|Appearances|| The Great Game|
A Scandal in Belgravia
The Hounds of Baskerville
The Reichenbach Fall
|Portrayed by||Andrew Scott|
- "Every fairytale needs a good old-fashioned villain. You need me, or you're nothing."
- ―Moriarty to Sherlock in "The Reichenbach Fall".
James "Jim" Moriarty was the world's only "consulting criminal," a stark contrast to his nemesis Sherlock Holmes, similarly unrivaled "consulting detective" occupation. According to a newspaper seen in "The Reichenbach Fall", he is Irish-born.
Role in the seriesEdit
Moriarty is responsible for the crimes in all three episodes of the first series, acting as a sponsor, an informant or a mastermind. He is shown to have an interest in Sherlock that borders on obsession, though he does not hesitate to try to kill him when he loses interest. In his operations, there is never any direct contact between Moriarty and his clients.
In his childhood, Moriarty murdered Carl Powers, whom he claimed "laughed at him." He then goes on to become a criminal mastermind, and at some point, "notices" Sherlock.
Jeff Hope, one of Moriarty's clients, attempts to murder Sherlock, but is shot dead by Dr. John Watson, Sherlock's friend and flatmate. Hope had previously revealed that he had a sponsor, but refused to tell Sherlock his name. Only when Sherlock stamps on Hope's bullet wound does he eventually scream, "MORIARTY!"
Later, Moriarty assists in smuggling the Black Lotus criminal organization into Britain. Sherlock and John thwart their plans, though, and the leader of the organization, General Shan, is shot dead by one of Moriarty's snipers so that she can't reveal his identity.Moriarty eventually decides to play a "game" with Sherlock, forcing him to solve mysteries within a time limit and taking hostages to ensure that Sherlock is properly motivated. He also disguises himself as Molly Hooper's boyfriend Jim and visits Sherlock in his lab when he is trying to solve a mystery. Sherlock, unaware he is Moriarty, "deduces" that he is gay (though this was a ploy by Moriarty), which upsets Molly.
When Sherlock has solved every mystery, he finally meets Moriarty at a swimming pool. Moriarty has taken John hostage and wired plastic explosives to him, while having a sniper aimed at him. Moriarty warns Sherlock to back off, saying he will "burn the heart out of [him]" if he doesn't. Moriarty then leaves, and Sherlock rips the explosives off John and tosses them away. However, Moriarty then reappears along with dozens of snipers, saying they can't be allowed to continue. Sherlock aims at the explosives he took off John, intending to detonate them and take Moriarty with him. Moriarty's phone then rings, interrupting them. After a few words with the caller, Moriarty leaves for good and calls off the snipers.
The caller is revealed to be Irene Adler. Moriarty constantly gives her advice on how to manipulate the "The Holmes Boys," having given them both nicknames. It is also mentioned that he asked for nothing in return, becoming involved just to cause trouble, suggesting his obsessions are deepening.
It is also alluded to that he might have an independent rivalry with Mycroft. He is seen briefly at the end of "The Hounds of Baskerville" apparently having been captured and in the process of being released by Mycroft. As he is leaving, it is shown he has repeatedly scratched the name Sherlock into the concrete walls of his cell, as well as in reverse on the two way mirror, possibly for the observer's (Mycroft) benefit.Later, Moriarty is seen outside Tower of London dressed as an ordinary civilian, and after walking into the room where the Crown Jewels are kept, he then puts on his earphones and begins listening to Rossini's "A Thieving Magpie." Taking out his Droid Incredible S, Moriarty presses a button bearing the emblem of the Crown of England. From there, it's shown that the Bank of England, Pentoville Prison, and the Tower of London's security systems have all been breached at the same time. As London's police force, including Lestrade and Sally Donovan, drive hastily to the scenes, the alarm in the room begins to activate, and as the nearby guards tell everyone to leave, the whole of the room in emptied of visitors and guards. As the door closes, a guard asks Moriarty to leave but before he can speak, Moriarty sprays a canister of sleeping gas at him.
Later in the episode, Sherlock and John investigate the disappearance of two children of a U.S. ambassador from a private school in London. It is revealed that the day the kids disappeared was the same day the school term ended. So, with numerous parents and children surrounding the school, it was incredibly easy for Moriarty's man to blend in with the crowd and become unnoticeable and enter the school. Waiting until nightfall, the kidnapper walked towards the room where the children slept, armed with a gun. As a result of spending the majority of his school life in private education, the boy had become acquainted with all the shadows of all the people who passed the door. After grabbing hold of the two children, Moriarty's man held them at gunpoint and led them out of the school. From there, he transported them to an abandoned warehouse in London. The kidnapper then locked the terrified children in a cage in a cold, dark room. The cage was filled with hundreds of sweets that had been injected with a fatal, slow-acting poison (mercury) that was gradually killing the children.
Moriarty had traumatised the girl, so upon meeting Sherlock, she would scream and become terrified of him, which was meant to convince DI Lestrade that Sherlock was the potential kidnapper. Lestrade was then ordered by his superior to arrest Sherlock for kidnapping and John for punching Lestrade's superior in the face. After escaping from the police, Sherlock and John were now fugitives. After Sherlock and John break into the house of a journalist, they discover Moriarty. Seemingly terrified and shaking with fear, he tells Sherlock and John to keep away from him and begs John not to hurt him.
Reporter Kitty Reilly states that there never has been a man named James Moriarty and accuses Sherlock of inventing him up, as well as all his crimes as a way of becoming popular with the media and building up a reputation of himself as a Private Detective. John refused to believe this, arguing that Moriarty had only recently been on trial for attempted burglary, and that Moriarty intended to detonate explosives to kill Sherlock and himself. Reilly countered by saying that Moriarty was actually an actor named Richard Brook that Sherlock paid to act as a master villain. Still in denial, John asks to be shown proof, from there the journalist shows him numerous papers about Richard Brook including various headshots and an actor's profile. Moriarty then claims to be playing the role of a storyteller to young children on television. Sherlock then shouts at Moriarty, demanding him to stop this lie. Advancing on him, Sherlock and John chase Moriarty as he escapes through a nearby window.
Later, at St. Bartholemew's Hospital, Sherlock texts Moriarty, who meets him on the roof. Sherlock claims that, with the code, he can completely delete all evidence of Richard Brook from the world. Moriarty says that there is no code, and the tapping rhythm that he did at Sherlock's flat was actually the chords for a song. Moriarty said to Sherlock that his weakness was that he always wants everything to be intelligent and complex, so then he can solve it and brag about his intellect to others.
Moriarty explains that for the past 24 hours, he has convinced the general public that Sherlock Holmes is a fraud, and a liar, therefore making Sherlock's once great reputation completely shattered, and the only person who still trusted him was John. When asked by Sherlock how he managed to break into the prison, the bank, and the Tower, Moriarty replied that he simply bribed security guards to collaborate with him in his scheme. Moriarty's final plan was to drive Sherlock to the point where he would commit suicide to escape his shattered life, but as Sherlock had no wish to do so, Moriarty explained that he'd hired three assassins, strategically located around London, each one ready to shoot Sherlock's only three true friends; Lestrade, Mrs. Hudson and John. One was disguised as a police officer outside DI Lestrade's office, another was disguised as a repairmen inside the Baker Street flat, and the final one was located in a tower building opposite St. Bart's hospital.
Moriarty is then revealed to know a word that only he could say, that when spoken, would call off the assassins. Sherlock and Moriarty then spoke to each other, and Sherlock coldly stated that although Mycroft would just lock Moriarty up, he would most likely kill him, and that even though Sherlock seemed to be a kind person and on the side of the Angels, Moriarty should never assume that he is one of them. Sherlock says that he is willing to do anything to activate the fail-safe. After acknowledging that he and Sherlock are alike (in the sense that Sherlock has a dark side), Moriarty realises that as long as he is alive, Sherlock can activate the fail-safe and save his friends, so he produces a handgun from his coat pocket and shoots himself in the mouth.
- Sherlock: "People have died."
- Moriarty: "That's what people DO!"
- ―Holmes and Moriarty[src]
Moriarty was arranging the deaths of others from a young age. In 1989, he killed schoolboy Carl Powers by poisoning his eczema medication and the boy was presumed to have drowned in a swimming pool. However, Moriarty kept Powers' trainers almost twenty years until he used the shoes as part of his plan to meet Sherlock Holmes and had them planted in the disused flat at 221C Baker Street. Just like Sherlock, Moriarty was exceptionally intelligent. He was also highly skilled at manipulation and even Sherlock found it hard to predict Moriarty's next move.
Moriarty was obsessed with Sherlock Holmes and enjoyed his role as a villain, showing a callous indifference for other people's lives. He happily murdered or organised the murder of innocent people simply because he enjoyed it. Moriarty considered life to be pointless and like Sherlock, he was willing to do anything to stop himself from getting bored. He didn't hesitate to commit suicide when he felt that he had defeated Sherlock Holmes, because he felt that his role as Sherlock's arch-enemy was his only reason for living, and he was convinced that if he killed himself, he'd be taking Sherlock down with him.
Sherlock appears to be the only character in the series so far who can keep Moriarty entertained. Moriarty reveals several unstable musings of his to Sherlock: he ponders suicide because he's bored with the world, and he is obsessed with the consulting detective until he believes Sherlock is just "another ordinary person." When Sherlock spots the hole in Moriarty's plan during the Reichenbach Fall, Moriarty kills himself so as to have the last laugh. In their interactions (and in his interactions with any character so far), Moriarty persists to play his games on his own terms.
Moriarty nicknames Sherlock "the Virgin," and continuously interferes with his life, if only to watch him dance. On the few occasions they meet, Moriarty usually speaks to Sherlock casually while issuing threats to his friends. He displays a sick and twisted demeanour in Sherlock's company, and will do anything to win a game once he starts to play.
Irene Adler was one of Moriarty's clients. He is one of few people in the series that have openly threatened her and it appears as though he is the only one who got away with it. He threatened to "skin her" and "make [her] into shoes" if she lied to him, and at the same time, he also gave her advice on how to manipulate Sherlock Holmes and Mycroft Holmes.
While posing as Richard Brook, Moriarty used the information he'd gathered on Sherlock to defile the consulting detective's name in the media. It is revealed that he gained this information from Mycroft Holmes, whom he nicknamed "The Iceman." Mycroft was the only person who could elicit any sort of response from Moriarty when he had him imprisoned secretly.The Great Game. She describes their meeting as an "office romance," although Moriarty was posing as an IT worker at the time. He did this to get close to her and, through doing so, meet with Sherlock Holmes. She is furious when Sherlock says Jim's gay, although she seems a lot more angry at Sherlock for saying so, as opposed to Jim for flirting with him. They break up some time afterwards. Sherlock then finds Moriarty, who mocks him for falling for the gay act.
Molly was not told until The Reichenbach Fall that Jim was Moriarty, as she is flustered when Sherlock brings up her old boyfriend when he and John Watson approach her as fugitives. Although they separated and Moriarty was taken to court for comitting the "crime of the century," it appears she remained in the dark until this moment.
Neither of the two mention each other after The Great Game. Although most of their interactions take place off-screen, Moriarty chose to spare her life when targeting Sherlock's closest friends in the Season Two finale. It is clear that Jim was not aware of Sherlock and Molly's recent revelations, which is exactly how Sherlock wanted it.
It's also possible that Moriarty was aware of their friendship, and that she was to be the target of the fourth assassin -- the one killed.
Molly's blog has shed some light upon their brief relationship.
The serial killer Jeff Hope from A Study In Pink was sponsored to kill by Moriarty, who made it so the more people he killed, the more money his children would receive upon his death. Hope refused to speak his name until Sherlock stomped on his bullet wound before he died. This was the first incident that alerted Sherlock to Moriarty's interference.
Moriarty knew Carl in his childhood and murdered him by poisoning him, causing him to have a fit in the swimming pool and drowning. It can be presumed that Carl bullied Moriarty, as Moriarty says, "He laughed at me, so I stopped him laughing." This could also give us the impression that as a child, Moriarty was a bit of an outcast. This would also explain his hatred for most other individuals.
James Moriarty is a consulting criminal who plans out and arranges for crimes to take place.
James Moriarty is the world's only consulting criminal who people contact and pay in exchange for planning out "perfect" crimes for their personal benefit. His area of expertise ranges from faking one's own death to art forgery. He is cautious to never communicate to his clients directly as to avoid being identified, often just leaving them with his name as the only thing they know about him.
- Sponsored Jeff Hope to start killing
- Helped smuggled Black Lotus agents into London
- Faked the death of Ian Monkford
- Supplied poison to Raoul de Santos to help in the murder of Connie Prince
- Helped Miss Wenceslas in faking the authenticity of the Vermeer painting
- Advised Irene Adler on how to manipulate Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes
- Leaked information to a terrorist cell about a US/UK counter-terrorist operation
- "Jim Moriarty. Hi!"
- ―Moriarty introducing himself in The Great Game.
- "No you won't!"
- ―Teasing Sherlock before leaving the pool in The Great Game.
- "If you have what you say you have, I'll make you rich. If you don't, I'll make you into shoes."
- ―Jim Moriaty to Irene Adler, A Scandal in Belgravia
- "No rush."
- ―Moriarty to the police force in The Reichenbach Fall.
- "The flirting's over, Sherlock, daddy's had enough noooooow."
- ―Jim Moriarty to Sherlock in The Great Game.
- "If you don't stop prying...I'll burn you. I'll burn the HEART out of you."
- ―Jim Moriarty to Sherlock in The Great Game.
- "You can't be allowed to continue. You just can't. I would like to convince you but...everything I have to say has already crossed your mind!"
- ―Moriarty quoting his literary counterpart in the Great Game.
- "I gave you a glimpse, Sherlock, just a teensie glimpse of what I'm able to do in the big bad world, out there. I'm a specialist, you see? Like you."
- ―Moriarty in the Great Game.
- "No one ever gets to me...and no one ever will."
- "In a world of locked rooms, the man with the key is king, and honey you should see me in a crown!"
- ―Moriarty to Sherlock in the Reichenbach Fall.
- "I want to solve problems... our problem. The Final Problem. It's gonna start very soon, Sherlock...the Fall. But don't worry: falling's just like flying, except there's a more permanent destination."
- "I owe you a fall, Sherlock. I. Owe. You."
- "Well, here we are at last. You and me, Sherlock. And our problem, our final problem...STAYING ALIVE!!! SO BORING, ISN'T IT??!! Just staying...all my life I've been looking for distraction. You were the best of distraction and now I don't even have you. Because I've beaten you. And you know what? In the end, it was easy. Yeah...t'was easy...now I have to go back to play with the ordinary people...turns out YOU'RE ordinary, like all of them! Oh well..."
- "No...you're not ordinary...you're me...you're me!! Thank you, Sherlock Holmes. 'Thank you! Bless you. As long as I'm alive, you can save your friends, and walk away...well good luck with that!"
- ―Moriarty's last words before shooting himself in the Reichenbach Fall.
- "Sorry boys, I'm sooooooo changeable!"
- ―Moriarty to Sherlock and Watson in the Great Game.
- "That's what people DO!"
- ―Moriarty to Sherlock in the Great Game.
"You're just getting that now?" -Sherlock to Moriarty in the Reichenbach Fall
- Moriarty can be seen wearing a fox pin on his tie in The Reichenbach Fall. In Grimm's Fairy Tales there’s a story about a fox who fakes his own death.
- His ringtone is revealed in "A Scandal in Belgravia" as being "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees.
- ↑ Can Sherlock Survive Without Moriarty For Next Series? Benedict Cumberbatch Might Have To, According To Actor Andrew Scott, The Huffington Post UK, Caroline Frost, Posted: 31/10/2012 12:32 GMT Updated: 31/10/2012 13:15 GMT. This article confirms that Moriarty is dead and that Andrew Scott will not be returning to Sherlock.