Batman Arkham Knight Theory {Spoilers for Game, In Case You Didn't Play It}

Okay, this is my second time playing through AK. My first time, I had to stop because my PCs graphics card was like “bro, I can’t even” (I was about to finish the Ridddler quest and activate the final ending). And since I’m replaying it, I’ve been thinking a lot about the ending. The actual ending. What happens?

Oh nothing, just Batman gets unmasked by Commissioner Gordan (honestly, I found that to be kind of poetic), retires from the ole’ cape and tights game, then (along with Alfred) gets blown up in his mansion.

A lot of people say Batman is alive (the ending scene of a “bat man” going after bad dudes is supposed evidence of this). But I…I don’t think that. In fact, I truly believe Bruce Wayne, Mister Tall Pale and Brooding, is as dead as the Joker.

Hear me out. Here’s my reasons:

  1. During the game, I found it odd that Batman denied Nightwing and Robin’s help. While it could be explained as “Batman wanting to keep people he loved out of harms” I don’t believe that’s entirely it. I fully believe Batman knew he would die during, or after, defeating Scarecrow. He knew Scarecrow would come back to Gotham with an army. And he did.

(Side note that has nothing to do with theory: if Batman didn’t think he was gonna die, I believe he knew he’d retire after dealing w/ Scarecrow. As if he saw Scarecrow as The Final Boss™️. I mean with Joker dead and Scarecrow taken care of, the police could really handle every other villain. Mr. Freeze likely gave up crime because of his wife, Bane is in Santa Prisca dealing with the mafia, and Riddler well… I haven’t completed that quest yet. Everyone says thank you Dell. Literally, all there is left is guys like Penguin and Two Face who are arguably fairly easy to deal with)

  1. Rocksteady, and by extension, Warned Bros has the guts to kill Joker. They’d kill Batman. Because why not? There’s been rumors of another batman game in the works supposedly set after AK and involving the POVs of other Batfamily members in the main storyline.

  2. Having the OG Batman dead opens the doors for a certain comic book storyline that would be interesting to see play out in a game. Battle for the Cowl anyone? Or mayhaps, a Richard Batman? Or…OR a Damian Batman. Or even Azarel.

  3. Yes, it seems odd that Alfred asks Bruce “you sure about this?” Before the McMansion of Waynedom explores. I don’t think this id odd. I think this is Alfred basically saying, “you really giving up the ol’ cape and tights game, just like that? No going back?” Because lets be honest, Bats don’t just… stop doing something. I mean, unless it’s having a sidekick. Right Jason? (Sorry, too soon?)

(Diet theory: Bruce retired from the ol’ cape and tights game because of being jokerized. If he continued being Batman, could he really have stopped himself from going full Joker and beating someone with a crow bar? Yes, he subconsciously locked Joker away, but one does not merely lock away and/or get rid of Joker.)

Anyways, that’s my theory… my GAME theory. Thanks for reading! What do you think?

7 Likes

Here’s my theory: what if the Arkham Knight… is Jason Todd?

10 Likes

I think he faked their death. Besides Alfred’s line, I think it’s too convenient that no one else was hurt. Nobody who was trying to kill THE BATMAN would have been so restrained!

2 Likes

Bruce is definitely dead to the world, but my feeling is that he and Alfred are still alive and fighting crime in hiding. For one, I just can’t see any plan that Bruce comes up w/ that would involve sacrificing Alfred’s life

I also think that whether or not he’s actually still going out as Batman, the very last scene indicated that Scarecrow’s fear toxin is being used in some capacity. Maybe Bruce found a way to use a less dangerous strain of it that’s still effective in keeping criminals scared. The similarities between the Batman that Crane saw at the end and the 1 that those muggers in the alley at the very end are just too great for me to ignore

4 Likes

Eh, it’s an interesting idea, but I just can’t see it. He’s probably just a hallucination brought on by the fear toxin or something

3 Likes

I think he’s not dead. He faked it to finally be able hide from the world and trusts his Bat Family to take care of thing especially with big villains like joker out of the way. And the fear at at the end is just a way of showing the fear and legend of the bat still haunts criminals. Alive or dead the fear he brought with him still protects the city (and probably some remnants off the fear has). But those are my thoughts. Who knows he may be actually dead.

1 Like

I think Rocksteady probably intended it to be Bruce without the “shackles” of being Bruce, but I think it was purposefully made vague enough that people could make up their own theories.

It should be noted that at least WB Montreal apparently did have plans on making an Arkham game that would have continued after Knight and focused on Damian Wayne as Batman.

1 Like

Felt like he faked his death like in The Dark Knight Returns: Part 2. The building burns down and removes all of Batman’s legacy, but he’s still working underground.

1 Like

Bruce and Alfred are definitely still alive.

  • Alfred asks if he’s sure because faking their deaths would change everything for them, but they have to with Bruce’s identity out in the open

  • At the end of the Riddler questline, Bats mentions something along the lines of Batman no longer striking fear into people, and that Gotham needs “something worse”. A scarecrow-powered Batman sounds like the very definition of worse to me

  • It can’t be Azrael because his quest has 2 different endings

  • It can’t be Dick, Tim, or Jason because their all still active after the game ends, as revealed by the DLCs

  • As was previously mentioned, there’s no way Batman would have any type of plan that involves Alfred’s death

While I don’t know why he’d keep his survival a secret from the family, but besides that Bats is definitely still alive, no question about it

1 Like

SURPRISE!!! secret options #3 and 4! Batman was replaced in the explosion by either

Batman (earth 43): Oh YEAH! Vampire Batman explains everything!

Ambush Bug! I don’t have to explain that!

(Honestly, I think Batman faked his death. It’s the “Batman” thing to do and the Riddler quest ending hints at that)

(Even more honestly I don’t care about that as much as I care about them making a game where I can glide around the city as fear gas BATMAN VAMPIRE MONSTER!!)

2 Likes

Dude, I completely agree

1 Like

I figured it was like a Dark Knight Returns thing, Bruce fakes his death (in this case to stop endangering the people he’s afraid to lose) but comes back with a different identity.

My personal theory is that the Batmobile is the villain of the game and the Knight destroying the first one with his crushy grindy thing was an act of heroism.

2 Likes