|Depicted By||Gary Oldman|
|Appeared In|| Batman Begins|
The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight Rises
- "I've got to get me one of those."
- ―James Gordon after seeing the Tumbler. [src]
The film partly concerns Gordon's rise from beat cop to Sergeant and, by the end of the film, Lieutenant. He did his best to comfort the eight-year-old Bruce Wayne after the murder of his parents when he was a young man, and Wayne later recognizes him as one of the few honest police officers in the city and would always remember his kindness as it gave Bruce the strength he needed after his parents' death.
Seventeen to eighteen years later, after being promoted as a detective-sergeant on the force, while working late on his office, Bruce, wearing a ski-mask, visited Gordon's office, to ask Gordon about Carmine Falcone's criminal operation and the police inability to stop the notorious crimelord. When Bruce threatens Gordon with a common office stapler, which was thought to be a pistol, Bruce suggested that they form an alliance. This is kept a secret from all other police officers, with Gordon proving pivotal in Batman's defeat of Ra's al Ghul by driving the Batmobile to destroy the Gotham monorail tracks and prevent the madman from vaporizing the water supply. James Gordon's involvement in saving Gotham results in his promotion to the rank of lieutenant. He developed a Bat-Signal with the department's spare searchlight to summon Batman in times of need. Gordon called the Batman to announce his promotion on the force, his appreciation to the Dark Knight, and also to discuss a criminal whose identity is a mystery. The criminal has committed an armed robbery and double homicide, with an apparent taste for theatrics, leaving a calling card: a Joker playing card.
- "Because he's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we'll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A dark knight."
- ―James Gordon[src]
During the second film in the Nolan series, Gordon is the leader of GCPD's Major Crime Unit and has been working with Batman and newly elected DA Harvey Dent to apprehend the new leaders of Sal Maroni's gang. This is his main concern before The Joker comes into the mix and puts out hits on Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb, Judge Surrillo, and Harvey Dent.
Gordon manages to get to Loeb's office in time and block it off, but the Commissioner drinks a glass of whiskey that is laced with acid; killing him. Judge Surrillo is also killed by a car bomb on the other side of town, but Dent is saved by Bruce Wayne as the Joker comes to kill him personally at a fundraiser. With Loeb's death leaving his rank open, Gordon is then promoted to Commissioner after the Joker is apprehended. But things only get worse as time goes on. While the Joker is in prison, his thugs then kidnap Dent and Rachel Dawes and take them to two separate locations rigged with bombs and tubs of gasoline. Batman hears about this and tortures the Joker in the interrogation room to find out where they are, but the mastermind switches the locations; Batman then goes after Rachel while Gordon goes after Dent, meaning they were actually going after the opposite person. When Batman discovers Harvey instead of Rachel, he hesitates out of fear but rescues him only seconds before the building ignites and catches the left side of Dent's face on fire. At the other location, Gordon is not able to save Rachel and she is killed when the building explodes.
Dent, now scarred horribly on his left side, takes Gordon's family hostage after the Joker convinces him to take his frustration on those responsible for Rachel's death.
While Dent holds Gordon's son at gunpoint, Jim pleads relentlessly to have him let his son go. But Dent flips the coin, only to be tackled by Batman. Dent falls to the ground motionless, but Batman holds onto the building's siding and hands Gordon's son back before the police storm the location. Batman tells Gordon to blame all the people Dent has killed on him as he flees into the night.
Gordon later destroyed the Bat-Signal while being surrounded by a group of cops who now hate Batman due to the murders that he took the blame for.
- "We were in this together, and then you were gone. And now there's evil rising. The Batman has to come back."
- ―James Gordon[src]
Gordon remains in the guilt of letting Batman taking the fall of Dent's killing spree, contemplating to resign himself from the police department, and waiting for a chance to reveal the truth to the city. Dent's attack on his family has also caused his divorce, and his wife took their children to Cleveland. After the villain Bane's men shot Gordon, he implores Batman to return. He also befriends a rookie police officer, John Blake, who also becomes a trusted friend and ally to Batman, he promotes Blake to detective after seeing his dedication towards his duty and resourcefulness.
In the final battle against Bane, Talia al Ghul, and the League of Shadows, Gordon finally knows that Batman was the boy he comforted many years ago, and grieves after Wayne apparently sacrificed his life thwarting the League of Shadows' latest plan to destroy the city. After attending Bruce Wayne's funeral, Gordon discovers the Bat-Signal has been repaired, as Gotham has known the truth about Dent during the League of Shadows' siege in the city. Gordon remains in his post as police commissioner.
- Batman - Ally.
- Ra's al Ghul - Enemy.
- Jonathan Crane/The Scarecrow - Enemy
- The Joker - Enemy.
- Harvey Dent/Two-Face - Ally turned enemy.
- Bane - Enemy.
Friendship With BatmanEdit
- James Gordon: “I never said thank you.”
- Batman: “And you'll never have to.”
- ―Gordon and Batman[src]
Although he does not condone vigilantes at first, Gordon sees that it is necessary to operate outside of laws in the crime-filled Gotham City, especially since most echelons of Gotham's police department are mired in corruption. Before the emergence of Batman, he was increasingly jaded and disillusioned of the malfeasance around him, disdaining his fellow officers even as he acknowledges that he cannot do anything about it, both due to his own refusal to be a 'rat' and a lack of anyone he could actually tell.
The arrival of the Dark Knight gives the police detective the hope he needs to build a better Gotham for his wife and children. After being promoted as a lieutenant, he is determined to clean the department up from within. The detective is still clueless of who Batman is, or that he is one of the people who inspired the Dark Knight to be what he is now. At the end of The Dark Knight, he is one of the few people who knows about Batman being innocent and that Dent was responsible for the murders Batman took the blame for.
In The Dark Knight Rises, Gordon's immense admiration for Batman leads him to feel incredibly guilty for condemning the man responsible for saving his family and city and has to glorify a madman to give the people hope. With Jim's persuasion, Batman finally returns and helps save the city for a third and seemingly final time. John Blake questions Gordon about lying to Gotham, to which Gordon responds by telling him that one day he may find himself in a similar situation and that Gordon hopes Blake has a "friend" like he had. Gordon is finally relieved that Gotham knows the truth behind Dent and who the true hero is. He has a statue constructed in Batman's honor as a lasting monument to the hero's selfless heroism and smiles as he sees that someone has repaired the Bat Signal, implying that Batman is still alive. In the end, Gordon had the uppermost respect and trust for Batman and believed him to be the true hero the city needed and the one to finally save it and give it peace for the first time in decades.