Hey! Firstly, I enjoy your blog immensely. 🌷🐝 Now, this very simple thought that crossed my mind today (as it probably has crossed yours😊)... why does Sherlock ever need to guess John's middle name, when John had... you know, mentioned it before?
Hi Lovely!! Thanks for the kind words!!
The events of Sherlock trying to find out John’s middle name takes place before John blurts it out in ASiB. I imagine it occurred during the time jumps at the beginning of ASiB after the events in TGG made him realize he loved John and while he wanted to deny the feelings he couldn’t help himself with obsessing over everything John. And there is a clue in the “middle name” sequence that shows it started before ASiB at least:
Sherlock is trying to sneakily put his cigarettes into a slipper during a flashback scene in TSo3 while asking John what the “H” stands for…
…and then by THoB, John has confiscated the cigarettes (which I thought this was a REALLY adorable little touch they added, proving that John isn’t as oblivious as Sherlock thinks he is).
So it stands to reason that, since John blurts out his middle name in ASiB and Sherlock didn’t know it until he acquired John’s birth certificate (and his over exaggeration of “years” was just that; like when someone says “OMG it took years for X to show up!!”), Sherlock had been obsessively trying to figure it out for many many months prior to the Irene Incident.
My headcanon is that he started after TBB following John’s kidnapping; for some inexplicable reason, Sherlock felt the need to find out this ONE thing, because what if John got kidnapped again… or worse, dead? Sherlock might need to ensure it’s HIS John that is found. Or Sherlock wants to be one of the few special people who know John’s middle name; he knows how protective John is of it, so to deny Sherlock something is to only make him more determined and curious. Either way, Sherlock has a new addiction and doesn’t realize it until TAB: John.