my favourite holmes and moriarty

I asked my friend @theniftytable​ to give me his first impressions of Sherlock characters and I was noT disappointed:

- Soft Gordon Ramsay

-  a little upset at all times

- Always manages to make everyone a bit sad

- scarecrow woman

- Happy grandma character

-  too happy

- passive aggressive suburban white mom

- Stockbroker

- In one of those local commercials at the movie theatre

- The one dentist that doesn’t recommend Colgate (From my other friend)

- Homeless Neil Breen

- Please help this man

- needs money for coffee

- Skinny Ted Cruz

- Has the voice of Snape

- Minecraft

- April from Parks and Rec, and Grazia, and Bayonetta

- hair is a handlebar moustache

- pure

- Condescending man

- Looks like a bit of an asshole

- asks you to carry around heavy objects and gets mad when you trip

- Australian

- bad at comforting people bc hes got the same shitty face for everything

- the gay oNe???

- corpse mcgee

- black market Tom Hiddleston ripoff

- literally came out of the ground

- tell Minecraft i’m sorry for his loss

-the girl from The Ring

- not okay

- I can tell they’re related cause she also looks ded

- a gremlin

- one of the goblins from Troll 2

- Nathan Lane’s inbred cousin

-Leslie Knope


-Has just killed a man

(in response to @mirrorfalls question on my favourite Moriarty, which I answered… then deleted. Because I’m good at tumblr.)

To answer the question of what my favourite versions of Moriarty is, we need to figure out what, imo, makes a ‘good’ Moriarty. For my money, there are three aspects that make Canon Moriarty interesting:

  1. Intellect: probably obvious, but Moriarty is an opposite to the World’s Greatest Detective, so his intellect, like Holmes’, is key to his character.
  2. Familiarity: the phrase ‘everything I have to say has already crossed your mind/then possibly my answer’s crossed yours’ is a cliche of Holmes/Moriarty interactions, but it’s a damn good cliche for a reason. Holmes and Moriarty should have a healthy respect for each other, that’s true, but more importantly they should have this sense of, as Neil Gaiman once said about him and Terry Pratchett: ‘You’re another one of me! I didn’t realize they made another one!’
  3. Savagery: Seems weird given the other two points, but a good Moriarty should always have this point that, if pushed off, attempts to, say, push a guy off a waterfall. If my favourite Holmes is a bleeding heart barely pretending to be an unfeeling machine, Moriarty is barely hiding his inner savage behind the mask of congeniality.

So, with that out of the way, my most interesting (not objectively worse/best, just the ones I feel deserve attention) Moriarty’s from worst to best.

10: BBC Sherlock (Andrew Scott)

Let’s break this down: he’s not 1 because no-one in Sherlock is smart, it’s just Moffat trying to trick the audience with lack of explanation. He’s not 2 because Moffat is so obsessed with twists that Sherlock and Moriarty spend most of their time twisting each other so much that there is no time given to their familiarity between them. He’s not 3 because he’s not savage - he’s a poor man’s Heath Ledger’s Joker, but boring and with more homoerotic subtext. He’s not Moriarty. He’s just boring.

9: Elementary Moriarty (Natalie Dormer)

I really wanted to place her higher because I honestly love Natalie Dormer’s version, but whilst she covers the first two points the focus is more on her torrid romance with Watson Holmes, which is all well and good but does rather detract from her Moriarty-ness.

8: Young Sherlock Holmes (Anthony Higgins)

This version of Moriarty, like this version of Sherlock, is… interesting. We don’t really see his savagery, but the entire movie works to build up his relationship with Holmes. I could have done with a little less racism, though. And a little more actual Egyptian Moriarty in a movie that makes him Egyptian.

7: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

1 and 3, mostly - as interesting as the idea that he’s a former British agent turned actual bad guy is, that’s the disadvantage of removing Holmes from the story - it’s like a Joker story without Batman, Moriarty doesn’t really have anyone to contrast with, and the two people who can contrast with him - Mycroft and Fu Manchu - never share a second of pagetime with him. And yet you can only do Holmes v Moriarty so many times, so how do you make Moriarty interesting without Holmes? Well…

6: Newman’s Moriarty

…You make them the contrast of another character, that’s what. In all seriousness, Newman’s version of Moriarty might not get much to do, but man does he feel good.

The premise of Hound of the D’Urbervilles, i.e. Sherlock Holmes but Moriarty instead, is brilliant at giving us not just how similar Holmes and Moriarty are, but how different - a personal highlight being Moriarty telling Moran that of course he didn’t figure out Moran’s backstory using deductive reasoning, why would he waste his time, he researched everything about him before he entered the room. 

I’m not entirely sure if Newman’s Moriarty is savage as opposed to increasingly petty, but his relationship with Moran hints that whilst Holmes looks at people and sees problems to be fixed, Moriarty looks at people and sees tools to be exploited, and that is a pretty sweet contrast that isn’t really explored in other versions.

5: Brett Moriarty (Eric Porter) + Merrison Moriarty (Michael Pennington)

Moving on to a classic Moriarty, whilst I don’t really think Porter adds anything the same way Brett does, he is still a really engaging portrayal. The bit where Holmes and Moriarty exchange a look on the Reichenbach Falls? Brilliant, and it wouldn’t be half as good without his particular portrayal, which stems far closer to the canon than previous ones on this list.

The BBC Radio adaptation is practically tied with this because they’re extremely similar - both attempt to follow canon as closely as possible, whilst adding their own twists. I do prefer the radio version, though, because we get some hint as to how Moriarty’s organization works and how much of a threat Moriarty is. This is actually enhanced by it being radio - whereas Brett’s version has to have Moriarty enter the room because it’s a visual medium, the radio adaptation can just have Holmes playing the violin, suddenly stopping and then revealing Moriarty’s been in the room this whole time. It’s really good, is what I’m getting at. But speaking of canon…

4: Canon

@mirrorfalls said in their original question that no version of Moriarty since the canon has ever actualized the reptilian qualities of Moriarty, and I can’t help but agree. It’s really interesting that Moriarty is linked to an animal whilst Holmes compares his body in another story to ‘a mere appendix’ - something intrinsically human even as it is superficially worthless. The idea of Moriarty in this version - calm, cold, but liable to snap at any point - is quite simply perfect, and the only thing that doesn’t rank him higher is that, in the same way William Hartnell doesn’t rank as one of my favourite Doctors, what it means to be Moriarty has changed so much since his inception. I don’t think Conan Doyle ever intended Moriarty to have the staying power that he did - he’s a plot device, pure and simple. Other authors added to that, and so we’ve got the version of Moriarty which lasts today.

3: Light Yagami

…Hear me out.

No, Light isn’t exactly a traditional Moriarty. For one thing, I’m fairly certain Moriarty doesn’t have a god complex, or a magic notebook that kills people, or a snarky apple loving Death God as a sidekick (Though, who knows, give Moran an apple fixation…) But, there’s a reason I recommend at least the first half of Death Note for anyone wanting a great Holmes/Moriarty story… It’s really good at outlining exactly what makes Moriarty and Holmes so interesting: Mind Games. Mind Games galore.

Watch, say, L’s introduction. Now imagine Holmes challenging Moriarty in the same manner. Hell, Light definitely ticks all of the points of a good Moriarty in this scene alone: he anticipates the police noticing him, he builds such a good rapport with L without either of them actually meeting that I remember losing my shit when I first watched Death Note and realized that this episode would feature the two of them actually meeting face to face, and despite his apparently calm demeanor at first, he immediately kills Lind L Tailor the instant he says something he doesn’t like. Just… he might not be a ‘true’ Moriarty, but he’s a damn good interpretation even if that wasn’t the goal. Speaking of not exactly ‘true’ interpretations…

2: Professor Ratigan (Vincent Fucking Price)

No objections, I trust?

Really, though, I wasn’t someone who watched Great Mouse Detective as a kid - I first watched it about two years ago, and god damn is this a good movie. True Story, when thinking about which Moriarty’s belong on this list, I immediately jumped to Ratigan, because he’s brilliant. He ticks all the boxes and then some - His intellect may not be his primary trait, but it’s still there, and his rapport with Basil is the stuff of legend at this point. And, to be brutally honest, Ratigan is the reason savagery is on this list in the first place. That fight on Big Ben? No version of Reichenbach has yet surpassed it, and it is everything great about this version of that core concept. Really, everything about Ratigan is a summation of how to do a brilliant Moriarty.

So, who can top the World’s Greatest Criminal Mind? Well…

1: RDJ Moriarty (Jared Harris)

Yes, I know, I was surprised to.

I was around during the Sherlock/RDJ films strife. I remember how much these films were lambasted for being ‘too action-packed’ and ‘not cerebral enough’, in stark contrast to the majesty of Sherlock and it’s twerpish plot twists. But when I think of a great Moriarty? Oh, boy, this one kicks Sherlock’s ass.

It’s also irritating, because it’s really hard to point out what makes him better than Ratigan or even Light. His plan is convoluted at best (not that the other two are any better - a good Moriarty does not a decent plan make), not helped by it being exactly the same as his plan in that godawful League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie (which, btw, would still be bad even if it didn’t drive Sean Connery away from the film industry, but is far worse on those grounds) but, still, look at this scene. Or this one. Or that fight scene.

Tell me that’s not Moriarty.

That first scene especially runs through all three establishing Moriarty traits, yet perfectly utilizes all of them. We see how smart he is, we see his and Holmes’ respect for one another, but at the same time we see how much Holmes wants to see him behind bars and we have the perfectly paced reveal of his murder of Irene and that he intends to do the same to Watson and Mary. Everything about this scene is brilliant despite it being just the two of them talking. There’s even a bit later in the movie where Moriarty outsmarts Holmes and they communicate the gamut of emotions both characters are feeling through them exchanging a single glance.

So, yes, these films may be a bit too action packed. Yes, they may exaggerate character’s abilities, their plots may be inconsequential for the most part. But goddamn is their Moriarty a classic.

Favourite Scenes

I keep forgetting what my very very favourite scenes are so I’m putting them down here.

Mycroft’s first appearance with how he stands and his cute little umbrella:

Originally posted by allyoursherlock


Originally posted by artemisfowls

Goodbye, John. The conversation on the rooftop was exactly 221 words and I can’t be the only one that teared up.

Originally posted by dracomafloy

I was so alone and I owe you so much.

The best best man speech in history.

Originally posted by lady-grey-1996

and of course when Sherlock was asked to be best man:

Originally posted by why-would-he-care

this was so fucking adorable and i couldn’t stop laughing and crying and feeling like i want to hug the shit out of my baby sherlock

Shezza. There’s nothing else to say.

Originally posted by astudyindetectives

Originally posted by dementiacharnette-blog

You have no idea how many times I replayed this scene.

Same episode, the one where Martin improvised and where Sherlock’s reaction was Benedict’s genuine one. I love it so so much aaaand I can’t find a gif for it.

“Don’t appal me when I’m high.” Shezza is just so great.

Originally posted by allthesherlockgifs

This scene broke the fuck out of my heart.

…that’s not a phrase.

Originally posted by riveralwaysknew

And this.

Originally posted by sherlockjw


The other scene that was 221 words.

Originally posted by yesthewallhaditcoming

brb crying


Originally posted by enigmaticpenguinofdeath

Originally posted by artemisfowls

Originally posted by enigmaticpenguinofdeath

Originally posted by silent-fun


Moriarty licking a gun and wearing a gown? Duh.

Originally posted by oneyoungladymoran

Originally posted by thisiswhoiamlikemeornot

And of course we need some Lestrade in our lives

Originally posted by getlestrade

Originally posted by becks28nz

Originally posted by fangirlrae

Originally posted by therealrosella

I’m pretty sure I forgot something but

@pieofthelord submitted:



This movie holds a very special place in my heart, because it’s the only screen adaptation I’m aware of that shows Moran the way he is in canon, i.e. a stone-cold badass and desperately loyal to Moriarty. I don’t particularly care how much they changed for the rest, because they kept the important bits. It’s the one adaptation where Moran is more than just another mindless lackey, finally.

And this scene… The communication! Moran’s quiet stealth! THEY WERE GOING TO THE OPERA TOGETHER!!

(and that, combined with a) Moran’s absolute fury when he digs Moriarty from the rubble post-explosion and swears to take revenge, and b) Moran slipping unnoticed by super-observant Holmes not just once but several times, is why this movie is my goddamn favourite)

Raindrops in collars and clues on the victims

Bright glowing rabbits and John’s woolen sweaters

Red wrapped presents tied up with strings

These are a few of my favorite things

Brown colored puppies and crisp ironed shirts

Doorbells and alarm bells and dominatrix that flirt

The shine of frequently removed rings

These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white lab coats with helpless crushes

Types of smoke ash and adrenaline rushes 

Chain of murders orchestrated by king

These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog dies

When the drugs call

When I’m feeling sad

I simply remember my favorite things

And then I don’t feel so bad