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Three Tantalizing Hints for Sherlock Season Three, and a Possible (Not Quite) Airdate

And Fansplosions Abound

It’s been eight months since BBC’s Sherlock season two aired, leaving us with an emotional void that we can try to fill all we want, but which can only really be filled with more Sherlock. And now, finally, after all these months, we’re hearing something new. Co-executive producer Steven Moffat took to the stage at Sherlock Masterclass Friday and revealed the three “key words” to the eventual third season of the show. For reference, last season’s three words were “Woman, Hound, Fall,” which dropped some pretty huge clues as to what was to come. Follow the jump to find out what three words Sherlock fans will be hyperventilating over for the foreseeable future.

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Are you ready? Here they are:

Rat, wedding, bow.”

Well. Let’s see what we can make of these, shall we? (Spoilers for season two of Sherlock ahead; as of yet we’re just theorizing on season three)

Let’s start with “wedding:”

It’s already being widely assumed that this refers to John Watson’s wedding to Mary Morstan. This makes sense; if the show follows the canon and depicts that Sherlock Holmes has been gone (thought dead) for three years after the events of “The Reichenbach Fall,” what else is John to do but try to heal, try to move on, and get sad-married in the process? This would also be a good opportunity for the show to introduce more ladies to the cast.

There are a few options here: First, The Sign of Four, in which we meet Mary Morstan; The Solitary Cyclist features a wedding scam; and The Noble Bachelor features a missing bride. In terms of significance to our main duo and the further emotional wreckage of fans, though, I’m putting my money on Morstan.

Now onto “rat:”

Chances seem good that this will be in reference to “The Giant Rat of Sumatra,” which was never an actual case within the canon stories, but which was mentioned in “The Sussex Vampire.” Obviously, there doesn’t need to be a physical rat; in this case it might be a ship:

Matilda Briggs was not the name of a young woman, Watson, … It was a ship which is associated with the giant rat of Sumatra, a story for which the world is not yet prepared.

This would also allow the writers of the show (Steven Moffat, Mark “Godtiss” Gatiss, and Steve Thompson) to even further write their own interpretation, or to work with some of the many interpretations of the story as done by past Sherlockians.

In a slightly more unpopular theory, I’m still pulling for it to mean they’ll somehow incorporate The Great Mouse Detective.

So how about “Bow?”:

Well, this is the year of the archer, but chances of Hawkeye or Katniss making an appearance are probably low. The question here is: Which meaning of “bow” are we going for?

“Take a bow?” “Bowties are cool?” “Stop hitting me over the head with the bow of that violin?” “Clench up, Legolas?” The options are many.

There’s always this: The Last Bow, which is a collection of stories, and also one story that just happens to be the last of the canon chronology. The latter is written in the third person (not the usual for the canon, as Watson usually narrates), on the eve of World War I.

Furthermore, Sue Vertue, another producer extraodinaire on the show,  announced that the third season will begin filming in January, to make its premier sometime in the fall of 2013, the earliest being next August. In other words, we still have an entire calendar year to wait, and I’m going to go bury myself ostrich-style in my backyard until then.

Please post your further theories in the comments; we have to do something to pass the time until next fall.

Meanwhile, we will be praying to the television gods that they get Tom Hiddleston to play Moran.

P.S.: Mark Gatiss also tweeted three words that some people are taking as the three words: “Pipe. Slippers. Bed.” We’re pretty sure he was just talking about going to bed, guys.

(via Hypable) (Images via John Gushue, Tumblr)

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Alanna is a pop culture writer who works as the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, an entertainment writer for Bustle, and a freelancer for everywhere. She has a lot of opinions about Harry Potter and will 100% bully you into watching the shows that she loves. Don't worry, it's a sign of friendship.