|“||All right... by the cut of your suit, you went to Oxford or wherever. Naturally you think human beings dress like that. But you wear it with such disdain, my guess is you didn't come from money, and your school friends never let you forget it. Which means you were at that school by the grace of someone else's charity: hence that chip on your shoulder. And since your first thought about me ran to "orphan", that's what I'd say you are.||„|
|~ Vesper Lynd analysing Bond.|
|“||I'm sorry James...||„|
|~ Vesper's last words before her death.|
Vesper Lynd is the deuteragonist of Ian Fleming's 1953 novel Casino Royale the first installment in the James Bond series, and its 2006 film adaptation of the same name.
Additionally she is also a supporting antagonist in the 1967 spoof film Casiono Royale and appears as as a posthumous character in the reboot of the Eon film series following her appearance in the 2006 film.
She is a double agent working for SMERSH (Quantum in the 2006 film) who goes undercover as a partner, and eventual lover to James Bond. She is notable for being Bond's first and one of his few genuine love interests and for being the first "Bond girl".
In the Eon films, she was portrayed by Eva Green, who also played Ava Lord in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Angelique Bouchard in Dark Shadows, Eve Connors in White Bird in a Blizzard, and Artemisia in 300: Rise of an Empire. In the 1967 spoof film she was portrayed Ursula Andress.
Novel & 2006 Film
Vesper was a slender, pale woman with dark hair (black in the book and brown in the film) who was very beautiful and sophisticated in appearance. She usually wore formal wear and/or party wear (most notably dresses) and had minimal amounts of makeup, including black eyeliner and mascara and red lipstick.
In the spoof film Vesper still had a beautiful appearance and pale skin, however she instead had blonde hair and wore very extravagant clothes such as fur coats, pelts, etc.
Novel & 2006 Film
Vesper was a complex, intelligent and sarcastic woman who was exceptional at reading people and had a good sense of humour. In spite of this however she did hold many insecurities and was fairly stubborn and temperamental. Overtime she found herself having genuinely fallen in love with Bond and wanted to be with him and was torn between staying committed to her blackmailers or staying with him. Vesper was also very sensitive to violence, being traumatised and overcame with guilt following her assistance in one of Bond's killings to the point, of feeling the need to physicall cleanse herself.
Overall however she wasn't a bad person but forced into committing her crimes, something which caused her immense guilt, especially in the novel where she was driven to suicide.
In this film Vesper's personality differs drastically, with her being presented as far more evil and a straight villain, with her original backstory being removed completely in favour of her being a bitter ex spy with hedonistic and violent tendencies.
Casino Royale (Novel)
In Ian Fleming's original novel, Vesper Lynd is a British Treasury agent who accompanies James Bond on his mission to bankrupt Le Chiffre, the paymaster of a SMERSH-controlled trade union, in a high stakes baccarat tournament at the casino in Royale-Les-Eaux. Her job is to make sure that Bond uses the government's money appropriately. They dislike each other at first, but eventually fall in love. Unbeknownst to Bond, however, she is in fact a double agent working for SMERSH, albeit a reluctant one; SMERSH agents are holding her lover hostage, and she has agreed to sabotage Bond's mission in return for them sparing his life.
After Bond wins the tournament, Le Chiffre kidnaps Vesper and Bond, torturing the latter. Just as Le Chiffre is about to castrate Bond, however, a SMERSH agent bursts in and kills him as punishment for losing their money.
Vesper visits Bond every day in the hospital, and Bond decides to leave the service to be with her. They go on holiday together after Bond is discharged from the hospital, and are blissful together until Vesper sees a SMERSH sgent following them. She realizes that she will never be free of them and, the next day, she commits suicide by drowning herself. She leaves behind a note for Bond confessing her betrayal and professing her love for him. Bond copes with the loss by renouncing her as a traitor - coldly telling his boss M that "the job is done, and the bitch is dead" - and going back to work as if nothing happened.
Later novels suggest that Bond still has feelings for Vesper, however. In From Russia With Love, Bond refuses to listen to Vesper's favorite song, "La Vie en Rose", because it "has memories for him"; in Goldfinger, he hallucinates that he and his love interest Tilly Masterson, who have been kidnapped by Auric Goldfinger, have died and gone to heaven, and Bond worries about introducing Tilly to Vesper; and On Her Majesty's Secret Service reveals that he makes an annual pilgrimage to Royale-Les-Eaux to visit her grave.
Casino Royale (1967 film)
In this version, which bore little resemblance to the novel, Vesper is depicted as a former secret agent who has since become a multi-millionaire with a penchant for wearing ridiculously extravagant outfits at her office claiming "because if I wore it in the street people might stare". James Bond, now in the position of M, head of MI6, uses a discount for her past due taxes to bribe her into becoming another 007 agent, and to recruit baccarat expert Evelyn Tremble into stopping Le Chiffre.
Vesper and Tremble have an affair during which she eliminates an enemy agent sent to seduce Tremble ("Miss Goodthighs"). Ultimately, however, she betrays Tremble to Le Chiffre and SMERSH, declaring to Tremble, "Never trust a rich spy" before killing him with a machine gun hidden inside a bagpipe. In the end when Bond is calling for help Vesper disconnects the phone and holds a gun to Bond. She is killed during the atomic explosion.
Casino Royale (2006)
The 2006 film version of Casino Royale, which served as a reboot for the James Bond film series, introduces Vesper as an accountant for MI6 tasked with making sure the unpredictable Bond does not misappropriate the government's funds on his mission to bankrupt Le Chiffre, a money manager for several terrorist groups. During the mission, she helps Bond kill three of Le Chiffre's clients, and is left traumatised and shaken up from the experience, to the point of sitting in the shower fully dressed, overcome with guilt and anguish. Bond arrives at the scene and comforts her, kissing her hands to symbolically cleanse her of guilt. Soon afterward, they fall in love. Following this Bond ends up losing all of the money in the next poker match, enraging Vesper who stubbornly refuses to buy him back in, having had enough of his ego getting in the way. Her feelings don't change when he's bought back in and is successfully winning in the next match thanks to CIA agent Felix Leiter cracking a deal with Bond in exchange for custody of Le Chiffre, she later does reconcile with Bond however after helping him succesfully prevent himself from going into cardiac arrest after being poisoned. When Bond wins the tournament he takes Vesper out for a meal, revealing to her that he knows what her necklace is (a love knot) and tells her that her boyfriend is a very lucky man. The two then part way on good terms on for Vesper to be kidnapped by Le Chiffre's troops as a trap for Bond.
At the same time as all this Vesper is a double agent for the criminal organization Quantum, who have (supposedly) kidnapped her boyfriend Yusef Kabira and threatened to kill him unless she betrays Bond and MI6. Le Chiffre stages her kidnapping to lure Bond into his clutches, and she makes a deal with Le Chiffre to give him the number for the account containing his client's funds in return for sparing Bond's life having genuinely fallen in love with him. After Le Chiffre is killed by Quantum henchman Mr. White, Bond and Vesper are rescued, and they go on holiday together.
Upon learning that the money was never transferred back to the British government, Bond deduces Vesper's treachery and follows her to where she is meeting with a group of Quantum henchmen. During the ensuing struggle, Vesper is thrown into an elevator and trapped by one of the henchmen. After the building they're in begins to collapse Vesper locks herself in and apologises to James before she falls into a canal and allows herself to drown to atone what she did and allow Bond a chance to live; before she dies, she kisses Bond's hands as he did hers, as a way of saying that her death is not his fault and apologising for what she did. Bond is devastated by her death, but deals with his pain by denouncing her as a traitor. M gently chastises him, saying that Vesper gave her life for him and alerting Bond to information on Vesper's phone that leads him to Mr. White.
Vesper's death haunted Bond for the rest of his life.
Quantum of Solace
It was revealed that Kabira is actually a member of Quantum, whose job is to seduce young women who work in government intelligence and pretend to be kidnapped in order to force them into becoming double agents for Quantum. This information vindicates Vesper in Bond's eyes, and following the deaths of Dominic Greene and Luiz Medrano, he tells M after tracking down and arresting Kabira that she was right about Vesper.
It was revealed that Quantum was just a front run by Ernst Stavro Blofeld of SPECTRE, and that Mr. White, Kabira, Le Chiffre, Greene, Medrano and Raoul Silva were all pawns used by Blofeld as part of his true plot to inflict psychological pain on Bond. Even Mr. White holds certain regret in his involvement in Vesper's death after quitting SPECTRE and commits suicide after telling Bond to protect his daughter Madeleine Swann. This explicitly implies that Blofeld himself is responsible for Vesper's death; he even sadistically confessed this to Bond in his Moroccan facility while showing exclusive footage of Mr. White's suicide to Swann, which left Bond completely shocked and outraged.
Eventually, Bond finds real closure in Vesper's death by defeating Blofeld and leaving him to be arrested for his crimes against humanity.
- The 1967 version is the most evil version of the character.
- Vesper was Eva Green's breakout role in Hollywood.
- The 2006 version of Vesper is considered to be the most popular incarnation.