Alfred's backstory mentioned in Gotham prequel novel Dawn of Darkness.
This book gives more info and insight into the Wayne’s loyal butler and his past. As this is an official prequel novel, this is about as canon as it can be unless the show directly contradicts it.
- served in the royal marines, got a Military Cross and saved an entire regiment on a mission in Kazakhstan
- spent a few years at Scotland Yard
- worked with MI3 and received a license to kill and went on numerous classified missions and gained many enemies
- on 2 occasions, he narrowly escaped assassins targeting him
- in an attempt at a calmer life, he took a job with a private army in the middle east that protected the interests of multinational corporations and during assignment in Libya, he met Thomas Wayne who was one of the army’s financiers
- he and Thomas became friends and stayed in touch for the next few years, Alfred was happy to learn when the Waynes had a baby boy
- when Bruce was two years old, Alfred finally met him and Martha during a Wayne family vacation in England
- 2 year old Bruce got along well with Alfred, always smiling and wanting to play with him all the time, which Martha and Thomas thought unusual because Bruce usually acted shy and distrusting around strangers
- Thomas knew Alfred had enemies continuing trying to target him and offered Alfred the butler position to get away from it all and move to Gotham
- Alfred declined the offer at first because it seemed too dramatic a change of life and he had no experience, and also he was in love for many years with a former french spy named Gabrielle and knew she wouldn’t want to move since she had family in Paris
- few weeks later when Alfred and Gabrielle were at dinner at a restaurant, two men entered and tried to kill him, Alfred shot and killed them both but a bullet from one of the two gunmen had killed Gabrielle
- Alfred blamed himself and was emotionally devastated, he hunted and killed the man who ordered the hit, but knew he couldn’t stay in England any longer because his enemies will just continue the cycle of violence and the place had too many memories of Gabrielle so he phoned Thomas and took the butler job and left for Gotham
- Alfred keeps a picture of Gabrielle in his wallet and thinks about her everyday, these days he’s just glad that he was lucky to have been in love
- Alfred made two separate promises to Thomas and Martha respectively, one to Thomas on being Bruce’s guardian and help him be ready for the fight to come, and one to Martha that he would keep Bruce away from violence and focus on his education
- Alfred did agree with Thomas’ view that Bruce will have to learn how to fight because he didn’t think that he alone was a permanent insurance policy as he didn’t think he would live that long despite Martha’s faith in his abilities to protect Bruce
- Alfred killed an intruder two months before the Wayne murder - that intruder was connected to Thomas’ past dealings over Hugo Strange and Indian Hill experiments
- Alfred and Harvey have met before the show started due to the break in at Wayne Manor where Alfred killed the intruder, their interaction wasn’t all that pleasant as Harvey implicitly suggested that Alfred might have sold out the Waynes’ security code, which only offended and enraged Alfred
- Alfred was suspicious of Thomas’ secret work, knowing that something was amiss, but did not get involved because it wasn’t his place to intrude into the privacy of his employer
- Thomas considers Alfred “his secret weapon” because he has a unique set of skills
- The Waynes and Alfred crossed paths with Jerome Valeska and his mother while they visited the circus and exchanged some heated words
“But if there must be an end, let it be loud. Let it be bloody. Better to burn than to wither away in the dark.” — Mike Mignola (Hellboy, Vol. 6: Strange Places (Hellboy, #6))
“Active or ambitious women were not only rare but often evil. Wonder
Woman flipped this paradigm by embodying the strength, assertiveness,
and independence usually associated with bad girls and villains in a
positive heroic light. The Golden Age Wonder Woman was a blatant
rejection of the good girl/bad girl binary and even offered a critique
of the good girl role.”
Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine
“It’s always easy to be what you are– What’s hard is to be what you want to be.”
– but perhaps I do need to talk a bit about home – about days long forgotten – about nights lost in time’s shadow – and about the origin of one whom the outside world has called – The Panther!
You asked me what “being Superman” means. Being Superman doesn’t mean I’m greater than anyone. But it does mean I’m better than you.
You have your definition of a hero and I have mine — and mine includes being a lot more aware.
a blind lawyer with a history of incarceration and personal tragedy.
What in that make-up makes you think I have a sense of humor?
– Matt Murdock
Spawn: You sent me to Hell! I’m here to return the favor!
- Spawn (1997).
Tell your friends there’s a hunter on the streets. This is my town now, and creeps like you are an endangered species.
Bruce Wayne: It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.
- Batman Trilogy
Now that I am able to turn myself into a human Atom – who knows what strange and wonderful things may happen?
The story must start with my father, a famous undersea explorer —
if I spoke his name, you would recognize it. My mother died when I was a
baby, and he turned to his work of solving the ocean’s secrets. His
greatest discovery was an ancient city, in the depths where no other
diver had ever penetrated. My father believed it was the lost kingdom of
Atlantis. He made himself a water-tight home in one of the palaces and
lived there, studying the records and devices of the race’s marvelous
wisdom. From the books and records, he learned ways of teaching me to
live under the ocean, drawing oxygen from the water and using all the
power of the sea to make me wonderfully strong and swift. By training
and a hundred scientific secrets, I became what you see — a human being
who lives and thrives under the water.
I’m reading the Gotham prequel book Dawn of Darkness that’s set about two months before the events of the show and Thomas Wayne nearly died from assassins sent to kill him bc of all the Indian Hill mess with Hugo Strange that he’d been involved in.
And it’s after this event that he makes Alfred swear that if anything happened to him and Martha, that Alfred would be Bruce’s guardian - he already has it in his will, but he wants Alfred’s word - he calls Alfred “my secret weapon” because he didn’t just hire Alfred for butlering alone, he hired him because he connected well with Bruce and because of his special skillset.
Thomas Wayne hired Alfred Pennyworth to be Bruce’s weapon, his sword and shield because he knew someone would be gunning for his son one day and that Bruce would need to fight.
what if people have noticed the way the wayne family acts. how the kids always almost say “batman” instead of dad/bruce, or how whenever batman disappears, bruce wayne is suddenly unavailable. the butler’s strange behaviour and the darkness that’s always somehow around the waynes or the secrets and everything that has led some people throughout comics’ history to unravel batman’s secret identity
what if gotham remembers all those little details? what if there are forums on the internet solely dedicated to these mishaps? it’s become such a big deal over the years online that everyone now thinks the wayne family’s just trying really hard to make the world think they’re batman and co, that it’s just a stunt to gain them more popularity because “that’s how elitists are”. so they decide to write it off. all of it
GOTHAM (Mondays, 8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) The origin story continues on Season Three of GOTHAM, and the stakes are higher than ever, as Super-Villains more ambitious and depraved are introduced, and a realignment of alliances shakes up the fight for power in Gotham City.
Season Three will peel back the curtain on the infamous criminal organization known as the Court of The Owls. With the Indian Hill escapees on the loose, JIM GORDON (Ben McKenzie) must take matters into his own hands as a bounty hunter in Gotham. He makes it his mission to find HUGO STRANGE (guest star BD Wong), the mastermind behind the horrifying Indian Hill experiments, and FISH MOONEY (guest star Jada Pinkett Smith), one of Strange’s subjects. Meanwhile, GCPD Detective HARVEY BULLOCK (Donal Logue) and Captain NATHANIEL BARNES (Michael Chiklis) remain at the forefront of the fight against crime in the monster-ridden city. Also, BRUCE WAYNE (David Mazouz), with the help of his trusted butler and mentor, ALFRED PENNYWORTH (Sean Pertwee), and former Wayne Enterprises employee, LUCIUS FOX (Chris Chalk), discovers there are still more secrets to uncover regarding his parents’ murders.
As the city sinks deeper into chaos, GOTHAM will continue to follow the evolving stories of the city’s most malevolent villains: THE PENGUIN (Robin Lord Taylor); EDWARD NYGMA/the future RIDDLER (Cory Michael Smith); SELINA KYLE/the future CATWOMAN (Camren Bicondova); BARBARA KEAN (Erin Richards), TABITHA GALAVAN/TIGRESS (Jessica Lucas) and BUTCH GILZEAN (Drew Powell). The series also will catch up with the future POISON IVY (Maggie Geha), who, after an encounter with a monster from Indian Hill, finds herself reborn as a young woman who’s harnessed the full power of her charms; and will dive into the origin stories of JERVIS TETCH/MAD HATTER (Benedict Samuel), a talented hypnotist teetering on the edge of madness; and the TWEED BROTHERS.