|First appearance:||From Russia, with Love|
|Last appearance:||From Russia, with Love|
Tatiana Romanova is a Soviet corporal who was recruited by SMERSH to seduce James Bond.
Tatiana Romanova is introduced as a corporal in Soviet Army Intelligence, assigned to work in the Soviet Embassy in Istanbul as a cipher clerk. Her superiors, in connection with a SMERSH, plan to sow dissent in the intelligence community by murdering and discrediting a significant figure in western intelligence. This was to be achieved by the murder of James Bond.
Her commanding officer is Rosa Klebb who manipulates her into believing that she is on an important mission for her country, when she is in fact merely a pawn in the terrorist organization's latest bid to destroy the British Secret Service.
In a fearful interview with Klebb, Romanova is informed that she has been selected at random for a most important assignment, one which promises promotion, on completion of the mission, to the rank of Captain of State Security. The task was to seduce Bond into taking her back to England to spread misinformation when questioned. After the questioning, she would be sent to Canada and be rescued by KGB agents who would bring back to Moscow. During her interrogation by Klebb it is noted that she has had three previous lovers.
However, unbeknownst to Tania, SMERSH plans to have her deliver a booby-trapped cypher machine (the Spector) and be murdered as part of an elaborate sex scandal. Her superiors, in connection with SMERSH, plan to sow dissent in the intelligence community by murdering and discrediting a significant figure in western intelligence. This was to be achieved by the murder of James Bond.
Romanova is a very dedicated woman, loyal to her country and eager to participate in what she believes is an important mission. After being told that her life depends on accepting the mission, she receives her briefing, a "true labor of love", according to Klebb. These events are followed by a bizarre scene where Klebb asks Romanova to come close to her, after having put on a pink negligee, to which Romanova responds by simply bursting out of Klebb's chambers in a desperate run.
Once in Istanbul, she contacts Darko Kerim and tells him her plans: she would willingly defect from the Soviet Union and take with her the precious SPEKTOR only if Bond assisted the operation. She claimed that she had fallen in love with the man from a picture she had seen in a secret file and wanted to live with him.
Both M and Bond believe this to be a trap, but the prize is valuable enough to go for it. They react just as the main instigator of the plot, chess champion Kronsteen, had predicted. Bond then flies to Istanbul and contacts Kerim, spending several days there, waiting for contact. After a riot at a Gypsy camp, Bond returns to his hotel room and finds Romanova walking across the room and getting into his bed, wearing only a black velvet choker and black stockings. They make love, but are secretly filmed by Klebb's minions via a one-way mirror. This tape is explicitly planned to be used to embarrass MI6.
The next day Romanova meets Bond onboard the Orient Express, bringing with her the booby-trapped Spector machine she had been given by the Resident Director. The train then departs for Paris. As a part of Kronsteen's strategy, SMERSH's chief executioner Donovan 'Red' Grant had boarded the train and murdered Bey. Bond contacts Grant, who is pretending to be an agent named Nash. After sedating Romanova, Nash's identity is revealed to Bond, who then fights Grant in their train room. Bond finally defeats the murderer.
It is unclear as to what ultimately becomes of Tatiana in the novel as, after being drugged by Grant, she never makes a reappearance except in a passing mention. It is presumed that she has been taken into custody by the British and then released with political asylum, rather than be killed that was to be part of the plan according to Klebb.
Unlike other Bond girls Tatiana has had sexual experience before meeting Bond. She tells Rosa Klebb that she has had intercourse with three different men. She apparently styled her hair after Swedish born actress Greta Garbo.