Did Mathis betray James Bond in Casino Royale?

Daniel Craig’s first outing as James Bond in Casino Royale is still popular, but confusion remains over whether Rene Mathis betrayed Bond.

Whether or not james bond was betrayed by René Mathis in Casino Royale has been a source of confusion since the film was released in 2006. As the first of the Daniel Craig Bond films, Casino Royale laid the groundwork for the long story that would unfold over the next fifteen years in Quantum of Comfort, celestial fall, Spectrumand no time to die. Across these films, Daniel Craig’s James Bond had an extensive character arc that effectively saw him grow from a cold-blooded killer to an emotionally committed man who was willing to sacrifice his life for the sake of the people he loved. he loved.

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In Casino Royale, James Bond has gained an ally and friend in the form of Rene Mathis (Giancarlo Giannini). He, along with Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), helped Bond beat terrorist banker Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) in a high-stakes poker tournament in Montenegro. Le Cipher was to repay his terrorist backers, but Bond having won the tournament, he kidnapped Vesper Lynd to trick and torture him into revealing the password to the tournament winnings. It was around this time that Le Chiffre told Bond that Mathis had betrayed him.

Related: Why 2006’s Casino Royale Is Still The Most Popular James Bond Movie


Was Mathis a traitor in Casino Royale?


Casino Royale - James Bond/Daniel Craig and Mathis

Given Le Chiffre’s claim, the ongoing confusion over whether Mathis really worked against James Bond, 007 was understandable. Nevertheless, the truth is that Mathis was always Bond’s ally and friend, and never betrayed him. Vesper Lynd is the one who informed Le Cipher that Bond had recognized his tell by bluffing during the game. Indeed, she had been blackmailed by the organization behind Le Chiffre into becoming a double agent in order to save her lover. However, as M (Judi Dench) suggested, Vesper had made a deal to swap the poker tournament winnings with Mr. White (Jesper Christensen) in exchange for saving Bond’s life. This was backed up by the fact that she had left Bond her phone to help him find Mr. White, even though she knew she might die when handing over the money.


Why Quantum Of Solace Killed Mathis


Quantum of Solace - Mathis Dying - James Bond/Daniel Craig

In Quantum of Comfort, James Bond researched the organization behind the villainous Mr. White. Initially this was revealed as Quantum before the events of Spectrum proved that Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s (Christoph Waltz) Specter organization has always pulled the strings. In doing so, Bond enlisted the help of a retired Mathis and the two traveled to Bolivia to find Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric). In La Paz, Mathis was betrayed by his supposed friend the Colonel of the Bolivian police (Fernando Guillen Cuervo). After being shot by police officers, Mathis’ last words were to tell Bond to forgive himself and to forgive Vesper Lynd.


The significance of this scene and of James Bond’s actions thereafter cannot be underestimated. Although the scene itself was tender, with Bond cradling Mathis in his arms, it was immediately juxtaposed with Bond throwing his lifeless body into a dumpster and taking his wallet. This illustrates the dichotomy at the heart of Daniel Craig’s James Bond. The cold manner in which he disposed of his friend’s body reflected the more traditional characterization of James Bond in Ian Fleming’s books. At the same time, trying to put Mathis’s last moments at ease and then killing the colonel of the Bolivian police by telling him: “You and I had a mutual friend”, alluded to the greatest emotionality which would reach its full bloom in no time to die.


In Quantum of Comfort, James Bond was still evolving into a more affectionate and emotional persona. As such, his disposition of Mathis’ body could be seen as an attempt to distance himself from the pain of losing his friend while confronting the need to forgive Vesper Lynd and himself. Assuming that was the case, in the context of Daniel Craig james bond arc of the story, this act would certainly be more justifiable to signal the importance that René Mathis had as a faithful friend and ally of the spy in Casino Royale and Quantum of Comfort.

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