9 Super Plausible Fan Theories About Christopher Nolan’s ‘Batman’ Trilogy

Joker Couldn't Be Ex-Military Because His Prints Weren't On File

One of the best things about the Internet is that anyone can put out a theory about anything much like these fan theories about Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. While most of the time this results in some sort of crackpot diatribe nobody can understand other than the person who posts something on sites like Reddit, there are occasions where a theory about something in popular culture actually makes a good amount of sense.

Theories like the narrator at the beginning of Alladin being the Genie in disguise were floated around the Internet for years before Disney finally confirmed it to be true. The theories out there that haven’t been confirmed are many, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have some element of probability in them.

Theories about Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy have been kicked around online since the film was first announced, and there are more than a few containing some element of plausibility.

1. Joker Didn’t Actually Swap The Detonators

Joker Didn’t Actually Swap The Detonators

Source: Redditor u/Tmotty

Details: In The Dark Knight, the Joker gave a detonator to each of the ferries, and told them that their detonator would blow up the other ship, making the passengers debate over whether or not they should destroy the other vessel to save themselves. The thing about the Joker is that he constantly lies. He does so throughout the movie, so there’s no way to tell if he was telling the truth.

This theory suggests that he was keeping with his love of chaos and irony by lying about the detonators. Instead of blowing up the other ship, each vessel carried the detonator to their own explosives. This would fall in line with his inability to tell the truth, but it would also pair nicely with his love of irony in seeing the ships’ passengers destroy themselves in a selfish attempt to save their own lives.

2. Why Lucius Fox Is So Loyal To Bruce Wayne

Why Lucius Fox Is So Loyal To Bruce Wayne

Source: Redditor u/iamre

Details: In Batman Begins, Bruce enlists the aid of Lucius Fox, and he uses his numerous designs to build the arsenal and costume that would establish him as the Dark Knight. It’s a bit strange that this man, who had never met Bruce before, would be more than willing to help him and keep his secret. The movie doesn’t delve into why he’s so helpful, but this theory aims to offer up an explanation

In the film, Alfred mentioned that the Wayne family was part of the Underground Railroad as an explanation for what the Batcave was used for in the past. This theory suggests that Lucius Fox is a descendant of some of the people whom the Waynes assisted back in the 19th century. Knowing he owes his existence to the Wayne family, Fox is more than happy to assist in another Wayne offering up his life and home for the service and safety of others.

3. Bruce Found The League of Shadows Before They Found Him

Bruce Found The League of Shadows Before They Found Him

Source: Redditor u/SaberNoble47

Details: In Batman Begins, we see Bruce Wayne on a path of discovery and training, which ultimately brings him to the attention of the League of Shadows, and ultimately, Ra’s al Ghul. This theory suggests that more was going on behind the scenes, and it was Bruce who put himself in their path purposefully, as he wanted to become a member of the League of Shadows to further his training.

As he was training in Asia, he learned of the LoS and wanted to find them. Of course, doing so was no easy task, so he used his impressive skills of deduction and learned how to gain their attention. He landed himself in Bhutan Prison on purpose, which is why he was busted for stealing from his own company. He wasn’t even committing a crime, but he was the only one who knew that. 

After he left prison, he walked right up to the LoS’ doorstep and was welcomed with open arms. Ok, it wasn’t the easiest walk up the mountain, but he managed to put himself there without nearly as much trouble as he would have otherwise, and it was by his hand, and not the League that brought about their introduction to one another.


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Joker Couldn’t Be Ex-Military Because His Prints Weren’t On File

Joker Couldn't Be Ex-Military Because His Prints Weren't On File

Source: Redditor u/the_fullest_bladder

Details: This theory is pretty short and sweet, as all it states is that “If he had served in the military, they’d have his bloodwork, fingerprints, dental records, all of it.”

That’s actually true. Whenever someone joins the U.S. Military, their fingerprints, blood type, dental records, medical history, and record of service are all logged into numerous databases. If the Joker had been a member of the armed forces, he should have popped up in a federal database somewhere, so he couldn’t have been in the military.

5. The Prison Is A Lazarus Pit

The Prison Is A Lazarus Pit

Source: Redditor u/Jackofspades7

Details: In the Batman comics, a Lazarus Pit is a magical pool found throughout the world. They are used by Ra’s al Ghul to heal himself and live forever, but the movies didn’t have the same mystical element. What The Dark Knight Rises did have was a pit, and Batman got thrown into it.

This theory states that the prison was a Lazarus Pit, and anyone who was thrown into it would go insane… unless they had thought they lost everything that mattered in their lives.

That certainly described Bruce, who had recently had his spine broken, his fortune lost, and his city taken over by Bane. Instead of succumbing to the prison, he was able to heal and climb out, which suggests the prison was a Lazarus Pit that could heal anyone who had lost everything but still wanted to overcome that loss.

6. The Joker’s Tommy Gun In The Dark Knight Is Actually A Toy Gun

The Joker's Tommy Gun In The Dark Knight Is Actually A Toy Gun

Source: Redditor u/crazybubba95

Details: There’s a pivotal scene in  The Dark Knight that has the Joker pull out a Tommy gun, which he uses to shoot up some cars as well as Batman, but the weapon doesn’t do the amount of damage you might expect. In one scene, he shoots it at a vehicle to spook the driver, and the bullets bounced harmlessly off the windows. 

A normal weapon wouldn’t do that if the glass isn’t bulletproof, so why wouldn’t the bullets penetrate the glass? This theory suggests that the Joker was using something akin to an Airsoft Rifle, which shoots pellets instead of bullets. It would go with his chaotic personality and would be a subtle nod to the types of weapons he employs in the comics, such as the “Bang” gun or other similar equipment.

7. The Reason The Joker Never Returned Is Because He Believed He’d Broken Batman

The Reason The Joker Never Returned Is Because He Believed He'd Broken Batman

Source: Redditor u/YeetDeSleet

Details: Heath Ledger didn’t reprise his role as the Joker in The Dark Knight Rises because, sadly, he had passed away. That explained his absence in the film, but it didn’t explain why the character wasn’t there when Arkham was liberated of all its prisoners, and the city was taken over.

There are a number of theories online that explain his absence, and this one may be the best. The Joker didn’t return because he believed he had won in the end. Remember, he was remanded to Arkham Asylum, and while he was there, he must have heard that Harvey Dent was dead.

Because he was the only one who knew Dent went insane, he surmised that Batman must have broken his one rule, and killed the former District Attorney. If he truly believed that, then he would have considered himself a winner in the fight between himself and Batman, so there was no reason for him to return to Gotham City following his release from Arkham Asylum.

8. Why Bane Knows Batman’s True Identity

Why Bane Knows Batman's True Identity

Source: Redditor u/InsaneTheor

Details: The one thing about The Dark Knight Rises that wasn’t explained fully was the way Bane knew Bruce Wayne was Batman. While many have pointed to Talia al Ghul as the source of information, this theory suggests that she wouldn’t have been able to learn that information from her father before his death.

Instead, Bane must have learned the secret from the only person he was aware of who knew, and that was Mr. Reeves from the previous film. He apparently knew Batman’s secret, but after The Dark Knight, he disappears and is never seen again.

This theory suggests that Bane knew that Reeves was aware of Batman’s identity, so he tracked him down and beat it out of him. That would explain both Bane’s knowledge of Batman’s true identity, and also why Reeves was never seen following the events of The Dark Knight.

9. The Joker Didn’t Have A Plan

The Joker Didn't Have A Plan

Source: Redditor u/Dragonzer

Details: The Joker is the Clown Prince of Crime, but is he such a figure due to careful planning, or does he let chaos unfold, and go along with whatever happens? This theory latches on to the end of Joker and brings it back around to The Dark Knight in a way that ties both films together.

In Joker, Arthur planned on shooting himself in the head after he killed Murray but changed his mind at the last moment, and his actions led to complete and total chaos. What if he was following a similar path in The Dark Knight? He seemed to have a plan, but he also seemed to be making much of it up as he went along, so it’s possible he didn’t have a plan at all. He was just letting himself go with whatever chaos he ensued and followed that path to its inevitable conclusion.