Andrew Scott as Jim Moriarty in Sherlock

We All Remember Andrew Scott as Moriarty in ‘Sherlock,’ Right?

Sherlock was a show that had a hold on so many of us and we barely came out of the other side. If you tell me that you don’t think about struggling to plug your phone in and what Sherlock would say about you because of it, did you really watch Sherlock? But there has been a phenomenon recently where people seem to “discover” the fact that Andrew Scott was Moriarty in the series and to that I say: “UM YES???? WHERE WERE YOU!?”

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For many of us, our introduction to Scott came from the inclusion of Molly Hooper’s new boyfriend in season 1 of Sherlock. That “boyfriend” was revealed to be Jim Moriarty, Holmes’ archenemy and the one person in this world that could constantly outwit him. It’s a tale as old as time and the relationship between Sherlock and Moriarty is one that bleeds into many popular takes on Sherlock Holmes to this day.

So let’s talk a bit about Scott’s take on Moriarty that makes it stand out so much.

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Professor James Moriarty was “Jim” Moriarty in Sherlock and was the epitome of chaos in the way that many modern adaptations of the character are. While Sherlock is about order and understanding the reasoning behind something, Moriarty is almost the opposite. He wants to disrupt things, particularly when it comes to Sherlock, and in the case of the BBC’s Sherlock, their Moriarty really let his chaos reign over everything that Sherlock tried to do.

It started with the end of season 1 in the battle at the pool between the two, continued into season 2 that ended in “The Reichenbach Fall” episode where John Watson thought he was watching his friend fall to his death.

Moriarty is Sherlock’s greatest enemy because he never knows what he is going to do next and frankly, explaining Moriarty is hard because he is secretive on purpose.

Andrew Scott’s portrayal of Moriarty

There have been a few takes on Moriarty and they all are a figure hidden away from Sherlock until he reveals himself to be the mastermind behind whatever was plaguing Sherlock. With Sherlock the series, their relationship is more of the same but it is a bit different in that Moriarty hid in plain sight first just to egg his greatest enemy on.

It also helped that Scott’s performance was so maniacal that anytime we saw Moriarty appear, we knew to fear what was to come next for Sherlock. So the answer is simple: He’s a very intelligent man who chose Sherlock as his target and never let our beloved detective forget that he would always be several steps ahead of him.

(featured image: BBC)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.