I am part of ‘The Great Villain Blogathon’ which is co-hosted by Ruth of Silver Screenings, Karen of Shadows & Satin and Kristina of Speakeasy. I have picked The Joker from The Dark Knight as my villain to write this blog post about. It’s certainly going to be an interesting journey into one of the best villains we have seen in recent years at the cinema.

When it was first announced that Heath Ledger was going to be The Joker in the second film in Christopher Nolan’s Batman series, uproar occurred. I mean Jack Nicholson was The Joker! I am pretty sure I couldn’t quite believe Heath Ledger was going to take on the Joker. I mean I was a fan, every girl who was a teenager in the 00’s loved Heath but as The Joker? But he took the character to a different level. The style of the film was unreal and the sadistic nature of the Joker really is what makes him a Great Villain.

 Quotes from The Joker

“Do you want to know why I use a knife? Guns are too quick. You can’t savor all the… little emotions. In… you see, in their last moments, people show you who they really are. So in a way, I know your friends better than you ever did. Would you like to know which of them were cowards?”

“Oh, you. You just couldn’t let me go, could you? This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You are truly incorruptible, aren’t you? Huh? You won’t kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness. And I won’t kill you because you’re just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever.”

“I don’t want to kill you! What would I do without you? Go back to ripping off mob dealers? No, no, NO! No. You… you… complete me.”

“I believe whatever doesn’t kill you, simply makes you…stranger.”

“This city deserves a better class of criminal. And I’m gonna give it to them.”

“If you’re good at something, never do it for free.”

“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. We are tonight’s entertainment! Well, you look nervous. Is it the scars? You want to know how I got ‘em? Come here. Hey! Look at me. So I had a wife, beautiful, like you, who tells me I worry too much. Who tells me I ought to smile more. Who gambles and gets in deep with the sharks… Look at me! One day, they carve her face. And we have no money for surgeries. She can’t take it. I just want to see her smile again, hm? I just want her to know that I don’t care about the scars. So… I stick a razor in my mouth and do this…to myself. And you know what? She can’t stand the sight of me! She leaves. Now I see the funny side. Now I’m always smiling! A little fight in you. I like that.”

“Wanna know how I got these scars? My father was… a drinker. And a fiend. And one night he goes off crazier than usual. Mommy gets the kitchen knife to defend herself. He doesn’t like that. Not-one-bit. So – me watching – he takes the knife to her, laughing while he does it! Turns to me, and he says, “why so serious, son?” Comes at me with the knife… “Why so serious?” He sticks the blade in my mouth… “Let’s put a smile on that face!” And…Why so serious?”

Those are only parts of the incredible words which come out of the Joker’s mouth during the course of the film. This then shows that he is an incredible villain everything he does is evil and he wants to make people pay. He does not care about money and is not even bothered about setting loads of it on fire. So how can you stop a man like that? Something which Batman must try to work out.

Why so serious?

This became one of the most talked about Joker lines and links into many different stories he tells about how he got his scars. All of which are as crazy as the next. He really is a deranged man and wants to watch the world burn as Alfred nicely points out to Bruce Wayne. I even went to see this all unfold on the big screen three times! My record for seeing a film at the cinema! Heath Ledger stole every single scene he was in with an incredibly strong cast. He gave it all an incredible edge and made you want to see more of him.

I think another aspect of what really makes him a great villain has to be that it fits in with the current world and that is something that give it an extra edge and scary in terms of people actually behaving and thinking in that way. It really is a haunting performance and you cannot help but love it for that very reason. He is a brilliant villain and you will be thinking about him for days after watching the film!


  1. Great blog! I agree the joker is an amazing villain. Heath took him from the 60’s laughable joker, jack nicholsons dangerous to a an absolute maniac who does what he wants without a care. It was one of the best performances I have ever seen. To go from pin up to that was a testament to his talent!


  2. I’ve not seen this film, but this version of The Joker seems like an utterly compelling character. Heath Ledger had sooo much talent, and I can imagine that he did bring a whole new complexity to this character.

    Thanks for profiling one of the most famous villains in modern culture!


  3. What I love about this incarnation of the Joker is the tiniest, gentle hints that maybe…just maybe….he’s not even human. He has no criminal record, no fingerprints, no name. Almost as if he springs up as a personification of chaos to oppose Batman’s order. Yin to Batman’s Yang. It’s a mesmerizing performance and one of my all time favourite characters in film.

    He also set it up so that DKR was always going to be a disappointment.


  4. yes. just yes 🙂 he did so well with this, making the character inhuman, that’s the scary part of it, shouldn’t be a prankster but an unreasonable mess that laughs in your face when you’re terrifed. For me Heath takes the spirit of Arkham Asylum and even the original inspiration, Conrad Veidt and takes those to the highest level. Nice pick and thanks for being part of the blogathon!


  5. Great post about a great villain portrayed by a great actor. I’m no Batman fan, but I went to see this one because of all I’d heard about Heath Ledger’s performance. And I was not disappointed! I’m glad you picked this one! Good stuff.


  6. I didn’t think anyone could top Nicholson’s performance but Ledger certainly did. HIs performance is compelling and one of his finest; it works because he’s so deranged and unpredictable, but he’s always complete control. Great entry for the blogathon!


    • Thanks! Yeah it’s crazy that Ledger managed to go a step further with the Joker than Nicholson did. I love that you can appreciate both performances.


  7. Heath Ledger is one of my all-time favorite actors. I have adored him from when most folks barely knew who on earth he was (and I’m older than you so most folks my age didn’t know who the hell I was talking about back then). You could see his brilliant creative genius even back then. He transcended his roles. For folks unfamiliar with the rest of his work, they really should watch his entire filmography because it’s all there, even in mediocre roles. He stood out. So I knew this Joker, especially under Nolan’s direction, would be triumphant. I’m still heart-broken this young talent left us WAY too soon- just imagine the performances he could have contributed otherwise.


    • Yeah it is still such a tragedy. I have seen loads of his work and your right he really stood out from the crowd. It’s a shame we never got to find out what else he could have achieved performance wise.


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