#ComicBytes: What makes Alfred such a charming character
Every man set on a path to greatness needs an unwavering support system to keep him sane. Usually, it's someone who can call a spade a spade. For Batman/Bruce Wayne, it's his butler, Alfred Pennyworth. As most of us know now, he's not an ordinary servant but a highly sophisticated ex-secret service soldier with a distinct gentlemanly charm. Here's what makes him amazing.
Batman is not perfect. He makes mistakes, trusts the wrong people, and often faces consequences almost instantly. Alfred, on the other hand, always knows what is right. Perhaps his multiple years as a soldier have given him the ability to discern right from wrong. This is the reason why Bruce always seeks his counsel and he always says just the right things.
In Batman Begins, Alfred 'motivates' Bruce with the classic, "What was the point of all those push-ups if you can't even lift up a bloody log?" This is how he's always been. Alfred is one of the most loyal characters in comic books, always by Bruce's side, telling him things like, "Why do we fall sir? So we might learn to pick ourselves up."
Alfred has protected Bruce Wayne ever since he was born. He was with him when his parents died, when he decided to change Gotham, and even when he was abandoned by everyone. He is the only person who really knows how Bruce thinks and is never afraid of putting his foot down. It's really hard to imagine that he was created as comic relief!
Alfred Thaddeus Crane Pennyworth is not an ordinary butler. He can cook, fight, charm the ladies, and knows his way around lethal weapons. This is because he wasn't always a butler. While his origin has been changed time and again (Thomas Wayne's war buddy or Bruce's bodyguard?), one thing is certain- he's lived a life so illustrious that they made a series about it!
People actually started taking Alfred's character seriously with Michael Gough's performance in Tim Burton's Batman. By the time Christopher Nolan finished his Dark Knight trilogy, Michael Caine's portrayal had made Alfred a legend. Over time, great actors including Ralph Fiennes, Sean Pertwee, and Jeremy Irons have portrayed him, further solidifying his legend. Alfred's story will be better fleshed out in the upcoming series, Pennyworth.