his answers count. Then when Lucius gives the correct answer to the last one, Riddler almost kills Harvey anyway to give himself time to get away.
  • Harmless Freezing: Played with. Being frozen for several months by Mr. Freeze causes muscle atrophy which he recovers from in a few days, but it also causes some sort of brain damage, as he is unable to come up with any good riddles.
  • Hate Sink: For the GCPD in the first half of season 3. Becomes this for the populace of Gotham in season 5 after the Haven bombing.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: In season 5's "They Did What?" where he goes on a long Motive Rant about how he only helped Gotham so he could take it for himself. Tellingly, he does all this while looking at himself in a mirror - but unlike in season 2 and 4, there's no other personality to talk back to him, implying the Riddler is all that's left.
  • Human Popsicle: At the end of "Heavydirtysoul", Penguin has Mr. Freeze turn Nygma into one, which he plans to use as the centerpiece of his new club, the Iceberg Lounge. That is, until his Loony Fan Myrtle Jenkins thaws him out in "They Who Hide Behind Masks".
  • Hypocrite: While he had a point that Oswald must not have really loved him because if he had he would have valued his happiness rather than killed Isabella for being his competition, Ed isn't exactly good at valuing his loved ones more than himself, either. After killing Ms. Kringle in season one, he got lost in grief for about a day before deciding that killing the person he loved had freed him to become the person he was meant to be and made him stronger.
  • Iconic Outfit: In Season 3, he starts wearing dark green suit jackets akin to the Riddler's iconic look. In "How the Riddler Got His Name", he finally dons his classic bright green suit and bowler hat.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: All he wants is respect from his coworkers and to be seen as good guy. Which makes his inevitable fall from grace all the more harsh.
  • I Know You Know I Know: Regarding Gordon figuring out about his being responsible for the frameup.
  • It's All About Me: Taken Up to Eleven in the second half of Season 4 when Jeremiah is about to either level the entire city or to plunge it into total chaos, all he is able to think about is how much Lee loves him and how he can get her to be with him.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While Edward can be an obnoxious know-it-all who comes off as really creepy at times, he's actually very kind and friendly to those he considers friends like Jim, Sarah, Ms. Kringle, Harvey, etc. Most of his jerkass behavior is directed towards terrible people (Arnold Flass, the medical examiner) or just a side effect of his anti-social disorder. Hugely subverted later on, as the Riddler personality takes over more fully and he becomes steadily more Ax-Crazy.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: At the start of "How the Riddler Got His Name" he's still maintaining the pretence of being part of the (now-missing, presumed dead) Mayor Cobblepot's staff, with the GCPD suspecting nothing about his killing Penguin even though they hate him anyway. But Oswald's belief Ed would be nothing without him needles him into going on a episode-long rampage that outs him to the police and city, killing 6 people to find someone who understands him, revealing himself to Lucius Fox and almost killing Harvey. Lucius expresses utter confusion as to why he do something so blatantly insane - but none of it matters to him, as he's now discovered who he truly is: The Riddler.
  • Karma Houdini: Gets away with all his criminal actions by the end of the series. Though to be fair, he is terrified of Batman now.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • Killing Miss Kringle's Abusive Boyfriend.
    • Shooting the Penguin and dumping his body in the bay for killing his new girlfriend and depriving him a life of happiness.
  • Knife Nut: After his descent into villainy he seems to have a hidden blade on him at all times, especially from season 4 onwards.
  • The Lab Rat: Starts off as one before his Start of Darkness. Tends to annoy his coworkers by giving out information in riddle-form.
  • Lack of Empathy: Not overtly malicious, but part of his obsessive behavior, combined with his profession as a forensic investigator - which means that he sees horrific murders as exciting puzzles to solve, not really focusing on the death of another human being. Most of these are within the realm of professional detachment, but in "Viper", Nygma is practically giddy when describing what he has learned about the advanced new super-drug hitting the streets - including how it invariably kills users within a day by destroying the calcium in their bones. A hooker strung-out on the drug then horrifically dies in front of him, her brittle bones snapping under her own weight. Instead of being repulsed by her death, he simply beams "fascinating!" - like a child who just found a really interesting crossword puzzle. After his Face–Heel Turn, he fully embraces how good it is to make other suffer in order to give himself a sense of power over them.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After shooting Penguin at the docks and letting his body fall into the river, Penguin has him frozen by Mr. Freeze half a season later at the exact same pier. He's even manipulated into thinking the location was his own idea.
  • Lean and Mean: After completing his Face–Heel Turn, he begins his transformation into the Riddler, who was always a Non-Action Big Bad on account of his lack of muscle mass.
  • Love Makes You Evil/Love Makes You Crazy: He killed Tom to protect Miss Kringle, but it led to his Start of Darkness. Then, it gets even worse when he accidentally kills Miss Kringle himself when she rejects him after learning the truth. Ironically, it's Penguin's love for him - killing Isabella - that finally snaps him, as he goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Penguin that ends in his (seeming) death and Ed becoming the Riddler in full.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: He tries to invoke this by performing an autopsy in "The Mask", and goes through the process just fine until the actual medical examiner comes in and tells him off.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • After he kills Tom, he realizes that he won't be coming back to normal anytime soon.
    • He accidentally strangles Miss Kringle in a fit of panic, but realizes too late that he killed her.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Nygma is briefly seen holding a coffee mug with the Riddler's trademark question mark on the side.
    • He also might be a big walking one to the Batman: Arkham Series version of the Riddler, given that Arkham Origins revealed that prior to becoming the Riddler or even the pre-Riddler alias of "Enigma", he was a member of the GCPD.
    • The bright green suit and black bowler hat that he sports as the Riddler is very much a modernized, updated version of Frank Gorshin's suit from the 1960's TV series.
    • The name of the game show that he hosts in the Narrows? The Riddle Factory.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: His excessive paranoia over Kristen's death leads him to mistake Jim's relatively innocent queries over Kristen's disappearance as a sign that he's been rumbled, and moves to frame Gordon - a move that ends up exposing him to the rest of the GCPD. If he'd not acted, he may well have gotten away with it.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Played with: he's a lot more hands on than many incarnations of the character, with an impressive list of people he's personally murdered, but he still tries to stay out of fighting the show's more capable characters. Played for laughs in "Ruin" when he tries and fails to pull a paper folder from Lucius Fox's grasp. It's so pathetic Lucius just looks bored the whole time.
  • No Social Skills: He's blissfully unaware of how weird he comes across, and is convinced everyone at the station is his buddy. He also doesn't notice basic social cues, often standing around smiling after people have stopped speaking to him, not realizing that they non-verbally want him to leave. Interestingly subverted when he becomes the Riddler - he's far more confident and able to interact normally with others (even if those others are psychopaths like Penguin and Barbara).
  • Not So Different:
    • No matter how much he hates Tom for abusing Kristen, he himself ends up violently manhandling and accidentally killing her. When his Split Personality begins to emerge he even says it would be good for her to fear him a little (much as Tom had insisted women need a "firm hand"), before admonishing himself for talking like that.
    • He later also compares himself to the Penguin. Informing Cobblepot that they are both evil men who should embrace their true murderous intentions now that the people most important to them can no longer hold them back.
  • Oblivious to Love: He's genuinely clueless that Oswald is in love with him in season 3. It takes Barbara, of all people, to spell it out for him.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When Gordon is desperately trying to get in touch with Leslie Thompkins because he believes the Ogre is after her, he demands to know where she is. Nygma pauses for a second and simply and straightforwardly tells Gordon what he knows.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: In the grand finale, once Batman and the Joker begin their game, Nygma just gets so overshadowed by the two that he practically becomes a nuisance rather than the villainous mastermind he dreamed of being.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: He shoots Penguin and dumps his body in the bay for killing his beloved Isabella, despite the mob boss begging for forgiveness.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • He and Penguin despise each other by late season 3 - but still agree to work together because both know they can't escape the Court of Owls' prison without each other. Riddler even insists on a six-hour window where they not go after each other after getting out, and both abide by it.
    • He helps Jim unravel Jeremiah Valeska's plan not because he cares about Gotham being reduced to rubble, but because he's hoping to use the info to ensure a new life for him and Lee elsewhere.
    • Invoked by its absence in season 5: he's able to convince Barbara that he was an Unwitting Pawn in the Haven bombing by pointing out that in their long history together when had he ever done anything as pointlessly stupid as that atrocity?
  • Reality Ensues:
    • His attempts at performing the duties of the medical examiner eventually get him suspended when said medical examiner goes to Captain Essen in "The Fearsome Dr. Crane" and threatens to go over her head over the issue. Fortunately, he ends up coming back when the ME's own medical improprieties are revealed.
    • Deducing the only way out of Gotham is via submarine is all well and good, but actually building one from scratch taxes even his formidable abilities - especially as Penguin thinks his share of the partnership consists of getting snacks for them.
  • The Rival: He considers himself as one for Jim, especially when it comes to their feelings for Lee. Jim considers him more of an Unknown Rival, given at that point he has stopping Jeremiah blowing up the city on his plate.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • In the final episode of Season One he realises that he unconsciously left a clue pointing at himself after killing Tom, and begins to break at the seams, having fits of paranoia and hearing voices. Come season two he's headed right into Gollum-esque arguments with his own evil urges via a mirror. Then he accidentally murders his girlfriend Kristen in a fit of blind panic. In Season 2, he deteriorates to the point where he's become an Ax-Crazy psychopath.
    • Again in the finale: he acts far more manic than before due to spending ten years in Arkham.
  • Save the Villain: He treats the Penguin after finding him wounded in the forest.
  • Say My Name: After numerous episodes of Penguin refusing to name Ed's alter-ego out of spite, his finally calling Ed the Riddler in season 4 (because he's desperate enough to need him to get out of Arkham) causes the Riddler personality bubbling beneath Ed's surface to take over once more.
  • Sherlock Scan: Deduces Barbara is pregnant within seconds of seeing her in "Ace Chemicals".
  • Skewed Priorities: Played for Drama. Having Lee turn into the woman he was meant to be with as his top priority leads to him kidnapping and attempting to murder Gordon which in turn leads to him not having enough time to find and disarm all of Jeremiah's bombs.
  • Slasher Smile: After transitioning into a villain he starts smirking evilly after embracing his inner darkness.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Speaks in riddles, is a forensic scientist, and wears big browline glasses.
  • Smug Snake: Rubs his freedom and position of power in the faces of Lee and Barnes.
  • The Sociopath: Played with. He freely admits that the people of the Narrows can all “drown in a stew of their own filth, and I won’t lose a wink of sleep,” but he helps them anyway because he genuinely cares about Lee. By the end of the series, this attitude is given a callback when he gives a truly terrifying speech to Oswald about how he felt absolutely nothing for the Gotham citizens he had just fought beside, and he only desires to never be like them again and completely rule them. However, mere moments later, he passes up a chance to literally stab Oswald in the back and genuinely, affectionately embraces his friend with tears in his eyes.
  • Split Personality: He hallucinates a dark reflection of himself urging him to perform evil by giving in to his inner hate. It's later made clear that this second personality is the Riddler persona, who acts as a separate being from Edward. Given an interesting twist in season 4 - the Riddler personality is back in the driver's seat, but starts hallucinating the Ed persona, needling him about falling for Lee Thompkins. This time out the Ed personality is considerably more calm and confident, while the Riddler is much more stressed and less in control, to the point if a viewer unfamiliar with the show were to watch the scenes they share, it'd be difficult to tell which personality was which.
  • Split-Personality Merge: At the end of "Mommy's Little Monster." Inverted at the end of "Queen Takes Knight", where the two have split again.
  • Stalker with a Crush: He comes across this way with Kristen Kringle, since given his No Social Skills and love for riddles, it comes off as creepy.
  • The Starscream: After figuring out that Penguin had put a hit on Isabella. Though unlike most examples he doesn't seek to supplant Penguin, merely ruin his happiness the same way Penguin ruined his.
  • Start of Darkness: Killing Tom was this. Cemented further by his killing Kristen when she freaks out over his revealing this.
  • Suppressed Rage: In response to being called names (yet again) by Bullock, he crushes the cryogenically frozen rose he was holding in one hand. It's the slow sound of the rose cracking apart that really sells it.
  • Taking the Bullet: During the police massacre in "Knock, Knock", he manages to save Kringle this way. Fortunately, it wasn't a fatal shot. He also pushes Oswald out of the way of Butch Gilzean’s murderous wrath.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Lampshaded in "Anything for You". When he, as Mayor Cobblepot's Chief of Staff, pulls rank on Captain Barnes, Barnes reminds him how lucky he is to be in his current position after everything in eight simple words.
    Barnes: Every dog has his day, Nygma. Enjoy yours.
  • Took a Level in Badass: He goes from the GCPD's nerdy crime scene analyst that nobody except Gordon liked to a master criminal even the Court of Owls regarded as a Spanner in the Works in the space of three seasons.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: After he pulls his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Tragic Villain: This version of Nygma is the most sympathetic portrayal of the villain in live action.
  • Traitor Shot: He gets plenty after his Face–Heel Turn, including several in "Mad Grey Dawn", one of which takes place when Gordon's arrested.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Inverted. He's actually overestimating badassery when he assumes that Jim Gordon has caught on to his murders and seeks to eliminate him in order to cover his tracks despite Gordon literally knowing nothing about Nygma's Face–Heel Turn.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Oswald in Season 3, risking his life for him on more than one occasion and committing all his considerable brainpower and resources towards his friend's success, at one point even sincerely telling Oswald that he’d do anything for him. Obviously broken during their fall out, but by the time their friendship is repaired in Season 5, writers confirm that Ed is only defending Gotham from Bane because Oswald is there. In the Time Skip finale, he even blindly follows the escape plan laid out for him because he thought Oswald was behind it.
  • The Unfettered: He regards himself as this after Kristen's death. He passes along this philosophy to the Penguin as well, convincing him that the Galavans' murder of his mother has removed his only weakness. Subverted though: subsequent seasons show that he's still tethered to people he cares about, like Oswald and Lee, both of whom influence his behaviour for better and worse.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Of the future Bane, courtesy of a mind-control chip in his head. Unfortunately, the Time Skip finale also sees him become this to a not-so-comatose Joker.
  • Villain Decay: After he escapes from his frozen prison, the Riddler loses his magnificent intelligence and credibility as a once feared villain of Gotham. He's eventually forced to survive on the streets acting as a pathetic mugger before he teams up with Solomon Grundy, who's essentially his meal ticket and the only reason why he's not down under even further. Comes roaring back later in the season once Penguin reawakens his Riddler personality. Then again in the grand finale, where he and Penguin get effortlessly beat up by the Batman. His final scene is both him and Oswald being too afraid of the caped crusader to consider a rematch. Needless to say, Riddler has not made himself a feared powerhouse in Gotham like he used to be.
  • Villain Protagonist: Behind Gordon, Bruce and Penguin he's become perhaps the most focused-on character in the show, with significant portions of each season spent exploring his gradual descent into insanity, his revenge on Penguin, return to his Riddler persona and complex relationship with Thompkins.
  • Villain Respect: Notably for someone who mocks most others as intellectual inferiors, has this for Lucius Fox, even going so far as to call him the Second-Smartest Man in the City.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Is having a drawn out one after killing Penguin, as his episode-long rampage in "How the Riddler Got His Name" is essentially his trying to find himself after killing his best friend. And again at the end of season 3 when he realises how thoroughly Penguin has outsmarted him.
  • Villainous BSoD: Suffers a serious meltdown upon realizing that he accidentally murdered his girlfriend Kristen. Has another one after (supposedly) killing Penguin, as Oswald's taunt Ed is nothing without him provokes him to go on an episode-long rampage to define his own identity.
  • Villainous Friendship: With the Penguin, beginning midway through Season 2. Even when it looks like he betrayed the Penguin, it's soon revealed that whatever it was he did, it was to further the Penguin's cause. It's one such revelation that gets him named the Penguin's Chief of Staff upon his election as Mayor of Gotham. Not remotely surprisingly, it all goes wrong, and they spend much of season 3 trying to kill each other. Season 4 sees a reconciliation of sorts after Oswald lets the Riddler personality loose again, and in season 5 the two even share a laugh about how weird their relationship is after Riddler murders Mr. Penn.
  • Villainous Rescue: Saves Martin from Sofia Falcone's thugs at Penguin's behest. Even tells him they'll get ice cream afterwards.
  • Villainous Valour: Played with when Bane comes for Barbara: Riddler claims his and Penguin taking on Bane with an improvised oxygen tank bomb was solely so he could steal back the part for their submarine she'd stolen. Except he clearly does that before the two villains have to face the armoured psycho, so there's definitely some of this in play, even if it ends in the two of them abandoning the ladies to their fate.
  • Walking Spoiler: After season 2 it's tough to hide that his time as the GCPD's forensic specialist doesn't end well...
  • We Used to Be Friends: With Gordon. When they're waiting for the Court of Owls' representatives in season 3, Jim reminisces over their respective failed relationships and shows regret things went so badly between them.
  • Wife-Basher Basher: Well it's more like "Wife Basher Slasher," when he knifes Tom to death over and over and over again.
  • Wild Card: He doesn't really care about the city's power structures or running Gotham (and admits as much to Barbara), but he'll help the other villains or hinder them depending on whether it suits his goals.
  • Worthy Opponent: He's got a grudging respect for Lucius Fox, the only one at the GCPD that proves capable of both solving his riddles and working out his motives. He notably leaves him alive at the end of "How the Riddler Got His Name" and in season 5 even refers to him as "the second smartest man in Gotham".
  • Would Hit a Girl: Accidentally murdered Kristen in season 2, though he genuinely didn't mean that one. He stabbed Lee in "No Man's Land" when he believes she still has feelings for Gordon (though, as he points out when they meet again in season 5, she stabbed him first). Later throws a wheelchair-bound old woman to her death in "Ruin" after realizing she'd seen his other personality commit the Haven bombing.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy:
    • He's implied to be deliberately trying to position himself as the Plucky Comic Relief of the cops with his line "Everyone needs some humor in their lives." See all the above for how well it works.
    • Played with in his belief he can be The Hero of his and Kristen's story - with his plucky "stop right there Buster!" he really seems to think his warning the larger, drunk Tom (who he knows can be violent) to first leave Kirsten alone, then leave Gotham will work. Then it turns out that he had the foresight to bring a knife with him, indicating he'd at least planned for the possibility of killing Tom...
    • In the finale he still seems to think he's in a Villainous Friendship with Barbara, reminiscing on how awesome she used to be and laying out his plans to her - just as he had done in seasons prior. Unfortunately, her Heel–Face Turn is genuine, and she's just stalling so Selina can knock him out.

    Selina Kyle/Catwoman 

Selina "Cat" Kyle

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/204_004_gotham_strike_force_10.jpg
"Five minutes on the street, you'll be mincemeat."
Played By: Camren Bicondova, Lili Simmons (adult)

"Rule number one: look after number one."

A teenage girl with a fondness for theft and cats. The future Catwoman. She witnessed the murder of the Waynes, and has been keeping an eye on Bruce, a relationship that gradually sees both become more and more attracted to each other despite their differing moral codes.


  • Aborted Arc: Selina gaining her unstable, ferocious cat-like powers gets totally forgotten by the end of the show. Though the closest we get is a hint that she has it under control now, but they never pop up ever again.
  • Adaptational Badass: Selina seems to demonstrate superb acrobatics and combat skills before getting trained in martial arts. Also, she's already shaping up into her hardened, intelligent con-artist self during her teenage years.
  • The Aloner: She frequently ends up isolated from everyone else thanks to her cynical, selfish attitude and trust issues due to living on the mean streets of the city all her life. It's habit that has both benefited her and screwed her over.
  • Animal Motif: She may not have taken the mantle of Catwoman up yet, but young Selina is seen moving like a cat as she prowls through Gotham. And feeding a cat. In one scene, she's seen playing with her locket as a cat would. And she's nicknamed "Cat" for obvious reasons.
  • The Apprentice: Tabitha takes her under her wing in the season 3 finale. Once Barbara returns, the three become the Sirens.
  • Arch-Enemy: Silver is this for her in season 2 after she twigs her motives towads Bruce aren't good. After he almost cripples her in season 4 she regards Jeremiah Valeska as this.
  • Badass Adorable: She's an extremely smart and savvy survivor of Gotham's mean streets, but she's still just a kid. Especially pronounced in the first season where, as Fish's chief henchman, she looks almost comical recapturing Gordon and Falcone with a pack of much larger mooks in tow.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Kills Reggie to keep Bruce's hands clean. Later tries to kill Jerome to keep Bruce safe.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • She often expresses the belief that she's better off on her own. When Bruce cuts ties with her at the end of season 3 she's left without anyone and really doesn't like it. She ends up going to Barbara and Tabitha of all people (though she doesn't know Barbara is dead) because she's terrifed of being alone again.
    • Expresses the plaintive hope that her mother will return to Gordon in season 1. In season 3 her mother does return - and shortly proves to be using her to con money out of Bruce. It's particularly crushing as unlike the Silver situation this time it's Bruce who instantly spots the deception while Selina naively hopes for the best.
  • Berserk Button: She hates being compared to her mom.
  • Big Sister Instinct: For all her protestations of not caring about people, this is how her relationship with Bruce forms, as she's unable to stop checking on him after the death of his parents. Throughout the series also does this with Ivy and Bridgit.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Alfred finds her a handful, and at first wants her gone. The two eventually develop into Fire-Forged Friends, at first because they both recognise the other usually has Bruce's best interests at heart, and later because they start to genuinely like each other.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: She tells Bruce she never saw his parents' killer, and it was just a lie to save herself from juvie. While it visibly hurts Bruce, she knows any association with Bruce will ultimately endanger them both.
  • Brutal Honesty:
    • Isn't afraid to speak her mind, as Bruce figures out, notably when she bluntly tells him there was nothing he could have done to save his parents.
    • In "Pena Dura", not only did she confessed to Bruce that she was there the night his parents, she didn't do anything not because she was scared but because she didn't care and was only looking out for herself.
  • But Now I Must Go: Selina leaves Wayne Manor on her own accord once she realizes that the danger she's in is too much for Bruce, a rich kid who doesn't know much about the city, to handle at his age. She comes back though, and begins to form a friendship with Bruce through the seasons.
  • Byronic Hero: Much like her original counterpart.
  • Came Back Wrong: She's healed from her crippling spinal injury at Jeremiah's hands by Ivy's potion - but she has actual cat's eyes, and acts distinctly more vicious and out-of-control.
  • Cassandra Truth: Selina figures out Silver is manipulating Bruce, but he doesn't believe in her. At least until he finally sees that she was right all along after they trick Silver into revealing her true colors.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: With Bruce Wayne, and the both have a Will They or Won't They? relationship. Naturally. Looks to finally crystalise in season 4 when they share their first proper kiss - then Jeremiah Valeska shows up to put a bullet in her spine. She gets better thanks to Ivy, but it's clear she's a very different person to before the bullet.
  • Civvie Spandex: Selina doesn't wear a costume yet, but does sport a black jacket and a pair of goggles. Trailers for season 5 show her adopting something very close to her comics look, minus the ears.
  • Classy Cat-Burglar: In the distant finale, Selina has finally grown into the mischievous master thief we all know her as. She even cleans up rather nicely while attending a swag party, to the point where everyone barely recognizes her as the street urchin she used to be.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: She's never actually referred to as Catwoman in the finale, despite her having the look, thieving skills and on-off relationship with Bruce by this point. One of the promo videos refers to her as such in the title though.
  • Cool People Rebel Against Authority: She knows full well that the cops are corrupt, and she won't take any of their bullcrap.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Knows to go for the eyes first in a fighting situation.
  • Composite Character: She replaces Harley Quinn as Poison Ivy's best friend.
  • Dating Catwoman: She's not Catwoman yet, and neither are they dating, but their numerous flirtations have a lot of shades of this given their extremely different experiences and morals.
    Bruce: There's something between us. You have to see that.
    Selina: Rule one: Don't ever tell me what I have to do.
    [she kisses him]
    Bruce: So you do have feelings for me? I'm confused.
    Selina: Good. [leaves]
  • Delinquents: She's been in and out of juvie quite a lot, and she does not want to go back. She'd rather stay on the streets.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: By the end of the series, Selina and Bruce are at odds again once more, questioning whether or not they can ever go back to their fun, loving days. Thus starting the classic Will They or Won't They? relationship their adult counterparts are known for.
  • The Dragon: Becomes one for Fish Mooney in the season 1 finale, as she sees her return to Gotham and thinks she's cool. She also gets coerced into becoming one for Firefly later on.
  • Driven to Suicide: Tries to kill herself when the despair of using the use of her legs thanks to Jeremiah becomes too much. Fortunately the doctors are there to stop her.
  • Due to the Dead: She removes her hood during Thomas and Martha's funeral.
  • Escape Artist: She's able to pick a pair of police cuffs with a pen. After that Gordon realizes the chances of getting her to stay in police custody are next to nil.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first few minutes of the pilot show how skilled and bold a pickpocket she is, and her connection with cats.
  • Everyone Has Standards: She's a hardened street kid, yet even she gets creeped out by Ivy Pepper.
  • Eye Scream: Her initial method of combat involves clawing out an opponent's eyes.
  • Faux Paw: Bats around a locket with her hand curled up like a cat.
  • Five-Finger Discount: Pickpockets people with frequency and aplomb. Whenever Bruce or Gordon need something stolen she's their go-to girl.
  • Go for the Eye: Her preferred way of attacking people in early episodes. She can do some major damage.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Selina is usually seen with a pair of green goggles on top of her hood, perhaps as a nod to more modern versions of Catwoman who wears goggles as part of her costume.
  • Good Is Not Nice: She's technically one of the good guys, and she's clearly way more moral than someone like Penguin - but she's still a kid who grew up on the mean streets of Gotham, and as such has a distinctly more pragmatic outlook than someone like Bruce - best shown where she realises Bruce doesn't have what it takes to deal with Reggie in season 1 and shoves him out a window herself. Bruce actually tells her she's a good person but not a nice one at one point early on, much to her discomfiture.
  • He Knows Too Much: She saw the Waynes' assassin before he covered up his head. Because of that, whoever hired the hitman wants her dead.
  • Heel–Face Turn: She's firmly on the side of good in season 5 after she helps Bruce save Gordon and Lee from Jeremiah. She even makes friends with Alfred.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: She's always had an affinity for leather jackets, but from season 4 on she's almost never seen without a leather catsuit, much like her mentor Tabitha. She even wears it to Gordon and Leslie's wedding in season 5.
  • Hellhole Prison: The juvenile hall upstate she was sent to upstate is this, apparently. She does not want to go back.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: How she justifies killing Reggie. "It's called surviving."
  • Instant Expert: She's shown to be incredibly good with Tabitha's whip on first try.
  • Improbable Hairstyle: Her hairdo seems a little high maintenance for someone living on the street. Towards the end of season 2, she somehow manages to not only straighten it, but also dye it.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In Bruce's words, she's a good person but she's "not nice". She doesn't appreciate the observation.
  • Karma Houdini: Hugely. While she has her share of awful things happen to her over the series, she's stolen many, many things, worked for Fish as her dragon (twice) and straight-up killed someone in season one - yet she rarely suffers any long-term consequences. Even getting crippled by Jeremiah was his way of getting at Bruce rather than for anything she did. Played straight by the end of the series, where after rising up as classy cat burglar in 10 years, Bruce simply gives her a lecture and a weak apology for not being able to help her instead of arresting her for a museum theft. Even after he departs she doesn't even consider returning the diamond she stole.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: She shows great Chessmaster tendencies when tricking what is believed to be the name of the Wayne killer out of Silver by means of cold-blooded torture at the hands of someone who appears to be an associate of hers. Bruce, who was also subjected to it, played along with Selina's plan, and his role in her torture gambit is only revealed after the name is.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Part of her Establishing Character Moment is her stealing some milk in the first scene of the Pilot - only to drop into an alley to give it to a stray cat (it's actually what leads her to be there to see the Wayne murders). Season 3 shows she has a whole host of pet cats at her squat at any given time.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: When she refuses to help Alfred look for Bruce in the season 3 finale, which earns her a massive What the Hell, Hero? from the butler. Bruce ends up stabbing Alfred as a result of the Court of Owl's manipulations, leading Bruce to furiously sever ties with Selina as a result.
  • Le Parkour: Gotham is one big jungle gym to her. Ties into her actress' abilities as well.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: The light to Silver's dark, ironically, considering whose side Silver is on.
  • Little Miss Badass: Selina may be a child, but she manages to survive in the very hard streets of Gotham and has escaped from criminals and the police several times.
  • Little Miss Snarker: Selina does her future counterpart proud with how much sass she exudes. Considering her status as a street kid, she likely uses it to cope with her harsh life, as well as to conceal her feelings and vulnerabilities. She snarks at everyone, but Alfred in particular seems to bring it out of her (of course, this could be because he punched her in the face - she's not happy with him about that).
    Bruce: What do you have against the front door?
    Selina: Nothing. It's the ape who opens it I could live without.
  • Loveable Rogue: Her Establishing Character Moment shows her as this: She takes out a switchblade, but only uses it to slash open a grocery bag and steal a jug of milk, which it turns out was not for her, but for a stray cat. The only other thing she steals is a little cash from a passerby. Throughout the scene, she avoids inflicting a single physical injury on anyone.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Starts playing as one to Bruce, once she moves to Wayne Manor. She questions his odd behavior and decisions, and manages to do in a couple of days what Alfred has been trying to do for weeks without success: get Bruce to act like a kid and have some fun.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: The tough street fighter Masculine Girl to Bruce's sensitive, domestic Feminine Boy while they're living together.
  • Meaningful Name/In-Series Nickname: Her name on the streets is Cat, which is what she prefers to be called.
  • Missing Mom: The police think her mom is dead. Selina insists that she's alive somewhere. She turns out to be right in season 3, much to her massive disappointment.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Bicondova looks very much like a young Michelle Pfeiffer, who was Catwoman in Batman Returns, right down to a similar hairstyle.
    • Selina doesn't go by Catwoman yet, but she calls herself Cat. In her very first comic book appearance, Catwoman was just called the Cat.
    • Selina shares the same fate as her namesake from Batman Returns when she is pushed out of a window and killed, only to be resurrected by alley cats.
    • She's shown to be an ace with Tabitha's whip, like every other version of the character.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: For all her talk about being ruthless and mean, Selina seems to have a strict policy about not harming anyone who hasn't tried to harm her first. Even when stealing from people (as in her Establishing Character Moment), she avoids hurting them.
  • Not So Similar: She tries this on Bruce after she thinks she's killed Jeremiah, claiming that she was there in the alley the night his parents were killed and did nothing not because she was a scared kid like him but because she didn't care. Played with though: while Bruce believes her enough he needs a pep talk from Harvey Bullock, the haunted look on her face as she says all this indicates she doesn't actually believe it, and is just trying to make Bruce go away.
  • Odd Friendship: With Bruce, and later Fish.
  • Pet the Dog: Steals a jug of milk to feed a stray cat.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Despite being only 13 and half the height of most adults, she can easily take down larger opponents in physical combat.
  • Puppy Love: She may act mainly as The Tease towards Bruce, but over the course of "Harvey Dent" and "Lovecraft" it's clear she has genuine feelings for him. By the end of "The Ball of Mud and Meanness", he's moved in with her, and by the end of season 4 things start to get serious between them.
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: She hates dressing girly, but does so for an undercover mission with Bruce. She's seen doing so several more times so she can pickpocket fancy galas.
  • Reality Ensues: She's sarcastic, spiky, incredibly difficult to get to know and will frequently sell out anyone at the drop of a hat. Consequently, she's been left completely isolated and cut off several times - most notably at the end of season 3, where her refusal to help look for Bruce gets Alfred stabbed and leads Bruce to cut ties with her. By episode's end she's begging Tabitha for help because she doesn't want to be on her own any more.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Averted. She once attempted to rob a fancy department store in broad daylight, and got caught by the cops for her troubles.
  • Revenge Before Reason: In season 5, she's obsessed with making Jeremiah pay for crippling her by shooting her in the spine despite Bruce trying to convince her not to do it, even ditching Bruce to do so. In "Ruin" she gets her wish, stabbing him repeatedly in the stomach.
  • Running Gag: Her ability to get in and out of Wayne Manor with ease despite the security. Bruce and Alfred barely look surprised when she wanders in for Bruce's birthday.
    Selina: Y'know, for a billionaire your security system is lame.
  • Sarcastic Devotee: She points out that Bruce's behavior is either crazy or suicidal, and yet she still helps him in spite of herself.
  • Satisfied Street Rat: Selina uses Gordon to stay out of juvie, but has no interest in him finding her a better life, and seems quite happy in her career as a pickpocket.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Whenever she gets arrested, she immediately asks to see Gordon, hoping to evoke this.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: For the Wayne Enterprises Charity Ball in "Under the Knife".
  • She's All Grown Up: In the grand finale, Selina has now aged from a tomboyish hoodlum into an attractive, hot-blooded woman. Alfred and Barbara even compliment how they didn't even recognize her.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: The Puppy Love edition. Bruce and Selina alternate between trying to shove one another way and running to help when the other is in danger.
  • Spanner in the Works: Jeremiah's plan would have gone off without a hitch in "Ace Chemicals" if she hadn't shown up at just the right moment.
  • Stalker with a Crush: After she sees the Wayne murders, she seems to be taken by Bruce, possibly because he's an orphan, and begins stalking him at a distance throughout the pilot. A later episode shows her breaking into Wayne Manor and watching him sleep. The crush part is emphasized at the end of "Lovecraft": after two episodes of challenging him to kiss her, she steals a kiss from him.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: She pulls one on Bruce in "Lovecraft": He's balancing on a banister in the mansion, clearly by himself, and then Selina just appears there with him. It's quite a feat, considering who she pulled it on. Does it again when she appears out of nowhere on Bruce's birthday.
  • Stealth Mentor: Perhaps not willingly, but it's clear Bruce has learned a lot about the nature of Gotham and how its underworld works from her.
  • Stout Strength: A more downplayed example, but she notably averts the Waif-Fu archetype by being solidly built for a girl her size, with a physique more akin to a gymnast than a dancer. As mentioned above in Pint-Sized Powerhouse, this Selina is very capable for someone her age.
  • Street Urchin: This version of Selina Kyle is already a roof-hopping Kind Hearted Cat Lover stealing milk for a stray.
  • The Tease: Downplayed since she's a teenager, but acts this way to Bruce, enticing him to try and earn a kiss from her. Hilariously, Bruce seems to have her pegged as an (age appropriate) Femme Fatale already, and is suspicious of her offer of letting him kiss her! Gets a lot more serious in later seasons.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Evil's a stretch, but whenever she teams up with Bruce she's fully aware that, even as he gets more skilled, his moral compass means that sometimes she needs to be there to do the things he can't - she flatly tries to murder Jerome in season 4, with Bruce being the one to stop her.
    • Also sometimes with Gordon - when he's trying to entrap Nygma and needs someone to convincingly sell him out to Barnes Selina is the one he goes to.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tomboy to Ivy's girly girl. In "Under the Knife," she goes on about how she hates wearing dresses and heels.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Under Tabitha's tutelage, she goes from a girl who mainly wins fights via pragmatism to someone who can take on all five members of a street gang and easily thrash them.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: From season 2 onwards - we see the depths of her loyalty towards Bruce and later the Sirens, and her genuinely caring about characters like Bridgit and Ivy.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass:
    • Goes from morally ambiguous street urchin, to willing flunkie of Fish and later Penguin who was willing to sell out Gordon to be murdered by the former without so much as a shred of regret.
    • Again in season 5 when she's healed by Ivy. She becomes obsessed with revenge on Jeremiah, even ditching Bruce to go kill him.
  • Trickster Mentor: To Bruce. She teaches him about keeping his balance and roof jumping, as well as fighting dirty - Gotham's thugs usually don't wear boxing gloves.
  • Two First Names: Per the DC Comics norm.
  • Undying Loyalty: Zigzagged. While she does have her selfish moments, she develops this for Bruce as the series progresses. In "One Bad Day", Bruce is trying to apologize for enlisting her assistance in stopping Jeremiah's plans. Selina's response?
    Selina: (smiles) Bruce, I'm gonna be here whenever you need me.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Bruce.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: While their relationship is... complicated and still relatively innocent, Selina does show this towards Bruce. As both Reggie and Bruce found out when she shoved the former out of a window after the latter hesitated. Later she submits Silver to fake Cold-Blooded Torture in order to get Bruce to see her dark side and help him gain information out of her, and in season 4 takes on Jerome to save Bruce.
  • The Voiceless: She doesn't speak at all in the pilot. However, she does speak in the subsequent episodes.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Suffers this with both Firefly and Ivy at various points.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Receives this from Gordon and Bruce all the time. The chewing out she gets from Alfred for refusing to look for Bruce in the season 3 finale is particuarly noteworthy.
    • Many times, she winds up giving this to Bruce as well, particularly in Season 4 during Bruce's bratty phase. However, by season 5 she seems to have grown distant from him even further after he left her without warning to seek his Training from Hell. She calls him out on this as well.
  • Whip It Good: She finally gets her hands on a whip (Catwoman's weapon of choice) by the end of Season 3, courtesy of Tabitha.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Selina regularly subverts this. Clearly fed up with everyone else's complexity addictions, she often goes for the direct solution, most notably attempting to shoot Jerome just seconds after meeting him (albeit unsuccessfully) and simply walking up to Jeremiah in disguise and successfully stabbing him in the chest.
  • Worthy Opponent: She calls Silver this after being impressed by how good she is at her innocent act.

    Ivy Pepper/Poison Ivy 

Ivy Pepper

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gotham_s45_trailer_adult_ivy_batman_tease.jpg
"First I was a seed. Then a sprout. Now I've bloomed."
Ivy as portrayed by Maggie Geha. 
Ivy as portrayed by Clare Foley. 
Played By: Clare Foley (Seasons 1-3), Maggie Geha (Seasons 3-4), Peyton List (Seasons 4-5)

"Plants make better friends than most people, and some of them help save your life."

The daughter of Mario Pepper, a small-time crook who was framed by the mob as the Waynes' killer. She's prematurely aged by one of Fish Mooney's gang, and becomes a follower of Penguin in season 3, before undergoing another transformation in season 4 that turns her into Poison Ivy in all but name.


  • Abusive Parents: Her father was physically abusive to her mother and possibly her, too, though she still hates the cops for gunning him down.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Poison Ivy is typically a redhead. While Clare Foley's Ivy is sort of red, Maggie Geha and Peyton List are brunette.
  • Adaptation Name Change: From Pamela Isley in the comics to Ivy Pepper on the show. However, a Gotham Chronicle article states her adoptive family calls her Pamela.
  • Adaptational Nice Girl: Played with. Due to her essentially still having the mind and maturity of a child, she's actually pretty nice after her first Age Lift. She notably doesn't kill Nick despite his throwing a plant in the trash, helps the recuperating Penguin out of genuine kindness, saves Selina's life after Bruce's clone nearly kills her and views the Ragtag Band of Misfits Oswald throws together at the end of season 3 as like a family (even helping convince Firefly to join). But after her second transformation her characterization falls in line with the person-hating eco-terrorist of the comics.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: In the comics, Poison Ivy wasn't connected to the Wayne murders at all. In the show, her father is accused of the crime, both her parents end up dead as a result of the fallout and she finds herself living in the streets.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Most versions of Ivy are an eco-terrorist who wants to do all she can to save the Earth's plant life and sometimes displayed an almost sympathetic side at times. This version is a Cloudcuckoolander who's mainly looking out for herself by seeking financial gain while her love for plants is downplayed. Halfway through Season 4, after Ivy's second rebirth, her characterization becomes more in line with her comic version.
  • Adaptational Dumbass: This incarnation of Ivy is a lot dumber than most versions of the character, who've had scientific backgrounds and a mastery of botany. The show's version of Ivy makes foolish decisions all the time according to Selina. This changes in Season 4.
  • Advertised Extra: For all her appearances in promo material, she remains little more than a recurring minor character, unlike Nygma. Her role is greatly expanded in Seasons 3 and 4 after the character is recast.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Despite being a villain, she seems to be much less evil than the Penguin's enemies until Season 4, when she becomes more misanthropic and psychotic.
  • The Ageless: What is implied after her transformations - when she feels the need to grow stronger or adapt to a new situation, this Ivy can cook up a brew (or steal it from someone) that will allow her to shed that form and take a new one. That she grows smarter and colder to humanity with each transformation, well, that's just Ivy...
  • Age Lift: Thanks to her Plot-Relevant Age-Up in Season 3, she's now about 10 years older than Bruce and Selina. In Season 4, she goes through another Age Lift and is now a full-on adult.
  • All There in the Manual: Her adoptive name being Pamela comes from an online article and is never mentioned in series. Furthermore, her alias Poison Ivy is currently only shown in promotional material.
  • Arc Villain: She is the main antagonist of Season 4 from the mid-season premiere until she is Put on a Bus.
  • Berserk Button:
    • When Bruce mentions who he is to her in "Lovecraft", her tone gets harsher and she starts asking him if he killed her father or made her mother cut her wrists.
    • As demonstrated in "Burn the Witch", never mistreat or throw away plant life in front of her, or she will concuss you. Becomes a whole lot more violent about this in season 4.
    • Being treated as stupid (she sort of brought it upon herself for saying stupid things at the wrong moment).
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: In Season 4, she's one of the many villains vying for the role.
  • Big Eater: In "The Executioner", she wolfs down literally all the food in Selina's home. And judging by Selina's reaction to it, it's not the first time it happened.
  • Brainless Beauty: After she ages up to an adult she becomes beautiful, but still has the mindset of a naïve child. After her second age-up, she becomes a lot smarter.
    Penguin: [monologuing to the frozen Riddler] Remember how you accused me of being a slave to my emotions? No more. I’ve banished those feelings. And look how I have risen. But at what cost? I wonder which of us is frozen...
  • Break the Cutie: Ivy goes through a lot over the course of the series, all leading her to become the cold, calculating Femme Fatale of the comics.
    • She's ends up a street kid in the first season (supported by Selina and then Bruce), her father a small-time crook that was unfairly blamed for the murder of Bruce's parents.
    • She is forcibly aged up by one of Fish Mooney's goons (Marv/Subject 514A) and tries to make the best of her situation, reveling in her newly gorgeous exterior and making "friends" like The Penguin and Mr. Freeze. Her overtures of friendship are shattered by the villains as she inadvertently plants the seeds for the Legion of Horribles Jerome will later hijack.
    • Tired of not being taken seriously by Oswald, Ivy seeks a method of increasing her power and raids the same apothecary that produces her pheromone perfume. Drinking every potion in the shop against the warnings of the proprietor results in her taking a new form that is older, more seductive, and a Poisonous Person.
  • The Bus Came Back: Appears in "Mad Grey Dawn" after not showing up for most of Season 2; she's working for a gang that sells magic mushrooms.
  • Came Back Wrong: The first time she ages up she retains the same ditzy, childlike personality, just in an older body - but the second time she has the poisonous biology and plant abilities of her comics counterpart.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: A really creepy version of one.
  • Creepy Child: Hardly ever blinks and speaks in a monotone whisper. Selina, Ivy's friend, even admits she's creepy behind her back.
  • The Dragon: Becomes the new one for the Penguin after saving his life and helping him build an army of supervillains.
  • Dumbass No More: After her Plot-Relevant Age-Up she somehow becomes considerably smarter and gains a great deal of botanical knowledge, enough to create a mind control perfume. In Season 4, she goes through a second transformation and grows quite a few more brain cells, including the ability to control plants.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: While heavily advertised along with the main cast, and appearing in the premiere, she is not seen or mentioned again until the mid-season finale, ten episodes later. She then gets a scene with Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle. The writers have said that she actually is meant to be an important recurring character, it's just that the first story arc needed time to set up the primary cast in the Gotham police department first.
  • Evil Redhead: Even discounting her future supervillain status, Selina is already scared of her. And this is Selina Kyle we are talking about.
  • Fatal Flaw: Ivy's Number 1 shortcoming is her impulsiveness, not only when it comes to thievery, but in how she underestimates other people and sticks to these judgements.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Originally, she is a Genki girl who went about and helped the Penguin. But after second transformation, she drops being ever so friendly and becomes The Vamp.
  • Femme Fatale: After her transformations.
  • Fille Fatale: Technically, she's still a child, but has the body of an adult temptress while seducing unsuspecting adult men.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: To Selina apparently.
  • Genius Ditz: She has an incredible knowledge of botany and chemistry (enough to create a mind control perfume) but is otherwise pretty airheaded. This trait disappears halfway through Season 4.
  • Gold Digger: After aging into an adult woman, she instantly begins using her charms to seduce men into buying her things.
  • Green Thumb: A strong affinity for plants, which should surprise no one, given who she's meant to become...
  • Jail Bait: Played with. While she aged up to an adult woman thanks to Marv trying to kill her with Rapid Aging, she still has the mindset of a naïve child and uses her looks to manipulate men into giving her things.
  • Karma Houdini: Gets away with all her criminal actions by the end of the series.
  • Kindness Button: Calling her pretty or offering her money is a good way to get on her nice side.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Despite her genki and childish personality, she really managed to create a mind-control perfume and has the power to control plants and use them as deadly weapons as of Season 4.
  • The Nth Doctor: Ivy's on her third actress by the time Season 4 rolls around.
  • Parental Abandonment: Her dad is killed in the pilot, and later we learn that her mother slit her wrists.
  • Perky Female Minion: Becomes a super cheerful child after befriending the Penguin and becoming his new confidant. She loses much of her perkiness, however, after enduring a heap of emotional abuse from Penguin and being rejected by Tabitha and the Sirens, and it's completely gone after her second transformation in the second half of Season 4.
  • Phrase Catcher: "You're so beautiful", or words to that effect, becomes this trope for her third incarnation as an indication that her mind-control pheromones have taken control of someone.
  • Psychopathic Womanchild: Despite aging up to a grown woman, she still has her childish mindset. This pretty much vanishes after her second transformation.
  • Plot-Relevant Age-Up: When Ivy encounters Fish's gang of superpowered freaks from Indian Hill, one of the goons, Marv (who harnesses the power to rapidly age people just by touching them) grabs her in an attempt to age her to death, but she manages to escape his grasp just in time. However, he held onto her just long enough to age her from a young teenager to an older woman (played by Maggie Geha for the rest of Season 3). In Season 4, Ivy goes through yet another transformation after drinking a cocktail of mystical potions and is now played by Peyton List.note 
  • Precision F-Strike: In the pilot, she has a rather choice word for the police who killed her father.
    Ivy: Bastards...
  • Rapid Aging: She gets aged from a child into an adult by Marv.
  • Redhead In Green: Always dresses in shades of green.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Ivy's main goal after her second rebirth in Season 4 is to kill everyone who's ever hurt her before moving on to everyone else in the city.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Well, she's a future supervillain...
  • Slipping a Mickey: Slips magic mushrooms into Sonny Gilzean's gang's lunches, knocking them all out.
  • The Starscream: She's grown into this by Season 4 after having had enough of Penguin abusing their friendship. She goes behind his back to try to join the Gotham Sirens and also attempts to help the Merton gang succeed at their assassination attempt on her boss.
  • Start of Darkness: Once she grows up in "Burn the Witch", she realizes that something dark is developing inside her, but eventually, she decides to embrace it head on. This is further solidified when she knocks out and robs a man (who was actually helping her) for throwing away a plant.
  • Stupid Evil: She stole a valuable jewel from a wealthy man she tried seducing thinking that nobody would ever come back to attack her for it.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Some of her interactions with the Penguin seem classic of a Dark Mistress or an Ignored Enamored Underling, but they are only friends.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Girly girl to Selina's tomboy.
  • Took a Level in Badass: After her second rebirth, Ivy is no longer the quirky "adult child" or innocent but now determined to use her power to ravage Gotham.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: She becomes much more happy after growing into an adult with plant powers.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: After being aged by Marv. When she next sees Selina, who has been her only friend for months, she doesn't tell Selina who she is and instead derides her for being short and pickpocketing for survival. After her second aging-up, she becomes downright evil and psychotic and plots to kill everyone in Gotham for abusing plants.
  • Troll: The very first time she is seen actually having fun is when she's messing with Barbara's head for no good reason (except maybe to get back at Gordon).
    • This trait returns in Season 3, when her first encounter with Selina, after Ivy was aged by Marv, sees her not telling her friend who she is, and instead treating her with notable scorn.
  • Two First Names: Per the DC Comics norm, notably something that doesn't occur in the comics.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: She happens to be squatting in Gordon's apartment when a badly spiraling Barbara calls, and, for kicks, pretends to be a woman Gordon is cheating on her with. This contributes to Barbara's later Start of Darkness and attempts to murder Leslie.
  • Villainous Friendship: With the Penguin. It doesn't last long, though.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: She's not mentioned again after her latest attempt to purge Gotham of humans goes awry in "The Trial of Jim Gordon", despite the Time Skip finale providing updates on several other prominent villains.

    Butch Gilzean/Solomon Grundy 

Butch Gilzean/Cyrus Gold/Solomon Grundy

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/butch_2.png
"I know Gotham like the back of my hand."
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/solomon_grundy_season_4.jpg
"Solomon Grundy... born on a Monday."
Played By: Drew Powell

An experienced member of the Gotham City underworld crime system, Butch was a former underling of Fish Mooney and later, he came to be second-in-command under Oswald Cobblepot before splitting off from him and trying to become the King of Gotham with the help from his girlfriend, Tabitha Galavan, and Barbara Kean, Tabby's ex-lover and former business partner. Thanks to the duelling affections of both for Tabitha (and their plotting against her) Barbara ends up killing him - but thanks to Indian Hill he ends up coming back as the zombie-like Solomn Grundy.


  • Adaptation Expansion: The human side of Solomon Grundy is scarcely explored, however in Gotham he actually spent a great deal of the show in his human identity before his transformation into Grundy.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Played with. While his true name is still Cyrus Gold like in the comics, he goes under the name "Butch Gilzean" for the majority of the show.
  • Age Lift: Solomon Grundy is hundreds of years old in the comics (he was born during the 19th century), but in this show, he's about 30-40 years old by the time he becomes a zombie.
  • Ascended Extra: He's just Fish's head mook in Season 1, but by "Wrath of the Villains", he survived through the reigns of both Fish and the Penguin to become 'King of Gotham' on top of the underworld. And then, there's the fact he became Solomon Grundy, one of the supervillains of Gotham.
  • Affably Evil: Butch is a likable guy. When he first meets Gordon, he's nothing but jovial and friendly. Later, he even gives some Maroni men the opportunity to choose whether they get shot or beaten up to send a message to their boss.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Penguin hacks off his hand when he asks him to perform a special infiltration mission against Galavan. He then gains a prosthetic replacement. And his hand is later regained, after he emerged out of Slaughter Swamp.
  • Back from the Dead: After a pair of lazy paramedics dump his body in Slaughter Swamp, some dumped chemicals from Indian Hill bring him back to life.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: It was revealed that Zsasz did this to him as punishment for his betrayal, so that he would follow Penguin's commands without question. This becomes problematic during Penguin and Fish's fight where his loyalty to both plays havoc on his mind and he ends up shooting them both. However, Tabitha helps break him of his brainwashing in exchange for his help.
  • Came Back Strong: After coming back to life as Solomon Grundy, he's gained Super Strength.
  • Came Back Wrong: After his resurrection, he has virtually no memory of his past life as a human. However, he eventually gets his memories back when Tabitha literally beats them back into his head.
  • Canon Character All Along: He initially appeared to be a Canon Foreigner along with Fish, but the Season 3 finale reveals that his real name is Cyrus Gold, the true identity of Solomon Grundy in the comics.
  • The Chains of Commanding: He becomes the King of Gotham after Penguin is brought to Arkham. He is effective at first, killing people loyal to Penguin. But when Tabitha becomes his mistress, then Butch becomes lazy and like a dad from a sitcom. He is seen laying around in his robes. This is despite the fact that his nephew who is selling mushrooms is incompetent. Penguin says in Season 2 Episode 20 that he has become "soft" and "sentimental".
  • Character Death: In the season 4 finale, after his condition is cured he is shot in the heart in front of Tabitha by Penguin as part of his plan to get revenge on both of them for their roles in his mother's death. It is unknown what happens to his body after that.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: He couldn't decide if he was loyal to Fish or Penguin so he kneecapped both]]. However, Penguin still wins.
  • Death by Adaptation: In the Season 4 finale, Hugo Strange manages to reverse Butch's condition and make him normal again. Unfortunately, this also makes him mortal again, leaving him vulnerable enough for Penguin to shoot him dead. Without Grundy's ability to resurrect, Butch ends up expiring again, seemingly for good.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Helps Theo against Penguin after being freed from his mind control.
  • The Dragon: For Fish. And eventually for Penguin, too.
  • Dumb Muscle: As Grundy serves as this for Riddler in early season 4.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Fish orders that the captive Gordon and Bullock be tortured to death and literally carved to pieces in a meat-packing warehouse, to send a warning to the police. Gilzean earnestly apologizes to Gordon and Bullock that if it were up to him, he'd simply shoot them each in the head execution-style and be done with it - but it's not up to him.
    • In "Better to Reign in Hell...", he tells Selina that she's too young to be hanging around in a nightclub.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Has no issue threatening Barbara or Gordon, or using a whole procession of nuns as a roadblock.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: From a common mob thug to the mutated supervillain Solomon Grundy.
  • Honor Among Thieves: He makes sure to confess to his old friend Saviano about how when they were teens who had stolen 40 pounds of meat, he had screwed him out of the better cuts, and asks for forgiveness. Saviano does this, and then Butch shoots him.
  • Informed Deformity: Once he regains his memories in Season 4 he gets very down on his new appearance, claiming to be too grotesque for Tabitha to love, despite all evidence showing she still does. The thing is, once he's out of the Grundy rags, he just looks like an albino version of his old self.
  • Iron Butt-Monkey: He has suffered a great deal as a result of being The Dragon to a number of sadistic criminals. Tortured, brainwashed, lost a hand, tortured some more...
  • Large Ham:
    • Although nowhere near the levels of his boss, anyone who uses a dozen kidnapped nuns to hijack a truck definitively qualifies.
    • Has a phone rigged to detonate a bomb to kill some loose ends. With "Final Countdown" as the ringtone.
  • Lonely at the Top: After temporarily becoming The Don of Gotham, he immediately gets bored with his high position and gets more action with Tabitha dating him.
  • Meaningful Name: Called "Butch" and appears to work as a butcher.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: In "Anything For You", he's fed up with the way Penguin treated him, even before Nygma came along.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • He acts like a brainless brute when he first becomes Grundy, but is back to his intelligent old self when Tabitha knocks the memories back into his head. In the comics, Grundy is known to grow more intelligent and less animalistic with every resurrection.
    • He was given the same Super Empowering event that Comic!Grundy had. Being dumped in "Slaughter Swamp" with chemicals that brought him Back from the Dead with Super Strength.
  • Perverted Sniffing: To Barbara Kean.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: In the comics, Solomon Grundy is explicitly stated to be a zombie reanimated through supernatural/mystical means. The Gotham version got mutated through the exposure of discarded chemicals from Indian Hill.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: For the most part. Butch seems to take pleasure in doing his job well - his job just happens to be as a mob enforcer. He can have an almost perfunctory tone about doing routine mob work, though. Yes he tied up some nuns to use as a roadblock but he didn't expect them to be actually killed (the point was to make the truck stop). He then goes through the polite, almost boring routine of explaining to the drivers that he needs to send a message to Maroni, so they can choose between a thorough beating or a quick bullet to the leg. His tone is that of a mechanic calmly discussing payment options with a customer. The drivers, also matter-of-factly, ask why he even needs to send a "message" by hurting them, they could just tell Maroni that he was willing to beat them up. Butch gets mildly annoyed that this would subvert the entire "message", so he casually whips out his gun and shoots them both in the legs. Even his threats against Barbara Kean are more perfunctory, calculated intimidation than they are For the Evulz.
  • Red Right Hand: Had a metal prosthetic hand during seasons 2 and 3, after Penguin cut it off. His transformation into Solomon Grundy additionally grew the hand back.
  • The Reveal: "Heavydirtysoul" reveals, after Barbara kills him, that his original name was "Cyrus Gold", as in Solomon Grundy.
  • Reverse Mole: Penguin employs him in an infiltration mission against Galavan, but when Galavan offers him a chance to break free of his brainwashing, Butch immediately switches sides and betrays Penguin.
  • Scapegoat: After he betrays Penguin with the whole Red Hood affair, he becomes the easiest person to blame for any underworld dealings with Penguin's involvement, not necessarily at Penguin's initial suggestion, among them Isabella's car accident.
  • Swiss Army Appendage: Deconstructed when Galavan attempts to set him up with some, but most prove Awesome, but Impractical. Later reconstructed when he's able to pick his own, slightly more practical, attachments, like a mallet attachment for "negotiations".
  • Truer to the Text: Much more faithful to the comics than Arrow's version of the character, being a super zombie rather than just a really tough guy empowered by a Super Serum.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Fish, big time. When a childhood friend of his (a boss with seniority to Fish, and better claim to the empire should Falcone be removed) offers him a chance for a much better position within the mob in exchange for killing Fish (namely her territory as his equal partner), he instead kills said childhood friend without a second thought in his usual Affably Evil manner. Exactly why he has such loyalty to Fish above all else has yet to be revealed. Though this didn't do him any good at the end of "What the Little Bird Told Him". He personally rescues her from being tortured in the next episode, and sacrifices himself to help her escape.
    • He proves just as loyal to Penguin, even sincerely renouncing Fish, albeit under brainwashing. This comes to a head when he has to choose between them. However, Galavan breaks him out of his brainwashing and he betrays Penguin.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Briefly with Tabitha in the second half of Season 2, but they break up when she gains interest in Barbara.
  • Villain Decay: Goes from the cunning Faux Affably Evil Noble Demon he was at the start of the series into the resident Stupid Evil Iron Butt Monkey routinely abused by everyone.
  • Villainous Crush: He has one on the more villainous Tabitha Galavan.
  • Villainous Valor: Sneaky, smart, brave, and strong enough to escape the van in which he was being transported to an incineration facility, kill his captors, track down and free Mooney, and then help her escape when Zsasz shows up, even willingly staying behind to cover her escape. He even managed to kill one of Zsasz's henchgirls, which surprises them.
  • Villains Do The Dirty Work: Technically speaking. Gordon was more than willing to murder Galavan again, but wasn't having much success. Then Penguin and Butch showed up and Butch shot him with a rocket launcher.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Until Season 1 Episode 16, it was unknown what happened to him after he stayed behind to let Fish escape Zsasz's gang. It turned out he was 'conditioned' to be a personal assistant for Cobblepot.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Subverted when he comes back as Solomon Grundy as he’s more of a dimwitted monster defending himself. However, its a Foregone Conclusion that he’ll become a supervillain.
  • Working for a Body Upgrade: After regaining his memory, post-Grundy Butch very reluctantly agrees to work with Penguin again, but solely to track down Hugo Strange in the hope that Strange can undo the transformation inflicted upon him by Indian Hill's discarded chemicals.

    Victor Zsasz 

An Ax-Crazy psycopath who is the number one hitman of first Carmine Falcone and later the Penguin. For tropes regarding him, see his entry in Gotham Mob.

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     Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow 

Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/29414764_2032782966969080_1364026362750304256_n.jpg
"Jonathan Crane isn't here anymore... it's just the Scarecrow."
Click here to see Jonathan Crane. 
Played By: Charlie Tahan (Seasons 1-4), David W. Thompson (Seasons 4-5)

Forced to go along with his father's fear experiments as a teen, he later submits to and adopts the identity of his personal bogeyman: a Nightmare Fuel scarecrow-demon conjured up by his own fear toxin-addled imagination - the Scarecrow.


  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Comic!Jonathan is usually depicted as a lanky Ichabod Crane lookalike (he was even named after the guy). Here, he's a handsome young man.
  • Adaptational Badass: Most incarnations of Crane had him be portrayed a scrawny nerd who was bullied all throughout his childhood, but here he's not only already preparing his fear toxins but he also becomes the Scarecrow while still in his teenage years.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Most depictions of Scarecrow are usually inherently sadistic and Ax-Crazy. This depiction is forced into helping his father infect people with fear toxin and is later psychologically tortured into becoming the Scarecrow.
  • Adaptational Origin Connection: Not only did he help Jerome invent the infamous Joker Gas, he's the one who created the special mixture that infected Jeremiah, ultimately making him responsible for the birth of the Joker!
  • Advertised Extra: Was a major element in marketing leading up to Season 4, with Word of God stating Scarecrow would be "out in full force." Come the actual season, Crane is a major character in the first two episodes, before vanishing for half a season, being recast, and relegated to muscle for Jerome and Jeremiah.
  • Age Lift: Jonathan Crane looks to be about five years older than Bruce Wayne.
  • Alone with the Psycho: He ends up locked inside a closet with a scarecrow who he believes is his boogeyman. This results in him going mad and believing that the scarecrow demon he's hallucinated is possessing him.
  • And I Must Scream: Screaming incoherently is all he can do after his father overdoses him on adrenaline and everywhere he looks he sees a monstrous scarecrow. By his return, it appears his incarceration in a mental hospital has taken a toll on him, and being locked up overnight with an actual scarecrow by a bunch of brutal crooks pushes him over the edge completely.
  • Ascended Extra: Was just a very minor character who played second fiddle to his father in his debut, but by Season 4 he's grown into a major Arc Villain.
  • Avenging the Villain: He attempts to kill Gordon at Arkham Asylum to avenge the death of his serial killer father.
  • Badass Longcoat: His Scarecrow costume has a large coat holding his weapons.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Some out-of-town thugs retrieve Jonathan from Arkham via bribery, then terrorize him into producing his father's fear gas for use in their own crimes. You just know it's not going to go well when they leave him locked up alone with an actual scarecrow that Jonathan perceives as a nightmarish "bogeyman": a product of his damaged mind which more or less possesses young Crane, subduing and invading his original persona, then turns the gas on his captor.
  • The Bus Came Back: He was last seen in a coma in the first season, but returns as the Scarecrow in Season 4.
  • Co-Dragons: Becomes one to Jerome alongside Mad Hatter in season 4.
  • Costume Evolution: The first Scarecrow costume is a very thick burlap suit with a gas mask. In later episodes, he wears a sleeker Arkham Knight-esque suit with a hood, and in the Season 4 finale, he ditches the hood for the iconic Scarecrow hat.
  • Dark Is Evil: In contrast with Bruce’s Dark Is Not Evil.
  • Demonic Possession: Played with. Jonathan thinks that the Scarecrow demon from his hallucinations is possessing him, driving him to become one of Gotham's greatest villains.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Bruce. Both kids have witnessed their parents killed horribly and were mentally scarred for life as a result, but they vowed to avenge the deaths of their family members by punishing their killer and growing into a force to be feared in Gotham. However, Bruce desires to grow into the hero Gotham deserves and bring peace, but Jonathan craves power and wants to be feared by those lower than him. Both also tend to use stealth-based attacks and theatrics in their fighting, but Bruce has been trained by the seasoned Alfred while Jonathan uses his scythe in a comparatively amateur way, able to be disarmed by Gordon.
  • Face Your Fears: Inverted; having surrendered to his "bogeyman" himself, Crane uses fear-toxin and persuasion to convince Arkham's warden to likewise embrace and become his personal phobia. When Gordon successfully plays this trope straight, fighting off the fear-gas's effect by overcoming fear, Scarecrow outright claims it's impossible.
  • Forced into Evil: For a short time in Season 4, as Jonathan is forced to re-create his father's fear serum by a bunch of bank robbers who terrorize the hallucination-hounded young man with an actual scarecrow.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Goes from a total pushover being forced to serve other criminals into Gotham's great master of fear.
  • Insane Equals Violent: He's gone off the deep end, which in Gotham City also means that he's a violent psychopath.
  • Karma Houdini: Gets away with all his criminal actions by the end of the series.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • Upon becoming the Scarecrow, the first victim he uses his fear gas on is one of the mooks who tormented him and locked him up inside a closet with his "boogeyman."
    • He also poisons the corrupt warden at Arkham as revenge for being sold off to abusive gangsters.
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: His father was trying to find a cure for fear. As the Scarecrow, Jonathan will someday be trying to cause as much fear as possible.
  • Missing Mom: His mother's death in a house fire is what drove Jonathan's dad to research fear, because Gerald couldn't work up the courage to dash through the flames to save her.
  • Mythology Gag: In Season 4B, he dons a new hooded Scarecrow mask that heavily resembles the one he wore in the Batman: Arkham Series.
  • Out of Focus: His father is the main antagonist of his debut episode, while Jonathan really plays no important part in it himself. That is until Season 4 where Crane returns and becomes the Scarecrow.
  • Overlord Jr.: Jonathan acts as a willing accomplice to all his father's crimes, although intimidation does seem to play a part.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: When he first debuts in Gotham, Jonathan isn't a kid who's malicious at heart. For all the horrible things Jonathan helps his dad do, fear is his father's obsession, not his own. He goes along with what Gerald does out of familial loyalty and a desire to be rid of the fear he believes makes his father ashamed of him.
    • Once he becomes the Scarecrow, he embraces that his father was a genius trying to rid the world of fear; he's just "improving" the process by not only having people embrace their fears, but become them just like he did.
  • Pungeon Master: After becoming a super-villain, he really likes peppering variations of the word "fear" into his dialogue.
    Scarecrow: You look a fright, Mr. Tetch.
  • Scary Scarecrows: His new costume has the raggedy, demonic scarecrow look to intimidate his targets.
  • Sinister Scythe: He starts wielding a scythe as a weapon in case of physical confrontations.
  • Start of Darkness: Unless Gotham is your very first exposure to the Batman franchise, you've probably already guessed that this isn't the last we'll be seeing of Jonathan.
  • That Man Is Dead: "Jonathan Crane isn't here anymore..."
  • This Cannot Be!: He's in utter shock that Gordon was able to overcome his fear toxin.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: Injected with his father's own formulas, Jonathan's hallucinations of his scarecrow-like personal "bogeyman" are terrifying.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Was first introduced as a young accomplice serving his father, but by Season 4 he's evolved into the Scarecrow, one of Gotham's most dangerous villains.
  • Weak Sauce Weakness: In The Fear Reaper, Gordon figures out that people under the influence of Jonathan's toxin can be cured with a splash of cold water in the face. Justified, as the fear toxin dispenser this time around seems to be the equivalent of a high-tech spritzer, leaving traces of the toxin in their faces.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After his debut episode in Season One, he's never seen or mentioned for the next two seasons, even after Arkham Asylum re-opened. We don't learn what became of him until Season 4, when he becomes the first Arc Villain of the season, the Scarecrow.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: His assault against the Arkham warden that sold him off as a slave carries shades of this as he's dragging his scythe close to his former handler. He begins recalling the events of his abuse at the hospital before infecting the corrupt jerk with his toxins, then literally turns the warden into a clown to demean him.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Was forced to be a Punch-Clock Villain for his father, ended up losing both said father and his own sanity, and then kept enduring Kick Them While They Are Down from a system that was supposed to treat him instead. After all that, you really can't blame him for finally going on a warpath.
  • You Killed My Father: He has this attitude towards Gordon thanks to his father getting gunned down by the police. This causes him to try and kill the officer to avenge his lost father.

     Bridgit Pike/Firefly 

Bridget Pike/Firefly

Played By: Michelle Veintimilla (Season 2 and 4) / Camila Perez (Season 3-4)
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/michelle_veintimilla_mug_2.jpg
"You should feel honored. You are a sacrifice to the goddess of fire."
The youngest member of a family of arsonists, who is forced into it by her stepbrothers. A horrendous accident that sears her suit to her skin and the psychological manipulations of Hugo Strange transform her into the pyromaniac Firefly.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Firefly's previous action incarnation on Arrow wasn't as horribly burnt like how Firefly is in the comics (who supposedly has his entire body covered in burns). This incarnation follows suit as Bridgit isn't as horribly burnt. Granted, she is still covered up in a protected suit that covers her body but not her face. Her face, like Arrow's (which had a two-faced appearance), is not as bad as the comics or the the Arkham games.
  • Adaptational Badass: Compared to Firefly's last live action incarnation on Arrow, who was a mentally crippled Tragic Villain who utilized a lighter and a tank of gasoline.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Is named Bridgit Pike instead of Garfield Lynns or Ted Carson.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Combined with Adaptational Heroism. In the comics, Firefly developed a taste for setting fires by himself, while this version is bullied into committing crimes for her brothers before growing into a supervillain. Firefly is also simply a pyro. Bridgit, after becoming Firefly, leans toward Pay Evil unto Evil. Even her attacks on the cops are both more due to blind panic than anything else. However, there are also strong hints that she has developed a liking to the act of burning people alive and choosing asshole victims solely because she can.
  • A God Am I: Due to Strange creating a new persona for her to adapt to, Firefly now believes she is a "Goddess of Fire." By the time Oswald and Ivy find her again in Season 3, the "Goddess of Fire" alter ego went away.
  • Ambiguously Gay: She seems to harbor a strong relationship with Selina Kyle. However, it's unknown whether it's a crush or if they're just close friends.
  • And I Must Scream: After she suffers serious burns, the police assume she's dead and she is taken to Indian Hill for experimentation. The worst part is that she's still alive and in serious pain already from her burns.
  • Animal Motif: Of a firefly. She's given several insect like features, with her goggles resembling an insect's compound eyes, while her overall bodysuit is also very insect like.
  • Anti-Villain: Is forced into crime by her abusive brothers, and her only victims are either accidental or of the Asshole variety (such as the aforementioned brothers). Changes later on as she willingly gets mixed up with Penguin and later Jerome.
  • Armor Is Useless: Played with; she builds herself an outfit from "flame-proof" cloth to prevent getting burned after her first night leaves her with fire on her leg. But during her final fight with the cops, her fuel line soaks her suit, catching her on fire... only for it to turn out that the cloth didn't burn, but fused to her body.
  • Ax-Crazy: After her brainwashing, she just wants to watch the world burn.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Her brothers and Hugo Strange relentlessly abused her to the point of insanity.
  • Body Horror: After her fuel line soaks her flame-proof cloth suit and she is set aflame, the suit fuses to her body, cementing her as Firefly for good.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Thanks to Hugo Strange's treatment on her. It goes away.
  • Break the Cutie: The abuse from her brothers and corruption from Selina's influence turn her from a shy, timid young girl into one of Gotham's deadliest arsonists.
  • The Bus Came Back: She returns some episodes after her seeming death, now donning her identity as Firefly.
  • Butt-Monkey: She's abused by her family, seriously burned, has no friends, and suffers a Fate Worse than Death after she's mistaken for dead.
  • Co-Dragons: With Freeze for Penguin in late season 3 and early season 4.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: In "By Fire", Barnes and Bullock both call her a firefly, but that's just a Mythology Gag. She never actually calls herself Firefly, nor does anyone use the word in the context of a name. Averted after her return in "Unleashed", where she insists that Firefly is her name, refusing to answer to Bridgit.
  • Cop Killer: Accidentally, after her flamethrower malfunctions.
  • Costume Evolution: Her first suit is a crudely-crafted hoodie and mask made out of fireproof fabric, along with a pair of black goggles that resemble an insect's eyes. After she's taken into Indian Hill for experimentation, she sports a darker, sleeker suit with a flamethrower that appears to represent her "Firefly wings", as well as a new pair of goggles that look strikingly similar to her Arkham counterpart's.
  • Dark Is Evil: She dons a gray fire-resistant suit upon becoming Firefly.
  • Darth Vader Clone: After she becomes Firefly, she now has serious burns, metallic armor that keeps her alive, and speaks in a distorted voice.
  • The Dog Bites Back: In "By Fire", she kills the Pike brothers by, well... by fire.
  • Dragon Ascendant: After seasons spent killing people for Strange, Penguin and Jerome, she's got her own gang of pyromaniacs by the end of season 4.
  • Driven to Villainy: Her brothers and Hugo Strange push her to the point of insanity with their relentless torture; resulting in her becoming the arsonist Firefly.
  • Dysfunctional Family: The Pike brothers force her into becoming an arsonist, calling it "family business", and threaten to expel her if they decide that she is not family.
  • Evil Feels Good: After her first night, she realizes that she enjoyed setting fires.
  • Evil Is Hammy: After accepting her villainous side, she goes way over the top with her desire to torch everything.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: She was a pretty, innocent girl before suffering from serious burns during her arson crimes.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: Progresses to using a flamethrower at the end of "Scarification".
  • Fire/Ice Duo: With Mr. Freeze. The two of them are a pair of Psychos for Hire. One episode has them turning their weapons on each other.
  • Foil: Appropriately enough, to Mr. Freeze. Both are villains themed after elements, both wear bodily-concealing suits and goggles, and both use guns that fire ammunition deriving from said elements. However, while Freeze is trying to rescue the one he loves and not cause massive collateral damage, Bridgit sets her abusive family ablaze (though it wasn't without reason) and goes on a subsequent rampage. They both end up at Indian Hill and don't see each other until Hugo Strange attempts to activate a bomb to level Arkham. While Freeze stays loyal to the professor, Bridgit (now truly Firefly) immediately dejects Strange's imploring to kill Selina. The two end up in Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors and are evenly matched, only stopping when Strange gets in the crossfire.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: She was just an abused, shy girl before becoming one of the city's most dangerous arsonists.
  • Gender Flip: Firefly is traditionally portrayed as male.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: She's not portrayed as stable after her evolution into Firefly, but generally she's ok working with Penguin. Season 4, however, has her throw in with Jerome's mad plan to destroy the city.
  • Karma Houdini: Gets away with all her criminal actions by the end of the series.
  • Loss of Identity: After her time in Indian Hill.
  • Not Quite Dead: Bridgit ends up burnt alive by her malfunctioning flamethrower and is thought to be dead. However, her body is taken to Indian Hill for experimentation, while she's still alive and completely aware of what's going on.
  • Not So Different: After becoming evil, she's now no longer different from her equally jerkass, abusive pyromaniac brothers and their desire to torch others for fun.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Barbecues her brothers, who have abused her since childhood, and a pimp auctioning sex slaves.
  • Psycho for Hire: Much like her original counterpart, she becomes a villain for hire recruited as the Penguin's new muscle.
  • Put on a Bus to Hell: After receiving serious burns that the police assumed she dies from, she's sent to Indian Hill where Hugo Strange commits horrific experiments on her.
  • Pyromaniac: Well, she is a villain who bases her gadgets off of flame-inducing technology.
  • Retcon: A somewhat downplayed example. Her fiery accident permanently damaged her entire body, and thus, her whole face ended up getting completely scarred. In Season 4 however, only half of her face is scarred (this is never explained).
  • Shrinking Violet: Before her Start of Darkness, Bridgit was a timid girl who was afraid of interacting with people due to her constant abuse.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: After Strange convinces her to act as a fire goddess, she becomes quite full of herself and only spares Selina's life in order to make her a servant.
  • Religion of Evil: Her Fire Goddess persona desires the burning of the entire world.
  • Religious Bruiser:She truly believes that fire is a religion for her to spread.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: She and Selina were very close and knew each other on a personal level. However, their friendship has officially severed upon Bridgit's transformation into Firefly.
  • Sanity Slippage: After Strange works on her in Indian Hill, she comes to believe she is an actual goddess of fire. She's gotten over it by her season 3 reappearances.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: She really hates working with Freeze in season 3.
  • That Man Is Dead: When she sees Selena again after Selena sneaks into Indian Hill she maintains that Bridgit is dead and that her name is Firefly.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: After she becomes a fully evil villain, she embraces her Ax-Crazy side.
  • Truer to the Text: Compared to Firefly's last live action portrayal on Arrow, this Firefly is a lot more closer to the comics by being a high-tech arsonist using an advanced flamethrower rather than a rogue firefighter who used a lighter and a tank of gasoline.
  • Villain Decay: She was once a rogue pyromaniac that went around killing people for fun, but later in the show she gets recruited as the Dumb Muscle for more competent villains. To rub salt in the wounds, she once gets taken out by Leslie Thompkins of all characters with a single bullet igniting her flamethrower.
  • Villainous Rescue: Kills a Talon threatening Jim Gordon at Penguin's behest.
  • We Used to Be Friends: She and Selina used to be good friends before she became Firefly and tried to kill her former friend.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In season 4 she first works for Penguin, then becomes part of the Legion of Horribles, but drops out of sight after their defeat. She's mentioned in season 5 as being in a turf war against Freeze, but her final fate is unresolved in both the season proper and the Time Skip finale.

     Victor Fries/Mister Freeze 

Victor Fries/Mister Freeze

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gotham_mr_freeze_refridgeration_suit.jpg
"They think walls and guns can stop me? They have no idea... they'll learn."
Played By: Nathan Darrow

A young cryogenics engineer-turned-criminal who first appears at the end of the Season 2 midseason finale. Armed with a powerful gun that can freeze people solid, he goes through tremendous lengths to save and protect his ill wife, Nora - but all for naught. The combination of the emotional trauma of his wife's death, a botched suicide attempt with his own freezing chemicals and Hugo Strange providing his famous suit have rendered him Mr. Freeze by series' end.


  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the comics, Mr. Freeze has a physiology that prevents him from living without his suit and looks freakishly inhuman, with no hair on his head and blue skin. On Gotham, he is still relativity normal, with an albino appearance, white hair, and light blue eyes and veins.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: After Nora dies, he becomes a full-fledged Ax-Crazy Psycho for Hire working under Hugo Strange and taking joy in killing people for him as opposed to the emotionally scarred Tragic Villain who wants no hand in evil whatsoever.
  • Affably Evil: Enough, apparently, to convince some bystanders to help him load one of his victims into his van. He's also considerate enough to shoo them away when the police are about to show up. This, of course, all goes out the window after he becomes Mr. Freeze.
  • An Ice Person: On the giving and receiving ends: his freeze gun lets him freeze people solid. Later, his suicide attempt alters his physiology so that he can only survive in cold temperatures.
  • Anti-Villain: Like in Batman: The Animated Series and the comics before the 2011 relaunch, he's trying to help his wife, no matter who else gets hurt in the process. At least until she dies - after this he's a Psycho for Hire to the bigger villains in Gotham.
  • Acquired Poison Immunity: The reason for his below-mentioned Bungled Suicide; he'd soaked up enough trace elements of his formula that it turned him into the classic Mr. Freeze, only able to survive in sub-zero temperatures, rather than killing him.
  • Bald of Evil: Pointedly averted; where nearly every other version of Freeze in other media is traditionally bald due to his altered physiology, here he has a full head of snow-white hair post-transformation.
  • Bungled Suicide: Tries to use a faulty batch of cryo-formula to kill himself just like Nora did, so he can join her in the afterlife. But really, were you expecting Victor Fries to die from an accident with his serum at this point?
  • Co-Dragons: Both him and Firefly are this to Oswald Cobblepot in Season 3. Neither of them are happy about it but they make the best of it by killing anyone who tries to kill their boss with precision.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Averted. He is called Mr. Freeze by the newspapers (despite that his last name actually isn't pronounced that way this time).
  • Costume Evolution: The Mr. Freeze suit starts off as a thick hooded jacket with simple, makeshift armor plating. In "A Dead Man Feels No Cold", he ditches this getup for a more spaceman-like suit, and eventually, it evolves into the iconic armored suit (and red goggles) from the comics.
  • Cold Ham: Pun aside, this is appropriately how Fries acts throughout his episodes in his attempts to save his wife, even holding Tranquil Fury as part of his repertoire.
  • Death Faked for You: Ostensibly, his dead body was burned after a stay at the city morgue. In fact, he'd been transformed into a human popsicle by his Bungled Suicide and became one of Hugo Strange's enforcers.
  • Driven to Suicide: After failing to save Nora. Needless to say, he fails to kill himself, and of course, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger...
  • Fire/Ice Duo: With Firefly. The two of them are a pair of Psychos for Hire. One episode even has them turning their weapons on each other, though both survive.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Victor's plan to reverse his condition and become normal is unlikely to ever happen due to Mr. Freeze being around during Batman's crime fighting career.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: While the appearance of Victor Fries was already announced for Season 2, viewers were still surprised to see the logo for the show freeze over, and were immediately greeted by this character's appearance.
  • Foil: To Firefly, appropriately. Both are villains themed after elements, both wear bodily-concealing suits and goggles, and both use guns that fire ammunition deriving from said elements. While Freeze goes out of his way to save his wife and not cause too much collateral damage until his ultimate tranformation and Face–Heel Turn, Firefly had already murdered her brothers who were abusive to her. Both wind up at Indian Hill not soon after their supervillain debuts, and while Firefly is temporarily locked up in the basement, Freeze is out and about as Hugo Strange's errand boy. The two counterparts meet soon enough, and participate in Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors with their guns until Strange is hurt.
  • Hired Gun: What Fries does as a side job. He's really good in what he does.
  • Human Popsicle: What he becomes by the end of his second episode.
  • In the Hood: His suit has some resemblance to Firefly's (goggles, gunmetal grey suit, power supply attached to Weapon of Choice), and features this in place of the familiar dome.
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": This series decided to go with a different pun on his last name. Instead of making it sound identical to "freeze", it's instead pronounced like "ice".
  • Karma Houdini: Gets away with all his criminal actions by the end of the series.
  • Light Is Not Good: Started off with white armor, but becomes a villain later.
  • Locked into Strangeness: His hair turns completely white after his resurrection.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In "A Dead Man Feels No Cold", while holding a man hostage, Fries creates what appear to be ice grenades with the ability to shoot out icicles similar to a nail bomb, for use in saving his wife from Arkham. These are clearly the Freeze Grenades that debuted in Batman: Arkham City, except much deadlier and for murderous intent instead of simple stunning.
    • His alliance with Hugo Strange is also taken from the game, though the alliance is mutually beneficial and seems to be more friendly, with Hugo assisting Fries and distracting the police in exchange for a sample of Victor's cryonic formula. However, thanks to Victor's Bungled Suicide, he receives his own specialized cell in Arkham acts as a mercenary.
    • The astronaut-like suit that he wears "A Dead Man Feels No Cold" looks almost exactly like one of the suits that he wore in the Adam West series.
  • Powered Armor: As mentioned in Costume Evolution, he ditches his chainmail jacket for a spaceman-like suit. Of course, his first usage of it combined with his ice gun makes him an example of Clothes Make the Superman, but once he becomes An Ice Person after his Bungled Suicide, Hugo Strange has some modifications made to his suit to fit his Human Popsicle biology.
  • Psycho for Hire: After his debut arc becomes this to first Penguin, and later Jerome's Legion of Horribles. Justified in that it's mentioned that he needs money in order to fund reversing his condition.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: His actor was also appearing regularly on House of Cards (US) during the time period he was portraying Freeze, leading to his sporadic appearances after his debut arc.
  • Slasher Smile: He looks like he's enjoying freezing Karen Jennings to death a little too much.
  • Villain Decay: He started out as a complex tragic villain who was trying to save his dying wife, but after her death and his transformation, Freeze became the muscle for other arc villains with more power than him. It actually got to the point where he barely even speaks in his appearances despite his intimidating presence.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In season 4 he first works for Penguin, then becomes part of the Legion of Horribles, but drops out of sight after their defeat. He's mentioned in season 5 as being in a turf war against Firefly, but his final fate is unresolved in both the season proper and the Time Skip finale.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Ends up with white hair after being frozen and later unfrozen - and after this change is an Ax-Crazy psycho for hire.

    Dr. Hugo Strange 

Dr. Hugo Strange

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hugo_strange_6.png
"Death is not an ending. Death is a new beginning."
Played By: B.D. Wong

The Chief of Psychiatry at Arkham Asylum. He forces his patients to undergo brutally-intense treatments and tests, with Penguin being one of his most recent guinea pigs. Behind the scenes, he's secretly running mysterious experiments at Indian Hill, which end up leading to reborn villains such as Azrael (Theo Galavan), Fish Mooney and Jerome Valeska...


  • Adaptation Origin Connection: His heinous experiments at Indian Hill have resulted in the birth of several Batman villains, including Mr. Freeze, Firefly, Solomon Grundy, and Bane. He also was the one who hired Matches to kill Thomas Wayne, making him responsible for turning Bruce into Batman.
  • Adaptational Wimp: While certainly a credible threat, this Hugo Strange doesn't act Defiant to the End like his original counterpart. Whenever Strange was losing his battles, he always had a backup plan and bravely stared down his enemies even when the odds weren't in his favor. The show's version breaks down crying and loses all hope the minute he's betrayed by the Greater-Scope Villain due to losing to Gordon and Bruce (who's still a child).
  • Ancient Conspiracy: Is an agent for the Court of Owls.
  • Bad Boss: Allows his men to be brutally killed by Azrael in order to see what he is capable of.
  • Bald of Evil: As usual.
  • Beard of Evil: Strange's signature chinstrap beard only serves to enhance how Obviously Evil he is.
  • Big Bad: For the second half of Season 2. Professor Strange runs a secretive research facility called Indian Hill where he uses Arkham inmates as test subjects for metahuman or scientific purposes, unleashes a transformed Victor Fries as Mr. Freeze, and brings back and resurrects Theo Galavan as Azrael. And that is not counting his Greater-Scope Villain role as the man behind the killing of Thomas & Martha Wayne.
  • Blatant Lies: Any claim of his that a dead body brought to his facilities had been burnt. He was first known to have told this lie about Victor Fries in "Azrael", and in "Unleashed" Bullock notes that he told the same lie about Theo Galavan, too.
  • Break the Haughty: When Gordon and Bruce eventually get the better of him and the Court of Owls activates a nuke under his facility, Strange breaks down crying and loses all his cool suave characteristics almost immediately. Happens again in season 3 when he goes from smugly daring Penguin to do anything to breaking down in panic when he realises Oswald has the same torture headset Strange himself once used.
  • Butt-Monkey: After Season 2, him getting kidnapped, tortured and then coerced into being someone else's slave becomes something of a Running Gag.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: How he's avoided being killed so far. His skills at mental and physical alteration mean he's too valuable to lose, even for someone who despises him like Penguin.
  • Cold Ham: He rarely raises his voice, but expect him to make himself known in every scene he's in regardless.
  • Composite Character: By the show going with the Waynes' deaths being an assassination and him being behind it to stop Thomas Wayne, he takes the role of Lew Moxon from the stories where their deaths were an assassination.
  • Creepy Monotone: It never turns off.
  • Dirty Coward: When things don't go his way in the season 2 finale, he breaks down crying and runs away like a coward.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: In "Wrath of the Villains", it is revealed he directly works for the Court of Owls, but doesn't agree with their methods.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Hugo was a former friend to Thomas Wayne before betraying him.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Just listen to that eerie, baritone voice of his.
    Hugo Strange: This is an official certificate from the Gotham Board of Health and Hygiene. It states that Oswald Cobblepot has passed all mandated tests, and by the laws of Gotham City, is hereby declared... saaaaaane.
  • False Friend: He used to be friends with Thomas Wayne but eventually betrayed him.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Comes off as a polite and compassionate psychiatrist who wants what's best for his patients in his therapy sessions. It's all an affectation of course, and he keeps it even while torturing his victims.
    Strange (With a warm smile): "Remember, see no evil, do no evil."note 
  • For Science!: He doesn't seem to have any reason for torturing Cobblepot using Gerald Crane's fear formula other than to see what will happen. Also his reasoning releasing for releasing Oswald and Barbara from Arkham, literally just to see what would happen.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: He has creepy red-tinted Lennon Specs, used for maximum effect in the closeups of his face, and he experiments on the "patients" at Indian Hill.
  • Greater-Scope Villain:
    • In "Pinewood", it's ultimately revealed that he was the one who hired Matches Malone to kill Bruce's parents — in order to prevent his father from stopping Strange's nightmarish experiments on his patients. This means that he's indirectly the one who ends up creating Batman.
    • He's the one that gave Eduardo Durrance the ability to mind-control Riddler in season 5, leading to the bombing of Haven. And when Eduardo is critically injured by Gordon, Strange is the one that saves him and turns him into Bane.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Delivers one to Gordon at the start of "Azrael". Gordon is able to see through it and points out that he never believed him for one second when Strange lies that the last remains of Victor Fries had been destroyed after Gordon hands him a court order ostensibly signed by Harvey Dent calling for his exhumation.
  • The Heavy: He's acting as the Big Bad of the second half of the season 2 while secretly working under the Court of Owls.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: In the comics he usually has his own plans and motives (usually figuring out Batman's identity). Here he's working for the Court of Owls all along.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • He decides to release Barbara from Arkham Asylum, basically just to see what will happen. What does happen is that Barbara helps Gordon find a major clue to the person behind the Wayne murders — namely, Strange himself.
    • By unleashing 'Azrael' on the city to kill Jim to keep him silent, he ends up blowing his secret: not only do the police finally have a strong reason to investigate him, but the Court of Owls order him to move his operations to an upstate facility, which results in all of Strange's experiment patients escaping into Gotham.
    • In the Season 2 finale, he gets hit by simultaneous blasts from Mr. Freeze and Firefly's weapons, two of his "creations".
    • In season 3 Penguin tortures him with the same "therapy" headset Strange once used on him.
  • Inscrutable Oriental: Comes off as this due to the Race Lift.
  • Karma Houdini: Gets away with all his criminal actions by the end of the series.
  • Light Is Not Good: Wears a white labcoat most of the time, but is very evil.
  • Mad Scientist: His experiments make the Dollmaker look outright sane, and he's particularly fixated on reversing death. He eventually succeeds in bringing Theo Galavan, Fish Mooney, and others back to life.
  • Made of Iron: He gets frozen and burnt at the same time, but he completely shrugs this off.
  • Manipulative Bastard: In spades. In under two episodes, his "treatment" of Penguin has left Gotham's King a confused duck-duck-goose-playing Broken Bird. If Nigel's any indicator, he can and has reduced inmates to self-harming incoherent messes. Plus he just added Mr. Freeze to his collection of underground freaks... Freaks who are presumed dead (and at least a couple of them just as presumed having been incinerated), each with special attributes, that Strange no doubt intends to use. Turned completely on its head just as quickly: Penguin breaks his conditioning and comes gunning for him, while one of his "freaks" turns out to be Fish Mooney, who quickly makes him her captive.
  • Mythology Gag: Takes a while to play out, but he eventually turns out to have been working for Ra's Al Ghul through the Court of Owls. Minus the latter, that sounds familiar...
  • Never My Fault: He tells Bruce it was Thomas's own fault for forcing Strange to have him killed.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
    • By questioning Gordon and Bruce if they knew of a mysterious council that secretly controlled Gotham, he inadvertently put them on the trail of the Court of Owls, though he wasn't really expecting them to survive after the interrogations.
    • He also overhears Penguin admitting Jim really killed Galavan, leading him to resurrect Theo in his experiments and, as Azrael, send him after Gordon. At this point, Barnes is investigating Gordon for Theo's murder, and all this does is make Barnes think Theo had never been dead, derailing the one investigation that could have legitimately put Jim away.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: He's not really a physical threat.
  • Obviously Evil: Per the norm for Gotham City, the guy could not be more obviously shady, but no one sees him as anything worse than eccentric.
  • Oh, Crap!: When he realizes his test subjects have escaped and he's trapped in the asylum with a nuke ready to go off.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: B.D. Wong tends to slip between an American accent and a Chinese one every so often.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: He's both a psychiatrist and a master of biological manipulation.
  • Pet the Dog: He seems perfectly willing to fix up Lee Thompkins and the Riddler for Penguin at no charge. Subverted later, as it turned out he was putting mind control chips in them for Nyssa Al Ghul to use.
  • Plot Armor: Taken to ludicrous extremes in the second season finale. While Mr. Freeze and Firefly are fighting to the death, Strange runs right between their crossfire getting simultaneously frozen and burnt. Miraculously, this doesn't even faze him in the least.
  • Psycho for Hire: In later seasons his ability to physically alter someone sees him used by both Penguin and Nyssa Al Ghul.
  • Psycho Psychologist: As per usual, he's experimenting on patients. Specifically the ones at Indian Hill.
  • Race Lift: Typically a German, here he's played by an Asian actor.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Red-tinted ones!
  • Smug Snake: He releases both Penguin and Barbara, without regard to what it will do to his professional reputation. The latter puts Gordon squarely on his trail within a few episodes, while the former comes for him with a minigun at the end of the season.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: He never uses anything but a mild indoor voice, to the point that his speech is strangely hypnotic at times. And yet he enjoys screwing with people's minds in the same way a cruel child might enjoy burning ants with a magnifying glass.
  • Too Dumb to Live: While Firefly and Mr. Freeze are fighting each other, the doctor runs right into their crossfire. Somehow, this doesn't kill him.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: One of the corpses he collected? Jerome Valeska. If he'd left well enough alone there, Gotham might have been spared his brother Jeremiah's transformation into the Joker...
  • Villainous Breakdown: Has one in "Transference", when he tearfully waits to die in a nuclear explosion, rather than disarm the bomb and let his experiments escape into the world.
  • Villain Decay: Is reduced from being the Big Bad of Season 2 and one of the most prominent Greater Scope Villains of the series to being the lackey of whoever has him on a leash at the moment in season 3.
  • Why Did You Make Me Hit You?: Strange admits to feeling this way about Thomas Wayne, when speaking to Bruce. And before that, he tried to get Thomas to understand the purpose of his experiments.
  • You Monster!: Quoth Bullock in "Unleashed":
    Bullock: You stink, Strange—this whole place stinks.

    "Basil"/Clayface 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/clayfaces3.png
Hugo Strange: "Basil is a gifted performer. A chameleon of sorts."
An actor who died of unknown means, Basil is an Indian Hill patient that is capable of changing his features & voice to impersonate others.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: While still a relatively creepy looking fellow, he at least fares better than the giant blob monster that he is in the comics.
  • Adaptational Superpower Change: Rather than the radioactive mud pool that gave the Matt Hagen Clayface powers (and later become the source for other versions of the character receiving powers), this version receives his shapeshifting powers from octopus DNA implanted by Hugo Strange at Indian Hill.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Naturally. Clayface at full power would make short work of anything else in this series.
  • Bald of Evil: He can't shapeshift hair, so he does this to make wigs easier.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": He was an actor in his previous life and had terrible performance skills. His impersonation of Gordon has to be seen to be believed. Subverted later, as his impersonation of Elijah Van Dahl was so spot on it further broke Oswald Cobblepot's mind.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: He's only referred to as Basil by Hugo Strange, never Clayface.
  • Identity Amnesia: As part of Strange's experiments. By his second appearance, the good doctor's ministrations have erased any unease over this.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: Unlike his comic counterpart, he can't just morph his features and has to manually resculpt his features until they look how he wants. As a result, hitting him does to his disguise what it would do to a clump of soft clay.
  • No Name Given: It is unclear if Basil was or is his real name, since this was the name given to him by Strange during his experiments at Indian Hill.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: He's not a giant clay monster in this continuity. Instead, he's a (somewhat) regular-looking guy with stretchy, clay-like skin.
  • Rubber Man: His power works because his flesh is extremely malleable, allowing him to sculpt it at will.
  • Voices Are Mental: Justified. His power only lets him change his appearance, not his internal structures. He has to rely on old fashioned listen-and-repeat just to get in the ballpark of the voice he should be using.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Basil hasn't been seen or heard since season 3, something especially notable in a show like Gotham where the freaks were running amok in the later seasons.
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     Jervis Tetch/Mad Hatter 

Jervis Tetch

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/600px_gothams03e07_01_1.jpg
"Look into my eyes..."
Played By: Benedict Samuel

A talented hypnotist who comes to Gotham looking for his younger sister, Alice. Her death sends him into a campaign of Revenge against Jim Gordon, eventually leading him to team up with villains like Scarecrow and Jerome Valeska.


  • Adaptational Attractiveness: The youngest, most attractive portrayal of the character, as played by Benedict Samuel.
  • Adaptational Badass: Usually Tetch's mind control is managed via high-tech hats he places on his victims. Here he only needs for his victims to listen to his voice.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Jim Gordon. Jervis blames Gordon for Alice's death and in turn turns both of his Love Interests against him.
  • Ax-Crazy: Has no compunctions about harming innocent people.
  • Beard of Evil: A natty goatee. However, he's clean-shaven in season 5.
  • Berserk Button: His sister Alice. Or rather, the possibility of losing control over her. Telling him his sister left him out of fear and hatred of him for loving her is also surefire way to get Jervis ready to murder you.
  • Black Eyes of Crazy: Whenever he uses his hypnosis, Jervis's irises turn an eerie black, and what makes it scarier is that they're not even reflective once they become that way.
  • Big Bad: Served as this for Mad City.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Alice claims that Tetch tried to implant thoughts "a brother should never have" into her head in the past.
  • Catchphrase: "Look into my eyes."
  • Co-Dragons: Becomes one to Jerome alongside Scarecrow in season 4.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: In spite of the Alice in Wonderland motifs that accompany him, he isn't called the Mad Hatter in-show for quite some time. This is finally averted in Season 4 when Oswald refers to him as "Hatter".
  • Compelling Voice: How he enthralls his victims.
  • Darker and Edgier: Most depictions of Jervis in the comics imply him to be a sexual predator who kidnaps girls and tries to transform them into "Alice". Gotham takes this one step further and adds Brother–Sister Incest to this by making the original Alice of his obsessions his own sister. He did however kidnap an unknown girl and dress her up, only to slit her throat afterwards.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: The GCPD and Jim were able to stop Jervis and his plan to unleash the virus, but there are still three episodes left of Mad City allowing the vacant spot of Big Bad to be filled by Jerome Valeska.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Horrifically, disturbingly deconstructed. His love for his sister is very sick and twisted; he abuses and terrifies her and calls it love.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Whilst he is willingly and eagerly helping out Jerome Valeska, he is noticeably disturbed and shocked at the Joker Toxin's affects on the test subject.
  • Evil Is Hammy: He starts off as a cold and calculating foe, but becomes louder and more over-the-top as he sinks deeper into insanity. His rhyming habit only furthers his hamminess.
    Jervis: Soon the bells will toll, Jim. How many more will grow cold, Jim? Like your soul, Jim. How many would-be fliers will be die-rs?! Splattered like my poor, spitted Alice when the Gotham bells tolled their full ROOOOOOOLL!
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Jim gets him to reveal who he has infected with Alice's blood by turning his Rhymes on a Dime tendency back on him.
  • The Immune: He is immune to Alice's virus, and his blood is necessary to create a cure.
  • Irony: Jervis loves watching people fall into madness from Alice's blood as a twisted way of being close to her, but his blood is the key ingredient of the antidote.
  • Karma Houdini: Gets away with all his criminal actions by the end of the series.
  • Mind Manipulation: He's a hypnotist.
  • Never My Fault: After Alice's death, Jervis blames Jim Gordon for turning her against him, even though she hated Jervis because of his own actions.
  • Nice Hat: Though not given much focus, he just wouldn't be the Mad Hatter without a snazzy topper. Even after he winds up in Arkham, he makes a cartoonish one out of newspaper.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Normally speaks in a polite, soft-spoken manner, so when he raises his voice, it's a sign that he's very angry.
    • He usually wears a smug smile on his face and speaks with glee when committing crimes and killing people. If he ever drops this, someone's going to die.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: He's not actually psychic, but he uses his hypnosis to do something similar.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: He displays an almost childlike innocence, which just serves to make him creepier.
  • Psycho for Hire: He returns in season 5, working for Jeremiah Valeska to create a new killer virus. When queried as to why, he claims he's just doing it to have fun.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Tends to speak in this when he's hypnotizing people. It slips into his regular speech the further off the deep end he goes. This is an actual symptom of schizophrenia called Clanging.
  • Sanity Slippage: He's clearly got some screws loose in his introductory episode, but finding out that Alice wants nothing to do with him, and later witnessing her death doesn't help.
    • It's a testament to how off his rocker he is when, after escaping Arkham, most of his dialogue is screamed, as opposed to the quiet, polite tone he usually uses.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: He has a very calm, low voice, even while he's commanding people to kill themselves.
  • Yandere: Tetch is hunting Alice down even though he terrifies her and she wants nothing to do with him.

     Ra's Al-Ghul 

The mysterious leader of the League of Assassins, Ra's is an immortal seeking an end to his long life - and in season 3 takes a distinct interest in Bruce. For tropes regarding him, see Other Criminal Groups.

    Arthur Penn/The Ventriloquist 

The long-suffering accountant of the Penguin. Frequently mistreated, season 5 sees him display an altogether-more sinister split personality. For tropes regarding him, see Gotham Mob.

    Jeremiah Valeska/The Joker 

Jeremiah Valeska/The Joker

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screenshot_2019_01_12_21_26_01.png
Click here to see Jeremiah pre-transformation 
Click here to see Jeremiah after falling into the bath of chemicals 
Played By: Cameron Monaghan

"Why don't you understand? You need me! I'm the answer to your life's question! Without me, you're just a joke... without a punchline!"

The reclusive genius identical twin brother of Jerome Valeska. He seems to be a stable, serious young man until he opens a jack-in-the-box left posthumously by his maniacal brother. From then on he serves as the show's take on The Joker, albeit without use of the name (Word of God indicates that Warner Brothers reserve the name for film incarnations of the Clown Prince of Crime), with a growing obsession with Bruce.


  • Actually Pretty Funny: A warped variant: he can't stop giggling in "Pena Dura" when Alfred threatens to bite his face off if he hurts Bruce, having to visibly compose himself into seriousness before he resumes explaining his plans to the butler.
  • Adaptational Dye Job: Initially: he retains his natural red hair even after getting the pale skin and green eyes from Jerome's gas. It's gone the traditional green (albeit so dark it appears black in most lighting) by the end of season 4.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: He's noticeably more calm and reserved than other versions of the Joker. At first anyway. He's considerably more unhinged in season 5.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: His final Joker form may very well be one of the scariest, most grotesque looking versions of the Clown Prince in any live action adaptation. His face is riddled with permanent chemical burns, and his hair's been reduced to long, stringy patches on his head. This is a deconstructed take on the Joker's typical origin; falling into a vat of chemicals will take a heavy toll on your skin and physical appearance.
  • Adaptation Expansion: His full transformation into the Joker has essentially been split into two separate events in this continuity. First, he gets his bleached skin and Sanity Slippage from a special laughing gas given to him by Jerome. A season later, he falls into the Ace Chemicals vat just like in the comics, and emerges physically deformed and closer to the traditional Joker look (specifically with the large pointed chin that's commonly associated with the character).
  • A God Am I: Has organized a Religion of Evil centered around himself in Season 5 where "pilgrims" play Russian roulette with each other if they wish to join. In practice it's not quite as egomaniacal as it sounds, with "Ruin" showing it's to acquire willing(ish) workers to tunnel under the Gotham River to Wayne Manor.
  • Ambiguously Evil: A retroactive example: it's left ambiguous whether his exposure to the Joker Gas turned him evil, or if, as he claims, he was always this way and the gas just changed his appearance.
  • Arch-Enemy: He's this by default to Bruce after crippling Selina and blowing up half the city, but Jeremiah actively seeks this relationship with Bruce in season 5. He's realised he and Bruce will never be the "best friends" he wants them to be, so he settles for getting Bruce's attention another way - bonding them as this via recreating the deaths of Bruce's parents with Jim and Leslie.
  • Arc Villain:
    • After Jerome dies but ensures that Jeremiah will unleash his inner craziness, Jeremiah becomes the final villain of season 4, trying to destroy the city both solo and as part of a Big Bad Duumvirate with Ra's Al Ghul.
    • He's this again for Bruce's arc in season 5, launching a concerted attempt to recreate the Wayne murders in hopes of bonding Bruce to him as an eternal enemy.
  • Attention Whore: Unlike his brother, he's this to Bruce and Bruce only. His entire reasoning behind recreating the Wayne murders - with him as the killer this time - is that he can't stand the thought of some random gunman having a bigger impact on Bruce's life than him.
    Jeremiah: I wanna be the star of the show!
  • Ax-Crazy: Beneath his cool demeanor, he's just as insane as his brother was.
  • Backup Twin: A particularly dark variation of this. Jerome ends up dead and never actually becomes the Joker, but fortunately for him, he has an identical twin brother who could do the job for him whether he wants to or not!
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Unlike his brother, he's aways seen in a variety of sharp suits, both pre and post-transformation.
  • Bad Boss: Not surprisingly given who he's based on - turn on him (his brother's cult), question him (his series 5 tunnelling foreman) or just stop being useful (Ecco) and he'll kill you without a second thought.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: One way of looking at "Ace Chemicals": his main goal is to bond Bruce to him forever as a blood rival if he can't be his brother - and the finale indicates he succeeded when Bruce thwarts his plans as Batman.
  • Berserk Button: Implying that he is in any way inferior to Jerome. Questioning his sanity is also a bad move.
  • Big Bad: For Season 4's final few episodes following his brother's demise.
  • Big Bad Friend: He views himself as being this to Bruce - all evidence to the contrary. He forgoes several chances to just kill him and instead tries to first get him to unleash his inner darkness, then attempts to bond them forever as blood enemies by killing his Parental Substitutes Jim and Leslie.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Yells one at his followers when they turn on him, shortly before incinerating them.
  • Bullying a Dragon:
    • Oswald, Barbara, Tabitha and Butch - not viewing him as much compared to his late brother - attempt to hijack his plan to destroy the city by extorting it for $50m by holding one of the crucial henchmen/parts of Jeremiah's plan for ransom. All this does is have him move up his timetable by activating the bombs early, almost getting them and millions of others killed as a result.
    • Is subject to this again in season 5 by Ed Nygma and other Arkham inmates, who physically abuse him while he is pretending to be catatonic, which makes it not so surprising that Jeremiah later targets him by breaking him out of Arkham, and tricking him into committing a high-profile crime as a distraction for Jeremiah's own plans.
  • Cain and Abel: He certainly seems to be the Abel to Jerome's Cain, with his recounting his mother's favouring him and Jerome's subsequent threats and physical abuse. Then again, we learn later he was making at least some of it up, and that the hatred Jerome endured from the rest of his family played a part in his Start of Darkness, so whether any of it was true is up for interpretation.
  • Characterisation Marches On: As noted below, Jeremiah started off distinctly different to his more manic brother, carrying himself with an almost bored sense of apathy. As of season 5, as his obsession with Bruce grows however, he's started to display more manic elements to his personality that seem to be taking him down a path into becoming more like the traditional Joker most are familiar with. And unintentionally on his part, making him more similar to his brother.
  • The Chessmaster: In the finale: Bullock, Penguin, Riddler, Gordon - they're all dancing to his tune, and the only reason his plans don't work is ironically the return of the item of his obsession - Bruce, now Batman.
  • Cold Ham: Compared to his brother, his way of speaking is much more subdued, though no less dramatic. Getting averted in season 5, where he's beginning to edge into his brother's Large Ham territory.
  • Color Motif: Likes purple, the classic Joker color. Notable because his brother, who was a much more obvious candidate for the role of Joker, never really incorporated a lot of purple into his wardrobe.
  • Combat Pragmatist: A strong believer in this: he skulks behind Bruce (offering him as a target) when Barbara arrives to confront Ra's at the end of season 4, gets the upper hand on Tabitha by using her own knife in the ensuing fight, and in "Ruin" uses body armour to make Selina think he'd been killed.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: His voice in the finale is heavily reminiscent of Mark Hamill's famed vocal work on the Joker, with some of the softer vocal elements of Heath Ledger's version.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: He's never referred to as the Joker on the show, not even in the Time Skip finale. Word of God indicates that Warner Bros. wanted to save the character for the live action films, and thus, the show isn't allowed to use the Joker name.
  • Composite Character:
    • Jeremiah may be show's Joker as per the finale, but his character also has elements of The Batman Who Laughs who considered himself "an improvement" over the mindlessly chaotic "original" Joker. Jeremiah likewise combined his intellect and methodological mind with Jerome's moral compass and became much more destructive than his brother ever was.
    • His loud, dandyish fashion sense, spit curl, and Foe Yay levels of obsession with Bruce in Season 5 bring him in line with Frank Miller's interpretation of the character.
    • The two-part Series Finale reveals a new look for Jeremiah... a freakish, scarred visage riddled with chemical burns and wisps of stringy, bright green hair that resemble the sickly Joker of the Arkham series wearing a long purple overcoat that blends elements of the 1989 film and Heath Ledger's take on Mister J.
    • Interestingly, he also bares several similarities to one of the more obscure versions of the Joker: John Doe from Telltale's Batman games. They were both friends with Bruce before transforming into the Joker (and are thus two of the only versions to explicitly know that Bruce is Batman), are motivated largely by a desire to be noticed and appreciated by Bruce, and instigate a raid on Wayne Enterprises. They also share the same giggly, breathy laugh that gradually becomes more manic, and receive a batarang through the hand in the Ace Chemicals plant where they were reborn. Notably, one of the new names Jeremiah considers upon his awakening is John.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Jerome was manic and unhinged, a pure force of chaos that was random and capricious even when following his plans. Jeremiah is cold and reserved, methodical and precise - a No-Nonsense Nemesis with a destructive vision way beyond his brother's. Even their attires as villains are polar opposites: Jerome's season 4 outfit is a bright white suit, while Jeremiah's evil look is a dark purple ensemble in the mould of his notorious inspiration.
    Don't compare me to that short-sighted psychopath. He just wanted to destroy things. Me? I'm a builder.
  • Crazy-Prepared: More showcased in his earlier appearances than in the later ones, when he becomes increasingly unhinged. A notable example includes adding an extra part to his bombs that looks exactly like the one that will disarm them, except for this one will make them detonate. This is despite the fact that he destroyed all his notes, so he didn't think anyone could possibly find his explosives in order to disarm them.
  • Creepy Monotone: Post-transformation, he speaks in an icy, calculating voice that contrasts his brother's crazier, wilder growl.
  • Curse That Cures: A very mild example given the extent of his transformation into a psychopathic monster - but after his exposure to Jerome's toxin he's never seen using his glasses, implying it somehow fixed his eyesight.
  • Deadpan Snarker: After his transformation, he develops a rather dry sense of humor.
    I hope you didn't catch a cold in my brother's grave. I know those things aren't exactly designed for the living.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: He might despise everything to do with his brother, but he's capable of pulling off a stunningly accurate impersonation of Jerome after Jerome dies and he gets a face full of Joker gas in order to both manipulate his brother's old followers into doing his dirty work and lure Gordon into position to get killed.
  • Decomposite Character: As the show isn't allowed to use the Joker name, this is how the show handled the Clown Prince.
  • Decoy Antagonist: In season 5. The show's advertising had him incredibly prominent in the trailers for season 5, with the end of the movie-style trailer even teasing his transformation into the Joker. In the season itself he's in it for only a few episodes, with the real Big Bad Duumvirate being Bane and Nyssa Al Ghul.
  • Dissonant Serenity: One of the creepiest things about the character. Unlike his brother, many times he's incredibly calm while killing people.
  • The Dreaded: Everybody's terrified of him in the finale, despite his pretending to be catatonic for the past ten years. The Riddler even calls him "a legend," and the GCPD won't even say his name.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He really, really cares about Bruce - albeit in a very warped way - variously referring to him as his best friend and the brother he never had. In the finale he directly compares Bruce leaving Gotham to losing the only thing he ever loved.
    Jeremiah: This is all for you, Bruce.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Subverted. Any trace of humanity he shows is usually a prelude to something worse.
    • In season 4 he gives the GCPD time to evacuate Gotham before he plans to demolish it, stating that the people living in Gotham don't have to die for his plan to work, but he clearly knows that six hours isn't nearly enough time to evacuate a major city. Also, after Penguin interrupts his plan he decides to go back on the already too scarce six hours and detonate the bombs as soon as he gets to a safe place.
    • In season 5, he cheerfully tells Bruce to get his butler as he sets Wayne Manor to blow, which seems an unusual act of mercy for him - except he'd already had Alfred hypnotised by Jervis Tetch, leaving him totally incapable of recognising the danger he was in. If Bruce hadn't been able to appeal to Alfred's most basic Papa Wolf instinct, he might have died anyway.
  • Evil Costume Switch: After revealing his true nature, he ditches his red coat for a black and purple one.
  • Evil All Along: Ambiguously. He claims to have been like this all along, although whether that's just what the toxin makes him believe or if he's correct is unknown.
  • Eviler Than Thou: He resents being compared to Jerome, considering his dead brother an unstable and shortsighted lunatic with none of his intellect or vision.
  • Evil Genius: He retains his genius intellect after his transformation.
  • Evil Redhead: Like his brother. Even after being exposed to Jerome's Joker gas, he still retains his natural red hair (most notably in the scene where he and Ecco raid Wayne Enterprises) - but by season's end has either started dyeing it green or the toxin is altering it more.
  • Evil vs. Evil: At the end of season 4, Oswald, Barbara, Tabitha and Butch try to threaten him into extorting money from the city using his bombs, and, when that doesn't work, risk their lives trying to prevent him from carrying out his plan to kill thousands of people and cut Gotham off from the outside world. Especially notable, since these other villains are the only ones, besides Bruce and Alfred, who get there on time to fight him.
  • Facial Horror: Played with. One dose of the laughing gas toxin, and Jeremiah's mouth stretches into a bloody rictus as his skin bleaches and he laughs uncontrollably. But thereafter, aside from the skin pigmentation changes he actually looks more normal than Jerome's scarred visage. Neither Gordon or Bruce realise anything is wrong until he wipes the makeup off during The Reveal.
  • Faking the Dead: He's perfectly happy to let everyone think Selina stabbed him to death so he can advance his plans without interference.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Talks to Bruce like a close friend, all the while torturing and trying to kill his loved ones. When he gets Bruce together with a hypnotized Alfred and the people he has imitating Thomas and Martha Wayne he acts like a genial best friend attending his first dinner with his friend's family, even gently needling Bruce over his childhood favourite food in a voice that sounds almost normal for once.
  • Feel No Pain: While faking catatonia he can take Riddler stabbing him in the leg with a sharpened paintbrush without any visible reaction. Later dialogue from Ed and other prisoners implies this sort of thing happens a lot.
  • Final Boss:
    • Fittingly enough given who he's based on, Jeremiah is the last and most dangerous enemy that Bruce and the GCPD have to face in Season 4, surpassing even his brother's acts of destruction and insanity by a wide margin.
    • Jeremiah serves this role once again in the final episode of Gotham having come out of his faked coma once Bruce returns to Gotham and manipulating the entire cast in order to see his "old friend" once more.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: After being sprayed by Jerome, he keeps his glasses while pretending to still be sane.
  • Friendly Enemy: A one-sided example. Even after his transformation, he still considers Bruce Wayne his best friend. Given that he almost kills Selina and comes close to destroying the city at the end of season 4, Bruce disagrees rather violently.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: While this is true of Penguin and most of the villains on this page, nobody embodies this trope harder than Jeremiah Valeska. Nobody even knew of his existence at the start of season 4 (including the fans) - by its end he's far surpassed his brother in almost destroying the city and plunging it into total anarchy, becomes Bruce's Arch-Enemy after gunning down Selina and becomes the Gotham version of the Joker, THE Batman villain. Not bad for someone who only appeared in 5 episodes of season 4...
  • Giggling Villain: In Season 5, he's prone to bouts of giggles.
  • Gone Horribly Right: He manipulates virtually everyone, almost blows up Wayne Tower and holds Barbara Lee hostage in an effort to attract Bruce's attention when he returns, and he gets it - but as Batman, who swiftly defeats him.
  • If I Can't Have You...: Given a pretty unique take, in that he's not interested in killing Bruce: he really, really wants him to be his best friend and brother, but by "Ace Chemicals" he's come to the conclusion that if he can't have Bruce as this (and he says the trope word for word when they talk in the alley) they'll just have to be forever bonded as enemies instead.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: He's obsessed with Bruce being his best friend, and makes a point of not killing him when revealing what's happened to him at Jerome's graveside because of it. Takes an even darker turn in season 5, when he rationalises that if they can't be best friends, they'll just have to be bonded for life as enemies instead.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Being Jerome's genetic twin, he's initially a very attractive young man, but after he falls into a vat of chemicals, his face is horribly scarred and most of his hair has been burned off.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: He kills the foreman of the workers trying to tunnel out of Gotham for complaining it's hopelessly unrealistic of him to expect it done in such a short time. Said foreman had been established in a prior episode as an unrepentant child slaver.
  • Knife Nut: Much like his brother. He's shown to be particularly adept with razor blades.
  • Large Ham: Graduates to this from his former Cold Ham self in season 5, taking Jerome's theatricality and parading around as Zorro when giving Bruce a Motive Rant - in an actual theatre no less.
  • Legacy Character: To Jerome as the show's Joker figure. Particularly significant in that Jerome chose him to be his successor, declaring to Jim that he couldn't be killed because he was an idea.
  • Master Actor: Much like his brother, he is very good at hiding his true nature underneath a veneer of innocence. In Jeremiah's case, this means successfully hiding a truly spectacular slide into insanity from his best friend in the world, who will one day be considered the world's greatest detective.
  • Master of Disguise: Apparently skilled enough at applying make-up that he is able to hide his bleached skin entirely from Bruce for weeks until the reveal. Also uses his ability to disguise himself to successfully impersonate Jerome, so that he can fake posthumous messages from his brother, which he then uses to manipulate Jerome's followers and Jim Gordon. This talent is possibly a holdover from his time at the circus.
  • Meaningful Name: Like his twin brother.
    • His surname, Valeska, is a couple letters off from Valestra.
    • "Valeska" is Slavic for "Glorious Ruler". Fitting, isn't it?
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The final shot of Jeremiah's transformation is a recreation of the famous panel from The Killing Joke.
    • Post-transformation, he also takes to wearing a fedora hat, similar to the one Joker most famously wore when in The Killing Joke, as well as both Nicholson's Joker and the Animated Joker in Batman: Mask of the Phantasm.
    • Much like another incarnation of the Joker, calling him insane (or implying he is) is a very bad move...
    • His having to wear skin-toned makeup to hide his now-bleached pale face is reminiscent of Jack Nicholson's Joker doing the same in Batman (1989).
    • Several shots from the final confrontation of season 4, with Jeremiah in his black suit, bear a striking resemblance to artist Alex Ross' take on the Joker. Fan takes show there is quite the likeness.
    • Gets probably the definitive one in "Ace Chemicals", where he takes a tumble into a vat of chemicals in the titular chemical plant, just as with the Joker's classic comics origin.
    • Following his accident, Jeremiah spends a decade faking being in a motionless, catatonic stupor until the return of Bruce brings him back, a likely reference to how the return of Batman brings him out of genuine catatonia in The Dark Knight Returns.
    • Jeremiah's final appearance — hunched-over and elderly-looking, with just a few strands of hair remaining — seems to be heavily inspired by the "degenerate old man" version of the Earth-2 Joker.
    • When trying to come up with a new name for himself, he first considers "Jack", which was the Joker's true name in Batman (1989).
  • Named by the Adaptation: Usually it's a mystery (or occasionally Jack Napier) but here his birth name is Jeremiah Valeska.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: Contrasting Jerome, Jeremiah is very pragmatic with his approach. Jerome had set up a Cruel and Unusual Death for Bruce, while Jeremiah states that if he wished for Bruce to die then he would simply shoot him in the head.
  • Not So Similar: He tells Bruce that the reason he considers him his best friend is because he's at war with his true nature, just like he was before getting gassed by Jerome. Bruce counters this, saying that while they both have a darkness inside them, the key difference is that Bruce knows how to control his. By "Ace Chemicals" even he's beginning to realise this, stating that without him Bruce is little more than a joke without a punchline.
  • Painful Transformation: As in all depictions of the Joker’s creation, his transformation wasn’t pleasant, and he was painfully aware all the while as the gas warped his body and mind.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Jeremiah is straight-laced, academic, serious, and reserved, while Jerome is a psychopathic Large Ham. Even more noticeable as villains - see the Contrasting Sequel Antagonist entry.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue Oni to Jerome's Red.
  • Rule of Symbolism: There's a bit of significance in the scene where the fake Jerome removes his makeup to reveal that he's Jeremiah. It's as if the role of the Joker is physically transitioning from Jerome to his brother.
  • Sanity Slippage: A huge amount over the course of the series. After his inital transformation he insists he's the face of true sanity, and is very much cold and pragmatic even when carrying out acts of destruction far eclipsing Jerome. Then season 5 rolls around and he's far more Laughing Mad than previously, while also showing signs of a Split Personality. By the finale (after a dunk in a tank full of acidic chemicals) he flatly admits to Barbara he's gone mad.
  • Secondary Color Nemesis: After he leaves Bruce in Jerome's grave he's already wearing the telltale Joker colors, sporting a purple shirt with a bright green tie. Goes into this in full in season 5, sporting a purple longcoat and gloves in addition to a dark red shirt, making him resemble the Joker more than ever before.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Occasionally. Tells Ecco "verisimilitude trumps precaution" when referring to how he let Selina stab him once while taking the other shots on body armour (to convince her she'd killed him), and looks quite annoyed when Ecco doesn't seem to get it.
  • The Scottish Trope: In the finale, hearing Jim say Jeremiah's name immediately lets Ecco know through a wired accomplice that their cover is blown. They then move onto the next part of Jeremiah's plan, which is escaping Arkham and kidnapping Barbara Lee (presumably to get Bruce's attention). Throughout the entire first part of the episode, Harvey is so afraid of saying Jeremiah's name that he is willing to confess to a murder Jeremiah set him up to take the fall for, presumably because Jeremiah threatened to kill Barbara if he didn't.
  • The Sociopath: It's left ambiguous as to whether or not he was one before being sprayed with Jerome's insanity toxin, but after his transformation, he starts displaying a grandiose sense of self-worth, believing himself to be utterly superior to his brother and willing to do anything to prove it. He is also unable to form emotional attachments, which is best shown when his long-time partner in crime Ecco is mortally wounded in the finale, and he simply guns her down and casually remarks how there are more fish in the sea.
  • Sole Survivor: Of his family, as by the end of season 4 Jerome had killed their mother, father and uncle.
  • Son of a Whore: Is this, if Jerome's tales of their mother's promiscuity are to be believed.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Tends to keep a very calm and icy demeanor even when he's brutally murdering people. This is a noticeable contrast from his brother, a maniacal Large Ham.
  • Split Personality: In both "One Bad Day" and "Ruin" this is hinted at, as he's seen talking to himself in Jerome's harsh, gravelly tones and answering in his own Creepy Monotone.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: In contrast to Jerome, Jeremiah establishes the love-hate relationship he has with Bruce Wayne, much like Batman and Joker in the comics. He doesn't want to kill Bruce as he feels Bruce completes him. In the finale he seems to be edging closer to the Miller/Snyder Stalker with a Crush version of the Joker, telling Gordon that Bruce leaving Gotham felt like having the only thing he loved ripped away from him.
  • Start of Darkness: In "That's Entertainment" - in the space of a day, Jeremiah has to face his brother Jerome or many people will die. He's psychologically tormented then beaten down when he tries to fight back. Jerome is then killed, and his expression when surveying his brother's body makes clear it's still a bitter blow. Then, as he drowns his sorrows, he gets one last gift from Jerome - a box full of Laughing Mad gas, which abruptly transforms Jeremiah into a monster that almost destroys the city.
  • Superior Successor:
    • He believes he's this to Jerome - with his genius-level intelligence, skill at manipulation and warped vision of rendering Gotham his artists' canvas he manages to render the city a No Man's Land by the end of season 4, something Jerome never achieved.
    • Interestingly, he also appears to view Bruce as this in regards to Jerome, pointedly declaring him the brother Jerome could never be. This forms a large part of his obsession with Bruce.
  • Technician vs. Performer: An engineer, compared to his brother who spent his whole life in the circus. This reflects in their approach to their crimes.
  • That Man Is Dead: When Jim calls him by name in the finale, he feigns confusion and tells him there's no Jeremiah any more, and that he's still trying to figure out what to call the thing emerging from the ashes of what he used to be.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Several, over the course of the series. He is first introduced as a seemingly harmless intellectual, and when Jerome hands him a knife and gives him an opportunity to attack him, he is disarmed almost immediately by his brother. By the time he reveals to Bruce that he's been sprayed with Jerome's insanity gas, he's good enough with a gun to shoot very close to Bruce's feet without hitting him, and in the season 4 finale, is skilled enough in combat that he able to hold his own against Tabitha. By season five, he is a match for Bruce in hand-to-hand combat, despite the fact that Bruce was already a better fighter than Jerome by season three, and in the series finale, he easily defeats Barbara when they fight, even though she was trained personally by Ra's Al Ghul.
  • Tragic Villain: Ambiguously. He seems a good man despite Jerome's belief in his being as insane as him, and forms a friendship with Bruce that sees Jerome's plan to gas the city thwarted. Then he opens a box rigged with laughing gas toxin and unwillingly undergoes his transformation into a Joker-esque nightmare. However Jeremiah himself claims that the toxin changed his appearance and nothing else, so whether the toxin just made him believe that or if he was genuinely Evil All Along remains a mystery.
  • Tranquil Fury: When one of his followers declares Jerome victorious, he coldly shoots him in the throat and asks the rest of his followers if they're being serious.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: He kills Ecco the moment she ceases being useful, after over a decade of Undying Loyalty, and casually remarks there are always more fish in the sea.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Extreme paranoia as a child led him to invent stories about his brother Jerome trying to kill him, which led to Jeremiah being sent to a private school, and Jerome being ostracized by his friends and family, which eventually led to Jerome's criminal career, the invention of the Joker Gas, and Jeremiah's transformation into the man most responsible for No Man's Land.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Has one in front of his followers when Gordon humiliates him on TV by revealing himself to be alive and calling him an inferior shadow of Jerome and further when his bombs fail to go off. Noticeably, during his breakdown he starts acting in a more Joker-esque manner when so far he's been a Cold Ham.
    • After spending a whole episode trying to get him and Bruce connected through hatred, he completely snaps when he tells him that he means nothing to him.
  • Villainous Legacy: A rare positive one: after demonstrating his power cores could be turned into bombs, Bruce and Lucius use one to stop the army reaching the heart of Gotham, destroying Wayne Enterprises in the process and eventually leading to Bane's defeat.
  • Walking Spoiler: If you're reading his tropes section, there's no getting around the fact he's Jerome's secret twin brother AND the true identity of the show's take on the Joker.
  • Wham Shot:
    • His introduction. At first he's only shown in shadow, but once Jim and Harvey meet him face-to-face, he emerges from the darkness to reveal that he looks exactly like Jerome.
    • His transformation as well. After getting a faceful of gas, he struggles uncontrollably before finally falling to his knees; when he gets back up, he has a sickly white face with dark red lips.
    • And finally - the double reveal of his transformation to Jim and Bruce, with "Jerome's" Video Will finishing with his tearing off Jerome's scars to reveal his bleached white skin to Jim, while Bruce sees it in person at Jerome's grave.
  • When He Smiles: Inverted. In contrast to Jerome, he doesn't smile much in season 4 - but his genuine smiles (such as when he sees Gotham's bridges blow) are nightmare inducing.
  • Wild Card: In season 5: where the rest of the villains are obsessed with power and survival in No Man's Land Gotham (and thus inevitably come into conflict with Gordon), Jeremiah's obsession with Bruce means his plans revolve around him almost exclusively, and as such are a lot less predictable.
  • Would Hit a Girl: At the end of "One Bad Day", he shoots Selina in the stomach, only failing in crippling her for life thanks to Ivy's potion the following season. Also briefly throttles Ecco when she brings him too few people for his building project.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He comes very close to dropping a ten year old Barbara Gordon in the same acid that created him. The combined efforts of Gordon and Batman are ultimately what save the girl's life.

    Ecco/Mummer 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/9255fe88e54923c831ab5b853525ee4f9c6ab789.png
Click here to see her as Mummer 
Played By: Francesca Root-Dodson

Jeremiah Valeska's devoted assistant and bodyguard. Even after Valeska goes insane and becomes a a maniacal terrorist bent on the destruction of Gotham, she retains her loyalty and acts as his partner in crime. Serves as Gotham's equivalent of Harley Quinn, due to legal reasons with Warner Bros.


  • Action Girl: Initially: she effortlessly knocks out Jerome and proves more than a match for Gordon (the series Ace in close combat) and Bullock even when outnumbered. Graduates to Dark Action Girl once Jeremiah goes through his transformation.
  • All There in the Manual: Her alter-ego's name, "Mummer", is only listed in the credits.
  • Asshole Victim: She was a willing accomplice to Jeremiah, and killed off in the finale.
  • Ax-Crazy: In Season 5, she's considerably more unhinged than she was in the fourth season, due to shooting herself in the skull and surviving.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: In "Mandatory Brunch Meeting", the Mad Hatter hypnotizes her into bringing Jeremiah to his twin brother Jerome.
  • Canon Foreigner: She's the show's take on the Joker/Harley Quinn dynamic but she isn't Harleen Quinzel and she's shown up way before the real Harley Quinn would have an opportunity to do so. The Death of the Family story had Joker claim that Harley was just the latest in a long-line of disposable henchwomen, but the story strongly implies he was lying.
  • Character Death: She gets shot dead by the Joker since he considers healing her wounds a burden. Interestingly enough, she's also the final character to die in the series overall.
  • Composite Character: She has elements of both the classic and modern versions of Harley Quinn. Her Mummer costume is a darker, creepier take on Harley's jester suit, and her Season 5 leather jacket is evocative of her post-New 52 design.
  • Dark Action Girl: Especially when she's in her dark harlequin getup. She's able to stalemate Selina when the two engage in combat.
  • Darker and Edgier: To date, this is the darkest live action incarnation of the Harley Quinn character. If you were to take away Harley's childish attitude and sympathetic qualities, and amplify her insane and violent tendencies, you'd basically get Ecco.
  • The Dragon: Like Harley Quinn to the Joker, she's this to Jeremiah.
  • Expy: She's essentially Gotham's take on Harley Quinn, given that she's a young blonde woman who dresses up like a harlequin jester (with red and black diamonds to boot) and serves as the loyal dragon to the Joker. Even her nickname, Mummer, is another word for Harlequin.
  • Face–Heel Turn: After her boss turns into a homicidal supervillain, she also becomes a criminal and aids him in his plot to bomb the city. It's initially unknown whether she's acting out of pure devotion or if Jeremiah broke her mind as well, but in season 5 her mind has been shattered by a lost round of Russian roulette, leaving her more devoted to Jeremiah than ever.
  • Go Out with a Smile: When she's shot dead by Jeremiah, she gives him one more bloody grin before finally collapsing to the floor.
  • Legacy Character: Very subtly implied. When Jeremiah guns Ecco down, he comments that there's "plenty of fish in the sea", hinting that he'll find another assistant (possibly Harleen Quinzel) to take over her role as the Harley Quinn character.
  • Mysterious Past: While we know at least some details about Jeremiah's past, many of the details of hers - like how she came to have such Undying Loyalty to Jeremiah and where she got her formidable combat skills - are a mystery.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Her mask looks like the one worn by Jack Napier's girlfriend Alicia in Batman (1989).
    • Her accent also slips into a New York brogue at points, a reference to her portrayal in Batman: The Animated Series.
  • Psychopathic Womanchild: "Ace Chemicals" has her attacking Gordon on a pair of roller skates.
  • Sanity Slippage: In Season 5, caused by surviving a lost round of Russian Roulette. She claims to still have the bullet lodged in her skull.
  • Slasher Smile: Sports a truly unnerving one, complete with Blood from the Mouth when Jeremiah kills her.
  • The Stoic: She's initially very stonefaced and emotionless, even when she's dressed like a clown. This changes as of Season 5.
  • Villainous Harlequin: Just like the character she's based on, she wears a dark harlequin suit with a red and black diamond pattern, along with a creepy white face mask that conceals her identity.
  • Walking Spoiler: Most of the tropes here contain some information about Jeremiah's transformation and her own.

    Eduardo Dorrance/Bane 

Eduardo Dorrance/Bane

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bane_gotham_shane_west_1552295652_3.jpg
Click here to see him unmasked 
Played By: Shane West

"The world is full of monsters. The only way to defeat them is become one yourself."

A government task force member who once fought alongside Jim Gordon in the army. In Season 5, he's sent to Gotham to aid Gordon in the ongoing fight for the city, but quickly reveals he's actually making things worse so his employer Theresa Walker - actually Nyssa Al Ghul - has an excuse to call in the Army to destroy it. Critically injured by Gordon, Hugo Strange saves and upgrades him with an anesthetic mask that constantly feeds him Venom, a chemical born from the Viper drug that grants him superhuman strength and durability.


  • Adaptational Name Change: Similar to his first live action incarnation, "Bane" is an alias rather than his birth name. His true name here is Eduardo Dorrance (notably, Dorrance is the surname of his comic book father Edmund/King Snake).
  • Adaptational Origin Connection: He's an old army buddy of Jim Gordon here, and the two apparently saved each other's lives in combat several times. In the comics, Bane had absolutely no connection to Gordon prior to becoming a supervillain.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: While the comic book Bane is usually an outlaw who mostly cares about power and proving his strength as a warrior, this Bane is a particularly vicious Knight Templar who wishes to brutally purge Gotham of who he deems to be criminals, not caring if innocents get in the way. If anything, he bears more resemblance to the Bane from The Dark Knight trilogy.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: The army men are all too willing to follow him when he Neck Snaps an officer unwilling to follow his orders. Subverted when his ordering them to fire on innocent civilians provokes them to turn on him.
  • Badass Beard: The first live action Bane to sport a beard. Also counts as a Beard of Evil.
  • Badass Boast: Infinitely helped by the Badass Baritone his mask gives him:
    Bane: You simply cannot run from your sins. And you cannot run from me.
  • Bad Boss: He's actually implied to be a pretty good boss for his own men (given how badly he reacts to Gordon taunting him that he left their squadmates to die), but he murders an army officer who dared to question their orders to attack Gotham.
  • Berserk Button: Implying he's reckless enough to get his men killed.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: With Nyssa Al Ghul in season 5 - he's technically her chief henchman, but where she desires vengeance on Bruce and Barbara for Ra's Al Ghul's death he's got a bitterly personal hatred of Gordon, and clearly views attacking Barbara as getting at Jim a different way. In addition he's the main physical threat to the heroes, where Nyssa prefers to stay in the shadows.
  • Cool Mask: He wears a translucent anesthetic mask here, which appropriately covers his entire mouth to emulate his comic book appearance.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Virtually no-one can touch him in close combat due to the massive power boost Venom gives him. He almost kills Alfred and Selina with ease when they meet. Bruce and Selina's fight with him goes just as badly until Bruce uses Lucius' techno-wizardry to summon a horde of bats to distract him.
  • Disabled in the Adaptation: Much like his counterpart in The Dark Knight Rises, his mask appears to be part of a larger life-support system on his chest, which is what ultimately keeps him in good health.
  • The Dragon: For Theresa Walker - aka Nyssa Al Ghul.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He almost mocks the idea of this:
    • He orders Lee to be killed once he has Gordon at his mercy and says with a smirk that he will have her killed out of his sight as a favor to him after all that they had been through. Of course, there's no need for him to kill Lee in the first place since he already has Gordon, so the whole thing is just to twist the knife further before he kills him.
    • Later, Jim tries to sway him from going after Barbara by revealing she's pregnant. He appears to consider mercy - then notes it's one future against many, and mocks Jim for his "petty" concerns.
  • Evil All Along: Though this shouldn't be much of a surprise to fans. He acts as Gordon's trusted ally before his true intentions are unveiled.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: It doesn't seem to have occurred to him that while his army troops are terrified of him, ordering them to knowingly fire on civilians might be a step too far.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The Bane mask, unsurprisingly, gives him quite the Badass Baritone.
  • False Flag Operation: He's the one that's been having Riddler (unwittingly) make everything in Gotham progressively worse, so he and his benefactors have an excuse to enter Gotham.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He's genuinely very chummy with Jim, but it doesn't take long for his true colours to be revealed.
  • Foreshadowing: He's first introduced wearing full tactical gear, which includes a black face mask that covers his mouth. This is a nod to the Venom mask that he eventually sports as Bane.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Gordon leaves him impaled on a metal rod sticking out of debris at the end of their fight.
  • The Juggernaut: He will not let anything keep him from going after Barbara. Riddler and Penguin blow up a stack of high-oxygen tanks practically in his face and it doesn't even faze him.
  • Just Following Orders: Claims this as his excuse for going along with Theresa Walker's plan to mind-control Riddler into ruining any hope in No Man's Land Gotham. Gordon doesn't buy it.
  • Knight Templar: Has a murderous hatred for criminals which only gets worse after his upgrade. It's worth noting that he thinks almost everyone in Gotham deserves to die and he scoffs at innocents being killed in his twisted pursuit of justice.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Weakened by his fight with Bruce and Selina and confronted not only by Jim's ragtag militia, but his military sect coming to their senses and defying his attempt at a Klingon Promotion, Bane has no choice but to surrender with hundreds of rifle muzzles pointed in his direction.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: He's near-fatally-wounded by Gordon in the middle of season 5, but Walker saves his life with the Bane mask, and has Hugo Strange transform him. He returns 3 episodes later as Bane in full, with the massive power upgrade that implies. For bonus points, the red band trailer for the final episodes even refers to it as an upgrade.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • His mask system is similar to Tom Hardy's portrayal of Bane from The Dark Knight Rises, although the Gotham version uses Venom as both a way to keep him alive, and powerful enough to be The Juggernaut in any fight. His leather jacket may also be an allusion to his depiction in Batman: Arkham Origins.
    • He occasionally grips the sides of his armoured vest with both his hands, which is similar to a quirk Hardy's Bane hadnote .
    • This wouldn't be the first time Bane has turned out to be the loyal protector of an Al Ghul.
    • Shane West himself had stated that he took inspiration from both Tom Hardy and Batman: The Animated Series when creating the voice for the character.
  • Necessary Evil: How he views his transformation into Bane - see the quote at the top of this entry for his thoughts.
  • Nigh Invulnerable: Shrugs off Riddler and Penguin detonating a stack of oxygen canisters in his face - he just walks through the ensuing massive explosion, totally unfazed. Alfred and Selina later running him over with a car keeps him down for all of ten seconds.
  • Outside-Context Problem:
    • Gordon and the GCPD have had to deal with all manner of gangsters and crazies over the seasons, but a ruthless paramilitary leader seeking to deliberately undermine Gotham's fragile stability is something else entirely.
    • Post-transformation too: while other villains in Gotham have had superpowers they've either been one-offs or had the non-physical kind (Fish, Clayface). A permanent villain with actual Super Strength and durability is almost totally beyond the pre-Batman main cast at this point.
  • Shoulders of Doom: He sports pointed shoulder pads on his suit.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Somehow manages to sneak up on Bruce and Selina despite his Vader Breath and suit's loud servos.
  • Super Strength: What Venom gives him in spades. He's able to Neck Snap a nurse with one hand at one point.
  • That Man Is Dead: Said almost word for word.
    Bane: But Eduardo's dead, Jim. There is only Bane now.
  • Vader Breath: Thanks to his life support mask.
  • We Used to Be Friends: With Gordon. The two served together in the army, with Gordon even saving his life at one point.
  • Wham Shot: Walker's saving his life at the end of "13 Stitches" by giving him the Bane mask.
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