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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.

Vesper Lynd is an antagonist in the James Bond franchise. She is the secondary antagonist in the original novel "Casino Royale", a supporting antagonist in the 1967 film Casino Royale, the deuteragonist its 2006 reboot of the same name and a posthumous character in both Quantum of Solace and Spectre. She is a double agent working for SMERSH who goes undercover as a partner, and eventual lover, to James Bond.

She was portrayed by Ursula Andress - who played the first cinematic Bond girl, Honey Ryder, in Dr. No - in the 1967 film, and by Eva Green - who also portrayed Vanessa Ives in Penny Dreadful - in the 2006 film.

History

Casino Royale (Novel)

In Ian Fleming's original novel, Vesper Lynd is a British Treasury agent accompanying James Bond on his mission to bankrupt Le Chiffre, the paymaster of a trade union by SMERSH, in a high stakes baccarat tournament at the casino in Royale-Les-Eaux. Her job is making sure that Bond uses the government's money appropriately. They dislike each other at first, but eventually fall in love. But unknown to Bond, she is really a sleeper agent working for SMERSH, albeit reluctantly; SMERSH agents are holding her lover hostage, and she had agreed to betray her country in return for his life.

After Bond wins the tournament, Le Chiffre captures Vesper and Bond, torturing the latter. But as Le Chiffre attempts to castrate Bond, a SMERSH agent bursts in and kills him as punishment for losing their money.

Vesper meets Bond every day in the hospital, and Bond decides to quit the service to be with her. They go on holiday both after Bond is discharged from the hospital, and are blissful together until Vesper sees a SMERSH agent that stalks them. She realizes that she will never be free of them and, the next day, she commits suicide by jumping in the river. She leaves behind a note for Bond confessing her treason 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 "reminds him"; in Goldfinger, he hallucinates that he and his love interest Tilly Masterson, who have been captured by Auric Goldfinger, are dead 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 bears 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, "because if I wore it in the street people might stare". James Bond, now 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 assassinates an enemy agent sent to seduce Tremble ("Miss Goodthighs"). Ultimately, although, she betrays Tremble to Le Chiffre and SMERSH, stating to Tremble, "Never trust a rich spy" before killing him with a machine gun hidden inside a bagpipe. In the end when Bond calls for help Vesper disconnects the phone and holds a gun to Bond. She is killed during an atomic explosion.

Casino Royale (2006)

The 2006 film version of Casino Royale, that served as a reboot for the James Bond film series, introduces Vesper as an accountant for MI6 tasked with keeping an eye on James Bond, making sure the unpredictable agent 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 later sits in the shower fully dressed, overcome with remorse. Bond kisses her hands to symbolically cleanse her of guilt. Soon afterward, they fall in love.

In this film, Vesper is a double agent for the criminal organization Quantum, which has (supposedly) kidnapped her boyfriend Yusef Kubeira and threatened to kill him unless she betrays Bond. 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. After Le Chiffre's death at the hand of Quantum henchman Mr. White, Bond and Vesper are saved, and they go on holiday together.

While he learns that the money was never transferred back to the British government, Bond deduces Vesper's treason and follows her to where she is meeting with a group of Quantum minions. During the ensuing struggle, Vesper falls into a canal and allows herself to drown to atone what she did; before she dies, she kisses Bond's hands as he did hers, as a way of saying that her death is not his fault. 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.

It is revealed in Quantum of Solace that Vesper's boyfriend Yusef is a member of Quantum, whose job is to seduce young women which work in government intelligence and pretend to be kidnapped so she can force them into becoming double agents for Quantum. This information vindicates Vesper in Bond's eyes, and he is finally able to let her go and move on with his life.

In Spectre, Bond finds a tape in Mr. White's hotel room titled "Vesper Lynd Interrogation". It is also revealed that Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the leader of the titular terrorist organization of which Quantum is a subsidiary, is indirectly responsible for Vesper's death as part of Blofield's personal vendetta against Bond.

Gallery

See also

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