I recently rewatched Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight movie, and a particular scene caught my attention. In this scene, the Joker provides Batman with the locations of two hostages: Harvey Dent and Rachel Dawes. However, he deliberately lies about who is at each location, leading to a tragic outcome.

My question is: What was the Joker's motive in misleading Batman about the hostage locations? Was it simply to create chaos and moral dilemmas, or was there a deeper narrative or thematic reason behind this choice?

  • 3
    Isn’t there a whole thing in that movie about sowing chaos or something? Commented Jan 18 at 12:07
  • Because he's a bastard
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 18 at 12:38
  • 1
    He was only joking?
    – komodosp
    Commented Jan 18 at 12:41
  • 2
    "Some men just want to watch the world burn." Commented Jan 18 at 14:11
  • @ToddWilcox He talks about being an agent of chaos — but then he gives several different versions of his origin story, he claims never to plan anything, and to let fate decide, and so we clearly can't believe anything he says.  Like some political leaders, he clearly just says whatever he thinks will cause the right effect in whoever he's talking to at that moment.
    – gidds
    Commented Jan 18 at 15:37

1 Answer 1


He is an agent of chaos, just upsetting things up or burning them down as he goes; in his own words, he is a dog who chases cars and won't know what to do if he catches it.

He told Harvey he isn't a man with a plan, and in the ship scene (with the bombs on them), he has a full-fledged plan to show Batman he's wrong. So, it all comes down to his chaotic mind, and a bit of a brilliant plan, which will work if enough disorder is there.

He switched identities; Batman went to save Rachel, which turned out to be Dent, leading him to slowly believe Batman and Gordon killed Rachel by not getting to her first, which was cemented by Joker coming to him in the hospital.

"Some men just want to watch the world burn."

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