In James Bond movies, villains sometimes used to get James Bond in custody. Instead of killing him on sight (they used to do so for any other sidekicks), why are these villains forced to enter into a lousy conversation which buys enough time for Bond to think and escape?

In Skyfall, the villain just shot a sidekick, just a moment ago, but he chose to talk to Bond and Bond escaped from his clutches just in time.

Why is that so?

  • 9
    TVTropes warning! Bond Villain Stupidity Commented Jun 22, 2019 at 4:10
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    I'd say this is verging on too broad, as there are 24 different Bond films (25 if you count Never Say Never Again). Any answer I could write would end up looking like that giant TV Tropes list James linked. Sometimes the villains have legitimate reasons, and other times they're just idiots.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Jun 22, 2019 at 9:28
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    @F1Krazy Eh, it does come off as a bit broad but villain behavior is consistent enough to where a specific answer could be provided. Yeah, there're special cases where Bond is interrogated for information, etc., but I think the OP is specifically asking about when that's not the case; when the villain is ready to kill Bond but instead leaves him alive for too long and for no apparent reason, thus providing Bond enough time to escape.
    – Charles
    Commented Jun 22, 2019 at 16:41
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    The same sort of trope appears to go well beyond the spy genre, and it's not always the villains who fall victim to it. In Game of Thrones, Oberyn Martell vs The Mountain... The Mountain is on his back, Oberyn, assuming the The Mountain is incapacitated and entirely at his mercy, prances about demanding a confession... and then...
    – Anthony X
    Commented Jun 21, 2020 at 21:30

1 Answer 1


This doesn't always happen.

A lot of the time, the villain (or henchmen) are actively trying to kill Bond - they always fail, but the intent to kill is obvious.

The theatrical execution attempts in the Bond films are indicative of the ego of the villain in question - they're an expression of power and control. Ultimately, of course, there's not enough of either, so Bond escapes.

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