If you ask me Skyfall is the best James Bond film I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen them all, even the painful Roger Moore films. When I first saw Skyfall and saw the message mentioned in the author’s article that was my immediate conclusion as well. Though I did not consider the message an anagram, but rather a message conveying a personal code that M would instantly understand.
What gave me the most vital clue about the M-Silva relationship was how Silva kept calling her, “Mommy,” and how often M remarked upon the relationship with her agents in a far more than merely professional sense.
What I think the author did in his article however was a superb job of both detective work and of cryptoanalysis (of the clue and plot point) and I agree with his conclusions. Though of course it’s not really cryptoanalysis, even with the missing key, it is more a personal coding (M should understand the personal code immediately because their shared experience is the key – it would be an unknown code to others but a private shared code to her) or as the author states, an anagram encoding. If the editors intentionally downplayed the clue then in my opinion they did so because they didn’t want to diretcly explain or talk down to the audience about the possible implications. I think the film-makers were more than happy to let the audience draw their own conclusions, and rightfully so.
(I had drawn the same conclusion as the author of this piece, though for different reasons – and I think the Daniel Craig Bond is far more sophisticated and tries to be far more like a real field agent than the previous and mostly cartoon incarnations of the Bond intelligence agent – though he is still far too much a “superhero” than a real man or an actual agent. Though the Timothy Dalton Bond was usually a very good Bond as well.)
Anyway, kudos to Mr. Carter. A sharp piece of detective work and plot clue analysis. I recommend his article.
“The key anagram is the cryptic message Silva sends to M shortly before all mayhem breaks loose: “THINK ON YOUR SINS.” The language is so highly stylized that I was certain, from the time the words appeared on the screen of M’s laptop, that there was a message hidden within. In the car on the way home after the film ended, I was already scribbling anagrams on a piece of paper. But I couldn’t solve it, even with the help of the Internet Anagram Server, until I remembered three bizarre aspects of the movie. (Here are the spoilers.) ”