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This "Dark Knight" Fan Theory Makes The Joker The Hero

"I'm gonna tell you where they are... and that's the point... you'll have to choooose."

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A Reddit user has written a pretty convincing fan theory surrounding The Dark Knight which will probably change the way you watch it ~forever~.

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In it, user generalzee discusses points that they believe prove The Joker to be the hero of the film.

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I know, I know, at first it sounds dumb. But give it a chance...

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For the record, lets acknowledge that this theory is only discussing the Dark Knight Joker and not the psychopathic Robin-killer from the comics.

So, The Dark Knight starts with the famous bank robbing scene we're all familiar with. We figure out later that the bank was mafia-controlled.

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Although the Joker is a lying psychopath, generalzee writes that he "is actually the hero in The Dark Knight."

"Before the Joker, Gotham was a mess. Entire sections of the city were closed off due to madness, organized crime ran rampant, and the majority of important city officials were wildly corrupt. The city even tolerated a renegade vigilante who ran around wearing a rubber suit (Okay, special armor and carbon fiber, but they don't know that)."

"The very first thing we see Joker do is rob a mafia controlled bank, eliminating the entire team of expert bank robbers who helped him pull it off. Of course, the robbery wasn't about the money, it was about luring Lau out of hiding, preferably with all the major crime families' collective money."

Then, as Joker plans, Batman goes to Hong Kong to "Extradite" Lau...

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"This of course is all just the plot of the film," says generalzee, "but Joker is playing it amazingly, murdering key criminals and corrupt officials that could help insulate those at the top."

"(Harvey) Dent actually argues FOR insulating the men on the top in the interest of cleaning the streets of lower-level goons, but Joker knows that won't work in the long-term."

At this stage in the film we're led to believe there's three men fighting for the "soul" of Gotham: Batman, Joker, and Harvey Dent.

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"With Batman and Gordon's help, Joker helps them root out corrupt police officials. Dent even kills some of those officials later in the film."

"Gordon's promotion, too, did a major service to Gotham. I think a lot of people take the Joker's clapping during Gordon's promotion scene to be sarcastic, but I actually think that Joker believed in Gordon, one of the few officers on the force who was truly incorruptible."

It is now that Joker realises he cannot kill Batman, for that would make him a martyr. So instead, he focusses his attention on Dent.

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"So now Joker has a pretty clear path to getting rid of the Organized Crime problem and the corrupt officials problem, but the Vigilante problem remains. As we saw at the beginning of the film, Batman was inspiring other vigilantes, and a society cannot stand when each man takes his own justice. This symbol of fear and unbridled vengeance, as Joker sees it, needs to be stopped, but not Killed. If he were killed, he would just be a martyr, and his symbol would live on. Of course, since Dent was a far better symbol for the city, he would make a far better martyr."

Joker also understands that Dent needs to witness the death of a love one to "unhinge" him - like, say, Rachel.

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"He knows what Rachel's death would do to Harvey psychologically, and that Batman would eventually have no choice but to kill Harvey. This breaks Batman psychologically, and also makes him a villain, a true villain, the kind that abandons his own principles. Batman now has no choice but to disappear, leaving his memory to fade into something of urban legend by the time of The Dark Knight Rises."

The scene with the two boats near the end of the scene, in which the people of Gotham realise they won't turn on each other, also hammers home the point that Gotham's citizens are now united.

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But Joker's handiwork isn't fully appreciated until the next film, The Dark Knight Rises.

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"When we pick up in the next film we see a defeated Bruce Wayne who had retired eight years prior. The city was safe and peaceful (until Bane shows up), and doesn't need constant vigilante justice to keep it safe. Joker shows Batman the error of his ways, but does so in a totally devastating way."

And with hindsight, it really does appear like ol' Joker did some good work.

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"In the end Gotham is actually clean. It wasn't because of Harvey, who died too soon to do any good, except as a martyr, and it wasn't because of Batman who was ostracized and treated like the criminal such a vigilante truly is for 8 years. Gotham was safe because the Joker had cleaned up the streets. He eliminated the corrupt police, he destroyed organized crime financially, he uplifted Gotham's spirit, and he even got rid of the flying pest that had been corrupting Gotham ever since he declared himself it's protector."

You can read the whole theory here.

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