- "I'm the money."
- ― Vesper meeting Bond.
Vesper Lynd was a fictional HM Treasury liaison officier who appeared in the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale, portrayed by French actress Eva Green. Green subsequently provided her likeness for the 2008 James Bond film Quantum of Solace, the 2015 James Bond film Spectre, and Activision's 2008 video game Quantum of Solace. The character is the official adaptation of the literary character who first appeared in Ian Fleming's 1953 novel Casino Royale.
In the 2006 film version of Casino Royale, Vesper Lynd is a foreign liaison agent from the HM Treasury's Financial Action Task Force assigned to make sure that Bond adequately manages the funds provided by MI6 for the high-stakes poker game at the Casino Royale. However, she is secretly a double agent working for Quantum, the terrorist organization MI6 is trying to stop. She is an unwilling traitor however; she is only helping Quantum because they have taken her lover Yusef Kabira hostage and threatened to kill him if she does not cooperate.
Vesper is introduced on a train headed to Montenegro with James Bond. They quip at each other and he establishes that she shares a similar past as an orphan. Vesper is initially sceptical about Bond's ego and at first is unwilling to be his trophy at the poker tournament with Le Chiffre. She refuses to bankroll him after he goes bankrupt on an early hand. However, she assists Bond during his struggle with LRA leader Steven Obanno, knocking away the gun from the latter. She afterwards retreats to the shower, feeling that she has blood on her hands from helping to kill Obanno. Bond kisses the "blood" off her hands to comfort her, and they return to the casino.
Shortly afterwards she saves Bond's life. Poisoned by Le Chiffre's girlfriend, Valenka, Bond struggles unsuccessfully to connect a key wire to his automatic external defibrillator, but Vesper arrives and makes the proper connection, allowing the machine to revive him.
After Bond wins the poker tournament, Le Chiffre kidnaps Vesper, and Bond gives chase. They fall into Le Chiffre's trap, but both are saved by Quantum henchman Mr. White, who shoots and kills Le Chiffre for misappropriating his organisation's funds.
While both are in a hospital to recover from torture, Bond and Vesper fall deeply in love, and Bond plans to resign from the service in order to be with her. As in the novel, Bond and Vesper go on vacation to Venice, hoping to start a new life. Unknown to Bond, however, Vesper embezzles the money and delivers it to a group of Quantum henchmen. When Bond realizes what has happened and goes after Vesper, the thugs take her hostage and lock her in an elevator while they do battle with him. After several explosions, the flooded building sinks, but Vesper resigns herself to death and locks herself in, even as Bond frantically tries to open the elevator. In her final gesture, she kisses Bond's hands to clear him of guilt. Bond finally extricates her and tries to revive her using CPR, to no avail.
As in the novel, Bond copes with his lover's death by renouncing her, saying, "The job's done and the bitch is dead". M replies, assuming that Lynd had cut a deal with her blackmailers to spare him in return for the money, and states that "I'm sure she hoped they'd let her live. But she must have known she was going to her death". When Bond opens Vesper's mobile phone afterwards, he finds that she has left Mr. White's phone number, enabling Bond to track down and confront him at the movie's end.
In the 2008 film, Quantum of Solace, Bond is seeking revenge for her death. At the start of the film, M tells Bond that he is too close to the mission to be objective, but Bond assures her that Vesper is no longer important to him. He takes Vesper's photograph and is encouraged by René Mathis to "forgive her" and to "forgive [himself]". At the end of the film, it is revealed that Yusef is an agent working for Quantum, tasked with seducing high-ranking women in the world's intelligence agencies. He is then "kidnapped" by Quantum, and the women are forced to become double agents in the hope of securing his freedom. This information vindicates Vesper in Bond's eyes, making him finally see that her "betrayal" was not her fault. He doesn't kill Yusef, but leaves him to MI6 and congratulates M on the fact that she was right about Vesper. As he walks away, he drops Vesper's necklace in the snow.
In the 2015 film, Spectre, Vesper appears in the title sequence. All main villains from the Daniel Craig films (and Vesper and M (Judi Dench), with the exception of Dominic Greene) who have died or been killed are in this scene. When Bond and Madeleine Swann go to Tangier, he finds a tape labelled "Vesper Lynd - Interrogation" in the L'Americain hotel room used by Mr. White. In this scene, we learn that Vesper went though some form of interrogation. We eventually find out that Quantum is an organisation that is run by SPECTRE. So Vesper was ultimately and without knowing working for SPECTRE. Bond and Madeleine Swann are captured by Franz Oberhauser and he attempts to destroy Bond and Madeleine Swann's relationship by talking to Madeleine about Bond's deep love for Vesper. Oberhauser is proud that his organisation made her decide to kill herself and that his organisation led her to believe that Bond would not forgive or love her. Finally towards the end of the film her picture appears in the MI6 building as Bond is taken there. This wall shows everyone he knew (from the Daniel Craig films) that have died. We learn from this film that Bond's wounds caused by Vesper's death and Quantum are still open.
Behind the scenes
Place in the series
Vesper is Bond's first romantic interest as presented in Ian Fleming's original novels (although later prequel works by Charlie Higson would present other candidates).
Other than Bond's future wife, Tracy, she is the only woman in the series to whom Bond proposes and is practically the only romantic interest to be a fellow intelligence agent, apart from the film series' Miranda Frost, who turns out to be Graves' double agent. (Gala Brand is a policewoman, not an intelligence agent, and she ultimately rebuffs Bond's advances, being engaged to another man; Tatiana Romanova is in the intelligence business but works for the KGB; and Bond's relationship with MI6 employee Mary Goodnight remains ambiguous at the end of the final book to feature her).
Fleming created a cocktail recipe in the novel that Bond names after Vesper. The "Vesper martini" became very popular after the novel's publication, and gave rise to the famous "shaken, not stirred" catchphrase immortalized in the Bond films. The actual name for the drink (as well as its complete recipe) is uttered on screen for the first time in the 2006 adaptation of Casino Royale.
- According to the novel, Vesper was so named by her parents because she was born on a stormy evening.
- Vesper Lynd is a pun on West Berlin. Like her namesake, the Cold War-era city of Berlin, Vesper's loyalties are split down the middle.
- Skyfall is the only Daniel Craig James Bond film not to feature Vesper in some way.
- Vesper is the thirteenth woman that Bond does not succeed in protecting from death, in the Bond films and the second in the reboot.