- "I understood that you are truly alone in this life and if you don't do whatever it takes to claw your way to the top of the pile, then you'll be buried under the excrement of lesser men!"
- ― Randolph Hellebore to the boys of Eton College
Lord Randolph Hellebore is a fictional Scottish Laird, who first appeared in the premiere novel of the Young Bond prequels to the main James Bond series: 2005's SilverFin by Charlie Higson. He serves as the story's main villain, which effectively makes him the first true "Bond Villain" that James ever faces in the Literary continuity.
While fighting in World War One, Randolph gained a heightened need for survival and a desensitization to the morbidity of war, which allowed him to escape with his sanity in tact. However, he later reflected that he joined the war to see death face to face, and to test himself as a man. While living in the United States, Hellebore and his brother were in love with the same woman. However, Randolph pushed her into marrying him, and after his brother died in an alleged accident, Randolph divorced his wife after she threatened to divulge his twisted secrets. Five years before the events of SilverFin, Randolph and his brother Algar inherited a plot of land in Scotland surrounding Loch Silverfin. Hellebore erected a fifteen foot fence around his property, hired a permanent live-in security force, and posted signs to clarify that trespassers would be shot on sight. To clarify this point, he had the corpses of animals that had made their way onto the estate displayed on the fence. Since then, Hellebore made a name for himself making donations to sciences and medicine. In desperate attempts to be accepted by the locals, He gave money to build a new school and town hall in the village.
At some point in the second term of Eton College's 1933 school year, Randolph went to speak with the school's Headmaster about introducing an new sporting event at Eton, known as the Hellebore Cup, a triple cup competition in shooting, swimming, and running: his son George's strongest areas. While walking the grounds with his son and Headmaster Alington, he came across James Bond delivering a message to a nearby residence hall. Ever boisterous, Randolph challenged the boy to an impromptu boxing match, and was met with a well placed punch to the jaw. Randolph then learned that James was the son of his old friendly rival in the arms business: Andrew Bond, who had unfortunately, passed away.
Some time later at the opening of the competition, at which Randolph served as a judge, He gave a speech about the nature of Sport in the transition of boys into men. He then shared a tale of his experiences in the Great War, and proclaimed that victory separated the weak from the worthy. With that, the shooting portion began, with George getting exceptional scores, making Randolph ecstatic for his son. Unfortunately, it ultimately ended in a tie, which quickly made Randolph angry, and forced the reluctant George to take some pills from his coat. Despite this, George managed three false starts, which would have disqualified him if the first had not been due to a spectator's practical joke, and Randolph not furiously insisted that it be overlooked as such. George was allowed to continue with a ten second handicap, and took third. However, with the pulling of strings, Randolph arranged for the race proctors on the running course to be replaced with George's friends, allowing him to cheat. Despite this, he took third and crossed the finish line covered in green muck. Raldolph did not even look at him. When Randolph saw George again over Easter Break, his mood had not improved.
While living on Loch Silverfin, Randolph began research on the lake eels with Dr. Perseus Friend under the name "Project SilverFin", which he named for the lake which was named for the mythical fish, who was the strongest in the world. He reflected that this was appropriate as he and Dr. Friend planned to manipulate hormones to create the ideal human and soldier, to whom he could sell weapons. This was an extension of the work he began with his brother, Algar Hellebore, and they were able to synthesize a pill form of their serum, which had few negative side effects aside from increased aggression and decreased intelligence. However, they pushed to continue and tried an injectable serum, which proved to turn Algar, who had tested the serum too early, and their subsequent pig test subjects into mutant freaks. However, they quickly became desperate for human test subjects. When Alfie Kelly fell into the lock, and Algar brought him to them, expecting they would nurse him, they instead tried to strengthen the malnourished boy for injection. His heart gave out on the first injection. Fortunately, James Bond broke into the castle to search for Kelly, and they caught Algar trying to take him away. They quickly chose to use James as a test subject, and after deciding that he was not a friend of George, they Randolph explained his grand scheme for humanity, as he did not plan for the boy to be alive long enough to share it. He attempted to escape, but they gave him the first injection before locking him away in the castle. By the next morning he had escaped, and destroyed all of their transports except for the one he had stolen.
Randolph and his men chased the boy down in his Rolls Royce, and later chased him over the hills on foot with a pack of dogs. With the help of the SilverFin pills, Randolph quickly caught the boy, and struck his cheek with a horse crop. He tackled the boy, who spat in his eye before Hellebore had to quickly get out of the way to avoid being trampled by Wilder Lawless and her horse. When he returned to his castle, he found it on fire with Bond and George outside. Randolph quickly went to take care of them with his double-barrel shotgun. He claimed that they had not stopped him, as he remembered all of his formulas and would set up shop again in another country. He then revealed that he considered George a failure to breed the ideal human, and that the future SilverFin soldiers would be his real "sons". Just as he was about to pull the trigger, Algar rose out of the lake. Randolph ordered him to stop, but to no avail. He shot his brother in the stomach, but the mutant man tackled Randolph into the water, where the blood from his wound attracted the ravenous SilverFin-infected eels. Algar would have won easily, but his wound, and Randolph's SilverFin made it a more even match. Algar repeatedly dragged his brother down, with the eels covering more and more of his body each time before neither of the Hellebores came back up.