Here is a list of the major characters that are embodied by James Bond
and its various incarnations and important roles.
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Characters from Specific Films
Commander James Bond, 007, License to Kill
The James Bond actors each had a different version of the character. An overall discussion of the whole character of Bond is a subject that has had entire books dedicated to it.
- Badass: The guy racks up several kills per movie, saving the world and (usually) getting the girl in the process.
- Badass Baritone: Pierce Brosnan being the only exception.
- Bad Ass Driver: One of cinemas best and most iconic.
- Badass in Distress: He's captured or held at gunpoint at least once every movie, but always manages to keep his cool and find a way out.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: You'll rarely see Bond wearing anything other than a tuxedo or a finely tailored suit.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Each of the Bonds is a crack marksman: Connery's Bond claims to have never missed with his Beretta when he's forced to change weapons in Dr. No and in Thunderball he manages to shoot a clay pigeon without even looking at it and takes out Vargas with a Harpoon Gun with a Quick Draw. Moore's Bond kills a sniper with a shotgun. Dalton's Bond fake-assassinates General Pushkin, who notes Bond's skill. Brosnan's Bond claims he never misses as a Bond One-Liner. Part of Craig's Bond's character arc in Skyfall is regaining his skills and he does with his father's rifle. Even Lazenby's Bond, who never manages to make a kill with his PPK onscreen, manages to show an impressive aim with a throwing knife and a calendar.
- Officer and a Gentleman: Has the grade of Commander. You Only Live Twice, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Tomorrow Never Dies all featured him in his Royal Navy uniform.
- One-Man Army: His kill tallies are usually pretty high per film.
- Overt Operative: Bond is not exactly subtle about his methods of carrying out a mission.
- Public Domain Character: Only in Canada. The literary 007 is public domain there due to 50 years passing since Fleming's death (most nations have it as 70 or 75 years).
- The Sociopath / Sociopathic Hero: Though he is not a villain, going by the various depictions, especially the earlier ones from movies directed by Flemming, it's likely he is this. Bond is an intelligent, charismatic manipulator and his courtship of women (which ranges from romantic to forceful kiss and rape along with how quickly he gets over his latest love interests between movies despite being stated to have loved them) seems indicative of a Lack of Empathy and Need For Stimulation; all together this makes for the list of traits that define a sociopath.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: The only one under 6 feet is Daniel Craig, and he makes up for it in Heroic Build.
- Tuxedo and Martini: Bond is the Trope Maker, Trope Namer and Trope Codifier. Although, pop culture tends to exaggerate this one, as he normally opts for a suit unless infiltrating a formal occasion.
- Weapon of Choice: The legendary Walther PPK normally equipped with a suppressor. Different Bonds had a preference for different calibres; Connery, Dalton and Brosnan carried it in .32ACP, while Moore, Lazenby and Craig opted for the .380ACP version. In Octopussy and Never Say Never Again, both Roger Moore and Sean Connery carried the Walther P5. Later in Tomorrow Never Dies, Brosnan's Bond gets a brand new Walther P99 which is used up until Casino Royale. Then in Quantum of Solace and Skyfall, the PPK returns due to "artistic reasons". Spectre, on the other hand, sees the return of the P99.
As the first cinematic Bondnote
, Connery is perhaps the best known. When people think of Bond, they often think of his distinctive accent and his suave sophistication. In fact, it was due to Connery's portrayal that Bond was canonically established as half-Scottish. First to employ the Bond One-Liner
- Good Is Not Nice: Connery's Bond isn't exactly a pleasant chap, but he's incredibly charming and still a good guy.
- Handsome Lech: Domino and Tatiana are the only women he shows much affection to. The others are merely rides in the hay. He was quite good with the two girls in Japan, Aki and Kissy. He seems happy to marry either of them, and is actually a little disappointed when he learns his marriage to Kissy is a sham.
Lazenby was an obscure actor and an obscure Bond. He only appeared in one movie, On Her Majesty's Secret Service
. However, it is well liked among hardcore Bond fans and casual viewers alike. The film is widely assumed
to be bad, since if it had been good, Lazenby would have made more, right? Well, not really. Lazenby's problems were primarily behind the scenes, and the fact that he was replacing Connery made it a no-win situation with some critics, but most of that criticism has faded with time. The film is well regarded these days among those who have seen it. Lazenby says that he didn't return because he was given advice not to. Apparently his agent told him that the Bond franchise was on its way out, but boy was that wrong
. Lazenby fired his agent soon afterwards.
- Cartwright Curse: George Lazenby's loss is the most tragic in the series (save for Vesper in Casino Royale).
- The Casanova: He seduces an entire RESORT of beautiful women.
- The Cast Show Off: George Lazenby is the only Bond Actor to date who is an actual Martial Artist (Black Belt in Shotokan-Ryu Karate, to be exact), not to mention being a former student and friend of Bruce Lee himself. This he gets to spectacularly show off on several occasions throughout his turn as 007.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Played straight this time: Tracy starts out as suicidal and emotionally unbalanced, but Bond gives her a reason to live.
- Combat Pragmatist: Even more so than Connery, and possibly to Craig's levels. When Lazenby's Bond fights you, you're in trouble.
- Continuity Nod: "This never happened to the other fella."
- Heartbroken Badass: After Tracy's death.
- Man in a Kilt: Wears a kilt at the ski resort. One of the women there attempts to determine if he's Going Commando.
- Manly Tears: After Tracy's death, and damned if they aren't deserved. It cuts away just as they're starting, though.
- The Other Darrin: No other Bonds went through much controversy upon announcement, except for Daniel Craig more recently. George Lazenby was compared to Sean Connery constantly.
Moore tended to play his Bond more for comedy
, but he did do it pretty serious at times, as in For Your Eyes Only
. He probably hung around too long, and was older than Connery when he took over the role, and is tied with Connery for the number of Bond movies made. He's perhaps the most polarizing
actor on this list, since two of his movies – The Spy Who Loved Me
and For Your Eyes Only
– are among the most well-received Bond flicks, while Moonraker
and A View to a Kill
are considered among the worst.
- Badass Bookworm: Roger Moore's character compensated for not being as tough as Sean Connery by acting like 007 had an IQ in the excess of 200 and expertise on every subject in the world.
- Badass Grandpa: He was the oldest and longest running actor in the series, starting at the age of 46 and ending at the age of 58.
- Berserk Button: People who take pleasure in senseless murder, especially that of women and innocents. Scaramanga and Zorin both found that out the hard way.
- Beware the Nice Ones: When you push him to far, he's completely ruthless and won't stop till the person that's pissed him off is dead.
- Character Development: Bond is a royal jerk in Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun, but he's mellowed out by The Spy Who Loved Me.
- Cool Car: Lotus Esprit. The thing could turn into a submarine when needed.
- The Dandy: Roger Moore loves his clothes, and used his own tailors for his version of Bond. Also, the tradition of Bond wearing a tuxedo in the gunbarrel sequence started with him.
- Disposable Woman: Roger Moore's Bond is even more heartless than Sean Connery's version in his early films. He improved as time went on, and by For Your Eyes Only he probably had as healthy a relationship with women that he's ever had (a 16 year old girl trying to seduce him notwithstanding).
- Does Not Like Guns: Roger Moore kills a ridiculous amount of bad guys on screen. 167 according to at least some counts. However, he only rarely does so using a gun. He prefers to toss them off buildings or use elaborately odd weapons like a explosive air pellet. That said, he's also actually shot the Big Bad on at least two occasions, something other Bonds have not done.
Nothing will start an argument among Bond fans as quickly as praising Timothy Dalton, the Marmite of Bond actors
. He began the trend of portraying Bond with a darker tone
, and is still considered the darkest of all of them (rivalled only by Daniel Craig), which some felt was needed after the sometimes overly comedic Moore films. He was also a fan of the books
and tried to create Ian Fleming's Bond on-screen twenty years before Daniel Craig and the Bond producers ever thought of doing so. At the same time, he has also been praised for having the most realistic love scenes. The producers actually considered him for On Her Majesty's Secret Service
, but he felt he was too young at the time, and didn't want to be the one that replaced Connery.
- Berserk Button: Hurting his friends is the best way to make him angry.
- The Charmer: Oddly not as much a Chick Magnet as his predecessors. To compensate, however, he tends to form closer attachments with women than the others, especially his predecessors.
- Cursed with Awesome: Dalton's character seems awfully annoyed that he has a fabulous life of impossibly beautiful women and world travel.
- Darker and Edgier: Differed very much from Roger Moore's version.
- Grumpy Bear: In The Living Daylights but slowly mellows by the end of the film.
- Heartbroken Badass: In Licence to Kill, to the point where he's highly reluctant to have Pam and Q help him on his mission to take down Sanchez.
- Honey Trap: One of the few occasions that Bond is explicitly identified as being such.
- It's Personal: Sanchez destroyed Felix Leiter's life almost completely. Bond is NOT pleased.
- Knight in Sour Armor: More than the previous versions, takes a cynical view toward his missions and his MI6 superiors. That still won't prevent him from doing the right thing, whether part of his assignment or not.
- Manipulative Bastard: Dalton's Bond is essentially Iago to Sanchez's Othello in Licence to Kill.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Licence to Kill. No mission, just a personal revenge.
- Rogue Agent: In Licence to Kill he goes rogue to avenge Felix and his wife.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Although all the Bonds are willing to disobey orders to do what's necessary, Dalton's Bond seems more inclined to take ethical and moral objections to some of his orders. He merely wounds a sniper instead of killing her in The Living Daylights because he can tell at a glance that she's inexperienced and out of her depth rather than being a professional. In the same movie, he's reluctant to assassinate General Pushkin because he respects the Soviet and doesn't believe that he's a murderous psycho, only agreeing out of honour ("If it must be done, I'll do it."). His Roaring Rampage of Revenge in Licence to Kill is prompted his disgust that his superiors and the American authorities aren't going to do anything to avenge Felix Leiter, but the fact that Leiter's wife was brutally murdered as well really seems to outrage him.
- 10-Minute Retirement: Licence to Kill, where he goes AWOL to pursue revenge on Sanchez.
- Turn in Your Badge: In Licence to Kill, as a result of his Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
- Warrior Poet: Bond has at least one lengthy dissertation about how he hates his job and it would be doing him a favor to fire him.
Brosnan is the other person whom people think of when they imagine Bond these days, especially among viewers who came of age in The Nineties
was the first Bond flick they saw. He was supposed to appear in The Living Daylights
, but the production staff of Remington Steele
decided to pull a fast one on EON Productions. Brosnan was just what the franchise needed after the six-year hiatus due to legal issues. He rates second on the Bond poll. He also scores points for looking the most like Bond as Ian Fleming described him (Black hair that falls into a comma over the right eye, cold blue eyes).
- The Ace: Has a habit of upstaging people (but usually the villain) at whatever their skillset is. No matter what they can do or how long they've been doing it, Bond will do it better than them with no prep time or practice.
- Badass: Out of all the Bonds he has the highest bodycount. He may seem like an affable Idle Rich playboy but he's also a highly competent agent who actually does good surveillance work and can find unique solutions to problems which is demonstrated in Tomorrow Never Dies with his use of a clothes line to cause a helicopter to crash.
- Bad Ass Driver: One of the franchise's best, a prime example being his remote control back seat run through a parking lot in Hamburg in his BMW during Tomorow Never Dies.
- Berserk Button: Betrayals and killing people he cares about. Elektra King and Elliot Carver paid with their lives when they slammed down on this.
- Captain Crash: Natalya is utterly convinced that he destroys every vehicle he drives or at least, every vehicle he happens to be driving or standing in ends up destroyed. She's not entirely wrong. In GoldenEye alone, he drives a motorcycle off a cliff into a nosediving plane and barely straightens it in time; he barely manages to eject out of a helicopter before its own missiles destroy it; he wrecks a huge portion of St. Petersburg in a tank by ramming right through buildings; he derails a train by firing a tank shell at it, then by using the tank as a roadblock; he barely escapes the booby-trapped train before it blows up; then, in Cuba, the plane he's flying gets shot down by a surface-to-air missile. In Tomorrow Never Dies, he famously runs his BMW 750 off the top floor of a multi-storey car park and into the Hertz rental office by remote.
- Carpet of Virility: Like Sean Connery before him, several shots linger on his.
- The Charmer: Like his predecessor, mostly he focused on one girl at a time.
- Cheshire Cat Grin: When Pierce Brosnan's Bond smiles at you, you know you're in trouble.
- Composite Character: Of Moore's snarky British gentleman and Dalton's gritty secret agent, with a hint of Lazenby's vulnerability and Connery's masculinity.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: Brosnan's Bond is the same arrogant chauvinist that Connery's and Moore's were, but the world around him is a lot more forward-thinking and fed up with his politically incorrect attitude.
- '80s Hair: He kept his poofy Remington Steele hair (but toned down a bit) for GoldenEye; in fact, the easiest way to tell that he only filmed one gun barrel scene for his run as Bond is his big hair. He changed to a more modern style by the time Tomorrow Never Dies rolled around.
- Reality Ensues: Both his first film and final film open with this trope. In GoldenEye, his Cold War misogynist personality only earns him derision from his female boss. In Die Another Day, he proves incapable of breaking out of a high-security military custody on his own, and only manages to get his freedom back because his superiors trade him with an enemy agent.
- Shoot the Dog : Willing to kill former lover Elektra. But then again, she is the villain and had just tried to break his neck.
When Daniel Craig
was cast as 007, he got a lot of flak
from the press. He was blond. He was short note
. He wore a life jacket on a speedboat ride to the announcement. A "Craig Not Bond" movement started up. Then Casino Royale
came out, nobody even remembers the furor anymore.
- The Charmer: He is capable of seduction at will.
- Combat Pragmatist: Notably so. No Bond fights fair, but Craig's employs everything from knives to nail guns to fire extinguishers. Probably reaches its apogee in Quantum of Solace, in which in the space of one 35-second fight, he puts his knife-wielding opponent through two glass doors, pummels him with two different improvised blunt instruments, and finally stabs him to death with a pair of nail scissors.
- Conveniently an Orphan: One of the major reasons he got recruited, according to M.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Drinks heavily in Skyfall after falling a depression over M abandoning him.
- Hurting Hero: Loses numerous friends, family and lovers over the course of his career.
- Honey Trap: Seduces Solange Dimitrios to get info on her assassin husband in Casino Royale, and then paper pusher Strawberry Fields to keep MI-6 off his back in Quantum of Solace.
- Icy Blue Eyes: Which make him look even more stoic/cold-blooded, just like the literary version.
- Jack of All Stats: He's athletic but can't match the Le Parkour skills of his quarry and has to use his brain, working the environment, to make up the difference.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Takes a grim view of his job, as he considers murder his "employment," but refuses to let that shake his incredible loyalty to his country, MI6, and M.
- Made of Iron: Daniel Craig's Bond gets beaten up more than any other of his kind, jumps from dangerous heights and survives a heart attack but ends up fine & kicking arse the next minute.
- Manly Tears: The only Bond to date to shed tears onscreen, in response to the death of M, the closest thing he had to a mother left in this world.
- More Dakka: Uses a Heckler and Koch UMP in Quantum of Solace and the 500 Nito Express hunting rifle in Skyfall
- Mr. Fanservice: Has a surprising amount of Shirtless Scenes. Also lampshaded in Casino Royale.
Vesper: I'll be keeping my eyes on the money, and off your perfectly formed arse.
Bond: You noticed.
Vesper: Even accountants have imaginations.
- The Stoic: His Bond is more emotionally reserved than in other incarnations.
- Turn in Your Badge: Subverted. Bond just ignores orders he doesn't like.
- What Have I Become?: According to the DVD commentary in Casino Royale after he killed Obanno and his bodyguard he looks himself in the mirror while he changes his shirt asking to himself these exact words.
- Vigilante Man: He has shades of this.
The books and movies have several recurring characters, many of whom appear in every installment.
Click here to see Gareth MalloryM
James Bond's boss, the head of MI6. Played by four different actors to this day.
- Alliterative Name: The original M was (Admiral Sir) Miles Messervy.
- All There in the Manual: Assuming Robert Brown's M was Admiral Hargreaves, Judi Dench's M holds the distinction of being the only M whose name is not revealed in the entire film series (she apparently didn't like it, since her response to Bond about to say it was "Utter one more syllable and I'll have you killed). A prop from the end of Skyfall reveals that her name is Olivia Mansfield.
- Anyone Can Die: Judi Dench's M at the end of Skyfall.
- Bait-and-Switch Tyrant: Mallory at first seems like a Jerkass Obstructive Bureaucrat, then proves himself to be a Badass Reasonable Authority Figure near the end of the film, paving the way for him to become the new M.
- Badass: Mallory before he was appointed to the position and Judi Dench's M who finds a creative way of alerting Bond to her location when kidanpped in The World Is Not Enough
- The Chains of Commanding: Judi Dench's needs to make the hard decisions, no matter what her personal feelings are. Best exemplified in Skyfall when she orders Eve to take a shot that endangers Bond's life.
- This trope is actually deconstructed in Skyfall, where the hard choices she make actually result in a string of disasters. For example, when she orders Eve to take that shot, Bond actually still has a chance at defeating Patrice on his own—Eve's shot, on the other hand, leads to Bond falling and Patrice getting away with the hard drive.
- Deadpan Snarker: Bernard Lee's M can really get in some good jabs when he wants to. Judi Dench's as well.
- Noodle Incident: In From Russia with Love M and Moneypenny are listening to an audio recording sent to them by Bond. When Bond starts to mention an embarrasing incident involving M in Tokyo, M immediately pauses the recording and dismisses Moneypenny from the room.
- Parental Substitute: Judi Dench takes on a motherly Tough Love role to Bond throughout the Daniel Craig years.
- Prophetic Name: Besides possibly Hargreaves, all of the canonical people holding the title have last names and sometimes first names as well starting with "M".
- Punny Name: Dench's M "Olivia Mansfield" appears to be a pun on "I live in a man's field".
M's secretary, who has a not-so-secret crush on Bond. Played by four different actresses in the official films : Lois Maxwell (the longest-running, 1962-1985), Caroline Bliss (1987-1989), Samantha Bond (1995-2002) and Naomie Harris (2012-).
- Badass: Graduates to this in 'Skyfall'', where she starts out as a field operative.
- Casting Gag: The Brosnan era Moneypenny actress was named Samantha Bond.
- The Cutie: Caroline Bliss's Moneypenny, helped by the fact that she has blond hair and is a Meganekko.
- Race Lift: The new Moneypenny in Skyfall, played by Naomie Harris.
- Retired Badass: The Naomie Harris incarnation of Moneypenny decides that she isn't cut out for field work after the events of Skyfall, so she takes a transfer to become M's secretary.
- Sassy Secretary: The original and the best.
Codename for "Quartermaster". He is the man who gives Bond all those wonderful toys. Played by Peter Burton in Dr. No
, before being played by Desmond Llewelyn for a very
, in seventeen of the eighteen pictures released during that time.note
When Llewelyn died in 1999, the character had already retired in The World Is Not Enough
and one of his subordinates became the new Q, played by John Cleese
, in Die Another Day
. The character did not appear in Casino Royale
, nor did he in Quantum of Solace
. He was reintroduced in Skyfall
, this time played by a much younger actor, Ben Whishaw
- Break the Haughty: In Skyfall, Silva shows Q that he's not quite as smart as he think he is.
- Catch Phrase:
"Now, pay attention, 007"
"Now this, I'm particularly proud of"
"Grow up, 007!" (Brosnan years)
- In-Series Nickname: When introduced to the John Cleese Q and told he'll shortly be replacing the Desmond Llewelyn one, James immediately brands him "R." He was even listed with that name in the credits and a few other pieces of related media before being given the title Q in Die Another Day.
- Insufferable Genius: In Skyfall the incoming Q shows disdain for field agents like Bond, believing his computer and hacking skills are more valuable for espionage in the modern age, although he does admit that "every now and then a trigger has to be pulled." He also mocks the idea of fantastic gadgets like an "exploding pen", instead opting to give Bond simple, (but useful) gadegts instead.
- Just a Kid: Bond's opinion of the new Q in Skyfall.
- Legacy Character: Like M. John Cleese's Q was previously the assistant to the old Q. Ben Whishaw's Q is explicitly mentioned by M to be the new Quartermaster.
- Mad Scientist: He shows elements of this occasionally.
- Not So Different: Ben Whishaw's Q and Daniel Craig's Bond. They are both very talented but they both started out in MI6, without that much experience, which makes people question if they are too young to be in their positions.
- Old Retainer: Desmond Llewelyn's Q was the sole element that made the transition from the classic Cold War-era films to the Brosnan films.
- Shoe Phone: The reason James is the single most well-known user of such items seen in countless parodies. Listing all the inventions he's given James disguised as innocuous items would take up the whole page.
- Boring but Practical: The new Q in Film/Skyfall, however, makes James much more mundane (but still effective) weapons for espionage, dismissing the old Q's classic exploding pens with "We don't really go in for that anymore."
Bond's friend in the C.I.A.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: A subversion for the most part, since his job is usually to provide CIA support for Bond while MI6 handles the mission. It's played straight in Licence to Kill and the Daniel Craig films, however.
- Race Lift: Beginning with Casino Royale, Felix is black, whereas he was white before (although he had also been black in the "unofficial" Never Say Never Again).
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Notably averted. Since the producers didn't want him to become an Ensemble Darkhorse (for American audiences especially), they deliberately recast the role in every film he appeared in (except for Licence to Kill, where a familiar Leiter was considered crucial for the story to work).
- Trauma Conga Line: In License To Kill Felix not only loses his legs, but his new wife is raped and killed. Needless to say, this is Felix's last appearance in the 007 franchise until it was rebooted with Casino Royale.
M's Chief of Staff in the MI6
General Anatol Gogol