In The Dark Knight,

Jim Gordon is apparently killed in the line of duty.

When the city calls for Batman to be arrested, Harvey Dent turns himself in as Batman before Bruce has a chance.

During transport, the Joker and his men attack the transport. When the Joker is apprehended, it is revealed that

Jim Gordon is not only still alive, but that he was the driver of the truck transporting Harvey Dent. The conversation between Dent and Gordon indicates that Dent seemingly had no idea of Gordon's plan.


Dent: You DO like to play things close to the chest.

It is also revealed at this point that

Gordon's family did not know about the ruse.

The most obvious answer is that Batman and Gordon came up with the plan, but Bruce had originally intended to turn himself in.

Who was involved in this plan, and what was the original plan (when did Gordon intend to reveal the truth)?

Specific points to consider:

  • The police were attempting to prevent any fatalities at the funeral. He had no way to know who else might be attacked there. If events hadn't unfolded exactly as they did, this plan could never be put into motion. (h/t to Deion for pointing this out.)
  • No one seemed to expect Dent to turn himself in.
  • While the convoy attack wasn't completely unexpected, there was no guarantee.
  • If Bruce had turned himself in, Batman would not have been able to assist defending the convoy attack.
  • It is only because the Joker was apprehended that Gordon's plan could be revealed.
  • 4
    I would add to the list that Gordon couldn't know that the Joker was going to attack at the commissioner's funeral, so it's dubious how he could have prepared to feign his death at that precise event.
    – Kreann
    Nov 19, 2014 at 16:14
  • 1
    @Deion, actually Gordon did know that the Joker was going to attack the mayor at the funeral because he put it in the paper. After the commissioner is killed, there's a scene in which the Joker is heard via recording to "go to 8th and Orchard, you'll find Harvey Dent there". Gordon and his team show up to discover two dead paramedics with a culminated name of Harvey Dent. In the apartment, they find a news paper headlining the mayor's attendance of Loeb's memorial service the next day.
    – Robert
    Nov 19, 2014 at 16:28
  • 3
    He knew that there would be an attack on the mayor. They did not know the exact method of attack.
    – phantom42
    Nov 19, 2014 at 16:30
  • 4
    Are we sure he had a plan? I always envisioned him truly getting shot and then pulling the same trick that Nick Fury did in Cap2: getting the doctors to declare him dead, making the most of an unexpected opportunity. The idea could have formed when he woke up (or was resuscitated) in the hospital, more of a "just don't tell anyone I woke up" sort of thing. In that case, there wouldn't have been a long-term plan, he would have just been biding his time, calling in favors with people he could trust, and waiting for an opportunity to turn the tables on the Joker. No proof, but its how I read it.
    – Nerrolken
    Nov 19, 2014 at 17:21
  • 3
    @phantom42, if Gordon couldn't get a chance of being killed, maybe he could still have pretended to be the van driver anyway (nobody checked the ID of that swat driver?). So I think we are giving to much importance to the "being killed: feign death" part of the plan to answer this question. Gordon possibly could have gone along with other parts of the plan or other plan if needed.
    – Kreann
    Nov 19, 2014 at 17:54

1 Answer 1


I think Gordon's plan was to lure the Joker out so that the real Batman could take him down. As the Joker said, he actually thought that Dent was Batman because of the interaction in Bruce's penthouse. Plus the Joker was still trying to get Dent, so if he could kill him during the convoy attack, he's getting rid of two birds with one stone, so to speak. Gordon also didn't want his family to be placed in the line of fire, the police commissioner had just been killed and Gordon was obviously the next person in line for the job. This is something he knew, so, instead of placing a target on his family, he faked his death so that the Joker would believe that the police had no leader. I think that Bruce did know of the plan and that it was just he and Gordon who knew. Remember, Gordon didn't trust anyone in the police department, which left Batman as the only person he did trust.

I think that Bruce's desire to turn himself in was genuine and was actually going against the plan that he and Gordon has established. If Bruce had succeeded in turning himself in, the plan would have been ruined and there never would have been a convoy for the Joker to attack as he wasn't interested in taking Batman out.

Gordon probably would have stayed in hiding for as long as it took to catch the Joker. If you remember, he didn't reveal himself to everyone until he saw his opportunity. Had Batman not shown up during the attack and the convoy escaped, chances are, Gordon would have still been in hiding. But the Joker got distracted and Gordon saw his chance to finally capture him.

  • 1
    If Bruce knew about the plan why was he there as Batman, hiding in shadows, when the policemen went to tell Ms. Gordon about the news?
    – Kreann
    Nov 19, 2014 at 16:20
  • Perhaps to put on a charade in case someone saw him.
    – Robert
    Nov 19, 2014 at 16:25
  • 1
    I'm a little confused here. You say that the Joker thought Dent was Batman and was still trying to get him, but that the Joker wouldn't have attacked the convoy if he thought Batman was in the convoy.
    – phantom42
    Nov 19, 2014 at 16:25
  • When Batman is interrogating the Joker, the Joker says "you know, for a while there, I really thought you were Dent, the way you threw yourself after her." Referencing the attack at Bruce's penthouse. The Joker's attack on the convoy was strictly to kill Harvey Dent not Batman, in fact, it's made clear that the Joker doesn't really care who Batman is. If Bruce had turned himself in, there would be no Batman to get in his way, as you said. Therefore, Harvey wouldn't have even been in the convoy and would have been attacked at a different location.
    – Robert
    Nov 19, 2014 at 16:34
  • 2
    After re-reading like 8 times, I think I finally understand what you're trying to say: the Joker wanted Dent specifically. This, however, still leaves the question unanswered: how long would Gordon have remained in hiding?
    – phantom42
    Nov 19, 2014 at 16:45

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