Vesper Lynd Remains One of the Best Parts of Daniel Craig’s James Bond Era
I will never forget about that shower scene.
Casino Royale came out in 2006, and as someone who grew up watching the James Bond movies every Thanksgiving, this new era both excited and frightened me. Like any new era, the introduction of a new Bond is important, and there is frankly no better introduction than Daniel Craig’s turn in Casino Royale, and it is only made that much better by having Eva Green’s Vesper Lynd at his side.
Based on the first book in the Ian Fleming book series the James Bond franchise draws from, Casino Royale plays an important part in understanding the womanizing ways of James Bond and his entry into the world as a 00 agent. We see his two kills in the beginning so that he can get his license to kill, and we see him learn aspects of himself that have become iconic parts of the character (like his drink of choice and his cars). But along for the ride is Vesper. The money, as she calls herself, Vesper tags along with James as he goes to Montenegro, where James is to play in a poker tournament against Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen).
All of this is just to set up why Vesper Lynd is an important part of not only Bond’s life but the Craig era in general. We know that Bond girls rarely make a reappearance. James uses them but treats them well while they’re together, and then leaves to do his job. The girl he was prepared to give it all up for, though? Vesper.
In Casino Royale, Vesper and James bicker frequently, clearly flirt even though Vesper tries her best to not, and have moments like when Vesper is distraught over having blood on her hands and James sits with her in the shower to comfort her.
Before we move on, I do want to talk about this scene because it is, to me, the main draw to James Bond as a character. He’s tough, he’s often blunt, and he isn’t someone you think will stick around. But when someone needs him, he finds a way within himself to be there. It’s frankly one of the sexiest scenes in any Bond movie ever, and there isn’t anything overtly sexual about it. It’s just James Bond showing his soul to us, and that exists because of Vesper.
Vesper meets her end by her own doing, in a way. While James was ready to give everything away to be with her, she was doing all of this to protect the man who gave her the Algerian love knot. Yusef Kabira, who Bond later learns would use women to his advantage, and one of them included Vesper, became a source of Bond’s vengeance, so Vesper’s legacy bled into not only Quantum of Solace but also Spectre, as the involvement of Quantum and Kabira’s connection to it continued on.
Vesper sacrifices herself after giving away the money that James won in the poker game in Venice, and her death is something that shaped James Bond for better or worse. His determination to get justice for what happened continues to drive him throughout Craig’s series, and while I haven’t seen No Time to Die yet, I’m sure there will be some reference to Vesper and her impact on James.
She’s the woman he loved. Sure, there could be an argument that James loves all the women he’s with to some degree, but Vesper was different. He had an out. He was ready to leave and never return to MI6, and she betrayed him. That never leaves him, and that aspect of his character continues on throughout the rest of the variations of Bond that we’ve seen.
Vesper Lynd gave Bond a reason to never trust someone. She gave him the driving force to constantly move forward. And despite how she hurt him, Bond still very clearly loved Vesper, and she’s one of my favorite aspects of not only Daniel Craig’s era but the entirety of the Bond franchise. I would watch an entire series just about Vesper Lynd, and though she had to die to give James that distrust, it still hurts that we didn’t get to see more of her.
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