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Villain Overview
You were supposed to understand... I'll MAKE you understand.
~ Edward Nygma before seeking his revenge on Bruce Wayne for rejecting his mind manipulation invention.
Riddle me this, riddle me that. Who's afraid of the big, black Bat?
~ Ed Nygma/The Riddler
Questions, Mr. Wayne? My work raises too many questions? Why hasn't anybody put you in your place?
~ Edward holding a grudge against Bruce.
Yes, yes, yes, Bruce, old man. The press were just wondering how it feels to be outsold, outclassed, out-quaffed and generally outdone in every way.
~ Nygma gloating about NygmaTech's success.
For if knowledge is power, then a god... am... I. Was that over the top? I can never tell!
~ The Riddler

Edward Nygma, better known as The Riddler, is one of the two main antagonists of the 1995 superhero film Batman Forever, the other being Two-Face. He is a criminal genius who teams up with Two-Face so he can get rich, become Gotham's cleverest carbon based life-form, get his revenge on Bruce Wayne, and figure out the identity of Batman.

He was portrayed by Jim Carrey, who also played the title character in The Mask, the titular character in The Cable Guy, The Grinch in How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Count Olaf in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Dr. Eggman in Sonic The Hedgehog movie adaptation, Horton in Horton Hears a Who and Hank Evans in Me, Myself & Irene.

History

Edward Nigma (Batman Forever)

Ed Nygma after having his proposal denied by Bruce Wayne.

Edward Nygma starts out as an employee researcher at Wayne Enterprises who is obsessed with Bruce Wayne. Nygma wanted to use Wayne to test out his invention which was capable of beaming a TV signal into someone's brain.

But Bruce rejects his invention and tells Nygma that it "raises too many questions". Angered by Bruce's rejection, Nygma goes to his supervisor Fred Stickley, and tests it on him. When Stickley discovers Nygma's clandestine overtime, Nygma knocks Stickley unconscious, ties him to a chair, and then uses him to test his device, discovering that he can use it to absorb people's knowledge.

Realizing Wayne was right about it being mind manipulation, Stickley fires Nygma, but Nygma murders Stickley, doctors the security tapes to make Stickley's death look like a suicide, and then resigns from Wayne Enterprises. Everyone except Bruce is convinced that it was a genuine suicide. Indeed, a riddle is left at the scene, which starts Bruce on a path to realizing that Stickley's "suicide" was, in fact, anything but. It is the first of four riddles that Bruce would end up discovering to lead him to the truth.

Becoming the Riddler

Nygma was so satisfied with the work of Two-Face on live television at a circus that he took his own take on the criminal underworld as the mastermind known as the Riddler. Using his device, the Riddler finds Two-Face in his lair and proposes a bargain: they will steal production capital to mass-produce the Riddler's invention in order to deduce Batman's true identity and use it to plot his downfall. Two-Face accepts the deal (with his coin marking heads in favor of the deal).

Riddler & Two-Face (Batman Forever)

Riddler and Two-Face forming an alliance

As a start, both villains steal a lot of capital for Nygma to start his own company, NygmaTech. With that in mind, Nygma mass-produces his inventions and sells them out to people, who find them to be very popular. As part of the marketing, Nygma's true intention was to use his invention to steal the people of Gotham's quotient of intelligence into his own brain, thus making him more intelligent. He even allows Two-Face to share some of the intelligence so that Two-Face himself can become intelligent.

Outbidding Wayne Industries

At a business party, Nygma uses his now-successful invention to find out Bruce Wayne's secret identity as the Batman. After a deadly attack by Two-Face, they together watch the things that Wayne "has in his head", finally realizing that Bruce Wayne is Batman. Delighted by this, Two-Face calls the Riddler a genius.

With their knowledge of Batman's true identity finally at hand, Riddler and Two-Face invade Wayne Manor, where Riddler manages to destroy the Batcave. When Two-Face made his move to kill Bruce, the Riddler convinces him otherwise as he placed his final riddle on the doorstep, saying that Bruce won't learn nothing if he's dead. As both Two-Face and the Riddler escape, they kidnap Dr. Chase Meridian to lure Batman and his new sidekick Robin to their lair.

Riddler game BF

Now... the real game begins

Using a battleship like machine while playing a life and death game with Two-Face, Riddler was able to destroy Batman's Batwing and Two-Face send his goons after him and Robin only to lift up his lair. Two-Face then took the opportunity to capture Robin.

Riddler's Downfall

Finally coming face-to-face with Batman, Riddler claims that using his invention, he will use it to go to countless TV's across the globe that will feed him 'credit card numbers, bank codes, sexual fantasies and little white lies' into his brain. He, Two-Face and their henchmen then attempt to test Batman by giving out his ultimate riddle ("Can Bruce Wayne and Batman ever truly co-exist?"). To ensure this, the Prince of Puzzles plans on dropping either Dr. Meridian or Robin into two separate watery death traps.

Riddler losing his Knowledge (Forever)

Riddler losing his knowledge

The Riddler then tests Batman that he needs to choose either Chase or Robin to save. Playing wise on this, Batman distracts the Riddler by giving him his own riddle ("I see without seeing. To me, darkness is as clear as daylight. What am I?"). The Riddler scoffs at this by giving the answer ("You're as blind as a bat!"), to which Batman confirms as he uses a Batarang to destroy his big replica of his invention thus destroying his lair. This causes the Riddler to lose much of his knowledge while Batman manage to save both Chase and Robin from falling. After Two-Face falls to his death in one of the death traps, Batman went back to the Riddler, who is now enfeebled over the loss of his intelligence. Taking pity on his former employee, Batman answered the Riddler's riddle ("You see, I'm both Bruce Wayne and Batman. Not because I have to be. But because I choose to be.").

Riddler Defeated (Forever)

Riddler defeated

It is unknown if the Riddler actually understood the answer well or not, but just when Batman was about to take Riddler into custody, Riddler began to scream wildly, as he began to hallucinate a giant bat flying towards him. He is then, afterwards, taken to the authorities and convicted to a life prison sentence in Arkham Asylum. One of the physicians, Dr. Burton, calls Dr. Meridian and tells her that the Riddler would shout that he'd know the true identity of Batman.

Riddler in Arkham Asylum (Forever)

Riddler proclaiming that he's Batman while he's in Arkham Asylum

Dr. Meridian asks who Batman is, but Ed says that she must say "please". When she asks with "please" who Batman is, the Riddler appears saying: "I am Batman". as he moves his arms like a flying bat and laughs maniacally, indicating that he has lost his sanity after his defeat. As such, Chase tells Bruce that his secret is safe, citing that Nygma is now a complete lunatic.

Riddler's Riddles

In the movie, The Riddler gave Bruce Wayne a series of riddles for him to decipher;

1. If you look at the numbers on my face, you won't find thirteen any place.

  • Answer: A Clock

2. Tear one off and scratch my head; what once was red is black instead.

  • Answer: A Match

3. The eight of us go forth, not back, to protect our king from a foe's attack.

  • Answer: Chess Pawns

4. We're five little items of an everyday sort; you'll find us all in 'a tennis court'.

  • Answer: Vowels

Each of the riddles contain a number that stands for a letter: the first one (13) stands for M, the next two (1 and 8, forming 18) stands for R, and the last one (5) stands for E. The result spells out "Mr. E", which sounds similar to the word 'mystery', which is a synonym for the word 'enigma'. Those clues would decipher to the Riddler's true identity as Edward Nygma ("Mr. E. Nygma")

When he first tested the Box on his boss Fred Stickley, Edward Nygma asked him a riddle: "What is everything to someone and nothing to anyone else?" The answer was "Your mind" as he taunted him while draining his knowledge.

During the final confrontation, The Riddler gave a riddle to test Batman: "Can Bruce Wayne and Batman ever truly co-exist?" After the Riddler's defeat, Batman finally gave him the answer: "You see, I'm both Bruce Wayne and Batman. Not because I have to be. But because I choose to be."

Trivia

  • It is unknown if The Riddler's real name is Edward Nashton as in the comics.
  • The Riddler's costume can be seen in the sequel Batman & Robin, in which it is held in the confiscating room at Arkham Asylum along with Two-Face's suit.
  • Before Jim Carrey was cast as The Riddler, the late Robin Williams was cast for the role of the Riddler. However, he turned it down and the late Michael Jackson originally auditioned. In spite of this, he never got a response.

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Movies
Batman (1989): Joker | Bob Hawkins | Alicia Hunt | Carl Grissom | Max Eckhardt | Vinnie Ricorso
Batman Returns: Red Triangle Circus Gang (Penguin, Organ Grinder, Poodle Lady, Tattooed Strongman, Stungun Clown, Thin Clown, Fat Clown, Sword Swallower & Knifethrower Dame) | Max Shreck | Catwoman | Charles "Chip" Shreck
Batman Forever: NygmaTech (Riddler, Two-Face, Sugar, Spice & Frogmen) | Neon Gang (Neon Gang Leader) | Salvatore Maroni
Batman & Robin: Poison Ivy | Mr. Freeze | Bane | Snowy Cones Thugs | Golums | Jason Woodrue
Batman Begins: League of Shadows (Ra's al Ghul, Scarecrow & Ra's Decoy) | Carmine Falcone | Victor Zsasz | Joe Chill
The Dark Knight: Joker's Thugs (Joker, Thomas Schiff, Chuckles, Kilson, Bus Driver, Happy, Dopey & Grumpy & Bus Driver) | Two-Face | Sal Maroni | The Chechen | Gambol | Lau | Bank Manager | Michael Wuertz | Burmese Bandit
The Dark Knight Rises: League of Shadows (Bane, Talia al Ghul & Barsad) | Catwoman | John Daggett
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Lex Luthor | Doomsday | Anatoli Knyazev
The Lego Batman Movie: Joker | Phantom Zone Criminals (Harley Quinn, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Two-Face)

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