In the end of Watchmen, Rorschach begs Dr. Manhatten to kill him.

After watching the scene with the doctor in the prison, I am wonding if that little girl being murdered so heinously made him suicidal. He did say this:

What ever was left of Walter Kovacs died that night with that little girl.

At the end he begs Dr. Manhatten to kill him.

Was he suicidal?

  • I wouldn't say he was suicidal. More like he realised that there was no other way out for him given his somewhat warped sense of justice. He was stuck between two impossible choices. It's been a while since I read / watched the book / movie....but just searching the title of this question will get you a lot of answers with different but similar theories.
    – Paulie_D
    May 6, 2017 at 13:43
  • @Paulie_D Any reservations to fleshing that out into a proper answer?
    – Napoleon Wilson
    May 6, 2017 at 15:59
  • @NapoleonWilson Only that I don't know the subject matter well enough. Just my recollections of the novel and a quick bit of research. if no-one else takes a stab I may make an attempt in a day or so.
    – Paulie_D
    May 6, 2017 at 16:02
  • @Paulie_D Yeah, I have not read the book . So an answer from there would be very welcome.
    – KyloRen
    May 6, 2017 at 23:48

2 Answers 2


The movie, due to time limitations, does not show all the conversations between Rorschach and the psychiatrist. Rorschach dislikes him because he keeps calling him Walter Kovaks. The doctor tries to understand why Kovaks created Rorschach, thinking of it as just a "dissociative identity disorder", while Rorschach sees in a different way: until that moment (when he realized the girl was dead), he was "Kovaks pretending to be Rorschach". From that moment, only Rorschach existed.enter image description here

So he is just explaining that he does not relate to his old name anymore, he's Rorschach all the time.

Never compromise

As @Paulie_D says, he's not suicidal, he is just in a dead end: He will never lie about the responsible of the killings even if that causes a Word War III. And he also knows that Dr. Manhattan has already made up his mind and he won't let Rorschach tell the truth, so he prefers to die rather than break his principles. enter image description here


At the end he begs Dr. Manhatten to kill him.

Does he?

Rorschach and Nite Owl are two sides of the same character root inspiration - Batman (not discussing the Charleton characters here)

Nite Owl is the rich, 60s toy/gadget part of the Dark Knight story, Rorschach is the early/late revenge driven version.

Rorschach is much more successful as a vigilante than Nite Owl as he has the strategic mind required, and Nite Owl acknowledges this:

Tactically Rorschach was brilliant

He also won't let a small thing like the end of the world stop the truth coming out:

Never compromise

Before Rorschach and Nite Owl head to Antarctica, he posts his journal to the "New Frontiersman" saying whatever happens from that point is down to Veidt, and is a plot.

Veidt Responsible

Once Veidt's plan is enacted Rorschach knows the others will remain silent, and will stop him from speaking in the name of peace.

He therefore decides to sacrifice himself, to distract the others from stopping his journal reaching the public (which is about to happen at the end of the story). His last message to the New Frontiersman is he expects to die.

enter image description here

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