Full Name



The Joker


Plunge the entirety of Gotham City into anarchy and chaos


Defeated by Batman and arrested by authorities

Why so serious?
~ The Joker's famous quote
The Joker is the main antagonist of the Academy Award-winning film The Dark Knight. He was portrayed by the late Heath Ledger, who won an Academy Award posthumously for his performance.

Fictional character biography

The Dark Knight

The Joker appears in The Dark Knight (2008). In the film's first scene, he and five accomplices, all wearing clown masks, rob a mob-owned bank. He tricks four of them into being killed by each other or the bank manager, then kills the last one himself and escapes with the money. Interrupting a videoconference between mob leaders Sal Maroni (Eric Roberts), the Chechen (Ritchie Coster) and Gambol (Michael Jai White) with their accountant Lau (Chin Han), he offers to kill Batman for half of the mob's money. Gambol refuses the offer and puts a bounty on the "clown". Later, the Joker kills Gambol and takes over his gang.

After learning that Batman (Christian Bale) has retrieved Lau, Maroni and the Chechen accept the Joker's offer. The Joker announces that people will die each day until Batman reveals his true identity, and makes good on his threat by murdering Gotham Police Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb (Colin McFarlane) and mob trial Judge Janet Surillo (Nydia Rodriguez Terracina). When Gotham's district attorney, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), attempts to draw him out by identifying himself as Batman, the Joker tries to kidnap him, only to be arrested. Batman interrogates him after Dent goes missing. The Joker also reveals that Dent's girlfriend (and Bruce Wayne's childhood sweetheart) Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal) has also gone missing and reveals their separate locations, both rigged up to time bombs. Switching their whereabouts, the Joker tricks Batman into saving Dent, who is disfigured in the explosion, while Rachel is killed. The Joker then escapes the police station with Lau, who had previously fled to Hong Kong only to be captured by Batman.

The Joker kills Lau and the Chechen, burns his half of the mob's money, and takes over the Chechen's gang. Then, to prevent Wayne Enterprises M&A law accountant Coleman Reese (Joshua Harto) from revealing Batman’s alter ego on TV, he announces that he will blow up a hospital if Reese is not dead within 60 minutes. During the panic, the Joker sneaks into Gotham General Hospital disguised as a nurse to meet with Dent, and persuades him to take revenge on the people he holds responsible for Rachel's death. He then blows up the hospital and takes a busload of hostages. He rigs explosives on two of the ferries separately containing citizens and criminals and tells the passengers that he will destroy both boats unless one blows up the other. Ultimately, however, the hostages choose not to blow each other up. Batman subsequently apprehends the Joker, who gloats that he has won "the battle for Gotham's soul", as the city's inhabitants will lose hope once Dent's rampage as the murderous vigilante "Two-Face" becomes known. The Joker is then taken into custody as he laughs hysterically. Batman ultimately foils the Joker's plan by taking the blame for Dent's crimes.


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