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Oswald Cobblepot (Gotham)

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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. 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 petty criminal and one of the main characters of Gotham. He appears as the true primary antagonist of the first season and the tritagonist villain of the second and third season. He is depicted as the archenemy to protagonist James Gordon, although does act as a necessary evil to him.

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.

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 could be considered 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 indeed is elected to become mayor of Gotham City.

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


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 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.


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.


Kill count: 16+

  • 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


Appearances for Oswald Cobblepot


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 Three

  • "Mad City: Better to Reign in Hell…"
  • "Mad City: Burn the Witch…"
  • "Mad City: Look Into My Eyes"
  • "Mad City: Look Into My Eyes"
  • "Mad City: New Day Rising"

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?"


Season 1

Season 2

Season 3

Gotham Stories (motion comic)



  • 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.
  • He is generally the series' main antagonist, due to manipulating Gotham's crime war to the point that he could possibly be compared to Emperor Palpatine, the main antagonist of the Star Wars franchise.
    • In season 2, he is the decoy quaternary antagonist, as the likes of Theo Galavan and Hugo Strange take the role as the two main antagonists and Oswald ends up becoming the antihero-later-tritagonist.
  • 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's story arc concerning his "rehabilitation" in the second half of season 2 is similar to that of Alex DeLarge from A Clockwork Orange.
    • They are both put through some sort of experimentation to help 'cure' them of their violence.
    • They are released back into society and are unable to commit any sort of violent acts of defend themselves in anyway from any sort of reprisal by those they wronged.
    • Both were cast out regardless of being 'cured'. Alex's parents didn't allow him back home, whereas in Gotham Edward Nygma didn't let Oswald stay from him (although both parties had a different reasoning).
    • 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.


Gotham Villains

Barbara Kean | Bridgit Pike | Butch Gilzean | Carmine Falcone | Edward Nygma | Electrocutioner | Fish Mooney | Hugo Strange| Ivy Pepper| Jerome Valeska | Jervis Tetch | Kathryn | Ms. Peabody | Oswald Cobblepot | Salvatore Maroni | Silver St. Cloud | Tabitha Galavan | Theo Galavan | The Ogre | Victor Fries | Victor Zsasz

Aaron Helzinger | Arnold Dobkins | Arnold Flass | Aubrey James | Basil Karlo | Billy Boy | Carlson Grey | Clyde Destro | Davis Lamond | Dick Lovecraft | Dollmaker | Dr. Marks | Eduardo Flamingo | 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 | Zaardon

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

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