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|“||You came across me so many times and yet you never saw me. Le Chiffre, Greene, Silva... A nice pattern developed, you interfered in my world, I destroyed yours or did you think it was coincidence that all the women in your life ended up dead? Vesper Lynd for example, she was the big one, has he told you about her? And then of course, your beloved M, gone forever. Me! It was all me, James. It's always been me: the author of all your pain!||„|
|~ Blofeld confessing to Bond that he's responsible for Bond's recent tragedies|
|“||Franz Oberhauser died twenty years ago, James, in an avalanche alongside his father. The man you're talking to now, the man inside your head, is Ernst Stavro Blofeld.||„|
|~ Blofeld revealing his new name to Bond during the latter's painful torture|
Franz Oberhauser, later renamed Ernst Stavro Blofeld, is the main antagonist of the 2015 James Bond film Spectre, serving as the founder of the titular organization. He is James Bond's foster brother and archenemy, being responsible for the latter's recent losses ever since the James Bond series rebooted with 2006's Casino Royale; thus he is the true main antagonist of the reboot series.
He is portrayed by two-time Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz, who also portrayed Hans Landa, Mandrake, Bert Hanson, Chudnofsky and Walter Keane. Waltz is set to reprise his role as Blofeld, as well as the main antagonist of the 25th film in the franchise, but only if Daniel Craig agrees to return as Bond.
Franz Oberhauser was born in the 1960s as the son of an Austrian couple named Hannes Oberhauser and Trudi Blofeld-Oberhauser, and he knew James Bond as a child. When Bond's parents died in a climbing accident, James was comforted and adopted by Hannes, who instructed Franz to treat James like a brother. Unfortunately, Franz grew to secretly scorn James, believing his father loved Bond more than him. At one point, Hannes and Franz were involved in an avalanche in which both of them apparently died. However, in truth, Franz killed his father out of jealousy and staged his own death while adopting his mother's maiden name.
As the years went by while James grew up to become one of MI6's best agents in the field, Blofeld went on to form a mysterious but notorious criminal organization known as SPECTRE. Under Blofeld's leadership, the organization became an extremely powerful group while retaining its complete anonymity to the world, staging many terrorist attacks throughout the years. Through the shadows of several SPECTRE's agents (such as Le Chiffre, Vesper Lynd, Mr. White, Dominic Greene, and Raoul Silva) and Quantum (which happens to be a subsidiary of SPECTRE), Blofeld had secretly caused several personal tragedies to James while continuing on executing more attacks around the world, gaining more power with each move he made. Even after the deaths of Le Chiffre, Lynd, Greene, and Silva, as well as the dismantling of Quantum, Blofeld maintained SPECTRE's complete anonymity to the public as planned to invoke more pain on James for his own benefit.
Events of the film
|“|| Tell me where he is!|
"He's everywhere!..everywhere!. He's sitting at your desk, he's kissing your lover. He's eating a supper with your family!"
|~ James Bond and Mr. White, hoping to find Blofeld|
Franz first appears briefly at the funeral of Marco Sciarra (one of SPECTRE's assassins) and James partly spots him, though without recognizing his face. Oberhauser later appears at the SPECTRE meeting in Rome, where, after allowing James a short, brutal insight of SPECTRE, he exposes the latter, who was eavesdropping on the meeting. James makes his escape after a car chase with another SPECTRE assassin, Mr. Hinx.
Following the suicide of Mr. White, who grew disillusioned with Franz's ruthless way of leading the organization (including the approving the human trafficking of women and children), James and Mr. White's daughter Dr. Madeline Swann head to a Moroccan hotel called L'Americain, where they find coordinates to Franz's main facility in the Sahara desert. While traveling there, the pair once more encounters Hinx and after a brutal fight they are able to kill the assassin. James and Swann arrive at the facility, but Franz has awaited their arrival. He reveals that he plans to take control of the world's intelligence systems through the Nine Eyes program developed by Max Denbigh (the head of the Joint Intelligence Services and one of SPECTRE's agents) and that he had arranged the '00 section to be shut down, using Denbigh's influence for doing so. Franz also confessed that he and SPECTRE were secretly behind the actions of Le Chiffre, Lynd, White, Greene, Silva, and Quantum. He would later go on to reveal surveillance footage of Mr. White's suicide, driving a spike between Bond's and Swann's relationship, much to the anger of Bond, who ends up being knocked out by several of Franz's henchmen.
Upon awakening, Bond finds himself strapped to a surgical chair. Franz then tortures Bond with a technological surgery machine, emotionally tormenting him with the deaths of everyone he loved while having Swann witness the torture, much to her distraught. He also confesses that he killed their father out of jealousy against James and that he no longer goes by his original name anymore, preferring that he be addressed as Ernst Stavro Blofeld from now on, to which Bond finds it to be quite catchy. He attempts to lobotomize James, but Swann, who has been given an exploding watch by Bond, uses the device to destroy the machine and seemingly killing Blofeld. Bond and Swann escape the facility before it blows up, killing the majority of Blofeld's men in the process.
Since the Moroccan base was just one node in a wider network, James and Swann head back to London, where James conspires with M, Q, Bill Tanner, and Moneypenny to arrest Denbigh and stop the Nine Eyes program from going online. However, on the way, James is captured by several of SPECTRE's agents and taken to the derelict ruins of the old MI6 headquarters. Though James manage to kill the SPECTRE agents, he ventures inside the ruins, eventually finding Blofeld who has survived his base's explosion, but his face is hideously scarred (reminiscent of Donald Pleasence's incarnation in You Only Live Twice) and his right eye is blinded. James tries to shoot Blofeld, only to have his bullets held at bay by the bullet-proof glass placed between them. James approaches Blofeld, who reveals the disfiguring scar in his face which he got during Bond's escape. Bond sarcastically comments the scar, but Blofeld states that his physical scar will heal as opposed to Bond's emotional scar. He then reveals that he has kidnapped Swann and left her somewhere in the building which is elaborately rigged with explosives. Blofeld gives James two options: either die in the explosions while trying to save Swann, or to save himself but leave Swann to die, living with the pain and guilt for the rest of his life. Blofeld then enters a helicopter, which hovers over the river Thames to allow Blofeld to watch James die trying to save Swann. However, James succeeds as he and Swann escape seconds before the building explodes. In the meantime, Q manages to shut down Nine Eyes while M manages to finish off Denbigh, who ends up falling to his death several stories below.
Final Showdown and Defeat
|“||Finish it...finish it!||„|
|~ Blofeld's last words to Bond before he's put under arrest for his crimes|
Believing Bond to be dead, Blofeld, along with his personal assistant and pilot, are about to escape, unaware that Bond and Swann are pursuing them in a speedboat. After a climactic chase, Bond manages to shoot down the helicopter's fuel tanks, sending it crashing onto Westminster Bridge, severely wounding Blofeld's leg and killing both his pilot and personal assistant. Blofeld tries to crawl away from the wreckage, but is held at gunpoint by an arriving Bond. Realizing that he can't escape alive and rather than begging for his life, Blofeld instead demands to be finished off, but Bond refuses to kill him, saying that he is out of bullets and knowing that doing so will only make him sink even lower than Blofeld. With that in mind, Bond throws away his gun and walks away with Swann, leaving Blofeld to be arrested and imprisoned by the British Secret Service for his crimes against humanity, which Blofeld seems to accept with resignation.
Blofeld was an unpredictable, dangerous, and utterly nefarious megalomaniac of the most diabolical kind. He was unbelievably resourceful, and could access vast amounts of weaponry, technology, organizations and illegal activities - in other words, he was able to create and control SPECTRE. He was an exceptionally calm and reserved person and addressed any and all problems with an insidiously relaxed attitude, even if he was helpless while being held at gunpoint.
He was also extremely intelligent, but in all of the worst ways. He was a master of psychological warfare and could intimidate people with his very presence. His intelligence made him an unbelievable strategist and enabled him to outwit practically any opponent; it also made him far-seeing and cunning to a fault, and he knew all of the details of his opponents' moves, right down to placing a bulletproof sheet of glass between him and James Bond in their final confrontation.
Blofeld was also intensely sadistic and malicious, describing himself to James Bond as "the author of all [his] pain". Throughout the film, he ruthlessly plays a number of cruel and elaborate games with James's mind concerning his past and the people he has lost his entire life - Vesper, M, his parents, etc. Blofeld also possessed little self-preservation, despite his sophisticated manner. Even when finally held at gunpoint by James, he over-confidently goaded him to pull the trigger, though James decided to spare him, knowing that he was not worth it.
- "It's funny...all that excitement in Mexico City rang a distant bell. And now, suddenly, this evening it made perfect sense. Welcome, James. It's been a long time...and, finally, here we are! What took you so long? Cuckoo!" - Blofeld's malevolent greeting to James Bond in the SPECTRE meeting at Rome
- "The Kartenhoff, the oldest in human possession. The very meteorite which made this crater. Think about it: so many years up there - alone, silent - building momentum until it chose to make its mark on Earth... a huge unstoppable force." - Blofeld comparing his power over SPECTRE to that of the meteorite he stored inside his North Africa facility
- "I can't tell you how much I've been looking forward to this. All of us here together, a reunion! I'm so glad you came too, dear Madeline.... you were just a girl when I saw you first. I came to your home once to see your father. Shall we?" - Blofeld meeting Bond and Madelline in the facility
- "Information is all, is it not? For example, you must know by now that the 00' program is officially dead, which leads me to speculate exactly why you came. So, James, why did you come? (Bond: I've come to kill you.) And I thought you came here to die (Bond: Well, it's all matter of perspective) Speaking of perspective..." - Blofeld confronts both Bond and Swann in the SPECTRE desert facility in Northern Africa
- "It's touching, don't you think?...Well, James, it looks like you're all alone." - Blofeld after seemingly closing the 00 section.
- "Whereas you couldn't see what's right in front of you. You came across me so many times and yet you never saw me... a nice pattern developed: you interfered with my world, I destroyed yours. Or did you think it was a coincidence all the women in your life ended up dead?" - Blofeld after Bond mocked him for being a visionary
- "This is important. I want you to understand something; The things that bring people together out of horror... beauty." - Blofeld moments before Bond is knocked out
- "Torture is easy, on a superficial level. A man can watch himself being disemboweled and derive great horror from the experience, but it's still going on at a distance. It isn't taking place where he is. As you know all too well, dear Madeleine, a man lives inside his head; that's where the seed of his soul is. James and I were both present recently when a man was deprived of his eyes and the most astonishing thing happened, didn't you notice? He wasn't there anymore. He had gone even though he was still alive, so this brief moment between life and death, there was nobody inside his skull. Most odd..." - Blofeld's speech while torturing Bond
- "You probably know that James here lost his parents when he was young. But did you know that it was my father who helped him through this difficult time? Over the course of two winters he taught him to ski and climb and hunt. He sewed the wounds of the poor little blue-eyed orphan, asked me to treat him as a brother... my little brother." - Blofeld revealing his past life with Bond to Swann
- "You know what happens when a cuckoo hatches inside another bird's nest? Well, this cuckoo made me realize my father's life had to end. Anyways is he responsible for the path I took. So thank you, cuckoo!" - Blofeld telling Swann of the true reason why he killed his father
- "If the needle finds the correct spot, you recognize no one! Of course the faces of your women changed a lot, eh James? You won't know who she is, just another passing face on your way to the grave." - Blofeld to Bond while torturing him
- "He dies not knowing who you are. The daughter of an assassin, the only one who could have understood him. Shame..." - Blofeld to Swann, before continuing his torture of Bond
- "Let's look around you, James. Look! This is what's left of your world. Everything you ever stood for, everything you believed in - a ruin!" - Blofeld to Bond in the destroyed MI6 headquarters
- "My wounds will heal... what about yours?" - Blofeld in his final showdown with Bond after the latter comments on his scar
- "I've really put you through it, haven't I? But, that's brothers for you; they always know which buttons to press." - Blofeld to Bond before pressing the explosives timer button
- "Goodbye, James Bond!" - Blofeld in his helicopter, believing Bond to have died while saving Swann from the rigged MI6 building
- This version of Blofeld differs from the original in that he has a closer connection to Bond, being his foster brother.
- Ironically enough, Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers series (who is a parody of Blofeld) was revealed to being Austin Powers' brother in the third film Austin Powers in Goldmember.
- It was speculated before the film's release that Christoph Waltz was to play Blofeld, though that rumor was denied by Waltz. However, he does play Blofeld in the film.
- Blofeld serves as the main antagonist of the entire reboot series (Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and Spectre), as he is the man responsible for assigning the Big Bads (Le Chiffre, Mr. White, Dominic Greene, and Raoul Silva) in their plots, using them all as pawns as part of his plan to wreak psychological pain on James Bond.
- His father, Hannes Oberhauser, first appeared in the short story Octopussy, as his death is the reason Bond gets involved in tracking down Dexter Smythe, the story's antagonist. However, Hannes and Blofeld were not related in the novel continuity.
- In order to create Blofeld's hideous facial scar, the film's producers used CGI.
- By far, he is the darkest version of Blofeld ever, as well as one of the two villains (and the only main villain) in the reboot series who are considered as Complete Monsters (the other is General Medrano). Also unlike the other main villains (who all die in the end), he is the only main villain to be arrested and taken into custody for his crimes.
- The scar Blofeld receives from Bond's exploding watch is a reference to a similar scar that Donald Pleasence's incarnation of Blofeld has in You Only Live Twice. However, unlike the former film, the origin of his disfigurement is not not only revealed but also shown on screen.
- Blofeld is similar to Loki from the Marvel Cinematic Universe; they are tremendously intelligent and enjoy antagonizing their foster brothers. However, unlike Loki (who shows some genuine care for his foster brother Thor), Blofeld holds total disdain towards his foster brother James Bond.
- Blofeld is also similar to Isaac Ray Peram Westcott from the Date A Live series. Both of them are sadistic leaders of terrorist organizations (Deus.Ex.Machina for Westcott and SPECTRE for Blofeld), both are non-action villains, both of them are nihilistic Complete Monsters, and both of them also take pleasure in torture.