Rachel Paige
August 28, 2015 10:33 am

Remember The Dark Knight? It’s been seven years since Christopher Nolan’s second Batman outing hit theaters, featuring our caped crusader squaring off with The Joker. Christian Bale returned to the role of Bruce Wayne, and Heath Ledger gave a brilliant performance that won him a much deserved Oscar posthumously. It was a story about good vs. evil. But now, seven years later, there’s a brand new theory out there about The Dark Knight that suggests the good and evil lines aren’t what we believe them to be.

Reddit user generalzee has shared an extensive Dark Knight theory with the world. In it, it’s explained, quite simply, that The Joker is the reason Gotham turns out to be a safe place in the end. While we see Batman as the “hero,” it’s The Joker who is actually working to rid the streets of criminals and corrupt politicians. In a very roundabout way, The Joker actually succeeds in doing this, and all along we’ve been crediting this work to Batman.

“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,” generalzee writes, “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).”

“Everyone must realize that Joker, despite his claim otherwise, really was ‘The Man With The Plan’ throughout the entire film”

According to this theory, everything The Joker does is to make Gotham a better place — even though he goes about it through lots of killing, violence, and explosions. But The Joker was actually doing away with all the crime in the city each time. The Joker also has to do something about Batman, but he can’t kill Batman, because that would make him a martyr, and Gotham has just about had enough of vigilantes running wild. So, The Joker instead corrupts Harvey Dent (by killing “Raaaaaaachel“). This turns Dent and Batman against one another, and then Batman has to defeat Dent — and through a super roundabout way! — forces Batman into hiding.

Generalzee continues, explaining that “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.”

Huh. Never thought of it like that before, but now we can’t get this idea out of our heads. The Joker is supposed to be the villain, but with generalzee’s explanation, he’s actually the one who did the most good for the city. This gives everything a whole new meaning.

If you want to check out generalzee’s whole theory (including how Jim Gordon fits into everything, too) you can check that out right here.

(Image via Warner Bros.)

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