After posting the James Bond is a Codename, and Skyfall Proved It theory on the Fan Theories subreddit, /r/fantheories, a discussion with over 100 comments broke out over it. These are some of the more interesting responses I saw in this discussion. All original comments are credited to the redditors who provided them. The comments themselves are in italics, with my opinions appearing before and after.
1. /u/KodiakAnorak commented with this terrifying/awesome fan fiction set-up and extension of the original idea:
Imagine a “Project Bond”, if you will, that ties into your theory. The grown men aren’t brainwashed at all. The children are genuine orphans taken by the British Government, trained and raised from a young age (before they can remember) as “James Bond”, the ultimate assassination machine. The only truly original Bond was the one from the book series. The rest are copies, raised in the image of a brutal killer. To protect their people, the UK created monsters…
2. He does not agree with the brainwashing aspect, but /u/FrankensteinsCreatio commented:
As Silva is wandering around Skyfall he notices the gravestones of Mr and Mrs Bond and snorts a brief laugh. I took this a Silva laughing at the insane lengths MI6 goes through to keep its 007 image alive. Jimmy, himself, doesn’t have to be brain washed, the new Bond just gets briefed on whats expected of him as an 00 agent- this includes laying flowers on ‘the wifes’ grave and treating Skyfall as home. The caretaker is probably a retired agent briefed on whats expected of him. All this, is of course, to keep all the various Villainous Organizations guessing on what the real story is and ‘ who the fuck did we kill last week if Bond is still alive?’ Extraordinary lengths indeed and that is why Silva snorted at the graves as he passed them. Verdict: Bond is a code name.
Interesting take. The more classic one. However, it definitely reminds me of an interesting point that I omitted in the original post, which is the strange response that Silva has to seeing the gravestones. Once again, that knowing look and amusement at what he sees.
3. A future-codename theory by /u/pakman5391: Well the way I think about it is this: Casino Royale is a reboot. All the films following are through this lens. That James is just starting his spy career. So it could stand to reason that all the films that came out before this are chronologically after Daniel Craig’s run. The scene with James at his parents graves means that his birth name is legitimately James Bond. So when he eventually retires (or dies more likely), the new M, who is very grateful for all that this spy has done, decides to honor this man’s legacy and makes it so that all 007’s will be renamed James Bond. For the man who gave his everything for his country.
An unusual take: James Bond is a codename but, in the CraigBond universe, it hasn’t become one yet.
4. This is a long one but a good one, from /u/I_AM_IGNIGNOTK : I think if you’re going to argue it’s a code name it makes more sense to say that CraigBond wasn’t brainwashed, he just knows the extent to which he must accept his cover identity. I believe that was his childhood home, and (it’s a stretch) the babes on the gravestones were changed to fit the cover. If Skyfall was a training ground or a brainwashing location, then some scintilla of Mi6 should be present. There was nothing indicative of any real weaponry, save for the one hunting rifle that doesn’t even shoot straight. I know it is said that the rest were sold, but this hardly seems like a location converted or established for espionage purposes.
If Bond is a codename, it does fit well with Silva’s character. He laughs at the gravestones, he hates Mi6 and wants revenge and all that. If he was the previous Bond, he would have had his real identity taken from him, and now, his new one as well. I don’t recall what he says he did after he chewed his cyanide but I thought he kind of disappeared off of the grid. Having no given identity and presumably no original identity to fall back on, he could conceivably disappear altogether. And he chewed his cyanide capsule. This is an act of giving up. When he tries to convince CraigBond to join him, this is Silva looking for validation. He wants Mi6 to be the bad guy, and if CraigBond turns on them too then they are as bad as he says. Regarding the shared identity, if CraigBond follows him then I guess it’s like another validation that rejecting this identity was right.
Again, we have the reference to Silva laughing at the gravestones. And further analysis about what Silva’s motives would have been, if he indeed is another James Bond.
5. This one, from /u/Zentaurion, is fun. I’m extra-partial to it because it suggests the exact kind of crazy hypothetical plot that I have often floated on this blog in the past. What if a Bond finds out about the brainwashing in a future movie, or maybe he is offered the position of becoming the next Bond because all the brainwashed agents have been killed and none can be prepared in time. Or rather funnily they try to brainwash this one and it doesn’t work so they just ask him if he’ll accept to become Bond.
Then follows the most meta Bond of all time as we follow a new actor knowingly leading us through his transition into the role. Could also be an element of the agent’s inner struggle in living up to it. Reminds me of something said by the actor Carey Grant; “I wish I was as manly as the Carey Grant that people know from the movies they watch” or something to that effect. For the first time, seeing an actor actually express how he is trying to fit into the role, that would be something to see.
6. And then there are the negatives ones, which I kinda enjoy:
- No. Just no.
- This is absolutely insane.
- I don’t think you know what proves actually means
Anyway, these are just some of the responses that entertained me the most, but the entire discussion can be found here: