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"You're a smart monkey. But you're a monkey. And I'm the zookeeper."
—Salvatore Maroni to Oswald Cobblepot[src]
"Don't call her babes. Or toots or what have you. It's a woman's lib thing."
—Sal Maroni's final words before his death.[src]

Salvatore "Sal" Maroni was a mob boss in Gotham City who was the head of the Maroni crime family, a rising criminal organization that rivaled Carmine Falcone's older and more established family.



Maroni is the don of the Maroni crime family, and, despite being considerably feared and powerful, is known as the second to Falcone at the beginning of the series. His ultimate goal is to break free and ultimately succeed Falcone who he saw as weak and fragile at best and useless at worst.

War with Falcone

Maroni casually befriends a restaurant worker named Paolo who works at his restaurant, who is really Oswald Cobblepot under a new alias, given that he is officially dead.[1]

Maroni makes a power play for the new development at the Arkham Asylum site, and even contracts Richard Gladwell to take out the Mayor, Aubrey James. Maroni catches Cobblepot snooping on the job and tells him to mind his own business. Maroni's restaurant is raided by masked attackers, who try to rob it. Cobblepot saves most of the money, and Maroni promotes him to manager - unaware that Cobblepot himself had instigated the robbery. The upshot is that, in an attempt to appease both sides in the power struggle, Mayor James puts forward a hybrid plan, giving Don Falcone a low-income housing area to build, but granting Maroni the rights he wanted to waste disposal.[2]

Sal Maroni makes plans to rob a casino owned by Carmine Falcone. Carmine Falcone meets with the mob leaders on his side to detail about what to do with Sal Maroni. Sal Maroni later watches the news of the "Viper" drug when he thinks that they might be of good use. Oswald tells Sal Maroni that he knows the janitor there that might be of help to them. Sal Maroni claims that "Penguin" is a good name for him. Oswald later tells Sal Maroni that his real name and how he used to work for Fish Mooney until Carmine Falcone's men tried to kill him. Sal Maroni then pins Oswald's head to the table.

Maroni dinner scene

Maroni begins to question Jim on his version of the events told by Cobblepot

Sal Maroni later sends his right-hand man to pick up James Gordon at the police station where Sal Maroni wants to see him about Oswald Cobblepot. James Gordon is brought to Sal Maroni at his restaurant where he wants to get confirmation about Oswald's story about Carmine Falcone to determine who is telling the truth. Sal Maroni hears from Jim Gordon about his investigation on Thomas and Martha Wayne and how he covered up Oswald's death to fool Carmine Falcone, Fish Mooney, and the Gotham City Police Department. Sal Maroni sees that Oswald is right and spares his life while letting Gordon go. Sal Maroni instructs Gordon to keep their meeting private and that he might call on him again. After Gordon leaves, Sal Maroni plans to use Oswald Cobblepot in his fight against Carmine Falcone. Later that night, Oswald and Sal await their men to come back from their heist at the casino. Upon the heist being complete, Sal has Frankie drive off.[3]

At Bamonte's Fish met with Maroni to ask for Cobblepot, as Falcone had instructed her to do. Maroni calls for Cobblepot to offer a sincere apology to Mooney for offending her, but Mooney isn't satisfied, citing that there'd be "bloodshed" instead. Later, Maroni was given an idea by Penguin on a blow that could be carried out against Falcone. After the several deaths, Falcone and Maroni decided to meet at the port to iron out their differences. They offered each other condolences for the deaths on each other's side. Falcone proposed a peace agreement which allowed Maroni to keep Cobblepot in exchange for Maroni's warehouse by the river. After receiving the advice of Penguin, Maroni decided to give Falcone the Indian Hill waste disposal site.[4]

Maroni arrives at the GCPD, revealing he had Penguin locked up in order to teach him a lesson in humility, after trying to raise the Fisherman's taxes without asking him first.[5]

At Bamonte's, Oswald persuades Don Maroni to let him leave so that he can visit Falcone only for the restaurant to be attacked by the Electrocutioner. Later, Gordon and Bullock speak to Maroni about Buchinsky and want to use him as bait for the Electrocutioner. Penguin temporarily wakes up and cites that he has business with Falcone. At the GCPD, Maroni later asks Penguin about what he said, though Penguin swears he has no business with Falcone. Maroni is later saved from Buchinsky by Gordon, who defeats the latter.[6]

Don Maroni and the Penguin celebrate after the latter tells Maroni about the defeat of Fish Mooney at the hands of Falcone. However, Maroni receives a surprise call from Fish informing him that the Penguin was actually Falcone's man, and had played them both in the end run. That information, coupled with Maroni's doubts incited Maroni to take Cobblepot with him on a trip with him to the country. Maroni takes Penguin to a cabin in the country, and during breakfast, he shares his suspicions about the death of Frankie Carbone, and how Falcone snatched up Indian Hill which he had traded for Penguin's life, despite it being worthless. When Maroni finally exposes his distrust of Penguin after being called by Fish Mooney, Penguin, takes the gun out to shoot him. For Cobblepot's dismay, the gun was full of blanks, and Maroni then proceeded to knock him unconscious. Maroni goes to see Penguin crushed in a car compactor at Duffy's Salvage and dismisses Penguin's begging, citing that listening to Penguin is what got him in that predicament in the first place. Penguin telephones Maroni to beg for his life and tells him whoever controls Indian Hill and Arkham controlled Gotham. However, Maroni once again ignores Penguin's pleas, and Cobblepot is forced to call the Duffy, the operator of the crusher and warns him that Falcone knew of his current predicament and that if he didn't stop the compactor Falcone would be sending a team to skin him alive, and slaughter his family. Effectively frightened, Duffy stops the machine and escapes before the astonished gaze of Maroni, while the Penguin uses the opportunity to flee the salvage yard.[7]

Maroni visits Falcone to address the issue of Penguin. Despite wanting revenge against him, he decides to leave him alive after Falcone gives shows him Judge Stanley Turnball who Falcone had abducted when he had been out with a younger man. Having the Judge whipped, while his torturer took pictures, much to Maroni's amusement. Later at Oswalds', Maroni Visits Penguin much to his surprise, there the Don makes his intentions clear to not hurt Penguin, due to a deal he made with Falcone, but he warns him that the second Falcone was out of the picture, so was he.[8]

Maroni and his men visited Oswalds'. Maroni sat next to Ms. Kapelput and, to the chagrin of her son, he continues flirting with her. After a few drinks, Don Maroni takes Gertrud's face in his hands and questions her to whether she acted as if she didn't really know about Cobblepot's true nature, or whether she was really that stupid. He then tells her of all the horrible acts Penguin had committed, and soon after left, paying his bill and remarking that the place was looking good.[9]

Mob war and death

Don Maroni talking to his underlings

Maroni talking to his men.

Penguin planted to start mob war between two most powerful crime families in the city; Falcone and Maroni families. He framed situation where Connor tried kill Sal Maroni and all Maroni family top lieutenants, which failed as planned and after this Maroni start all-out war with Falcone crime family. Then Maroni and his underlings destroyed many of Falcone's businesses around the town, significantly weakening the Carmine Falcone and Falcone crime family. Eventually Maroni side take clear lead in mob war, Falcone almost die in rocket launcher attack and is taken to a hospital where he is tied and because of that Falcone's old allies in Gotham's City Hall and police commissioner Loeb abandon him.

At this point in the mob war Maroni forms an alliance with Gotham's City Hall and police commissioner Gillian Loeb and they all agree that Falcone must be killed to end destructive mob war and Maroni sends his men to kill Falcone who is tied in hospital. This plan is stopped by Jim Gordon, who saves Falcone and escapes the hospital with him, Harvey Bullock, Oswald Cobblepot and Butch Gilzean in an ambulance, but they are later captured by Fish and her gang at Falcone's warehouse and are tied up. Maroni arrives with his men and is pleased. Maroni forms an alliance with former crime boss Fish Mooney, with the plan to kill Carmine Falcone and for them to rule Gotham together.

But things go awry when Maroni begins to foolishly make sexist remarks towards Fish, and although insisting he is only joking he continues to jibe her and refer to her as "babes" after he told her to chill out and she responded she was which he refused to believe. Her response telling him not to call her babes prompted him to openly mock her and insist it was him being polite. Eventually, he relented and accepted her offer of partnership with him as the main partner. Being sexist, he repeated it when tested her to see if she knew what partner she was before being very condescending and calling her babe once again and "apologizing" for it as this was the last time. He then went on a pretentious spiel about killing Falcone and controlling Gotham before addressing Fish and calling her babe again before telling her to relax. After he turned and mockingly told his men not to call her babes or any other sexist nicknames. Fish had enough and, when Maroni turned back to her, shot Maroni in the temple, and quoted "I am relaxed". This killed him instantly and caused a firefight to break out between the two factions.[10]


It was revealed during a discussion between Carmine Falcone and Kathryn that Indian Hill was secretly given to the Court of Owls by Falcone after Sal Maroni was unable to make use of it.[11]


"There's nothing more dangerous than an honest man, huh?"
—Sal Maroni to Carmine Falcone[src]

Though Maroni treated his men well and paid loyalty in kindness, he had no concerns exerting dominance over minions by reminding them of their rank; even though he respected Penguin for his cunning, Maroni still put him in his place by claiming he was "a monkey" nonetheless and that he was "the zookeeper". He treated the members of his criminal organizations like family, becoming deeply enraged when Penguin was revealed as a traitor and attempting to avenge Frankie Carbarone, another member whom Cobblepot had killed. Jim Gordon described Maroni as a "young hot-head" who was not a suitable replacement for Falcone. Despite the arrogance he displayed occasionally, Maroni seemed to respect the chain of command within Gotham and perhaps, Falcone himself as on Falcone's orders he spared Penguin but vowed to kill him the second that Falcone died. On the other hand, Maroni's arrogance did eventually get the better of him, as when he repeatedly made mysogonistic comments towards Fish Mooney she shot him in the head.

Despite being a criminal, he seems to have a sense of morals as he has Oswald locked up for the night for raising taxes on fishermen, and acknowledges that they risk their lives out on the ocean, a fact that he berates Oswald over. His "best" trait happens to be that, whilst he's perfectly happy to kill any man who crosses him, he is completely unwilling to target their families which he admits to Falcone outwardly when meeting to discuss Oswald's fate.



  • The character was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. He first appeared in Detective Comics #66 (August 1942). Sal Maroni is a rival of Carmine Falcone and known for disfiguring Harvey Dent with acid during Sal Maroni's trial.
  • The version of the character in the show is unique in that he plays a significant role during the first season which at first aligns with the role of the original iterations of his character in the comics in the years before Batman's appearance, yet he is killed before he can fulfill the most identifiable event attributed to his character: disfiguring Harvey Dent's face.


  1. Stephens, John (writer) & Downs, Dermott (director) (October 6, 2014). "The Balloonman". Gotham. Season 1. Episode 3. FOX.
  2. Woodruff, Ken (writer) & Scott, T.J. (director) (October 13, 2014). "Arkham". Gotham. Season 1. Episode 4. FOX.
  3. Cutter, Rebecca Perry (writer) & Hunter, Tim (director) (October 20, 2014). "Viper". Gotham. Season 1. Episode 5. FOX.
  4. Heller, Bruno (writer) & Bailey, Rob (director) (November 3, 2014). "Penguin's Umbrella". Gotham. Season 1. Episode 7. FOX.
  5. Chung, Sue (writer) & Scott, Oz (director) (January 5, 2015). "Rogues' Gallery". Gotham. Season 1. Episode 11. FOX.
  6. Edlund, Ben (writer) & Egilsson, Eagle (director) (January 19, 2015). "What The Little Bird Told Him". Gotham. Season 1. Episode 12. FOX.
  7. Stephens, John (writer) & Behring, John (director) (February 2, 2015). "The Fearsome Dr. Crane". Gotham. Season 1. Episode 14. FOX.
  8. Woodruff, Ken (writer) & Copus, Nick (director) (February 9, 2015). "The Scarecrow". Gotham. Season 1. Episode 15. FOX.
  9. Stephens, John (writer) & Scott, T.J. (director) (April 20, 2015). "Under the Knife". Gotham. Season 1. Episode 20. FOX.
  10. Heller, Bruno (writer) & Cannon, Danny (director) (May 4, 2015). "All Happy Families Are Alike". Gotham. Season 1. Episode 22. FOX.
  11. Hull, Robert (writer) & Culpepper, Hanelle M. (director) (November 21, 2016). "Mad City: Time Bomb". Gotham. Season 3. Episode 10. FOX.