Rachel Dawes was the love interest of Bruce Wayne and later Harvey Dent in the Dark Knight films.
Rachel was the daughter of one of the maids at Wayne Manor. Since she and Bruce were the same age, she was became his playmate.
Rachel was there when Bruce first fell down a well and was traumatised by the swarm of bats. After Bruce's parents were murdered, Rachel's mother left the manor.
14 years later, Rachel was interning at the District Attorney's office when the murderer of Bruce's parents was brought to trial. Rachel wanted to support Bruce, but he was too obsessed with revenge at this point.
After watching his parent's killer shot down, Bruce admits that he was planning on doing the same thing. Rachel angrily told him his father would be ashamed that his only son would become a killer.
7 years later, Rachel becomes assistant DA. She finds herself at odds with Arkham Asylum's head psychologist Johnathan Crane who has been appealing to the corrupt judge and having several known criminals cop insanity pleas and escape jail time.
When two thugs come after her, Rachel is saved by Batman. Batman supplies her with incriminating evidence in order to bring down a drug shipment.
Afterwards, Rachel runs into Bruce Wayne who has seemingly become a self-obsessed playboy. Rachael tells him that his inner personality doesn't matter, but his deeds will define him.
Rachel later has another brush with Crane, concerning the sudden mental breakdown of one of Gotham's most notorious crime bosses. Crane invites her into the lower levels of Arkham and shows her all the criminals he helped put away were spiking the city's water supply.
Knowing that Crane planned to unleash mass hysteria on Gotham City, Rachel tried to run, only to be drugged herself.
She was then saved by Batman who took her back to his cave. Batman gave her an anitdote and instructed her to deliver more to be mass-produced. He then put her to sleep.
When Rachel awoke, the terrorist leader Ra's Al Ghul had taken over Gotham and unleashed Crane's drugs into the air, causing everyone to riot. Having been innoculated, Rachel was immune to the effects.
Crane appeared before her riding a horse with a burlap mask and calling himself "Scarecrow". He tried to threaten her, but Rachel hit him with a taser. After being saved from a gang of Arkham's inmates by Batman, Rachel asks who he is.
He tells her "it's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me", which is what she had said to Bruce earlier, making her realize that Bruce Wayne is Batman.
Rachel meets up with Bruce the morning after, having seen how he'd changed into a better man. She confesses her love for him, but says that as long as Batman is around, there would always be distance between them.
The Dark Knight
Several months later, Rachael has started dating the new district attorney Harvey Dent. She's still on friendly terms with Bruce though, as they went double-dating at one point.
After Dent manages to put away the entire Russian mob, Harvey Dent becomes the most wanted man in Gotham's underworld.
At one of Bruce's fund-raisers, Rachel is accosted by the Joker, who threatens her as a means of getting to Dent. Instead, he's attacked by Batman. The Joker manages to gain the upper hand and throws Rachel out a window. Batman saves her life.
After the Joker is arrested and brought in for questioning, Batman finds out that Rachel had been kidnapped and was being held in a warehouse rigged with a bomb and over a dozen barrels of gasoline.
Batman goes after her, only to find that Harvey Dent was in her place. It turned out that Rachel was locked up in a life-or-death situation, but was on the other side of the city! The building was blown up and Rachel was incinerated in the blast.
Rachel was one of the only people who saw the real Bruce, having been around during several parts of his youth that would lead to him becoming Batman. She also managed to discourage him from becoming a criminal, which prompted Bruce to learn how to become an effective enforcer of justice. Although Rachel promised to be with Bruce after he had brought an end to crime, she had begun to realise that maybe Bruce needed Batman.
After being offered a proposal from her then-boyfrind Harney Dent, Rachel wrote Bruce a letter saying that she could never be more than his friend from now on. She gave this letter to Bruce's butler Alfred shortly before being killed. Bruce didn't find out her true feelings, as Alfred decided he was in too much pain at that point. Years later, Alfred would finally reveal that Rachel had chosen Dent over Bruce as a way of preventing him from becoming Batman again.
Rachel and Harvey Dent began seeing each other shortly before the events of The Dark Knight. Harvey had proposed to her, but Rachel was still torn between him and Bruce. After thinking it over, Rachel had decided that Dent was less complex and could make her happier than the emotionally-scarred Bruce ever could. With moments left to live, Rachel told Dent that her answer was yes.
Knowledge of Rachel's death, along with severe burns on the left side of his face, shattered Harvey Dent's once noble persona and turned him into the murderous Two-Face. He then went about killing anyone who had something to do with Rachel's death.
- Rachel's death is reminiscent of Jason Todd's death in the Batman comics. While Jason survived and became a villain, Rachel's death became a driving force for Two-Face.
- Rachel Dawes is an original creation and has no comic-book equivalent.
- Rachel Dawes is the first Batman love-interest to appear in two films, though she was portrayed by different actresses in each.
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