Skyfall opens with a chase scene that culminates in Bond's partner accidentally shooting Bond instead of shooting the bad guy. The bullet hits Bond hard enough to blow him off a train into the river below, and everyone concludes that he died.

Later, Bond turns up alive and shirtless, sporting a shrapnel wound (which he is touching in the picture below) received from the bad guy -- but no apparent injury from the bullet that blew him off the train.

So where on his body did that bullet hit Bond? Or was Bond faking that the bullet hit him? (Bond was able to hear M order the shot, so maybe upon hearing, he was shocked enough and upset enough to fake like the bullet hit him and bail out of the situation - which seems consistent with his subsequent refusal to report in for duty, his descent into drunken abandon, and most importantly his apparent lack of bullet wound.)

enter image description here

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    To fake it Eve had to miss in the first place. Nonetheless Bond had to somehow know the exact moment Eve pulled the trigger. One second too early, or too late, and Eve would have noticed that it didn't correspond to her shot. Plus, falling from that height into a river is not a good retirement plan. I see no reason why he had to fake his death to quit MI6.
    – Oliver_C
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 18:03
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    Given he could hear everything Eve said in his earpiece, I think he could easily have heard the shot in his earpiece, too. Or even heard it through the air... Eve wasn't far away.
    – Shiz Z.
    Commented Nov 24, 2012 at 0:34
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    As for the fall from bridge, I agree a real person would be unlikely to choose to do that -- but this is a Bond movie -- realism isn't part of the equation. In fact, there are probably at least a dozen more-unrealistic things Bond does in the film.
    – Shiz Z.
    Commented Nov 24, 2012 at 0:39
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    As for "fake his death to quit MI6" I never said that was his plan. IMHO, he was so stunned by M's order, he needed a time-out to think things over -- so he bailed. He wasn't necessarily thinking "I'm going to fake my death and quit MI6."
    – Shiz Z.
    Commented Nov 24, 2012 at 0:51
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    Where's the bullet wound? Good question. At the moment I would chuck it off as a goof.
    – Oliver_C
    Commented Nov 24, 2012 at 16:02

5 Answers 5


I am surprised no one has suggested a bullet proof vest as the explanation. The first shot, hitting Bond in the shoulder, is above the location of any kevlar plates. This shot leaves an entry wound and shrapnel.

The second shot, that knocks Bond off the train, makes impact around his ribs on his right side. If Bond did have a bullet proof vest on, this area is likely to be covered. The impact from the bullet is transferred through the kevlar plate/s onto a larger area of Bonds body. Rather than penetrating his ribcage, and leaving an entry wound, the vest stops the bullet. Stopping the bullet before it enters his body imparts a lot more force onto Bond, which explains him being thrown off the train.

It also explains the 4 broken ribs and minor organ damage. Bullet wounds are typically puncture wounds, deep and localised. Without a vest, Bond would have suffered much more serious organ damage as the bullet tears through him. Bullet proof vests typically leave blunt trauma injuries, affecting larger areas, and are not likely to leave scarring. One direct bullet wound is not likely to break 3 ribs, however the impact through a kevlar plate definitely is.

  • Though I would say he seems a bit too flexible to wear a vest (but then again I'm no expert and I guess kevlar vests can be quite flexible these days), all your explanations really make sense. In fact it's the best explanation so far.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 9:35
  • Two of the other answers show screenshots of him in the water. In those Bond appears to have a bleeding wound on his right side.
    – Oliver_C
    Commented Dec 16, 2012 at 10:54
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    @Oliver_C Upon close review, I don't think it's clear that those screenshots show a second wound. Just seems like first wound's blood spreading. And the Bond figure in the musical sequence clearly has just one wound.
    – Shiz Z.
    Commented Dec 19, 2012 at 1:49
  • Shane, I may be mistaken but in the scene later in the movie when Bond is probing the wound, the shot shows him at the mirror but his reflection is of him using his right hand to search a left shoulder wound. if you have some way to check this out, I would appreciate it since several seeing the movie with me mentioned the inconsistency and also stated that, in earlier scenes in front of a mirror he was, in fact, showing the wound to be on the correct, i.e., right side. Commented Dec 19, 2012 at 4:50
  • Win, check the photo with the original question above. As I recall, that scene includes both shots of Bond directly and shots of Bond in the mirror. I also recall thinking that the wound seemed to change sides, but then realizing it was the mirror.
    – Shiz Z.
    Commented Dec 23, 2012 at 22:29

James Bone is shot twice in the opening sequence for the film.

  1. Once while driving the Backhoe digger on the train. He is shot while rotating the Backhoe around 180 degrees. The shot hits him in the upper right shoulder, where he will later remove the shrapnel.

  2. Eve shoots Bond while he is fighting on top of the train. The impact of the shot throws him off the train and into the river.

We know that James hear M announce to Eve to take the shot over the radio, but James is more thrown then jumps when the shot is taken. So it's doubtful that he faked being shot.

When James Bond falls into the river he goes over a water fall. During this sequence he hits the bottom of the water falls and sinks into the water. At this point you can see bubbles coming from his right side ribs. As shown in this image. I've circled the two locations where he has been shot.

enter image description here

In the opening credits of the film only one bullet hole is shown for the iconic imagery of Bond. This bullet wound is in the location where he was shot driving the Backhoe. The hole appears several times during the opening credits, in shadow figures of Bond and in a cardboard target of Bond.

enter image description here

Later in the film James Bonds appears shirtless, but sporting only one bullet wound.

enter image description here

In the interview sequence with the bad guy (sorry, forget his name, that's a movie joke). We are only shown one bullet wound, but M is blamed for the wound.

enter image description here

So this raises the question. Where is the second bullet wound caused by Eve when she shot him on the train?

It appears only once in the film, the moment when he hits the water. You can see two distinct injuries on Bond's right side. One in his shoulder, and one in his ribs.

Later in the film. Eve and Bond are discussing the shooting that went wrong. This happens just after he enters the new underground base for MI5. He tells Eve the shot only "cost me 3 ribs". Yet, later in the film we see him shirtless without any wound in that area.

  • If you Google "skyfall ribs" there are people talking about this being a plot hole in the film.
    – Reactgular
    Commented Nov 24, 2012 at 17:46
  • Great point about the Bond/Eve conversation regarding the ribs (didn't he also mention some "minor organs" or something?)... that along with the bloody-ribs photo in the previous answer seem to confirm that Eve's shot hit him there.
    – Shiz Z.
    Commented Nov 25, 2012 at 6:57

I always thought that this large wound in his upper body was from Eve's sniper shot. This wound is also emphasized heavily during the title sequence, which makes sense to me, since it was rather the sniper shot that "killed" him and not those rather small grazing shots from Patrice.

I think the shots from Patrice only left some small wounds that healed easily and didn't leave any further scars (and you don't see any large blood stain on his upper body after Patrice's shots). This could also be the reason why Bond didn't discover those shrapnels earlier, when operating the sniper wound shortly after the shot. They just "got lost" in the more severe injury he received from Eve.

EDIT: As to your updated question, I really like the interresting viewpoint of Bond faking getting shot and your reasoning is not bad. But from the emphasize of this significant wound during the title sequence and no signs of it during the train chase (after getting shot at in the crane), I still stand by my answer. And in the end, don't forget the recoil. Ok, a bullet throwing him away that heavily is probably not that realistic in the first place, but Bond alone doing this?

And likewise, whereas I understand your explanation of Bond's reasons, I would still doubt that he would abort this important mission just because he feels insulted by M. Of course he is upset after actually getting "killed", but aborting the mission (which he was still confident to succeed in) and playing dead just because M ordered Eve to shoot without him actually being hit would be a bit too childish from him. In the end Eve could've just hit Patrice and the mission succeeded, which he wouldn't even realize had he just thrown himself off the train (and into a possible death) right after hearing the shot. And he isn't one of the people getting nervous when hearing shots at all.

EDIT: Ok, after rechecking it (and thanks to Shane's/your comment), I have to correct that you can indeed see a large blood stain right after Bond is shot by Patrice inside the crane. So this renders my theory of the shoulder wound being from Eve's shot totally wrong. Nevertheless I'll leave my last paragraph as it stands, even if I'm for now a bit more unclear about Bond faking his death and might start to tend to your theory.

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    I agree it would have been childish for Bond to fake death -- and that's why I think he did it. A key theme of movie is both Bond and Silva are childishly angry at M, who was basically a mother to them. When M ordered the shot, Bond "regressed" to that hurt, angry, mistrustful boy he was when his parents were killed - but unlike Silva, Bond eventually forgave M.
    – Shiz Z.
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 16:41
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    As for the chest wound, it started bleeding through Bond's shirt as soon as he was hit by shrapnel from Patrice, while Bond was still in the crane. But the shot from Eve never visibly drew blood. To me, this suggests the chest wound was solely from the shrapnel.
    – Shiz Z.
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 16:47
  • @ShaneFinneran Hah indeed, just rechecked it and you're right, totally overlooked that. Well, this renders my answer completely wrong.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 17:28
  • @ShaneFinneran I may even start to tend to your theory of faking death, but I still think my last paragraph holds. But I can understand your reasoning and you really gave me something to think about.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 17:34
  • If Bond were going to intentionally throw himself off the train, why not grab hold of the bad guy and throw them both off the train?
    – Kyralessa
    Commented Nov 26, 2012 at 18:38

Although I could not find any evidence to support my answer, I am trying to give the answer as best as I can with my own proofs.

I am posting 3 sequences of the gunshot.

Cross-hair on Bonds body cross-hair on Bonds body

When Bond is hit

when Bond is hit

When he is falling down

when he is falling down

Now if you look carefully, the cross-hair was meant to be shot on the right side of Bonds body on a height of the chest. In the second scene, we see the right hand of Bond is more bent, as if something has struck hard and the blazer on the right side is more spread to outside. And in the final snap we see, right hand is lower than the left hand meaning again he has been struck on the right side. So we can conclude the bullet struck him on the right side between shoulder and belly (most probably on the right side of the chest). That is why we never see the wound.

EDIT: I do not think Bond was faking the shot. Wikipedia clearly states that Eve accidentally shoots Bond , allowing Patrice to escape. Bond goes missing, presumed dead..

EDIT: The comments of different users unfold different theories. If we think from Bonds view, he can take the step of jumping off the train in a quick moment, so he could choose a bad p,an like throwing himself off the train. But as he is Bond, he comes with only good plans even within a short span. So like _Oliver_C_ said this is too childish for Bond to do. KeyBrd s comment is also interesting. He was fighting on the roof of a running train, maybe the bullet just grazed him throwing him off the roof. But I think in this picture we can see blood from his body. Here is the picture: Blood from Bonds Body

So the bullet maybe grazed him and that is why it did not make a severe wound to be seen!

  • I like your reasoning. But wouldn't we have seen some evidence of a bullet wound when Bond is shirtless? As I recall, the only visible wound on his upper body was from the bad guy's shrapnel.
    – Shiz Z.
    Commented Nov 21, 2012 at 20:20
  • Well since we are playing a game of possibilities, I would like to add smthng to Mistu4u's answer to mk it a lil more plausible. Maybe, the bullet made a lateral entry into Bond.....somewhere on the right rib. Or, just grazed him, throwing him off-balance and off the train.
    – Sayan
    Commented Nov 23, 2012 at 6:10
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    The last image actually shows the second shot. It's the dark red blood stain on his right side ribs. The first shot was in his front right shoulder higher up. If you watch the opening sequence again. It's easier to see there are actually two wounds.
    – Reactgular
    Commented Nov 24, 2012 at 17:34
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    That last picture with the bleeding ribs is the ticket! Along with the other answer's mention of the Bond/Eve conversation regarding the ribs, I'm convinced that Eve shot hit him there.
    – Shiz Z.
    Commented Nov 25, 2012 at 6:59
  • Further evidence supporting this answer: if you watch youtu.be/XoomvWXunRc?t=1m1s at speed=0.25 you can make out a blood spurt from the right side of Bond's chest after Eve fires
    – binaryfunt
    Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 14:13

Missed all the major organs. It's a big possibility that the two shots were extremely close to each other and hence the one "iconic" wound in the opening sequence, imho.

  • That's not a bad suggestion! that would explain why theres only one scar! Why the down vote people?
    – AidanO
    Commented Nov 28, 2012 at 11:22

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