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- The book is basically one long torture-fest for Holmes, but doggone if it isn't also one long Moment of Awesome for an already-awesome man.
- Letting himself almost die just to catch Culverton Smith, for starters.
- Plus, managing to kill two men with a full dozen converging upon him while still convalescing...
- Willing himself away from Death. Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming because he does it for Watson.
- Davy Wiggins calling Holmes out on his recklessness. Three times. That boy has some serious guts.
- The book's Act II is another long Moment of Awesome, this one for Watson.
- He gets a Determinator moment with Porlock, proves himself a decent-enough tracker and a capable actor, delivers a Badass Boast to a prisoner while playing the Deadly Doctor trope straight, and rides halfway through London on a Cool Horse (Moran's uncooperative stallion, no less!).
- In fact, Holmes can hardly believe it when Watson tells him just a portion of it.
- And when Watson sees Death, he refuses to let him take Holmes.
- After much tear-jerking and Woobieness, Holmes gets to his feet and stands on his own for the first time in over a month. He then makes it across the room to the window. Christmas Miracle and Crowning Moment of Awesome.
- Moran, of all people, gets his own Crowning Moment of Awesome. All chapters previous, he has been subservient to and rather afraid of Professor Moriarty, and, now, after refusing to shoot Holmes on Christmas Eve, he not only stands up to Moriarty (and works out that the Irregulars are the men defending 221B) - he also delivers a brilliant comeback at the Professor's mockery.
Moriarty: "And what does that make you, Colonel? A soldier with a heart?"Moran: "I hope so, sir. It would be deucedly difficult to live without one."
- Every time Lestrade or Gregson give Patterson what-for. The fact that Patterson is Good Is Not Nice Incarnate makes such moments deliciously satisfying.
- The Cameo: Toby doing guard-dog duty and attacking one would-be assassin.
- The face-off between Moriarty and Mycroft at the end. There's worlds of subtext in their brevity.
- Holmes in his Let's Get Dangerous! mode in the chase scene. Doesn't get much more awesome than a convalescent Sherlock Holmes shooting at Colonel Moran in a cab chase!
- "Day 18: Long Time Falling" depicts the life of Professor Moriarty and the fight at the Reichenbach Falls with metaphors supplied by two different poems. At the end, Moriarty seems to regard Holmes's (simply called "the boy") victory as the detective's Crowning Moment of Awesome.
- Mrs. Hudson's nightmare in "Day 29: The Warrior a Child", in which her recurring dream portrays Sherlock Holmes as a sort of medieval-esque hero: "like a monument of some great king."
- Mary's Dying Moment of Awesome in "Those Dark Hours" - she shoots down several Mooks before being shot down by the last one. Word of God says that the idea came from the second season of Jericho.