I am one of (most likely) millions of people who can watch "The Dark Knight trilogy" over and over without ever getting bored. They are the best superhero movies ever made and everything about them is great. One thing that made them so awesome is the fact that it told one big story: Ra's al-Ghul and the League of Shadows want to destroy Gotham, Batman stops him, deals with Harvey "Two-Face" Dent, and stops Bane from finishing the League's work.
A famous scene of the trilogy (there are so many) involves Bane revealing to Gotham that Harvey Dent had gone mad and Batman and Jim Gordon had covered it up. This is meant to discredit both men and make the citizens of Gotham start to lose trust in its lawmakers and law enforcers.
One question: How did Bane know Dent had gone insane?
I know what you're thinking. He read the stolen resignation letter Gordon had written, which revealed his lies. But what if Dent never went insane? Gordon wouldn't have had needed to write such a letter if that was the case. So obviously what the League of Shadows needed was a guarantee that Dent would go insane. How would they do that? Why, by hiring an ace-in-the-hole, of course.
Or rather, a Joker-in-the-hole.
The League knew that Dent was passionate about the law and justice. But they also knew of his secret dark side, which, if pushed out, could manifest into terror. So they hired the Joker as a mercenary to unleash the beast.
The Joker tells Dent that he isn't the "guy with a plan," rather, he "just does things." This is true. In the comics, the Joker has been used as a pawn in schemes concocted by villains like Penguin, Riddler, and yes, even Ra's al-Ghul. Heck, in the acclaimed animated film 'Under the Red Hood,' it is revealed that Joker had been hired briefly by the leader of the League to distract Batman and Robin. So while the Joker isn't the man with the plan, he may nonetheless be part of the plan. This means the League of Shadows had a plan since the beginning to avenge their defeat at the hands of Batman. It was complex, but after hundreds of viewings, I believe I have figured it out. Check this out:
1: The Joker breaks into the Bank of Gotham, stealing gang money
2: Joker's robbery prompts Dent, Gordon, and Batman to put serious pressure on the now vulnerable gangs
3: Joker goes to gangs and offers to return half the money. He informs gangs that Lao will betray them when Batman captures him
4: Lao does indeed betray gangs when Batman captures him, making gangs go to Joker for help
5: Joker kills all the people in charge of the gang trial, further earning their trust
6: Joker attacks Dent and Rachel, but Batman intervenes and saves them both
7: Joker's attacks lead people to ask for Batman's true identity, which Dent pretends to be
Side-note: Joker is known for adding his own flair to the plans he's involved in (his burning of his money doesn't affect the plan at all, it's just him adding his own flair) so while he could have been told Batman's true identity, he opted not to, as he would have wanted to find out on his own, due to the love of mystery he has. As a result, he doesn't know Batman is Bruce Wayne. However, because Dent is the key to the League's plan, he knows Dent is NOT Batman. Joker also knows that Dent is only pretending to be Batman because the police are planning to capture him (Joker). This is why Gordon mutters later in the film, "He wanted to get caught." This is the most complex part of the plan as a result
8: Joker is captured in his attack on Dent, allowing his minions to kidnap Dent and Rachel and hold them hostage in separate locations
9: Having at least deduced that Batman cares deeply for Rachel, due to his rescue of her, and knowing that Batman is faster than the police, he switches the locations so that Dent will live while Rachel dies
10: Joker uses distraction of hostage situation to escape his cell
11: Joker confronts Dent and convinces him that Dent must only blame himself and the other law enforcers for his misfortunes. Joker also convinces Dent that because Dent always worked with a plan, Joker was able to make it backfire, whereas if Dent left everything he did to chance (i.e. a coin flip) , nobody could be blamed for misfortune, as chance cannot be controlled
12: Joker's words lead Dent to spare him (due to chance), and go after law enforcers and the gangs who hired Joker in a revenge rampage, again leaving their fates to chance
13: Joker plants bombs on ferries to distract Batman and Gordon, allowing Dent to kidnap Gordon's family
14: Dent finally confronts Gordon and Batman, having been driven insane by grief and misguidance, and is eventually killed by Batman
15: Batman and Gordon decide to cover-up Dent's rampage because if everyone in Gotham knew that even the seemingly stainless soul of Dent was turned to darkness, their morale would be destroyed
16: The League of Shadows, led by Talia al-Guhl, sends Bane to reveal the cover-up... and we're back to my original question
So how did Bane know? Because the League made sure of it. Hiring a guy like the Joker to corrupt Dent was a genius plan. And the Joker knew how to execute it.
Again, this is a complex plan, and the Joker, to remind you, isn't the sort of guy who thinks of something like this. He might steal the gang money, just for a laugh, but that would be all. But he did more, not because he wanted to, but because it was all, as he so delicately puts it, "part of the plan." And think about it: Not one of these events could have happened on their own. The Joker says he "just does things," but there's no way all these events were just him doing things. This is a plan. One event could only happen because of another one happening. This is the proof I present to show that Joker was a pawn.
So there you have it: my fan theory. The League of Shadows had themselves a Joker pawn to gain revenge on Batman and finish their goal of destroying Gotham. Now, again, this is a theory, as nobody has confirmed it as fact yet, but it's been on my mind for a while now, and I think this theory might hold water if you think deeply about it. And again, it's only a theory because nobody in the League of Shadows or Christopher Nolan's team confirmed it. But I like to think that secretly, Joker was a Pawn.
What do y'all think? Do we really have a #JokerPawn?