Originally Posted by BatLobsterRises
In addition to what Anno said, I think it's very important that fear was essentially the key to Bruce's rise. After years of being numb to fear and using it against his enemies, he had to finally allow it back in. He had to stare down into that abyss and feel the fear of death to give him that extra push back into the light he so desperately needed. It's how he was able to get out of the pit, regain his humanity and basically earn a second shot at life.
You know, you're right. And the best part is, this is legitimate as it draws on both Alfred and Bane's early dialogue to him. I like that. Adds punch.
It seems fear did have an important part to play, even if I wouldn't necessarily say it was the returning 'theme'.
The theme of the film, to me, seemed to be desolation.