The Vesper story arc: Shooting down the official narrative

The strands of Vesper Lynd’s story throughout the Daniel Craig era were very much an afterthought.

The character of Vesper Lynd was introduced in Casino Royale released in 2006. She is a treasury agent tasked to supervise James Bond’s use of funds in his high-stakes poker game against the villain Le Chiffre. Vesper is apprehensive of Bond at first, but later breaks through his outer shell and falls in love with him. However, circumstances force her to betray Bond, and in humiliation, she takes her own life. The character of Vesper has since been mentioned in several subsequent films including the latest one, No Time to Die (2021).

After the release of No Time to Die, Daniel Craig was quoted as saying that the Vesper story arc kept chasing the moviemakers throughout his tenure of five James Bond movies. No matter how much they tried to get away from it, they could not. Thus, an impression was created in the public mind that moviemakers always intended to continue the Vesper story arc throughout Craig’s tenure and tie up all the loose ends in No Time to Die.

However, anyone who has closely followed the Craig tenure would be aware that this was not in fact the case. There is ample evidence that the Vesper story arc was done and buried at the end of Quantum of Solace. It was only when Eon obtained the rights to the Blofeld character from Kevin McClory’s estate in 2013 that they devised the scheme to use Blofeld as the criminal mastermind orchestrating all the villains in the Craig era, which allowed them to bring the Vesper story arc back into the limelight.

In defense of this theory, I would like to point out the following evidence.

Cut scene from Quantum of Solace

After Quantum of Solace was released in 2008, a lot of media and fan attention came to rest on a scene cut from the final movie.  That scene, supposedly, brought Bond into direct confrontation with Mr. White and Guy Haines.

Some stills from that last scene did leak and were subsequently published online and in print.  Mark Forster, the director of Quantum of Solace, was repeatedly asked why the scene was deleted. He was quoted as saying that he had not wanted the moviemakers to feel compelled to make a trilogy with the next movie and continue the storyline that connected Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.

Cutting that final scene from the movie was intended to allow the moviemakers the opportunity to start afresh with new ideas, and a new storyline in the next film.

Bond successfully settled the score with Yusef

At the end of Quantum of Solace, Bond successfully avenged Vesper’s death by bringing to justice her manipulative boyfriend Yusef. In a dialogue exchange with M, Bond congratulated M on her assertion that Vesper had made a deal to spare Bond’s life in exchange for taking hers.

Bond went even further by confirming that he had found what he was looking for and that he had no regrets. This exchange clinched the fact that Bond had finally achieved inner peace and laid the ghost of Vesper to rest. He further demonstrated this by getting rid of her necklace he had been holding on to until then.

These were definitive signs that he had overcome his inner demons related to Vesper’s betrayal. If this is not definitive for some, then I cannot think of anything more definitive than this.

Where is Vesper in Skyfall?

Let us talk now about Skyfall, the next Bond movie released in 2012. There is a brand-new storyline, and there is no mention of Vesper at all. There is also no mention of any events of Casino Royale or Quantum of Solace.

This is a totally different and original storyline that takes us back to Bond’s roots in Scotland including his ancestral home, the graves of his parents, and a new villain that is connected to M’s past and has come back to exact revenge on M who had deserted him in the line of duty. Where is Vesper, might I ask?

Nowhere. There is no need for Vesper. That chapter is closed.

How Kevin McClory allowed Vesper to claw back in

Next comes SPECTRE, released in 2015. Vesper is back. But why?

Let us find out.

Between the release of Skyfall (2012) and SPECTRE (2015), a major event happened in 2013. Eon Productions obtained the rights to the Blofeld character from Kevin McClory’s estate in 2013. This was a seismic event in Bond world.

Suddenly, Eon had a powerful tool in their hands. They thought it would be an excellent idea if they could go back in time and inform the audience that Le Chiffre, Dominic Greene, and Raoul Silva were all working at the behest of Blofeld when they were tormenting Bond.

But once they decided to reopen these old characters, they also got a chance to resurrect Vesper’s lingering memories and showed Bond still struggling to shrug them off. They made sense of this by showing Bond once again trying to fall in love, this time with Madeleine Swann, but unable to completely do so because of the pain inflicted by Vesper’s betrayal.

At the end of the day, Bond is finally shown to be able to let go of Vesper in No Time to Die by seeking forgiveness at her grave. However, Bond fans all over the world witnessed how events unfolded in real-time.

Somehow the general impression that has been created does not seem fair, and I have tried to set the record straight. The views expressed in this article are solely mine and nobody else contributed to them, including the platform where this article is published.

If you have taken the time to read this article, I appreciate your attention.

Kashif Piracha is an American Bond fan and resides in Houston, Texas. His interest in all things James Bond peaked after watching Casino Royale in 2006. He can be reached on twitter at @kashifjpiracha.

The opinions expressed in the article are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the website owner.

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One Response to “The Vesper story arc: Shooting down the official narrative”

  • timmer

    Great article Kashif! I also thought Vesper was closed out after the 2nd Craig film.
    The attempt to link the first 3 films with Blofeld and Spectre was hamfisted and terribly done.
    A reintroduction of Blofeld, cat and Spectre could have been much better done with a fresh approach.