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Topic: characters who should NOT have died

A lot of characters bite the dust in Bond films, but sometimes the death toll makes me wish at least a few more people survived. Although Bond has lost many fine male allies and friends, the ones that stick in my head the most are the women. Maybe I’m just a ladies man...


1. Plenty in DAF. This one bothers me the most because she already suffered enough getting thrown out a window and landing in a pool. (Great scene btw) Then we find her later dead in another pool in a very nonsensical plot.

2. Della in LTK. What they did to Felix was enough, but killing his wife was too far. I would rather see Della live and thus explain the slightly upbeat Felix at the end of the film. Her death makes LTK hard to watch for me.

3. Tilly in GF. Something just seems wrong that BOTH sisters died. To be fair, she was asking for trouble.

4. Countess in FYEO. The fact that Bond makes no mention of her as he kicks the car off the cliff bothers me.

5. Andrea in TMWTGG. She worked so hard to be free, it’s a shame she didn’t make it.

6. Aki in YOLT.  Huge mistake to kill off the main Bond girl and replace her with a new one towards the end of the film.

7. Miranda Frost in DAD. I was really hoping she would win her fight against Jinx.  ajb007/biggrin

8. Severine in Skyfall. Pointless death where Bond did nothing to save her, yet leapt into action right after her death. 

9. Solange in CR. Why did they have to follow up her scene with a grim CSI style investigation? Just leave well enough alone and don’t re-visit her after Bond leaves.

My current 10 favorite:

1. GE 2. MR 3. OP 4. TMWTGG 5. TSWLM 6. TND 7. TWINE 8.DN 9. GF 10. AVTAK

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Re: characters who should NOT have died

They're all sacrificial lambs, a standard trope of many movies and books, not just Bond. They exist both as a slight gesture towards reality (someone that Bond and the audience likes is killed) and as a story device (making the mission more personal).
Sometimes it's carried out better than others, of course. A few of the deaths are by-the-numbers and can seem calculated rather than moving.

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Re: characters who should NOT have died

I can think of a few more examples of the sacrificial lamb trope- Corinne in Moonraker and Strawberry Fields in Quantum come to mind. Some of the time this is supposed to paint the villain as increasingly ruthless and unhinged- for example, Fields' death in Quantum and the Countesses' death in FYEO gives an additional edge of evil to Greene and Kristatos, who are otherwise two of the more colourless antagonists in the series.

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Re: characters who should NOT have died

The deaths of many of these characters give purpose to the films. Usually they die to show how Bond doesn't just win without any loss. I can appreciate how some die as a result of Bond's carelessness and others dies because Bond fails to protect them. The only one that doesn't is Aki, as she is replaced with a similar but meaningless character.

Usually it's the male characters that I'm sad to see go, like Quarrel, Kerim Bey, Campbell, Ferrara, Vijay, Tibbett and Sharkey, but there's always purpose to their deaths. Bond can't die, but someone like him has to to show that the good guys aren't invincible.

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Re: characters who should NOT have died

I think Strawberry Fields' death in QoS was perhaps the most unnecessary sacrifical lamb. A good character and her death was just a misplaced callback to GF. QoS had no need for a female death anyway since Vesper's death in CR cast such a long shadow over QoS anyway.

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Re: characters who should NOT have died

Number24 wrote:

I think Strawberry Fields' death in QoS was perhaps the most unnecessary sacrifical lamb. A good character and her death was just a misplaced callback to GF. QoS had no need for a female death anyway since Vesper's death in CR cast such a long shadow over QoS anyway.

There was a theme in Craig's first two Bond films that Bond caused needless deaths and was too reckless. This one follows that theme. I thought her death served a good purpose, though I agree that it didn't need the callback to GF.

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Re: characters who should NOT have died

Some of them have more point to their deaths than others. Solange was actively, though unwittingly, helping Bond and was ostensibly tortured by Le Chiffre's killers to find our what she had told him. By contrast Plenty happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, in a scene edited from the film.

Of them all, Tracey's ranks as the toughest death for me.

"How was your lamb?" "Skewered. One sympathises."

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Re: characters who should NOT have died

I agree that some have to die in order to show how bad the villain is. That's the Bond blueprint. But I also agree that some really shouldn't die or the story just put them in place to die because that's what they are there for regardless. Quantum of Solace is really bad for that and a reason I dislike that movie because it makes Bond seem incompetent to me. Same goes for the girl in Skyfall. And this topic is a reason part of me is going back and forth on being excited for No Time to Die.

But Aki is probably the top one that really should be alive. Just write her off as going back to Tokyo or she could have been Kissy from the beginning.

"Better late than never."

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Re: characters who should NOT have died

Aki's death is particularly galling since it isn't brought up again when Bond actually meets Blofeld, diluting its effect on the characters.

I'd argue one of the films where the sacrificial lamb gambit actually works fairly well is FYEO, since Luigi's death is clearly referred back to when Bond kills Locque, making the ruthlessness of Bond's actions more dramatic for the audience. Bond exacting vengeance on Locque for Luigi's death doesn't really fit with what he told Melina about revenge earlier in the same film, admittedly, but the moment itself is powerful.

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Re: characters who should NOT have died

SpectreOfDefeat wrote:

Aki's death is particularly galling since it isn't brought up again when Bond actually meets Blofeld, diluting its effect on the characters.

I'd argue one of the films where the sacrificial lamb gambit actually works fairly well is FYEO, since Luigi's death is clearly referred back to when Bond kills Locque, making the ruthlessness of Bond's actions more dramatic for the audience. Bond exacting vengeance on Locque for Luigi's death doesn't really fit with what he told Melina about revenge earlier in the same film, admittedly, but the moment itself is powerful.

Good example

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Re: characters who should NOT have died

The OSL (Obligatory Sacrificial Lamb) works best when the audience (and hopefully Bond) form an emotional Bond with the characters.  That's why the death of, for example, Kerim, is so devastating.  This is precisely why Aki's death really works well -- by the time she licks the cyanide from her lips, we've grown attached to her.  Same with, say, Jill and Vijay.

To me, the most annoying OSL deaths are those that have no depth of context or feeling, such as:
-- Strawberry Fields -- Feels like they wanted the GF moment so badly that they shoehorned this contrivance into the film.  Ridiculous on so many levels.
-- Plenty -- She was a harmless gold-digger (at least in the final film cut) so her death, especially given its manner, just seems cruel.
-- Lisl -- Why was she killed exactly?  They wanted Bond, not her.  Again, cruelty for cruelty's sake, and especially OTT given Ferrara had already served as the OSL.
-- Rosie -- She basically died from being an idiot.  In fairness, not sure there could have been any other plausible fate for her.

Tracy is obviously at a totally different level, not really even an OSL.

Hilly...you old devil!

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Re: characters who should NOT have died

I'd have said Tracey was a prime OSL, but one written by Fleming rather than one contrived by the filmmakers. It may not occur halfway through the film as a mechanism to add to the conflict, but she dies so that Bond can carrying on being a Double-O.

"How was your lamb?" "Skewered. One sympathises."

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Re: characters who should NOT have died

Sir Hillary Bray wrote:

The OSL (Obligatory Sacrificial Lamb) works best when the audience (and hopefully Bond) form an emotional Bond with the characters.  That's why the death of, for example, Kerim, is so devastating.  This is precisely why Aki's death really works well -- by the time she licks the cyanide from her lips, we've grown attached to her.  Same with, say, Jill and Vijay.

To me, the most annoying OSL deaths are those that have no depth of context or feeling, such as:
-- Strawberry Fields -- Feels like they wanted the GF moment so badly that they shoehorned this contrivance into the film.  Ridiculous on so many levels.
-- Plenty -- She was a harmless gold-digger (at least in the final film cut) so her death, especially given its manner, just seems cruel.
-- Lisl -- Why was she killed exactly?  They wanted Bond, not her.  Again, cruelty for cruelty's sake, and especially OTT given Ferrara had already served as the OSL.
-- Rosie -- She basically died from being an idiot.  In fairness, not sure there could have been any other plausible fate for her.

Tracy is obviously at a totally different level, not really even an OSL.

I agree 100%

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Re: characters who should NOT have died

Certainly in the films Tracy could not have lived, because we're paying good money to see Bond shag three birds every adventure.

Charmed & Dangerous wrote:

I'd have said Tracey was a prime OSL, but one written by Fleming rather than one contrived by the filmmakers. It may not occur halfway through the film as a mechanism to add to the conflict, but she dies so that Bond can carrying on being a Double-O.

In Fleming, Bond could not carry on being a Double-O after Tracy died. He was useless afer that, bungled two missions that endangered the lives of others, and M literally took away his Double-O status. When he flew to Japan his number was 7777 and it was a diplomatic mission.
It was only after amnesia, brainwashing and electro-convulsive therapy(!) that M gave him his Double-O number back.

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Re: characters who should NOT have died

caractacus potts wrote:

Certainly in the films Tracy could not have lived, because we're paying good money to see Bond shag three birds every adventure.

ajb007/lol  ajb007/lol  ajb007/lol

caractacus potts wrote:

It was only after amnesia, brainwashing and electro-convulsive therapy(!) that M gave him his Double-O number back.

Yes... he got his Double-O back. Which essentially proves my point. If Bond had got married, settled down etc, he couldn't have carried on being a Double-O... bungled missions or not. The bigger the Sacrificial Lamb, the more conflict is generated, the more credible the bungled missions etc, and the greater the payoff/resolution ... when it comes.  ajb007/martini

"How was your lamb?" "Skewered. One sympathises."