Here’s An Interesting Theory About The Origins Of Heath Ledger’s Joker In The Dark Knight


Actor and pop culture aficionado, Patton Oswalt, rewatched Christopher Nolan’s thrilling crime saga, The Dark Knight, yesterday and posted a lengthy dissection regarding the origin story of Heath Ledger’s Joker on his official Facebook page.

The long-hypothesized assumption that Ledger’s Joker is an ex-military man, suffering from PTSD, seems to be corroborated by Nolan himself, having ascribed several telltale characteristics indicative of a war veteran to his iconic antagonist. Citing his “ease with military hardware, tactical ingenuity, and precision planning,” Oswalt expanded on the popular Joker fan theory, suggesting, “What if he’s not only ex-military but ex-military intelligence? Specifically — interrogation?”

Inferring that the Joker’s “very good at the kind of mind-fuckery sustained, professional interrogation requires,” Oswalt adduces the way “he adjusts his personality and methods depending on who he’s talking to, knowing EXACTLY the reaction he’ll get.”

“Mocking Gamble’s manhood; invoking terror to Brian, the “false” Batman; teasing the policeman’s sense of loyalty to his fallen, fellow cops; digging into Gordon’s isolation; appealing to Harvey Dent’s hunger for “fairness.” He even conducts a “reverse interrogation” with Batman when he’s in the box at the police station — wanting to see how “far” Batman will go, trying to make him break his “one rule.”

The actor then observantly references the two instances in which the Joker’s trademark phrase, and rhetorical question, “you wanna know how I got these scars?” changes his backstory, “and thus, who he is.”

“To Gamble and his henchmen, he’s an abused child (figuring that they were also the products of abuse and neglect). To Rachel, he’s a man mourning a tragic love — something she’s also wrestling with.”

In the end, even the language used by the Joker denotes an interrogation background, according to Oswalt.

“When saying goodbye to Batman — describing their relationship as an “irresistible force meeting an immovable object” — is the kind of thing an interrogator would say, ruefully, about a fruitless session.”

Laughably, Patton Oswalt overlooked the manner in which the Joker “directs” Batman’s interrogation of him, “like an instructor with a newbie.” Evident by his “never start with the head, the victim gets all fuzzy” remark, which the actor, like myself, can’t believe he missed.

Ultimately, the “Oswalt Theory” appears impossible to contradict, and if you’re interested, you can read it in its entirety by clicking here.

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