- "I've shown this city who I truly am once before, and I will do it again. They will bow to the Riddler, and they won't get up until I permit them to."
- —Edward Nygma to Oswald Cobblepot[src]
Edward "Ed" Nygma, also known as the Riddler, is a former forensic scientist working for the Gotham City Police Department with a penchant for speaking in riddles. He later went down a path of criminal activity after murdering Tom Dougherty to protect Kristen Kringle and later killed Kringle by accident as well. Ed's alter ego would force him to embrace his darkness after these murders. Later, he framed Jim Gordon after the latter began looking into the death of Kringle. However, he was later captured and sent to Arkham Asylum.
Six months into his sentence, he was released due to the intervention of Oswald Cobblepot, to help with Oswald's campaign for mayor of Gotham. Edward met Isabella, who bore a striking resemblance to Kristen. Oswald has Isabella killed and when Edward found out, he tried to kill Oswald by shooting him.
Edward took on the persona of the Riddler and terrorized Gotham until he was frozen in a block of ice by Victor Fries on Oswald’s orders, and suffered brain damage as a result. Edward sought out help and ran into Lee Thompkins, whom he eventually formed a partnership with. Ed started to become a better person and his other persona (the Riddler) didn’t like that and tried to kill Lee. He eventually turned to Oswald for help, but both persona’s fell in love with Lee. Ed was jealous of Jim and tried to kill him. Lee feared Ed would try to kill him, and stabbed him, but Ed stabbed her as well and they both died. Ed was revived by Hugo Strange, but had sporadic blackouts with no recollection of what happened.
He took up residence in an abandoned library during No Man’s Land, and was eventually revealed to be a sleeper agent under the control of Nyssa al Ghul disguised as "Theresa Walker" and Eduardo Dorrance as part of their scheme in destroying Gotham City. After Riddler managed to break free of his mind control, he later planned to leave Gotham behind with Oswald, although the pair of them stayed behind and ended up helping with defending the city from Nyssa's and Dorrance's army. Sometime after, Edward was arrested and placed back in Arkham Asylum, where he would spend the next ten years of his life being locked up. However, he was kidnapped and given bombs by Arkham guards under the orders of Jeremiah Valeska in order for Edward to blow up the newly built Wayne Tower. Though he was defeated by Selina Kyle and Barbara Kean, he managed to reunite with his old friend, Oswald Cobblepot. Unfortunate for him, the two were caught and left for the GCPD by a mysterious vigilante, however, they were able to escape and planned to take on the vigilante another day.
Edward Nygma went to Hilltop Elementary school when he was at a young age. Edward earned his degree at Gotham City University. Prior to the events of the show, he won the Whippleburn Prize for excellence in criminal science writing for an article titled "What’s Wrong With This Right? Preventing False Positives at Crime Scenes." He also authored other pieces for journals such as Evidence Quarterly, For Your Record and Post-Mortem Monthly.
Working with the GCPD
Two months before the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne, Edward identified the body of Byron Stone, a thief who was killed during a robbery in Wayne Manor. He relayed this information to Gotham City Police Department detectives Harvey Bullock and Amanda Wong whose subsequent investigation would help fast-track the events that would culminate in the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne.
When Harvey Bullock and James Gordon are investigating the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne, Nygma presents information about the bullet recovered from Thomas Wayne's body in the form of a riddle, to which Bullock impatiently demands that he "tell" rather than "ask". Gordon, however, is willing to play along, and solves one of his riddles.
Ed helps Gordon and Bullock discover that a corpse found belonged to Coleman Lawson. Nygma later decided to do his own autopsy on Coleman Lawson's body, though he is soon discovered by the true medical examiner, Dr. Guerra, who kicks him out.
Ed informs Gordon and Bullock about the discovery of the distinctive plate between the remains of the bomb that went off last night, which belonged to an abandoned metal factory.
When Gordon is temporarily transferred to Arkham Asylum, Nygma gives him a goodbye hug, demonstrating how much the detective's friendliness means to him.
He continues his attempts to woo Kristen, giving her a cupcake with a bullet in it and declaring that "it's a riddle." Kristen, finding it "menacing and weird and inedible," promptly returns it to him. Nygma later visits her in the records annex to explain what the gift was intended to represent--that "a beautiful woman is a dangerous thing"--but before Kristen can respond, Detective Arnold Flass appears and orders him to leave Kristen alone. Assuring her that he never meant to offend her, Nygma's makes his way out and happens to overhear Kristen thanking Flass and remarking on how weird Nygma is.
Unwilling to give up just yet, Nygma makes a card for Kristen and writes a short poem inside. When he comes by later to see what she thought of it, he finds Flass and some of the other police officers mocking it. In spite of Kristen telling them to stop, they begin to tease him, and he leaves in embarrassment. Later, as he's in the laboratory "surgically removing the onions from his takeout", Kristen comes in to apologize for Flass' behavior, telling him that Flass happened to find the card in her desk and that she thought his card was "thoughtful." Encouraged, Nygma attempts to ask Kristen out, but she cuts him off and quickly makes her exit. Nygma smiles, murmuring to himself that "there's hope".
Annoyed by the incompetence of the medical examiner, Dr. Guerra, Nygma takes to dissecting bodies without his permission. Guerra begs Essen to do something about Nygma's conduct, and when they next catch him with his hand inside a corpse, she suspends him. Nygma goes to the records room to tell Kristen and finds her crying. She hastily gathers herself, and he explains his situation to her, giving her back a pencil he'd taken from her desk--now reduced to a small stump. Kristen says that she's sorry to hear about his predicament and that she wishes something could be done. Getting an idea, Nygma sneaks back into the station later and breaks into the medical examiner's locker, placing severed limbs inside. Guerra is promptly fired after being found with the body parts in his possession. Reinstated out of necessity, Nygma returns to the annex to tell Kristen that he's back. As he's leaving, she stops him and declares that he owes her a new pencil.
When Leslie Thompkins becomes the new medical examiner, Nygma develops a positive working relationship with her, remarking to Gordon that she's much better than her predecessor. Around the same time, he also has a chance meeting with Oswald Cobblepot, who stops by the station to speak to Gordon. Aware of who he is and intrigued by his presence, Nygma teases him, asking him whether he knew that male emperor penguins keep their eggs warm by balancing them on their feet. Bewildered and unamused, Cobblepot asks who he is, and then orders him to keep moving.
Ed accosts Kristen while she's picking up files from the laboratory. He attempts to flirt with her and brings up the subject of Detective Flass, who has recently been reinstated. "It's just that he's such a bad--" he begins, but Kristen cuts him off, placing a hand on his arm. She tells him that she appreciates his concern, but has realized that there are far better men in the world than Arnold Flass. Kristen leaves the room and, grinning goofily, Nygma grasps the part of his arm that she touched, certain that she'd finally returned his affections.
As the day wraps up, Nygma approaches Kristen with a bouquet hidden behind his back and asks if she has any dinner plans. Startled and regretful, Kristen says that she does, and introduces Nygma to her new boyfriend, Officer Tom Dougherty. Nygma remains polite, managing to retain his composure as Tom asks him a riddle. He answers it easily, and Tom promises that he'll stump him next time. As the couple leaves the GCPD, Kristen casts another sympathetic glance back at Nygma. Nygma looks down at his wilted bouquet, then, in a fit of heartbroken rage, tears it up and throws it into a garbage can.
Ed is asked by Gordon to find evidence from the case that was apparently missing. However, Nygma could not find the missing evidence, though he did find a photocopy of an image of a hand painted broken heart.
Descent into insanity
Some days later, Nygma walks in on Tom and Kristen kissing in the annex. After Tom leaves, he notices bruises on Kristen's arms, which she admits were Tom's doing. Kristen shrugs off Nygma's concern, not wanting him to get involved. Infuriated, Nygma confronts Tom himself. Tom asks Nygma if he's ever been with a woman before, and when Nygma says nothing Tom declares that sometimes women "need a firm hand." Nygma insists his behavior is wrong, and Tom asks him what he intends to do about it, again reducing him to silence.
Undeterred, that night Nygma waits outside of Kristen's townhouse for Tom. When Tom shows up, he declares that he won't let Tom hurt Kristen any longer and tells him that he should leave Gotham. For the first time, Tom fully realizes that Nygma has a crush on Kristen. He punches Nygma in the stomach. Before he can land a second punch, Nygma impulsively draws a knife and accidentally stabs him. As he gapes in horror at what he's done, Tom grips him by the shoulder as though to knock him down again, and Nygma flies into a rage, stabbing him ten more times. Looking over Tom's dead body, Nygma gives a hysterical, terrified laugh, overwhelmed by the magnitude of what he's done.
The following day, he returns to the GCPD with the now-dismembered corpse, intending to dispose of it in the morgue. As he prepares to dissolve the flesh from the bones, Kristen walks in to ask for some files back and recoils at the sight of the carnage. Nygma constructs a hasty lie, claiming that the body parts are from a victim that was sliced up in an industrial accident. Kristen says that she can't understand how Nygma is able to deal with those sorts of things on the job, and Nygma says "one must have a sense of humor." She asks him whether he's seen Tom around, and he tells her that he hasn't. To Kristen's surprise, he then quickly ushers her out.
He debates his next move with Tom's bare skull before smashing it, wondering aloud whether he should write Kristen a note in Tom's name to explain Tom's sudden disappearance. He types one out and plays dumb when he finds Kristen reading it. Exasperated, Kristen questions her choice in men and Ed tells her to read between the lines. After she leaves, chuckling to himself a little, Nygma repositions the note, revealing that the first letters of each line spell "NYGMA" down the left margin.
However, Kristen eventually notices Nygma's clue and becomes suspicious. When confronted, Nygma denies knowing anything and is left alone. The fear of being caught, along with the shame of leaving such an easy clue, drives Nygma to criticize himself.
One month later, Ed is greeted by Jim in the before he was called to Essen's office. After Gordon leaves, Nygma begins hallucinating, talking to his inner self. When his inner self-teases him, telling him to pursue Kristen Kringle, Nygma tells him to be quiet and storms out.
A week later, he practices asking her out by talking to a skeleton in his lab. His alter-ego laughs at him, and says that he should "take what he deserves". Nygma demands that Kristen meet him at his home for dinner. That evening, Nygma and Kristen are eating when Kristen apologizes to Nygma. She claims that she feels that she has been mean to him for the longest time. Nygma admits to thinking that he's just been annoying her. She begins to reminisce about Officer Dougherty, (Still not aware that he is deceased). Kristen wonders how she ever could have let Tom push her around as he did. Nygma nervously says "I'm glad he's dead." Kristen recoils in disbelief, saying that Nygma is wrong, that Tom was alive. Edward quickly states that it was just a figure of speech, that Tom was only dead to her. Kristen, feeling awkward, excuses herself to go to the bathroom, leaving Nygma to dwell on the near miss that he had. Nygma's alter ego appears and chastises him for blowing his chance with Kringle. Nygma retorts for him to leave, unaware that Kristen was now in the room. She mistakenly thinks that Nygma was asking her to leave. Nygma stops her and tells her about the illusions, which Kristen merely shakes off. She then pulls Nygma in for a kiss.
Nygma later proudly announces to Detective Gordon and Leslie that he and Kristen are now an item, and asks if they would join them for a double date. Gordon declines, but Leslie agrees to go, forcing Gordon to agree. This goes well, and Leslie notes that Edward is changing.
The next date includes Nygma and Kristen talking, when Kringle, slightly intoxicated, asks if Nygma's bedroom was in the next room, implying that Kringle wants to sleep with Edward. After they are both prepared for bed, Kristen quickly starts to spring up, suddenly fearful that her deceased boyfriend, Dougherty, would discover Nygma and Kristen together. Nygma reassures her that she needn't worry about him. Nygma confesses that he and Tom had an altercation and that he was dead. Kristen is nervous, but she laughs, saying that Edward had her going, thinking it was a joke. Nygma informs her that he wasn't joking, then reveals that he had Tom's badge as a trophy. Kristen becomes frightened, and yells out, claiming that everything she thought about him was right, resorting to calling him "Menacing and weird". She starts to run away, stating how she couldn't believe she fell for Ed in the first place, and that she doesn't even recognize who he is anymore. She further threatens to have him locked up, claiming that he is a psychopath. Nygma however, denies having a mental illness. Kristen makes it to the door, with Edward groping after her, and she demands he let her go. Angrier than ever, Nygma tells her that he did it for her, to protect her. She slaps him, knocking him back a little bit. Nygma rises again and grasps her. Kristen busts a glass on his head, causing him to fall, and his glasses to break. He then gets to his feet and cups his hand tightly around her mouth and throat. He attempts to reassure her by saying he killed Tom to protect her, saying she'd never let anyone hurt her, as he loved her, all the while, unknowingly choking the life out of her. When he released his grip, Kristen's lifeless body slumped down onto the floor, and Nygma screamed in grief.
Embracing his darker side
Nygma wakes up the next morning to find that his own alter ego has stolen Kristen's body while the "Good Ed" was unconscious. The Riddler personality taunts Edward and sends him on a grisly scavenger hunt to find the corpse. An envelope left on the bed tells Ed to find Kristen's initials, KK, at the police station. He eventually finds her severed hand in the 'KK' slot of a vending machine, and, extracting it, discovers a rolled-up scrap of paper stuck to the hand. The next clue leads Edward to Leslie's lab, where Kristen's body is hidden in a drawer. Leslie nearly discovers the corpse, but Ed quickly makes up an excuse to get her away by telling her that he and Kristen had a fight and asking if she could give him some advice over coffee. Later that night, Nygma returns to the lab and confronts his alter ego, who asks Edward how it felt to commit a crime and not get caught by Leslie. Ed admits that it felt "beautiful," and, grinning, he begins cutting up Kristen's body.
Nygma takes Kringle's body to the woods to be buried and to say his final goodbyes. During this, he kills a hunter who comes across him. He returns to his car to fetch his gear, planning to dismember the hunter's body, but when he returns, he notices someone has stolen his sandwich that he took for a picnic. Noticing a blood trail, Nygma begins to follow the suspect with the intent to kill them. Hours later he comes across an isolated trailer, and when approaching the door it bursts open and Nygma is stunned. Placing back on his fallen glasses, he notices it is Oswald Cobblepot, injured, weak and begging for help.
Nygma takes an unconscious Oswald back to his apartment, Oswald is in fear when he sees Nygma, then Nygma sedates Oswald with a needle to calm him down, later when Oswald wakes up, he tells him that they have met once before at the GCPD and tells him that he will have nowhere to run and he will have to stay there until he recovers, Nygma tells Oswald that he has started murdering people, Oswald asks Nygma of his intentions, he then claims the murders have changed him and that he needs Oswald to guide him on his new path as he is one of the city's most notorious killers, though Oswald refuses, and tells Ed that the path he is on will lead him to destruction and pain, Penguin later faints. Nygma kidnaps Leonard sometime later, he tells Oswald that he can kill Leonard for retribution for his mother's death, but Penguin then refuses, tells Ed he is done, and that he is leaving Gotham forever. Edward then drags Leonard into the closet, when he hears Oswald humming a song that his mother used to sing to him when he was a child. Later that night, Ed plays the same song, awakening Oswald in the process. Oswald asks him why he is playing the song, and Ed replies with a riddle, which Oswald correctly answers as 'a memory'. Ed explains to Oswald that he heard him humming it under his covers, and figured that it had meaning to him. Oswald then explains to Ed that his mother used to sing it to him every night before he went to sleep. Ed then shows Oswald Kristen's glasses and explains that they are all he has to remember her by, and when he looks at them he no longer feels sadness, but gratitude. Oswald refuses to hear why, and proceeds to leave but Ed quickly stops him and tells him that love is their crippling weakness and that they are better off without it. Oswald is angered at this remark and grabs a knife, and sticks it up to Ed's neck, though Ed quickly saves himself by stating that Oswald's mother was his weakness, and tells him a man with nothing left is 'a man who cannot be bargained, a man that cannot be betrayed, a man who answers to no one but himself'. Ed then grabs the knife from Oswald's hands. The newly befriended Oswald asks where Leonard is, Edward opens the closet where he is being kept, and Oswald states his mother used to say a party's not a party without entertainment, to which Edward smiles, then drags out Leonard.
Later Ed is seen at work, talking to Penguin on his cell phone about a plugged toilet, quickly hanging up as Leslie comes to Ed with files on the dead monk. Nygma's cell phone starts ringing, to which Leslie inquires if that's Kristen calling Ed, when it's really Oswald. Ed quickly fabricates a lie that he was talking to his plumber and proceeds to tell another lie that Kringle had left town with Officer Dougherty. He then breaks down in tears to cross off her suspicions. Once Leslie leaves, he answers Oswald's call, realizing Oswald was just calling to ask where the spicy mustard is in Ed's fridge, ending up finding it himself and ending the call.
When knocked out by Theo Galavan, a confused Jim Gordon wakes up to Nygma and Oswald singing with each other. It's there that Gordon, Oswald and his crew formulate a plan to rescue Bruce Wayne from the Order of St. Dumas. Sometime later Nygma went back to the GCPD where he overheard a conversation with Leslie and Barnes, he heads over to her and tells her to go to his apartment. Sometime after that Nygma heads over to hear the conversation with Bullock, Lucius, Barnes and Alfred about Gordon. Ed starts chuckling, and they all grow suspicious when they all go over to him and ask if he knows where Gordon is. He tries to riddle them and Lucius figures out that the answer is "home," and asks Nygma if he's talking about his own home. Nygma reluctantly replies yes.
Sometime after Galavan's death, during Victor Fries' crime spree in which he freezes citizens of Gotham, Nygma is seen at the GCPD, doing forensics on a frozen officer. Freezing a rose using liquid nitrogen, he comes to the conclusion that Fries was using cooled liquid helium as opposed to liquid nitrogen. Gordon asks where they get it, and Ed inquires why exactly they'd need some. Bullock explains that they don't and that they just wanted to know where it comes from, calling Ed a dummy. Ed is seen crushing the rose and says he doesn't like being called names. Gordon tells Ed to be easy and that Bullock was simply being colorful. After that Bullock leaves the room but Gordon stays to ask Ed the nature of Oswald's relationship with him, and that he is concerned on why he aided a criminal. Nygma tells him that he found Oswald wounded and dying in the woods and that he nursed him back to health. Ed calls it an innocent mistake. Their conversation is then cut short when a cop is heard shouting and they head out to see everybody clapping that Oswald Cobblepot has finally been arrested. When Oswald is put into a cell at GCPD, Ed comes to talk to him. He quietly asks him if he is doing okay, and if there is anything he can do to help, but Oswald responds that he is beyond help, however, he asks if Ed can take care of his mother's grave occasionally, and tell her that he is thinking of her. When a guard comes in to collect Oswald and tells him he is going to Arkham, due to Oswald's claiming that he's insane rather than a criminal, their conversation is cut short.
When Leslie asks Gordon for help on finding Kristen Kringle, Gordon goes to Ed for help and visits him in forensics, where he's working on yet another case with a corpse. Gordon asks Ed if he has heard from Kristen Kringle lately. Ed then poses Gordon a riddle: "I'm strong as a rock, but a word can destroy me, What am I?" before answering the riddle for Gordon, stating the answer is silence, and that he's heard nothing. Gordon tells Ed he hasn't seemed to locate her, and that she hasn't cashed her last few paychecks, Ed asks if something bad has happened. Gordon then asks Nygma what Tom Dougherty is like, as Nygma responds "Rotten" and tells Gordon that Kristen left a note. Gordon asks if he can look at said note, but Ed says he didn't think of it as a keepsake. With nothing left to go on, Gordon leaves. From this point on, Edward makes Jim an enemy and starts devising a plan to get him off his trail.
At the Gotham Museum Of Art, Ed snuck in a fake bomb, then sets it off when the place becomes populated. Nygma waits for the place to clear before going in with a knife and a green spray-can to leave clues for the police to find. Using the knife, he cuts off the painting and sprays a green question mark in its place. Later at the GCPD, Ed heads up to tell Gordon he is ready for their interview about Kristen leaving with Dougherty, but Gordon tells Nygma that he has to go to the Museum. Later, Edward is seen taking a bomb out of his car, and puts it in a locker in the Gotham Train Station, spray painting a green question mark on the door of the locker. He waits for Gordon to get closer to the locker before activating it. Gordon then uses a crowbar to open the locker and grabs the bomb out and throws it into the statue before it explodes. Ed then flees the area. Later, at the crime scene Ed asks for Strike Force Unit Alpha member Carl Pinkney's signature for an Internal Affairs form. Ed goes over to Jim and congratulates him on his quick thinking with the bomb. Edward later picks up the crowbar that Gordon used to open the locker to further his plan to get Jim off his back. Back at his apartment, he is examining the crowbar he just took before Oswald knocks on his door, Nygma is happy that he is out of the Asylum he lets Oswald in, and asks why he is covered in feathers, but Oswald came to tell Nygma that he can change and anger is not the solution. But Edward tells him that he was hitting his stride and that he is really grateful on all he taught him. and the bad stuff about Jim Gordon is really paying off. but Nygma asks Penguin to leave and that the new him is really freaking him out, and thanks him for coming by. Edward changes the bomb report to another sheet. Some time later, Nygma calls the police station masking his voice, about the murder of Theo Galavan, Soon after that Edward goes to Officer Pinkney's apartment to kill him for the final piece of the puzzle, to frame Jim Gordon. Eventually putting Jim Gordon into prison.
After Jim Gordon was sent to prison, Nygma spots Bullock on the phone with Harvey Dent, Bullock spots him going up the stairs, and tells him to come over to him. Bullock tells him that Jim is wasting away in Blackgate and that the real killer is out there, but Ed tries to put it back on Jim. but Harvey says that Jim is innocent and that he didn't kill Pinkney Ed says that that's unfair and asks Bullock what he's gonna do about it but before leaving, Bullock says that he wish he knew, Nygma starts to smirk.
After the news of Jim Gordon escaping prison was on the TV at the GCPD, Bullock walks down stairs, Nygma is there and asks him if he has seen the news. Later, Jim Gordon goes to Ed for help on the phone call audio that said Jim Gordon killed Galavan when Ed got into his apartment, scaring Ed, Jim tells him to relax and that he isn't going to hurt him. Jim tells him that he needs his help and that he didn't kill Pinkney and he needs to find the man who framed him Jim shows Ed the recording that was recording from the I.A and that they secretly record everything that calls in, Ed says smiling "They do? Those sneaky little buggers, and-and what did you hear? if you don't mind me asking." Jim tells him he didn't hear much and that he disguised his voice and that there were other sounds on the tape, he figured because Ed works with audio he can help him. Ed tells him that he came to the right place Ed tells him he will get his stuff, and make some tea.
Ed tries to throw Jim off by saying, but Jim says he should at least clean the tape, Ed agrees to do so, and tells Jim that he needs some more tea, a satisfied Ed tells Jim that the museum robbing was all a setup, and Jim tells Ed that he thinks Loeb was behind it and that he thinks it was "payback" and tells Ed he still has lackeys in the GCPD. Ed accidentally smashes a glass with the jug, Jim asks him if he is all right, and Ed tells him that he is. Ed then asks Gordon whether he think Loeb killed Pinkney himself, and Jim answers and says that he had some 'psychopath' do it for him. Ed is offended by this notion, and Jim calls the 'murderer' 'sick', but Ed brings up that Gordon had killed tons of people. Gordon says that it was in the line of duty, and brings up rumors he had heard. Ed tells Jim about the rumors of him killing Galavan, and a confused Jim asks him if Penguin told him anything about the night Galavan died, asking him if he talked to Oswald when Barnes brought him in, and Ed tells him the tape had finished. The noise is revealed to be a clock bird, and Ed is eventually discovered by Jim. Ed's clock bird sets off, and Ed starts laughing and tells Gordon that he knew that Gordon knew he had done it, before setting of an electric box wired to the mains electrocuting Jim. Later, Edward drags an unconscious Jim across the road, trying to put Jim into his car Jim wakes up and runs away, pulling a gun from his pocket, Ed fires at him and shoots him. Ed runs into the building that Jim just escaped into and Ed hears him and shoots at him, Ed heads down to find Gordon's blood on the step, before hearing him close the door, Ed runs out for Jim, but Jim disappeared into the city. At the GCPD when Selina Kyle tells everyone she knows where Jim Gordon is and that he knows where the bodies are buried, a worried Ed runs into the bathroom trying to relax himself.
Sometime later, when Ed is out in the woods where he buried Kristen Kringle he starts to dig up where she was buried, until Gordon sneaks up behind him. Ed hears his footsteps on the floor and pulls out the gun, pointing it at Gordon. Ed states that Gordon did find Penguin, but Gordon says that he only followed him, and Ed realizes that Gordon set up the scenario in the GCPD with Selina. Jim asks him how he became what he is, but Ed simply tells him that this is who he always has been, and that he was finally admitting the truth to himself. Jim states he was Ed's friend, but Ed dismisses this, believing that Jim simply pitied him. Jim calls him completely insane, and Ed tells him one last riddle for old times sake: "A nightmare for some, for others, a savior I come, my hands cold and bleak, it's the warm hearts they seek". Jim answers the riddle by saying "Death." and Ed says goodbye to Jim, but Barnes and Bullock come from behind the tree and tells him to drop the gun. Ed hesitates, saying he was arresting Jim but Barnes says he heard everything he said, and was giving Ed one last chance to surrender. Instead Ed decides to make a run for it, until he tripped over a log, lifting his hands as he was surrounded by officers.
Sent to Arkham
As Edward is taken into Arkham Asylum, inmates start yelling and screaming. Edward stops to look but is dragged off by the guard. In Arkham's cafeteria, Ed broke up a fight between Aaron Helzinger and Rudy.
Ed later sees Gordon leaving out of the Asylum and Ed promises to find a way to get out of there, as no one beat him, though Gordon reminded him that he did. After that, Nygma listens to Hugo Strange and Ethel Peabody, commenting on Gordon as he could prove to be a big problem to their current plans. At that Nygma offers his help in taking Gordon down, but Strange refuses, though Nygma unintentionally gives him an idea of how to solve his problem with Theo Galavan. Later, Ed was still upset about how Hugo Strange had dismissed him earlier. Ethel arrives and asks Aaron to come with her. As she closes the door, Ed holds it open with a newspaper. He realized that Strange hiding something, and follows Ethel and Aaron in a corridor and discovers that there's a secret passage in the hallway. Later, Ed almost has all the tools necessary to find the secret passage down the hallway except the bug zapper, as Norton had brought him a fly swatter instead. Afterward, he uses the objects he gained from the other inmates to gain access to the elevator leading down to the Indian Hill facility. Walking into the facility, Nygma discovers the screams of the horrible creatures in the facility.
After Ed gets the elevator out of Indian Hill, Right after Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock walked by, A guard spots Ed, He asks him about what he is doing out of his cell, A frightened Ed tells the guard that it was a big mistake, he tells the guard that he just got lost, and he tells him he wants to go back into his cell when Ed is back in his cell he tells himself he needs to get out somehow, before he spots the vent above his cell. Later, he bumps into Selina Kyle in the vents, and two make a deal with each other, with Selina giving Ed the directions out, and Ed telling her how to get to the basement. Nygma gets out of the vents soon after, but is instantly caught by guards.
Nygma is then put back in Arkham, sharing a cell with Stirk, a cannibalistic inmate. Nygma tries telling Peabody that Strange will need him if he's going to deal with Jim Gordon. Strange decides to take Nygma up on that, stating that he did find the secret entrance to Indian Hill. Nygma is then hired as Arkham staff by Strange and put in charge of finding out what a captured Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox know about Indian Hill, as well as who they told. Nygma believes Strange gave him the job because he knows that Nygma would kill the both of them where they stand and not bat an eye. Nygma then sets a timer for five minutes, in which time poison gas would spew into the room and kill Bruce and Lucius.
Nygma asks if they know who funds Indian Hill. Bruce answered "Wayne Enterprises", and Nygma says he is correct. Then Nygma asks if they know who controls all of Gotham. Bruce answers incorrectly, and Nygma lets the gas into the room, but it just knocks Bruce and Lucius unconscious. Nygma tells Strange Bruce doesn't know everything, and Strange tells him he did a good job. Nygma asks who controls Gotham, and Strange says he would have to kill Nygma if he told him. Strange says they will learn a lot from Nygma, and then a guard grabs Nygma and locks him in a cell. Jim later springs Nygma and has him help him get into the room with the bomb. Jim locks Nygma back up in a cell.
Nygma began receiving visits from Oswald, who has since returned to his former self. Oswald had forgiven Nygma for previously casting him out and brings him gifts, one of them which included a sweater to keep Nygma warm in the cold cell. During a particular visit (six months after the Indian Hill incident) Oswald brings him a puzzle box which is said to be advanced to the point that it gets passed down through generations, but Nygma successfully solves it in several seconds. He thanks Oswald for the kind gesture, and makes it clear how sorry he is for how he mistreated him, which Oswald forgives him for. They begin to discuss the resurrected Fish Mooney whom Oswald fears for and ponders why she spared him when she escaped along with Strange's other 'monsters' months previously. Nygma the reminds Oswald that "Penguins eat fish".
A few days later Nygma is certified sane, causing him confusion due to only serving for a short time and having been locked away for murdering three people. As the warden of the asylum sees him off at the gates, he assures Nygma that he is confident that he is fully sane. In actuality, Oswald paid the warden off to release Nygma, and a happy Nygma realizes this when Oswald pulls up in a limousine, and greets him: "Hello, old friend".
Penguin's Chief of Staff
Being released from Arkham Asylum under Penguin's influence, Nygma is indebted to him and helps him run his mayoral campaign legitimately after discovering that Oswald was having Butch bribe the voters into electing him Edward went against Oswald and took back the payments that had been made by Butch. Upon discovering this Oswald threatened to have Butch kill him only for it to be revealed on live television that Oswald had legitimately won by a landslide majority without the need to bribery, showing Oswald that the people stand with him with a love riddle. Overjoyed Oswald announces Edward Nygma his Chief of Staff much to Butch's disappointment.
After that, Butch attacks Edward in Barbara's club for exposing him as the leader of the Red Hood Gang. Edward was nearly strangled to death by Butch but Oswald hits Butch over the head with a bottle and Edward woke up after being unconscious for a few minutes. In the mansion, Edward has a sore and bruise throat from the strangling and Oswald gave him some tea to help his throat. Edward tells Oswald that he would do anything for him before Oswald embraces him. Oswald realizes that he is developing romantic feelings for Edward and soon feels ready to tell him but continuously botches his attempts before inviting him over for dinner. While Edward is buying a bottle of wine he meets a librarian named Isabella, a dead ringer for Kristen Kringle, and they fall in love. He misses having dinner with Oswald to spend the night with Isabella and when he returns to Oswald, who has even called the police since he thinks Edward is in trouble and was kidnapped, the latter is shocked when Edward reveals that he is in love. Oswald further questions him about Isabella and finds out where she works, paying her a visit. She says she gets her information from books and he lets it slip that Edward was in Arkham - a place she knows of for housing murderers. However, when she confronts Edward she does not care about his past, which further infuriates Oswald when he sees them together.
Oswald pays her another visit, this time at her home, and warns her to stay away from Edward but she refuses to do so. Isabella contacts Edward, asking him to meet him at her house and when he arrives he is confronted by her dressed as Kristen Kringle. She tells him not to be afraid and they kiss. Isabella then prepares to leave town and Oswald comes up with another plan to get rid of her, employing Gabe to cut her brakes. While driving out of town she discovers her brakes are not working and she drives into the path of an oncoming train, which kills her.
When Edward learns of her death he is devastated and visits the scene of the crash to lay some flowers but learns from a blind homeless man that he heard her scream moments before her car was struck by the train. He visits the garage where her car is and discovers her brakes were cut. He tells Oswald about his discovery but ultimately lays the blame on Butch. He abducts Butch and Tabitha and tortures them, cutting off Tabitha's hand, before Butch says that he killed Isabella by shooting her. Edward knows he is lying since Isabella was killed in a car crash. After learning from Olga that Oswald is in love with Edward and telling Butch, Barbara pays Edward a visit. He says he has spies trying to track down whoever killed Isabella and she fake coughs "Penguin", but Edward dismisses her claim as he believes Oswald has no motive for causing her death. However, Barbara gives him a clue in the form of a riddle which he solves with the response "love", leading to the penny finally dropping.
Later as Edward has Oswald sign his letter of resignation the former announces that he would like to become more than employer-employee which Oswald mistakes as a profession of love, leading to him finally blurting out that he is in love with him, which leaves the latter speechless as he meant that they should become business partners. Following this and realizing what Barbara had told him was true (and feeling a deep sense of betrayal from the person he saw as his best friend), Edward pays her, Butch and Tabitha a visit and says he wants to make Oswald pay for what he did to Isabella.
Edward decides to get revenge on Oswald by making him believe that he is seeing the ghost of his dead father. Oswald first encounters his late father's ghost in his mansion before seeing him again as he prepares to be interviewed on national television. The whole experience leads to him finding a bag full of human remains and then killing Edward's replacement before he has a full blown meltdown during his interview when he again sees his father's ghost. However, the ghost turns out to be Clayface who is working alongside Edward.
After being led to a warehouse, Oswald is taken hostage by Edward, who chains him to Isabella's car with a vat of acid above him, since he knows Oswald's involvement in her death. Oswald confesses that he killed her as he loves him. He leaves Oswald to his fate but Oswald ultimately escapes with the help of a security guard. However, he is later taken hostage by Butch and Tabitha. Barbara tells Oswald that if he wants to live he needs to call Edward in order to kill him but Oswald chooses to die since he ruined Edward's chance for happiness. Edward leads him to the pier where Oswald continues to profess his love to him. Oswald continues to pleading that he created him and that he loves him but Edward shoots him and he sinks into the water.
Embracing his Riddler Persona
Following this, Edward becomes a much darker and maniacal figure who begins taking hallucinogenic drugs so as to cast an imaginary illusion of Oswald to speak to. After trying various attempts at villains, including murdering intellectuals and wreaking havoc on the city and GCPD, leaving a series of riddles that lead Lucius and Harvey to him, he decides to get an adversary and make Lucius his adversary due to his high intellect. While Oswald's illusion keeps taunting Edward, Edward plays a game of riddles with Lucius for Bullock's life, which Lucius wins. He then has a heart to heart with Lucius, who calmly tries to reason with Edward and encourage him to seek professional help, but this only makes Edward realize that he is destined to be the Riddler.
Edward then visits the docks where he killed Oswald and admits to the hallucination of Oswald that he does regret killing him and that he truly valued their friendship, before throwing away the hallucinogenic drugs as a final form of closure and finally adopting his new persona called "The Riddler".
When Edward wants to know who runs Gotham, Jim leads him to the Court of Owls, who ultimately take Edward as their prisoner. Following the death of one of the Talons at Firefly's hands, another Talon breaks into Oswald's mansion and abducts him. He is placed in a cage next to Edward, who is shocked to discover that Oswald is still alive. They start bickering but decide to work together to escape while agreeing to continue their feud.
Oswald and Ivy plot together to bring Edward down before the latter shows up with Butch and Tabitha, ready to kill Oswald. Oswald and Ivy escape but are later confronted by Edward, Butch, Tabitha and Barbara who are then stopped in their tracks when Fish shows up to take Oswald with her. When Fish is later killed by an infected Jim, Oswald is taken into custody by the GCPD but they know that Edward wants to kill him so they decide to hand him over as a trade for the antidote to the Tetch virus in spite of Oswald's protestations that Edward is a sociopath. When they arrive Edward has Jervis Tetch connected to a bomb but they are interrupted by Barbara, Butch and Tabitha. As a fight breaks out, Edward tries to escape but Oswald knocks him out and handcuffs him, escaping the scene in a police car. When Edward rouses, they bicker and Oswald tells Edward that the latter will never be as smart as him. Edward guess that to be true, while attempting to free himself from his cuffs.
Edward further questions Oswald about his plans for him and rubs salt into the wound when he tells Oswald that he is a spoiled child who throws a tantrum whenever he does not get what he wants - especially when what he wants (Edward) does not want him back. An angered Oswald brandishes his gun and gets out of the car, only for Edward to kick the door open since he has managed to free himself from his handcuffs. A furious Oswald tells him that it was supposed to be his turn to kill him and that the day Edward shot him was the day he was reborn as the Riddler, further adding that his whole persona is based on a lie and there is nothing he can do about it.
Edward leads him to the harbor where he shot him and asks Oswald if he has any last words but the latter says he is fine for now. Thinking Oswald does not understand, Edward says he will not have a chance later as he is going to kill him but Oswald understands. Edward points his gun but no bullet comes out, leading Oswald to take the bullets out of his jacket pocket and reveal that he removed the bullets after he knocked him out and then summoned Ivy and Mr. Freeze, who show up. Realizing he has been tricked, Edward asks how he freed himself from the handcuffs and Oswald said he was using his tie pin as he wanted it to be personal before telling him that he may be controlled by his emotions but Edward himself is more predictable as he has "a compulsive need to finish what [he] started in exacting fashion". Believing Oswald is going to kill him, the latter says instead that he wants Edward around to make sure that he never makes the same mistake again, which leads Mr. Freeze to zapping Edward into an ice sculpture.
The frozen Riddler was later brought to Van Dahl Manor, where he was stored in a special tank that prevented the ice from melting. Cobblepot then showed Ivy Pepper plans and sketches for his new nightclub, "The Iceberg Lounge", with him explaining that the name of the club was not only meant to be an allusion to his nickname "Penguin", but also the planned centerpiece that he wanted to display there as a trophy, the frozen Riddler. Cobblepot would then look at Nygma in his icy prison, not able to hide a smile at the satisfying sight.
Centerpiece of The Iceberg Lounge
- "Remember how you accused me of being a slave of my emotions? No more. I've banished those feelings. And look how I have risen. But at what cost? I wonder which of us is frozen."
- —Oswald Cobblepot to the frozen Edward Nygma[src]
While being interviewed by reporters at the Iceberg Lounge months later, Oswald ordered Ivy to reveal the iced Riddler to the group, remarking that their readers will find it interesting. When a journalist recognized the frozen man as Edward Nygma, Penguin came up with the excuse that Nygma had a very rare brain disease and had to be frozen until a cure is found. He moved on claiming that Ed begged him in his final lucid moments to not hide him away, but to rather put him out with the people. However, Jim Gordon then showed up at the press conference to lead Merton and his gang to Oswald and sarcastically asked if Edward knew he was being frozen as he suspected that Oswald probably froze him out of malice. Penguin responded by offering Gordon to view the medical record from Nygma's doctor, but Jim rejected, knowing they most likely were fake or forced. When Oswald was ready for the opening night of the Iceberg Lounge, he used the remaining time to talk to the frozen Riddler, ignoring that he would neither hear nor respond to it. Cobblepot asked Ed if he remembered when he accused Penguin of being a slave of his emotions, then telling him that they no longer will, since he banished those feelings, allowing him to rise to the top of Gotham's underworld once again. However, Oswald began to question the coast of this action, asking his greatest opponent who of both was really frozen. Ivy Pepper, who sneaked from behind Cobblepot then said that Riddler definitely was the frozen one, but Penguin ordered her to go somewhere else as soon as he noticed her.
During opening night, Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth would arrive at the Iceberg Lounge to speak to Cobblepot about his new license of crime. Alfred remarked to Penguin that they were admiring his frozen mate, The Riddler, while Selina Kyle and Tabatha gave in to Victor Zsasz's offer to work for Penguin. When Bruce went to speak to Selina on the roof, Merton and his gang snuck through to the kitchen only to be caught by surprise by Cobblepot and his minions. Alfred went to the roof to notify Bruce what happened downstairs. With Merton's group apprehended by Cobblepot's men, Penguin put them on display and made a speech about how he is the one keeping Gotham safe, not the GCPD, tough Bruce Wayne suggested they be turned over to the GCPD instead of them being done away with, resulting in a discussion between them. However, due to Oswald's bad treatment towards her, Ivy Pepper turned off all the lights, betraying Cobblepot, resulting in a conflict as James Gordon and Harvey Bullock arrived. While Cobblepot was hit by a fear gas, Merton and his gang were defeated by Gordon, Bullock, Bruce, Alfred, Zsasz and Tabitha while Grady escaped. Once given a dose of fear toxin, Oswald hallucinated of a demonic version of Edward coming out of the ice block representing his greatest fear.
Suffering from Brain Damage
- "The last thing I remember is being frozen at the river. How long was I on ice?"
"Five months. Since then, Penguin opened a club called the Iceberg Lounge. You were it's centerpiece."
"That little freak...he put me on display like some caged animal?"
- —Edward Nygma and Myrtle Jenkins after former was freed from his ice prison.[src]
Five months after Cobblepot's victory over the Riddler, the latter one would finally be released from his icy prison. When Penguin and Victor Zsasz were discussing about the excellent business the day had brought, Victor would tell his boss that his men stopped a couple of thieves that tried to rob from Penguin's boss. Oswald would then keep refering to the frozen Nygma as if he were in the conversation, asking him if he could see what he has to deal with. To make sure no cargo was stolen, they left the Iceberg Lounge to examine the freight at Cobblepot's warehouse. As soon as Victor turned off all of the lights and the two were gone, Myrtle Jenkins entered the room with a blowtorch to free the Riddler from his frozen state. She would then take him to her hideout, leaving only his bowler hat behind in the middle of the melting ice. The Penguin was horrified when he discovered that Riddler was gone from his ice prison and ordered Zsasz to find him, bring him back to the Iceberg Lounge and kill the one who unfroze him.
When Edward awoke in bed to find her apartment decorated with mannequins and newspaper cuttings of himself, he was unable to move and after she introduced herself as his "#1 fan" she revealed he had been frozen for five months. The last thing he remembered was being at the docks and he also expressed surprise that she outwitted Oswald by freeing him after she told him that he had been used as the centerpiece Iceberg Lounge. She attempted to nurse him back to health via acupuncture and testing him with riddles, which he was unable to answer. He eventually managed to escape from her by knocking her out with a book of children's riddles that she gave him in a bid to trigger his memory. After the auction, Oswald and Zsasz tracked down Myrtle and confronted her at her place for steeling Nygma. When she revealed Nygma's damaged mind, not able to even answer children's riddles, Cobblepot left the room and had Zsasz kill her to make an example. Meanwhile, in the streets, a confused Nygma walked down a street, where he saw a poster of Oswald in the Iceberg Lounge with himself frozen in the background hanging on a window, showing him that Penguin is in control of Gotham once again.
- "I'm not the Riddler. Do it."
"Stop. I've changed my mind. I'm not gonna freeze you. I would only be freezing Ed Nygma, who cares about that? No, better revenge is having you live, knowing that you are not him and you never will be again. Goodbye, Ed."
- —Edward Nygma and Oswald Cobblepot concerning former's fate.[src]
As he planned his revenge on Oswald, Nygma spent hours trying to make perfect riddles. He then sent rapping messengers with riddles to the Iceberg Lounge, that Cobblepot was unable to solve. Later when the Riddler showed up at the Iceberg Lounge with the intention of killing Oswald, the latter mocked him for his terrible riddles, which took him six hours to come up with and told him that he was not Riddler and not even Edward Nygma anymore. Victor Fries then zapped the gun out of the latter's hand before Oswald told Nygma he was going to freeze him again. Nygma finally admitted that he was no longer The Riddler and told Fries to freeze him. However, this made Oswald change his mind and said that he was going to make him live not knowing who he really was, sparing Ed's life for more humiliation.
Out of desperation, Nygma attempted to rob a pharmacy but was outwitted by the pharmacist. He later encountered the reborn Solomon Grundy and recognized his face. Spotting the recognition, Grundy captured him and attempted to make him his "friend". During their reunion, the duo confronted gangsters who were easily outmatched by Solomon Grundy's superhuman strength. Soon after Nygma realized that he could make money out of Grundy, once the two of them joined The Narrows in Cherry's place.
While there he bumped into Leslie Thompkins, who was working there and later discovered that she had a clinic down in the basement. She told him that she remained in Gotham since she felt guilty about not letting Jim stop the release of the Tetch virus and said that the Narrows was the area that had been affected the most and she felt the right thing to do would be to help those in need. She got him to hand over his money, telling him that she may be able to help him. When she left, Nygma gleefully declared that he was going to be very smart again. 
To be added
- "I see the other you. The one whose name I wouldn't speak. But because he has earned it and because I need him, I'm saying now: I need you...Riddler..."
- —Oswald Cobblepot to Edward Nygma, causing the Riddler to finally break free[src]
When Nygma went to Arkham Asylum to get himself imprisoned there, the Riddler started to appear in his hallucinations again and asked the riddle 'What has two eyes but can't see'. Annoyed, Ed answered with 'two needles' or 'half of Mississippi' but then said that he doesn't care. However, the Riddler thereupon whispered that it is Ed himself before vanishing. In this moment, the room door opened and Penguin came in laughing out of gladness and explained that he knew his old friend would understand his letter and come to Arkham. Due to Nygma's confusion Cobblepot responded that he was not talking to Ed but rather to 'him', the one who read his letter. Suddenly Ed saw the Riddler reappeareing next to Penguin, holding Oswald's torn and now stuck together letter in his hand and ordering Ed to read the first word of each sentence. Riddler then read out 'Please bring Ed to Arkham so I can set you free' before asking again 'What has two eyes but can't see what's happening in front of him' before shouting 'Ed Nygma' as the answer. Due to this reveal, Ed became tense and explained that he came here to save Lee and screamed that he is only Ed Nygma and that Lee believes in him and sees him for who he is. Consequently, Cobblepot yelled to Ed that he however sees 'him' and quickly ran to him to stop Nygma from leaving and pressed him against the desk. Penguin told his old friend that Lee Thompkins may have made Ed strong but he still sees the other one whose name he wouldn't speak. But because he has earned it and because he needs him, Oswald was now willing to say his name and thereon called him Riddler, causing the Riddler to reemerge. As soon as these words left Cobblepot's lips, the Riddler quickly calmed down, laid his pen down, adjusted his glasses and then looked straight into Oswald's eyes, asking him if they shall get to work before both of them bursted out into laughter, with Riddler now finally free from his inner prison once again.
Now reunited with his old friend, Penguin's top priority before escaping Arkham Asylum was to ensure Martin's safety and therefore sent the Riddler to free the boy from his captivity by the hands of Sofia Falcone. As The Riddler rescues Martin from Sofia Falcone's two thugs on Penguin's behalf, the latter approaches a guard at Arkham and is given a riddle, which he solves only to be punched in the nose. He lands in the infirmary where he is broken out by The Riddler as Bullock is distracted by Victor Zsasz and Headhunter, who have shown up to retrieve Penguin for Sofia. Penguin and The Riddler pay Lee a visit and Penguin tells her that he freed The Riddler in order to get himself out of Arkham. They tell her of their plan to take down Sofia, while involves Victor Fries encasing Penguin in a block of ice. Penguin is later cornered by Gordon and Bullock until a gunfight breaks out between them and Zsasz and Headhunter. The Riddler ends up being handed over to Sofia after Butch, who has since got his memory back, brings him to Tabitha and Barbara. He is tortured for information as Penguin, who was rescued by Lee, is encased in ice and delivered to her. However, the timer Fries gave him melts the ice and he confronts the Dentist, demanding to know where The Riddler has been taken. Sofia's men take The Riddler to the pier with the intention of killing him until both men are shot by Penguin, who then tells The Riddler that he trusts him. Both of them agree that they never want to see that pier again.
The Riddle Factory
After taking down Sofia Falcone and her criminal empire, Nygma started The Riddle Factory in the Narrows, a game show where volunteers are put in death traps in front of an audience to answer Nygma's questions. If someone wins, they get cash. If they lose, they get killed. One of the volunteers, Lars, guessed incorrectly and was forced to get a sack full of rats put onto his head. Luckily for Lars, Lee Thompkins showed up to stop Nygma. Lee tries to shut the show down but the audience disagrees. Lee then decides to challenge Nygma and volunteers as the next contestant. Nygma and Lee make a deal: If Lee loses, she has to spin the Wheel of Misfortune. If she wins, the game show is shut down.
As the game begins, Nygma asks Lee the first riddle: "I can be broken without being held. Given and then taken away. Some people use me to deceive, but when delivered, I am the greatest gift of all. What am I? Lee manipulates Nygma into giving her the answer, a promise. Lee is right and wins the first round. Later, during the second and final round, Lee comes up with her own riddle that Nygma has to solve. The riddle is: What three words are said too much, meant by few, but wanted by all? Nygma almost says the answer, I love you, before realizing that this is a trick to get his Ed personality to come back. Nygma won't say the answer and loses the game. Later that night, when everyone leaves except Nygma, Lee comes back to tell Nygma that she knows he's in love with her and that he can help her give what the people of the Narrows want. Nygma denies it at first and asks Lee why he would help her. Nygma then grabs Lee and puts a knife to her throat, saying she's wrong about loving her. She tells Nygma to kill her then, but he can't. She then asks how many banks Nygma has robbed in one day, to which he answers three. She responds saying he can do better. Nygma tells Lee that she's playing a dangerous game, with Lee saying she knows. The two then kiss and embrace.
On the day Gotham City became a no man's land, Jim Gordon was captured by Edward Nygma, who took him to the Narrows headquarters and tried to kill him in an effort to free Lee Thompkins from her feelings. However, Lee showed up and managed to convince Nygma that she no longer has feelings for Jim, and Gordon is released after Lee promises to leave Gotham with Nygma. With the city in chaos later that day, Lee decided to remain in the city to help the people of The Narrows, breaking up with Nygma in the process. Their meeting turns violent, and they stab each other to death but share one final kiss as they succumb. At some point during the night, Penguin's henchmen found the bodies of Ed and Lee in the Narrows and took them to the Falcone Mansion so that Hugo Strange could revive them.
No Man's Land
Very soon, Edward was resurrected and confused as to how he returned. He apparently kept waking up in different locations at random with no recollection of how he got there, and took up residence in a library. Every time he wakes up, he records his thoughts and experiences with a tape recorder.
No Man's Land: Day 87
Edward first wakes up on a roof, laying down on a couch. He returns to the library and updates his progress. He looks into a mirror, believing it to be “idiot Ed”. He then wakes up again, but this time in a dumpster, much to his dismay. While trying to figure it out, Edward screams in frustration at the mirror and demands the other Ed show himself.
No Man's Land: Day 97
When Ed discovers that he was the one who blew up Haven, he started to suspect that someone else is behind his outlandish behavior. He breaks into Oswald's mansion and questions him, finding out that Oswald paid Hugo Strange to resurrect him. He also deduces that Strange has put some implant into his head that can control his every move. Nygma is later captured by Barbara's henchwomen and pleads his innocence, blaming Hugo for Haven. Barbara asks why she should assist him, with Ed promising her the best intel ever in return for the location of Strange. She gives him a location where Hugo takes bodies, with Ed walking away in satisfaction. Later on while Hugo was opening a body bag, he and his bodyguard were surprised to see Nygma alive and well. Ed questions Strange on how he got control of his mind but Hugo sprays him with a substance that knocks him unconscious. Strange examines Ed's brain to see where the malfunction is and when he fixed him, only for Jim to appear behind him, demanding that Strange wakes Ed up. Nygma again pleads his innocence. Jim questions Strange on who is controlling Ed, but Eduardo Dorrance appears with a remote that stops Ed's movements, revealing his part in the incident. Dorrance requests for Jim to put a bullet in Ed's head to prove his loyalty to Theresa Walker, but Jim declines and tricks Eduardo into lowering his gun so that he can attack and escape. Angered, Dorrance reactivates Ed and demands the death of Gordon.
Later that night Ed managed to track Gordon down, only for him to get knocked unconscious. Ed later wakes up and is confronted by Jim as to whether he has full control of his mind or not. Ed's reply shows that he returned to normal and Jim asks him to follow since the chip in his brain is a evidence of Walker's crime. They would later go to the Sirens' club where Barbara learns about Walker's involvement behind Haven. Ed would then go to find a first aid kit, only to notice Eduardo entering the club. He manages to catch up and make him believe that he is on his side; but during a fake fight with Jim he throws a knife in one of the guard's heads, resulting in a gunfight and Eduardo's escape.
No Man's Land: Day 98
Nygma's chip was later removed from his brain at one of Bruce's hideouts by Lucius Fox. The group then organizes a plan after taking one of Walker's recordings in which they will make a deal with Eduardo to spare Lee's life. While Gordon tries to strike the deal with Eduardo, Ed will distract the army with a fake bomb case. The plan almost failed when Bullock solves the riddle that gave the soldier the revelation of a fake bomb password. Suddenly, the army falls unconscious when the team releases a sedative gas. After a successful operation, Ed escapes just as Jim was ready to speak with Lee.
Back to Arkham Asylum
About six months after No Man's Land, Nygma was incarcerated yet again at Arkham Asylum for a decade, being seperated from his former partner, Oswald Cobblepot, who was incarcerated in Blackgate Penitentiary.
Ten Years Later
Being Kidnapped and Taken Out Of Arkham
- "I'm going to blow up the mayor.
"Didn't you do that already?"
"It's a callback!"
- —Barbara mocks Riddler's plan
Following his escape, Edward finds himself in a strange and empty warehouse, sitting in a chair and being faced with a note on a case. After slowly picking up the note, he reads the note that appears to be from Oswald, telling him to show the city who the Riddler is and that there is everything he needs in the case. As he opens the case and discovers the bombs, he evilly laughs and asks himself what Oswald is planning.Later that day, Edward dons a new suit and attends the party at Wayne Tower, being spotted, sneaking into a room, by an adult Selina Kyle, who tells Barbara Kean to follow her. Then, Edward carries food on a platter, entering a room in the tower, where Mayor Aubrey James has his hands tied up, his mouth ducktaped and a vest with a bomb attatched to it. Edward provokes James by asking him if he's hungry and evilly laughing as he claims that it is James' loss before watching the television in the room that features news about Bruce Wayne returning to the city after a decade. After Alfred Pennyworth arrives on the stage during the party, Edward watches in boredom, asking where Bruce is before being approached by Barbara Kean, aiming his gun at her and being surprised by her new red hair color. As he lowers his gun, he tells her that he hopes she isn't attempting to stop him before asking her if she remembers how "amazing" she was. She answers by telling him that she is still amazing, however, that she made a choice, leading to Edward telling her that some people aren't able to make choices and that tonight, Gotham City will remember that he is the Riddler. She asks if blowing up the mayor was his plan to put his name out there before Edward claims that it is a callback and explains that he was waiting for Bruce to begin his speech in order for him to interrupt the party and present a riddle. Shortly after, he continues to explain his new plan since Bruce isn't showing up until Selina knocks him out from behind with a pipe, stopping him from blowing up the mayor.
After the party is interrupted by Jim Gordon and the GCPD, Edward is asked where the rest of the bombs are by Gordon, however, he claims that the bomb he used on the mayor was all he was given before he discovers that Oswald didn't breaking him out of Arkham, much to his surprise. After being taken to an elevator by a GCPD officer, the officer is knocked out by someone disguised as a GCPD officer, leading to Edward being taken away by him.
Reunited with Cobblepot and Meeting the Dark Knight
After being taken by a mysterious man disguised as a GCPD officer, Edward is taken into a black car by the man, where he finally meets with his old friend, Oswald Cobblepot, after a decade of being in Arkham Asylum. Then, Oswald greets Edward, telling him that it's very good to see him again while Edward explains how he believed that Oswald was the one who released Edward from Arkham and provided him with the bombs to blow up Wayne Tower. Oswald confirms that he didn't have anything to do with it before telling Edward that he thought he needed help and saying "What else are friends for?". Shortly after, Oswald compliments Edward by telling him that he looks well, with Edward responding by saying that Oswald looks well too, other than the fact that he's a bit thicker. Edward laughs after telling Oswald that it's good to see him before something lands on their car with enough force to cause the car roof to be pushed downward. Afterwards, the car crashes into a nearby sidewalk, with the driver being knocked unconscious from the crash. Edward and Oswald push themselves out of the car while Oswald asks what had landed on their car in the first place before the two scream in terror after seeing a mysterious vigilante gliding above the two.Later that night, the GCPD arrive to the scene, along with Alfred Pennyworth and Lucius Fox. The two discover Edward and Oswald tied up onto a lamppost, struggling to escape the trap they were put in by the mysterious vigilante. Sometime after, they are cut down from the lamppost, arrested by the GCPD and put into a truck in order to transport them back to prison. In the GCPD truck, Edward argues with Oswald, who claims that the mysterious vigilante said that Gotham was Oswald's while Edward responds by telling him that he was there. Then, Oswald angerly tells Edward that he did not spend a decade in Blackgate to give Gotham City to the mysterious bat-dressed vigilante before Edward manages to get them out of their restraints. The two open the back doors of the truck and jump out in order to ensure that they were free. Once they began to walk, Oswald tells Edward that the two need to find out who this vigilante is and show him that Gotham is their city, which Edward agrees to. Suddenly, Edward stops Oswald from continuing to walk as the two glance up at the same vigilante, who was travelling from one building to another. As the two seem frightened to enact their plan tonight, the two agree that they could do it tomorrow before walking away together.
- "Don't you dare call me "Ed." I'm the Riddler. And I became him when I killed you."
- —Edward Nygma to Oswald Cobblepot[src]
Edward is intelligent, creative, calculating, kind, and caring. His meticulous and observant nature makes him an excellent forensic scientist, often detecting clues and connections his superiors miss. However, he is also narcissistic, being infatuated by his intelligence and enjoys telling riddles to prove this, much to the annoyance of most of his co-workers. He can also be awkward, unintentionally insulting, and selfish, like getting the previous medical examiner fired as revenge for getting him suspended by making it look like he was stealing body parts. His obsession with riddles greatly annoys people he works with, who ask him to speak in layman's terms in frustration. Jim often answers some of the riddles, making Ed happy. However, this can also be a subconscious impulse, as he left his name NYGMA hidden in a forged good-bye message from Doughty to Kringle.
Killing Dougherty was the catalyst for a major change in Edward's behavior. The trauma of committing his first murder was enough to cause Edward to develop a split personality, one that's crazier and more aggressive. These two personalities merge in the second season, as a result, Edward is more impulsive, paranoid and prone to anger, and he now sees certain people as obstacles in his path that should be removed, such as the hunter he killed so that he wouldn't find Kristen's body, and even Jim, his friend, when Jim started getting on Edward's case about Kristen's whereabouts. He later justifies his change in behavior to Jim, claiming this is who he is and that all it took, besides killing people, was admitting it to himself.
In the fourth season, Ed and Riddler are separate personalities again; though each embodies something different about themself as a whole. Ed embodies their emotions, while Riddler is their high intelligence. Due to Ed abandoning his quest to regain his intelligence, Riddler briefly takes control at times, trying to get Lee killed so the trauma can allow him to take back control of their body. After Riddler is given back control of their body by Penguin finally speaking his name, Ed decides to subtly influences Riddler's feelings for Lee, so they can fuse back into one. However, Riddler is not swayed by Ed's feelings, instead coming to love Lee himself, being more drawn to the darkness in her than the kind doctor Ed saw. However, Riddler is more prone to jealousy, due to Lee's past romance with Gordon.
In the fifth season, Ed and Riddler again merge. Unknown to him, thanks to Hugo Strange planting a control chip in his brain, it silenced his original Ed Nygma personality, effectively freeing him of the eternal struggle. Without the struggle, Riddler actually manages to mellow out a bit, gaining some of the calmer traits Ed had.
- "Edward is a person of exceptional intelligence and imagination. He deserves to be appreciated by someone on his own level. And you, my dear, are simply not."
- —Oswald Cobblepot to Isabella[src]
- Genius-level intellect/Master tactician: Edward has a very high intellect and advanced mental faculties, claiming to understand topics preternaturally. Described by Barbara Kean as "a whiz at strategy," Edward is also able to flawlessly execute the crimes he commits through careful and methodical planning, such as when he had Jim Gordon incarcerated for murder. In his escape from Arkham, he knew when the guards and the guarding forces were walking around the floors of the asylum to scan the place, and knew how to act as he planted the bombs in the museum and the train station. Kathryn Monroe stated that a man with his intellect could be "quite useful" to the Court of Owls. Lee Thompkins called Ed "the smartest man in Gotham."
- Eidetic memory: Edward has claimed that he is incapable of forgetting anything.
- Encyclopedic knowledge: Edward possesses a profound knowledge of anatomy and displays a wide-ranging command of esoterica from numerous fields.
- Logical reasoning: Edward is able to calculate the likelihood of certain events. He also has the remarkable ability to view people and situations as puzzles to be solved. As such, Edward managed to successfully solve an advanced puzzle box within several seconds, an item of which has been passed down throughout generations due to its complexity, with even Oswald claiming that the most skilled mathematician couldn't crack it.
- Master manipulator/Master of deception: Edward is highly skilled at manipulating others, such as the inmates at Arkham. He was able to trick Kristen into thinking Dougherty left Gotham by writing a letter with his name in it. He also managed to keep everyone at his workplace from noticing his change of behavior following his mental breakdown.
- Forensic expert: Edward was the forensic specialist for the GCPD prior to his arrest. He was able to use his skills of forensics to frame Jim Gordon for Carl Pinkney's murder. He also noticed how the brake lines to Isabella's car had been cut, something the GCPD *forensics team failed to see.
- Explosives expert: Edward is highly trained at creating bombs, such as the ones he put in the museum and the train station.
- Skilled lockpick user: Edward has at least rudimentary lock picking skills, as shown when he successfully broke into the medical examiner's locker and accessing Hugo Strange's elevator to Indian Hill.
- Medical knowledge: Edward has some medical knowledge, having managed to save Oswald from dying from his gunshot wound and nurse him back to health.
- Origami: Edward has some skill in origami. He used the wrapping paper of a gift given to him by Oswald in Arkham to create an origami penguin.
- Skilled marksman/Firearms: Edward is proficient in the use of firearms, particularly handguns. He was accurate enough to shoot Jim Gordon in the leg with the latter's own gun when he tried to escape, as well as Arthur Penn through the back of the head. He destroyed Haven with an RPG, firing it through the basement window and detonating the fuel oil tank.
- Skilled knife wielder/thrower: Edward is capable at using a knife to kill his enemies up close in a suprise attack. He has also some profiency at knife throwing as seen when he killed a Delta Force member by throwing a meat cleaver at his head.
- Indomitable will/High tolerance for pain: Edward was able to survive being tortured by one of Sofia Falcone's henchmen, even managing to survive being stabbed in the leg.
- "I know you, Ed. I may be driven by my emotions, but you are driven by something much more predictable: a desperate, compulsive need to complete what you've started in exacting fashion."
- —Oswald Cobblepot to Edward Nygma[src]
- Obsession: Nygma is obsessed with riddles, elaborate questions with answers that are extremely hard to discover.
- Degraded intellect: Prolonged cryogenic sleep in a block of ice has caused him some level of intellectual damage, vastly reducing Edward's natural capability to create extremely complex riddles in a matter of seconds. Even Penguin laughed, antagonized and pitied him as Edward revealed that he spent hours coming up with terrible riddles. However, it is later revealed by Leslie Thompkins, that the problem is not physical; but psychological. Ed slowly begins to gain his wits back, but later discovers that his split personality had received all of his high-intellect and would only regain it when his darker persona took back control.
- Split personality: Edward developed a split personality after killing Tom Dougherty and giving the fake goodbye letter to Kristin. Nygma's darker personality looked just like him, only without glasses and with a cleaner hairstyle and behaved with aggression and ruthlessness. He would interact with his dark side, usually while looking at his own reflection. His dark side was also capable of overshadowing him, although it was only shown doing this after Edward's accidental killing of Kristin. After realizing he enjoyed the thrill of getting away with his crimes, it appeared as though both of his personalities merged. When Edward realized he was developing feelings of love towards Lee Thompkins, it caused his personalities to split again with his dark side looking just like Edward when he was dressed as the Riddler. It seems that the Riddler side of Edward is now able to get him to perform actions subconsciously, such as when Edward visited Arkham to taunt Oswald and left a note in the form of a riddle for him indicating that Edward would be the Riddler once more. This would later prove true when the Riddler persona convinced Ed to go to Arkham as opposed to committing suicide (in an effort to save Lee), after successfully finding a hidden message that Oswald left him so he could free the Riddler from Ed's mind. He does so by saying the Riddler's name, which likely has to do with the fact that prior to his freezing Nygma would have the compulsive need for Oswald to address him as the Riddler so that he could be seen as an equal in Oswald's eyes, and saying it strengthened the Riddler as he finally got Oswald to see him as a worthy enough villain. But even after taking back control Ed still existed in their mind and started to influence Riddler so they could merge again. In the final season the two personalities merge again and unknown to him, thanks to Hugo Strange planting a control chip in his brain, it silenced his original Ed Nygma personality, effectively freeing him of the eternal struggle. Without the struggle, Riddler actually manages to mellow out a bit, gaining some of the calmer traits Ed had.
- Guns/Firearms: Edward has used different types of pistols such revolvers, handguns, assault rifles, and RPGs.
- Knives: Edward has used different types of knives such as folding knives, spring-assisted knives, throwing knives, meat cleavers, and switchblades.
- Bombs/Explosives: Edward has used different types of explosives such as knock-out gas grenades and hand grenades.
- In "A Dark Knight: Mandatory Brunch Meeting", Nygma's game show "The Riddle Factory" is adapted directly from Batman: Riddler (1995), which Cory Michael Smith described as his favorite comic book in a 2014 interview.
- He can play the piano.
- Throughout Season 1, Edward was picked on many times by fellow officers such as Tom Dougherty. This mirrors his comic book counterpart, who was bullied as a child by both his father and school classmates.
- Edward's ringtone is eerily similar to a sped-up snippet of the "transition" tune from the Adam West's Batman show.
- Every woman that Edward Nygma was in a relationship with died:
- Kristen Kringle, by his own hand accidentally after she was told he murdered her abusive ex-boyfriend.
- Isabella, murder authorized by Oswald Cobblepot due to Oswald being jealous of her due to the fact she has something he longed for, Nygma's love.
- Lee Thompkins, stabbed her after she refused to leave Gotham with him after Ra's al Ghul and Jeremiah Valeska turned Gotham into a No Man's Land and stabbed him first.
- Edward working for the Gotham City Police Department is most likely inspired by the Arkham video game series. In the Arkham continuity, Riddler was shown working for the G.C.P.D in the prequel game Batman: Arkham Origins.
- Also, when Edward's "dark side" speaks to him, it distorts, similar to how Riddler's voice does when he speaks to Batman in the Arkham games.
- The device he built to torture Tabitha and Butch might be yet another reference to the games, as the Riddler builds multiple elaborate death traps in the game Batman: Arkham City.
- Edward's relationship with his alternate personality is similar to the relationship between the unnamed Narrator and Tyler Durden in the 1999 film Fight Club.
- In some versions of the character, he has the surname "Nashton", where he ends up taking the name Nigma (sometimes spelled Nygma depending on the writers).
- Like most of his DC incarnations, Nygma always has an inability to tell a permanent lie. Even if he manages to get away with a lie like how he murdered Tom, he always leaves a clue about what actually happened, similar to how he made sure in each left margin, it spelled out "NYGMA".
- He may also tell half-truths. One instance is how he told Leslie Thompkins about his fight with Kristen, but leaves out the part where he killed her. Another occurrence is when he admits that Kristen "left" Gotham to be with Tom Dougherty (via afterlife).
- Another example is his description of Tom Dougherty as "rotten". Naturally, Gordon assumed that Nygma was talking about Dougherty's personality, but Nygma was secretly referring to the fact that Dougherty is dead and decomposing.
- His license plate is "RIDL LVR".
- This incarnation begins to craft his Riddler persona and gimmick years prior to Bruce Wayne becoming Batman.
- This idea would later be used for the backstory of Riddler from the Batman: The Enemy Within video game, in which he operated in Gotham City as a costumed villain prior to Bruce Wayne becoming Batman.
- Nygma's struggle with his darker side and having a split personality makes him similar to another Batman rogue Two-Face.
Behind the scenes
- In DC comics, Edward Nygma, alias the Riddler, (alternate versions of his name include Edward Nigma or Edward Nashton depending on continuity) was created by writer Bill Finger and artist Dick Sprang and he first appeared in Detective Comics #140 (1948). The first time the character's origin was tied into the G.C.P.D. was in the video game Batman: Arkham Origins, where he is described as a police consultant and the apparent head of the Cybercrime unit.