Edward Nygma is a major character in the television series Gotham. Although developing into one of the main antagonists of the series, he initially appeared as a supporting protagonist in the first season, as he worked as a forensics scientist for the Gotham City Police Department and helped out James Gordon and Harvey Bullock on several cases. He is depicted as socially awkward and has a love for riddles and puzzles and sees most of the cases as another challenge, which annoys most of his co-workers who dismiss Nygma and tend to mock him. During his side arc in season 1 he tries to impress G.C.P.D. archivist Kristin Kringle, and ends up murdering her abusive cop partner Tom Dougherty, which is the beginning of Nygma's sanity slippage. In season 2, he develops into one of the show's villains after giving into his dark side, which continues on for the subsequent seasons of the show. He seems to slowly regress back to his "good" side in season 4, however is once again overtaken by his Riddler persona and continues operating as a criminal. In season 5, he appears as an antihero, and later teams up with the hero characters to fight against Bane's forces taking over Gotham.

He is portrayed by Cory Michael Smith.


Edward Nygma is a supporting protagonist in season 1, appearing in his own subplot building towards his start of darkness. In season 2, after killing Kringle, he appears as a supporting antagonist and becomes James Gordon's enemy. In season 3 he becomes partners in crime with Penguin after they take over the mayor's office, although Nygma becomes an antihero when he overthrows Penguin from power, as a revenge scheme after Penguin murders Nygma's girlfriend Isabella and the pair spend the rest of the season trying to take each other down. In season 4, he is again an antihero in a romance subplot with Leslie Thompkins, although struggles with his darker Riddler personality who begins to takeover once again. In season 5, he is the unwilling antagonist after being brainwashed by Hugo Strange to work as a puppet for Theresa Walker and Bane and murders loads of innocents against his will. After having the brainwashing stopped, he becomes a supporting protagonist and antihero once again as he allies with the heroes in a mutual goal to protect Gotham City from Bane's forces. In the series finale "The Beginning...", he appears as the tertiary antagonist behind Jeremiah Valeska and Penguin, although he is more or less used as a pawn by the former.


  • In the 2013 video game Batman: Arkham Origins, Edward Nygma appeared as an employee of the Gotham City Police Department, although he worked as the head of the Cyber Crime Division rather than being a forensic scientist.
  • His origin with an abusive father is omitted from Gotham, and Nygma's personal family life is never explored during the series, although Cory Michael Smith was once interested in having his character's father introduced to the series (with possibly Jim Carrey, who portrayed Riddler in the 1995 film Batman Forever, appearing in a guest role).[1]
  • Nygma is much older than Bruce Wayne/The future Batman in the series, whereas in most depictions they are around the same age. In reality, Michael Smith and David Mazouz (Bruce Wayne's actor) are around fifteen years apart in age.
  • The character having a split personality and initially being an ally to James Gordon is similar to another Batman rogue Harvey Dent/ Two-Face. Harvey Dent himself appears in Gotham, and aside from being shown to having an explosive temper (which he manages to conceal through a lot of restraint), doesn't get any such similar story arc.

See also

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