Chapter One: Batman Begins
In a distant flashback, Bruce Wayne, age 8, and Rachel Dawes are playing in the Wayne Manor garden. Bruce falls down an sealed up well and fractures his arm. He is then attacked by a swarm of bats emerging from a large gaping crack at the well base.
In the present, Bruce wakes up from the nightmare in a Chinese prison. It becomes apparent that Bruce is regularly attacked by other inmates who brawl with him 6 to 1 at breakfast. Having beaten the majority of them, Bruce is punished with solitary confinement by the prison guards.
In solitary, Bruce is approached by a man called Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson). Ducard displays a great deal of knowledge and authority by getting an audience with Bruce from the prison and by stating that he knows who Bruce is.
Ducard then offers Bruce a place in the League of Shadows -- a collective of vigilantes and assassins. He deems that the League can offer Bruce a path to true justice instead of 'locking himself away with criminals to take them on one at a time.' Ducard arranges for Bruce to be released in the morning, when he will have to decide whether he will accept Ducard's offer.
Should he do so he must pick a rare blue flower from the eastern slopes and carry it to the top of a nearby mountain. Bruce is released, as promised, and carries out his task.
After carrying the flower to the top of the mountain, Bruce finds himself at the door of the League of Shadows headquarters. Inside he meets Ra's al Ghul (Ken Watanabe), the head of the League, and is confronted by Henri Ducard once again.
Bruce hands over the blue flower and in doing so completes his test for membership. Ducard then suddenly attacks him, warning the exhausted Bruce that 'death does not wait for you to be ready.' Although Bruce fights back he is easily beaten and collapses.
In the distant flashback, 8 year old Bruce is still in the well after being attacked by the bats. His father, Dr. Thomas Wayne (Linus Roache), comes down to rescue him and sets Bruce's fractured arm with the help of the family butler Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Caine). Thomas Wayne comforts Bruce by asking 'Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up'.
Later on Bruce admits to his father that he was scared of the bats and is now suffering nightmares. After being comforted further, Thomas shows his son the pearl necklace he'll give to his wife as a gift. That night, Thomas and Martha take Bruce to the opera via monorail.
While on the train, Thomas confides that the city is in an economic downturn, and his company Wayne Enterprises funded the construction of the trains, routing them into the center of the city. Thomas, however, leaves running of the company to more interested people, prefering to work as a doctor at the hospital.
While watching the opera Mefistofele Bruce is frightened by the bats in the production, which remind him of the bats that attacked him and asks his father if they can leave.
Outside, in an alleyway, a man named Joe Chill (Richard Brake) accosts them with a revolver and demands the pearl necklace Thomas gave to Martha. A fight breaks out, and in the struggle, both Thomas and Martha are shot and are mortally wounded.
Chill runs away, leaving Bruce alone with his parents. Before dying, Thomas manages to tell Bruce, "Don't be afraid...." That night, Bruce is watched after at the police station by officer James Gordon (Gary Oldman). Midway through, police commissioner Gillian B. Loeb (Colin MacFarlane) comes in and informs Bruce that the police have caught Chill.
Bruce is put into Alfred's care. After the funeral, Wayne Enterprises CEO William Earle (Rutger Hauer) tells Bruce that the company will be looked after until Bruce grows up. Alfred tries to console Bruce when the boy confesses that his parents' deaths were his fault because he asked to leave the opera early.