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James Bond: The 10 Best Bond Girls, Ranked By Bravery

With Agent 007 typically portrayed as the proverbial knight in shining armor, the Bond girls are usually damsels in distress rather than heroines, especially in the earlier films of the franchise. However, a couple of the MI6 operative’s lovers in the James Bond series have distinguished themselves by being just as daring and Bond himself.

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The bravest Bond girls have greatly improved the franchise as their courage has led to more action-packed moments. Whether it’s ruining the plans of villains or saving Bond when he is in deep trouble, there have been a number of courageous Bond girls who were ever ready to put their lives on the line.

10 Madeleine Swann – Spectre, No Time To Die

Léa Seydoux as Madeleine Swann in Spectre

The psychiatrist happens to be the daughter of the Q.U.A.N.T.U.M. boss, Mr. White. Before Mr. White dies, he directs Bond to Madeleine, promising she will help him uncover the plans of S.P.E.C.T.R.E. When the two meet, love blossoms.

Given her profession, Madeleine is not the type to relish being in the field but she can defend herself whenever she needs to. A young Madeleine proves this in a flashback scene when Safin shows up at her home to kill her parents. Not only does she shoot him but she also manages to flee from him briefly. Primo, one of the Bond henchmen with the best fighting ability, doesn’t scare her either. She gladly takes him on and blinds him by throwing tea in his eyes. Perhaps the only thing that deducts bravery points from Madeleine is her reluctance to confront Blofeld, forcing Bond to do so.

9 Octopussy – Octopussy

Octopussy talks to James Bond in bed in Octopussy

The jewel smuggler is the leader of the Octopus Cult, a group of beautiful women who live together on an island. She and Bond have a history since he once exposed her father.

At first, Octopussy appears as a wealthy and entitled person who would rather let others do the hard work but she is more than that. Despite having lived in an isolated palace where she has mostly enjoyed peace, Octopussy is ever ready for battle. She demonstrates her fighting skills when assailants attack her palace. Her heroic moments don’t end there as she also prevents a bomb from exploding at a circus later in the movie.


8 Vesper Lynd – Casino Royale

Casino Royale Vesper Lynd Eva Green

The liaison agent is assigned by the HM Treasury’s Financial Action Task Force to make sure Bond makes good use of the money he has been given to spend at the Casino Royale in Montenegro. The two flirt and bed each other but she is soon revealed to be a double agent at the service of Q.U.A.N.T.U.M.

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Vesper is willing to double-cross the MI6 just so she can help her boyfriend Yusef, who has been kidnapped by Q.U.A.N.T.U.M. Additionally, she risks her life by choosing to personally deliver the money to Q.U.A.N.T.U.M. operatives instead of coming clean to her bosses that she is being pressured to work for the villainous organization. It’s an act that gets her killed and even if it hadn’t, there was still a risk of her facing charges of treason in the future.

7 Wai Lin – Tomorrow Never Dies

Michelle Yeoh as Wai Lin in Tomorrow Never Dies

The Chinese People’s External Security Force meets Bond when he is sent to uncover Elliot Carver’s plan in China. She and Bond later work together to stop the villain.

Undercover work requires plenty of courage and Lin is more than happy to do that by posing as a Xinhua News Agency reporter in order to investigate the dangerous Carver. She also sets up the events in the finale by escaping while being held in captivity inside Carver’s ship. She not only takes on the villain’s henchmen with ease but also puts her life on the line multiple times to create distractions so that Bond can ruin Carver’s plan.

6 Natalya Simonova – GoldenEye

The Level 2 programmer for the Russian Space Forces is left as the only survivor when Trevelyan attacks her workplace. After she and Bond both get captured by the villain, they work together to stop him.

Natalya’s boldest action comes when she saves Bond as he is getting thigh-strangled by Xenia Onatopp. It’s one of the moments when the Bond would have died. Luckily, Natalya isn’t intimidated by the sadistic Onatopp. Natalya also proves heroic by stopping a missile that Trevelyan wants to use to destroy London. More importantly, she is arguably the movie’s biggest winner as she is the one that gets to destroy the GoldenEye satellite.

5 Pussy Galore – Goldfinger

James Bond and Pussy Galore standing in a barn in Goldfinger

Pussy is introduced as the personal pilot of the bullion dealer, Auric Goldfinger. She is tasked with helping him ruin America’s gold reserve at Fort Knox during “Operation Grand Slam” but ends up falling for Bond.

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As a pilot, Pussy is renowned for doing dangerous stunts. She is so impressive in the air that she is appointed the leader of an all-female flying team known as Pussy Galore’s Flying Circus. She is shown to not be afraid of Bond either, such that when he tries to escape from his holding cell, she goes after him, captures him, and puts him back. Moreover, she risks a lot by turning against Goldfinger later in the movie as the villain had just previously killed his other employee Jill Masterson for associating with Bond by covering her body in gold paint.

4 Aki – You Only Live Twice

Bond and Aki in You Only Live Twice

A movie exclusive character, Aki is an SIS agent who works with Bond during his mission in Japan. She seduces Bond and briefly dates him but ends up being subjected to one of the saddest Bond girl deaths.

In as much as Bond is somewhat of an escape artist, he always finds himself unable to do so on a couple of occasions. During such unfortunate circumstances, a daring Bond girl often turns out to be of help and that’s what Aki does. She rescues at the Osato Chemical Works HQ and skillfully dodges bullets while speeding away. She goes on to rescue him two more times in the movie

3 Jinx – Die Another Day

Halle Berry as Jinx Johnson in Die Another Day

The NSA agent is tasked with killing Zao, one of the few Bond henchmen that were better than the villain. She meets Bond during the mission and after realizing he is after Zao too, she begins a relationship with him.

Going after a dangerous North Korean agent all by herself is an act that puts a stamp on Jinx’s courage. She further demonstrates how daring she is by jumping off a cliff and falling hundreds of meters into the ocean just so she can escape. Jinx gladly takes on many of Gustav Graves’ henchmen too and remains unfazed even in moments when she almost dies.

2 Tracy Draco – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Tracy points a gun at Bond in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Bond is never the type to get married but he falls so deeply in love with Tracy that he ties the knot with her. Sadly, she gets murdered by Blofeld in what is one of the saddest ever scenes in movie history.

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That Tracy’s father begs Bond to marry her so that she can at least become reserved is proof of her daredevilry. In one of the movie’s best chase scenes, she helps Bond flee from Blofeld’s men by speeding out of a Switzerland village. The pressure she faces from the pursers never makes her lose her composure on the wheel. Accepting to marry Bond is also a huge risk for Tracy, given the kind of enemies that are always after him. She knows this, accepts it but, sadly, she pays for it.

1 May Day – A View To Kill

May Day lifts a man in A View To KIll

A View To Kill is considered one of the worst Roger Moore oo7 movies, but May Day makes it watchable. She is introduced as the henchwoman for tech villain Max Zorin, but she grows to resent him after meeting Bond.

Out of all Bond girls, May Day makes the biggest sacrifice. She does so by riding the villain’s bomb out of the mine, hence getting killed in the process. The act alone qualifies her as one of the most selfless Bond characters of all time. Earlier in the movie, she also brutalizes several male opponents, paining herself as a very capable enforcer.

NEXT: The 10 Best Bond Villains, Ranked By Bravery

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