Villain Overview
Shall I tell you a secret? Theo Galavan is a mask. My name is Dumas, and my family built this city out of nothing. But we were betrayed, driven out, erased!
~ Theo to a captive Gordon.
Don't fret so. You're part of a great endeavor. A great cleansing. Monsters are coming, Mr. Mayor. Monsters. Who will cleanse this city in blood and fire.
~ Theo Galavan to Mayor Aubrey James.
I am Azrael. Righteous scourage of sinners! And I have come to kill you, James Gordon.
~ Azrael to Jim Gordon.

Theodore "Theo" Dumas (later Galavan) is one of the two main antagonists (alongside Hugo Strange) of the second season of the TV series Gotham, who made his debut at the beginning of the season alongside his sister Tabitha.

He was portrayed by James Frain.


His family having been driven out of Gotham City centuries ago, Theo and his sister Tabitha were brought up by the Order of St. Dumas, their family order. Being indoctrinated from childhood on, Theo lived his youth in the firm belief that he had to take revenge on the City of Gotham - and especially the Wayne family.

After arriving at Gotham City, he quickly manages to become the city's mayor through manipulation, deception and blackmail. This includes kidnapping the mayor, forcing him to abdicate and forming the criminal group known as the Maniax only so that the city could see him as a hero once he killed Jerome, the leader of the Maniax, and forcing Oswald Cobblepot to eliminate political rivals for him. Cobblepot is forced to comply because Theo captured his mother. After Penguin attempts to deceive Theo, Theo has Oswald's mother killed by Tabitha.

While seen as a savior in the eyes of the public, he in truth plans to destroy the Wayne Family and their legacy, as his ancestors were driven out of the city by them two centuries ago. His actions eventually culminate in the abduction of Bruce Wayne and the plans to sacrifice him in a ceremony hosted by the Order of St. Dumas. This plan brings Jim Gordon and Penguin to combine forces which leads to Galavan's death by the hands of Gordon. Galavan's body is delivered to Indian Hill, a research facility led by Professor Strange.  

Theo's body is experimented on and eventually, Strange manages to successfully reanimate him. Despite showing enhanced physical abilities, Theo's mind seems to have suffered a great deal during the reanimation. After a conversation with Edward Nygma, Hugo Strange finds a new way to put Theo to use by giving him a new persona. Strange manages to convince the fragmented, confused and extremely dangerous Theo that he is his father and that his name is Azrael, a knight of the Sacred Order of the Saint of Dumas to be used as an "instrument to enforce God's will." During this mission, parts of Theo resurface in Azrael and he sets out to fulfil his original mission - killing Bruce Wayne. During a showdown at Wayne Manor, he is ultimately killed by the combined efforts of Bruce, Alfred, Gordon, Penguin and Butch. As his body is completely destroyed, further reanimation is impossible. 

Powers and Abilities

  • Resurrected Physiology: He was artificially resurrected by Hugo Strange, thereby coming back to life, but with enhanced physiological abilities as well as a fractured mind and a delusional personality which is heavily influenced by memories of his religious background.
    • Enhanced Strength: After his resurrection, Hugo Strange notes that Theo was as strong as an ox. He was able to toss strong orderlies around with just a push of his hand.
    • Enhanced Speed: After his resurrection, Hugo notes that Theo was as fast as a snake. He is able to outrun shogun rounds and even react to attack more faster. This also enhanced his athletic abilities and reaction time in combat and warfare.
    • Enhanced Healing: After his resurrection, his enhanced physiology was able to heal all the damages done to him by Oswald Cobblepot and Jim gordon without even a scar left behind. He was also immune to damage from small firearms.
  • Expert hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: Theo was shown to have advanced martial arts skills as seen when he manages to best Jim Gordon in hand-to-hand combat, with little effort. This combined with his enhanced physical abilities, make him a very powerful fighting machine.
  • Guerrilla Warfare: He is able to use predatory techniques and disappear into the shadows, something which mirror's Batman's predatory techniques in the DC Comics.
  • Religious Knowledge: The Order of Saint Dumas has imbued him with profound knowledge about mystical nature, Biblical topics and occultism. He had memorized all of their texts.
  • Business Management: He became a billionaire by running a highly successful business and criminal empire amassing billions of dollars.
  • Political Power: He used this vast resources to buy off all the major politicians of Gotham, thus getting him elected for mayor of Gotham City.
  • Azrael's Equipment: Hugo Strange gave Theo a modernized replica of a Crusader's armor as well as a replica sword which essential to Theo accepting his new identity as a Crusader for Righteousness. The replica Sword would end up being destroyed forcing Theo to go on a search for the real Sword of Sin.
    • Sword of Sin: Theo found the original Sword of Sin, an ancient relic which was created by the monks of the Order of Saint Dumas. Religious knowledge suggests that it was utilized by the immortal warrior Azrael on his quests and it possessed supernatural powers.


Appearances for Theo Galavan


Season 2

  • 2x01: "Rise of the Villains: Damned If You Do..."
  • 2x02: "Rise of the Villains: Knock, Knock"
  • 2x03: "Rise of the Villains: The Last Laugh"
  • 2x04: "Rise of the Villains: Strike Force"
  • 2x05: "Rise of the Villains: Scarification"
  • 2x06: "Rise of the Villains: By Fire"
  • 2x07: "Rise of the Villains: Mommy's Little Monster"
  • 2x08: "Rise of the Villains: Tonight’s the Night"
  • 2x09: "Rise of the Villains: A Bitter Pill to Swallow"
  • 2x10: "Rise of the Villains: The Son of Gotham"
  • 2x11: "Rise of the Villains: Worse Than A Crime"
  • 2x18: "Wrath of the Villains: Pinewood"
  • 2x19: "Wrath of the Villains: Azrael"
  • 2x20: "Wrath of the Villains: Unleashed"

Gotham Stories

  • "Chapter 4: Can Gordon and Bullock Help Oswald?"


  • Although an original character for the show, Theo Galavan takes on the mantle of Azrael. In the DC Comics continuity Azrael is part of a group of assassins created by the Sacred Order of Saint Dumas to "enforce God's Will" and first made his debut in Batman: Sword of Azrael #1. The two characters to take on the mantle of Azrael are Jean-Paul Valley Jr. and Michael Washington Lane, the latter whom made his appearance in the Batman: Arkham game series, appearing in Arkham City and Arkham Knight.
  • His plan is also similar to The Old Man's plan from the 1987 action film RoboCop where he would rebuild Gotham into a modernized city which would involve destroying people's homes.
  • Theo using Penguin to help cause chaos in Gotham City and building himself a good public image is a possible reference to Max Shreck from Batman Returns. However, in this instance, it is Theo who wants to become Mayor to carry out his plans, whereas Shreck wanted Penguin to become Mayor.
  • Theo is also indirectly responsible for the creation of the Joker in the Gotham universe, as he was the one who orchestrated Jerome Valeska's reign of terror on Gotham City and even advised him to use his insane laughter when committing the crimes. Even after killing Jerome his legacy continued on with copycats which may one day lead to the true creation of the Clown Prince of Crime.
  • Interestingly, despite having been dead he grew a beard
  • From the way Bruce looked at him in the episode "Azrael" where he made his acrobatic escape, it is implied that it was this demonstration from Azrael that inspired Bruce to become Batman.
  • Theo could be seen as an "evil" counterpart to Bruce Wayne, as well as Bruce's future alter ego Batman.
    • The pair of them are billionaires and philanthropists.
    • The pair want to help the city of Gotham, although Theo mostly did it for his own ends and through the use of corruption and manipulation to get what he wants.
    • Both their families come from founders of Gotham City.
    • Theo ends up taking up the mantle of "Azrael" (although not through choice) and ends up donning a costume, and his movements and fight styles give him the look of Bruce's future superhero alter ego "Batman". The difference is though Theo is willing to kill and cause violence in the name of "justice", whereas Bruce refuses to kill anyone and follows a code.
    • Theo shares similarities to a younger Bruce Wayne in appearance.
    • In an interesting case, Jerome Valeska almost acts like Theo Galavan's twisted version of Batman's sidekick Robin. Jerome originated from a circus like Robin, lost his parents (although in very different circumstances), was given a home by Galavan and taken under his wing in order to be trained to help out with his cause.


           Gotham-5428254c4abd4 Villains

514A | Barbara Kean | Bridgit Pike | Butch Gilzean | Carmine Falcone | Eduardo Dorrance | Edward Nygma | Fish Mooney | Hugo Strange | Ivy Pepper | Jeremiah Valeska | Jerome Valeska | Jervis Tetch | Jonathan Crane | Kathryn Monroe | Mario Calvi | Nathaniel Barnes | Nyssa al Ghul | Ms. Peabody | Oswald Cobblepot | Leslie Thompkins | Ra's al Ghul | Salvatore Maroni | Sensei | Sofia Falcone | Tabitha Galavan | Theo Galavan | The Ogre | Victor Fries | Victor Zsasz

Aaron Helzinger | Arnold Flass | Arthur Penn | Aubrey James | Basil Karlo | Dollmaker | Dwight Pollard | Ecco | Electrocutioner | Father Creel | Frankie Carbone | Gabe | Gerald Crane | Gillian Loeb | The Lady | Professor Pyg | Richard Sionis | Talon | Jane Cartwright

Eduardo Flamingo | Dorothy Duncan | Aaron Danzig | Dr. Marks | Anubis and the Hunter | Arnold Dobkins | Grace van Dahl | Gus Floyd | Billy Boy | Carlson Grey | Clyde Destro | Davis Lamond | Dick Lovecraft | Headhunter | Larissa Diaz | Magpie | Marv | Mario Pepper | "Matches" Malone | Merton | Mutant Leader | Nancy | Patti and Doug | Reed | Reginald Payne | Richard Gladwell | Ridgeback Monster | Robert Greenwood | Sid | Sid Bunderslaw | Stan Potolsky | Tom Dougherty | Trope | Tweaker | Tweed-Brothers | Zaardon

Court of Owls | Gotham City Police Department | Church of Jeremiah | Cult of Jerome | Legion of Horribles | Order of St. Dumas | Penguins | Red Hood Gang | Maniax | Monsters | Wayne Enterprises | The Mutants

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.