A Study in Music: A Johnlock-Based Analysis of Irene Adler’s Theme and John and Mary’s Waltz from B.B.C. Sherlock
19 April 2016
Upon first hearing Irene Adler’s Theme and Mary and John’s Waltz in juxtaposition, a
listener may first notice that both pieces are solo violin pieces without any
further accompaniment. This has begged the question as to whether these two
pieces complement each other in regards to Sherlock Holmes’ true feelings. To the
Johnlock Conspiracy fan, these true feelings revolve specifically around
Sherlock’s lifelong partner, John Watson. The answer is Yes. These two pieces,
being written by Sherlock in order to “[help] me think”, are both written during
periods in which Sherlock is under high stress. Irene’s Theme is written after Sherlock identifies Irene, who he
has seen as a valuable opponent in a game of intellectual prowess, as a corpse
in the morgue of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital. However, Sherlock is not writing a
sad piece as a forlorn lover of a woman he barely knew (having expressed in A Study in Pink that girlfriends are “not
really my area”), but for the unexpected death of someone who he respected and
admired for her intellect. While in the Morgue, Sherlock and his older brother,
Mycroft, observe nearby mourners, with Sherlock stating, “Look at
them. They all care so much. Do you ever wonder if there’s something wrong with
us?” To this, Mycroft replies, “All lives end; all hearts are broken. Caring is
not an advantage, Sherlock.” Sherlock’s lack of emotional response to Irene’s
death shows that he held no romantic attachment to her, unlike his reactions to
John’s state of well-being, which include his rush to remove the bomb-stuffed
jacket John wears at the pool in The
Great Game. Sherlock sees Irene as a worthy opponent, but he is not romantically
attracted to her. She better serves as a mirror to his homosexuality. More
information can be found in Rebekah’s T.J.L.C. explained series at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKUQWjx8aGnCmXgfAlqiuMg.
The other piece Sherlock writes is John and Mary’s Waltz in The Sign of Three. Like Irene Adler’s Theme, this piece is
written by a heartbroken man who is under a great deal of stress. Sherlock
composes this piece during John and Mary’s wedding preparations, a time in
which Sherlock is distressed over the idea that he and John may not be spending
as much time together. Mary and John discuss this while Sherlock incessantly folds
napkins in the adjoining room: Mary starts by blatantly stating that Sherlock
is terrified of the idea of her and John’s wedding. “Why would he be scared
that we’re getting married? It’s not going to change anything. We’ll still do
stuff,” John says. Mary replies, “We need to prove it to him. I told you to
find him a new case.” Although Sherlock’s fears are alleviated throughout the
episode with the case of the Mayfly Man, his heartbreak is evident in his terror
of John’s marriage and his performance of John
and Mary’s Waltz.
These two pieces incite feelings of
sorrow, heartbreak, and rejection. Irene Adler’s
Theme, written in D minor, is written in the ¾ time of a waltz, just like John and Mary’s Waltz. Irene Adler’s Theme is slurred in a
similar fashion, with the notes linking together and the measures clipping off
in sections. The pieces differ beyond that, but these differences reflect
Sherlock’s changing feelings of rejection. At the time when Sherlock composes Irene Adler’s Theme, Sherlock’s emotions
are much less stable than they become later in the series. He believes one of
his most worthy opponents is dead and that John will never consider him as a
love interest. This combination causes his emotions to fluctuate and break one
another, just as the melody flows, then seems to interrupt itself. Sherlock’s
mind wanders alongside his desperation to believe that John loves
him, but Sherlock’s heart cracks and his mind stalls at the possibility that
John does not.
and Mary’s Waltz portrays a differing, yet similar mood. Although written
in the key of C major, the piece has a slow and somber tone to it. As Sherlock
plays this piece at John and Mary’s wedding, he watches John and Mary dance
together. At the end of the piece, he leaves the sheet music on the stand
before him in an envelope addressed to John and Mary, neither of whom know how
to play an instrument, neither of whom would have any need for violin sheet
music. Sherlock has no logical reason to leave the sheet music behind, but his
motives are proven completely sentimental when he leaves the wedding early,
tightly wrapping his coat around him with the collar turned up like a shield
against his emotional onslaught. The Waltz
itself is long, drawn, and, although less so than Irene’s Theme, clipped. The piece is consistent, almost dragging,
representing Sherlock’s self-control at having to perform a piece for the man
he loves and the wife that man has chosen. At its climax, however, it
crescendos and rises in pitch, expressing a tonal prominence that can only be
described as mournful. The piece sinks from this high point, and the sense of
longing, of wishing that he had confessed when he had had the chance, is
palpable in the melody. The piece ends on the same high C on which it began,
showing that the piece has come full circle, that Sherlock, who once thought he
might have had a chance with John, is back to believing that he never will. (This
is soon countered by the revelation of Mary’s position as an assassin in His Last Vow.)
Adler’s Theme and John and Mary’s
Waltz are both sentimental pieces written from Sherlock’s heart under the
excuse of being assistants to his brain. Both express his sorrow and longing
for a person he believes he can never have. Irene
Adler’s Theme reflects his fluctuating, wild emotions, particularly his
challenging, desperate feelings for John. John
and Mary’s Waltz is much more reflective, expressing a true hopelessness
that bears Sherlock’s raw, naked heart to everyone, including John, in his
performance of the piece. Sherlock’s feelings are highlighted by the fact that
Molly Hooper watches Sherlock the entire time he performs, ignoring John and
Mary’s dance altogether. Molly Hooper’s expression is not one of infatuation—it
is one of pity, of sympathy, leading the viewer to recall her line, “You look
sad…when you think he can’t see you.”
by David Arnold and Michael Price
John and Mary’s
by David Arnold and Michael Price
Wood, the Music teacher at East Mountain High School
REMINDER – The New York book signing will be at our Flagship Store November 7th from 7PM-9PM. The book can be purchased at the store(books bought at our Flagship Store will get priority access to the signing, we can not guarantee access for books bought at other locations but will do our best to accommodate you). The following signing will be at Colette in Paris on Saturday November 10th from 4PM-6PM.
Horoscopes By Gil Hizon - Week of August 24-30, 2015
B.B.C. = Bitches Be Cray!
VIRGO (August 23 – September 22)
It is the final stretch of a massive shit show and instead of looking into the future, you trudge on and on complaining about how much longer the torture is gonna take. Oh, hell no, dahling! This is the time you should be celebrating the fact that you’ve lasted this long in spite of all the crap that’s been thrown your way. Channel all that negativity into tying up loose ends. Before you know it, your current sitch will be ovah.
LIBRA (September 23 – October 22)
Step into the limelight, betch, ‘coz yo ass is about to be worshipped! The past few weeks of toiling away at your project–blood, sweat and tears flowing down your sickening face–are about to pay off! You never thought you’d see the glorious light at the end of the hole but here you fucking are. So bring out the red carpet dress, your sickening heels, and don’t forget your pearls–’coz you’ll need something to clutch when you say, “you like me, you really, really like me!”
SCORPIO (October 23 – November 21)
I hate to break it to you, but your latest style of pawning off your work on ERRRbody else, is getting on people’s gay nerves. It don’t matter what your reasons are between this shadery–the shade is still happening. You must reach into your inside of insides to figure out where this behavior is coming from. If you’re trying to prove a point, I suggest you come clean. It all starts witchu, honey.
SAGITTARIUS (November 22 – December 21)
You’ve had it, SAJ. You are sick and tired of people pretending they care about how you’re doing, so they can segue into making you take care of their shit. IT STOPS NOW! The next time someone asks about what’s going on in yo life, answer them–but don’t return the question. It sounds selfish, but it will pay off in the long-ass run.
CAPRICORN (December 22 – January 19)
Someone’s being a selfish little queen. I know that times may be tough on you, but escaping into the night when other people are depending on yo ass is shady as hell! Look, I get it, there are times when ME-time is important, but in these crucial times, it won’t hurt to delay instant gratification so you can help out other peeps. Karma is willing to give it another go. Do NOT fuck with her.
AQUARIUS (January 20 – February 18)
You’ve helped a lot of queens and busted hos in your life. Now that you’re in deep doo-doo–rest fucking assured–you have every right to be paying each of these bitches a visit, looking her in the eye, and saying, “I’m here to COLLECT, mama!” So before you leave the house, do yourself a favor. Grab a real big sack. ‘Coz you’re about to get P. A. I. D.–the house down.
PISCES (February 19 – March 20)
This week, you have absolutely no time for fake politeness and niceties. And honestly, that’s fucking OKAY. What queens need to realize is that, you may come off as little miss sunshine, but there’s a part of you that can cut through the bullshit of honey coated insults. Don’t worry. I’ve sent a memo to the gay community to watch out for yo ass. You will not be fooled A-NY-MOE!
ARIES (March 21 – April 19)
Frivolity is your friend this week, you cutesy little ram! The last few weeks have been fraught with hard work and good ol’ perseverance–this week, you’re ready to just be, and play! Recapturing or enhancing your youth–whichever the case may be–should come natural to yo ass. Luckily for you, you’ve got like-minded bitches ready to join you in painting the town red, courtesy of Sherwin-Fucking-Williams.
TAURUS (April 20 – May 20)
Your little temper tantrums may work on a lot of people, but there’s one bitch who is immune to such behavior. Unluckily for you, she’ll enter the scene this week and will be coming straight for yo ass. In terms of altering your actions in such a short time, the struggle will be oh-so-real, hunty! Think of it as a learning experience, finding other ways to deal with your frustrations.
GEMINI (May 21 – June 21)
This week, the grudgematch between you and your mortal enemy will be postponed, as you are both forced to work together to save your troubled asses. There will be sniping and biting, and doses of severe shadery, but when you both emerge from the wreckage of this shit show, it’ll all be worth it. You may even start to feel a little bit of respect for each other. I wouldn’t hold my breath, though.
CANCER (June 22 – July 22)
As you go back to your side of the hood, you’ll be hit with a feeling of resurgence. Last week served as a reminder that there are people in this world you will always be tethered to, mentally and emotionally–those bonds will never fucking break, honey. Those bonds will fuel you as you enter a new chapter toward your future. Don’t fuck it up!
LEO (July 23 – August 22)
When a bitch puts you in your place this week, you’ll hardly notice. Maybe it’s because you have found someone you could really care for, other than yo ass. That’s BIG, gurl. The thing is, giving yourself fully to this playa will not happen overnight. Expect a little resistance from your insides as you venture into a new partnership. The key is to be selfish enough to keep a part of yourself which makes you… well… you.
(DISCLAIMER for all entries: This is all a shit show!)