The 5 Types of Bond Villain

There are a few elements common to nearly all Bond films: gadgets, girls, guns and villains. While the gadgets were all but done away with in the 2006 €œreboot€ Casino Royale, we can be relatively sure that Bond baddies aren€™t going anywhere. Indeed, a good enemy can often be the selling point of a Bond film €“ Bond himself is an established character, and there€™s a limit to how far the filmmakers can develop him (although they certainly played with that limit in the recent Skyfall.) His opponent, on the other hand, is an unknown quantity, and usually provides an opportunity for the film team to find new ways to test Bond. Because let€™s be honest, without a compelling enemy, 007 is just an alcoholic womaniser with a gambling problem who would be fired from MI6 within days for seemingly never filling in a single piece of paperwork.

As a huge Bond fan, I've noticed that over the years the creative minds at MGM have come up with approximately five different types of villain against which to pit James Bond. Alright, some characters actually offer a combination of two or even three of these archetypes, but there are essentially five different traits that the film-makers are working with. If that€™s not enough, they even helpfully telegraph an enemy€™s €˜evilness€™ by stamping him with a physical deformity. Elektra King, shortly after revealing herself to be the true mastermind behind the death of her father, takes off her earring to reveal that she€™s missing part of her ear. This is relatively inconsiderate of her: if she had done so earlier in the film Bond presumably would have realised a lot faster that she was in fact evil, and wouldn€™t have fallen for her elaborate €˜damsel in distress€™ charade. €œOh, you don€™t have both ears? Why didn€™t you say so? You€™re under arrest for the murder of Sir Robert King and numerous counts of terrorism.€ Sometimes this is handled with even less subtlety (the most you can say for Blofeld€™s face is that somewhere under his scar, it exists.)
Keep reading to find out about the five different villain archetypes for the Bond films...

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Laurence Gardner was born in Canterbury, England. After moving around various cities during his childhood, and spending some time travelling in Europe and America, he studied English Literature at Oxford University. Since then, he’s been living abroad, teaching English, learning a range of languages, and writing in his free time. He can currently be found in Heidelberg, working as an English Tutor and Translator and studying at the University. If you liked this article, follow him on Twitter to get automatic updates on his work.