No Time to Die ending explained: How Daniel Craig’s last James Bond movie wraps up

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No Time to Die

Daniel Craig’s final James Bond adventure has one heck of an ending.


You could say  is the Bond movie to end all Bond movies. Immediately  last month, the  closes Daniel Craig’s 15-year tenure as  with a bang (just don’t expect a post-credits scene).

“In Daniel Craig’s final outing as the suave superspy, James Bond finally gets a life,” Richard Trenholm said in , which is out now in the US and Australia. “The result is an epic, explosive and emotional swan song that throws everything it has against the wall for a genuinely unique entry in the series.” That’s especially true of the bold and unprecedented ending.

Let’s , but be warned: the following SPOILERS should be for your eyes only if you’ve seen the movie.

spoiler alert


Bioterrorist Lyutsifer Safin () drags Bond’s former lover Madeleine Swann () and her daughter Mathilde to his on an old World War II island base between Japan and Russia. Earlier, Madeleine insisted Mathilde wasn’t Bond’s kid, but those striking blue eyes suggest otherwise.

Madeleine’s father, the late Mr. White, killed Safin’s family on behalf of  when Safin was just a wee lad, so he killed Madeleine’s mother to get back at Mr. White. Madeleine got trapped under ice as she tried to escape this attack, but Safin saved her and became obsessed like a big weirdo.


Lyutsifer Safin brings some creepy villainy to the adventure.


Safin already forced her to take part in his scheme to wipe out Spectre with , a DNA-based bioweapon containing nanobots that target specific people. Bond unwittingly completes her mission to kill captive Spectre boss Ernst Stavro Blofeld (), as part of Safin’s revenge (cue maniacal laughter). But there’s more: from his base, Safin intends to launch Heracles globally, infecting millions (laughter intensifies).

Newly reinstated as 007, Bond and fellow 00 agent Nomi () infiltrate the island and seemingly succeed in opening the silo doors for a missile strike ordered by M () to wipe out Safin’s base. Nomi escapes with Madeleine and Mathilde, while Bond sticks around to make sure the base is destroyed.

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Bond’s fate

The silo doors start to close, so Bond rushes back to reopen them. Could it be a trap? It definitely is. 

Safin gets the drop on 007, shooting Bond several times and infecting him with nanobots coded to Madeleine’s DNA — meaning he can never touch her or Mathilde again without killing them. What a jerk.

Bond numbly executes Safin and re-opens the silo doors, but it’s clear he doesn’t have time to escape. Severely wounded, he climbs a ladder to the roof and calls Madeleine to tell her he loves her.


Bond and Madeleine Swann bring us on an emotional rollercoaster.


“You have all the time in the world,” he says.

“She does have your eyes,” she responds, confirming that Mathilde is his daughter.

“I know,” he says, as the missiles come down on the base. “I know.”

With that, Bond is enveloped in the explosions.

Wait, James Bond dies?

Yes, for the first time in the character’s (and ), 007 is killed. The movie’s title lied to us. It’s pretty definitive too; he’d been badly wounded by Safin and the missile strike wiped out the island. But the legendary spy also seemed at peace with his fate.

This comes after Bond became a father for the first time (that we know of) and seemed ready to settle down with Madeleine and Matilde, making it all the more devastating. Pardon me, I have something in my eye.


Daniel Craig’s James Bond: 2006-2021


What happens after his death?

Nomi returns to MI6 headquarters in London and M gathers her, Moneypenny, Tanner and Q (, and ) in an emotional toast to their late colleague during which M reads a quote from author Jack London.

“The proper function of man is to live, not to exist,” he says. “I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.”

This was previously used in Ian Fleming’s , appearing in Bond’s obituary when the world thought he’d died.

The final moments take us to the spectacular Italian mountainside city of Matera, where we met Madeleine and Bond at the start of the movie. This time, she’s driving with their daughter.

“Mathilde, I’m going to tell you a story about a man,” Madeleine says. “His name was Bond, James Bond.”

The credits roll, to the tune of Louis Armstrong’s .

How is that song significant?

Longtime Bond fans will recognize that We Have All the Time in the World from 1969’s , the sixth movie in the franchise and ‘s one and only outing in the role.

The title is darkly ironic — it’s taken from Bond’s final line after his new wife, Tracy, is fatally shot by Blofeld’s goon.