"That old man was a shriveled-up wreck when I met him. I made him feel young again. I brought him back to life. And what has this gutter rodent done? Played stupid board games and whined about his wretched mother. That vermin has to go."
—Grace Van Dahl[src]

Grace Van Dahl was the wife of Elijah Van Dahl, mother of Charles and Sasha, and step-mother of Oswald Cobblepot.


Marrying Elijah Van Dahl

Grace was poor and worked as a waitress at a diner. She and her children were abused by her husband. She then struck up a friendship with Elijah, who went to the diner every morning, and he offered her refuge at his home. Grace and her children moved in, and she and Elijah fell in love and got married. From then on, Grace and her children lived the life of luxury. At some point, Elijah became stricken with a heart condition and Grace cared for her husband.[1]

Meeting Oswald Cobblepot

During a trip to Gotham City, Elijah had met his son Oswald Cobblepot from a previous relationship. Grace and her children reluctantly welcomed Oswald into their home, but they were threatened as he was Elijah's son and rightful heir. Grace eavesdropped on a conversation between Elijah and Oswald before giving Elijah his heart medication. She then switched out the heart medication for Peppermint Mints.[2]

While doing some reading at the library, Charles found an old newspaper clipping in which Oswald stated that he was a crime boss. Grace and her children presented this to Elijah, hoping it would get him to change his mind about Oswald. Instead, Elijah revealed that Oswald had already told him about his past, and assured them he believed Oswald was a new man.

Grace convinced Sasha to try and seduce Oswald, but he rejected her advances. Elijah became sick during a suit fitting, and Grace ordered her children to call the doctor. Elijah survived, and told Grace to call his lawyer since so much had changed. Grace became desperate to hang onto her wealth and poisoned a glass of wine that she gave to Oswald. Instead, Elijah drank the glass of wine and died.[1]


Grace's corpse

Grace's corpse.

After Elijah's death, Grace and her children took Oswald in and treated the timid man like a servant. Oswald had made them one of his mother's old recipes, and not only did Grace insult the recipe, but she also insulted the woman herself, calling her a slut. The abuse and her children force Oswald to endure eventually pushes him over the edge and causing him to revert to his much more violent and psychotic state of mind.

During Grace's next dinner, she was curious about the absence of Sasha and Charles. She suggested Oswald ring the bell again, but Oswald said they wouldn't hear it. As Grace ate, she noticed Oswald's change in attire and he only gave her a brief answer. She questioned him on where her children were as he revealed that he found the poisoned wine that she used to kill his father. Grace tried to deny it but Oswald's insane nature scared her, as he laughed that she should have gotten rid of it. Grace quickly tried to run, though Oswald immediately threatened her with a knife. Grace once again called for her children to help, but Oswald sneered that they won't come. Scared, Grace asked Oswald what he had done to them, and Oswald indicated that after he killed Sasha and Charles, he made them into the meal Grace was eating. Grief-stricken with guilt that she caused Oswald's actions, she broke down as Oswald stabbed a horrified and screaming Grace to death.[3]


Oswald didn't bother disposing of Grace's body, with it remaining at the dinner table where he toasted to her while covered in blood.[4] Her body had started to decompose, with flies being attracted to it.[5]

A few days later, Oswald decided to sever her decomposing head from her shoulders and use it as a centerpiece in the Van Dahl household at the time when Butch Gilzean and a returned Barbara Kean were present.[6]


Season 2

Season 3


  1. 1.0 1.1 Cannon, Danny (writer) & White, Scott (director) (March 28, 2016). "Wrath of the Villains: Prisoners". Gotham. Season 2. Episode 16. FOX.
  2. Behring, John (writer) & Harper, Jordan (director) (March 14, 2016). "Wrath of the Villains: This Ball of Mud and Meanness". Gotham. Season 2. Episode 14. FOX.
  3. Cutter, Perry Rebecca (writer) & Scott, Oz (director) (April 11, 2016). "Wrath of the Villains: Into the Woods". Gotham. Season 2. Episode 17. FOX.
  4. Cutter, Perry Rebecca (writer) & Scott, Oz (director) (April 11, 2016). "Wrath of the Villains: Into the Woods". Gotham. Season 2. Episode 17. FOX.
  5. Barnes, Jim & Woodruff, Ken (writers) & Kondracki, Larysa (director) (May 2, 2016). "Wrath of the Villains: Azrael". Gotham. Season 2. Episode 19. FOX.
  6. Heller, Bruno (writer) & Egilsson, Eagle (director) (May 23, 2016). "Wrath of the Villains: Transference". Gotham. Season 2. Episode 22. FOX.
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