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Old 05-15-2013, 10:10 PM   #297
Snow Queen
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Default Re: The TDKR General Discussion Thread - - - - - - - - - - - - - Part 14

Originally Posted by Excelsior. View Post
I thought it was pretty cut and dry. Gotham will need a new Batman, because the people can't take care of themselves, and their structures will fail those who want to do good (Blake).

This was undoubtedly meant to be ironic, juxtaposed with a scared populace awkwardly coming out of their holes after having done nothing to save themselves.
Maybe I'm just crazy here but I have a very different interpretation of the ending. To quote myself:

Now, let us examine the final shot of the entire trilogy: Blake rising on the platform in the Batcave. The obvious symbolism here is that Blake is going to become the next Batman, the new Dark Knight rising. But let's look a little deeper, specifically at what is around him during this shot. Water. An element important to the film is ice, even going so far as to have it as what forms the Batsymbol in the title. In the previous films, the symbol has been made of bats and explosions. This signifies something about Bruce in every case. I don't think I need to explain Begins. But for The Dark Knight, the explosions symbolize Bruce's self destruction in progress as he dives too far into Batman. In The Dark Knight Rises, the ice cracking symbolizes Bruce breaking free of the empty wasteland (the ice) that is his psyche.

So, ice. Ice is a major visual theme in the film. It symbolizes the cold, emptiness that is Bruce's consciousness at the beginning of the film. And it, and snow, are a symbol of how dead Gotham and Bruce are without Batman. But by the end of the film, those final scenes after Bruce fakes his death, the ice has cleared. No more snow. No more dead trees. It's all alive. Logically, would they have waited for all the snow to clear before having a funeral for Bruce? No. So there must be another reason for this. This would likely be a few days after at most, which seemed to be the middle of winter. Bruce has broken free of his own barrier and has freed the city of it's, symbolized in both cases by the ice and snow that is now clear. If you even want to take it a little further, notice that the Pit is in a very hot climate. What does ice do in a hot climate? It melts. It disappears, just like Bruce's mental barrier. Now, the final shot of the film is Robin "John" Blake rising on the platform to most likely take up the mantle. What surrounds him as he does this? Water. A symbol of the eternal, the everlasting. Just like Batman. Batman in this is an idea, a symbol. The water represents Batman as an everlasting symbol, like how it was used in Inception as a symbol of infinite subconscious. So, the final shot is not just about Blake taking up the mantle, it's about Batman being an everlasting symbol and more than any one man.

Blake taking up Batman's mantle by the end of the film is both literal and a representation of the youth that Batman has inspired that will protect the city in his absence. Bruce can watch his city heal itself through the inspiration the symbol of Batman has created within this new generation that is far more than he could ever do beating up thugs on the streets. He has both become more than a man and just a man. He has created an eternal, everlasting symbol of hope but now has allowed himself to truly live as a man, rather than the self destructive existence he has known.
Originally Posted by Gordon
I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss. I see the lives for which I lay down my life, peaceful, useful, prosperous and happy. I see that I hold a sanctuary in their hearts, and in the hearts of their descendants, generations hence. It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.

Last edited by Snow Queen; 05-15-2013 at 10:15 PM.
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