In Nolan's The Dark Knight, when the Joker kidnapped Harvey Dent and Rachel Dawes and trapped them in a weird oil drum showroom:

  • Why did Batman tell Gordon that he was going to save Rachel and they should go for Harvey, but instead it appeared to me they both went for Harvey?

  • My question is why did he do that? If Harvey was so important and Rachel was not he could have just gone to save Harvey and sent Gordon to save Rachel.

This scene totally confused me.

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    You weren't the only person confused by this scene. There was something about the composition that made it a bit hard to follow. James Sheridan has set you on the right path. Aug 11, 2013 at 6:56
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    I never thought this scene was confusing. Gordon asks who Batman is going to save. Batman says "Rachel". Gordon yells to his officers "We're going after Dent". Batman gets to the site in time to realize that the Joker lied, but he saves Dent any. Gordon doesn't have a Batman motorcycle, so he arrives too late to save Rachel. The Joker lied because he wanted Dent to live and lose his mind over Rachel's death, and he knew that Batman and Rachel had something going on.
    – Wad Cheber
    Aug 31, 2015 at 18:08
  • 1
    "...he saves Dent anyway"
    – Wad Cheber
    Oct 24, 2015 at 16:03

5 Answers 5


Batman (Bruce Wayne) loved Rachel Dawes, so he decided to save her and left Dent for the Gotham Police Department to save. They didn't both try to save Dent; Gordon went after Dent while Wayne went after Dawes, but The Joker lied about who was located where. Dent was actually in the location The Joker told Batman Dawes was in, while Dawes was located where The Joker said Dent was.

  • 3
    oooo that's why i love joker thank's
    – Deiknymi
    Aug 11, 2013 at 4:07
  • they showed showed up to the location where Rachel was but they were late to save her and the oil drum showroom blasted
    – Deiknymi
    Aug 11, 2013 at 7:43
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    Actually, Joker himself didn't knew who was where. He just ordered his men to kidnap and trap them. Joker just knew addresses but didn't know who was where. Batman and Gordon just went in different directions that's it. Jul 2, 2015 at 9:00
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    @GuruGulabKhatri: I don't think that's true. Do you have a source? Feb 13, 2016 at 18:37
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    I know this post is very old but I just saw this post. James Sheridan is right here. The Joker definitely knew that Bruce loved Rachel. During the interrogation scene the Joker says "You know for a while there I thought you really were Dent. The way you threw yourself after her." Later on he also says "Does Harvey know about you and his little bunny".
    – SpeedForce
    Aug 26, 2021 at 22:03

I've frequently heard the idea that the Joker didn't switch the addresses when he told Batman the locations of Harvey and Rachel, but he did:

In the interrogation room, Joker tells Batman that Harvey is at 250 52nd Street and that Rachel is on Avenue X.

Later in the movie the female cop calls Gordon's wife and tells her to go to 250 52nd Street, where she ends up being taken hostage by Harvey. Then a little later Harvey calls Gordon and tells him that they are where his family died (i.e. where Rachel died).

So: the Joker definitely told Batman the wrong addresses.

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    Also, the Joker admitted to lying. He said his head was fuZy or something due to Batman punching him.
    – Wad Cheber
    Oct 24, 2015 at 16:05
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    If you look at the address clearly, its 50 50 meaning half and half. like the coin. do you go for the girl or the person who is truly important.
    – user63350
    Mar 16, 2016 at 10:53
  • Thanks. Without contrary proof, I believed that both went after Dent (in case one didn't make it). I am left confused by the final desperate scene in which Batman says "we decided to act" and doesn't point out that the Joker fooled them and played them all (Harvey included) like a fiddle. Feb 7, 2020 at 8:27

The Batman chose to save Rachel so, he went after her. But the Joker was clever enough to know that Batman would try to save Rachel. So, he (the Joker) lied to Batman about the locations. He swapped them. He said

He is at 250, 52nd street and she.....is on Avenue X, at Cicero.

Actually, it was the opposite of what he said. So, Batman went to save Rachel but found Dent instead.

The Joker knew that Batman loved Rachel, so the Joker wanted to inflict mental pain on the Batman by killing Rachel.

  • The existing answers cover all of this.
    – Dan C
    Feb 18, 2015 at 21:46

The Joker wanted to hurt Batman. The Joker gave Batman the address, but the Joker knew they were in opposite location and tricked Batman again. When Batman ran into the building. Did you see the look on Batman's face when he saw it was Dent?

  • This adds absolutely nothing not covered by the previous answers. Dec 7, 2014 at 4:08

I was sure that it was because Dent was better for Gotham. He was a successful politician bringing good change, so he was better for the city and that Batman couldn't let his feelings over ride a logical choice. Of course this event corrupted Dent and the Joker points out how the Batman is the most true one of them all (Last scene with the Joker), but Batman had to do what was best for Gotham.

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    Hello and welcome to Scifi.SE! Did you not notice that the Joker actually switched the addresses he gave to Batman, thus the Batman actually saved Dent unintentionally ?
    – Kalissar
    Aug 12, 2013 at 10:36
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    No, it does sound like something he'd do but i thought it was batman being clever. :P And thanks. Aug 12, 2013 at 12:45
  • Not very clever to chance Rachel's death, if Batman loved her. Worth a rewatch of the film.
    – Ihor Sypko
    Sep 4, 2013 at 19:59

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