The Dark Knight is arguably the greatest Superhero movie to ever exist. It introduced us to what a realistic Superhero movie would look like, well at least the closest version to it anyway. It also gave us the gem that was Heath Ledger’s iteration of the Joker. The Smiling maniac was the pride of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy. His tragic death due to drug overdose only added to the aura of The Dark Knight as a movie. The sinister relationship between Batman and the Joker – forever the nemesis to each other, was what shaped the plot direction of the movie. It is also seen as one of the greatest Christopher Nolan movies to have been ever made. But there is one question to Heath Ledger as the Joker that not Nolan or even the fans have managed to answer it. And the question is how the Joker got those scars in the first place. Well, now we know for sure.
The Dark Knight told the story of Bruce Wayne as the Batman (played by Christian Bale), who would later join forces with the Police Commissioner of Gotham City – Jim Gordon, and Harvey Dent – the District Attorney, to take down the new menace that manifested within the streets of Gotham – the Joker. Heath Ledger dressed up as a mad man in a purple tuxedo, with his tongue suck out of his mouth while he spoke most of the time. Nobody knew where he came from. Nobody knew what the Joker wanted.
All everybody ever got to know was that the Joker managed to take in the criminal underworld of Gotham City by storm, and he did it in the shortest time possible. How he managed to pull that off is anybody’s guess. But the thing that added to his mystery was his look. His pale white make-up, combined with the red lipstick smeared across his face was what made him look so enigmatic. The lip-stick in particular is of particular interest because it hid those hideous scars.
Come to think of it – how many times did the Joker tell an entirely different tale about how he got those scars in the movie??
Every time the Joker got some time to have some fun with his hostages, he would crack up a story regarding how he got those scars. The writers claimed that the stories were cooked up not by them by Heath Ledger and that it was all spontaneous. While that is something we will debunk the truth of at a different time and in a different post, the thing that piques our interest is which story to believe. Do we believe the story that the Joker got those scars from his abusive father after he violently took his mother down? Or do we believe the other story that he did that to him-self to try and cheer up his hospitalized wife? We are pretty sure if the Joker had another run at it, he would have cooked up another equally contriving tale regarding the origins of his scars. But the question that remains is – how the hell did he got those scars!!!
The True Story Behind the Joker’s Scars – Explained!!!
Before we give an answer to that question, we would like to set the premise regarding both the versions of the Joker’s Scars Origin story arc. The first arc tells the story of a young Joker coming home to case of classic domestic abuse. Joker’s father is an alcoholic and he abuses the Joker’s mother. On one of his violent outbursts one day, his mother has had enough and grabs a knife from the kitchen to defend her-self. His father grabs that knife from her and stabs her with it. When he sees a Young Joker crying, he asks his son – “Why So Serious!!” Then he goes on to make his son a little less serious as he carves out a smile on his face with the knife. The scars, in this storyline, were given to the Joker as a ‘gift’ from his father.
The Second story is even more intriguing. In this version, it was the Joker him-self who made those scars on his face. As a normal person living a perfectly normal life, the Joker was married to the love of his life. His wife always tried to cheer him up and asked him to smile more. The Joker always got into trouble with loan sharks and soon caught a gambling bug. The Gambling bug made him lose all his money and then he had none of it left to help his wife go through surgery. To keep his wife from knowing that he does not care about the scars that were carved on her face by the loan shark’s enforcers as a threat to the Joker to pay up, the Joker carved up his own face and soon ended up becoming the object of hatred for his wife. His wife was “disgusted” by the Joker’s scars and screamed at him to stay away from her. And that is how the Joker was born.
Now to come to the actual reason the Joker got those scars, we would like to point out that whatever the Joker does in the Dark Knight looks pretty irrational at first but at closer inspection, it is revealed that everything he does he does for a reason. The Joker only wanted one thing from his efforts – to break the Dark Knight and make Gotham City his personal playground for his demented experiments on human psychology. And that is where the scars come in. We for a fact know that these stories are most probably un-true. The Joker keeps changing the origin story of his scars so had he been able to explain to someone the third time about how he got those scars, he would have surely come up with another amazing and harrowing tale.
This is the bottom line guys – the Joker’s scars were not created by some tragic accident or a violent past. Those were the actions of the Joker himself. That’s right folks!! No one gave those scars to the Joker. All he wanted was to remain an enigma, a mystery to his opponents. The scars were an effective but painful way to do that. As an agent of chaos, the Joker turned his own scars into a means to turn his entire past a jumbled and chaotic tale. As a result, he remained a force of nature and an opponent his enemies would think twice before trying to cross paths with. The Joker was a master of psychological war-fare. He knew that whatever people cannot understand, they will fear. The Scars are something the people will never understand. And that made him a threat to society.
Heath Ledger as the Joker last appeared in The Dark Knight, directed by Christopher Nolan. The movie was released on the 18th of July, 2008. The official film synopsis for the movie reads:
With the help of allies Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Batman (Christian Bale) has been able to keep a tight lid on crime in Gotham City. But when a vile young criminal calling himself the Joker (Heath Ledger) suddenly throws the town into chaos, the caped Crusader begins to tread a fine line between heroism and vigilantism.
The last movie to be released under the DC banner was Joker. The movie is currently in theatres. The official film synopsis for the movie reads:
Forever alone in a crowd, failed comedian Arthur Fleck seeks connection as he walks the streets of Gotham City. Arthur wears two masks — the one he paints for his day job as a clown, and the guise he projects in a futile attempt to feel like he’s part of the world around him. Isolated, bullied and disregarded by society, Fleck begins a slow descent into madness as he transforms into the criminal mastermind known as the Joker.