In Dark Knight Rises, after Bane defeated Batman, he snapped Batman's spine, or at least sprained it seriously. In the pit, we see someone push his spine (or something) back in.

How long did Batman spend in the pit (in order for him to recover)? The pit wasn't mentioned as Lazarus pit, was it?

I assume at least 6 months, because that was the time mentioned for the nuclear core to be destabilized.


3 Answers 3


About 5 months.

So, there have been quite a few confusions about the actual length of Bane's occupation of Gotham and Bruce's time in the pit. So let's go through the movie step by step and summarize all the hints about the chronology in order to wipe out any unclarities:

  • Shortly after Bruce is thrown into the pit Bane starts carrying out his plan. When Bane and Pavel force the board members to hand over the reactor, Bane explicitly states that it will take about 5 months for the core to deteriorate (they don't tell this anyone else, though, especially not the government or the Gothamites, since the belief that it will just go over and regulate itself is the whole reason for the government's policy of appeasement and waiting):

    Bane: Pull the core out of the reactor!
    Dr. Pavel: No, you cannot! This is the only power source capable of sustaining it. If you move it, the core will decay in a matter of months.
    Bane: Five by my calculations.

  • Furthermore, the 57 that many seem to remember is shown during Bane's speech in front of Blackgate Prison (which is some time after the takeover). However, it is not the number of days, but most probably the number of minutes, as can be deduced from the next number being the seconds because they count down right during this very scene.

    enter image description here

    There are further numbers above those 57:3X, clearly recognizable as 03:14:22.

    The following might be a bit speculative: It is not entirely clear what those numbers mean, but they could stand for months, days and hours. So at this point we would have about ~3.5 months (or ~105 days) left. But we also have to consider that green/red circle which counts down along with the timer. If we assume (though, not know) it started at a full circle, it already has lost about 1 quarter and thus the timer would have started at ~4.66 months (~140 days), which fits to Bane's approximation (whenever that month was lost already, either before carrying out the plan or between the takeover and the Blackgate speech).

  • Next, after some scenes of Bruce slowly recovering his ability to stand again, we see scenes of Gotham already in winter, presumably after some time has passed (considering that football season is in autumn). After that we see Bruce again, training in his cell. When he watches the TV and before he makes his first climbing attempt, the TV news headline says (sorry, again no HD footage for you, but it's also in the script):


  • And this fits also with the next scene in Gotham: the arrival of the Spec-Ops team with the supply shipment. In this scene the trapped police force is mentioned and a rough estimate of 3 months of occupation is given (which might be rather approximate):

    soldier: Men who haven't seen daylight in three months.
    Blake: Police officers who haven't seen daylight in three months.

    And in fact in the next scene Lucius Fox tells them pretty accurately there's only 23 days left:

    Fox: As the device's fuel cells deteriorate it becomes increasingly unstable, to the point of detonation. [...] And it will go off in 23 days, regardless of Bane's revolution or what we or the outside world choose to do.

    So this makes about 4 months, again fitting to our previous computations (including a bit of a lax estimate of 3 months and the approximate month we might have lost before all the takeover).

  • After Bruce sees the footage of the hanged Spec-Ops team he destroys the TV and makes his second failing attempt at climbing out, followed by the successful ropeless climb. The next thing we see is Comissioner Gordon talking about doing something against the bomb as the time closes:

    Gordon: The bomb goes off tomorrow, we have about 18 hours to do something.

    Which is shortly before he gets captured and the movie's showdown unfolds.

I tried to put all this information into a timeline diagram of all the major events since Bruce's capture (beware, not exactly on scale), which does not explain everything exactly but gives some reasonable understanding of how the various events are chronologically connected:

enter image description here

Though, in the movie the time between the reactor theft, the football game and the storm on Blackgate seems much more compressed (in the way it's staged and intercut), so that estimate of already ~1 month passed at the Blackgate speech might not be entirely accurate and the overall time span till the explosion might have been little more than 4 months. But seeing the rather approximate usage of the word "month", Nolan's penchant for cross-cutting between scenes for raising tension, and that not all chronological connections are entirely clear, at the bottom line Bane's 5 month estimate (at least 4 at minimum) still seems a sufficiently reliable source for the overall duration of Bruce's time in the pit.

The pit wasn't mentioned as Lazarus pit, was it?

As to this, no, it wasn't mentioned specifically, but you are certainly not the only one to draw that connection, especially since it didn't just have physical regenerative effects but even more so a mental one (putting Bruce in the position to finally "pick himself up" from the well he once fell into).

  • As for the Lazarus put, was Bruce's leg healed after escaping? Sep 14, 2015 at 22:32
  • 1
    @DustinDavis "was Bruce's leg healed after escaping" - I don't know, but he certainly didn't have a mechanical knee brace anymore, or did he? But at the end of the day, the nature as a lazarus pit was still rather metaphorical and not so much with actual magical healing abilities. But sure, he regenerated quite a bit physically, due to the time and the execises (driven by his will). (And of course he even more so regenerated emotionally.) But the Lazarus pit aspect is discussed closer in that other question, I didn't really consider it a major aspect of this one.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Sep 14, 2015 at 22:35

The specific timeline is never revealed, but it is within a few weeks.

Bane and Pavel tell everyone publicly that the bomb will take 6 months to deteriorate by itself. Lucius Fox, however, explains that the core will overheat and detonate in 54 days if it is not reconnected to the full generator. The number of days remaining can be seen on the countdown timer on the core.

While R'as Al Ghul is typically associated with the Lazarus Pit, I believe the prison depicted is meant to be a reference to Santa Prisca, where Bane was born in the comics.

  • But didn't J. Gordon Levitt or somebody talking to him mention that already 3 months passed at some point during the occupation?
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jul 26, 2012 at 19:22
  • Not that I recall, but I may have missed it. Anyone else remember for sure?
    – phantom42
    Jul 26, 2012 at 19:26
  • I saw the film last night and someone definitely said "3 months" - however I am sure Wayne was still in prison at that point. Was the "54 days" you mentioned before the core was removed, or later on (e.g. in the 3 months part)? Jul 29, 2012 at 18:52
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    The time Bane mentions is right. Bruce Wayne returns sometime in the winter, and all the events before the mentioned fight occur during the fall or even summer(remember the way people were dressed). I remember the time was 5 months, but I can't come with a quote.
    – Dragos
    Jul 30, 2012 at 11:40
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    Logically we can assume the bomb was started in late Sept - Oct since football starts in August however most season games do not start until after Labor Day. Also the way people where dress since Gotham is more or less NYC. So assuming the same climate the way people where dress would point towards that time frame. As for the time of batman's return it would have to be Jan, Feb for the river to be frozen all the way across. Jul 31, 2012 at 15:27

It was 3 months- I am watching it right now and Joseph Gordon Levitt's character is talking to the cops/agents who came with the emergency food shipment with the commissioner in the room as well. They are talking about the 3000 cops in the tunnels who "haven't seen daylight in 3 months." Which makes sense because as a previous poster said football season is in the early fall and was just beginning to snow so that means it is around early December.

  • But the incident with the SpecOps team was some time before the final showdown, wasn't it? So there could have passed some months after it, no?
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jun 16, 2013 at 18:56

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