Friday, March 6, 2009

James Bond is... Corwin of Amber?

A bit of explanation for those of you who aren't familiar with "Corwin" or "Amber": Roger Zelazny created "The Chronicles of Amber", a series of stories about a fairly traditional royal family in that there are a lot of them ("There had been fifteen brothers and six were dead. There had been eight sisters and two were dead, possibly four."), the patriarch is frequently absent, imperious and usually what we normal folk would call "borderline abusive". Given that the father ("King Oberon" a.k.a. Oberon Barimen) calls himself "King of the Universe", this should come as no particular surprise, except for one salient fact: it happens to be true.
Amber is the one real world; all the infinite alternate possibilities are but Shadows. Those heirs to the blood of Oberon are granted physical and mental powers beyond the limits of lesser beings, not the least of which is near-immortality, which allows them to walk the Pattern and thus gain the power to move through Shadow. Worlds of literally any description await those of the Blood, for any purpose.
Corwin, after an argument with his elder full brother Eric, was wounded in a duel, dragged through Shadow, and left for dead on Shadow Earth. Our Earth. During the Plague Years in London, where he was infected... and survived, but suffered amnesia for the next four hundred years.
As a somewhat inevitable consequence of a scion of Amber remaining in a particular Shadow for extended periods of time, Corwin may have spontaneously generated a Shadow of himself therein, perhaps more than once. Consider his Trump (compressed for brevity):

Note the short, dark hair and dour expression that nevertheless means business. Now consider this sketch of Mr. Bond:... and compare both to this image of Hoagy Carmichael, considered to be a visual inspiration for Mr. Bond:

A curious similarity, don't you think? Especially considering how Mr. Bond has a demonstrated tendency to not fight fairly and to survive the most appalling damages and just keep going...