Dr. Madeleine Swann is a fictional French psychologist affiliated to the Austrian Hoffler Klinik organization and the daughter of mysterious SPECTRE member Mr. White. The character first appears in the 2015 James Bond film, Spectre, and will return in its sequel, the 2021 film No Time To Die, portrayed by French actress Léa Seydoux.
Madeleine Swann was born to Mr. White and his now divorced wife. When she was a young child, she was very close to her father, as the photos on the wall in Mr. White's secret room in the hotel L'Americain show. However in her youth she became aware of her father's criminal dealings and grew to resent him. One night a man came to their house to kill White. Madeleine, knowing her father kept a pistol hidden in a cupboard got the gun and killed the intruder. As a result, Madeleine developed a disliking of guns.
At some point, she estranged herself from her father and quit of all contact. She received her medical training from Oxford University and the Sorbonne. She later became a consultant in psychiatry and as such worked two years with "Medecins sans frontiers", before she went into hiding at the Hoffler clinic near Sölden in the Austrian Alps.
Meeting James Bond
After James Bond travelled to Austria to find Mr. White, White tells Bond to find Madeleine who will take him to L'Américain, which will in turn lead him to the people he is after. Bond finds her at the clinic where she works, but she is captured by Mr. Hinx first. Bond gives chase to the kidnappers, and their three cars crash. The two then make their escape.
The pair then meet with Q, who reveals that Marco Sciarra's ring contains trace elements linking Blofeld, the leader of the organisation, and Bond's three previous missions. Swann then informs them about the name SPECTRE, and that L'Américain is a hotel in Morocco.
Bond and Swann travel to the hotel and stay in the suite her father used to stay in every year. Swann there tells him about her troubled relationship with her father, to which Bond defends the deceased White, stating that White -in the poor health state he was in, when he was found by Bond -could have died weeks ago, but that Madeleine was the only reason that kept his heart beating until Bond arrived. As a drunken Madeleine wants to go to bed, she slips and falls into Bonds arms. However she doesn't want to become romantically involved with him, going as far as to threatening to kill him, should he touch her in her sleep. The next morning, Bond discovers White had built a secret room full of videotapes, charts and photographs, as well as maps and co-ordinates of where they go next. They travel to the nearest point a train will go, but are again attacked on the train by Mr. Hinx. Bond fights with him and Swann shoots several rounds from Bond's gun at Hinx. They all miss, but it gives Bond time to throw Hinx off the train, she proceeds to sleep with Bond back in their cabin.
At the station, the two are transported to a facility in the desert, where they are met by Oberhauser, the son of Hannes Oberhauser, the man who looked after the younger Bond when he had just been orphaned. While torturing Bond with a drill, Oberhauser also informs him that Max Denbigh is part of SPECTRE, and he feeds all the intelligence data straight to the criminal organisation. Oberhauser then reveals to Bond that he now goes by the name Ernst Stavro Blofeld. He changed his name to one from his mother’s bloodline after faking his death 34 years ago. Bond and Swann escape with the help of Bond's exploding watch, destroying the facility in the process.
Final Showdown in London and final situation
Back in London, Bond and Swann meet M, Tanner, Q and Moneypenny, and they travel to arrest Denbigh and stop the launch of the Nine Eyes program. Swann tells Bond she does not wish to assist and they part ways. She is captured by Blofeld's men and taken to the old MI6 building, derelict since the attack by Raoul Silva.
Bond arrives at the former HQ and sees Blofeld, who was scarred in the explosion earlier, who tells him the building is rigged to explode in three minutes and that Swann is hidden somewhere within it. Bond finds her and the couple escapes by boat out onto the Thames. They chase Blofeld's helicopter and shoot it down. The helicopter crashes and Bond leaves Blofeld to be arrested by M and leaves with Madeleine.
The next day, Bond retrieves his old Aston Martin DB5 from Q and drives off with Madeleine.
As a psychologist and Mr. White's daughter, Madeleine Swann is a strong, rebellious and resourceful woman. She was able to hide and evade SPECTRE members, with the Hoffler Clinic providing a perfect hiding place. However, Madeleine was still traumatized by her past and that of her father, as evidenced by her perpetual hatred of weapons and the originally aggressive behavior she exhibited at the beginning of her relationship with Bond. Despite this, her abilities and indirect connection to SPECTRE have made her a safe and effective ally for Bond. Moreover, her courage and fearlessness are such that she was able to resume using the weapons to save 007 from Mr. Hinx.
Behind the scenes
- "I don't consider myself a Bond girl. I think I'm not really the stereotyped Bond girl. I feel quite different. You can't be like, 'Oh, James.' You have to find something else. She's not a fighter, she's a doctor. She fights in another way."
- ― Léa Seydoux
- Madeleine is the first blonde leading lady since Kara Milovy in The Living Daylights.
- It is interesting to notice that, Léa Seydoux being French, "Madeleine" and "Swann" are probably references to Marcel Proust's novel "À la recherche du temps perdu", the madeleine being an important element in the first book, called "Du côté de chez Swann".
- Madeleine is the first Bond girl to appear in more than one film since Eunice Gayson, who, as Sylvia Trench, appeared in Dr. No and From Russia with Love and Rubelvitch from The Spy Who Loved Me, For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy (though she appeared as a minor character in all three).
- However, Madeleine is the first Bond girl to play a major role in more than one film.