The Dark Knight is considered by many to be one of the best Batman movies ever made. If anything, most people at least would agree that the Joker store the show. To understand what Batman had to do to make the chaos go away, you have to understand why he was “not the hero we deserve.”
When a lot of people think about superheroes, they think about the bright side of being one. What comes to mind is the glory and the girls. But what people don’t think about as much is the downside to being a superhero. Sometimes to be the hero in life, you have to fall on the sword and seem like the villain.
The Background Leading Up To Not The Hero We Deserve
Early on in the movie, when Harvey Dent is having dinner with Bruce Wayne, he talks about how there is no way Batman wants to be Batman forever. Little did he know he was right, and he wanted to give up the role so that he could be with the lady he loved.
He goes on to speak about how “you either die a hero, or you live long enough to become the villain.” Little did Harvey Dent know that he was speaking about his own fate and the fate of Batman at the same time. The line hits hard and is relatable because we often live in an unrealistic way to stay as the hero on top forever.
We expect our favorite athletes and teams to stay on top, and we expect the same from our heroes. But here is the problem, it never works that way. There eventually comes a time where you either start to slip and you fall from your mantle, or you have to step away altogether. Think about Barry Sanders, and he retired from the Detroit Lions in the middle of his prime. He decided to try and die as the hero and walk away, but the fans made him a villain.
As the movie goes on, you see the Joker is creating chaos through lies and deception. His goal is to bring Gotham through its knees but turning Harvey Dent into a monster. He manages to break Harvey by killing his girl, and Harvey Dent becomes Two-Face.
There is More To The Story
Once Harvey Dent goes on a mini-killing spree trying to find who killed his girl, he eventually lands on Commissioner Gordon and his family. He threatens to kill his son and daughter, and he wants Gordon to tell them everything will be ok when he knows things won’t be. Luckily, Batman saves his family and knocks Harvey Dent down to his death.
Batman and Commissioner Gordon discuss his death afterward. Commissioner Gordon wants to tell everyone who Harvey Dent really is, and that’s because his family was almost killed. But Batman sees it differently. He knows that all along, The Joker wanted to turn Harvey Dent into a bad person. He wanted to show everyone that Gotham’s Best and their White Knight could be corrupted easily.
It would break the people of Gotham to know the truth because if he could fall, it means that any person could. Batman knew how hard that would be, so he told the commissioner to tell the people that he killed Harvey Dent and to leave the truth in the dirt.
Not The Hero We Deserve
At this point, Batman takes off, as Commissioner Gordon calls it, in that they must chase Batman. His son is confused and wonders why they have to chase after the hero? His Father says because he is the hero Gotham deserves but not the one it needs right now.
You can tell the kid is confused, and I would not be surprised if a lot of the audience were as well. But essentially, because Gotham is so corrupt that it has to throw Batman under the bus, commissioner Gordon is wrong.
Batman is not the hero we deserve, but he is the one that they need. Batman is willing to throw his entire reputation under the bus to give the people of Gotham hope.
Not many people will do this. Most people want to take all the glory when good things happen but want to pass the blame when bad things happen. Batman is doing the opposite. He is passing the glory to others that he is due. Then he is turning around and taking the blame for the dirt of others.
The Moral of The Story
One of the biggest lessons you can take from the ending scene of the Dark Knight is that being a hero is so much more than saving the day. To be a true hero, you have to be willing to save the day and have no one know you did it. There is a beautiful saying that goes, “it’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets the credit.
Batman was able to save the day and allow the people of Gotham to maintain their hope. But he did not get to be the most beloved person in town as a result of it. What are you stopping yourself from doing because maybe you will not get all the credit for doing so?
Focus on doing what is right for the great good of society first. The truth always comes to light, and you will eventually get the recognition you deserve. Even if you don’t, you can sleep well at night knowing you did the right thing.
The After Math of The Hero We Deserve
In the Dark Knight Rises, Bain exposes Commissioner Gordon and his lies. It becomes apparent that Harvey Dent locked up a lot of people based on a lie. He himself was even worse than many of the criminals he locked away, but they concealed that information.
What Batman meant for Good almost ended up turning against him a bit. It would have been better if the people were just given the truth. What Batman gave the people was temporary hope, but Batman stepped up in the movie to be the true hero the city needed and deserved.