- "Me. It was all me, James. Its always been me. The author of all your pain."
- ― Franz Oberhauser to Bond
Ernst Stavro Blofeld, born Franz Oberhauser, is the fictional founder and head of the global criminal organisation SPECTRE. Loosely based on the literary character created by Ian Fleming, Blofeld is the primary antagonist of EON Productions' 2015 James Bond film Spectre and was portrayed by Austrian-German actor Christoph Waltz. He was the last of seven men to play the iconic role of Blofeld on screen.
Re-invented for the Daniel Craig continuity of James Bond films (2006-2015), Waltz's Blofeld is the foster brother of 007 and the leader of SPECTRE, which is bent on controlling global surveillance through the "Nine Eyes" programme. In addition, the film explicitly links Blofeld with the activities of Bond's antagonists since 2006's Casino Royale, including Le Chiffre, Dominic Greene, and Raoul Silva.
Born as Franz Oberhauser in 1960, he was the son of Trudi Blofeld-Oberhauser and her husband Hannes Oberhauser, the man responsible for raising the young James Bond following the death of his parents, Andrew Bond and Monique Delacroix, in a climbing accident. Franz grew jealous of his father's increasingly close relationship with Bond, even showing physical disgust when his father insist he call James his brother.
After James left and joined the Royal Navy, seventeen years prior to the events of Spectre, Franz and his father were involved in an avalanche in which both of them were thought to be killed. It was later revealed that the resentful Franz had murdered his father and staged his own death. Subsequently adopting the name Ernst Stavro Blofeld (taken from his mother's maiden name), Franz disappeared, only to re-emerge as the leader of the shadowy terrorist organization known as SPECTRE.
Rising to Power
In time, Blofeld rose to become the head of the vast but highly secretive SPECTRE criminal organisation and as such was the architect of many of the events of Bond's life in the 00 Section, claiming to be responsible for the actions of Le Chiffre, Dominic Greene, Raoul Silva, the entire Quantum organization, as well as the deaths of Vesper Lynd and the former head of MI6, M. After the failure of several Quantum operations, Blofeld decided it was time for SPECTRE to take action; using JSS's Max Denbigh (who in reality was a SPECTRE puppet), Blofeld orchestrated a series of global terrorist attacks in order to drum up interest in Denbigh's proposed global surveillance initiative, "Nine Eyes". In return SPECTRE would be given unlimited access to intelligence gathered by the system. Around the same time, Quantum was absorbed into SPECTRE and Marco Sciarra, a SPECTRE assassin, was tasked with murdering Mr. White, the former head of Quantum. After Bond killed Sciarra in Mexico City, he attended his funeral, where he spots Blofeld there as well, though only briefly. Once Blofeld realized Bond was onto him, he saw an opportunity to achieve both of his goals at once; take over the world's surveillance network, and to finally kill the 00 agent.
Reunion with Bond
- "Welcome, James. It's been a long time... and, finally, here we are! What took you so long?"
- ― Blofeld greets 007 at the meeting
After getting information on SPECTRE from Lucia, the widow of former SPECTRE member Marco Sciarra, Bond infiltrates a SPECTRE meeting in Rome. During the meeting, a member, Guerra, is strangled by another member Mr. Hinx and Blofeld calls out to Bond, revealing that he had known that he was there the whole time. Bond tries to escape after recognizing Blofeld as an old acquaintance, but is attacked, and during the commotion, Blofeld escapes.
After evading a pursuit by Mr. Hinx Bond is led to Madeleine Swann via information from her father, Mr. White. At first Madeleine wants nothing to do with Bond after learning of her father's death, but soon decides to help him after he saves her from Mr. Hinx and several other SPECTRE agents. She leads Bond to a safe house containing information of SPECTRE's Saharan headquarters. Bond and Madeleine get on a train headed for an abandoned station, which leads to the hideout, but get into yet another fight with Hinx. Fortunately they dispense with him for good this time by tying him to several iron barrels and ejecting him from the train car. Bond and Madeleine then are taken to the base and, after a formal reception, are taken as prisoners.
Torturing Bond and disfigurement
- "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 reveals his new identity to Bond
Blofeld meets up with Bond yet again to taunt him on his failures. After Blofeld reveals his plan, he plays a tape of Madeleine's father killing himself using Bond's gun in order to sway her to his side. Bond tries to attack Blofeld, but is knocked out by an henchman.
Bond wakes up strapped to a surgical chair. Blofeld tells Madeleine the story of Mr. Hinx gouging out Guerra's eyes, stating that although he was alive, after losing his eyes he was no longer there. The mastermind declares his intention to do the same to Bond by first drilling into the fusiform gyrus in his brain, depriving him of the ability to recognize faces, and then his visual cortex, blinding him completely. Swann testifies of the torture, to his great dismay. Luckily, she uses Q's exploding watch to disorient and disfigure Blofeld and free Bond. After they make their escape, the facility explodes and Bond and Madeleine escape back to England to stop the "Nine Eyes" program from being launched.
- "I've really put you through it, haven't I? Oh, that's brothers for you; they always know which buttons to press."
- ― Blofeld to Bond before triggering the detonator timer.
Back in London, Denbigh races to get the "Nine Eyes" surveillance program online. On their way to the MI5 building to arrests him and stop the putting online to the program, Bond, M, Bill Tanner, Q and Eve Moneypenny are ambushed by several SPECTRE agents, who abduct Bond and take him to the ruins of the old SIS Building. Bond kills two mens and works his way inside to find Blofeld, on the other side of bullet-proof glass with a scarred right face side and a pure white, lame eye, which he got during Bond's escape. Bond sarcastically comments about the scar but Blofeld states that, as opposed to Bond's, his scar will heal. Blofeld then reveals that he has abducted Madeleine and has hidden her somewhere inside the building, which is set to explode in 3 minutes, enough time for Denbigh's program to go online, but gives Bond a choice before escaping; die trying to save Madeleine or escape and live with the pain and guilt for the rest of his life. Blofeld then enters a helicopter which hovers over the river Thames to allow him to watch James trying to save her. While he searches for her, Denbigh is confronted by M and Q, the latter of whom manages to hack into and shut down the "Nine Eyes" program. Meanwhile, M fights with Denbigh. They struggle over a gun which goes off, shattering an outside window. The resulting gush of wind throws Denbigh off balance and he falls out the window to his death. Meanwhile, Bond (having been inadvertently given a clue by the presence of Blofeld's helicopter) finds and frees Madeleine and they escape the building into the River Thames, just before the building is destroyed.
- "Finish it, FINISH IT!!"
- ― Blofeld demanding Bond kill him.
Believing Bond to be dead, Blofeld then escapes by helicopter, unaware that Bond is following him in a speed boat. After chasing him down, Bond shoots the helicopter's fuel tank, sending it crashing down onto Westminster bridge, and killing both Blofeld's right-hand man and pilot in processus. Blofeld, who received a shrapnel injury to his leg, attempts to crawl away from the scene only to be confronted by Bond. When Bond aims his gun at Blofeld, he tells Bond to kill him, showing that even in the face of death, Blofeld feels he has the upper hand. However, Bond refuses, stating that he is out of bullets (after unloading his gun in front of Blofeld) and not wanting to stoop to Blofeld's level of evil. Bond says that he has something better to do as he leaves with Madeleine, leaving Blofeld to be arrested by the British Secret Service for his crimes against humanity, to which Blofeld accepts with resignation.
Blofeld is an unpredictable, dangerous and an utterly ruthless 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 a gun was trained on him.
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. His genius 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 your pain'. Throughout the film, he plays 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. When finally held at gunpoint by 007, he overconfidently goaded his opponent to pull the trigger.
Henchmen & Associates
- This version of Blofeld differs from the original in that he has a closer connection to Bond, being his foster brother.
- This portrayal of Blofeld and General Koskov are the two only main vilains to be arrested at the end of the film.
- In a scene from an earlier draft of Spectre, it was revealed that in the 1990's, Oberhauser, having changed his name to Ernst Stavro Blofeld became part of a battalion of the French Foreign Legion called 'Les Spectre de St. Pierre' in Morocco. A fellow member of this battalion was the man who would later become known as Mr. White, and who would also become a member of Spectre. It is implied that the platoon was already involved in criminal dealings. At some point there was a sandstorm and Blofeld and White were left for dead by the rest of the battalion with eight fellow soldiers, without rations, in the middle of the desert. Blofeld killed the other eight men in the night, leaving only White alive to help him to get to and carry the 'food' (the eighth dead soldier). After the sandstorm was over, Blofeld, with White's assistance, developed the shadowy terrorist organization named after his legion, SPECTRE.
- A character called Franz discovered the frozen corpse of Hannes Oberhauser at the beginning of the 1967-68 comic adaptation of "Octopussy" in the Daily Express, written by Jim Lawrence and drawn by Yaroslav Horak.
- In an interview with British GQ in April 2015, Christoph Waltz stated that his character is "definitely not" Ernst Stavro Blofeld in any form. This turned out to be a ruse devised by the studio to maintain an air of mystery surrounding the film.
- This marks the first time that the origin of Blofeld's trademark facial scar is revealed. The filmakers used in CGI Technology Animation in order to create Blofeld's hideous scar.
- The scar he receives midway through the film is a call-back to Donald Pleasence's portrayal of the character. His headquarters inside an isolated desert crater are also reminiscent of Blofeld's headquarters inside a dormant volcano in You Only Live Twice.
- Like the incarnations of Blofeld played by Donald Pleasence, Telly Savalas and Charles Gray, Christoph Waltz's Blofeld wears a jacket without lapels and possesses a white Persian cat, though the animal is only briefly shown.
- It is implied that Blofeld agreed to aid Silva in his objective of killing M, not only due to her knowledge regarding SPECTRE agent, Marco Sciarra, but also for the sheer delight of inflicting misery upon Bond.
- It is implied that he was also Nicole's mysterious and wrathful employer who was behind the events of Blood Stone.
- Unlike most Bond villains (who all die in the end), Blofeld is the only main villain to be arrested and taken into custody for his crimes. General Koskov was also arrested, but is implied to be executed. Franz Sanchez is also arrested but he escapes.
- In the film, he was born as Franz Oberhauser, but decided to reject this name and to call himself 'Ernst Stavro Blofeld'.
- Blofeld is the second Bond villain to be called Franz. The first being Franz Sanchez.
- Upon the film's release, Waltz received critical acclaim for his acting and performance as Blofeld.