Follow TV Tropes


Characters / The Dark Knight Trilogy League Of Shadows

Go To

Main Character Index | Wayne Enterprises | League of Shadows | Other Costumed Characters | Gotham City Administration | The Mob and Other Criminals | Other Characters

MASSIVE SPOILER WARNING! The bottom character is a MASSIVE Walking Spoiler! Tropes relating to this character have no spoiler tags. You're advised to have finished the trilogy before even clicking on that folder. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

The League of Shadows and their associates serve as major antagonists in The Dark Knight Trilogy. This is their page.

    open/close all folders 

    League of Shadows 

  • Adaptation Name Change: Usually called the "League of Assassins", but here they follow the media adaptations and are called the League of Shadows.
  • The Conspiracy: Ducard claims that their predecessors sacked Rome, spread the Black Plague and burned London.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: The Ra's Al Ghul decoy is played by a Japanese actor, Henri Ducard is Caucasian, and so on.
  • Ninja: This is how the League members are styled in Batman Begins.
  • Overarching Villain: Their leaders are the Big Bads of the first and third film and although The Joker takes the reigns in the second, this means Batman's conflict begins and ends with the League.

    Ra's al Ghul 

Ra's al Ghul
"You cannot lead these men unless you are prepared to do what is necessary to defeat evil."

Played by: Ken Watanabe

Appears in: Batman Begins

The leader of the League of Shadows.

  • Ancient Conspiracy: Heads the League of Shadows, which has been around since Ancient Rome at least according to Ducard AKA Ra's al Ghul, and the real leader. They also engineered the Great Fire of London and the Black Plague.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: His followers talk about how dangerous and cunning he is, as well as the mere fact that Ra's is in charge of the League of Shadows. Though he gets crushed under a pile of rubble pretty unceremoniously during his fight with Bruce.
  • Bald of Evil: It's monk-like, befitting his home base, and the concept of his order.
  • Badass Beard: Ra's sports two small, pointed beards on either side of his chin, much like the comics' version of the character. Which helps to disguise that Watanabe's character is not the real Ra's al Ghul.
  • Badass Cape: Alone of all the other members of the League of Shadows, Ra's wears an ornate-looking, decorative cape.
  • Big Bad: Of Batman Begins. He's in charge of the League of Shadows and plans on destroying Gotham city with fear gas.
  • Body Double: Ra's makes use of this trope to appear immortal.
  • Dark Messiah: His followers believe they were "saved" by him. Ducard mentions how Ra's gave them purpose and helped them overcome their problems.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: The supposed leader of the League of Shadows is killed without fanfare.
  • Evil Plan: He wants to convince Bruce to go back to Gotham, but still work for the League of Shadows in secret. Then he wants Bruce to help them bring down Gotham. Bruce obviously disagrees. Though it might have been Ducard's plan, since he is the real Ra's al Ghul.
  • If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: In a Knight Templar variant of the trope, Ra's tries to make Bruce kill a criminal to prove he will do whatever is necessary to fight evil (according to Ra's Knight Templar philosophy).
  • Knight Templar: He's the one who teaches others the 'restore balance' and 'do what is necessary' philosophy. The problem is that he has no concern for the loss of innocent life.
  • Orcus on His Throne: He is seen doing very little while his second-in-command Ducard handles most of the League's affairs. It makes more sense in context when it's revealed he's just the decoy.
  • Race Lift: He's Japanese here, while Arab in the comics.
  • Red Herring: For the real Ra's al Ghul, Ducard.
  • The Quiet One: Rarely talks.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: In his eyes, destroying Gotham is like chemotherapy for the wider society.
  • Yellow Peril: He looks central/eastern Asian-ish and leads a terrorist group.

    Henri Ducard 

Henri Ducard
"Compassion is a weakness your enemies will not share."

Played by: Liam Neeson, Josh Pence (younger)

Appears in: Batman Begins, The Dark Knight Rises (Cameo)

"If someone stands in the way of true justice, you simply walk up behind them and stab them in the heart."

A major figure in the secret organisation known as the League of Shadows, Ducard approaches Bruce Wayne on behalf of Ra's al Ghul. He becomes Bruce's mentor, training him and attempting to impart his philosophy of justice to him.

  • Actually Pretty Funny: When Bruce puts on his little show to kick out the guests from his birthday party to protect them from the League, he grins and admits it was rather amusing.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: He's more dignified and graceful-looking than the comics' Ducard.
  • Adaptational Job Change: Likely as a result of his being a Composite Character with Ra's al Ghul, this Ducard is the leader of the League of Shadows, whereas the comics Ducard has no ties to the League of Assassins.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Henri Ducard was a rather stern and self-serving man in the comics, but was still an ally of Batman. The Ducard of the films is not only the real Ra's Al Ghul, but perfectly willing to destroy cities and leave his pupil to burn to death.
  • Affably Evil: There's a reason why his Big Bad status is a plot twist. Among other things, his relationship with Bruce was almost father-like, to the point of Bruce nearly throwing himself off a cliff to save his life.
  • Age Lift: Ra's Al Ghul in the comics is at least 600 years old. This version isn't immortal and thus definitely isn't even close to that age.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: Is part of the League of Shadows, which he claims was involved with various historical events that hurt civilizations, errr, "restored balance".
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Lists the various fighting styles that Bruce attempts to use when he first arrives at the monastery, as well as being able to to pay attention to the immediate environment whilst fighting and use it against him.
  • Badass Baritone: Ducard has a deep, husky voice.
  • Badass Beard: A fuller one than Ra's has. And subtler, as it has the same points, but they aren't obvious at first glance. They do become more prominent after The Reveal.
  • Badass in Charge: Of the League of Shadows.
  • Big Bad: Of the first movie, since the Fear Toxin thing is his plan and he sends in the Order.
  • Body Double: The guy that died in a fire that was seemingly Ra's was actually a decoy, or at least that's what's implied.
  • Break Them by Talking:
    • He tries to disprove Bruce's idealism by telling just how corrupt Gotham really is while burning down Wayne Manor. Bruce disagrees and believes there is still hope for Gotham.
    • He even does this posthumously in The Dark Knight Rises, telling Bruce that he is immortal in that his mission will continue to live on after his death and that Gotham will be destroyed. Bruce is hallucinating, but still...
  • The Cameo: In The Dark Knight Rises, see the below entry Daydream Surprise.
  • The Chessmaster: He is a very skilled tactician and had been working behind the scenes for months before revealing himself.
  • Combat Pragmatist: A trait that he passes on to Bruce.
    Ducard: [sparring with Bruce] You're skilled. But this is not a dance. [headbutts Bruce]
  • Composite Character: In the comics, Ducard and Ra's al-Ghul are two separate characters. He also gets some of King Snake's backstory.
  • Cool Old Guy: Played straight during Bruce's training, but subverted as Ducard's Knight Templar philosophy becomes evident.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Hinted at in Begins when he talks about the loss of his great love, but it's not until Rises that we learn he was a mercenary who fell in love with a warlord's daughter. They married, conceived a child, and her father found out. He was to be sent to the pit, but by his wife's sacrifice, he was only exiled.
  • Dark Messiah: Believes that by destroying Gotham he is saving it.
  • Daydream Surprise: Is in one in The Dark Knight Rises.
  • Deadpan Snarker: While not exactly a defining trait, he can be a little bit snarky at times.
    Ducard: [seeing Batman in full costume for the first time] Well, well. You took my advice about theatricality a bit...literally.
    [Ducard calls two of his goons to kill Batman]]
    Batman: I can't beat two of your pawns?
    Ducard: As you wish. [calls two more goons, at which point Batman just rolls his eyes]
  • Death by Adaptation: He's immortal in the comics. In the films... not so much.
  • Don't Think, Feel: Inverted; he trains Bruce to fight rationally instead of being dominated by emotion.
  • The Dreaded: Ducard mentions how Ra's is "a man greatly feared by the criminal underworld", and indeed, when Falcone hears that Ra's is coming to Gotham, he's clearly terrified of him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The novelization of Batman Begins states he has a dislike of nuclear weapons and does not use them, unlike his daughter in Rises. This is implied to be part of the reason that Bane was excommunicated from the League of Shadows. Rumors about Bane imply that he was (in Alfred's words) "too extreme for Ra's al Ghul", and Talia claims that Ra's only saw Bane as "a monster".
  • Evil All Along: Not only is "Ducard" not a good guy, he's actually the real Big Bad, Ra's Al Ghul.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: He does not understand why Bruce would refuse to be an executioner.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Batman. While Batman wants to salvage what's left of Gotham's spirit, Ra's wants to wipe it out and keep it from spreading. Telling in that Bruce was dangerously close to turning out like Ra's when he was younger. They've also had to deal with losing the women they loved to the worst of humanity and created an illusion of immortality by entrusting their legacies to a protege.
  • Evil Mentor: He trained Bruce in how to fight criminals; but also tried to make Bruce a Knight Templar and later, tried to destroy Gotham.
  • Evil Plan: Destroy Gotham city because he believes It Is Beyond Saving and in need of a Mercy Kill.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: He's got a very deep voice and is evil as they come.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Last seen calmly closing his eyes as a monorail train crashes and explodes with him inside.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Started out as a mere mercenary and became a powerful terrorist leader.
  • Genius Bruiser: He's as good at scheming as he is at combat.
  • Heartbroken Badass: He once had a wife, whom he loved very much, but she was taken from him and forced to raise their child in a Hellhole Prison before dying.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: In Bruce's opinion, he's worse than the evil he claims to expunge.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Jams the controls of the monorail train so that Batman can't stop it from reaching its destination. This also means it can't be stopped from crashing after Batman has Gordon destroy the track supports.
  • Honor Before Reason: In a twisted sense of "honor". When Bruce is knocked unconscious in his home, Ra's leaves him rather than make sure he's dead, reasoning "Justice is balance. You burned my house and left me for dead. Consider us even."
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": In this universe, his name is pronounced "Raz al Gool" instead of "Raysh al Gool" like his co-creator Denny O'Neil intended. However, the former pronunciation is more correct in pure Arabic, while the latter pronunciation is a mix of Hebrew and Arabic.
  • Killed Off for Real: Confirmed permanently dead via Word of God.
  • Kill It with Fire: Attempts to do this when he burns down Wayne Manor near the end of Batman Begins and leaves Bruce to perish in the fire. Fortunately, Alfred saves Bruce.
  • Knight Templar: The League of Shadows 'restores balance' to the world by destroying corruption.
  • Large and in Charge: Helps to be authoritative when you're played by Liam Neeson.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Much of the series' promotional material (including the picture on the main page) does not attempt to hide that he's the real Big Bad of Batman Begins.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Avenging his wife's death was Ducard's Start of Darkness.
  • Makes Us Even: He says this when burns down Wayne Manor and leaves Bruce to die.
    Ducard: Justice is balance. You burned my house and left me for dead. Consider us even.
  • The Man in Front of the Man: Ducard appears to be Ra’s al Ghul’s right-hand man as his spokesman and the man who trains initiates. Then it turns out Ra’s is a Decoy Leader and Ducard is the real Ra’s al Ghul.
  • The Mentor: The wise mentor figure who trains Bruce in ancient arts and helps him grow as a person.
  • Mythology Gag: In the comics Ra's al Ghul is immortal. In the movies he plays with the idea by the use of decoys, and in the final movie, a child who is willing to carry on his Evil Plan. He even appears as a hallucination to taunt Bruce long after he's dead. "There are many forms of immortality."
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Ra's al Ghul is Arabic for "The Demon's Head".
  • Not So Different: He and Bruce have both suffered terrible losses, both seek to punish the criminal elements of Gotham (although their methods are rather different), and both use a dreaded persona (Batman for Bruce, Ra's al Ghul for Ducard) to inspire terror in the hearts of their enemies.
  • Parental Substitute:
    • To Bruce, for a few short years when the boy was in serious need of guidance. At the end of those years Bruce finds himself disgusted with his ruthlessness.
    • The Dark Knight Rises implies he was one to the orphaned Bane as well, to the point where Bane is willing to orchestrate an Evil Plan with his daughter so his legacy may be fulfilled posthumously. This is hammered in when a young Ra's is shown using a rope to rescue an injured Bane from the bottom of the pit in much the same manner Thomas Wayne rescued an injured Bruce in Batman Begins. Ironically, Ra's ultimately excommunicated Bane because of his prison-honed ruthlessness, only for his intended heir Bruce Wayne to later reject him for being too ruthless.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: The modus operandi of the League of Shadows, particularly seen when Ra's leads the massacre of the prisoners who murdered his wife.
  • Predecessor Villain: Even following his demise at the end of the first film, Ra's is responsible for most of the tragedies in Gotham. He upset their economy, leading to class division, higher poverty, the murder of the Waynes and bribery and corruption became commonplace within the law system. Bane and Talia want to destroy Gotham in his honour and Crane planted hallucinogens in the city's water supply on his orders. There's also the outside possibility that spreading fear gas throughout the slums may have been what made the Joker, which would mean that Rachel's death and Harvey's madness-induced killing spree are also indirectly attributed to him.
  • Race Lift: Appears to be European, rather than Arab as in the comics.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Conducted one of these against the prisoners in The Pit who raped and murdered his wife.
  • Shadow Archetype: Ra's and the League claim that they serve justice, but their idea of justice is closer to karmic vengeance. Bruce thought the same in his earlier years before he came to realize that justice and revenge are not the same.
  • The Unfettered: Stops at nothing to achieve his goal of destroying Gotham City.
  • Villainous Legacy: He's killed after he tries to annihilate Gotham and all its citizens to rid the world of its corruption. In The Dark Knight Rises his influence continues to be felt since the League was not destroyed, and his student Bane sets out to fulfill his dead master's plans along with Ra's daughter Talia, but wants Gotham to suffer first.
  • Walking Spoiler: Just look at all this white space! Most of it intended to hide that he's the real Big Bad of the first movie.
  • Warrior Therapist: Not only does he train Bruce, but he helps Bruce deal with his parents' deaths.
  • We Can Rule Together: "You were my best student; you should be standing at my side saving the world."
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Of the "commit great evil to destroy greater evil" variety.


"I'm Gotham's reckoning."

Played by: Tom Hardy

Appears in: The Dark Knight Rises

"Nobody cared who I was until I put on the mask."

A powerful mercenary and terrorist with big plans for Gotham city. His terrible strength and razor-sharp wits and intelligence make him a seemingly indomitable adversary to Gotham, as well as Batman and Bruce Wayne.

  • Achilles' Heel: His breathing mask; during their second fight, even with Batman's "hardening" in the prison and renewed drive, you can tell that Bane still clearly has the advantage until Batman damages his mask, causing it to be extremely painful for him—and said pain overwhelms him. This is a more realistic version of his usual weakness; a big, exposed super-steroid tube that goes from the control on his wrist to the back of his head. Since he specializes in hand-to-hand, he's doubtless found that anything of the sort is a liability, and set up the much, much harder to strike mouth setup. It's also extremely easy to repair.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: In the comics Bane was never a member of the League and had no ties with Ra's or Talia al Ghul, having been raised in a Santa Priscan prison.
  • Adaptational Job Change: While Bane did work with the League in the Legacy arc, he wasn't The Dragon for them.
  • Adaptational Villainy: This adaption of Bane largely draws from comic arcs in which he is presented as a Card-Carrying Villain. Namely "Knightfall", in which he engineers chaos across Gotham and breaks Batman's back to take over the city, "Legacy" in which he antagonizes Gotham to prove himself a worthy heir to Ra's Al Ghul and "Bane", a one-shot in which he threatens Gotham with a Nuclear Bomb. This is subverted however in the climax when Talia reveals he protected her from being raped and murdered when they were young. This is more evocative of the protective relationship Bane develops with Scandal in Gail Simone's "Secret Six". Especially when compared to his comic counterpart's relationship with Talia in "Legacy", where HE actually threatens to rape her.
  • Adaptational Wimp: This version of Bane lost the superhuman strength the Venom granted him in the comics, moreover Bane here is a charismatic figurehead but is only The Dragon to Talia Al Ghul, the real mastermind. Still, his achievements do not let this trope transpire much. Plus, he does have literal Charles Atlas Superpowers, so he technically does have superhuman strength, just not from Venom in this case.
  • Affably Evil: A zig-zag of this trope and Faux Affably Evil; Bane's affability is presumably genuine when directed toward his allies, and it crosses over into Faux territory when Bane maintains that same polite, jovial demeanor while beating someone mercilessly or preparing to snap someone's neck.
    • For example, when Bane compliments the singing abilities of the boy singing the national anthem right before he blows up the football stadium ("That's a lovely, lovely voice!"), it's hard to say if he's being deliberately ironic or creepily sincere.
    • He also gives a polite "thank you" to the terrified hostage who has been holding his motorcycle helmet during the Stock Exchange attack, immediately after a henchman was shooting into the ceiling.
    • He's almost always polite to the people he kills. "Thank you, good doctor!" is what he says before breaking Dr. Pavel's neck, and he says, "I'm on your schedule, captain," right before crushing Captain Jones's neck.
  • Age Lift: As noted under Older Than They Look below, this version of Bane would have to be at least in his 50s, making him older than Batman, whereas in the comics Bane is younger and they're much closer in age.
  • All There in the Manual: The novelization and original script include a few deleted scenes and alterations of existing scenes that expand on his past and motivations namely showing his training with Ra's Al Ghul and how he is ultimately more motivated to accomplish what his mentor could not by besting Batman and forcing Gotham to destroy itself, rather than out of complete devotion to his partner and friend Talia. The movie's removal of these scenes makes the interpretation of his motivations more ambiguous.
    Bane: Ra's Al Ghul rescued me from the pit. That is why I must fulfill his destiny.
  • Always Someone Better: Bane has Batman's number in hand-to-hand combat but is obsessed with proving to himself and Batman that he is the better fighter and student of Ra's. That being said, the fact that he Feels No Pain gives him an unfair advantage over Bruce. When his mask is damaged, he is instead crippled by pain, so there is no real way of fairly comparing his raw skill to Bruce's.
  • Animal Motif: Seemingly apes. His mask was modeled on a baboon's jaws when it snarls, he's built sort of stocky but heavily muscled, he wears a furred collar in some scenes, and during his first fight with Batman he uses his arms to move himself around a lot.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: There's a reason why as The Leader of The League of Shadows or at least one of the leaders, Bane beats the everliving shit out of Batman but when he does lead the remains of Gotham during his hostile takeover, he's more in charge.
  • Badass and Child Duo: When Talia was a kid and he was her guardian.
  • Badass Army: The League of Shadows is a smaller scale version of one. Selina even warns Batman that Bane and his men now aren't the average thug.
  • Badass Baritone: Two of the most memorable reviewers descriptions' of it are: "Ian McKellen gargling meths in a wind tunnel" and "Winston Churchill wearing Darth Vader's helmet."
  • Badass Biker: Bane also has the talent of a professional motorcycle rider, as he and his men escape from the Stock Exchange on motorcycles, doing ramps and easily evading the cops. It also serves as a Mythology Gag because his red helmet gives him some resemblance to the Red Hood/Jason Todd.
  • Badass Boast: He's a fountain of these, and he backs each one up in rather spectacular fashion.
    Bane: And when it is done, and Gotham is... ashes... you have my permission to die.
  • Badass in Charge: In charge of the remains of The League of Shadows after their defeat in Batman Begins, and in charge of the city once his plan goes through. Subverted Trope But Talia al Ghul is the true heir of the League and is also in charge, even if members seems to report chiefly to Bane.
  • Badass Longcoat: There's no denying it. His fur coat with shearling collar was specially designed for the film.
  • Bald of Evil: He's bald in areas not covered with his mask.
  • Benevolent Boss: Notwithstanding the occasional You Have Failed Me moments. Unlike the Joker, he is good and respectful to his men, to the point that they happily sacrifice themselves for his cause.
  • The Berserker: By means of Lightning Bruiser, Bane's fighting style involves pummeling them senseless as swiftly (yet as brutally) as possible. As seen in all his fight scenes, the only time he lets up is to charge/pursue his opponent, or to give a brief demoralizing speech.
  • Berserk Button: When Batman reminds him of his excommunication from the League of Shadows, Bane is silent for a moment...then starts pummeling Batman even harder.
    • As shown in the closing fight sequence, damaging his anesthetic mask just makes him angrier and (somehow) more ferocious. While he's a swift-yet-brutal Combat Pragmatist by nature, Bruce invoking this prompts Bane to start swinging with wild abandon, with Bane even blindly smashing chunks out of pillars just to get at him.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Of the third movie. Bane may be subservient to Talia but they work towards their goal of destroying Gotham together and both share the spot as the main threat to Batman.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: The Big Guy to CIA's Little Guy.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Possibly on Talia. He protected her in the Pit. That might be one of the reasons Ra's despised him.
  • Book-Ends: Bane has now appeared in the last films of both of the Batman film series', (Batman & Robin and The Dark Knight Rises respectively.) And both times he was working with a Non-Action Big Bad Femme Fatale.
  • Breakout Character: This Bane proved to be insanely popular which led many later depictions of Bane in other media to be brought closer to the Dark Knight Rises version of Bane, in particular the design of his mask.
  • Break the Haughty: Bane started out as big and tough and beat Batman during their first fight. But during the climax of the movie he was not only disillusioned by Batman's recovery. He also felt genuinely threatened by him, to the point of defying Talia's wish to keep him alive until the bomb's detonation.
  • Break Them by Talking:
    • Most of what he says to Batman during the first "fight" is this, with a few Badass Boasts thrown in.
    • He delivers another to Bruce in the Pit, detailing how the prison is designed to break his will and revealing his intent to terrorize and destroy Gotham as an additional torture for Bruce.
  • Breaking the Bonds: He effortlessly snaps off his bonds on the plane.
  • Brutal Honesty: He's surprisingly upfront about what the penalties are for failing him.
    Bane: Search him [Gordon]. Then I will kill you.
    • Indeed, he follows through, shooting the guy and throwing his body into the storm drain.
  • The Champion: To Talia, at least during their time in the pit.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: "I'm necessary evil."
  • Character Tics: Bane has a habit of holding his jacket lapels open like a very dapper gentleman, even when he's not wearing lapels or even a jacket. Given that he also permanently wears a somewhat uncomfortable anaesthetic mask, this may just be a way to get some air on his neck. Fridge Brilliance when you realize Henri Ducard had a similar habit when he was the living Leader of the League of Shadows. Considering that Bane considers himself the one to "fulfill Ra's Al Ghul's destiny", it would seem he is trying to emulate his former mentor in every aspect possible.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: A rare literal example. Prison life in the pit made him a seriously tough man. He can punch through concrete columns with his bare fists. He can also lift a fully armored Batman off the ground with one hand, and at the end of the fight, actually cracks Batman's cowl, which is specifically designed to withstand impact.
  • The Chessmaster: To what extent the Evil Plan was drawn up by Talia instead of by Bane is debatable but there's no denying his execution of it. A lot of Bane's moves, including abducting Dr. Pavel, attacking the Stock Exchange, and rigging the construction sites with explosives, clearly are things he planned.
  • Climax Boss: Batman defeats him right before the truth about Talia is revealed to him.
  • The Coats Are Off: Casts his coat off during the climax, just before his second fight with Batman.
  • Cool Mask: Terrifying, too. As he notes, this is what made him a nightmare.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Unlike The Joker from The Dark Knight, he definitely knows how to fight. Like The Joker, he has no problems with underhanded tactics like on the airplane, where the paramilitary henchmen surprise the U.S. army soldiers by shooting through the plane windows when the soldiers aren't even aware the henchmen are nearby.
  • Composite Character: While this version of Bane is largely based off his comic book counterpart, he also shares elements in common with the Mutant Leader from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. They are both brutal, bald, Genius Bruiser villains who are able to cultivate a leadership of the disenfranchised in Gotham. They both defeat Batman in their first match by physically overwhelming the older hero and are both defeated by him in their second match when he fights more tactically.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • His first fight with Batman is so ridiculously one-sided that this is the only way you can describe it. Yes, Batman gets in plenty of good hits, they just don't have any noticeable effect.
    • His second one starts out the same way until Batman gets a lucky mask hit, and it's obvious that he would have won just as handily the second time had Batman not gotten that hit in.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Claims to have been "born in [the dark]".
  • Dark Is Evil: In direct contrast to Batman's Dark Is Not Evil. Bane even waxes poetic about his relationship with darkness while criticizing Batman's tactics during their first fight.
    Bane: "Oh, you think the darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it. Molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, and by then, it was nothing to me but BLINDING! [pummels him] The shadows betray you, because they belong to me!"
  • Dark Messiah: He convinces Gotham's citizens that he is trying to "liberate" them and give them control of their city from the corrupt businesses and government of the city. He succeeds with quite a few of them, driving the city further into chaos before the city is nuked, just to torture Batman.
  • Darth Vader Clone: Compared to ol' helmethead by Nolan himself. There happens to be an unrelated "Darth Bane" in the Star Wars universe.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • For example, in his intro scene, he snarks about how terrible the CIA are at High Altitude Interrogations, saying a comrade isn't talking because "perhaps he's wondering why someone would shoot a man, before throwing him out of a plane."
    • When he's attacking the stock exchange, a trader protests that there's no money he can steal. Bane says, "Really? Then why are you people here?"
  • Death Faked for You: In the first six minutes of the film, Bane kidnaps Dr. Pavel and arranges a blood transfusion with a henchman so it would seem as though Pavel died in the crash. He has the line "Now, now, Doctor, now's not the time for fear. That comes later," to Pavel; and indeed, he forces the guy to arm an atomic bomb intended to kill all of Gotham, then unceremoniously snaps his neck in public.
  • Death Seeker: Bane has a profound lack of self-preservation, demonstrated in that his ultimate plan involves detonating a nuke while remaining on ground zero, mostly because they have succumbed to Revenge Before Reason. Add in the fact that Bane admits that he's pure evil, though in his opinion a necessary one, and the resulting clash with his Knight Templar philosophy seems to have led him to this path. Though given a moniker like his, it's not hard to believe.
  • Delivery Guy Infiltration: To get into the Stock Exchange, Bane disguises himself as a deliveryman with a motorcycle helmet to hide his face. Simultaneously, his henchman Petrov disguises himself as a food delivery carrier to smuggle a pistol onto the trading floor.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Implied. Bane describes the Pit as the place where he learned the truth about despair, and after helping Talia to escape, was left permanently crippled with pain and unable to escape himself until Ra's Al Ghul rescued him. It's left ambiguous as to whether or not Bane ever crossed the Despair Event Horizon, and if he did, whether or not he ever recovered.
  • Disabled in the Adaptation: This version of Bane is in a near-constant state of pain, and has to wear his mask at all times in order to not feel the effects of his previous injuries. In the comics, Bane has no such affliction, even managing to leave behind his addiction to Venom eventually.
  • Disabled Snarker: Thanks to the mask and its pain killers along with his regular witty banter.
    CIA Agent: If I pull that off, will you die?
    Bane: It would be extremely painful...
    CIA Agent: You're a big guy.
    Bane: ...for you.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: At first it seems like Bane is the mastermind of the plot to destroy Gotham in The Dark Knight Rises, but he's secretly working for Talia al-Ghul, who wants to avenge her father's demise in Batman Begins.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Despite the conditions surrounding him in Gotham (albeit conditions that he himself caused), Bane never seems anything but completely calm. Only when Batman damages his mask during their rematch does his cool begin to fracture. This could be the result of the gas being euphoric.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Although Bane is okay with using firearms when necessary, he only holds a firearm twice - when Gordon is delivered to his lair, he takes Gordon's pistol and uses it to shoot one of the thugs who delivered Gordon; the second time is at the end, where he's preparing to use a shotgun on Batman but Selina interferes before he can use it. The rest of the time, he prefers to break peoples' necks.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Bane does not take disrespect lightly, as any time he's on the receiving end of a lecture ends badly for the other guy. Even being taunted about his excommunication by Batman, another initiate who didn't do so well, upsets him to the point he gives him an even firmer beating.
    CIA Agent: (sarcastic) Well congratulations, you got yourselves caught. What's the next step of your master plan?
    (Bane rises, snaps his metal handcuffs)
    Bane: Crashing this plane... with no survivors!
    • Daggett too makes this mistake, and starts chewing him out before he realizes whom he's dealing with:
    Bane: (to Stryver) Leave us.
    Daggett: You stay right there! I'm in charge!
    (Bane calmly puts his hand on Daggett's collar)
    Bane: Do you feel in charge?
  • The Dragon:
    • Bane poses as one for John Daggett, doing all of Daggett's dirty work, including attacking the Stock Exchange to bankrupt Bruce so that Daggett can take over Wayne Enterprises.
    • In reality, Bane may be this to Talia al Ghul, if not part of a Big Bad Duumvirate. Everything he does is supportive of her plan for revenge and at the climax of the film, he provides the penultimate threat, having to be killed before Batman can go after her.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Since Daggett is a talker, Bane does most of the dirty work for him, including an assault on the Stock Exchange which houses most of Wayne's money that Daggett wanted. As stated above, if Bane is truly Talia's Dragon, he somewhat still fits this trope because he carries out Talia's plan, which makes him appear to be (and act like) the sole Big Bad himself, both in- and out-of-universe, until The Reveal.
  • The Dreaded: Selina Kyle is afraid of him, even more so once she sees him break Bruce's back. Alfred, after hearing rumors about him and seeing footage of him at the Stock Exchange, is convinced that Bruce doesn't stand a chance against him.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Justified considering that up to the point where Selina Kyle kills him with the Batpod's cannons, he's been shown to be Nigh Invulnerable. Being blown away by the Batpod's guns is so sudden that the viewer may take a moment to realize what happened. Even more so, it seems like Hoist by His Own Petard, given that two of Bane's gunfight ambushes involved similar "take the other side by surprise" tactics.
  • Electronic Speech Impediment: Due to the mask.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: His relationship with Talia and vice versa.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • Set up to be Batman's as both are intelligent, skilled and trained under the League of Shadows. The Reveal also shows that both men are Older Than They Look and physically crippled without devices in their respective costumes. Both men also seek to inspire hope in Gotham for different ends.
    • He is also an Evil Counterpart to John Blake, as both men are revealed to seek to carry on the legacy of a former crime fighter. It's telling that Bruce Wayne eventually learns to trust John Blake with his legacy while Ra's Al Ghul rejects Bane.
  • Evil Brit: His nationality isn't stated, but Tom Hardy speaks like a jovial English gentleman.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Not too much, but the mask deepens Tom Hardy's naturally nasal voice quite a bit. Some foreign dubs do give him a very deep voice, possibly to correct his (intentional) Vocal Dissonance in English.
  • Eviler Than Thou:
    • Daggett realized too late that he was out of his league. "You're pure evil."
    • He is also implied to be too evil for Ra's Al Ghul, himself a Well-Intentioned Extremist. Deleted scenes show that Bane's experience being tortured and crippled in the Pit made his fighting style too ruthless for even Ra's, leading to his ex-communication. It's subtly hinted that Bane's desire to use nuclear weapons may have also factored into it.
  • Evil Overlord: Is one for the new League of Shadows and becomes a discreet version over Gotham after he traps it with the intent of destroying it.
  • Evil Plan: "Fulfill Ra's al Ghul's destiny" by completing his Evil Plan from Begins: Mercy Kill Gotham.
  • Expy: Of Madame Daferge from Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities, of which Nolan had in mind when writing the script for the Dark Knight Rises. You can even see him knitting during their mock trial sessions just like the latter.
  • Famous Last Words: "You'll just have to imagine the fire."
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Wears a gauntlet/wrist brace thing on his right hand. This may be to Hand Wave the fact that Bane can shatter Batman's cowl, which is some durable graphite composite - with his bare hands and not break his hand in the process.
  • Fate Worse than Death: He sought to inflict one on Bruce, by forcing him to watch as Bane tortured and ultimately destroyed Gotham, while Bruce was left in the Pit with his back broken, helpless to do anything about it.
    Bruce: Why didn't you just... kill me?
    Bane: You don't fear death. You welcome it. Your punishment must be more severe.
    Bruce: Torture?
    Bane: Yes. But not of your body. Of your soul.
  • Feel No Pain: His mask is primarily meant to relieve pain from his past injury, but judging from how he barely even reacts to Batman's blows in their first fight, it seems that it also makes him immune to all other pain as well. More evidence for this comes in their second fight. Even though Bane has the physical upper hand, when Batman damages his mask, Bane suddenly feels the hits that Batman's throwing. It clearly disorients Bane, who probably isn't used to that kind of non-dulled pain, allowing Batman to take the lead in the fight.
  • Forehead of Doom: This man's skull should be classified as a deadly weapon with the amount of times he uses it to thoroughly incapacitate someone, with the band of his mask running down the center only aiding in its destructive power.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: "No one cared who I was until I put on the mask."
  • Genius Bruiser: It took nearly 20 years, but he's finally been portrayed this way in a major adaptation.
  • Genre Blind: Once when he puts Bruce in the prison he grew up in which he knew Talia escaped from, rather than just shooting him when he had the chance, the other time when he expresses genuine shock at Batman exploiting his weakness in their rematch. Then again he may have kept Batman alive due to Talia's orders, seeing as Talia wants Batman to see his city destroyed, even if Bane had other ideas. Later, Bane sees the problem in keeping Batman alive and defies Talia's orders to keep him alive... though Selina blows him away before Bane can kill Batman.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: A late reveal explains other prisoners severely mutilated his face, which is another reason he wears a mask. Since the said mask also pumps him with powerful painkillers that make his agony managable, and it covers most of his head and face, this is left to the imagination.
  • Handicapped Badass: This rendition of Bane suffered a serious injury in his backstory (from when he helped Talia escape from the Pit), leaving him in agonizing pain when he's without the anesthetic gas supplied through his mask.
  • The Heavy: In more ways than one. On top of being extremely well-built, he's also the main bad guy driving the plot forward. He's not the sole Big Bad, either - Talia holds this title as well, but Bane's got more influence.
  • Hero Killer: Bane is responsible for the deaths of Gotham's mayor, the Special Forces team the government sends to save Gotham (he even hangs their bodies for the world to see) and kills various other characters like a CIA agent and Dr. Pavel. Bane is also arguably a Villain Killer too, as he kills both some of his henchmen and John Dagget. Long story short, if you stand in the way of Bane and Talia's plot, he is most likely to kill you.
  • Hoist Hero over Head: It's his Signature Scene/Signature Move from the comics, so it had to be here. He doesn't disappoint.
    Bane: "Ah, yes! I was wondering what would break first! Your spirit... or your body!"
  • Honor Before Reason: Fully intends to avert this when he is about to execute Batman with a shotgun rather than leave him alive as per Talia's orders. He would have accomplished it, too, if it hadn't been for Selina Kyle arriving and blasting him on the spot.
  • Hope Is Scary: An ardent believer of this, as it informs both his backstory and his method of torture; The Pit was an open air prison that, if the prisoner could manage to climb out, they'd be free to go. Many tried but none succeeded until Bane or more accurately, Talia did it as a child, and it showed him how there can be no true despair without the faintest glimmer of hope to give the despair meaning. When he throws Bruce down there he specifically sets up a television in his cell so that Bruce can watch Gotham tear itself apart knowing that being able to save his city is just one climb (and spinal re-adjustment) away.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Talia isn't tiny, but Bane completely dwarfs her.
  • Hulking Out: While he doesn't display it as in the comic, it's given a nod with his seemingly gaining strength and ferocity once Batman breaks his mask. See also Turns Red.
  • I Am the Noun: "I am the League of Shadows!"
    • Also, during a later scene:
    Daggett: (whispers) What are you?!
    Bane: I'm Gotham's reckoning. Here to end the borrowed time you've all been living on.
    Daggett: (sobbing) You're pure evil.
    Bane: I'm necessary evil.
  • Janitor Impersonation Infiltration: Two of his henchmen sneak submachine guns into the Stock Exchange by posing as a janitor and a shoeshiner.
  • The Juggernaut: Bane is unstoppable. Batman struggles to even land a noticeable blow on him in both of their fights, can't handle his very quick and very hard hits being dished out. Even though it comes off as anticlimatic, Selina has the right idea in mind in blasting him with the Batpod's cannons to stop him.
  • Karmic Death: Considered that he blithely ignored his partner's last wish to spitefully Drop a bridge on Batman, one can interpret this as him getting his just desserts.
  • Kick the Dog: It isn't really noticeable, but after Bruce wakes up in the prison and chatting with him, Bane puts his hand on his chest, while standing up, obliviously hurting Bruce's already crippled body.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Killing Daggett. He was an Asshole Victim, and Bane was just proving that talking down to someone like him never gets you what you want.
  • Killed Off for Real: Catwoman blasts him with the Batpod's cannon before he gets the chance to execute Batman.
  • Knight Templar: Carrying on the legacy left by Ra's al Ghul to destroy Gotham.
  • Lady and Knight: The Black Knight to Talia's Dark Lady. He takes care of her and carries out her will.
  • Large and in Charge: He dwarfs his minions and everyone else. He's a big guy.
  • Large Ham: Mainly during his public speeches. It also helps to see that everything he's saying Blatant Lies and he doens't belive a word of them. Its almost as if he's mocking the very people he's trying to agitate.
  • Leitmotif: "Deshi! Deshi! Basara! Basara!"
  • Lightning Bruiser: When pointing to footage of him effortlessly taking out five security guards as evidence that he far out classes Bruce in hand to hand combat, the first thing Alfred points out is his speed.
  • Made of Iron: Justified. Bane can easily tank Batman's blows without breaking a sweat and without any armor since it's really his mask letting him Feel No Pain. Once his mask is damaged, all bets are off.
  • Mask of Power: He uses the mask to get through the pain of a serious injury which had occurred when he was severely punished by the other inmates at the Hellhole Prison for helping Talia al Ghul escape.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: Justified in this case, as the mask was the only thing that could even allow him to walk, much less fight with no hindrances, due to his severe injuries, and once it was damaged...
  • Mythology Gag: The only way Batman could weaken him is by slicing the anesthetic tubes on his mask, allowing his immense bodily pain to do the rest. This method comes pretty close to how Bane could be defeated in the comics, by slicing his Venom tubes to weaken him.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "Bane" holds a whole mess of negative connotations.
  • Necessarily Evil: He refers to himself as such as a Pre-Mortem One-Liner before breaking Daggett's neck.
  • Neck Lift: Does it to Batman in their first fight.
  • Neck Snap: Bane loves using this as his M.O. Among the people he kills in this way are: the first of the two sewer thugs who bring Gordon to his lair, Daggett, Dr. Pavel, and Captain Jones.
  • No-Sell: His first fight with Batman has Bane not only No-Sell Batman's attacks, but also his intimidation tactics. This includes maintaining his jocular Character Tic pose whilst Batman repeatedly punches him in the face with armored gauntlets.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: A villainous example. He became Talia's protector and helped her escape. This selfless action on Bane's part resulted in several prisoners exacting revenge on him by beating him to within an inch of his life, forcing him to don an anesthetic mask.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Batman initially believes from the start that Bane is just another League of Shadows goon, and dismisses Alfred's assessment of his fighting prowess by stating he'll just "fight harder." It's only during their first fight that Batman learns just how dangerous he really is.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Zig-Zagged. Bane is publicly an Anarcho-Communist extremist of sorts and claims to be doing all of this for fight corruption and help the poor and disenfranchised take back their city from the rich and powerful, but privately tells Bruce that this is more about punishing all of Gotham for it's decadence and getting Revenge by Proxy on Bruce specifically, plus as a member of the League of Shadows (and supposedly extreme even by their standards) his true ideology is probably less Anarchism or communism or anything to do with fighting for the poor, and more about taking a hardline approach to crime and enforcing draconian measures. He arguably does have good-ish intentions, at least in his own mind, but they are not the same as the ones he professes.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • When he sees the flaming Bat Symbol, he can only utter, "Impossible!"
    • His reaction to Batman damaging his mask.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: A rare in-universe example: whenever Bane talks casual even when speaking louder he has an affable European (of the Scottish or German variety) accent, but when he gets really sinister or enraged, it slips into the Hispanic action. An example would be when he said "You betrayed us." during his first fight with Batman.
  • Older Than They Look: If the flashback is any indication, he is at least in his mid-fifties. Compared to real life, Tom Hardy was 35 when it was released; even Christian Bale is three years older than him.
  • Parental Substitute: He is one or more of these to Talia. The movie is too vague to determine which.
  • Playing Gertrude: In a flashback, Bane is shown to be significantly older than Talia, who looks around eight. In reality, Marion Cotillard is a few years older than Tom Hardy. The age difference is aided by the mask.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • For all his brutality, he does have several of these moments, a quick example of which is his relationship with Talia.
    • Despite planning to destroy Gotham, he at least gives his prisoners food and provisions.
    • While this could also count as Honor Before Reason, he doesn't reveal Bruce's identity to the general public. Bane even went as far as to indirectly clear Batman's name for the events of the previous movie by reading Gordon's confession speech.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner:
    • This exchange:
    CIA: Now what's the next step in your master plan?
    Bane: Crashing this plane.[Paramilitary soldiers jump off the C130 Hercules descending over the commuter jet] With no survivors! [He breaks his cuffs as the soldiers land on the side of the plane and fire through the windows]
    • Most of Bane's talk to Batman in their first fight is this.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: He's pretty fond of these:
    • To CIA: "Crashing this plane... with no survivors!" He then does just that.
    • To a henchman who he had just told to stay behind so the authorities find one of his own in the wreckage: "Yes... the fire rises." This is after the henchman in question asks if they had started a fire.
    • To another henchman who shot Gordon but had failed to make sure he was truly dead: "Follow him." Cue the fatal gunshot that sends said henchman down the same path in the sewers Gordon took to escape.
    • To Daggett: "I'm necessary evil." Cue the Neck Snap.
    • To Dr. Pavel: "Thank you, Doctor." Another Neck Snap follows.
    • To Captain Jones: "I'm on your schedule, Captain." ...You know the drill.
    • At the end, he attempts this on the Batman: "You'll just have to imagine the fire." Cue Selina coming in to dispatch him with a mortar round fired from the Batpod, followed by a Bond One-Liner of her own.
  • Punch Catch: In both fights with Batman. To add insult to injury, he hits Batman with his own fist the first time around.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Invoked in the opening of his first fight with Batman. Batman slugs Bane so hard, the punches are echoing off of the walls. Batman's hitting Bane so hard that he's letting out battle cries with each blow, but not in his Batman growl. And what's Bane doing? Just standing there with his hands on his shoulder straps, taking each and every one of those hits without so much as grunting.
  • Race Lift: Bane is a person of color in the comics, a non-white Latino of some description (specifically biracial on New Earth). In the film he's played by a white actor of English descent, and his race and what ethnicity he identifies as are never stated. He may or may not still be Latino or Hispanic - See Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping above.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: During Phillip Stryver's "hearing", if you look carefully as Dr. Crane says "Bane has no authority here", you can see Bane is in the crowd, and knitting! This is just one of three instances in the film where he's seen knitting.
  • Red Herring: Beforehand, Batman believes (and as the audience we are led to believe) that Bane was the one who escaped from the Hellhole Prison as a child and that he was Ra's al Ghul's child. The actual person meeting both descriptions is Miranda Tate/Talia al Ghul. Bane was the prisoner who aided her escape, after which he was severely punished by the other prisoners, suffering the painful injuries that forced him to adopt his mask.
    • Additionally, in the Knightfall comic, Bane's backstory is that his father was a British mercenary, wanted for crimes, who escaped prosecution. On orders from the government, Bane's pregnant mother was imprisoned in Pena Duro, the hellhole prison in which Bane was born. Bane was forced to serve out his father's life sentence, and his mother died in the prison while he was still a child. Considering that "the child" has such a similar backstory, fans might be forgiven for being tricked into thinking that Bane was the child in question.
  • Sadist: He specializes in physical and psychological torment, but mostly psychological to Batman.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Bane has a very noticeably florid manner of speaking, one that serves as a direct contrast to his intimidating voice and appearance and also highlights his intelligence.
  • Shadow Archetype: To Batman.
    Daggett: What are you?
    Bane: I'm Gotham's reckoning. Here to end the borrowed time you've all been living on.
  • Shirtless Scene: When Gordon is brought to his lair in the storm sewers, Bane is topless from the waist upwards.
  • Sibling Rivalry: One interpretation of his hatred towards Bruce. They were both taken under the wing of and trained by Ra's al Ghul. Bane embraces the beliefs of the League of Shadows and obviously holds Ra's in great esteem, wishing to fulfill his destiny. Bruce renounced the League and let Ra's die. Yet Ra's excommunicated Bane and instead considered Bruce to be his greatest student.
  • Single Tear: It's a big blink-and-you'll-miss moment, but during the climax of the movie where his backstory is explained further, he sheds a small tear while his mask is fixed.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: Not all the time, but in several scenes, he's wearing just his combat vest and show how huge his arms are.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Bane only ever seriously raises his voice when addressing a crowd. Even in the middle of a fistfight with the Batman, Bane's voice maintains a polite, almost conversational tone.
  • Speak of the Devil... and Bane shall appear!
  • The Spook: He deliberately invokes this on the plane by pointing out that "Nobody cared who I was until I put on the mask." This is right when the CIA agent is taking off his hood.
  • The Starscream: To Daggett, who Bane is just using while readying his own plans and intends to kill him when he's no longer needed. Unfortunately for Dagget, he's convinced that Bane is his Dragon just because he paid him. He realizes his error much too late to rectify it.
    Daggett: "I paid you a small fortune..."
    Bane: "And this gives you power over me?"
  • Stout Strength: He is nowhere near as tall as his comics counterpart, who was seven feet tall, and has slightly more body fat than Batman. He makes up for it with an astonishing level of muscle and physical bulk.
    • On a meta level too, as Tom Hardy is actually shorter than Christian Bale.
  • Super Strength: One of the few outright fantastical bits of the "Nolanverse" is his blatantly superhuman strength. He can lift a large armored man using one outstretched arm with ease, take multiple punches to the face from a heavyweight MMA fighter wearing heavy gauntlets without even being bothered, casually break a man's neck with no mechanical leverage, and pulverize limestone with his fists.
  • Tragic Villain: If Bane hadn't spent most of his life in the pit, he might never have been a villain at all.
  • This Cannot Be!: Bane is clearly stunned by Batman's return. Even when he lies defeated at his feet he still can't believe what's transpired.
    "I broke you..."
  • Trojan Prisoner: Bane and a few of his men pose as hooded prisoners to sneak onto the CIA plane and kidnap Dr. Pavel.
  • Turns Red: In a nod to his Hulking Out through the use of his mask (which feeds him Venom) in the comics, once Batman breaks Bane's mask, he attacks much faster and harder, sending Batman flying with a swipe and shattering a concrete pillar with a single punch. Since anesthesia causes muscle weakness, it's possible that cutting off his supply is what led to his increased strength.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • His men have a lot of loyalty for hired guns. One of his mercenaries is willing to wait on a crashing plane simply because Bane needs to make sure the authorities find the number of bodies they're expecting.
    • Bane himself displays this towards Talia al Ghul. Though he does disobey her orders in order to kill Batman (or at least try to) after she tells him not to.
  • The Unfettered: Like Ra's al Ghul before him, Bane allows nothing to stand in the way of the destruction of Gotham.
  • Unstoppable Rage: During the final battle in Gotham Batman manages to damage Bane's mask and as he begins to feel pain he completely goes berserk and striking faster than ever and hitting Batman harder all while punching two holes in a limestone pillars while trying to catch Bats.
  • Vader Breath: Not to the extent of the Trope Namer, but it's still noticeable, especially when he's about to speak.
  • Villainous Breakdown: When Batman finally breaks his mask, Bane absolutely snaps and starts furiously smashing at everything within reach as he tries to kill Batman, all the while shrieking in rage like a wounded animal. Not just that, but when Batman lights a flaming Batsignal, Bane's response is a shocked "Impossible!" After Batman beats him in their rematch, all Bane can say is "I broke you..." in disbelief.
  • Visionary Villain: Taking over and destroying the city of sin that is Gotham City.
  • Vocal Dissonance: As shown below, Tom Hardy went all over the place with the accent and tone that the end result is a stark contrast with his ferocious appearance. It's like a bizarre mix of Sean Connery and Michael Gough. Fridge Brilliance: He's Older Than He Looks, so it makes sense he sounds old.
  • Wham Line:
    "Let's not stand on ceremony here... Mr. Wayne."
    "But I never escaped."
  • What Are You: "I'm Gotham's reckoning. Here to end the borrowed time you've all been living on."
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?:
    • Tom Hardy says he based Bane's accent on an Irish Traveller, yet it seems to do a full tour of Europe during the first fight with Batman alone.
    • Screen Junkies' Honest Trailers "Honest Trailers parodied this by saying in their trailer, "But chaos will arrive in the form of Bane, a villain whom no one can fully understand."
  • Whole Costume Reference: His shaved head and face mask evoke the imagery of the Mutant Leader in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns while retaining Nolan's trademark realism.
  • Wicked Cultured: Exceptionally polite, eloquent, and possessed of bitingly sharp wit; he's also a ruthless terrorist.
  • Wife Husbandry: Implied; he and Talia certainly shared an affectionate relationship since she was a child, but whether it's romantic is unclear.
  • With My Hands Tied: In the novelization, he doesn’t break his handcuffs right away and kills CIA with a Neck Snap while hanging upside-down from the seats as the plane goes vertical. Then he breaks his handcuffs.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Given his backstory, it's almost impossible not to feel a degree of sympathy for him. In addition, going by his comment about being born and raised in the darkness, it's very likely that Bane was born in the prison like Talia.
  • Worthy Opponent: Has at least some level of respect for Bruce and compliments his fighting style during their first conflict.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Whereas Batman is the heroic version of this and fights male and female criminals, Bane refusing to recognize gender in a fight highlights his pragmatism and cruelty. Take his role in the Stock Exchange heist: when he enters, he uses his motorcycle helmet to smack a female security guard straight in the face, then uses it to quickly knock out three of her colleagues in a matter of seconds. He also has a female hostage on his motorcycle when he's leaving the building.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Zigzagged. Played straight when protected a young Talia in the Pit, and waited until the child singing the national anthem had left the football field before setting off the explosives, just for his "lovely voice", but was willing to kill every single inhabitant of Gotham, children included.
  • You Have Failed Me: Coldly kills two of his men for bringing Gordon to their hideout, risking the exposure of their operation.



Played by: Josh Stewart

Appears in: The Dark Knight Rises

Bane's second in command.

  • Affably Evil: Can be pretty friendly and respectful even if he plans on leading you to your death.
  • Beard of Evil
  • Character Death: Gunned down by Foley as Talia makes her getaway.
  • Cold Sniper: He is mostly seen with an assault rifle, but during the gunfight before Gordon enters the tunnels, he's shown with a large sniper rifle, shooting SWAT officers.
  • The Dragon: To Bane.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Has an expression that screams this whenever he sees Bane doing something particularly ruthless. For instance, when Bane kills off the thugs who delivered Gordon to him for their failure.
  • Evil Brit: Barsad uses a Russian accent in the opening scene while posing as an Uzbekistani soldier to drop off Dr. Pavel and the three hooded "prisoners" with the CIA interrogator. In his Gotham scenes, such as talking with Captain Parker on the bridge, and when capturing Gordon, Barsad speaks with an English accent. Josh Stewart was born in America.
  • The Evil Genius: A Cold Sniper who helps smuggle Bane into a CIA plane.
  • Expy: Of Deadshot, according to David S. Goyer.
  • Fake Russian: In-Universe. Barsad poses as a Russian soldier to drop off the three "prisoners" and Dr. Pavel with CIA. He plants the idea in CIA's mind that the "prisoners" are Bane's men, but never tells CIA that Bane is one of the hooded men. It's implied that the other soldiers in the truck with Barsad are either Bane's own men or soldiers who had been paid off.
  • Friendly Sniper: See Cold Sniper and Affably Evil above
  • Meaningful Name: He is named after the spy and con-man from Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities.
  • Mook Lieutenant: For Bane.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In the scene pictured above when talking to the captain on the bridge, his line "...Gotham will blow to hell" slips into an American accent.
  • Scarf Of Asskicking


    Bane's Triggerman 

Talia al Ghul
"You see, it's the slow knife...the knife that takes its time, the knife that waits years without forgetting, then slips quietly between the bones...that's the knife that cuts deepest."

Played by: Marion Cotillard, Joey King (Younger)

Appears in: The Dark Knight Rises

Talia al Ghul is Ra's al Ghul's daughter. Her mother was a warlord's daughter who was thrown into the same prison Bane was in (which triggered Ra's al Ghul's leading of the League of Shadows). Helped to escape by Bane and actually falling for him, Talia convinced Ra's to save Bane and take him in. Their relationship, however, was frowned on by Ra's and she became distant from him because of it, until Batman played a role in his death. Now, she seeks to accomplish her father's vision of destroying Gotham as enacted by Bane's engineered conflicts.

  • Adaptational Villainy:
  • Avenging the Villain: She mentions that she and her father didn't part ways on the best of terms after he excommunicated Bane. It was only after Batman let him die that she forgave him and decided to destroy Gotham like he wanted as a means to avenge him.
  • Auntie Pennybags: Subverted. She appears to be using her wealth to help Gotham, but it's a front.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Subverted, as Talia goes to her death believing her plan to nuke Gotham suceeded. It doesn't actually work but due to being dead, she'll never know that.
  • Big Bad: Masterminds the plot to destroy Gotham in The Dark Knight Rises.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: With Bane. It is unclear if Talia outranks Bane or not but together they plan to destroy Gotham, with Bane taking most of the action and Talia manipulating Bruce Wayne and his company for their goal.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The kindhearted altruist is actually a ruthless terrorist.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Has Batman right where she wants him, but lets him live in order to experience the destruction of his city first-hand...
  • Broken Ace: Successful charming beautiful businesswoman who wants to save the world front... hiding an upbringing that makes Bruce's look downright happy by comparison and a very unique interpretation of how best to save the world.
  • Broken Bird: Grew up in a Hellhole Prison. When the Nice Girl mask falls off, she's utterly ruthless and cold. Also self-destructive.
  • Canon Character All Along: Appears to be a new character called Miranda Tate, but she's really Talia al Ghul, a character from the comics.
  • The Chessmaster: She orchestrated her rise to Wayne Enterprise's CEO and Gotham's fall. She even uses Daggett's plan to make it happen.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: She firmly intends to carry on her father's plans for Gotham.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Born and raised in prison then followed Bane into exile from the League of Shadows.
  • Death by Adaptation: Maybe. It's a little ambiguous, but she's never heard from again after passing out.
  • Defiant to the End: Even after Batman mortally wounds her, she continues to mock him and vow his inevitable failure in her dying breath.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: As Bruce has Bane pegged for being Ra's Al Ghul's child, Talia revealing her true identity to him was a massive curve ball. Once she started directly meddling with the protagonists, she very nearly wins; her plans are within seconds of completion before they're foiled.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: She wants to nuke Gotham, and to that end she goes so far as to commit suicide by deliberately crashing the armored truck in which the fusion reactor is being carried, thus triggering a Dead Man Switch.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Despite having qualms with her father, Talia swore to realize his dream after learning of his death, taking up his plan to destroy Gotham.
  • Dramatic Irony: Taila was adamant on having Batman die slowly and painfully, living long enough to witness his failure. Because of this, he survives and ultimately mortally wounds her prematurely into her plan, leading her to die slowly and painfully, but perfectly convinced she had won.
  • Driven to Suicide: She figured out that the Batman was trying to force her into a corner, so she not only runs into that corner, she does so at full speed.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • Talia loved both her parents, even if her relationship with her father hit difficulties. Once Batman killed him, she carries out his original plan to destroy Gotham to avenge him, even though her method of doing so will result in her death as well.
    • Talia and Bane also love each other platonically. Bane raised and protected her while she was a child in the pit, and sacrificed himself so she could escape after her mother's death. She parted ways for her father over his excommunication of Bane, and in the present day Bane remains loyal enough to her to die with her in her planned destruction of Gotham.
  • Evil All Along: She is the true Big Bad of The Dark Knight Rises.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Batman. Both are driven by the loss of their parents and use deception and WayneTech weaponry to achieve their goals. While Bruce Wayne played the part of a Rich Idiot with No Day Job, Talia's alias as Miranda was perceived as a Bourgeois Bohemian.
    • Also to Selina, being a potential love interest to Batman who is revealed to be working with Bane. The differences being, Talia's philanthropic image was all a lie and her vendetta against Gotham is purely out of spite, while Selina genuinely cares about inequality and only commits crimes out of necessity.
  • Evil Gloating: Her gloat to Batman about killing him slowly and wanting him to be killed by a nuclear explosion that would also kill millions, ironically let Batman survive and be saved by Catwoman. If she had just killed him right there, she would have won.
  • Evil Plan: She wants to finish her father's evil plan, Mercy Kill Gotham, but her version is significantly more vicious since it involves Bane torturing the people for several months, whereas Ra's was doing his attempt in a single night.
  • Face–Heel Turn: She originally wanted nothing to do with her father's plans for Gotham, due to him excommunicating Bane... until Batman let him die on the monorail several years earlier. After that, she decided to take her father's plans farther than "what is necessary".
  • Fatal Flaw: Years of meticulous and successfully executed planning were ruined by her overconfidence and sadistic thirst for vengeance.
  • Femme Fatale: Her seduction of Bruce to ingratiate herself to him.
  • Final Boss: She has the honor of being this for the The Dark Knight Trilogy.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • How calm she is when Bane, a man who has brought Gotham into anarchy and chaos, takes her and other Wayne Enterprises members hostage hints that she was prepared for it. To add to that, why does Bane seem to keep taking extra care to keep her safe during these moments?
    • Many of her lines intentionally echo Ra's al Ghul's. For example, in her first conversation with Bruce she mentions she wants to "bring balance" to the world, and later berates him for not doing "what's necessary" by mothballing the fusion reactor instead of finishing it to provide clean energy.
    • Also, in the trailers, she appears just as the chant reprises, giving a subtle clue as to who the one who got out of the Hell Hole Prison actually was.
    • After sleeping with Bruce, she has a whole monologue about how much she loves fire and what it means to her. This follows a good hour of fanatical terrorists using fire as a metaphor for their evil plot.
    • Early in the film, notice that she tells Daggett, "You understand only money, and the power you think it buys." Not only does this call back to the last film with the Joker's "All you people care about is money" line, but later, when Daggett tries talking down to Bane (who he paid a small fortune), Bane says with disapproval, "And this gives you power over me?"
  • French Jerk: Her actress is French and she is really a sociopathic Jerkass.
  • A Good Way to Die: Succumbs to her injuries without regret, convinced she has doomed Gotham anyway.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: Just because she disowned her father doesn't mean Batman and those he protects won't suffer all manners of hell for killing him.
  • In the Blood: Inherited her father's talent for assuming identities and masterminding the destruction of Gotham.
  • Knight Templar: Like her father she believes the destruction of Gotham is ultimately a good thing.
  • Lady and Knight: The Dark Lady to Bane's Black Knight.
  • Meaningful Rename:
    • Her alias, "Miranda", alludes to the fact that she was exiled from her homeland, she grew up in isolation, and that she's the beautiful daughter of a powerful mystic with a talent for manipulating people.
    • Her last name, Tate, is a homonym for the French word tête, which means head. Talia's alias in the comics is Talia Head and she is portrayed by a French actress here.
  • Mythology Gag: Her role in the movie is similar to her appearance in Batman Beyond. In both the show and the movie, Talia tries to connect with Bruce and devotes her organization to philanthropic causes — in this case, clean energy. She's not actually her father in this continuity, but she intends to carry on his legacy.
  • Nice Girl: Subverted. She pretends to be nice, but she just wants to destroy Gotham.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: She leaves all the fighting to Bane, while she handles the business side of things.
  • Nuke 'em: What she wants to do to Gotham with her "clean energy" project.
  • Perpetual Smiler: Overlapped with her unfettered nature. One may count on one hand when she is shown not smiling as she is shown to smile even to her death.
  • The Plan: She uses her identity as Miranda Tate to pursue her goals legitimately and uses Bane to pursue them illegally. The creation and theft of the bomb is only the most blatant example.
  • The Power of Acting: "Miranda" is just an act.
  • Pre-Sacrifice Final Goodbye: A villainous example; before departing with her minions to ensure the bomb detonates, Miranda gently places a hand on Bane's face and sadly whispers "Goodbye, my friend". As she departs, Bane whispers "Goodbye" under his breath and turns his head away to hide the tears.
  • Race Lift: In the comics she's mixed Asian with Chinese and Arab ancestry on both sides. In the film she's played only by white actresses, despite being having a white European father and a brown mother who may be South or West Asian.
  • Rags to Riches: When younger, she was poor and now is very wealthy.
  • Reality Ensues: At the end of the film, she dies from a truck crash during the climax of Rises due to not wearing a seatbelt while trying to evade Batman.
  • Red Right Hand: At one point after her sex with Bruce, she was shown to have a scar that resembles the League of Shadows symbol. This hinted at her true identity as Talia al Ghul.
  • Rescue Romance: With Bane. He took care of her when she was a little girl and helped her escape the Hell Hole Prison; in turn, she sent the League of Shadows back to get him out. Whether it was romantic or not, Ra's did not approve of their relationship.
  • Revenge Myopia: A glaring case since initially Talia wanted nothing to do with her father's plans for Gotham. When Batman stops him and allows his death in the process, it was enough for her to not only want revenge, but to do so by doubling on Ra's ambitions and destroy all of Gotham in as painful and sadistic a method as possible.
  • Revenge: Wants this due to Batman letting her father die in Batman Begins.
  • Sadist: She outright gives a speech on how much more satisfying it is to twist that knife in as slowly as possible. It leads the whole plan to fall apart after she thrives on it for too long.
    Batman: Maybe your knife was too slow.
  • Samus Is a Girl: We assume the child who escaped The Pit is a boy up until she puts a veil on herself.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: It's ambigious but one thing is clear: Bane raised Talia in the Pit and takes care of her while she does her evil thing. In other words, he's her Alfred. Ra's is more upset that Bane was able to care for her when he could not and dislikes him because he is a living reminder of that.
  • The Unfettered: Kill innocent people, construct a years-long deception and alternate identity to infiltrate Gotham's elite, seduce the man who killed her father, allow her closest friend and protector to die and face death herself... nothing is beyond her if it means Gotham is ashes in the end.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Defied to an extreme. Talia remains calm and self assured in her plan to the very end. She shows a subdued look of dread as her truck crashes but afterwards submits to her injuries, insistent she has won anyway.
  • Villainous Friendship: Bane was her protector in prison, and her troubles with her father started after he excommunicated Bane from the League of Shadows. Before she goes off to detonate the bomb that will kill everyone, herself and Bane included, she takes the time to say, "Goodbye, my friend."
  • Walking Spoiler: Just knowing that Talia is in The Dark Knight Rises gives away much of the movie. It got so bad that as seen here, we split her off from her false identity, Miranda.
  • Wham Line: "But he's not the child of Ra's al Ghul... I am. And although not ordinary... I am a citizen."
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: She was born in Hell, after all. Then she turns Gotham into another hell.
  • The Woman Behind the Man: She was behind Bane and the League of Shadows the whole time, but doesn't reveal herself as the real Big Bad until the movie is about twenty minutes away from its end. Just like her daddy.
  • You Killed My Father: Initially she was on bad terms with her dad because of Bane's excomunication but after Batman let him die, the filial feelings reawakened.

Alternative Title(s): The Dark Knight Saga League Of Shadows


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: