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I'm going to start off this extensive rant about the Nolan Batman Trilogy and how most people I've talked to fail to realize how brilliant it actually is beyond a well done action/thriller film. Please excuse the lack of apostrophes as the BBcode editor has seen fit to remove them all on a whim. Here we go, starting with the basis of this theory. For now, assume that the city is a direct parallel to the Batman we see created in Batman Begins. Keep this in mind because its going to make more sense as I explain it. Okay, what three elements create the essence of who Batman is? His psychology and resources: the fear he creates in criminals. His morals: do good, combat evil, do not kill. His strength: to support the effort required to utilize the first two. His overall purpose is to protect the city of Gotham, which conflicts with Alfreds purpose to protect and see him at peace. The three villains in each story are tailored to conflict with a key aspect of Batmans core personality, and the villain orchestrating this is tailored to conflict with Batmans ultimate purpose. Ill explore this more in a bit. So heres the thing: there is one main villain in the entire trilogy. Ras Al Ghul. Ras Al Ghuls purpose is to save the city (Batmans goal) through destruction. So through Ras Al Ghul, three villains come to destroy the city. I know that the Joker wasnt sent by Ras Al Ghul, but bear with me, and assume that a psychopath like him didnt just come out of nowhere. Its entirely possible that, before his death, Ras Al Ghul orchestrated a series of events to bring the Joker to Gotham, understanding that the two black and white personalities would inevitably clash and one would be forced to come out on top. For the sake of this theory, Im going to refrain from delving into the brilliant parallel Nolan created by adding Two-Face to the story, serving as a literal representation of the binary conflict stated through the film: The binary moral decisions that result in life or death. Thats mostly irrelevant here but still a fascinating study nonetheless. anyways Scarecrow comes first and challenges the first aspect of Batmans character: his resources (through which he creates this sub-aspect, the psychology) and turns it on him, thus defeating him initially through fear. He also forces the city to confront its fear and weakness in resources and through this confrontation, they are destroyed and defeated. Batman, as a direct parallel to the city, is forced to confront his failure in his resources through fear as well as his inability to protect the city through it. So he rebuilds by accepting that and ultimately prevails, as does the city. Im going to step back for a second to give you an outline of the structure of each film: The city is challenged by a villain in one area, defeated and forced to confront their corruption in that area, and they rebuild by understanding and getting rid of that weakness. The Joker comes along and forces Batman to confront his morals: do not kill. This is the one rule Batman was forced to break in order to defeat the Joker, and the Joker explicitly said this during the interrogation scene. He had to make the people believe that he killed Harvey: he basically failed the people and the city by his reliance on his morals, which in turn forced him to destroy its real hope: the hero Gotham deserved. So heres the outline again: The city was forced to confront the decadence in its own morals, accept its defeat and rebuild, just as Batman had to. Batmans morals could not protect the city either. Then Bane comes and breaks Batman physically. Hold on to your seat because here comes the outline again: Bane forces Batman to understand that his strength, the one thing he has left, cannot protect Gotham, and Batman rebuilds in the pit and rises once more now Throughout this, the lies he has created build up until everything falls down around him. Ill explain this a bit more in a couple paragraphs. He accepts his failure in each area and eventually rises when he gives up this hope he had built through lies (the rope in the pit can be seen as a parallel to this hope given through lies; only when he stops relying on it can he finally rise as a new Batman). Ras Al Ghul says something to this effect when Bruce is in the pit: you used all your resources (fear), morals, and strength and still failed the city. This was a taunt to bring Batman back, to force him to finally confront everything, to accept it, to let go of this false hope, and to rise at last to save the city once more and to allow it to rise. So Batman sees that each area of his character is failing and that he cannot protect the city through each one. Im stepping back again to point out another theme: The lies given to Gotham to give it hope. This hope is the most cruel punishment of all, as Bane stated in The Dark Knight Rises. The hope through these lies is a part of the citys corruption, and something that it is forced to confront in each film. At the end of Begins, Batman fails through his resources and fear, and he creates the lie that he can still sustain himself and still protect the city through it. We see the consequences of this lie as The Dark Knight opens, with Batmans resources failing, and the scars on his back as a result of trying to sustain this lie. But he does not dispel the lie, he continues to use it. At the end of The Dark Knight we see him create the lie that Harvey was a hero and that Batman killed him. As The Dark Knight Rises opens, we see the consequences of trying to maintain this lie as well. The parallel here is a little shaky because it all ties up in TDKR as opposed to these points resolving themselves individually in each of the films. These sustained lies build up to the point where Alfred simply says that maybe, just maybe, we need to let the truth have its day. This happens as Batman is in the pit, where his resources are gone, his morals have broken, and his strength is failing him. So he comes back and he understands that he cannot protect the city any longer, and these lies to give it a false hope need to be destroyed for the city to rise anew as he did. At this point, everything that makes batman who he is has been destroyed. When he comes back to Gotham, he faces the last challenge that Ras Al Ghul posed to him as a parallel to Batmans own progress: Either be literally purged of your decadence or confront your corruption in the areas challenged by these villains. Batman understand at last that Alfred was right when Alfred said that he didnt want Bruce to come back to Gotham because he knew that there was nothing left in the city for him. Alfred wanted Bruce to move on because he knew that Batman could not protect the city, that he had to finally move on, just as the city must be allowed to move on. There would come a day when Gotham no longer needed Batman, so Batman recognizes this and dispels every previous lie in one last gesture: His own death. The old Batman has died, and at the exact moment allowed the old city to die by destroying every lie and false hope he had crafted in his attempt to protect it. So now we see that Ras Al Ghul has won: The old city has been destroyed, purged of its decadence, and is now allowed to rebuild on its own without Batman. Since were running with the theory that Batman is a parallel to the city, we see that the death of Batman (the figurative concept) has allowed Bruce to move on and rebuild as well. The city no longer needs Batman, and Bruce doesnt either. Ras Al Ghul realized that trying to protect the city would destroy Batman, so he understood that he had to use Batman to destroy the city and he had to use the city to destroy Batman, because he wanted Bruce to be at peace the same way Alfred did, so he purged the city of its decadence at the same time he reconciled Bruce. The villains were basically a huge final training exercise orchestrated through Ras Al Ghuls death to teach Bruce a lesson and bring him to realize that there was nothing in Gotham left for him, and that Gotham had no use left for Batman. So in the end, the old Batman (the one that wanted to protect the city through these three aspects of his character: Resources, Morals, and Strength) fails in his goals. Ras Al Ghul succeeds in destroying the city and creating a new one, and destroying the old batman to create a new Bruce. Ras Al Ghul creates the illusion of his death as Batman is created (Batman Begins) because Ras Al Ghul was like the original Batman (where Batman is a parallel to the city), so he died as the new Batman was coming so that through him the city could confront its corruption and be saved. So Batman died to make way for the new city and a new era (represented by Robin) in the same way that Ras Al Ghul died to make way for Batman and the new era he represented. So keep all this in mind when you go back to watch the movies. Ras Al Ghul was the hero all along. [10:53:59 pm] kakaru: the end [10:54:02 pm] kakaru: am i missing anything [10:54:09 pm] angel of artistry: what [10:54:09 pm] angel of artistry: woah [10:54:12 pm] angel of artistry: dude [10:54:12 pm] angel of artistry: that [10:54:21 pm] angel of artistry: when do you think about these things? [10:54:29 pm] kakaru: i dunno [10:54:33 pm] kakaru: when im not doing homework [10:56:22 pm] angel of artistry: man [10:56:24 pm] angel of artistry: thats so crazy