The Enigmatic Solitaire: Bond Girl, Psychic Medium, and a Tangled Web of Deceit
Solitaire, a captivating character possessing psychic abilities deeply rooted in voodoo traditions, initially finds herself in the employ of the enigmatic Dr. Kananga. As the story unfolds, she becomes entangled in a whirlwind romance with the iconic James Bond.
First introduced to the world in Ian Fleming’s 1954 novel Live and Let Die, Solitaire’s allure and mystique captured the imagination of readers. Her character was later brought to life on the silver screen in the 1973 film adaptation, where the talented Jane Seymour masterfully portrayed her.
Throughout her journey, Solitaire’s intriguing blend of spirituality, supernatural powers, and romantic entanglements make her an unforgettable Bond girl that continues to captivate audiences to this day.
Solitaire serves as a psychic medium for Dr. Kananga, using a set of tarot cards to assist him. She inherits her powers and position from her mother, but must remain a virgin to maintain her abilities. Solitaire’s psychic powers play a central role in the film as she predicts the course of events and Bond’s involvement.
Solitaire and Dr. Kananga are involved in various schemes, and through her cards she can see someone is coming to New York to investigate him. Kananga instructs Whisper to kill James Bond (played by Roger Moore) but ultimately he fails.
Bond then heads to Kananga’s Harlem restaurant Fillet O Soul, where he comes across Mr. Big, not knowing it is Kananga’s alter ego. Solitaire is there and Bond is intrigued by her tarot cards. Bond asks about his own future, and Solitaire predicts that he will not achieve his objective.
As she instructs him to select a card from the deck, Bond pulls out “The Lover” card and curiously utters “us?” This revelation visibly unsettles Solitaire as Mr. Big’s henchmen escort Bond out of the room.
Solitaire, Kananga, and Tee Hee head back to San Monique, and Kananga asks for another prediction. He is behind a wall and cannot see her pull out “The Lover” card, and so she lies to Kananga, telling him she’d drawn “Death” card, meaning Bond will likely die.
Now in San Monique, Bond breaks into Solitaire’s retreat, where he asks her to choose a card of his. She chooses “The Lover” and thinks its her destiny to be Bond’s lover, not knowing Bond had a deck full of “The Lover” cards.
They end up making love and because she has lost her virginity, Solitaire has also lost her psychic powers. From then on she chooses to help Bond in his investigation with Dr. Kananga.
In New Orleans, Kananga demands to know whether she has slept with Bond, and tricks her through the cards. He sends Bond to be killed at a crocodile farm and takes Solitaire back to San Monique and instructs Baron Samedi to kill her at a voodoo ritual for deceiving him.
Arriving in San Monique, Bond witnesses the voodoo ceremony in progress. Bound to an altar by her arms, Solitaire helplessly watches as a sinister Dambala taunts her with the same lethal snake that claimed Baines’ life earlier.
In the nick of time, before the snake can deliver its deadly bite, Bond disrupts the ceremony, and shoots Dambala and another henchman, before engaging in a fierce fight with Baron Samedi, and then rescuing Solitaire.
Bond and Solitaire then find their way to Dr. Kananga’s underground cave, but they’re both captured and tied on to a winch above a pool. Kananga then cuts Bond’s arm so blood drops into the pool, before opening the gate to let sharks in.
As they’re being lowered into the pool, Bond manages to free Solitaire and himself with his buzzsaw wristwatch before killing Whisper and Dr. Kananga.
With everybody seemingly killed now, Bond and Solitaire head off on a train journey together. Unbeknownst to them, Tee Hee, one of the survivors from Kananga’s downfall, has stealthily stowed away aboard the train in a postal service sack.
Later that night, is settling for the night on the bed, when Tee Hee intrudes and pushes the folding bed up with her in it. Bond then fights with Tee Hee, and throws him out of the window after this prosthetic claw is trapped. he then pulls the bed down, freeing Solitaire once again.
Jane Seymour OBE, born Joyce Penelope Wilhelmina Frankenberg on 15th February 1951, is an English actress, best known for her role as Solitaire in Bond 8, Live and Let Die.
She made her film debut in 1969 in Richard Attenborough’s Oh! What a Lovely War, followed by 1970 war drama The Only Way. This led to her biggest role as Bond girl, Solitaire in 1973 film Live and Let Die at the tender age of 22.
This role launched her into stardom and paved the way for her successful career in film and television. Throughout her career, Jane Seymour has received critical acclaim and awards, winning her first Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film for East of Eden in 1981.
She also won an Emmy Award for playing Maria Callas in the television movie Onassis: The Richest Man in the World in 1988. Seymour has also been nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for Captains and the Kings in 1976.
In addition to acting, Jane Seymour has also had a parallel career as a writer of self-help and inspirational books, including Jane Seymour’s Guide to Romantic Living and Two at a Time: Having Twins. She has also co-written several children’s books with her then-husband James Keach for the This One ‘N That One series.
In 2000, Jane Seymour was made the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) after being knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Solitaire – A Bond Girl of Mystique
Solitaire is a fascinating Bond girl with psychic abilities rooted in voodoo practices. First introduced in Ian Fleming’s novel and later portrayed by the talented Jane Seymour in the 1973 film adaptation, Solitaire has left an indelible mark on the James Bond universe.
Her complex nature, intriguing backstory and of course natural beauty have continued to captivate Bond fans, and is regularly voted among the most popular Bond girls throughout the series.