goddess sherlock

The flower in John’s hair

Thank you @isitandwonder for tagging me on your post, you’re actually the reason why I discovered there was new flower content! <3

It is very likely we will John on screen with the flower; John wears it on his left ear (left side = sentiments, emotions).

This reminds me of course of TPLOSH:

#John Watson #drinking because you’re afraid #repressing your sexuality #international reputation

The red flower in the movie is obviously connected to Watson’s sexuality, a sexuality he visibly represses. The scene is absolutely brilliant, as Holmes has led the Russian man to believe he and Watson are in a very happy relationship, and the man tries to set him up with ballet dancers, one of them bisexual.

When Watson understands the insinuation, he is bewildered, outraged, visibly afraid (I remember he tells Holmes about the Northumberland Fusiliers “You don’t know how they are”, implicating the Army is deeply homophobic and he would be violently rejected), he then confronts Holmes about their respective sexuality - Mark Gatiss’ favourite scene of the movie.

The red flower means deep sexual desire here, as well as danger. Watson lives in a time when acting on homosexual desires is dangerous. Repressing his homosexuality and preserving the facade is vital for him.

I’m not sure if the flower is a red carnation (screaming symbol for “yes!”, plus, the carnation is an important flower for gay history!), it could potentially be a dahlia (a lasting bond and commitment between two people in Victorian times, staying graceful and kind despite challenges, balance between adventure & relaxation)?


In the show, it seems the flower will be associated with Rosie, and generally John’s feelings. A white flower has a more peaceful and pure connotation.

The question is: what is this flower?

As a preamble, I should mention I dislike the idea that Dr John Watson would put a baby in contact with a poisonous plant, and surely not his own daughter? I mean, okay, she apparently doesn’t touch the flower and her mother is associated with toxic flowers anyway, so if I guess it could be possible, but I’ll be more reluctant to consider poisonous flowers.

Most likely a Begonia

I’m almost positive John’s flower is a begonia obliqua (on the right)

The begonia sends a message of watchfulness, caution and vigilance. Its meaning in Victorian floriography is “beware”.

The flower symbolises the refusal to be lulled in a false sense of security, and be cautious/watchful in new situations. It can represent a warning about future challenges, or a sign of dark/unpleasant thoughts that distract you from happiness.

The begonia also has a positive symbolism, of gratitude (more specifically, paying back favours) and harmonious communications between friends and family. The flower can be symbol of individuality and standing out from the crowd. The begonia is edible (and apparently quite tasty) and has medicinal purposes.

It would make sense for John to wear the flower, especially around his family. John has to stay cautious and vigilant around Mary, especially with the baby. John stays on alert, he watches out for Mary’s threat.

He also most likely has to repress his feelings around her (may it be anger towards her, anxiety or longing for Sherlock). John isn’t fully free to be himself. John’s potential happiness is clouded by the threat of Moriarty (=Mary) on Sherlock, Rosie and him.

The message of “paying back a favour” is interesting too, in my opinion => 1) gratitude towards Sherlock, the man who saved his life, who died for him twice. Will John die for Sherlock too? Twice: faking his death and 3-Garridebs moment under his wife’s gun?), 2) pay back… Mary’s shot, Moriarty’s plot against Sherlock?

Other possibilities:

A rose to play with Rosie?

The white rose is a symbol of balance, love, hope in the future. It is also a flower associated with secrets: a white flower can mean secret love; in Ancient Rome, a wild rose would be placed on the door of a room where secret or confidential matters were discussed; the phrase sub rosa, or “under the rose”, means to keep a secret. 

John was wearing a white rose at his wedding with Sherlock. It makes sense for the character to be once again associated with a different white rose at this seemingly important moment of his life.

A Christmas rose/Hellebore

The season is definitively Christmasy… or is it? Beginning of a new series in a new year => new era.

Warning: the flower is poisonous…  I’m really not sure about that one. It seems however that the flower had medicinal uses in Antiquity and the Middle Ages, prescribed as a purgative and a cure to madness.  The flower belongs to the family of buttercups (potential association to The Princess Bride).

In Victorian times, the Christmas rose conveyed the message “relieve my anxiety”. Interestingly, the hellebore is a symbol of scandal and calumny.

The legend says the flower sprouted in the snow from the tears of a young girl who had no gift to give the Christ child in Bethlehem.

If I can see why John would want to be relieved of his anxiety, the notion of scandal, especially in association with his emotions (left ear) and sexuality (TPoSH) is interesting. We remember how Moriarty used the press against Sherlock spreading lies - what if someone lied about John having an affair with a man (Sherlock)? One lie hidden in a pile of damning material (love story with Sholto, proof John is bisexual, always at Sherlock’s side or in 221B…) is enough to break someone’s image.

A rock rose

Funnily enough, the flower is bisexual and is a great source of nectar for bees (Sherlock = “busy little bee” in the show)

Here I’ll be considering both the cistus and helianthemum (also named the sun rose - John = sun in the show).

The cistus is used in the perfume industry, and we know how Mary’s perfume was determinant in her arc.

One species of cistus (not the one on John’s ear, but also white) symbolised imminent death in Victorian floriography. A sign of impending Three-Garridebs? Or a bad omen for the baby? :(

Besides, the rock rose was a symbol of popular favour in Victorian floriography.

An anemone

As @loveismyrevolution observed, visually, the flower could indeed be an anemone, either nemorosa, or sylvestris:

I do like the subtext behind anemones and I believe the flower would be quite relevant and compelling in the show. However, since the flower is extremely poisonous, I have much trouble considering it. If it was only on John’s ear, why not, but playing with the baby, almost touching her face? It’s a bit far for me.

Nevertheless, I adore the symbolism behind the anemone, and I believe it is very likely they’ll use the flower on the show (or already have?).

The symbolism behind the anemone is very rich and complex:

  • Loss of a loved one to death in ancient Greece.
  • Forsaken love and affection in Victorian floriography.
  • Anticipation/excitement for what the future holds: The flower petals
  • Protection against evil and diseases: the flower petals close up as a storm approaches
  • Bad luck or ill omens in Eastern Culture. (Mary is often linked to China=> lucky cat, hidden tattoo, oriental perfumes…)

The anemone is associated to the story of Adonis and Aphrodite. The Goddess of love fell in love with Adonis (Eros’ arrow might play a role here, and we know how important Eros is in the show). She decided to entrust him to Persephone, who later refused to give him back as she had also fallen in love with the beautiful man. The dispute ended with Zeus’ decision that Adonis would spent a third of his time with Aphrodite, another third one-third of every year with each goddess and the last third wherever he chose. He chose to spend two-thirds of the year with Aphrodite. When Adonis died (his death is associated with jealousy: someone kills him to make Aphrodite pay), Aphrodite wept over his grave and her tears for her lost love grew into Anemone flowers.

It’s fascinating to read the story with Adonis as John (a beautiful hunter who’s very skilled with an arrow/gun), Aphrodite as Sherlock, Persephone as Mary (the Goddess of death)!  Sherlock entrusted John to Mary’s care as he fakes his death. Yet when he comes back, Mary refuses to give him back. John has to spend his time between Mary and Sherlock by obligation; he is however eager and willing to stay with Sherlock.

John might “die” because of jealousy (Mary shooting him while aiming at Sherlock?), Sherlock will cry over his wound three-garridebs style. Symbolic death/murder => aka, falling in love.

The subtext behind the anemone, especially on John’s heart:

  • Bad foreshadowing for Mary. Possible death?
  • Anemone means “daughter of the wind”, and thus the genus can also be named “windflower”. This reminds me of the East Wind from HLV. John utters a threatening line at Mary and Moriarty as he sees Sherlock flying back as the East Wind who’s going to end them: “Better wrap up, there’s an East Wind coming”. [could there be a link with John’s daughter, the baby somehow bringing Mary’s end?]
  • Hope for Johnlock, John is excited about what the future holds for him (something good will come soon, John anticipates this time of happiness).
  • The imminent end of John’s time being torn between Sherlock and Mary.
  • Three Garridebs moment (John’s heart wounded by jealous!Mary?).

Once again, I adore the anemone theory, but I’m really not sure, as I don’t see John bringing a poisonous flower to play with his daughter.


As a conclusion, to me, John’s flower is most likely a begonia. John is watching out for Moriarty and Mary’s threat, especially with a baby and Sherlock returning on the plane with drugs. John has to stay cautious in this new beginning. Threats are looming over him and his loved ones. John has to stay in control of his feelings while danger is lurking… but with good communication, he will soon be free. (Who I Want to Be?)

Alternatively, John could bring a white rose to his Rosie (either an hellebore, a rock rose or wild rose). The flower is a symbol of pure love and secrets, quite fitting for John this series.

I am not a specialist in flowers, it has become a passion of mine! :) If anyone has better theories and findings, please feel free to share them! 

shezzalovesmolly  asked:

Hey! I really love your potterlock fics and could you write Molly as Hermione at the Yule ball where Sherlock couldn't ask her to go with him and Molly is looking all pretty and he's just gobsmacked. Thank you :)

Initially, John had thought that Sherlock would do everything he could to get out of having to go to a ball, but as it so happened, Sherlock was actually rather enthusiastic about the prospect of dancing.  The only trouble was finding himself a date.  Because people.  And Sherlock.  The Ravenclaw decided that he wouldn’t worry about that until he really had to.  He kept putting it off and the Yule Ball was getting closer and closer.

It eventually occurred to Sherlock that he should ask Molly.  He was extremely fond of her and he doubted that she would have already secured a date for herself.  Well, he was dead wrong about that.

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