15 Fan Theories About The Riddler That Really Leave Us Guessing

Voting Rules

Vote up the theories that keep you guessing.

DC has become one of the largest superhero franchises in history. With so much source material to pull from and countless interesting characters, there's no question as to why. From unanswered questions to character quirks, some passionate fans managed to come up with some interesting theories surrounding one of Batman's most interesting foes - The Riddler. With Jim Carey's iconic portrayal in Batman Forever, to Paul Dano's more deranged approach in The Batman, The Riddler has always been a fan favorite.

Check out these Riddler fan theories below, and don't forget to vote!

  • 1
    136 VOTES

    Supervillains Fund The Riddler's Shenanigans In 'Batman: Arkham Nights' So Batman Will Be Distracted On Key Nights

    From Redditor u/Burnnoticelover:

    Ever notice that The Riddler just so happens to place his trophies/take his hostages/set batmobile challenge courses on the craziest nights in Gotham history (Joker bomb plot, Arkham Asylum takeover, fall of Arkham City, Arkham Knight incident)?

    Also, ever notice that the Riddler has the money to construct all the contraptions and devices for his challenges (no small cost) despite the fact that we see no source of revenue? Black Mask deals drugs, Two-Face robs banks, Penguin sells guns, and the Joker does whatever he has to, but we've only seen Riddler commit crimes centered around Batman.

    I was playing the Arkham games, and realized how much time I was wasting collecting Riddler trophies, but then I realized maybe that's the point.

    Maybe, on the nights when the criminals of Gotham are planning serious stuff, they give Nigma a few million dollars in the hopes that Batman will be too busy trying to stop Riddler to pay attention to them.

    136 votes
  • 2
    178 VOTES

    The Campiness Of 'Batman and Robin' Was A Result Of Riddler's Plan In 'Batman Forever'

    From Redditor:

    Before I start, I want to remind the readers that Batman Forever wasn't nearly as campy as Batman and Robin. It still had serious moments regarding Bruce Wayne's psyche, it told the origin story of Robin pretty well, and some of the Tim Burton aesthetics were still present. There are even 15 minutes worth of deleted scenes that display a more serious vision for the movie compared to what we ended up with.

    Now that's out of the way, let me tell you why Batman and Robin's sudden turn to 60's camp makes perfect sense in-universe.

    The theory:

    In Batman Forever, The Riddler develops a virtual reality device called The Box and sells it to Gotham. Everyone buys The Box and even becomes addicted to using it. This makes The Riddler not only rich, but also the smartest person in Gotham. This is because The Box is secretly sucking their intelligence and transferring them directly into The Riddler's brain. At the end of the movie, we see Batman destroy his equipment which results in Edward Nigma lose all the intelligence he collected plus more. But we never really see all that stolen intelligence being given back to the people of Gotham. Batman just destroys the machine, puts The Riddler in Arkham and that's it. As far as we could see, all those stolen brain waves gone to waste. This explains why everyone in Batman and Robin act like Saturday morning cartoon characters. The movie takes place in a Gotham that lost half of its brain cells.

    178 votes
  • 3
    115 VOTES

    Edward Nashton May Not Have Committed The Crimes In 'The Batman'

    From Redditor u/Imaginary_Ad_2478:

    Is it possible that Edward Nashton didn't physically commit any of the crimes?

    It was his plan, sure, but is it possible that it was one of the guys who show up at the end who do all physical work? He says himself that he is not cut out for the physical strength needed.

    At the funeral scene. The Riddler is briefly present up on a balcony, but one of the fake Riddlers who was unmasked at the end was also at the church. Could it actually have been Edward who was up on the balcony? And if so, isn't it a question of who actually was behind the mask for the Mayor's murder and the DA's kidnap?

    Maybe Edward never really left that room at all.

    115 votes
  • 4
    115 VOTES

    The Riddler Addressed His Letters In A Very Specific Way In 'The Batman'

    From Redditor u/SullyyMr:

    In The Batman, the Riddler addressed 4 out of 5 of his letters "To the Batman". But for the letter that was with the bomb that was sent to Bruce Wayne, the letter is addressed "For the Batman". Maybe the Riddler does know his identity?

    From Redditor u/Tyelr_olp:

    The package said “for Bruce Wayne” the thing that says “for the Batman” is in a fireproof envelope, meaning he intended for Bruce Wayne to be blown up and the the letter survive for Batman to read.

    115 votes
  • 5
    76 VOTES

    The Riddler Gets Caught So Often In 'Gotham' Because Ed Leaves The GCPD Clues

    From Redditor u/whatagooddaytoday:

    So I commented a couple months ago on a post about Ed Nygma/The Riddler that theorized about what might have happened to him post-Gotham and what his future interactions with the GCPD and Batman could have been like. Here's what I said:

    I think that Ed's story is very tragic. He's my favorite character on the show, and I was always hoping that he would overcome his Riddler persona.

    I have a personal fan theory that Ed's fight with the Riddler is far from over. In most Riddler appearances in media, he is very well known for the puzzling act of leaving clues to lead Batman to foil his own plans. Now of course, every adaption of Riddler has a reason for doing this, but it usually seems strange that he would willingly leave hints to lead to his own arrest.

    I like to imagine that the Gotham's answer to that involves Edward, who is still within the Riddler's subconscious as shown in season 4. Edward is shown as someone who is trying to be a good person throughout his time on the show. Edward really just wants love and a genuine friend, though he usually tried to gain love and friendship through misguided ways. Still, to me, he doesn't want the Riddler to be in control because the Riddler resorts to murder and despicable acts for his own agenda. For example, nearly every murder that the Riddler commits is purposefully thought out while Ed's murders are more by accident. Ed doesn't want to kill or commit crimes to get what he wants, but the Riddler is completely fine with doing so.

    Therefore, I believe that the Riddler continues to leave clues for Batman after the time of the Gotham show because Ed's still in there. Ed knows that the Riddler is evil. He wants to try to stop him while he is able to do so by leaving behind riddles and hints to what the Riddler is planning for Batman or the GCPD to discover without the Riddler knowing. The Riddler was mostly in control, but I always kept in mind that Ed was still in there as well. So in this way, I like to think he resurfaces in those little moments to help Batman and Gordon stop the Riddler's plans.

    Of course, none of this was really explored on-screen, but if the Gotham story continued, I'd like to see this kind of thing.

    While I also acknowledge that Ed wasn't completely innocent in any of the Riddler's or his own crimes, one of my favorite things about Gotham was how Edward still strived to do everything that he could to not let his demons win. I ultimately find his story tragic because we all knew who he was supposed to become, yet he still fought back against the Riddler anyway. I think that's why I like this theory that he's still fighting back against the Riddler on the inside, even though the battle is seemingly already lost.

    76 votes
  • 6
    110 VOTES

    The Arkham Conversation In 'The Batman' Points To The Riddler's Real Motive

    From Redditor u/itsnotthattypeofmovi:

    I've been thinking about the ending of The Batman since I left the theater. I know theres been a lot of discussion of the confession scene. I do like the theory that Riddler was repeating the name Bruce Wayne to see Batman's reaction and testing his theory that way, but since Batman didn't react, he drops it and just explains how he became the Riddler. I think that is wrong though, and the Riddler does know that Bruce is Batman. 

    Throughout the movie Batman isn't the alter ego of Bruce, Bruce Wayne is the mask. Right before going to see Riddler Batman sees a message left for him in Riddler's apartment which states ‘I know the real you.’ I think the misdirect of having Riddler talk about the reason why he hates Bruce Wayne is because he doesn't want to expose Batman's secret, as he knows people are watching them over the camera, because the public wouldn't understand the riddle. The Riddler says in his confessions that people want to unmask Batman, but they're missing the point, he's looking at the real Bruce right now. Even if public knew that Bruce was Batman, they would miss the point that Batman isn't the mask… Bruce is. The Riddler is a funhouse mirror of Batman, as the Riddler said his mask allowed gave him his power. To the Riddler, the mask of Batman is the "real you." 

    I believe that the Riddler did not really intend to kill Bruce with the bomb but rather sent him away to let the actual mask of Bruce Wayne to die, to both cleanse Gotham and Bruce of the lies and allow them to become what they were meant to be. I think the Riddler was giving Batman a way out to be able to be. He saw Batman as his partner and because Bruce didn't take the Riddler's out he's the one that got away to the Riddler.

    110 votes