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The Big Clue Everyone Missed Early In Skyfall

Through ups and downs, good days and bad days, "Goldfinger" and "The Man With The Golden Gun," the James Bond franchise has covered a wider swath of vibes than arguably any other series in the history of film. One minute, a pigeon is doing a hilarious double take when it sees Roger Moore driving a tasseled hoverboat through the streets of Venice. The next, Timothy Dalton is setting a guy on fire and watching him burn to death.

2012's "Skyfall" skyfell somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. The third entry in the Daniel Craig age of 007 adventures balanced old Bond and new, putting our hero behind the wheel of a Connery-era Aston Martin DB5 and bringing Q back into the fold while also making time for gruesome bloodshed. Most astonishingly — spoilers — Judi Dench's M, a beloved mainstay since 1995, was killed during the "Home Alone" segment of the film's third act, making way for Ralph Fiennes's Mallory to return MI6 to the wood paneled aesthetic of its Cold War heyday.

We say that M's death was astonishing, but in the years since "Skyfall's" release, fans have pointed out that there may have been a blatant clue pointing to her passing in the movie's opening moments. Like, immensely blatant. Pretty much as on-the-nose as you can get.

Skyfall tried to warn us that M was in trouble

Look to the trippy title sequence of "Skyfall" with a keen eye and you'll notice an ever-so-subtle detail. Dame Judi Dench's name appears on screen at the same time that the montage moves through a bleak and dreamlike graveyard, an area generally — and this is true — associated with human mortality. According to some fans, this should have been our first clue that M would be going to that great foreign intelligence service in the sky by the time the end credits rolled.

But that's not all. Turn an inquisitive eye to the rest of the visuals in "Skyfall's" stunning opening titles and you'll notice lots of other nods to the plot beats that follow. Like remember how in the third act of the movie, James Bond gets dragged into a surreal underwater cave by a giant hand and floats through a dreamscape of naked ladies and blood-spewing firing range targets featuring his own face? Get this — the same thing happens during the opening credits. Man, that movie really gave the game away up front when you think about it.