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"It's not just a call. It's a warning."Batman

WARNING! This article contains MAJOR SPOILERS for The Batman. Anything that you read beyond this is on you.

"It's getting serious. If this continues, it won't be long before you have nothing left."
―Alfred Pennyworth to Bruce Wayne[src]

Alfred Pennyworth is the caring yet secretive butler of the Wayne Family and the adopted father and mentor of Bruce Wayne. He trained Bruce in the ways of martial arts, and despite his objections, helps Bruce as the vigilante "Batman", and handles his communications at Wayne Enterprises.

Biography[]

Early Career[]

Serving the Wayne Family[]

"Bruce, I'm not saying never take any risks, because that would be a waste of time. I know you will. I did, in my youth. In a way, life is about taking risks."
―Alfred Pennyworth to Bruce Wayne[src]

Once simply the butler (and bodyguard)[1] for the billionaire Wayne Family, Alfred Pennyworth's life was forever turned upside down when his masters Thomas and Martha Wayne were gunned down in an alley in front of their young son Bruce.

In an attempt to help the psychologically damaged boy, Pennyworth adopted Bruce as his legal son and, as he grew up, reluctantly assisted him in training to fight.[2]

Aiding Batman[]

Watching Over Bruce Wayne[]

"You can't get away from what happened to your parents. Neither of us can. Instead of racing away from that terrible event, I think maybe it's time to start running toward something."
―Alfred Pennyworth to Bruce Wayne[src]

As Bruce Wayne became the vigilante detective known as the Batman, Pennyworth continued to aid him, with some reluctance. He aided him through two years of crimefighting in his home of Gotham City, New York, helping him from behind the scenes as his strategist and mechanic through his battles with Gotham's crime families, most notably Carmine Falcone and Penguin. On the business side of things, he handled communications for Bruce at Wayne Enterprises so he could be Batman full time.[3]

Riddler's Games[]

On Halloween night of 2021, Mayor Don Mitchell, Jr. was murdered in his home by a serial killer known as Riddler. Pennyworth attempted to help Bruce Wayne decipher the ciphers that Riddler had left at the crime scene. After Pennyworth's unsuccessful attempt to decipher it, Wayne figured out that just using the letters from the riddle's answer, "He lies still", the cipher would spell out the word, "DRIVE".[2]

Bombing of Wayne Tower[]

While he was working at Wayne Tower, Pennyworth was checking through letters. He noticed one which bore a letter addressed to the Bruce Wayne. He took the letter out of the envelope, and on it was written that it was fireproof. Pennyworth turned over the box with which the letter had come with, and saw a red light beeping, realizing it was a bomb. He attempted to throw it away from himself, which spared him his life, yet he was still severely injured.[2]

Telling Bruce the Truth[]

Pennyworth was taken to the hospital, where he was visited by Bruce Wayne, who had returned from talking to Carmine Falcone about the accusations made by Riddler, saying that Thomas Wayne had Edward Elliot, a reporter who found out terrible things about Martha Wayne's family, killed by Falcone.

Wayne accused Pennyworth of lying to him all along, and asked why he did not tell him. Pennyworth responded by telling Wayne that Thomas just made a mistake, to which Wayne denied, saying he had a man killed. Pennyworth explained to him that Thomas was attempting to protect Martha and him from the negative rumors, and that it was never about his mayoral campaign. Pennyworth also said that when Thomas found out that Falcone had killed Elliot, he said he was going to turn Falcone over to the Gotham City Police Department. Pennyworth suspected that this caused Falcone to kill Thomas and Martha, but he was never able to get solid evidence on it.[2]

Personality[]

"It was my job to protect them. Do you understand? I know you always blamed yourself, but you were only a boy, Bruce. I could see the fear in your eyes but I didn't know how to help. I could teach you how to fight, but I wasn't equipped to take care of you. You needed a father, and all you had was me."
―Alfred Pennyworth to Bruce Wayne[src]

Since the death of his former employers, Pennyworth is the only family Bruce Wayne had left. Pennyworth accepted his surrogate father role and cares for him deeply. It's clear that Pennyworth does not condone Wayne's crusade as the Batman, since it puts even more strain on himself, saying he would likely die from it. Even after everything, though, Pennyworth remained fiercely loyal to the Waynes, and regretfully keeps secret how corrupt they really were, even from their own son.

Abilities[]

"Just reminiscing about my days in the circus. This is actually quite elusive."
"Where'd you get those O's?"
""He lies still" is only a partial key. It only gives us H, E, L, I, S, and T. So, I'm looking for any double symbols to start, trying letters, see where it leads."
―Alfred Pennyworth and Bruce Wayne[src]
  • Genius-Level Intellect: Pennyworth is a former British Intelligence officer.[3] He often assisted Bruce Wayne in the detective and scientific areas of crime-fighting. Due to his days in the SAS Forces, Pennyworth is a highly skilled code breaker, which made him capable of deciphering on of Riddler's ciphers.
    • Skilled Detective: Pennyworth is the only person who knows Wayne is Batman, because he raised Wayne since he was a child and noticed Wayne's connection to Janice Dure during the takedown of Piggy Porcello.
    • Skilled Businessman: Due to Wayne largely distancing himself from the rest of the world, Pennyworth largely became responsible for running Wayne Enterprises' day-to-day operations.
"Just remember, these skills are about inner strength and discipline, not kicking someone's butt, as you so eloquently put it."
―Alfred Pennyworth to Bruce Wayne[src]
  • Expert Martial Artist: During his time in British Intelligence, Pennyworth had received extensive training in several fighting techniques, from karate to judo to taekwondo. Pennyworth was initially the one who trained Wayne in martial arts in a style that combined various fighting styles, which he jokingly calls "Bruce-jitsu."

Facilities[]

Relationships[]

Family[]

Allies[]

Enemies[]

Trivia[]

  • Alfred Pennyworth is the only person who knows Batman's true identity long before Bruce's battle with organized crime. He realized that Bruce is Batman when he dismantled Piggy Porcello's explosives operation.[3]
  • Alfred's current address is 139 Kane Street, Midtown, Gotham City.

Behind the Scenes[]

  • In the DC Comics, Alfred Pennyworth is Bruce Wayne's loyal and trusted butler, housekeeper, legal guardian, best friend, and surrogate father figure following the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne, making him Batman's manservant, moral anchor, and most trusted ally.
  • Alfred Pennyworth in The Batman is the eleventh live-action incarnation of the character, following incarnations portrayed by William Austin, Eric Wilton, Alan Napier, Michael Gough, Ian Abercrombie, Michael Caine, Sean Pertwee, Jeremy Irons, Jack Bannon, and Douglas Hodge.
  • Andy Serkis said "Alfred is very much out of sorts. Being a military man, he is used to rules and regulations, structure and precision. I wanted him to have that military solidity in the way he dressed and carried himself, which is ruffled with Bruce's nihilism and refusal to listen to him anymore. It's a relationship built on shifting sands."[1]

References[]

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External Links[]

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