Yes, Indeed, James Bond is a Codename (And Skyfall Proved it)

Interested in reading some fiction by the author of this article? Take a look. 

For decades, there has been an ongoing debate over the continuity of the James Bond films.  You can call it the James Bond Codename Theory.

Specifically, the debate is between two options:

  1. the James Bond films do not care at all about continuity, and yes, each character is named James Bond, and he’s the same James Bond, who cares that he looks and acts different all the time, or
  2.  the James Bond films tell one long story, in which a variety of men adopt the codename of James Bond when they join MI6.

Well, the debate has mostly subsided after Skyfall, as many people found it to be proof that James Bond’s name is James Bond, considering that Daniel Craig’s Bond goes to his childhood home, named Skyfall, where he looks at the gravestones of his parents, whose names are Mr. and Mrs. Bond.

Seems straightforward... or is it?
Seems straightforward… or is it?

This suggests, definitively to many viewers, that James Bond is absolutely not a codename.

What I suggest instead is this: James Bond is a codename, but James Bond doesn’t know that it’s a codename.  Why?  Because the man who knows himself as James Bond has been brainwashed.

The suggestions of this reality are all there, with one standing above all the others: the relationship between Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem’s character), M (Judi Dench), and James Bond.  Silva is a former MI6 agent who worked under M, before taking up the occupation of cyber-terrorist.  Throughout the film, he repeatedly attempts to bond with 007, including referring to both himself and Bond as rats, held and tortured by M.

This part.
This part.

And this next part of my theory is a credit to Bardem’s acting, as it’s something I cannot capture through simple plot synopsis and analysis.  There is an element to Bardem’s acting that not only ensnares you, but in which it appears that he has a secret he isn’t sharing.  His grin, his eyes, his body language, and the way he lingers on certain words as he speaks.

Columnist Stephen L. Carter has suggested that this secret is that Silva is the long-lost son of M, writing about it in “The Secret James Bond Missed in Skyfall.”  While I agree with the evidence for this, my interpretation is not that he is the literal son of M, but that he identifies as one of her many sons, as all her agents are her sons.  But he is also this: the only other living James Bond.

It explains his connection (and affection) regarding Bond, his disdain for M, their complicated dynamic, and, finally, let’s return to Bardem’s acting.  Remember that knowing look of his?  It’s on full view as he arrives at Skyfall, casually walking out of his helicopter and tossing grenades at the house.  He remembers Skyfall well.  It’s the place he had been brainwashed into believing was his childhood home.  Just as Daniel Craig’s Bond was brainwashed into thinking the same thing.  The brainwashing was so thorough, the identity so complete, that Silva even knew Bond would bring M there, and he had prepared for it.  Not only is it the place where they are brainwashed into believing they were raised, but it is also the place where their training and brainwashing occurred.

Where it all began, and ended.
Where it all began, and ended.

This also explains Silva’s thorough need to “make an entrance as he attacks” and, ultimately, leave the estate in shambles, by shredding the home with bullets, tossing grenades into it, and ultimately burning it down.  He considers himself so betrayed, so thoroughly manipulated, that killing M and discrediting MI6 isn’t enough: he must burn down the place where it all started.

Finally, this ties into the other films, particularly the loose continuity that ties them all together.  An example being, how was Judi Dench the only character who bridged from the Pierce Brosnan films to the Craig films?  And why do some of the James Bonds remember things that happened to Bonds played by different actors?

The one answer to all the lingering questions regarding 007 is simple: yes, James Bond is a codename, but no, James Bond doesn’t know it’s a codename.

Now let’s considered this debate settled, and starting looking forward to Spectre.

Interested in more on this subject? This blog has discussed the James Bond Codename theory previously, which you can read more about in Why Bale Should Kill James Bond.” 

Or are you interested in reading some fiction by the author of this article? Check out books by D. F. Lovett. 

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18 thoughts on “Yes, Indeed, James Bond is a Codename (And Skyfall Proved it)

  1. Great theory, worths to be true. Thinking about, it has more range of expansion if it is true. This explains why always the boss of the 00 department is “M” (and this passes on), and possibly helps to understand why there is always a “Moneypenny” who always has a relationship of sorts with the James Bonds. Furthermore, I don’t see no reason for this not to be true to rest of the 00s, everyone with his own identity and codename as 007 is James Bond. Furthermore, I think there must be some trauma with a girl to make a new James Bond the Bond we all know (to fix his personality, I mean), much in the line of Vesper. Furthermore, there must be something similar going on with the Felix Lighters over the years… It’s so great as a theory it may expand the universe by itself. Amazing.

  2. Pingback: TEORIA NERD: JAMES BOND É UM CODINOME |

  3. Pingback: Can Spectre Disprove the “James Bond is a Brainwashed Codename” Theory? | What Would Bale Do?

  4. Yeeeeeaaah…, you have a huge imagination, i”ll give you that. But the answer is obvious, it’s not a codename, and you’re a fucking retard for thinking that it is, you just want it to be a codename so bad you’re making up crazy stupid shit that has nothing to do with the story of the movie. It’s not a codename, they just don’t give a fucking fuck about continuity.

    GET
    OVER
    IT

    1. Thank you for reading, and for complimenting my imagination, and for taking the time to comment. It’s awesome knowing that my writing can provoke such a passionate response from a stranger.

  5. Great read, but Spectre would seem to have done away with that theory with the guardianship of Bond after the death of his parents. Maybe his is a Time Lord-

    1. Thanks for reading, although didn’t you learn not to call people names? I’m a pretty big believer in Death of the Author, which makes anything the writer says irrelevant. (I’m also unclear which writer you mean)

  6. Hey idiot, have you forgotten his resignation, that doesn’t just from10-15 years in the force, that shows that he has been through all lot of trauma and he can no longer keep those feelings of sorrow bottled up inside- A brain-washed my would not be able to feel such things.
    Understand!

  7. Anonymous

    The Craig movies are PREQUALS people. He is supposed to be Bond starting out. The first M was a male, which is why Judi died off and Ralph Fiens is now M. The original M was a man and we are now caught up to the movies before Dr. No.

  8. ZC

    Late to the discussion but I think the biggest flaw in your theory is that Silva didn’t know about the tunnel under the house-only realising that M could have escaped after seeing the light across the moor. Given that Kincade says Bond hid down there for days after his parents’ deaths and that Bond himself seems familiar with the tunnel, a previous iteration of him would have known to seal it off or destroy it before the assault.

    Also, it’s clear that M has a kind of intimate relationship with all her agents and that spy work is numbing to the soul so it’s not hard to imagine any 00 going rogue with enough of a push and blanking her. And Silva’s attitude when destroying the house was callous rather than an impassioned destruction. It’s pretty clear that he’s very straightforward about killing so it’s likely that he was just trying to get the job done.

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