According to this article about Skyfall, Raoul Silva is M's son and that is why he hates her so much.

Suddenly, it all made sense. Silva, thought to be in Hong Kong, was M’s son -- adopted, possibly, but undeniably her son. (Why adopted? Because otherwise we can make no sense of M’s comment to Bond that orphans make the best recruits. Yes, Bond was an orphan, but the poignancy and faraway gaze as M says the words tell us she is thinking of somebody else.)

So Is there any other information or further hints that either confirm or refute the theory of this article? Is Raoul Silva really M's son?

  • 2
    Oh my, how people are repeatedly mistaking a metaphorical mother-child relationship for a real one. But thanks for putting this into a proper question, and giving Shane the chance to settle this once and for all with his excellent answer. +1
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jul 1, 2014 at 8:11

1 Answer 1


The article's only piece of evidence is the anagram, which strikes me as interesting but not conclusive.

Rather than M being Silva's real mother, I think a key element of the story is that Silva and Bond had virtually identical past relationships with M: both Silva and Bond had been orphaned or abandoned as children, leading to each of them being selected by M to be developed into secret agents.

The adult Silva is enraged by the realization that M had taken advantage of his vulnerable background and turned him into a killer, as he explains to Bond via the anecdote about the two rats:

[The rats] start eating each other until there are only two left. The two survivors... Now, they only eat rat. You have changed their nature. The two survivors. This is what she made us.

The movie shows the adult Bond experiencing the same resentment toward M (for example, when asked what word he associates with "murder," Bond says "employment"). But the movie also shows the difference between Bond and Silva: Silva's anger at M leads to his doom, but Bond is able to see the good in M, to forgive her, and to move on with his life. The ultimate proof is how Bond does his best to save M, and then even after she is killed, he is able to return to his job with a renewed passion for it:

[Skyfall's closing lines]

Gareth Mallory (the new M): So, 007... Lot's to be done. Are you ready to get back to work?

James Bond: With pleasure, M. With pleasure.

  • 1
    In light of your recent edit, I'd suggest to disarm the phrase "then essentially adopted" a bit, since the OP (or rather his linked article) seems really to be inclined on supposing an actual real adoption (instead of just "kind of an adoption"), which I know you know is not the case and might deserve better clarification.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jul 1, 2014 at 17:24
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    I think you got the word association scene the wrong way around - the psychologist says "murder" and Bond rather cooly replies "employment"
    – Paul Dixon
    Jul 1, 2014 at 19:54
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    In fact you could even say M, being a kind of mother figure for Bond, had to die in order for him to grow up.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jul 2, 2014 at 17:59
  • @Napoleon, yes! The final scene with the new M shows that Bond has overcome his personal anger with the previous M and subsequently more fully embraced her overall mission of defending England. It's funny, but at the end of the day, "Skyfall" is all about two middle-aged men processing their mommy issues!
    – Shiz Z.
    Jul 2, 2014 at 19:17

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