Behind Mummy Holmes’ jewels
In her two scenes, Mummy Holmes seems to hide a treasure of subtext in her jewellery…
In TEH, our introduction to the character:
In TEH, our introduction to her, Mummy wears:
- Four-leaved clover earrings
- A Frangipani/Plumeria brooch
- Several rings
Four-leaved clover earrings:
Four-leaved clovers are a symbol of luck. => wishing Sherlock good luck on his return? Something more personal?
The plant is also a token of affection, conveying the message: “Be mine”. Obviously, Mummy shares a very strong bond with her husband. Moreover, if Mummy mirrors Sherlock and Daddy mirrors John… The earrings represent Sherlock’s love for John, the four-leaved clover conveying Sherlock’s message to John: “Be mine”, come back to me, let’s be together. A token of love and sense of belonging.
Plumeria is a flower widely-known for its warm welcome home message. Sherlock’s parents visited him to welcome him back into his life.
Mummy wears the brooch on her heart, it conveys a message on her true emotions and story. The brooch can also mirror Sherlock’s emotions.
Despite its delicate appearance, this flower is extremely resistant and tough (it takes a lot to burn it). Frangipani symbolises the strength of someone who has endured many challenges.
- A link to Mummy’s past? a dark secret? (possibly affecting Sherlock too)
- A mirror for Sherlock’s challenges in his life away from John? His pain as he has to witness the man he loves getting away from him?
The flower is also considered as a wedding flower and it can symbolise the lasting bond between a married couple. Frangipani is associated with affection and love. The brooch highlights the Holmes’ strong union, especially since it’s worn on Mummy’s heart. It also mirrors John & Sherlock’s strong loving relationship (their challenges and future happy marriage).
The flower is considered as a sign of immortality and the continuation of the soul after death. Therefore, some cultures consider it unlucky: they believe ghosts and other spirits live in the branches of the bush… And we know how Gatiss loves his ghosts! Mummy is linked to death and ghosts.
The flower is also known for its intoxicating fragrance => an association with Mary (a character often associated with intoxicating plants and perfumes)?
In HLV, celebrating Christmas & Sherlock’s recovery
In HLV, Mummy Holmes wears:
- HUGE oval-shaped pearl earrings (almost to huge to be true)
- A medal
- A necklace… Almost seems like a key to me, or perhaps a clasp? Is it meant to symbolise a chain to Mummy’s monstrous self (that kind of slip away with her sons, actually)?
it almost looks like a religious jewel… which is funny, since I don’t see the character as very religious. She was a scientist and seems to be a no-nonsense lady.
Then again, it could explain why Sherlock doesn’t respect his mother’s intellect. Perhaps Mummy turned to faith after a tragic event (secret to Sherlock, but known by Mycroft) and she chooses to display her faith at Christmas, especially after her son’s convalescence?
The pearl earrings:
Pearls symbolised mourning (tears) in Victorian era.
Mummy is sad about… uh, her baby’s broken heart (Sherlock getting metaphorically/physically shot in the heart by Mary)? Or is it something more personal?
The pearls and white flowers (chrysanthemum, flowers associated with death and mourning; loyalty between family members) create a subtext of loss and regret (shared between Mummy and Mycroft), in my opinion. Mummy and Mycroft share a dark secret, likely associated with death.
Interestingly, the earrings look just like Mary’s black phone device (we see them in the scene just before, I can’t believe it’s a coincidence).
Mary and Mummy Holmes are associated (as parallels or opposites?). Both are strong women shown to “cutely” belittle others and we know both hide a monstrous, potentially destructive self.
- Mary (with a symbolic black pearl) has almost killed Sherlock for selfish reasons associated with love.
- Has Mummy killed someone? Was it to protect her family (the reason she would turn monstrous is because someone injured her kin)? Was it to protect her love & husband (paralleling the two other murders in HLV: Mary’s murder attempts AND Sherlock killing Magnussen to protect John)?
Mummy (=Sherlock) killing someone (most likely, a smart someone threatening her marriage, like Magnussen for Lady Smallwood and Sherlock; and Sherlock for Mary) to protect her marriage and her beloved husband, Daddy Holmes (=John)?
She most likely killed a powerful person if Mycroft is so involved in the secrecy (+ parallel with Magnussen who pries on people’s secrets), or someone very close to the family, and most particularly, close to Sherlock… Would this knowledge threaten Sherlock? Is Redbeard a key to this dark secret?