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Old 01-20-2010, 01:54 AM   #1
Ardent15
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Default The Joker's background?

First thread here.

We all know that the Joker told two separate stories of how he got his scars. But one thing occurred to me...he mentions more than once that he hated his father.

Moreover, he says "You remind me of my father...I HATED my father!" to a party guest who may be a man of power. The party guest was Senator Patrick Leahy. Makes sense that a well-known politician is at a political fundraiser for Harvey Dent, doesn't it?

Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but if we go with this, then it could be deduced that the Joker's father was a man of authority....a politician, or a lawyer, or a military officer perhaps? A man who was a hypocrite who treated his family despicably while portraying himself as an all-American model father and authority figure.

So maybe the Joker came from a financially comfortable background. Maybe he was born into privilege and was well-educated...a member of the "perfect family" gone horribly, horribly wrong.

Anyway, that's my long-winded speculation. Any thoughts?

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Old 01-20-2010, 03:33 AM   #2
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Default Re: The Joker's background?

My take on this is that none of the two stories the Joker told were true, on any level. Some subtle moments in a few scenes (when Batman calls him on his true motives or when a mobster would call him 'freak') reveal a man that may be perfectly sane and remembers his true origin, yet also hides a certain vulnerability. He also kept licking his wounds all the time, like a reminder, and he was the first to bring them into conversation ("Wanna know how I got these scars?"). Basically, he was obsessed about his own story, but wouldn't share it with anyone.

He seemed eager to tell traumatizing stories to some people, though. He had one for Rachel about a wife who abandoned him, and had one for Gambol about a violent father. Considering the listeners, those were very interesting choices. My guess is that he just had a story prepared for diferrent types of people and Gambol, like that elderly party guest, was a man of auhority that was standig up to him. When Joker says "... ad I hated my father" I sened he was going to start telling him the fake father story, maybe one that resonated more with the guy, designed to traumatize him. But then Rachel stepped up, so he changed his routine. Maybe the stories were made to make the one listening feel guilty about them. It's a great coincidence that Rachel's story was about a woman that said something to a man, then the man does something crazy to be with her and she leaves him for that. It has an astounding resonance with Rachel's subsequent development! Maybe the Joker got to her and inspired her a bit. Maybe the Joker was just a terrific judge of character.

But I don't think he's the kind of guy who would reveal the tiniest bit of info from his past. It seems that his true origins were too precious to him.

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Old 01-20-2010, 09:10 AM   #3
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Default Re: The Joker's background?

I always assumed it was a nod to the comics where he has multiple possible origins about how he became the Joker.

"Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another. If I'm going to have a past I prefer it to be multiple choice"

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Old 01-20-2010, 10:54 AM   #4
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Default Re: The Joker's background?

It was a nod to the comics, they were acknowledging the character's history. They took that little phrase from The Killing Joke and added a little twist to it, since in TDK the Joker is fully aware he's deceiving people. That twist was the brilliant part, because it made him more of a sociopath and a psychological destructive force than he was before.

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Old 01-20-2010, 11:25 AM   #5
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Dont read too much into it. The Joker lies to scare people. The only thing worth noting is the story he told to Rachel. If you take a closer look you'll see how it applies to Rachel and Bruce.

Wife gets carved = Rachel fights crime as a DA
The joker tries to sympathize with his wife but takes it too far = Bruce fights crime but takes it too far.

In both cases the women dont appreciate the men of the story.

Of course the joker didnt know all that so for him it was just a random story he decided to tell. But if you examine it, you'll see how Nolan is telling us how Bruce must feel.

And before anyone draws conclusions out of this, of course the story is fake and there is no real parallel between Bruce and the Joker and the women in their lives.

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Old 01-20-2010, 09:00 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Joker's background?

I could understand the pre-Joker having a financially comfortable background, given the fact that he spends a lot on his clothes, yet he doesn't give a crap about money.

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Old 01-20-2010, 09:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Joker's background?

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I could understand the pre-Joker having a financially comfortable background, given the fact that he spends a lot on his clothes, yet he doesn't give a crap about money.
Or the pre-Joker was a wildly irresponsible person. Someone who spent a lot and didn't worry about it because he knew he could scrounge up some more money somewhere.

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Old 01-21-2010, 03:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: The Joker's background?

Maybe the Joker is somewhat similar to what Bruce Wayne could have become had he succeeded in killing Joe Chill in Batman begins and continued on his path of self destructiveness.

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Old 01-21-2010, 03:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Joker's background?

It's alluded to in the movie that Joker doesn't really have a background. I mean obviously he is human and had to have come from somewhere, but he's made to appear almost supernatural in how enigmatic and, at times, omnipresent he seems. The best scene that illustrates this isn't even the multiple origin stories in my eyes, it's Gordon telling the Mayor what they have on him after Joker's been arrested, basically saying that he has no identity.

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Old 01-21-2010, 04:00 PM   #10
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Default Re: The Joker's background?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Earle View Post
Dont read too much into it. The Joker lies to scare people. The only thing worth noting is the story he told to Rachel. If you take a closer look you'll see how it applies to Rachel and Bruce.

Wife gets carved = Rachel fights crime as a DA
The joker tries to sympathize with his wife but takes it too far = Bruce fights crime but takes it too far.

In both cases the women dont appreciate the men of the story.

Of course the joker didnt know all that so for him it was just a random story he decided to tell. But if you examine it, you'll see how Nolan is telling us how Bruce must feel.

And before anyone draws conclusions out of this, of course the story is fake and there is no real parallel between Bruce and the Joker and the women in their lives.
talk about not reading too much into it...

i think they're just stories, and that's it.

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Old 01-21-2010, 08:20 PM   #11
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Default Re: The Joker's background?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Earle View Post
Dont read too much into it. The Joker lies to scare people. The only thing worth noting is the story he told to Rachel. If you take a closer look you'll see how it applies to Rachel and Bruce.

Wife gets carved = Rachel fights crime as a DA
The joker tries to sympathize with his wife but takes it too far = Bruce fights crime but takes it too far.

In both cases the women dont appreciate the men of the story.

Of course the joker didnt know all that so for him it was just a random story he decided to tell. But if you examine it, you'll see how Nolan is telling us how Bruce must feel.

And before anyone draws conclusions out of this, of course the story is fake and there is no real parallel between Bruce and the Joker and the women in their lives.
This.

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Old 01-22-2010, 06:45 AM   #12
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Default Re: The Joker's background?

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Originally Posted by Joker View Post
I always assumed it was a nod to the comics where he has multiple possible origins about how he became the Joker.

"Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another. If I'm going to have a past I prefer it to be multiple choice"
In fact that was the Killing Joke thing done right.

In TKJ the Joker says that but it is obvious which story is the real one. The one that's told to us.

In TDK the Joker actually has different origins in his mind. But I don't feel that he actually thinks every one of them is true, but he is aware that he is just misleading people about his identity.

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Old 01-22-2010, 07:34 AM   #13
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Default Re: The Joker's background?

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Originally Posted by El Payaso View Post
In TKJ the Joker says that but it is obvious which story is the real one. The one that's told to us.
How so? It could have been any story but they took the Red Hood one as a homage to the Silver Age origin and then added the idea that it may not be the real origin at all, but noone knows it.

JMS' recent issue of Brave and Bold had him show his take on Joker. Who was just *born* evil and he even killed his own parents.

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Old 01-22-2010, 09:22 AM   #14
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Default Re: The Joker's background?

DC's official stance on it is that he has got multiple origins. But the the beauty of that is fans can choose whichever one they like best and believe that's his backstory. Nobody can say they're definitively wrong because we don't know. And neither does the Joker




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Old 01-22-2010, 09:51 AM   #15
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How so? It could have been any story but they took the Red Hood one as a homage to the Silver Age origin and then added the idea that it may not be the real origin at all, but noone knows it.
It could have been any story. But they chose one. They could have shown many different versions (as in TDK). But they showed just one.

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JMS' recent issue of Brave and Bold had him show his take on Joker. Who was just *born* evil and he even killed his own parents.
Heh. That's too close to an over the top caricature.

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Old 01-23-2010, 11:20 PM   #16
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Default Re: The Joker's background?

Thanks for the replies.

Yeah, I agree that the Joker is a liar who reveals little about his background...but there was a flash of anger, like he had been offended when he said the "You remind me of my father..." line, that just makes me wonder. Also, when he speaks to Gambol he seems visibly irritated, but maybe that's just how he always is.

The story he told Rachel seemed a lot less authentic than the story he told Gambol, for those reasons.

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Old 01-24-2010, 10:09 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Ardent15 View Post
Thanks for the replies.

Yeah, I agree that the Joker is a liar who reveals little about his background...but there was a flash of anger, like he had been offended when he said the "You remind me of my father..." line, that just makes me wonder. Also, when he speaks to Gambol he seems visibly irritated, but maybe that's just how he always is.
I felt a lot of genuine anger when he was called insane and he replied that he's "nottttttt-t-t-t-t".

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Old 01-24-2010, 10:30 AM   #18
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Default Re: The Joker's background?

His motivations might be similar to how Dent became Two-Face, no?

Schemers trying to control their little worlds. I'm not a schemer. I try to show the schemers how pathetic their attempts to control things really are......It's the schemers that put you where you are. You were a schemer, and you had plans. And, uh look where that got ya.

Could be that he was a schemer at one point, then something tragic happened to where he said "F it!"

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Old 01-24-2010, 12:27 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by frodawgg View Post
talk about not reading too much into it...

i think they're just stories, and that's it.
Like i said, they are random stories that he makes up on the spot to scare his victims. But what if this specific story was carefully written by Nolan to comment on the relationship between Bruce and Rachel? Because Rachel pretty much treated Bruce the way the Joker's imaginary wife supposedly treated him.
Of course the Joker doesnt know all that so its just a story to him, but you could say that Nolan is commenting on Rachel. Or not. The cool thing is that you can interpret it anyway you want.
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This.
Thanks.

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Old 01-24-2010, 12:59 PM   #20
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Default Re: The Joker's background?

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His motivations might be similar to how Dent became Two-Face, no?

Schemers trying to control their little worlds. I'm not a schemer. I try to show the schemers how pathetic their attempts to control things really are......It's the schemers that put you where you are. You were a schemer, and you had plans. And, uh look where that got ya.

Could be that he was a schemer at one point, then something tragic happened to where he said "F it!"
In fact that makes A LOT of sense.

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Old 01-24-2010, 01:16 PM   #21
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Default Re: The Joker's background?

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Originally Posted by Bats View Post
His motivations might be similar to how Dent became Two-Face, no?

Schemers trying to control their little worlds. I'm not a schemer. I try to show the schemers how pathetic their attempts to control things really are......It's the schemers that put you where you are. You were a schemer, and you had plans. And, uh look where that got ya.

Could be that he was a schemer at one point, then something tragic happened to where he said "F it!"
He didn't stop being a schemer atleast. He did confirm us he was ripping off drug dealers. Or was it mobsters? I can't remember now.

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Old 01-24-2010, 02:51 PM   #22
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How can you say that the joker stopped being a schemer? All he did was scheme and blow **** up!

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Old 01-26-2010, 02:29 AM   #23
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Default Re: The Joker's background?

His background isn't important; he wields far more power that way.

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Old 01-27-2010, 05:53 AM   #24
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Default Re: The Joker's background?

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Originally Posted by Happy Jack View Post
It's alluded to in the movie that Joker doesn't really have a background. I mean obviously he is human and had to have come from somewhere, but he's made to appear almost supernatural in how enigmatic and, at times, omnipresent he seems. The best scene that illustrates this isn't even the multiple origin stories in my eyes, it's Gordon telling the Mayor what they have on him after Joker's been arrested, basically saying that he has no identity.
yes, exactly.

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Old 02-01-2010, 05:39 AM   #25
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Default Re: The Joker's background?

I'm going with The Joker really does not remember his past due to an event that made him crazy. I'd like to think of him as being a genius prior to his insanity. He makes up hundreds of stories and actually believes it's the right one each time. Chaotic,

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