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Dark Knight Rises Ending Explained: What Happens to Batman, Gotham and John Blake?

The superhero movie The Dark Knight Rises was released in 2012 and was directed by Christopher Nolan, who also co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Jonathan Nolan and the story with David S. Goyer.

Based on the DC Comics character Batman, this movie is the conclusion to Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy and a direct sequel to the 2008 film The Dark Knight 2008.

The cast also includes Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon Levitt, and Morgan Freeman, with Christian Bale playing Bruce Wayne/Batman.

Bane, a revolutionary eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, compels Bruce Wayne to once again don the Batsuit in order to prevent the nuclear destruction of Gotham City.

Christopher Nolan was hesitant to return for a third film, but he finally agreed after he, his brother, and Goyer came up with a story they were all happy with and he felt would be a fitting end to the franchise.

Bane first appeared in comic books in the “Knightfall” storyline published in 1993, “The Dark Knight Returns” published in 1986, and “No Man’s Land” published in 1999, all of which provided Nolan with ideas for his film.

Jodhpur, London, Nottingham, Glasgow, Los Angeles, New York, Newark, and Pittsburgh were all used during the filming period that spanned from May to November of 2011.

Plot Summary

Dark Knight Rises Ending ExplainedMasked terrorist Bane, a former member of the League of Shadows, kidnaps nuclear physicist, Dr. Leonid Pavel, from a CIA plane over Uzbekistan. Batman has been MIA since Harvey Dent was killed eight years ago.

The Dent Act gave the police in Gotham City more authority, and they used it to stamp out organized crime. Dent’s criminal activities after his disfigurement have been kept secret by Commissioner James Gordon, who has let Batman take the rap for them.

He’s written a speech in which the truth is revealed, but he’s not going to deliver it. Wayne Enterprises is in the red and Bruce Wayne has withdrawn into seclusion. Bane enters Gotham and establishes his headquarters in the city’s drains.

John Daggett, Bruce’s business rival, is persuaded by Bane to purchase Bruce’s fingerprints. Selina Kyle, a cat burglar, steals Bruce’s fingerprints from Wayne Manor and gives them to Daggett.

However, she is tricked during the exchange and calls the police. Gordon and the police show up, and while Kyle runs away, they chase Bane and Daggett’s goons into the sewers. The goons kidnap Gordon and bring him to Bane, who reads the speech after he hears it.

Gordon gets away from the GCPD and is eventually found by rookie cop John Blake. Eventually, Bruce is confronted by Blake, another orphan who has discovered his secret identity and is instrumental in convincing him to resume his role as Batman.

Bane launches an attack on the Gotham Stock Exchange using Bruce’s fingerprints, causing Bruce to go bankrupt as a result. During an interception of Bane and his henchmen, Batman reappears after an absence of eight years.

Because he doesn’t think Bruce can beat Bane, Bruce’s butler, Alfred Pennyworth, resigns in an effort to save Bruce—but only after confessing that he burned a letter Rachel left for him in which she announced her intention to marry Dent.

With Miranda Tate as the new CEO of Wayne Enterprises, Bruce finds solace and passion. Bane grows his business and eliminates Daggett with the help of the stolen transactions. Kyle convinces Batman to meet Bane but then leads him straight into Bane’s trap.

Bane admits he plans to finish Ra’s al Ghul’s work and destroy Gotham City. Batman and Bane get into a fight, and Bane ends up winning by knocking Batman out with a crippling blow to the back and then dragging him off to an underground prison in another country from which he has almost no chance of escaping.

The prisoners tell Bruce about Ra’s al Ghul’s son, who was born and raised in the prison but managed to escape. Bane destroys the city’s bridges and corners the Gotham police in the sewers.

He murders Mayor Anthony Garcia and then kills Pavel after coercing him into turning the core of Wayne Enterprises’ fusion reactor into a decaying neutron bomb.

Dark Knight Rises Ending Explained

Bane reads Gordon’s speech to a gathered crowd outside Blackgate Prison, exposing the truth about Harvey Dent.

He soon declares martial law throughout the city, killing and exiling Gotham’s elite in kangaroo courts presided over by Jonathan Crane and then releases the prisoners from Blackgate.

It took Bruce five months to break out of prison and return to Gotham. Freeing the police, he leads them into battle against Bane’s army in the streets, where Batman ultimately proves victorious.

Talia al Ghul, daughter of Ra’s al Ghul, is revealed to be Tate, who intervenes and stabs Batman. She presses the bomb’s detonator, but Gordon successfully blocks the signal and the bomb doesn’t go off.

Bane is about to kill Batman when Kyle arrives and kills him. Talia has gone to find the bomb. Batman and Kyle are on Talia’s trail because they want to stabilize the bomb in the reactor chamber.

Talia’s truck flips, but she destroys the reactor chamber from afar using water and electricity. Bats uses his Batcopter to transport the bomb far above the bay, where it will detonate out of harm’s way.

Just before takeoff, Batman unmasks himself to Gordon in a sly way. Bats is presumed dead and a hero in the aftermath.

As Bruce’s will specifies, Alfred is to take care of any orphans that may come into his possession, and Wayne Manor is converted into an institution for them.

After Bruce fixes the Batcave’s faulty autopilot, Lucius Fox finds that Gordon has repaired the Bat-Signal.

After some investigating, Alfred learns that Bruce is still alive and seeing Kyle. After Blake, whose real name is Robin, reveals that he is leaving the GCPD, Bruce sends him a package with instructions on how to reach the Batcave.

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Ending Explained

At the film’s conclusion, Batman and the rest of the Gotham City police force wrest control of the city back from Bane. Finally, Catwoman aimed for the kill shot that would end the supervillain’s life.

Commissioner James Gordon could have stopped the reactor from exploding, saving the city from destruction, but instead, it falls into Talia Al Ghul’s hands.

A team effort between Batman, Catwoman, and Gordon neutralized the bomb truck. Talia destroys the reactor before she passes away.

After securing the reactor to the Bat, Bruce flies it across the bay, away from Gotham City, to prevent an explosion.

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Alfred Pennyworth Spots Bruce in The Florence Cafe

Dark Knight Rises Ending ExplainedBruce’s death in the act of destroying the reactor comes as a shock at the end of The Dark Knight Rises due to the fact that the plane had to be piloted manually.

The events in the lives of every other character were revealed in the conclusion as well. All of Bruce’s possessions were given to Alfred Pennyworth and the Wayne Manor had been converted into an orphanage.

While continuing his duties, Commissioner Gordon was taken aback to see the Bat-Signal reinstated atop the GCPD headquarters. Moreover, Luscious Fox learns that Bat’s autopilot problem has been fixed, which indicates that Bruce may have survived the explosion.

As a result, John Blake leaves the police force and eventually comes across the Bat Cave. Alfred struggled to accept Bruce’s death because he felt guilty about disappointing Bruce’s mom and dad. At the film’s conclusion, Alfred sees Bruce and Selina Kyle at a cafe in Florence.


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