- "I'm the Riddler!! "
- —Nygma to Lucius Fox
Edward "Ed" Nygma is a former forensic scientist working for the Gotham City Police Department with a penchant for speaking in riddles. He later went down a path of criminal activity after murdering Tom Dougherty, and later his girlfriend Kristin Kringle. Later, he framed Jim Gordon after the latter began looking into the death of Kringle. However, he was later captured and sent to Arkham Asylum. Six months into his sentence, he was released due to the intervention of Oswald Cobblepot, to help with Oswald's campaign for mayor of Gotham. After discovering Oswald was responsible for the death of his latest girlfriend, Isabella, he formed an alliance with Barbara Kean, Tabitha Galavan, and Butch Gilzean, to ruin Oswald's image as mayor, kill him, and take control of Gotham's criminal underground. After taking down Oswald, Nygma starts his new path under his new moniker as The Riddler in order to unleash his wrath upon Gotham. He then turned his attention to The Court of Owls and who they were until the latter ended up taking him as their prisoner. After he found out that Oswald was alive and in the cell next to him, they were forced to help each other escape and Cobblepot would later have Victor Fries freeze Ed and put him on display at his club, The Iceberg Lounge, as a reminder to not make the same mistakes again. He would later be freed from the ice by Myrtle Jenkins, his #1 fan who went to the same elementary school as him and followed his rise as The Riddler. However, when she tested his brain with riddles he got them all wrong discovering that he was suffering from some sort of brain damage after being frozen for an extended amount of time. He later met up with once Butch Gilzean, now Solomon Grundy, and planned to help them both by getting rich at Cherry's place in The Narrows. They soon teamed up with Leslie Thompkins and the the three of them all became super popular in the Narrows.
Edward Nygma went to Hilltop Elementary school when he was at a younge age. Edward earned his degree at Gotham City University. Prior to the events of the show, he won the Whippleburn Prize for excellence in criminal science writing for an article titled "What’s Wrong With This Right? Preventing False Positives at Crime Scenes." He also authored other pieces for journals such as Evidence Quarterly, For Your Record and Post-Mortem Monthly.
Working with the GCPD
Two months before the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne, Edward identified the body of Byron Stone, a thief who was killed during a robbery in Wayne Manor. He relayed this information to Gotham City Police Department detectives Harvey Bullock and Amanda Wong whose subsequent investigation would help fast-track the events that would culminate in the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne. 
When Harvey Bullock and James Gordon are investigating the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne, Nygma presents information about the bullet recovered from Thomas Wayne's body in the form of a riddle, to which Bullock impatiently demands that he "tell" rather than "ask". Gordon, however, is willing to play along, and solves one of his riddles.
Ed helps Gordon and Bullock discover that a corpse found belonged to Coleman Lawson. Nygma later decided to do his own autopsy on Coleman Lawson's body, though he is soon discovered by the true medical examiner, Dr. Guerra, who kicks him out.
Ed informs Gordon and Bullock about the discovery of the distinctive plate between the remains of the bomb that went off last night, which belonged to an abandoned metal factory.
When Gordon is temporarily transferred to Arkham Asylum, Nygma gives him a goodbye hug, demonstrating how much the detective's friendliness means to him.
He continues his attempts to woo Kristen, giving her a cupcake with a bullet in it and declaring that "it's a riddle." Kristen, finding it "menacing and weird and inedible," promptly returns it to him. Nygma later visits her in the records annex to explain what the gift was intended to represent--that "a beautiful woman is a dangerous thing"--but before Kristen can respond, Detective Arnold Flass appears and orders him to leave Kristen alone. Assuring her that he never meant to offend her, Nygma's makes his way out and happens to overhear Kristen thanking Flass and remarking on how weird Nygma is.
Unwilling to give up just yet, Nygma makes a card for Kristen and writes a short poem inside. When he comes by later to see what she thought of it, he finds Flass and some of the other police officers mocking it. In spite of Kristen telling them to stop, they begin to tease him, and he leaves in embarrassment. Later, as he's in the laboratory "surgically removing the onions from his takeout", Kristen comes in to apologize for Flass' behavior, telling him that Flass happened to find the card in her desk and that she thought his card was "thoughtful." Encouraged, Nygma attempts to ask Kristen out, but she cuts him off and quickly makes her exit. Nygma smiles, murmuring to himself that "there's hope".
Annoyed by the incompetence of the medical examiner, Dr. Guerra, Nygma takes to dissecting bodies without his permission. Guerra begs Essen to do something about Nygma's conduct, and when they next catch him with his hand inside a corpse, she suspends him. Nygma goes to the records room to tell Kristen and finds her crying. She hastily gathers herself, and he explains his situation to her, giving her back a pencil he'd taken from her desk--now reduced to a small stump. Kristen says that she's sorry to hear about his predicament and that she wishes something could be done. Getting an idea, Nygma sneaks back into the station later and breaks into the medical examiner's locker, placing severed limbs inside. Guerra is promptly fired after being found with the body parts in his possession. Reinstated out of necessity, Nygma returns to the annex to tell Kristen that he's back. As he's leaving, she stops him and declares that he owes her a new pencil.
When Leslie Thompkins becomes the new medical examiner, Nygma develops a positive working relationship with her, remarking to Gordon that she's much better than her predecessor. Around the same time, he also has a chance meeting with Oswald Cobblepot, who stops by the station to speak to Gordon. Aware of who he is and intrigued by his presence, Nygma teases him, asking him whether he knew that male emperor penguins keep their eggs warm by balancing them on their feet. Bewildered and unamused, Cobblepot asks who he is, and then orders him to keep moving.
Ed accosts Kristen while she's picking up files from the laboratory. He attempts to flirt with her and brings up the subject of Detective Flass, who has recently been reinstated. "It's just that he's such a bad--" he begins, but Kristen cuts him off, placing a hand on his arm. She tells him that she appreciates his concern, but has realized that there are far better men in the world than Arnold Flass. Kristen leaves the room and, grinning goofily, Nygma grasps the part of his arm that she touched, certain that she'd finally returned his affections.
As the day wraps up, Nygma approaches Kristen with a bouquet hidden behind his back and asks if she has any dinner plans. Startled and regretful, Kristen says that she does, and introduces Nygma to her new boyfriend, Officer Tom Dougherty. Nygma remains polite, managing to retain his composure as Tom asks him a riddle. He answers it easily, and Tom promises that he'll stump him next time. As the couple leaves the GCPD, Kristen casts another sympathetic glance back at Nygma. Nygma looks down at his wilted bouquet, then, in a fit of heartbroken rage, tears it up and throws it into a garbage can.
Ed is asked by Gordon to find evidence from the case that was apparently missing. However, Nygma could not find the missing evidence, though he did find a photocopy of an image of a hand painted broken heart.
Descent into insanity
Some days later, Nygma walks in on Tom and Kristen kissing in the annex. After Tom leaves, he notices bruises on Kristen's arms, which she admits were Tom's doing. Kristen shrugs off Nygma's concern, not wanting him to get involved. Infuriated, Nygma confronts Tom himself. Tom asks Nygma if he's ever been with a woman before, and when Nygma says nothing Tom declares that sometimes women "need a firm hand." Nygma insists his behavior is wrong, and Tom asks him what he intends to do about it, again reducing him to silence.
Undeterred, that night Nygma waits outside of Kristen's townhouse for Tom. When Tom shows up, he declares that he won't let Tom hurt Kristen any longer and tells him that he should leave Gotham. For the first time, Tom fully realizes that Nygma has a crush on Kristen. He punches Nygma in the stomach. Before he can land a second punch, Nygma impulsively draws a knife and accidentally stabs him. As he gapes in horror at what he's done, Tom grips him by the shoulder as though to knock him down again, and Nygma flies into a rage, stabbing him ten more times. Looking over Tom's dead body, Nygma gives a hysterical, terrified laugh, overwhelmed by the magnitude of what he's done.
The following day, he returns to the GCPD with the now-dismembered corpse, intending to dispose of it in the morgue. As he prepares to dissolve the flesh from the bones, Kristen walks in to ask for some files back and recoils at the sight of the carnage. Nygma constructs a hasty lie, claiming that the body parts are from a victim that was sliced up in an industrial accident. Kristen says that she can't understand how Nygma is able to deal with those sorts of things on the job, and Nygma says "one must have a sense of humor." She asks him whether he's seen Tom around, and he tells her that he hasn't. To Kristen's surprise, he then quickly ushers her out. Q
He debates his next move with Tom's bare skull before smashing it, wondering aloud whether he should write Kristen a note in Tom's name to explain Tom's sudden disappearance. He types one out and plays dumb when he finds Kristen reading it. Exasperated, Kristen questions her choice in men and Ed tells her to read between the lines. After she leaves, chuckling to himself a little, Nygma repositions the note, revealing that the first letters of each line spell "NYGMA" down the left margin.
However, Kristen eventually notices Nygma's clue and becomes suspicious. When confronted, Nygma denies knowing anything and is left alone. The fear of being caught, along with the shame of leaving such an easy clue, drives Nygma to criticize himself.
Ed is greeted by Jim before he was called to Essen's office. After Gordon leaves, Nygma begins hallucinating, talking to his inner self. When his inner self-teases him, telling him to pursue Kristin Kringle, Nygma tells him to be quiet and storms out.
A week later, he practices asking her out by talking to a skeleton in his lab. His alter-ego laughs at him, and says that he should "take what he deserves". Nygma demands that Kristen meet him at his home for dinner. That evening, Nygma and Kristen are eating when Kristen apologizes to Nygma. She claims that she feels that she has been mean to him for the longest time. Nygma admits to thinking that he's just been annoying her. She begins to reminisce about Officer Dougherty, (Still not aware that he is deceased). Kristen wonders how she ever could have let Tom push her around as he did. Nygma nervously says "I'm glad he's dead." Kristen recoils in disbelief, saying that Nygma is wrong, that Tom was alive. Edward quickly states that it was just a figure of speech, that Tom was only dead to her. Kristen, feeling awkward, excuses herself to go to the bathroom, leaving Nygma to dwell on the near miss that he had. Nygma's alter ego appears and chastises him for blowing his chance with Kringle. Nygma retorts for him to leave, unaware that Kristen was now in the room. She mistakenly thinks that Nygma was asking her to leave. Nygma stops her and tells her about the illusions, which Kristen merely shakes off. She then pulls Nygma in for a kiss.
Nygma later proudly announces to Detective Gordon and Leslie that he and Kristen are now an item, and asks if they would join them for a double date. Gordon declines, but Leslie agrees to go, forcing Gordon to agree. This goes well, and Leslie notes that Edward is changing.
The next date includes Nygma and Kristen talking, when Kringle, slightly intoxicated, asks if Nygma's bedroom was in the next room, implying that Kringle wants to sleep with Edward. After they are both prepared for bed, Kristen quickly starts to spring up, suddenly fearful that her deceased boyfriend, Dougherty, would discover Nygma and Kristen together. Nygma reassures her that she needn't worry about him. Nygma confesses that he and Tom had an altercation and that he was dead. Kristen is nervous, but she laughs, saying that Edward had her going, thinking it was a joke. Nygma informs her that he wasn't joking, then reveals that he had Tom's badge as a trophy. Kristen becomes frightened, and yells out, claiming that everything she thought about him was right, resorting to calling him "Menacing and weird". She starts to run away, stating how she couldn't believe she fell for Ed in the first place, and that she doesn't even recognize who he is anymore. She further threatens to have him locked up, claiming that he is a psychopath. Nygma however, denies having a mental illness. Kristen makes it to the door, with Edward groping after her, and she demands he let her go. Angrier than ever, Nygma tells her that he did it for her, to protect her. She slaps him, knocking him back a little bit. Nygma rises again and grasps her. Kristen busts a glass on his head, causing him to fall, and his glasses to break. He then gets to his feet and cups his hand tightly around her mouth and throat. He attempts to reassure her by saying he killed Tom to protect her, saying she'd never let anyone hurt her, as he loved her, all the while, unknowingly choking the life out of her. When he released his grip, Kristen's lifeless body slumped down onto the floor, and Nygma screamed in grief.
Embracing his darker side
Nygma wakes up the next morning to find that his own alter ego has stolen Kristen's body while the "Good Ed" was unconscious. The Riddler personality taunts Edward and sends him on a grisly scavenger hunt to find the corpse. An envelope left on the bed tells Ed to find Kristen's initials, KK, at the police station. He eventually finds her severed hand in the 'KK' slot of a vending machine, and, extracting it, discovers a rolled-up scrap of paper stuck to the hand. The next clue leads Edward to Leslie's lab, where Kristen's body is hidden in a drawer. Leslie nearly discovers the corpse, but Ed quickly makes up an excuse to get her away by telling her that he and Kristen had a fight and asking if she could give him some advice over coffee. Later that night, Nygma returns to the lab and confronts his alter ego, who asks Edward how it felt to commit a crime and not get caught by Leslie. Ed admits that it felt "beautiful," and, grinning, he begins cutting up Kristen's body.
Nygma takes Kringle's body to the woods to be buried and to say his final goodbyes. During this, he kills a hunter who comes across him. He returns to his car to fetch his gear, planning to dismember the hunter's body, but when he returns, he notices someone has stolen his sandwich that he took for a picnic. Noticing a blood trail, Nygma begins to follow the suspect with the intent to kill them. Hours later he comes across an isolated trailer, and when approaching the door it bursts open and Nygma is stunned. Placing back on his fallen glasses, he notices it is Oswald Cobblepot, injured, weak and begging for help.
Nygma takes an unconscious Oswald back to his apartment, Oswald is in fear when he sees Nygma, then Nygma sedates Oswald with a needle to calm him down, later when Oswald wakes up, he tells him that they have met once before at the GCPD and tells him that he will have nowhere to run and he will have to stay there until he recovers, Nygma tells Oswald that he has started murdering people, Oswald asks Nygma of his intentions, he then claims the murders have changed him and that he needs Oswald to guide him on his new path as he is one of the city's most notorious killers, though Oswald refuses, and tells Ed that the path he is on will lead him to destruction and pain, Penguin later faints. Nygma kidnaps Leonard sometime later, he tells Oswald that he can kill Leonard for retribution for his mother's death, but Penguin then refuses, tells Ed he is done, and that he is leaving Gotham forever. Edward then drags Leonard into the closet, when he hears Oswald humming a song that his mother used to sing to him when he was a child, later that night, Ed plays that song, Oswald asks him why he is playing the song, and Ed explains to Oswald that he heard him humming it under his covers, and figured that it had meaning to him. Oswald then explains to Ed that his mother used to sing it to him every night before he went to sleep. Ed then shows Oswald Kristen's glasses and explains that they are all he has to remember her by and when he looks at them he no longer feels sadness, but gratitude. Oswald refuses to hear the answer why, and proceeds to leave but Ed quickly stops him and tells him that love is their crippling weakness and that they are better off, though Oswald is angered at this remark and grabs a knife, and sticks it up to Ed's neck, though Ed quickly saves himself by stating that Oswald's mother was his weakness, and tells him a man with nothing left is a man who can not be betrayed, a man who answers to no one but himself. Ed then grabs the knife from Oswald's hands. The newly befriended Oswald asks where Leonard is, Edward opens the closet where he is being kept, and Oswald states his mother used to say a party's not a party without entertainment, to which Edward smiles, then drags out Leonard.
Later Ed is seen at work, talking to Penguin on his cell phone about a plugged toilet, quickly hanging up as Leslie comes to Ed with files on the dead monk. Nygma's cell phone starts ringing, to which Leslie inquires if that's Kristen calling Ed, when it's really Oswald. Ed quickly fabricates a lie that he was talking to his plumber and proceeds to tell another lie that Kringle had left town with Officer Dougherty and then breaks down in tears to cross off her suspicions. Once Leslie leaves, he answers Oswald's call realizing Oswald was just calling to ask where the spicy mustard is in Ed's fridge, ending up finding it himself and ending the call.
When knocked out by Theo Galavan, a confused Jim Gordon wakes up to Nygma and Oswald singing with each other. It's there that Gordon, Oswald and his crew formulate a plan to rescue Bruce Wayne from the Order of St. Dumas. Sometime later Nygma went back to the GCPD where he overheard a conversation with Leslie and Barnes, he heads over to her and tells her to go to his apartment. Sometime after that Nygma heads over to hear the conversation with Bullock, Lucius, Barnes and Alfred about Gordon. Ed starts chuckling, and they all grow suspicious when they all go over to him and ask if he knows where Gordon is. He tries to riddle them and Lucius figures out that the answer is "home," and asks Nygma if he's talking about his own home. Nygma reluctantly replies yes.
Sometime after Galavan's death, during Victor Fries' crime spree in which he freezes citizens of Gotham, Nygma is seen at the GCPD, doing forensics on a frozen officer. Freezing a rose using liquid nitrogen, he comes to the conclusion that Fries was using cooled liquid helium as opposed to liquid nitrogen. Gordon asks where they get it, and Ed inquires why exactly that'd need some. Bullock explains that they don't and that they just wanted to know where it comes from, calling Ed a dummy. Ed is seen crushing the rose and says he doesn't like being called names. Gordon tells Ed to be easy and that Bullock was simply being colorful. After that Bullock leaves the room but Gordon stays to ask Ed the nature of Oswald's relationship with him, and that he is concerned on why he aided a criminal. Nygma tells him that he found Oswald wounded and dying in the woods and that he nursed him back to health. Ed calls it an innocent mistake. Their conversation is then cut short when a cop is heard shouting and they head out to see everybody clapping that Oswald Cobblepot has finally been arrested. When Oswald is put into a cell at GCPD, Ed comes to talk to him. He quietly asks him if he is doing okay, and if there is anything he can do to help, but Oswald responds that he is beyond help, however, he asks if Ed can take care of his mother's grave occasionally, and tell her that he is thinking of her. When a guard comes in to collect Oswald and tells him he is going to Arkham, due to Oswald's claiming that he's insane rather than a criminal, their conversation is cut short.
When Leslie asks Gordon for help on finding Kristen Kringle, Gordon goes to Ed for help and visits him in forensics, where he's working on yet another case with a corpse. Gordon asks Ed if he has heard from Kristen Kringle lately. Ed then poses Gordon a riddle: "I'm strong as a rock, but a word can destroy me, What am I?" before answering the riddle for Gordon, stating the answer is silence, and that he's heard nothing. Gordon tells Ed he hasn't seemed to locate her, and that she hasn't cashed her last few paychecks, Ed asks if something bad has happened. Gordon then asks Nygma what Tom Dougherty is like, as Nygma responds "Rotten" and tells Gordon that Kristen left a note. Gordon asks if he can look at said note, but Ed says he didn't think of it as a keepsake. With nothing left to go on, Gordon leaves. From this point on, Edward makes Jim an enemy and starts devising a plan to get him off his trail.
At the Gotham Museum Of Art, Ed snuck in a fake bomb, then sets it off when the place becomes populated. Nygma waits for the place to clear before going in with a knife and a green spray-can to leave clues for the police to find. Using the knife, he cuts off the painting and sprays a green question mark in its place. Later at the GCPD, Ed heads up to tell Gordon he is ready for their interview about Kristen leaving with Dougherty, but Gordon tells Nygma that he has to go to the Museum. Later, Edward is seen taking a bomb out of his car, and puts it in a locker in the Gotham Train Station, spray painting a green question mark on the door of the locker. He waits for Gordon to get closer to the locker before activating it. Gordon then uses a crowbar to open the locker and grabs the bomb out and throws it into the statue before it explodes. Ed then flees the area. Later, at the crime scene Ed asks for Strike Force Unit Alpha member Carl Pinkney's signature for an Internal Affairs form. Ed goes over to Jim and congratulates him on his quick thinking with the bomb. Edward later picks up the crowbar that Gordon used to open the locker to further his plan to get Jim off his back. Back at his apartment, he is examining the crowbar he just took before Oswald knocks on his door, Nygma is happy that he is out of the Asylum he lets Oswald in, and asks why he is covered in feathers, but Oswald came to tell Nygma that he can change and anger is not the solution. But Edward tells him that he was hitting his stride and that he is really grateful on all he taught him. and the bad stuff about Jim Gordon is really paying off. but Nygma asks Penguin to leave and that the new him is really freaking him out, and thanks him for coming by. Edward changes the bomb report to another sheet. Some time later, Nygma calls the police station masking his voice, about the murder of Theo Galavan, Soon after that Edward goes to Officer Pinkney's apartment to kill him for the final piece of the puzzle, to frame Jim Gordon. Eventually putting Jim Gordon into prison.
After Jim Gordon was sent to prison, Nygma spots Bullock on the phone with Harvey Dent, Bullock spots him going up the stairs, and tells him to come over to him. Bullock tells him that Jim is wasting away in Blackgate and that the real killer is out there, but Ed tries to put it back on Jim. but Harvey says that Jim is innocent and that he didn't kill Pinkney Ed says that that's unfair and asks Bullock what he's gonna do about it but before leaving, Bullock says that he wish he knew, Nygma starts to smirk.
After the news of Jim Gordon escaping prison was on the TV at the GCPD, Bullock walks down stairs, Nygma is there and asks him if he has seen the news. Later, Jim Gordon goes to Ed for help on the phone call audio that said Jim Gordon killed Galavan when Ed got into his apartment, scaring Ed, Jim tells him to relax and that he isn't going to hurt him. Jim tells him that he needs his help and that he didn't kill Pinkney and he needs to find the man who framed him Jim shows Ed the recording that was recording from the I.A and that they secretly record everything that calls in, Ed says smiling "They do? Those sneaky little buggers, and-and what did you hear? if you don't mind me asking." Jim tells him he didn't hear much and that he disguised his voice and that there were other sounds on the tape, he figured because Ed works with audio he can help him. Ed tells him that he came to the right place Ed tells him he will get his stuff, and make some tea.
Ed tries to throw Jim off by saying, but Jim says he should at least clean the tape, Ed agrees to do so, and tells Jim that he needs some more tea, a satisfied Ed puts tells Jim that the museum robbing was all a setup, and Jim tells Ed that he thinks Loeb was behind it and that he thinks it was "payback" and tells Ed he still has lackeys in the GCPD. Ed accidentally smashes a glass with the jug, Jim asks him if he is oh right, and Ed tells him that he is. Ed then asks Gordon whether he think Loeb killed Pinkney himself, and Jim answers and says that he had some 'psychopath' do it for him, Ed becomes offended, and Jim calls the 'murderer' 'sick', and Ed brings up that Gordon had killed tons of people. Gordon says that it was in the line of duty, and brings up rumors he had heard. Ed tells Jim about the rumors of him killing Galavan, and a confused Jim asks him what Penguin told him anything about the night Galavan died, he asks him if he talked to Oswald when Barnes brought him in, and Ed tells him the tape had finished. The noise is revealed to be a clock bird, and Ed is eventually discovered by Jim. Ed's clock bird sets off, and Ed starts laughing and tells Gordon that he knew that Gordon knew he had done it, before setting of an electric box wired to the mains electrocuting Jim. Later, Edward drags an unconscious Jim across the road, trying to put Jim into his car Jim wakes up and runs away, pulling a gun from his pocket, Ed fires at him and shoots him. Ed runs into the building that Jim just escaped into and Ed hears him and shoots at him, Ed heads down to find Gordon's blood on the step, before hearing him close the door, Ed runs out for Jim, but Jim disappeared into the city. At the GCPD when Selina Kyle tells everyone she knows where Jim Gordon and that he knows where the bodies are buried is, a worried Ed runs into the bathroom trying to relax himself.
Sometime later, when Ed is out in the woods where he buried Kristen Kringle he starts to dig up where she was buried, until Gordon sneaks up behind him, Ed hears his footsteps on the floor and grabs out the gun, pointing it at Gordon, Ed says that Gordon did find Penguin, but Gordon says that he only followed him, Jim asks him how he became what he is Ed tells him that, that's who he is and he was finally admitting the truth to himself Jim calls him completely Insane, Ed tells him one last riddle for good times sake. "A nightmare for some, for others, a savior I come, my hands cold and bleak, it's the warm hearts they seek" Jim answers the riddle by saying "Death." and Ed says goodbye to Jim until Barnes and Bullock come from behind the tree and tells him to drop it, Ed says he was arresting Jim but Barnes says he heard everything he said, Ed started running away from them, until he tripped over a log, lifting his hands.
Sent to Arkham
As Edward is taken into Arkham Asylum, inmates start yelling and screaming. Edward stops to look but is dragged off by the guard. In Arkham's cafeteria, Ed broke up a fight between Aaron Helzinger and Rudy.
Ed later sees Gordon leaving out of the Asylum and Ed promises to find a way to get out of there, as no one beat him, though Gordon reminded him that he did. After that, Nygma listens to Strange and Ms. Peabody commenting on Gordon as he could prove to be a big problem to their current plans. At that Nygma offers his help in taking Gordon down, but Strange refuses, though Nygma unintentionally gives him an idea of how to solve his problem with Theo Galavan. Later, Ed was still upset about how Hugo Strange had dismissed him earlier. Ethel arrives and asks Aaron to come with her. As she closes the door, Ed holds it open with a newspaper. He realized that Strange hiding something, and follows Ethel and Aaron in a corridor and discovers that there's a secret passage in the hallway. Later, Ed almost has all the tools necessary to find the secret passage down the hallway except the bug zapper, as Norton had brought him a fly swatter instead. Afterward, he uses the objects he gained from the other inmates to gain access to the elevator leading down to the Indian Hill facility. Walking into the facility, Nygma discovers the screams of the horrible creatures in the facility.
After Ed gets the elevator out of Indian Hill, Right after Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock walked by, A guard spots Ed, He asks him about what he is doing out of his cell, A frightened Ed tells the guard that it was a big mistake, he tells the guard that he just got lost, and he tells him he wants to go back into his cell when Ed is back in his cell he tells himself he needs to get out somehow, before he spots the vent above his cell. Later, he bumps into Selina Kyle in the vents, and two make a deal with each other, with Selina giving Ed the directions out, and Ed telling her how to get to the basement. Nygma gets out of the vents soon after, but is instantly caught by guards.
Nygma is then put back in Arkham, sharing a cell with Stirk, a cannibalistic inmate. Nygma tries telling Peabody that Strange will need him if he's going to deal with Jim Gordon. Strange decides to take Nygma up on that, stating that he did find the secret entrance to Indian Hill. Nygma is then hired as Arkham staff by Strange and put in charge of finding out what a captured Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox know about Indian Hill, as well as who they told. Nygma believes Strange gave him the job because he knows that Nygma would kill the both of them where they stand and not bat an eye. Nygma then sets a timer for five minutes, in which time poison gas would spew into the room and kill Bruce and Lucius.
Nygma asks if they know who funds Indian Hill. Bruce answered "Wayne Enterprises", and Nygma says he is correct. Then Nygma asks if they know who controls all of Gotham. Bruce answers incorrectly, and Nygma lets the gas into the room, but it just knocks Bruce and Lucius unconscious. Nygma tells Strange Bruce doesn't know everything, and Strange tells him he did a good job. Nygma asks who controls Gotham, and Strange says he would have to kill Nygma if he told him. Strange says they will learn a lot from Nygma, and then a guard grabs Nygma and locks him in a cell. Jim later springs Nygma and has him help him get into the room with the bomb. Jim locks Nygma back up in a cell.
Nygma began receiving visits from Oswald, who has since returned to his former self. Oswald had forgiven Nygma for previously casting him out and brings him gifts, one of them which included a sweater to keep Nygma warm in the cold cell. During a particular visit (six months after the Indian Hill incident) Oswald brings him a puzzle box which is said to be advanced to the point that it gets passed down through generations, but Nygma successfully solves it in several seconds. He thanks Oswald for the kind gesture, and makes it clear how sorry he is for how he mistreated him, which Oswald forgives him for. They begin to discuss the resurrected Fish Mooney whom Oswald fears for and ponders why she spared him when she escaped along with Strange's other 'monsters' months previously. Nygma the reminds Oswald that "Penguins eat fish".
A few days later Nygma is certified sane, causing him confusion due to only serving for a short time and having been locked away for murdering three people. As the warden of the asylum sees him off at the gates, he assures Nygma that he is confident that he is fully sane. In actuality, Oswald paid the warden off to release Nygma, and a happy Nygma realizes this when Oswald pulls up in a limousine, and greets him: "Hello, old friend".
Penguin's Chief of Staff
Being released from Arkham Asylum under Penguin's influence, Nygma is indebted to him and helps him run his mayoral campaign legitimately after discovering that Oswald was having Butch bribe the voters into electing him Edward went against Oswald and took back the payments that had been made by Butch. Upon discovering this Oswald threatened to have Butch kill him only for it to be revealed on live television that Oswald had legitimately won by a landslide majority without the need to bribery, showing Oswald that the people stand with him with a love riddle. Overjoyed Oswald announces Edward Nygma his Chief of Staff much to Butch's disappointment.
After that, Butch attacks Edward in Barbara's club for exposing him as the leader of the Red Hood Gang. Edward was nearly strangled to death by Butch but Oswald hits Butch over the head with a bottle and Edward woke up after being unconscious for a few mintues. In the mansion, Edward has a sore and bruise throat from the strangling and Oswald gave him some tea to help his throat. Edward tells Oswald that he would do anything for him before Oswald embraces him. Oswald realizes that he is developing romantic feelings for Edward and soon feels ready to tell him but continuously botches his attempts before inviting him over for dinner. While Edward is buying a bottle of wine he meets a librarian named Isabella, a dead ringer for Kristin Kringle, and they fall in love. He misses having dinner with Oswald to spend the night with Isabella and when he returns to Oswald, who has even called the police since he thinks Edward is in trouble and was kidnapped, the latter is shocked when Edward reveals that he is in love. Oswald further questions him about Isabella and finds out where she works, paying her a visit. She says she gets her information from books and he lets it slip that Edward was in Arkham - a place she knows of for housing murderers. However, when she confronts Edward she does not care about his past, which further infuriates Oswald when he sees them together.
Oswald pays her another visit, this time at her home, and warns her to stay away from Edward but she refuses to do so. Isabella contacts Edward, asking him to meet him at her house and when he arrives he is confronted by her dressed as Kristin Kringle. She tells him not to be afraid and they kiss. Isabella then prepares to leave town and Oswald comes up with another plan to get rid of her, employing Gabe to cut her brakes. While driving out of town she discovers her brakes are not working and she drives into the path of an oncoming train, which kills her.
When Edward learns of her death he is devastated and visits the scene of the crash to lay some flowers but learns from a blind homeless man that he heard her scream moments before her car was struck by the train. He visits the garage where her car is and discovers her brakes were cut. He tells Oswald about his discovery but ultimately lays the blame on Butch. He abducts Butch and Tabitha and tortures them, cutting off Tabitha's hand, before Butch says that he killed Isabella by shooting her. Edward knows he is lying since Isabella was killed in a car crash. After learning from Olga that Oswald is in love with Edward and telling Butch, Barbara pays Edward a visit. He says he has spies trying to track down whoever killed Isabella and she fake coughs "Penguin", but Edward dismisses her claim as he believes Oswald has no motive for causing her death. However, Barbara gives him a clue in the form of a riddle which he solves with the response "love", leading to the penny finally dropping.
Later as Edward has Oswald sign his letter of resignation the former announces that he would like to become more than employer-employee which Oswald mistakes as a profession of love, leading to him finally blurting out that he is in love with him, which leaves the latter speechless as he meant that they should become business partners. Following this and realizing what Barbara had told him was true, Edward pays her, Butch and Tabitha a visit and says he wants to make Oswald pay for what he did to Isabella.
Edward decides to get revenge on Oswald by making him believe that he is seeing the ghost of his dead father. Oswald first encounters his late father's ghost in his mansion before seeing him again as he prepares to be interviewed on national television. The whole experience leads to him finding a bag full of human remains and then killing Edward's replacement before he has a full blown meltdown during his interview when he again sees his father's ghost. However, the ghost turns out to be Clayface who is working alongside Edward.
After being led to a warehouse, Oswald is taken hostage by Edward, who chains him to Isabella's car with a vat of acid above him, since he knows Oswald's involvement in her death. Oswald confesses that he killed her as he loves him. He leaves Oswald to his fate but Oswald ultimately escapes with the help of a security guard. However, he is later taken hostage by Butch and Tabitha. Barbara tells Oswald that if he wants to live he needs to call Edward in order to kill him but Oswald chooses to die since he ruined Edward's chance for happiness. Edward leads him to the pier where Oswald continues to profess his love to him. Oswald continues to pleading that he created him and that he loves him but Edward shoots him and he sinks into the water.
Embracing his Riddler Persona
Following this, Edward becomes a much darker and maniacal figure who begins taking hallucinogenic drugs so as to cast an imaginary illusion of Oswald to speak to. After trying various attempts at villains, including murdering intellectuals and wreaking havoc on the city and GCPD, leaving a series of riddles that lead Lucius and Harvey to him, he decides to get an adversary and make Lucius his adversary due to his high intellect. While Oswald's illusion keeps taunting Edward, Edward plays a game of riddles with Lucius for Bullock's life, which Lucius wins. He then has a heart to heart with Lucius, who calmly tries to reason with Edward and encourage him to seek professional help, but this only makes Edward realize that he is destined to be the Riddler.
Edward then visits the docks where he killed Oswald and admits to the hallucination of Oswald that he does regret killing him and that he truly valued their friendship, before throwing away the hallucinogenic drugs as a final form of closure and finally adopting his new persona called "The Riddler".
When Edward wants to know who runs Gotham, Jim leads him to the Court of Owls, who ultimately take Edward as their prisoner. Following the death of one of the Talons at Firefly's hands, another Talon breaks into Oswald's mansion and abducts him. He is placed in a cage next to Edward, who is shocked to discover that Oswald is still alive. They start bickering but decide to work together to escape while agreeing to continue their feud.
Oswald and Ivy plot together to bring Edward down before the latter shows up with Butch and Tabitha, ready to kill Oswald. Oswald and Ivy escape but are later confronted by Edward, Butch, Tabitha and Barbara who are then stopped in their tracks when Fish shows up to take Oswald with her. When Fish is later killed by an infected Jim, Oswald is taken into custody by the GCPD but they know that Edward wants to kill him so they decide to hand him over as a trade for the antidote to the Tetch virus in spite of Oswald's protestations that Edward is a sociopath. When they arrive Edward has Jervis Tetch connected to a bomb but they are interrupted by Barbara, Butch and Tabitha. As a fight breaks out, Edward tries to escape but Oswald knocks him out and handcuffs him, escaping the scene in a police car. When Edward rouses, they bicker and Oswald tells Edward that the latter will never be as smart as him. Edward guess that to be true, while attempting to free himself from his cuffs.
Edward further questions Oswald about his plans for him and rubs salt into the wound when he tells Oswald that he is a spoiled child who throws a tantrum whenever he does not get what he wants - especially when what he wants (Edward) does not want him back. An angered Oswald brandishes his gun and gets out of the car, only for Edward to kick the door open since he has managed to free himself from his handcuffs. A furious Oswald tells him that it was supposed to be his turn to kill him and that the day Edward shot him was the day he was reborn as the Riddler, further adding that his whole persona is based on a lie and there is nothing he can do about it.
Edward leads him to the harbor where he shot him and asks Oswald if he has any last words but the latter says he is fine for now. Thinking Oswald does not understand, Edward says he will not have a chance later as he is going to kill him but Oswald understands. Edward points his gun but no bullet comes out, leading Oswald to take the bullets out of his jacket pocket and reveal that he removed the bullets after he knocked him out and then summoned Ivy and Mr. Freeze, who show up. Realizing he has been tricked, Edward asks how he freed himself from the handcuffs and Oswald said he was using his tie pin as he wanted it to be personal before telling him that he may be controlled by his emotions but Edward himself is more predictable as he has "a compulsive need to finish what [he] started in exacting fashion". Believing Oswald is going to kill him, the latter says instead that he wants Edward around to make sure that he never makes the same mistake again, which leads Mr. Freeze to zapping Edward into an ice sculpture.
The frozen Riddler was later brought to Van Dahl Manor, where he was stored in a special tank that prevented the ice from melting. Cobblepot then showed Ivy Pepper plans and sketches for his new nightclub, "The Iceberg Lounge", with him explaining that the name of the club was not only meant to be an allusion to his nickname "Penguin", but also the planned centerpiece that he wanted to display there as a trophy, the frozen Riddler. Cobblepot would then look at Nygma in his icy prison, not able to hide a smile at the satisfying sight.
Centerpiece of The Iceberg Lounge
- "Remember how you accused me of being a slave of my emotions? No more. I've banished those feelings. And look how I have risen. But at what cost? I wonder which of us is frozen."
- —Oswald Cobblepot to the frozen Edward Nygma[src]
While being interviewed by reporters at the Iceberg Lounge months later, Oswald ordered Ivy to reveal the iced Riddler to the group, remarking that their readers will find it interesting. When a journalist recognized the frozen man as Edward Nygma, Penguin came up with the excuse that Nygma had a very rare brain disease and had to be frozen until a cure is found. He moved on claiming that Ed begged him in his final lucid moments to not hide him away, but to rather put him out with the people. However, Jim Gordon then showed up at the press conference to lead Merton and his gang to Oswald and sarcastically asked if Edward knew he was being frozen as he suspected that Oswald probably froze him out of malice. Penguin responded by offering Gordon to view the medical record from Nygma's doctor, but Jim rejected, knowing they most likely were fake or forced. When Oswald was ready for the opening night of the Iceberg Lounge, he used the remaining time to talk to the frozen Riddler, ignoring that he would neither hear nor respond to it. Cobblepot asked Ed if he remembered when he accused Penguin of being a slave of his emotions, then telling him that they no longer will, since he banished those feelings, allowing him to rise to the top of Gotham's underworld once again. However, Oswald began to question the coast of this action, asking his greatest opponent who of both was really frozen. Ivy Pepper, who sneaked from behind Cobblepot then said that Riddler definitely was the frozen one, but Penguin ordered her to go somewhere else as soon as he noticed her.
During opening night, Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth would arrive at the Iceberg Lounge to speak to Cobblepot about his new license of crime. Alfred remarked to Penguin that they were admiring his frozen mate, The Riddler, while Selina Kyle and Tabatha gave in to Victor Zsasz's offer to work for Penguin. When Bruce went to speak to Selina on the roof, Merton and his gang snuck through to the kitchen only to be caught by surprise by Cobblepot and his minions. Alfred went to the roof to notify Bruce what happened downstairs. With Merton's group apprehended by Cobblepot's men, Penguin put them on display and made a speech about how he is the one keeping Gotham safe, not the GCPD, tough Bruce Wayne suggested they be turned over to the GCPD instead of them being done away with, resulting in a discussion between them. However, due to Oswald's bad treatment towards her, Ivy Pepper turned off all the lights, betraying Cobblepot, resulting in a conflict as James Gordon and Harvey Bullock arrived. While Cobblepot was hit by a fear gas, Merton and his gang were defeated by Gordon, Bullock, Bruce, Alfred, Zsasz and Tabitha while Grady escaped. Once given a dose of fear toxin, Oswald hallucinated of a demonic version of Edward coming out of the ice block representing his greatest fear.
Suffering from Brain Damage
- "The last thing I remember is being frozen at the river. How long was I on ice?"
"Five months. Since then, Penguin opened a club called the Iceberg Lounge. You were it's centerpiece."
"That little freak...he put me on display like some caged animal?"
- —Edward Nygma and Myrtle Jenkins after former was freed from his ice prison.[src]
Five months after Cobblepot's victory over the Riddler, the latter one would finally be released from his icy prison. When Penguin and Victor Zsasz were discussing about the excellent business the day had brought, Victor would tell his boss that his men stopped a couple of thieves that tried to rob from Penguin's boss. Oswald would then keep refering to the frozen Nygma as if he were in the conversation, asking him if he could see what he has to deal with. To make sure no cargo was stolen, they left the Iceberg Lounge to examine the freight at Cobblepot's warehouse. As soon as Victor turned off all of the lights and the two were gone, Myrtle Jenkins entered the room with a blowtorch to free the Riddler from his frozen state. She would then take him to her hideout, leaving only his bowler hat behind in the middle of the melting ice. The Penguin was horrified when he discovered that Riddler was gone from his ice prison and ordered Zsasz to find him, bring him back to the Iceberg Lounge and kill the one who unfroze him.
When Edward awoke in bed to find her apartment decorated with mannequins and newspaper cuttings of himself, he was unable to move and after she introduced herself as his "#1 fan" she revealed he had been frozen for five months. The last thing he remembered was being at the docks and he also expressed surprise that she outwitted Oswald by freeing him after she told him that he had been used as the centerpiece Iceberg Lounge. She attempted to nurse him back to health via acupuncture and testing him with riddles, which he was unable to answer. He eventually managed to escape from her by knocking her out with a book of children's riddles that she gave him in a bid to trigger his memory. After the auction, Oswald and Zsasz tracked down Myrtle and confronted her at her place for steeling Nygma. When she revealed Nygma's damaged mind, not able to even answer children's riddles, Cobblepot left the room and had Zsasz kill her to make an example. Meanwhile, in the streets, a confused Nygma walked down a street, where he saw a poster of Oswald in the Iceberg Lounge with himself frozen in the background hanging on a window, showing him that Penguin is in control of Gotham once again.
- "I'm not the Riddler. Do it."
"Stop. I've changed my mind. I'm not gonna freeze you. I would only be freezing Ed Nygma, who cares about that? No, better revenge is having you live, knowing that you are not him and you never will be again. Goodbye, Ed."
- —Edward Nygma and Oswald Cobblepot concerning former's fate.[src]
As he planned his revenge on Oswald, Nygma spent hours trying to make perfect riddles. He then sent rapping messengers with riddles to the Iceberg Lounge, that Cobblepot was unable to solve. Later when the Riddler showed up at the Iceberg Lounge with the intention of killing Oswald, the latter mocked him for his terrible riddles, which took him six hours to come up with and told him that he was not Riddler and not even Edward Nygma anymore. Victor Fries then zapped the gun out of the latter's hand before Oswald told Nygma he was going to freeze him again. However, he had a change of heart and said that he was going to make him live not knowing who he really was, sparing Ed's life for more humiliation.
- "You know Grundy?"
"No, no, no, who's Grundy?!"
"Solomon Grundy. Born on Monday."
"Your hand, how...I'm sorry, what happened to you?!?"
"Grundy not know."
- —Solomon Grundy and Edward Nygma meeting each other.[src]
Out of desperation, Nygma attempted to rob a pharmacy but was outwitted by the pharmacist. He later encountered the reborn Solomon Grundy and recognized his face. Spotting the recognition, Grundy captured him and attempted to make him his "friend". During their reunion, the duo confronted gangsters who were easily outmatched by Solomon Grundy's superhuman strength. Soon after Nygma realized that he could make money out of Grundy, once the two of them joined The Narrows in Cherry's place.
While there he bumped into Leslie Thompkins, who was working there and later discovered that she had a clinic down in the basement. She told him that she remained in Gotham since she felt guilty about not letting Jim stop the release of the Tetch virus and said that the Narrows was the area that had been affected the most and she felt the right thing to do would be to help those in need. She got him to hand over his money, telling him that she may be able to help him. When she left, Nygma gleefully declared that he was going to be very smart again. 
Edward is intelligent, calculating, kind, and caring. His meticulous and observant nature makes him an excellent forensic scientist, often detecting clues and connections his superiors miss. However, he is also narcissistic, being infatuated by his intelligence and enjoys telling riddles to prove this, much to the annoyance of most of his co-workers. He can also be awkward, unintentionally insulting, and selfish, like getting the previous medical examiner fired as revenge for getting him suspended by making it look like he was stealing body parts.
Killing Dougherty was the catalyst for a major change in Edward's behavior. The trauma of committing his first murder was enough to cause Edward to develop a split personality, one that's crazier and more aggressive. These two personalities merge in the second season, as a result, Edward is more impulsive, paranoid and prone to anger, and he now sees certain people as obstacles in his path that should be removed, such as the hunter he killed so that he wouldn't find Kristin's body, and even Jim, his friend, when Jim started getting on Edward's case about Kristin's whereabouts. He later justifies his change in behavior to Jim, claiming this is who he is and that all it took, besides killing people, was admitting it to himself.
- Genius-level intellect/Master tactican: Edward has a genius-level intellect and advanced mental faculties. Edward is also able to flawlessly execute the crimes he commits through careful and methodical planning, such as when he had Jim Gordon incarcerated for murder. In his escape from Arkham, he knew when the guards and the guarding forces were walking around the floors of the asylum to scan the place, and knew how to act as he planted the bombs in the museum and the train station.
- Eidetic memory: Edward has claimed that he is incapable of forgetting anything.
- Explosives expert: Edward is skilled at creating bombs, such as the ones he put in the museum and the train station.
- Encyclopedic knowledge: Edward possesses a profound knowledge of anatomy and displays a wide-ranging command of esoterica from numerous fields.
- Forensic expert: Edward was the forensic specialist for the GCPD prior to his arrest. He was able to use his skills of forensics to frame Jim Gordon for Carl Pinkney's murder. He also noticed how the brake lines to Isabella's car had been cut, something the GCPD forensics team failed to see.
- Skilled lockpick user: Edward has at least rudimentary lock picking skills, as shown when he successfully broke into the medical examiner's locker and accessing Hugo Strange's elevator to Indian Hill.
- Logical reasoning: Edward is able to calculate the likelihood of certain events. He also has the remarkable ability to view people and situations as puzzles to be solved. As such, Edward managed to successfully solve an advanced puzzle box within several seconds, an item of which has been passed down throughout generations due to its complexity, with even Oswald claiming that the most skilled mathematician couldn't crack it.
- Master manipulator/Master of deception: Edward is skilled at manipulating others, such as the inmates at Arkham. He was able to trick Kristen into thinking Dougherty left Gotham by writing a letter with his name in it.
- Medical knowledge: Edward has some medical knowledge, having managed to save Oswald from dying from his gunshot wound and nurse him back to health.
- Degraded intellect: Prolonged cryogenic sleep in a block of ice has caused him some level of intellectual damage, vastly reducing Edward's natural capability to create extremely complex riddles in a matter of seconds. Even the Penguin laughed, antagonized and pitied him as Edward revealed that he spent hours coming up with terrible riddles. However, it is later revealed by Leslie Thompkins; that the problem is not physical, but psychological.
- He enjoys playing video games, saying that each one provides a new challenge and that it is similar to detective work.
- He can play the piano.
- Throughout Season 1, Edward was picked on and was bullied many times by fellow officers such as Tom Dougherty.
Behind the scenes
- In DC Comics, Edward Nygma, alias the Riddler, (alternate versions of his name include Edward Nigma or Edward Nashton depending on continuity) was created by writer Bill Finger and artist Dick Sprang and he first appeared in Detective Comics #140 (1948). The first time the character's origin was tied into the G.C.P.D. was in the video game Batman: Arkham Origins, where he is described as a police consultant and the apparent head of the Cybercrime unit.