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Discussion Starter #1
If you have not seen the movie, and don't want to know how the movie ends, please read no further. This thread is intended to discuss plot points and the ending of this great trilogy.


As an added precaution, I am going to utilize the spoiler function offered by AVS to continue this discussion.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) I went and saw The Dark Knight Rises 2 times this weekend and loved the film. I saw it a second time because the ending intrigues me. Does everyone think that Bruce Wayne (Batman) was really alive at the end with Sylena Kyle (Catwoman) at the end?


Here are the facts:


1) Alfred had confided to Bruce earlier in the film that he had fantasized about going on holiday to Florence and seeing Bruce with a wife. He would know at that point that Bruce had made it. He did not want Bruce to return to Gotham, because he knew that only pain awaited him there. As the fantasy is shown in the film, the look-a-like person does not acknowledge Alfred.


2) Lucius Fox and Bruce talked a few times about the auto-pilot function not working properly on the Bat.


3) Batman utilizes the Bat to transport the active Atomic Bomb over the water and away from the city. The camera stays on the Bat for a bit, and Batman is not seen ejecting from the vehicle.


4) The camera goes to Batman still driving the plane. It is not clear how much time elapses in the plot of the movie, but the next scene shows only 5 seconds on the timer before detonation.


5) The Bomb explodes while clear from the city.


6) Bruce Wayne is burried (presumably not the body) with Lucius, Gordon & Alfred in attendance.


7) Gordon discovers that the bat signal is now repaired.


8) Lucius Fox learns from the technicians that Bruce Wayne had fixed the auto-pilot 6 months ago.


9) Alfred goes to Florence and makes eye contact with Bruce as he sits with Ms. Kyle. They don't say anything to eachother, but they each acknowledge eachother with a nod.


IMO, I don't think Alfred is imagining Bruce being there, based upon fact #8 and the acknowledment back from Bruce in #9. At the same time, I don't see how Batman could have exited the Bat in enough time in order to flee to safety. The expected radiation was said to be several miles for the bomb, and even if he jumped in the water moments before the blast, could he have survived?


I would be curious to hear people's thoughts. I loved the movie, and it is something that I found interesting.
 

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Heh, it's standard practice here at AVS that if you make a thread that screams spoilers will be revealed, then you don't need the spoiler tags in your post (or it's no different than the general movie thread).


Case in point: Bane is defeated, Talia is shown to be Ra's al Ghul's daughter carrying out his legacy, Robin starts his training for future adventures, Batman dies detonating an atom bomb, and somehow Bruce Wayne reveals he is still alive at the end with a pedestrian Catwoman at his side.


See? No need for tags!
 

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I had the exact same questions about the ending. But my friend who I saw the movie with mentioned that moments before the explosion and the mushroom cloud, he thought he saw what looked like the Bat flying up and disappearing, followed by the blast's flash and mushroom cloud. For a moment, I also felt that I saw something that looked like a film artifact at the top of the mushroom cloud, but once my friend mentioned that it might be the Bat flying off, it piqued my interest. Perhaps Batman could have just dropped the bomb at the right time so that it hit the water prior to detonation, partially shielding the radiation immediately at impact, and allowed the Bat to quickly fly off to relative safety.


I also thought the final sequence with Alfred in Florence was perhaps his imagination of what he hoped for Bruce. Just like the ending for Inception, was Alfred dreaming? The fact that Blake turned out to be Robin, and not the spiritual successor to the Batman mantle, I hope that the ending did indeed mean that Bruce/Batman survived the explosion.


While Nolan says he's done with the Dark Knight series, I sure hope to see more with Bale, Lewitt, Ann and Nolan kicking much arse along with Freeman and Cain in more Batman movies.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
True, I suppose it is possible that Batman could have dropped the bomb in the water and then flown directly up. I was trying to pay as much attention to the ending as possible the second time, because I was really trying to figure out how Bruce could have survived. I didn't see anything above the mushroom cloud, but it might be worth seeing the movie a third time to find out! Thanks!


The other interesting thing about the film is the reunion of so many of the Inception cast members. Batman Begins featured the Scarecrow, Alfred and Ra's Al Ghul (Ken W. portraying the ruse), the actors of which also appeared in Inception. Since Inception was so darn awesome, why not bring back 3 more of the cast members for the conclusion to the Dark Knight trilogy? The actors playing Talia, Robin and Bane all did terrific in Inception, and they compliminted The Dark Knight Rises extremely well. I loved how quirky the Scarecrow was in the beginning of The Dark Knight and near the end of The Dark Knight Rises!
 

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I took the ending for what it was portrayed as. I feel Bruce survived based on the fact that the autopilot had been fixed shortly after he had taken possession of it from the Applied Sciences division. Also he wrapped everything up so neatly, donating his mansion to orphaned boys, fixing the batsignal, giving coordinates to the batcave to Blake etc. His "retirement" had been carefully planned. He was tired of the Batman mantle and needed a way out. Remember how he stated several times that the Batman was a symbol to inspired others? What better way to inspired than to make the ultimate sacrifice?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by g-man5.1  /t/1421262/the-ending-of-the-dark-k...t-read-if-you-have-not-seen-yet#post_22240418


I took the ending for what it was portrayed as. I feel Bruce survived based on the fact that the autopilot had been fixed shortly after he had taken possession of it from the Applied Sciences division. Also he wrapped everything up so neatly, donating his mansion to orphaned boys, fixing the batsignal, giving coordinates to the batcave to Blake etc. His "retirement" had been carefully planned. He was tired of the Batman mantle and needed a way out. Remember how he stated several times that the Batman was a symbol to inspired others? What better way to inspired than to make the ultimate sacrifice?

Agreed. I think people are looking too far into the ending, expecting something to be hidden there. Why show the scene with Lucius discovering the autopilot was fixed unless Nolan wanted us to know that Wayne survived?
 

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My hope is that Nolan may not direct another Batman but be involved in the next script. I can see a "Batman Beyond" scenerio for the next movie- where Bruce trains Robin (Blake) to be the next Batman. I don't see a Batman/Robin movie.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SKoprowski  /t/1421262/the-ending-of-the-dark-k...t-read-if-you-have-not-seen-yet#post_22240662


My hope is that Nolan may not direct another Batman but be involved in the next script. I can see a "Batman Beyond" scenerio for the next movie- where Bruce trains Robin (Blake) to be the next Batman. I don't see a Batman/Robin movie.
Not very familiar with the whole Batman universe, do the comics say that Batman train Robin to succeed him as the caped crusader? I was under the impression that Blake would become the new Batman once Bruce was thought to have been killed, but the second the orphanage warden called him "Robin", it threw a wrench in the works in my assumptions.
 

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That scenerio is not in the comics at all- but I can see Nolan taking the scenerio from Batman Beyond where a retired Bruce trains a young guy to become the next Batman instead of the typical Robin joining Batman type thing. If you read the Batman comic books you can see where Nolan took bits and pieces from various comic book stories and combined them into a story of it's own. I can see him taking the Robin story line and instead of making him the traditional sidekick, actually making him a new Batman. Remember in the movie is was suggested Bruce Wayne wanted a relationship with kids and such. The ending siggested that maybe Bruce will have that with Selena now but I can see him involved with Blake and training him to be the next Batman. Who knows- or maybe forgo Batman all together and just have a series of Nightwing movies?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SKoprowski  /t/1421262/the-ending-of-the-dark-k...t-read-if-you-have-not-seen-yet#post_22240697


or maybe forgo Batman all together and just have a series of Nightwing movies?
I'd love to see a Nightwing movie (or trilogy). For those who don't know, Nightwing is the superhero that Dick Grayson became after outgrowing Robin.




John Blake isn't Dick Grayson. He isn't Robin (I mean, besides a first name he never uses). So it would be refreshing to give audiences a superhero that hasn't been in films before: Nightwing.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pennynike1  /t/1421262/the-ending-of-the-dark-k...t-read-if-you-have-not-seen-yet#post_22240284


True, I suppose it is possible that Batman could have dropped the bomb in the water and then flown directly up. I was trying to pay as much attention to the ending as possible the second time, because I was really trying to figure out how Bruce could have survived. I didn't see anything above the mushroom cloud, but it might be worth seeing the movie a third time to find out! Thanks!

Well I did the unthinkable, my wife and I finally decided to go see it a second time today! I must be crazy
I think that's the first time I've done this in my life, seeing a film twice on the same day lol. ...Which brings me to the ending, it's actually pretty clear that he survives, and it's pretty clear there's nothing above the mushroom cloud. The only thing that's certain is that a bat with the bomb attached to it is heading to the ocean. When it suddenly appears from the exploding building, I'm 100% convinced that the Bat is empty and is on auto-pilot. When we see him inside his cockpit, he's in a second Bat (most likely the one that gets inspected by Lucius afterwards?) Just one last trick from the Batman... ...And the bat sign when Gordon sees it's been fixed, the expression on Anne Hathaway's face (who is wearing the necklace) when Bruce and Alfred acknowledge each other at the restaurant, it's just too obvious there's no ambiguity at all. Bottom line Batman died but that just made room for Bruce to start living a normal life, as Alfred mentioned him several times by the way. As for Robin, I think the ending suggests that he's going to take over and become the new Batman (Bruce even told him it "could be anyone"), instead of "being Robin the sidekick". I don't know where WB is going to go from that point, and I know Christopher Nolan has said he might be involved in future installments but probably not as the director, as well as Christian Bale who recently said (at the TDKR premiere if I'm not mistaken) that he's probably done with the character but never say never, specially if Nolan were to direct again. For now I think the trilogy ended perfectly for Bruce Wayne and the "Batman symbol". And Anne Hathaway is just........hmmmm......
I love these films
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morpheo  /t/1421262/the-ending-of-the-dark-k...t-read-if-you-have-not-seen-yet#post_22241838


As for Robin, I think the ending suggests that he's going to take over and become the new Batman (Bruce even told him it "could be anyone"), instead of "being Robin the sidekick".
I don't think it matters whether Blake becomes Robin or a new Batman or something else (Nightwing), the main point is that Gotham City will still have a protector. At the end of the movie, Blake is there as a symbol of hope, not necessarily an indicator of a particular superhero that he might become.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani  /t/1421262/the-ending-of-the-dark-k...t-read-if-you-have-not-seen-yet#post_22241898


I don't think it matters whether Blake becomes Robin or a new Batman or something else (Nightwing), the main point is that Gotham City will still have a protector. At the end of the movie, Blake is there as a symbol of hope, not necessarily an indicator of a particular superhero that he might become.

Oh I agree, it's just the way I interpreted it: mostly because the bat sign has been fixed, so as you said Gotham still has a protector, and the sign + "Batman could be anyone" leads us to believe that the person behind the mask may not be the same but he must, or at least for now he does, live on.
 

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My take is is Alfred did see them and Bruce learned how to be Bruce again. Several points were made about fresh starts and "anybody" being the bat. I also read Bale is credited as Bruce Wayne in the credits not Bruce/Batman (which IMDB would also reflect upon a little digging).
 

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My feeling was that the various clues at the end were meant to be ambiguous, not so much "you'll find the answer if you put the pieces together." Did he or didn't he survive? If we do another sequel, we'll say he did because we left the possibility open, kind of thing.


As for Alfred at the end seeing Bruce, it seemed most reasonably taken to me as a sort of fantasy sequence. Alfred's grief in front of Bruce's grave seemed to genuine, so the fairly unsurprised reaction he has to seeing Bruce at the end doesn't seem to mix with that. His actions have the expectation of a fantasy playing out, rather than truly seeing someone you were sure was dead when you stood at his grave.


BTW, thinking about these aspects of the film reminds me of the difference between this film, a typical Nolan film, and Ridley Scott's Prometheus. Both want to talk about large or deep themes. But so many parts of Prometheus seemed lazy and poorly motivated that it gives me little confidence there was a truly coherent story there to uncover. With Nolan, though, he takes plot as number one priority (as he says he's trying to go for complexity/density in plot in the same way BladeRunner did it with visuals). I DO have confidence that Nolan is a brilliant guy who really has carefully thought out his stories, and so I'm willing to put the effort into uncovering the clues.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness  /t/1421262/the-ending-of-the-dark-k...t-read-if-you-have-not-seen-yet#post_22242863


As for Alfred at the end seeing Bruce, it seemed most reasonably taken to me as a sort of fantasy sequence. Alfred's grief in front of Bruce's grave seemed to genuine, so the fairly unsurprised reaction he has to seeing Bruce at the end doesn't seem to mix with that. His actions have the expectation of a fantasy playing out, rather than truly seeing someone you were sure was dead when you stood at his grave.

Alfred's reaction was genuine because at that point he didn't know that Bruce might still be alive. OTOH, we can assume that Bruce knew by now exactly where Alfred would go for his vacation, he could probably track him easily. But just like Selina had to disappear to start over, so did Bruce. Besides, why would Alfred see her with Bruce in Italy since he had no idea they were together. When Bruce "fired" Alfred, we were still with the Miranda story. Alfred couldn't know Selina and Bruce were going to be together, so he wouldn't have her in his fantasy. Finally, the necklace was still missing...and she was wearing it at the restaurant. The only ambiguity imo is that Bruce "vanished", but yet he made sure to let his loved ones know he was still around. Alfred and his fantasy was also the ultimate dream for Bruce: living a normal life with the woman he loves. The ending also tells us that Bruce is forgiving Alfred for Rachel's letter. The scene is also symbolic that he made piece with the only father figure he had left, Alfred. I do agree that the last scene even reminds us of Inception (is it real or not?), but I think it's much less ambiguous than it seems this time. Batman had to die for Bruce to finally live his life and that's exaclty what happens imo. That doesn't mean we won't miss "the Batman", but Bruce deserved some happiness, and his story arc ended perfectly.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morpheo  /t/1421262/the-ending-of-the-dark-k...t-read-if-you-have-not-seen-yet#post_22242091


Oh I agree, it's just the way I interpreted it: mostly because the bat sign has been fixed, so as you said Gotham still has a protector, and the sign + "Batman could be anyone" leads us to believe that the person behind the mask may not be the same but he must, or at least for now he does, live on.
That was my initial thought as well, based on the conversation between Wayne and Blake in the car. A couple of things changed my mind: everybody saw Batman die, even erected a statue in tribute to his sacrifice, so the new superhero that Blake becomes will have to be different (maybe bat-themed, but not the Batman); also, I don't think there would be any reason to let the audience know that R. John Blake's first name is Robin, unless it is a clue that he's going to carve out his own superhero persona.


BTW, it feels weird referring to some of these characters as "superheroes" in Nolan's universe, since none of them have super powers. The main thing that makes them "super" seems to be the will to do more than most to combat evil. If and when Blake dons a costume, that's what will separate him from other citizens of Gotham.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness  /t/1421262/the-ending-of-the-dark-k...t-read-if-you-have-not-seen-yet#post_22242863


As for Alfred at the end seeing Bruce, it seemed most reasonably taken to me as a sort of fantasy sequence.
Do you feel that way about the sequences surrounding it: Gordon finding a repaired Bat-signal, Fox being told that Bruce Wayne had fixed the auto-pilot 6 months ago, Blake arriving at the Bat-cave? Or do you think that those sequences are meant to be real and Nolan dropped one fantasy sequence amongst them?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani  /t/1421262/the-ending-of-the-dark-k...t-read-if-you-have-not-seen-yet#post_22243170


A couple of things changed my mind: everybody saw Batman die, even erected a statue in tribute to his sacrifice, .

[edit] just adding this line cause the message preview gives the spoiler away.



everybody? ...I think nobody saw him die. What everybody saw was the bat and the bomb explode at sea. But nobody actually saw Batman die. And nobody knew the auto-pilot was fixed either except Bruce.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani  /t/1421262/the-ending-of-the-dark-k...t-read-if-you-have-not-seen-yet#post_22243213


Do you feel that way about the sequences surrounding it: Gordon finding a repaired Bat-signal, Fox being told that Bruce Wayne had fixed the auto-pilot 6 months ago, Blake arriving at the Bat-cave? Or do you think that those sequences are meant to be real and Nolan dropped one fantasy sequence amongst them?

I don't know. Morpheo brought up some interesting clues that I missed.


Though, the first time we see Alfred in that scenario it IS a fantasy sequence, and the timing and set up and action of the final Alfred sequence flows just like that of the first fantasy sequence...coincidentally enough. And, as I said, Alfred's muted virtually expectant reaction just didn't strike me as realistic or consistent with the emotional realism of all his other scenes. It played very dream like. Further, while throwing in a fantasy sequence may seem weird among some other more realistic subtle clues - doesn't it seem just as weird if it is supposed to be seen as unambiguously true? You get these subtle ambiguous hints that he COULD be still alive and then...BLAT...a balmy image showing him alive and having a good time in the middle of it! Ambiguity and subtlety gone, which doesn't seem to fit the tone being forged in those last scenes. So it seems to me that it was played at least ambiguously, which leaves us wondering if it actually happened.


Just to add: Remember that in Alfred's first telling of his fantasy desire to see Bruce in the cafe, it actually references the fact Alfred IMAGINED seeing Bruce there - then the guy turns around and it's not Bruce. Since he imagined the first one, the second time could be depicting him imagining again.
 
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