A Dark Knight Fan Theory Casts New Light On A Key Joker Line

At the end of The Dark Knight, the Joker says to Batman “I think you and I are destined to do this forever”. It’s a multifaceted and chilling line: within the narrative, it refers to Batman’s no-killing rule, meaning he’ll inevitably face off against this Joker again. We know that Christopher Nolan had plans to bring Joker back for The Dark Knight Rises, though the tragic death of Heath Ledger meant that couldn’t happen.

Even so, the audience knowing Ledger would never reprise the character adds an unnerving dimension to the line, with many reading it as a fourth-wall busting commentary that various forms of Batman and the Joker will be battling each other long after we’re all in the ground.

But this new theory posits that the Joker was, as usual, one step ahead. Redditor Sad-Distribution-779 believes Ledger’s Joker may have predicted that this Batman would pass his mantle down to a new hero. During the film, he proves that he doesn’t particularly care about who’s under the cowl so a procession of masked bat-vigilantes to battle against sounds like heaven to him, thus his joyful comment that the pair will “do this forever”.

It’s a fun idea, though I doubt it’s what Christopher Nolan or writer David S. Goyer had in mind when writing it. I prefer the more metatextual take, with the Joker somehow understanding that he’s a fictional character and that though this aspect of him has been foiled, there are infinite other Jokers still out there fighting other Batmen.

It’s a testament to Ledger’s performance that we’re still talking about him so many years after the movie. Expect there to be a teaser for the Joker in the closing scenes of The Batman when it arrives next year and a lot of speculation about which actor will be slipping into the purple suit next. Either way, even after Joaquin Phoenix’s Oscar-winning turn, Ledger is still the most iconic Joker.

The Dark Knight is currently streaming on Hulu and on HBO Max.