Does Riddler Know That Bruce Wayne Is Batman? Explained

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The Batman‘ movie was a refreshing take on the many movies about the Dark Knight so far. Bruce Wayne decided to lead a life as a vigilante. To conceal his identity and ensure the safety of those he cared about, he chose to confront Gotham’s criminals as Batman, a caped crusader who also goes by the name ‘Vengeance.’ The main villain in the movie is the Riddler, and as the movie progresses, it becomes increasingly apparent that he knows Batman’s true identity. But is that really the case? Does the Riddler know that Bruce Wayne is Batman?

Even though the clues in Riddler’s apartment and his behavior toward Batman afterward at Arkham give us the impression that Ed knows Batman’s true identity, that’s not the case. Riddler resented Bruce, used Batman for his schemes, and thought they were on the same side. For a moment, even Bruce thought Riddler had figured his identity out.

Riddler’s character was slightly different than we were used to up until that point, giving his character even more complexity and depth. Throughout the movie, he leaves notes for Batman, and he’s doing it in a way he likes best – via riddles. Let’s see in more detail why even Batman thought Riddler exposed his identity.

Riddler was a fanatic that used his intellect to create chaos in Gotham

‘The Batman’ gave us a real treat regarding action, detective work, and mystery. Much of this can be attributed to the Riddler, who, dissatisfied with the entire system in Gotham, decided to take matters into his own hands. Due to corruption, deception, and lies, all the wrongdoers—from city officials to crime lords—became the Riddler’s killing spree targets.

It all began with the murder of Gotham’s mayor. Even then, the Riddler hinted that it was just the beginning and that all immoral and devious power players would soon face the consequences of their actions. To make things even more interesting and mysterious, after each murder and scheme, he left riddles for Batman to solve.

Batman decided to play along, not that he had much choice, as lives were at stake. With the help of James Gordon and Catwoman, he began gathering intelligence and putting all his efforts into connecting the puzzle pieces left behind by the Riddler. It was clear that everything was interconnected, and the Riddler wasn’t killing randomly.

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His plan was directed towards one goal—to expose the entire conspiracy regarding the arrest of Salvatore Maroni and ensure that all those who had profited from his arrest would pay for it. But not only that, he also decided that Bruce Wayne needed to pay for his father’s sins.

It was Riddler’s game, and the only way to eventually stop him was to play by his rules. In Maroni’s case, a rat enabled the police to bust him, and Ed wanted Batman to find that rat so he could unleash his judgment upon him. Of course, Bruce did not know what Ed’s plans were, and when he found out that Carmine Falcone was the rat, Carmine was apprehended by the police.

Riddler uses that opportunity to kill Falcone, and everything starts to unravel, including the possibility that Ed knows Batman’s real identity.

Batman was the one who inspired Riddler to become a vilian

Moments after killing Falcone, Riddler was arrested and taken into Arkham. He did not run or anything because he wanted to be caught. It was all part of his grand plan. Back at his apartment, the police found many ledgers filled with various rambling chippers and codes. The police also revealed that Ed was a forensic accountant.

The event that triggered Ed to become the Riddler was Renewal, a charitable fund set up by Thomas Wayne during his mayoral campaign. It gave Ed hope when he lived in an orphanage, but when Thomas Wayne was killed, that money went to crime lords.

Riddler’s apartment also had a cage with a bat containing a letter addressed to Batman. Bruce had one look at Ed’s wall containing all the clues about his obsessions, and it did not take long for him to realize that Ed might figure out his identity. There were pictures of Batman and Bruce near each other and words like ‘real you’ beside them. So, when Riddler called from Arkham and wanted to see Batman, the moment of truth was closing in.

When Batman arrived, Ed started to repeat ‘Bruce Wayne’ and continued his story about how he resented Bruce because of how privileged he was all his life, yet everyone felt sorry for him. He then repeated Bruce’s name while looking at Batman the whole time. At that point, Bruce was almost sure that Ed knew he was Batman, but it turned out differently.

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Riddler was delusional the whole time. He thought that he and Batman were partners all along, taking down all the key players in the conspiracy together, and Bruce Wayne was the only one they didn’t get. Ed admired Batman, thought they were the same, and made such a good team. Riddler needed Batman because of his physical strength and abilities. He had all the pieces and answers in his mind but could not act on his plans without Batman.

Batman’s vengeance and demonstration of focused violence and fear inspired Riddler. However, when Batman calls him a delusional psychopath, Ed snaps and decides that Batman deserves to die with all the city officials. So, to conclude, Riddler did not figure out that Bruce is Batman but was really close.

What do you think about this topic? Is there a chance that Riddler did figure out Batman’s real identity? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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