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Villain Overview
I am the King of Gotham!
~ Oswald after killing Fish Mooney.
There seems to be some confusion. My name is Oswald Cobblepot. Many of you no doubt will have heard of me. So...you clearly have not... For those poor, ignorant souls I offer illumination. I am not a man to be trifled with, no... I'm powerful! I'm vicious! I'm King of Gotham!
~ Oswald introduces himself at Arkham Asylum.

Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot (born Kapelput), also known as the Penguin, is a crime lord in Gotham City and one of the main characters of the TV series Gotham, acting as the primary antagonist of the first season, then as the supporting villain of the second season. He then returns as one of the main antagonists in the third season, and in the upcoming fourth season. He notably appears as the main antagonist for Edward Nygma during the Mad City arc, where he is responsible for most of the events, and he is eventually defeated.

He is the series' incarnation of the fearsome Batman villain known as the Penguin and acts as the re-imagined origin to the character, showcasing his rise to power prior to the Dark Knight's arrival.

He is portrayed by Robin Lord Taylor, who also played Julian Lambrick in Would You Rather.

Overview

Following a betrayal backfiring on him, Cobblepot's true evil potential is released and he begins scheming to get revenge and take over everything for himself, starting by taking advantage of two warring mob factions and playing both against each other. Due to this, he serves as the true main antagonist of the first season. In the second season he begins taking on an anti-hero role when his empire crumbles and he plans to avenge his mother's death by killing the season's villain Theo Galavan.

In the third season, Cobblepot is shocked to see that his old nemesis Fish Mooney has returned to Gotham, leading an army of former inmates of Arkham Asylum that have obtained powers through experiments by Professor Strange. Penguin makes it his top priority to take down Fish, claiming that the city is not safe while she is around. The people of Gotham agree with him and start hunting down Fish's 'monsters'. Due to the support of the public, Oswald is able to announce his candidacy for mayor and got himself elected as the current Mayor of Gotham City. When he develops romantic feelings for his ally Edward Nygma and has Nygma's girlfriend assassinated out of jealousy, this leads to Nygma eventually finding out the truth and plotting with other enemies of Oswald to bring him down. They eventually succeed and Nygma shoots Oswald into Gotham Harbor, pushing the bleeding Penguin into the cold waters. After Ivy Pepper fishes him out of the water and nurses him back to health, Oswald confesses his next step to her - killing Nygma.

Character

Physical Appearance

Cobblepot is a rather skinny young man of average height, pale skin and noticeably bright blue eyes. His nose is slightly crooked and pointy, like a beak and he is usually grinning. His thin black hair looks like always wet and messily plastered on his head, with some spiky ends pointing erratically at the top of his head. His attire consists of a white shirt with a black Continental Cross tie with its ends tucked inside a silk, purple checkered vest and a black coat with dark green lapels, black pants and matching shoes, and mostly carrying a black umbrella. For betraying Fish Mooney, she beats him with a cane and cripples one of his legs, giving him his distinct penguin waddle.

Personality

At first glance, Oswald appears to be milquetoast, subservient, and somewhat of a sycophant. In reality, he is an ambitious and cunning sociopath who is willing to do whatever it takes to obtain power. Despite this hunger, Oswald is patient and uses his high intellect to concoct plans in order to reach his goals. Virtually every move he makes is premeditated to a certain degree. Even when things do not go exactly as planned, Oswald is highly adept at dealing the hand he is given and making the best of it. Among the darker parts of Oswald's personality is his tendency for violence. He is more than willing to kill someone when he feels that it is necessary and does so without pity or remorse. He speaks with a constant smile, often talking fast and shaky, with variant levels of flattery to whom he speaks to, often sarcastically.

Oswald also has shown a softer side after rehabilitation, being cheerful and reacting nonviolently, or even angry when Tabitha tried to provoke him by mocking his Mother. Oswald was also overjoyed to learn that he had a father and embraced his new family whole-heartedly He also felt remorseful for his previous actions as "The Penguin" and insisted that he wasn't that person anymore. Unfortunately this change was short lived as his Father's murder at Grace's hands triggered him to revert back to his old ways

At first, calling him Penguin made him very infuriated, to the point of murderous intents, but later, he decided to accept and adopt the epithet. In fact, his attitude towards the epiphet has completely changed, he adopted the name of Penguin completely and now berates others for calling him by his true name. With the current outfit, name and mannerism, he is becoming closer to his original concept in the comic books.

The rapidity and precision of his Biblical references when he was picked up outside Gotham by the church group suggest that Christianity played a role in his upbringing.

Despite his sick nature, Oswald genuinely loved both of his parents, as he willingly assisted Gordon in killing Galavan for murdering his mother, as well as killing Grace and her children for murdering his father.

Despite being a traitor to his boss Fish & betraying Falcone Oswald valued loyalty from those who served him, such as promising Butch that he would be rewarded for helping him rescue his mother, after his release from Arkham Oswald told Butch that for his part he did indeed consider Butch his friend. He also appeared to genially consider Jim Gordon a friend, helping him get his job back after being fired from the GCPD and saving him from being killed by corrupt cops hired by Galavan.

Abilities

  • High-level intellect/Expert tactician/Leadership: Oswald is methodical in creating plans that are meant to benefit him. He managed to orchestrate a gang war between Maroni and Falcone that he hoped would result in their deaths and allow him to control Gotham's criminal underground. He is also capable of running a criminal organization without getting caught by the GCPD. He was also able to convince the citizens of Gotham that Fish Mooney and her gang of "monsters" were a serious threat to the city, despite his status as a criminal.
  • High pain tolerance/Indomitable will: Oswald has a high tolerance for pain. He showed no reaction after being stabbed in the hand with a pin by Fish Mooney. He was also able to kill Mooney and escape from the GCPD, despite being shot both times. He has shown to almost never give up on getting revenge towards those who have wronged him. He also was willing to let himself be killed to protect Nygma due to his love for him.
  • Intimidation: While most people do not take him to be a serious threat, he is able to intimidate several people with threats of violence, such as Liza.
  • Master of Deception: Oswald is able to manipulate others and use them in his plans. He managed to convince Irish hitmen to kill Maroni by telling one of them it would make them Falcone's top hitmen instead of Zsasz, when in reality he planned to have them killed by Maroni and his men. While working as a double agent in Maroni's organization for Falcone, he was able to prove his usefulness to Maroni, with the latter not realizing it was all a ruse.
  • Network: As a crime lord, Oswald has connections to multiple crime families and hitmen.
  • Singing: Oswald is skilled at singing as shown he performed duets with Nygma in the latter's apartment.
  • Skilled marksman: Oswald is skilled in the use of firearms.
  • Torturer: Oswald is able to inflict brutal torture on several of his victims without restraint, such as when he beat Theo Galavan with a bat multiple times.
  • Toxicology: Oswald has some knowledge of poisons as he laced the cannolis he served to the bank robbers he hired with a unknown poison that killed them.

Victims

Kill count: 27+

  • Unnamed Fisherman - Stabbed in throat with knife
  • Two unnamed college kids - One stabbed in neck with knife, another unknown
  • Unnamed Enforcer of Fish Mooney - Stabbed to death
  • Unnamed dishwasher - Unknown
  • Unnamed Gunmen working for him - Killed with poisoned cannoli
  • Frankie Carbone - Stabbed multiple times
  • Timothy - Gave his henchmen the order to kill him
  • Marge - Shot with a shotgun
  • Unnamed Delivery man for Sal Maroni - Stabbed in throat with shard of glass
  • Multiple unnamed gang members - Gunned down
  • Fish Mooney - Pushed from ledge into the water (Revived)
  • Janice Caulfield - Stabbed multiple times
  • Butch Gilzean - Chopped his hand off (Survived)
  • Leonard - Killed together with Edward Nygma
  • Theo Galavan - Bludgeoned with a bat and then shot in the head by Jim Gordon
  • Pet dog - Poisoned it to test what caused his father's death
  • Charles and Sasha Van Dahl - Killed, cooked and served up to their unknowing mother Grace as revenge for them poisoning Oswald's father Elijah Van Dahl and mistreating him
  • Grace Van Dahl - Stabbed
  • Boris (Butch's lead mobster) - Shot in the head
  • Isabella - sabotaged her car, causing her to crash into a train.
  • Tarquin - Smashed his head with a golf trophy.
  • Auctioneer - Shot in the head
  • Gabe - Stabbed repeatedly out of anger
  • Court of Owls Guard- Throat slit

Appearances

Appearances for Oswald Cobblepot

Gotham

Season One

  • "Pilot"
  • "Selina Kyle"
  • "The Balloonman"
  • "Arkham"
  • "Viper"
  • "Spirit of the Goat"
  • "Penguin's Umbrella"
  • "The Mask"
  • "Harvey Dent"
  • "LoveCraft"
  • "Rogues' Gallery"
  • "What The Little Bird Told Him"
  • "Welcome Back, Jim Gordon"
  • "The Fearsome Dr. Crane"
  • "The Scarecrow"
  • "The Blind Fortune Teller"
  • "Red Hood"
  • Everyone Has a Cobblepot"
  • "Beasts of Prey"
  • "Under the Knife"
  • "The Anvil or the Hammer"
  • All Happy Families are Alike

Season Two

  • "Rise of the Villains: Damned If You Do"
  • "Rise of the Villains: The Last Laugh"
  • "Rise of the Villains: Strike Force"
  • "Rise of the Villains: Scarification"
  • "Rise of the Villains: By Fire"
  • "Rise of the Villains: Mommy's Little Monster"
  • "Rise of the Villains: Tonight’s the Night"
  • "Rise of the Villains: A Bitter Pill to Swallow"
  • "Rise of the Villains: The Son of Gotham"
  • "Rise of the Villains: Worse Than A Crime"
  • "Wrath of the Villains: Mr. Freeze"
  • "Wrath of the Villains: A Dead Man Feels No Cold"
  • "Wrath of the Villains: This Ball of Mud and Meanness"
  • "Wrath of the Villains: Mad Grey Dawn"
  • "Wrath of the Villains: Prisoners"
  • "Wrath of the Villains: Into the Woods"
  • "Wrath of the Villains: Azrael"
  • "Wrath of the Villains: Unleashed"

Season 3

  • "Mad City: Better to Reign in Hell..."
  • "Mad City: Burn the Witch..."
  • "Mad City: Look Into My Eyes"
  • "Mad City: New Day Rising"
  • "Mad City: Anything for You"
  • "Mad City: Follow the White Rabbit"
  • "Mad City: Red Queen"
  • "Mad City: Blood Rush"
  • "Mad City: The Executioner"
  • "Mad City: Time Bomb"
  • "Mad City: Beware the Green-Eyed Monster"
  • "Mad City: Ghosts"
  • "Mad City: Smile Like You Mean It"
  • "Mad City: The Gentle Art of Making Enemies"

Gotham Stories

  • "Chapter 1 - Penguin's Cold Surprise"
  • "Chapter 2 - Mr. Freeze Targets Penguin"
  • "Chapter 3 - Run, Penguin, Run!"
  • "Chapter 4 - Can Gordon and Bullock Help Oswald?"

Trivia

  • While most versions of The Penguin tend to accept and like the nickname "Penguin", this version has a great dislike for the nickname, even going so far as to kill someone, if he can get away with it. However, with some advice from Sal Maroni, he begins to embrace the nickname. In season 2, he begins to address himself with the name and is comfortable with it.
  • Cobblepot seems to be somewhat insane.
  • Cobblepot is revealed to be 31 years old, which makes him 17 years older than Bruce Wayne. Since Bruce normally starts off as Batman at the age of 25, by then Cobblepot will be 42.
  • Interestingly, Cobblepot has helped save the life of Bruce Wayne (who would ironically thwart the villain by becoming Batman) twice from Theo Galavan
  • Cobblepot is thin in the Gotham series, while he is obese in the comics and a majority of his other incarnations. However it is possible this version will put on weight, which is shown in his concept art depicting an older Cobblepot (as seen in the gallery below), plus his depiction of enjoying drinking alcohol and eating snacks.
    • Robin Lord Taylor has said the character will gradually start gaining weight in order to fit with his comic counterpart.
  • This incarnation of the Penguin has been very well received with critics and viewers alike, with Robin Lord Taylor's portrayal also praised. Actor Danny DeVito (who portrayed the Penguin in the Tim Burton film Batman Returns) praised Taylor's performance. Taylor himself had previously stated he used DeVito's Penguin as inspiration for his version of the character. Actor Mark Hamill, best known for voice acting the Joker in the Animated Series and Arkham Games also praised him.
  • He could be considered the "evil counterpart" to protagonist James Gordon. They're newcomers that recognize a great conflict is brewing, but while Oswald manipulates the conflict to benefit himself, Gordon is trying to fight against it and clean up Gotham. And while Oswald kisses up to authority figures only to later betray them, Gordon's stubbornness causes him to make enemies.
    • Oswald ends up reverting back to his 'evil' ways. In the film of A Clockwork Orange, it is implied that Alex would be going back to his violent ways once again.
  • This is the first version of the character Penguin to be homosexual.
  • Penguin has cheated death more than anyone in the series.
  • According to an interview with Robin Lord Taylor, Penguin will return as a main villain in the fourth season, and will become the archenemy of Bruce Wayne.

Navigation


Gotham Villains

Main
514A | Barbara Kean | Bridgit Pike | Butch Gilzean | Carmine Falcone | Edward Nygma | Fish Mooney | Hugo Strange | Ivy Pepper | Jerome Valeska | Jervis Tetch | Kathryn Monroe | Mario Calvi | Nathaniel Barnes | Ms. Peabody | Oswald Cobblepot | Ra's al Ghul | Salvatore Maroni | Sensei | Tabitha Galavan | Theo Galavan | The Ogre | Victor Fries | Victor Zsasz

Secondary
Aaron Helzinger | Arnold Dobkins | Arnold Flass | Aubrey James | Basil Karlo | Billy Boy | Carlson Grey | Clyde Destro | Davis Lamond | Dick Lovecraft | Dollmaker | Dorothy Duncan | Dr. Marks | Dwight Pollard | Eduardo Flamingo | Electrocutioner | Father Creel | Frankie Carbone | Gabe | Gerald Crane | Gillian Loeb | Grace van Dahl | Gus Floyd | The Lady | Larissa Diaz | Marv | Mario Pepper | Nancy | "Matches" Malone | Patti and Doug | Reginald Payne | Richard Gladwell | Richard Sionis | Ridgeback Monster | Robert Greenwood | Sid | Sid Bunderslaw | Stan Potolsky | Talon | Tom Dougherty | Trope | Tweaker | Tweed-Brothers | Zaardon

Groups
Court of Owls | Gotham City Police Department | Jerome Copycats | Order of St. Dumas | Penguins | Red Hood Gang | Maniax | Monsters | Wayne Enterprises