Splinter Cell Wiki
Splinter Cell Wiki

"The bomb... Stop it... Take them all out if you must... Whatever... it takes..."
― Irving Lambert's last words to Sam Fisher.[src]

Irving Lambert (1961–2008), was a United States Army colonel, Director of Third Echelon, Operations Coordinator of the "Splinter Cell" program and the primary handler during Sam Fisher's time at Third Echelon. While in the position, his role was to guide Fisher through each mission over the cochlear implant radio, providing him with information such as critical updates, objective changes, and enemy status. He was also one of Sam's closest friends.


Early life

Irving Lambert was born in 1961 in Bat Cave, North Carolina. Not much is known or revealed of his early life other than that he served in the United States Army, where he rose to the rank of Colonel. Lambert became involved in the intelligence community as a young man, rising quickly in rank and responsibility. He was in the Persian Gulf for the months leading up to Operation Desert Storm, coordinating SIGINT and running double agents. A former administrator of the NSA, Lambert moved on to Third Echelon where he was given the role of Operations Coordinator, answering to the Third Echelon Director, which he would later be promoted to. He also spearheaded the ambitious "Splinter Cell" program, which under his command resulted in several impressive successes, due in large part to the involvement of Lambert’s subordinate and best friend Sam Fisher (who Lambert personally recruited). Lambert was a popular and well-connected man in Washington, D.C. though minimally trusted and never publicly acknowledged.

1999: NATO bombings of Yugoslavia

Note: Information from Essentials contains retcons/anachronisms to other games in the series (see Notes).

In February 1999, during NATO bombing campaign in Yugoslavia, Lambert assists Sam Fisher in destroying SAM missiles which had been supplied to the Serbs. As well as leading Sam to the Serbs' hideout, to destroy the missile launcher there and find evidence showing how the Russians were supplying the weapons.[12]

2003: Checkmate

2004: Georgian Information Crisis

SplinterCell 2013-03-09 22-42-15-86.png

Lambert activates Sam Fisher for his first mission for Third Echelon's Splinter Cell program. He assists Sam through various missions in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, United States, Myanmar, and Russia during Third Echelon's inaugural operation. Both Sam and Lambert have grown a better friendship during the crisis due to the nature of the incident.

2005: Babylon Phoenix Crisis

2006: Operation Barracuda/MRUUV Incident

Crisis with Indonesia/Biological Warfare

Lambert again aids Sam during the events in Indonesia as Third Echelon tries to stop a renegade terrorist Suhadi Sadono. All the while trying to prevent a catastrophe from being unleashed in America with the use of smallpox.

2007: Cyber Attacks and Crisis in East Asia

Lambert aids Fisher during the Cyber Attacks and East Asian Crisis in 2007. All the while, Lambert tries to persuade the U.S. government from attacking North Korea. Lambert uses diplomacy to avert a nuclear war as Sam was able to neutralize the threat.

2008: Fallout

2008: JBA Crisis/Red Mercury Incident

Version 1

Lambert awaits his fate.

After giving the news of Sarah's death to Sam, Lambert relieved him from active duty so that he could deal with his depression. He later offered Sam the opportunity to go undercover as a convicted felon in a federal penitentiary and befriend inmate Jamie Washington, in order to infiltrate a domestic terrorist organization that Washington was a member of known as John Brown's Army (JBA), founded and led by Emile Dufraisne. But toward the end of the operation, Lambert was captured by the JBA after Jamie found him inside the compound. Dufraisne gave Sam a gun and ordered him to kill Lambert under Jamie's supervision, before leaving the room. Sam reluctantly complied and shot Lambert, though he was able to give Fisher his last orders to stop the detonation of the JBA's nuclear device by any means necessary before passing out. Sam then told Lambert to "hang on." (The player is given the choice to fire at Jamie during this part by aiming to the right. Lambert survives, but this choice does not affect the main storyline, because in Splinter Cell: Conviction it is stated that Sam fired at Lambert).

File:Splinter Cell Double Agent-Sam kills Lambert HD


Version 2

After giving news of Sarah's death to Sam, Lambert relieved him from active service so that he could deal with his depression. He later offered Sam the opportunity to go undercover as a convicted felon in a federal penitentiary and befriend inmate Jamie Washington, in order to infiltrate a domestic terrorist organization that Washington was a member of known as John Brown's Army (JBA), founded and led by Emile Dufraisne. Unfortunately, Sam returns from Kinshasa to find that Lambert had been captured (probably due to an anonymous email to Emile in Okhotsk blowing Lambert's cover, possibly being sent by Williams). Lambert's fate is determined by means of a computer in the bunker of the JBA. Sam hacks into it and uploads "Lambert-related information." Here, the player has the option to confirm Lambert's identity for JBA trust, in which Lambert is killed, or to confirm Lambert's cover, which will set Lambert free, though wounded. If the latter choice is chosen, Williams will tell Sam that he is "expected to recover," though no knowledge of his state is mentioned for the rest of the game. 

2009: The Fisher Investigation

Sam is captured by the NSA, and interrogated over the death of Irving Lambert. Sam is forced to explain what really happened.

2011: Third Echelon Conspiracy

While infiltrating Third Echelon's headquarters, Fisher interrogated Andriy Kobin in Tom Reed's office. He told Sam to ask Anna "Grim" Grímsdóttir about Sarah's death as she knew the whole story. Sam contacted Grim via video communication and asked her to tell him the truth. Grim then played an audio recording Lambert made in his office before his death in New York three years ago.


Splinter Cell Conviction - The Truth About Lambert


As Operations Coordinator of Third Echelon, Lambert was the link between 'on the job' field agents and Third Echelon's support team of researchers, hackers, strategists and field runners. While an agent was in the field, he was constantly in contact with them via subdermal microchips and a cochlear implant. Lambert had been Sam’s handler on several tough assignments, from his very first mission during the Georgian Information Crisis to his latest mission as an undercover agent during the JBA Crisis in 2008. The two had formed a deep bond over the years. After Sam lost his daughter, Sarah, Lambert attempted to refocus Sam's attention by assigning him to "the most dangerous mission of his career." During the course of the mission, Lambert put himself dangerously at risk by entering the field to support Fisher on-site as his unofficial "field runner."

A professional, Lambert had a cold and no-nonsense attitude towards objectives. But he also displayed a certain disdain for foul play - such as torture, unnecessary violence, and corruption.  


Appearances in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell media




  • Irving Lambert was Sam Fisher's best friend, implied by Sam and confirmed explicitly by Victor Coste.
    • Although Lambert will sometimes insult Sam if he failed the objective or killed a Civilian or Friendly troop.
  • Despite looking older than Sam, Lambert was four years younger than him.
  • Lambert's voice actor remains the same except in Pandora Tomorrow and flashback mission in Essentials; which are basically ported version of Pandora Tomorrow missions.
  • Although the game manuals stated that Lambert is 6′2″, he was the same height as Sam in the "Training" level of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell and shorter than Sam in Version 1 of Splinter Cell: Double Agent (which was an error by Ubisoft).
  • In the manual of Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, Lambert's place of birth was incorrectly stated as "Batcave, South Carolina".
  • According to the manual for Essentials, Lambert recruited both Sam Fisher and Anna Grímsdóttir into Third Echelon in the 1990s.[13] He appears during the 1999 NATO bombings of Yugoslavia Third Echelon mission issuing orders.
  • Essentials show two versions of Lambert's death, one as gameplay and the other within a cutscene.
  • Sam is given the option of sparing Lambert in Version 1 of Double Agent, while in Essentials killing him is the only option.
  • Lambert had a head of hair in both Double Agent games even though he was balding in all the previous games.
    • In Version 2 of Double Agent, Sam has the option of enhancing Lambert's cover as an arms dealer, which leads to Lambert being roughed up by Dufraisne and Moss but not killed, or exposing Lambert as a government agent, leading to Carson Moss shooting Lambert and Sam disposing of his body in a dumpster during a cutscene.
  • Lambert's death was not explicitly verified as canon until the release of Splinter Cell: Conviction.[6]
    • Two versions of Lambert's death are shown during the game's various cinematics and he is shot with either a Beretta 92FS[14] or a Luger P08 (as in Double Agent). In a cinematic narrated by Victor Coste at the beginning of the game, Lambert is shown being shot with a Beretta 92FS. Another cutscene in the elevator shows Sam having a flashback to being handed the Luger P08 and shooting Lambert (taken from the Xbox 360/Windows/PlayStation 3 version of Double Agent). Lambert's death is also portrayed with him either dying in his chair, or the chair falling over. It can be assumed that the cutscene discrepancies are due to Victor Coste not knowing the exact details of Lambert's death.
    • In Essentials, Sam has no choice but to kill Lambert with his Five-seveN, or Emile and Moss will attack him, causing mission failure.
  • All of Lambert's appearances in Essentials, Double Agent Version 2 and Conviction are in flashbacks.


  • Essentials are part of the series,[15][16] however, the game contradicts the events of Double Agent. Conviction states that Sam shot Lambert in New York yet in Essentials, he kills him in New Orleans.

See also


  1. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent (Version 2) (2006), Xbox/PlayStation 2/GameCube/Wii.
    From: M Lenn
    To: E Dufraisne
    Date: 2008-12-02
    Subject: Equipment

    Emile, I've received another shipment of really hot gear. Super high tech government stuff. My guy on the inside calls himself Wilkes, so if something happens to me you know who to go after. Let me know if you want it. As always you'll get it at half price.
  2. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent (Version 2) (2006), Xbox/PlayStation 2/GameCube/Wii.
    From: Anonymous
    To: E Dufraisne
    Date: 2008-12-20
    Subject: Wolves among the sheep

    Mr Dufraisne. You don't know me, but by now, I surely know you. Who I am, you will never find out. But, you might be interested to know that your organization has been infiltrated in more ways than one. Revealing to you any specifics would betray my identity, but let me give you a clue and let's see what you'll do with it. Met any weapons dealers named Wilkes lately? What if I told you this man died several years ago? Good hunting.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 [1] ubisoft.custhelp.com, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell PC manual, page 4
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 [2] ubisoft.custhelp.com, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow PC manual, page 3
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 [3] meekeo.com (video game directory), Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent PC manual, page 4
  6. 6.0 6.1 Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction
    "And his agency killed him [Sam Fisher]. It set him up and turned him loose, and told him to pull the trigger on his best friend in a dirty New York city basement. Irving Lambert died by Sam's hand that day, and so did Sam."
    Victor Coste
  7. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Essentials
  8. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
    Grim: "That's the last microphone, Fisher. Otomo will be happy"
    Sam: "Otomo doesn't seem like the happy type."
    Grim: "Ah… it's just that old samurai zanshin…he's really nice in person."
    Sam: "Hmm…I've heard people say the same thing about Lambert…"
    Grim: "What does that mean? Lambert's nice…"
    Sam: "How many of his ex-wives have you spoken to?"
  9. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent (Version 2), Xbox/PlayStation 2/Wii
    Sam: "If it was your son Lambert what would you do?"
    Lambert: "I'll call you."
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory PC manual, page 4
  11. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction PC manual, pp 5
    "The new head of Third Echelon, Tom Reed has a very clear idea as to what the agency should be doing to protect the United States. Relentless, efficient, and energetic, Reed has revitalized Third Echelon and extended its reach in ways his predecessor never would have imagined – or been willing to do. Then again, Irving Lambert was the man who brought Tom Reed into Third Echelon, a decision with consequences that still echo years later."
    ― {{{2}}}
  12. Mission 4 (1/3), Mission 4 (2/3), Mission 4 (3/3)
  13. "Lambert personally recruited Fisher into Third Echelon and has acted as something of a mentor to the maverick agent ever since", "...One of the first agents recruited into Third Echelon in the 1990s...", "Anna Grímsdóttir was a civilian computer programmer and communications specialist in the mid-1990s when Irving Lambert recruited her into Third Echelon."
  14. http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Splinter_Cell:_Conviction#Beretta_92FS
  15. [4]
  16. [5]