Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Sherlock Holmes (2009)
aka: Sherlock Holmes A Game Of Shadows

Go To

Character sheet for the film series comprising Sherlock Holmes and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

    open/close all folders 


    Sherlock Holmes
"The game is afoot!"
Portrayed by: Robert Downey Jr.
Appearances: Sherlock Holmes | Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows | Sherlock Holmes 3

Simza: What do you see?
Holmes: Everything. That is my curse.

A bohemian amateur scientist and eccentric detective-for-hire. Despite his quirks, he has come to be recognized as one of the foremost authorities in London in the field of criminal deductive reasoning and investigation. Always a man who yearns for a challenge, he takes cases that excite his deductive reasoning ability for the sport, not for personal gain.

  • Adaptational Wimp: Unexpectedly, despite the film's notorious increase in action scenes over most adaptations. While the movie's version gets into a lot more fights and makes more gratuitous use of martial arts, he lacks the original's prodigious strength and often needs to use his cunning as much as his skill to stay just ahead of his opponents. Conan Doyle's Holmes was a skilled enough boxer and martial artist to never need to stoop to combat pragmatism, preferring Good Old Fisticuffs, and was able to beat an extremely skilled boxer in a fair fight. This Holmes does beat a boxer easily, even taunting him before he gets serious, but he only seems to be as strong as a man of his age, size and weight who engages in irregular exercise.
  • Agent Scully: Sherlock acknowledges the possibility of supernatural involvement, but does not believe that magic or the supernatural is the correct explanation, which is why he spends the last few minutes of the first film to provide practical solutions to Blackwood defeating his own execution.
  • Amazon Chaser: Sherlock admires Irene for her intelligence and fighting prowess, and beams with pride when she shows the latter when up against two crooks in the first film.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Jr.'s portrayal is more socially challenged than our usual Holmes, has some weird eye contact moments, and is implied to have issues with sensory integration. Guy Ritchie explains in the Blu-Ray special features that part of Holmes' social short-comings is that he can't filter out the many clues he picks up in social situations, for example his disastrous dinner in the Royale. In the second film he mentions that seeing "everything" is his curse, as a scene similar to that at the Royale is repeated at the peace conference.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Holmes' vocal disapproval of Watson's engagement and his attempts to sabotage the relationship come across as romantic jealousy as much as a desire to hold on to a valued and long-standing friendship. However, Holmes has some Ship Teasing with Adler and is genuinely sad to hear that Moriarty killed her.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: A byproduct of his Hyper-Awareness, which he seems unable to turn off.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: An extremely competent martial artist, capable of taking down almost any opponent as long as he has a few seconds to analyze them before the fight.
  • Badass Bookworm: While he may be seen as an Adaptational Wimp for his use of combat pragmatism, he's still a highly skilled fighter and a brilliant detective.
  • Badass Longcoat: Often seen wearing a trench coat in public.
  • Berserk Button: Don't spit on him or you'll spend weeks recovering from his physical and mental beatdown.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: As always, Holmes is both a brilliant detective and a peculiar individual, and you must put up with the latter if you want the benefit of the former.
  • Character Development: He initially disliked Mary, but soon warmed up to her.
  • Combat Pragmatist: He'll do anything he must to win a fight, including using distractions and Improvised Weapons.
  • Cool Shades: Holmes wears a few pairs. These existed in Victorian times, but they were rare and considered to be devices for physical infirmity rather than stylish accessories.
    • Though, considering Holmes is best friends with a doctor, this may just be another case of Holmes misusing medical equipment, as with the eye surgery drugs.
    • He may also be wearing them partly out of necessity; in one scene he's shown to demonstrate a lot of sensitivity and discomfort with the sudden light when Watson opens the shades.
      • Although this is most likely due to the fact that Sherlock was sitting in a dark room for some time beforehand. It takes time for the human eye to adapt to changes in light level, so a sudden spike in light levels after adjusting to the dark can be a potentially painful experience.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Has shades of this towards Watson and his engagement to Mary.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Anytime Holmes looks like he's in trouble, he's already planned a way out of it.
  • Cultured Badass: Holmes is quite cultured; he just refuses to live up to the image and prefers the bohemian eccentric genius lifestyle.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Sherlock's eponymous Hyper-Awareness apparently has no figurative off-switch, as shown in the restaurant scene in the first movie, and is explicitly called a curse by him late into the second. This has led to fan theories that he is a high-functioning autistic. This is a trait of Holmes in both the original and most of adaptations. It's quoted above.
  • Dating Catwoman: Played with; despite being a world-famous criminal, Irene's moral alignment is mostly left ambiguous, and while there seems to be mutual attraction it's as though they're too busy one-upping and outwitting each other to act upon it.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Particularly to Lestrade, Blackwood and any of Watson's love interests.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Is shown in the sequel happily drinking formaldehyde despite Watson pointing out it's highly toxic.
  • Genius Bruiser: He uses his Sherlock Scan to completely and meticulously savage an opponent. Only an opponent capable of doing the same can really counter him.
  • Genius Slob: Watson bemoans his lack of hygiene during his "Reason You Suck" Speech in the jail from the first film. His room in Baker Street is intimidatingly cluttered with half-completed experiments, paper, models, pictures, and miscellaneous bric-a-brac.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Despite being solidly heroic in his actions, he comes across as a jerk, often because he notices everything about a person, including their flaws and vices, and has few filters when describing what he observes.
  • Great Detective: Since he is Sherlock Holmes, it's elementary.
  • Guile Hero: While he is a skilled combatant, his real gifts are in observation and deduction.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Watson.
  • Hikikomori: Sherlock spent two weeks without leaving his room. That's a very hikki thing.
  • Hyper-Awareness: A Holmes staple, required for his iconic Sherlock Scan. He can determine intimate details about a person by instantly observing and analyzing things that most people wouldn't even notice.
  • I Know Karate: Holmes is proficient in hand-to-hand fighting. Ironically, when he fights a Chinese mook who also knows kung fu, he doesn't fare so well, apparently being used to opponents who use Good Old Fisticuffs.
  • Improvised Weapon: Throws a rooster at his Cossack opponent when they fall into a cockfighting ring, even after the latter very clearly grabbed a knife instead.
  • Insufferable Genius: He's not a people person.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's an insufferable and intensive jerk at times but does care about his friends and doing the right thing.
  • Lack of Empathy: Ultimately downplayed. Holmes appears to be interested in solving problems and stopping criminals mainly because he enjoys the challenge, and he also admires and respects the cunning and intelligence of the main villains in both movies despite the nature of their crimes. However, he also specifically points out to Blackwood that he wishes he could have caught him sooner in order to save innocent lives, and to Moriarty that he finds his scheme to be both impressive and horrific. Furthermore, while he lacks tact, he's also quite devoted to keeping his friends and companions safe.
  • Large Ham: Most because his facial expressions and his gravely voice complete with a fake English accent.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: This is how Robert Downey Jr. described the relationship between his character and Watson.
  • Logical Weakness: Literally. The title character is a significantly less capable combatant without time to think about his moves and/or Sherlock Scan his opponent.
  • Mad Scientist: Always tests his drugs on poor Gladstone.
  • Master of Disguise: He's so good he can do it on the fly.
  • Mr. Fanservice: In the first movie in particular he has a fighting Shirtless Scene where he shows his well-built torso.
  • Nice Hat: Instead of the deerstalker seen in most adaptations, here it's a Fedora of Asskicking.
  • Perma-Stubble: Almost always has a few days' growth of beard, unless he shaves or sculpts it for a disguise. The first time Sherlock Holmes has ever been depicted with it. You'll notice Holmes is somewhat more cleaned up after someone tells him to clean up. During the dinner with Watson and Mary, he is nearly clean-shaven... but not quite. In fact, his Perma-Stubble may be constantly on his face, but it is done realistically.
  • Private Detective: Not employed by the police, but often consulted by them for his unique abilities.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Watson's Red and Red to Moriarty's Blue.
  • Sherlock Scan: As with every adaptation, this is his signature ability. Here it's even applied to combat, as he analyzes his opponent thoroughly enough to predict and counter every move they will make. It's also implied that he's occasionally overwhelmed and resentful that he can't turn it off. Probably goes a long way toward explaining why he has a hard time making friends, as shown when he first meets Mary Morstan.
  • Shipping Torpedo: Made every attempt to sabotage John's relationship with Mary in the first film.
  • Spirited Competitor: Needs to have a challenge or problem to work on. Without one, he becomes reclusive and resorts to drugs and bizarre experiments to occupy his mind.
  • The Spock: He rarely expresses any form of emotion.
  • Tranquil Fury: His usual way of getting angry. In the fighting ring, utterly destroys his opponent in retaliation for the latter spitting at him. However, his first thought while playing out the fight in his head is, "This must not register on an emotional level."

    Dr. John Watson
Portrayed by: Jude Law
Appearances: Sherlock Holmes | Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows | Sherlock Holmes 3

"I’ve been going over my notes of our exploits over the past seven months. Would you like to hear my conclusions? ...I am psychologically disturbed."

Army wartime veteran and medical doctor, Watson is Holmes's closest confidant and field assistant with a deductive reasoning that has been sharpened with years on the road with the detective. However his impending marriage may see him move away from the crime-solving world.

  • Badass Bookworm: Watson counts as very well-read gentleman who knows how to handle himself in a fight.
  • Bash Brothers: With Holmes. The two make quite the effective team during a scrap.
  • Berserk Button: Harming women in general tends to piss him off, as he demonstrates in the very first scene with Blackwood.
  • Bros Before Hoes: Invoked by Sherlock. Thankfully, everything works out in the end for them all.
  • Cane Fu: He needs the cane due to being a Handicapped Badass, and is more than willing to use it in a fight.
  • Combat Medic: A doctor who can put you in the hospital.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Even more so than Holmes. (Consistent with the books!)
  • Deadpan Snarker: He is more than willing to put Sherlock in his place and is one of the few people who can tolerate him. Most of the time.
  • Fatal Flaw: Impulsiveness. Multiple times, he jumps into a fight without properly observing his surroundings. At the start of the first film, he almost impales himself on a concealed piece of sharpened glass; at the wharf, he sets off a trip wire bomb while chasing after Blackwood.
  • The Gambling Addict: Downplayed somewhat in that it never directly affects the plot. However, as much as he is in denial of the fact, Watson does enjoy a good game of poker.
  • Handicapped Badass: He is a very proficient and agile fighter with a war wound that gives him a limp. The limp seems to conveniently vanish in every action scene, however. (Not necessarily an error; people with limps are often able to run without the limp being apparent, depending on the nature of their leg injury/disability. Also, given the tongue-in-cheek nature of the films, this may indicate Watson's limp is psychosomatic, or maybe even exaggerated.) Plus, even if it hurts to walk or run normally, when you're in a fight for your life you may find yourself willing to ignore a little pain.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: He owns Gladstone the bulldog. Unfortunately, Sherlock repeatedly tests strange things on the poor thing.
  • Improvised Weapon User: Watson's weapon of choice appears to be his coat combined with whatever he can get his hands on. And he manages quite well at it too.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: It's been shown on multiple occasions that Holmes considers him as such (just never admitting it). It's almost deconstructed, seeing how Holmes actually attempts to sabotage their engagement so he won't have to lose his friend.
  • Nice Hat: His bowler hat, which comes off on certain occasions.
  • Second Love: Before meeting Watson, Mary was previously engaged to another man who sadly passed away. She doesn't like to talk about it.
  • Sword Cane: He owns one.
  • The Watson: Downplayed, as Holmes and Watson have both hit their prime after long experience. Watson is himself a decent investigator, though not naturally inclined to be as such.

    Mrs. Hudson
"What will I do when you leave, doctor? He'll bring the whole house down!"
Portrayed by: Geraldine James
Appearances: Sherlock Holmes | Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Mrs. Hudson: Tea, Mr. Holmes.
Holmes: Is it poisoned, Nanny?
Mrs. Hudson: There's enough of that in you already.

The begrudging landlord of Holmes' and Watson's apartment.

  • Servile Snarker: Like Watson, Mrs. Hudson is able to combat Sherlock's snark with her own.

Mrs. Hudson: Oh, he's killed the dog. Again.
Mary: What's wrong with Gladstone?
Holmes: ...mad honey disease. Oh, he's just demonstrating the very effect I've just described. He doesn't mind.

Watson's bulldog, which is repeatedly subjected to experimentation by Holmes.

  • Butt-Monkey: He's Watson's dog, and as a result he keeps being injected with paralytics and potentially poisoned a lot by Holmes. Lampshaded in A Game of Shadows when Watson shouts at him to stop killing his dog.
    "Holmes, how many times must you kill'' my dog."
  • Not Quite Dead: A result of several of the compounds he's injected with.
  • Phrase Catcher: Watson: "What have you done to Gladstone now!?"
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Played with. Holmes never exactly kills Gladstone and always clarifies this to other characters, but their reactions still assume this trope is in play.

    Mary Watson (née Morstan)
"Solve this... whatever it takes."
"It does seem a little far-fetched, though. Making all these grand assumptions based on such tiny details..."

John Watson's fiancé and eventual wife. She starts out not all that fond of Holmes, but soon learns to put up with him for Watson's sake.

  • Action Girl: Generally she's not a person inclined to use force, but she's still not to be underestimated.
    (holding a gun on an assassin) I think it's time for you to leave [the train].
  • Alliterative Name: Before her marriage to Watson.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She has her moments.
    Holmes: ...Take Watson-
    Mary: I intend to.
  • Food Slap: She splashes Sherlock in the face with wine when he deduces her previous engagement, and spins it like she dumped the first fiancé for not being rich enough in front of Watson. She didn't, and he died.
  • Happily Married: Despite Holmes's attempts at hijacking her engagement, she and Watson end up getting married in the sequel.
  • Neutral Female: Beautifully subverted in the sequel.
    Mary: I think it's time for you to leave.

    Irene Adler
"I've never been in over my head."
"She was the only adversary who ever outsmarted you. Twice. Made a proper idiot out of you."
Dr. John Watson

A cunning and crafty woman with unclear intentions. She and Holmes have acquainted in the past and share a deep relationship. Holmes always has her motives in question when she is involved in his work.

  • Adaptational Badass: In the books, she was nothing more than an unusually clever opera singer who happened to get her hands on a compromising photograph, and was smart enough to prevent Holmes from stealing it back. Here's, she's a full-on professional thief and a Femme Fatale who's able to best Holmes in a fight and has outsmarted him on two previous occasions.
  • Anti-Villain: She has her own agenda to handle. However, she doesn't want to hurt Sherlock, not even for Moriarty.
  • Ascended Extra: Irene Adler only appeared in one of the original Doyle stories ("A Scandal in Bohemia", where she was the antagonist), and Holmes only briefly encounters her in it. Here, she's upgraded to a major supporting character with hints of a romantic interest in Holmes.
  • Back for the Dead: She briefly appears in the sequel's opening scene, only to be killed off by Moriarty.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: She may be a thief whose first priority is herself, but she is understandably terrified of Blackwood's and Moriarty's plans.
  • Femme Fatale: Attractive, but very dangerous.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Irene Adler. Could also be said of Simza in the second film, especially after she starts wearing Watson's bowler hat.
  • The Mole: Irene is working for Professor Moriarty. The trope doesn't come into full effect until she teams up with Sherlock and Watson in the third act after trying (and failing) to call it quits.
  • The Muse: Watson claims Irene is this for Holmes.
    Watson: (after Irene breaks cover, guns blasting) She loves an entrance, your muse.
  • Never a Self-Made Woman: Holmes' Love Interest, Irene Adler, who is demoted from being one of the few people ever to outwit Sherlock to being Moriarty's lackey.
  • Promoted to Love Interest: Irene Adler... in the tradition of every single Holmes adaptation ever.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Was killed because of her feelings for Sherlock.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: She appears early on in the film, but is poisoned by Moriarty shortly afterwards.
  • Villainesses Want Heroes: She and Sherlock have been battle wits for quite a long time, but it's very clear she has strong feelings for him.
  • Villainy-Free Villain: While she's a world-class thief who has eluded Sherlock for years, the true extent of her villainy is never fully explored, and is nowhere near as dangerous as Blackwood. Or Moriarty, for that matter.
  • Toplessness from the Back: When Holmes visits her hotel room in the first film.
  • Trigger Happy: "She loves an entrance, your muse..."

    Inspector Lestrade
"In another life, Mr. Holmes, you would have made a excellent criminal."
Lestrade: You were told to wait for my orders.
Holmes: If I had, you'd be cleaning up a corpse and chasing a rumour.

An inspector at Scotland Yard whose cases often intertwine with Holmes.

  • Bad Cop/Incompetent Cop: Averted in the sequel, where he helps expose Moriarty's plans.
    • Subverted in the first film, acting as if he's taking Holmes to Lord Coward when he's actually helping Holmes deceive him.
  • Captain Obvious: Blackwood's coffin is opened to reveal the midget's corpse.
    Lestrade: That's not Blackwood!
    Holmes: (closing his eyes in exasperation) Well, now we have a firm grasp of the obvious.
  • Demoted to Extra: In the sequel. In fact, he's only briefly seen a couple of times towards the end.
  • Friend on the Force: To Sherlock and Watson, as usual.
  • Inspector Lestrade: Of course.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He continues to trust Holmes after a warrant is issued for his arrest. He slips Holmes the key to his handcuffs.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: In the first film, despite Holmes being a wanted criminal at the time, he acted as if he was bringing Holmes to Lord Coward knowing that Holmes was trying to get information from him, even giving Holmes the keys to the handcuffs.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Sherlock, who continuously one-ups him and the rest of Scotland Yard. Despite this, Lestrade respects Sherlock's talents and always trusts him to get the job done.

    PC Clark 
Portrayed by: William Houston
Appearances: Sherlock Holmes | Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

A uniformed constable working under the command of Inspector Lestrade.

  • Always on Duty: Constable Clark shows up in any scene involving the police force, no matter if day or night.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: A downplayed example, but there are some hints that he's smarter than his boss.
    Lestrade: [The gravedigger] is over there. Apparently he's cata... cata...
    Clark: Catatonic, sir.
    Lestrade: ... He's not feeling very well.
  • In-Series Nickname: Holmes and Watson, who get on with him better than Lestrade, tend to refer to him as "Clarkie".
  • Mr. Exposition: He seems to be the officer that Lestrade sends to summon Holmes to crime scenes, so a significant amount of his dialogue involves telling Holmes and Watson what Blackwood's just done.
  • Odd Friendship: Clark, a rather strait-laced policeman, and Holmes, a bohemian eccentric, seem to get on quite well.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He continue to trust Holmes after a warrant is issued for his arrest, making sure Holmes escapes the police at the slaughterhouse.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: After finding Holmes at the destroyed factory following an arrest warrant being sworn out for him, Clark instead informs Holmes that Watson's okay and tells him to get out of there sharpish.
  • Troll: He gets a certain amount of fun at Holmes's expense after the Chained to a Bed incident:
    Sherlock Holmes: And chambermaids were once such a liberal breed.
    Clark: My wife's a chambermaid, sir.
    [uncomfortable silence]
    Clark: Anyhow, it's a good thing she was offended, sir. Otherwise we'd never have found you.
    Sherlock Holmes: Yes.
    [more uncomfortable silence]
    Clark: Just joking about the wife, sir.
    Sherlock Holmes: Ah!

    Sir Thomas Rotheram 
Portrayed by: James Fox
Appearances: Sherlock Holmes

Lord Chief Justice, but actually the leader of the Temple of the Four Orders, an ancient organisation that claims to have guided the world forward for eons.

  • Kill It with Water: Played with. He drowned in his bathtub, but it was only due to a paralytic taking effect with the combination of the bathtub's material (Copper), along with the water.
  • Your Cheating Heart: He mentions he had a wife, but at some point he also had sex with another woman in a ceremony where Lord Blackwood was conceived.

    Ambassador John Standish 
Portrayed by: William Hope
Appearances: Sherlock Holmes

An American member of the Temple of the Four Orders and another party interested in the capture of Blackwood.

  • Berserk Button: Threatening America.
  • Car Cushion: His flaming body lands on a carriage after running out a window.
  • Destination Defenestration: After getting himself set on fire, he plunges out of a high window into a carriage.
  • Eagleland: Type 1. He's American, and the only member of the Temple of the Four Orders with the backbone to confront Blackwood.
  • Kill It with Fire: When Standish tries to shoot Blackwood, he ignites a compound Blackwood sprayed on him disguised as rain and the sparks from the gun (sabotaged by Reardon and planted by Dredger) set him on fire.
  • Token Good Teammate: The only member of the Temple to realize that putting Blackwood in charge is a very, very bad idea. He accuses Lord Coward of losing his mind for nominating him (and didn't even think he was serious at first), but when that doesn't work, he pulls out his pistol and shoots Blackwood. Unfortunately, Blackwood planned for it.
"Well, gentlemen? Someone has to stop him, even if you won't."
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Averted; he tried, but Blackwood had already thought around that, with a rigged bullet and a sprinkler full of a special, flammable compound.

    Mycroft Holmes
"I'm the other Holmes."
"You know, although our time together has been but a brief interlude, I'm beginning to understand how a man of... particular disposition, under certain circumstances, extreme ones, perhaps, might grow to enjoy the company of a... person of your... gender."

Sherlock's elder brother. A man of deep importance to British politics, although it is difficult to ascertain his role therein.

  • Almighty Janitor: Mycroft is indispensable to the British government, even though no one knows what he exactly does.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Finds nothing wrong with walking around naked with his butler and other men, but is taken aback at the notion that women (i.e. Mary) are creatures to be admired. He even tries to hit on her using this logic, but it fails spectacularly.
  • "Ass" in Ambassador: The government must really need him if they invited this streaker to Switzerland.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: It's largely hinted that Mycroft is even more brilliant than his brother, but nowhere near as intrepid.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Nudist, unsocial, lazy, brilliant, Mycroft is clearly something a weirdo, much like his brother.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Rivals his brother in this. Perhaps it runs in the family.
  • Emerging from the Shadows: His first entrance.
  • Handshake Refusal: He doesn't shake hands as Watson finds out.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Walking stark naked in a casual way around his house, which his servants don't even bat an eye at.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Watson knows something important must be going on if it forces Mycroft to miss an appointment to dine on potted shrimp at the Diogenes Club.

    Madame Simza Heron
"If you have a specific question, hold it in your mind."
Simza: Let me know when you're ready.
Holmes: Actually, I'd prefer to read your fortune. Temperance. Inverted. Indicative of volatility. A woman who has recently taken comfort in drink. From what does she seek solace? What does she not wish to see?

A French gypsy who eventually becomes acquainted Holmes and Watson due to their investigation into Moriarty. Holmes runs into her when he intercepts a letter that was intended to go to Moriarty.

  • Action Girl: Though she's a bit outclassed, she nevertheless is far from helpless. It really does her good during her and Holmes's fight with the Cossack assassin.
    • Her back story - told as she led Holmes and Watson to Claude Ravache's den - tells she had been an Anarchist together with her brother for a few years. No stranger to physical violence.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Doesn't look tarnished after the Heilbronn shootout and chase.
  • Bomb-Throwing Anarchists: Simza and her brother counted as these a long time ago, but she managed to get out of the job, while Rene was blackmailed into working for Moriarty.
  • Hot Gypsy Woman: Sim's hair, makeup, hygiene, and physical health look way too good considering the time period she lives in and the fact that she spends a decent chunk of time away from civilization and running water. However, she is not a Ms. Fanservice.
  • Sherlock Scan: Defied with Holmes, who seems to have a lot of trouble predicting her. Aside from interrupting his Sherlock Scan beatdown (something no other character has done), most of the conflict during the ensuing fight stems from Sim doing something useful and Holmes having no clue how to take advantage of it.
  • Skyward Scream: Lets out one when Rene dies in her arms.


    Lord Henry Blackwood
"You and I are bound together on a journey that will twist the very fabric of nature."
Portrayed by: Mark Strong
Appearances: Sherlock Holmes

"Beneath your mask of logic I sense a fragility. That worries me. Steel your mind, Holmes; or by the time you realise you made all of this possible, it'll be the last sane thought in your head."

A disgraced member of England's House of Lords. Suspected in recent times of committing the murders of five young women across London. However after his capture, he seemingly rises from the grave, intent on establishing himself and his order as the sole governing body of England and possibly beyond.

  • Affably Evil: He is quite polite, not to mention charismatic. Which is of course part of his scheme, that he's a showman who makes his scientific feats look like magical conjurations.
  • Animal Motifs: Crows. Many of the scenes involving him has a crow cawing and landing near whatever area he's currently in.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: He’s Sir Thomas Rotheram’s son, and wishes to exploit the secrets of the Temple of the Four Orders for his own ends. About halfway through the second film, he kills his father and seizes control.
  • The Anti-Christ: Blackwood deliberately invokes all the tropes associated with The Anti-Christ — witchcraft, raising from the dead after three days, grand plans to Take Over the World, disciples, etc. In one scene, he's reciting from the Book of Revelation about the biblical Beast. Holmes cautions him during their final encounter that despite Blackwood's lack of genuine dark sorcery, the rituals he performed along the way were done to a tee, with the exception of the final offering of a soul... and thus he had better hope that what he was getting himself into was just superstition.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Arrogant, powerful, and flat-out evil.
  • Badass Longcoat: Likes wearing long leather trench coats.
  • Bastard Bastard: He was conceived out of wedlock during a "magical" ritual.
  • Big Bad: of the first film. It's his machinations that Holmes has to stop.
  • Dark Messiah: Either seriously desires to be one to the people of Britain or simply just use the perception that he is one to establish absolute power. Either way, he plays it up convincingly. But then, in the end, he actually isn't... probably.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Blackwood has the resources and henchmen needed to pull off his tricks of false magic.
  • The Dreaded: Invoked by Lord Blackwood who deliberately cultivates an image of himself as a devil-worshipping Evil Sorcerer and Antichrist figure because his plans hinge on using fear to control others. Judging by the terrified crowd of Doomsayers that gather outside Parliament on the day when his plan reaches its climax, he did pretty well in that regard.
  • Evil Brit: Averted. He is evil, but being British has nothing to do with it. Everyone here is British except for Robert Downey Jr.
  • Evil Plan: Fakes his own death to convince others that he has supernatural dark power and assassinate Parliament.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Invoked but he can only fake it.. He talks the talk and uses the imagery, but his "powers" are nothing but smoke and mirrors. Though that reoccurring crow and those prophecies coming true are a bit suspect.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Blackwood has a deep, eerily intimidating voice which he rarely raises.
  • Famous Last Words: "So long journey from here to the rope."
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: Evil hair and a subtle example, his hairdo after resurrection (first seen during the Temple secret meeting) is closer to modernity by at least 4 decades. Because it's a style popular for high-ranking officers during the Third Reich. This fits with Hitler-like speech on world conquest.
  • Karmic Death: he faked a formal execution by hanging, then inadvertently hanged himself.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The movie seems to turn into a horror genre every time he's present.
  • The Man Behind the Man: For Lord Coward.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Blackwood's entire plan is more or less to inspire terror in all of London so he can use their fear of him to control them.
  • The Man They Couldn't Hang: Lord Blackwood lives through hanging the first time. Though it turns out that he didn't survive through any sort of toughness or special powers, but because his execution was staged.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: An odd number of coincidences could be seen as repercussions of his dark magic, and there's this crow that seems to be following him.
  • My Death Is Only The Beginning: Vows to Holmes that three more will die despite the fact he is meant to be hanged in the coming days. However his death is faked, which allows him to build up the perception he holds otherworldly power.
  • Obviously Evil: The name alone is a pretty clear sign he is to be feared ("Lord Blackwood" makes for a pretty standard evil mastermind name) but also his standard mode of dress is an ominous leather coat. His hair also has a slicked-back look and a Widow's Peak to complete the sinister imagery.
  • Red Right Hand: One of his front teeth is badly crooked, mirroring the nature of his character. It's also his first recognisable feature shown to the viewer in a close-up.
  • Self-Made Orphan: He kills his father, Sir Thomas Rotheram, by forcing him to drown, and his mother died after giving birth, though the latter obviously wasn't intentional.
  • Serial Killer: It's more like a case of Serial Killings, Specific Target.
  • Sword Cane: He has one during the climax.
  • Take Over the World: Certainly Great Britain, with the British Empire at the height of its power at the time. He also makes reference to extending his reach to the Americas, though he may have only said this in order to incite Standish to ignite himself with his gun.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: After Holmes saves him from falling off the bridge, Blackwood picks up a hatchet with a clear intention to attack Holmes with it.
  • Jack the Ripper: It's implied he could be him or at least have something in common.
  • Villainous Breakdown: When he's about to fall off the bridge, he loses it, shouting for Holmes to cut him loose.
  • Villains Want Mercy: When Blackwood is about to fall off the incomplete Tower Bridge, he ends up begging for Holmes to save him when the detective focuses on deducing how all of Blackwood's sorcery was only illusion. Once Holmes has saved him at the last minute, Blackwood returns to his usual demeanor and plans to attack Holmes discreetly.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He killed five girls and was about to do the same to another one. He also hits Irene during the climatic fight on Tower Bridge.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: He has Luke Reordan murdered and placed in his coffin so that the ginger midget can't tell anyone about the scientific resources he prepared to give Blackwood's theatrics an image of magic.

    Luke Reordan 
Portrayed by: Oran Gurel
Appearances: Sherlock Holmes

A short man who's referred to as "the ginger midget" and who's found dead inside Lord Blackwood's coffin. Before dying, he was a scientist working for Blackwood.

  • Animal Testing: Reordan is shown in a flashback using several amphibians to test a paralyzing mixture later used in Sir Thomas Rotheram's murder. In addition to that, both of his laboratories are filled with various animals that have been dissected and experimented upon, like rats. There are bones as well.
  • Beard of Evil: He's bearded and a willing participant in Blackwood's schemes.
  • Depraved Dwarf: Played with. Reordan was 4'10"note , but every time Watson calls him a dwarf, Holmes insists the correct term to be midgetnote . As for the "depraved" part, Reordan is known to have been a drunk as well as an avid practitioner of animal testing, and he was working for the Big Bad, but there isn't anything else known of his personality.
  • Evil Genius: Reordan made Blackwood's magic tricks possible with his scientific experiments. Irene Adler's employer Professor Moriarty is not wrong to call Reordan the key of Blackwood's plans.
  • Evil Redhead: Reordan is repeatedly called "ginger midget" and his experiments are the key to Blackwood's plans.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Averted. Reordan is shown wearing goggles during his experiments.
  • Mad Scientist Laboratory: He had two of these that are visited following his death. One's in his apartment, and the other is in a slaughterhouse. In both places, the walls are adorned with writings and drawings that speak of experiments to combine sorcery with science as well as Reordan's connection with Blackwood. From the first one, Holmes finds most of the clues regarding Blackwood's conjurer's tricks. The second one was where Reordan created the poison for the mass murder attempt and was killed by Dredger.
  • Neck Snap: Killed by Dredger this way.
  • Posthumous Character: He's introduced as a corpse, but his experiments are essential in unraveling Blackwood's "black magic".
  • Psychotic Smirk: He has one in a flashback upon the pleasing results of the above-mentioned Animal Testing of amphibians.
  • Toothy Issue: In addition to his short height and red hair, Reordan's identifiable from his lack of front teeth.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Reordan is killed by Dredger and placed in Blackwood's coffin following the Lord's mock execution, after which Blackwood utilises the resources the ginger midget provided him.

"Run, little rabbit, run." (French: Cours, petit lapin, cours.)
Portrayed by: Robert Maillet
Appearances: Sherlock Holmes

A large French thug working in the employ of Blackwood.

  • Affably Evil: He is very cordial with his adversaries and speaks as though he means them no ill will, merely business.
    Holmes: (in French) One moment, please.
    Dredger: (in French) I'm in no hurry. (And while he advances after saying so, he did let Holmes climb to his feet and speak.)
  • An Axe to Grind: Brings an axe with him to the second fight.
  • Badass Mustache: He has both the strength and facial hair you'd expect out of a 19th-century strongman.
  • Beard of Evil: Has the longest beard of the first movie's antagonists and is the most dangerous to the heroes as a physical opponent.
  • The Brute: The largest and strongest of Blackwood's minions as well as the toughest physical opponent to the heroes.
  • Catchphrase: ARGH!
  • The Coats Are Off: In both of his encounters with Holmes, Dredger takes off his coat. While he's doing this the second time, Watson manages to temporarily trap him from behind.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Uses a hammer, a barrel, a chain, and a ship during his fight with Holmes at the shipyard.
  • Deadpan Snarker: When Irene Adler wastes her ammo on Dredger and manages only to put a hole through his hat, Dredger asks "Did you... miss me?"
  • Drop the Hammer: Uses a massive hammer that was lying around during his fight with Holmes at the shipyard.
  • Eloquent in My Native Tongue: We don't hear much English from him, but his subtitled French is surprisingly polite and flowery.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Dredger isn't that sophisticated a conversationalist, but he speaks solely French, so his words, combined with his deep voice, give him a specific air of refined intimidation.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Dredger stands well over a foot taller than Sherlock.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The behemoth of a French criminal has a deep voice.
  • French Jerk: He's Affably Evil, but he's still a bad guy. His actor is actually part Canadian and part French.
  • Giant Mook: Stands about 6'11" and can take a hammer being thrown at his chest without flinching.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: The left side of Dredger's face has a scarring that accentuates his face of a thug.
  • Hat Damage: Adler puts a bullet through Dredger's bowler hat in the climax.
  • Implacable Man: Hounds Sherlock and Watson through the movie.
  • The Juggernaut: Played with. He doesn't shrug off everything Holmes and Watson throw at him, but he does it often enough that they have to resort to Combat Pragmatist tactics in place of straightforward strength (and Dredger can play Combat Pragmatist just as well as they can if the shipyard fight is any indication).
  • Lightning Bruiser: He's strong, resilient, and can run faster than Holmes.
  • Made of Iron: Takes three electrical shocks to the chest and gets up after each one (and after the third one he even manages to grab and destroy the thing that was shocking him).
  • Not So Invincible After All: During the first fight, Holmes briefly manages to drive him down to one knee by whacking his leg with some large object. And during the second fight, he — just like anyone else — goes down hard when taking a Groin Attack via sledgehammer, Holmes is able to break his arm via submission hold, and then Watson is ultimately able to choke him out via necktie.
  • Slasher Smile: He sports a nasty grin in the flashback that shows him killing Reordan.
  • Uncertain Doom: It's left unclear whether Watson's choke hold kills or merely incapacitates him.

    Lord Coward
Portrayed by: Hans Matheson
Appearances: Sherlock Holmes

"How terrible is wisdom when it brings no profit to the wise."

A British Parliamentary member who reaches out to Holmes in order to track down Lord Blackwood. In actuality, though, he is Blackwood's closest advocate and is simply putting the pieces in place in order to bring about Blackwood's new world order.

  • Chekhov's Gunman: First appears in the opening scene as a hooded man standing in the shadows during Blackwood's ritual, then leaves as Holmes and Watson attack Blackwood's men.
  • Dirty Coward: The word "coward" is a part of his name.
  • The Dragon: To Blackwood, as well as being his main connection to the British Parliament. In his public job as Home Secretary, he holds authority over the police, and uses them in the second half of the film to turn Holmes into a fugitive.
  • Just Between You and Me: Played with. He tells Holmes nothing of substance when they meet other than Blackwood's plan will commence at noon. However, seeing him has allowed Holmes to Sherlock Scan him and figure out where Blackwood's next device has been prepared. The two even lampshade this.
    Holmes: I just simply wanted to know the location of Blackwood’s final ceremony. And now you've given it to me.
    Coward: I've told you nothing.
    Holmes: But your clothes say infinitely more than you could ever hope.
  • Meaningful Name: With a name like "coward" they might as well have called Lord Blackwood Lord Jerkass.
  • Obviously Evil: Maybe someone wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, but c'mon, Lord Coward?
  • Smug Snake: He is admittedly working with genuine Magnificent Bastard Blackwood. Even taking this into account, however, he seems to spend most of the movie doing little more than standing around looking rather smug; he does attempt to avert Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?, but fails miserably.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: He believes in the need for strong shepherds who can govern weak masses, and sides with Blackwood out of respect for his authority.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: He isn’t seen after Blackwood flees Parliament, and is presumably captured and arrested.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: He tries to avert it; when Holmes is brought to his office in handcuffs, Coward dismisses the officers that brought Holmes, then goes to his desk to get a gun and begins loading it, then locks every door in his office to force Holmes towards the window. His failure was letting Holmes wander the room while he prepared, letting Holmes create a literal smokescreen and escape.
  • You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good: When Holmes reveals to Coward that he has figured out the location of Blackwood's weapon of mass murder and gotten himself free of the handcuffs while being concealed by smoke, Coward begrudgingly says that Holmes would have been a valuable ally to Blackwood had Holmes not made himself the Lord's enemy.

    Professor James Moriarty
"You really think you're the only one who can play this game?"
"The laws of celestial mechanics dictate that when two objects collide, there is always damage, of a collateral nature."

A mathematics professor at Cambridge University and a man of high regard in the global political community. Despite his accolade, he conceals a more sinister side that even Sherlock Holmes is wary of...

  • Abstract Apotheosis: He chides Holmes for expending such energy trying to take him down, when there are a hundred other warmongers hiding in the woodwork — so what's the fuss?
    "You're not fighting much as you are the human condition."
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Unlike Holmes or Watson, Moriarty wasn't noted to be a man of action in Doyle's books. Here, he was a boxing champion during his studies at Cambridge, and Holmes concedes that he's physically no match for Moriarty.
    • In Doyle's original version, Moriarty was more or less blackballed following a scandal at his university. He was "compelled" to relocate to London, where he held a job as an army coach (a sort of private tutor) despite his obvious mathematical brilliance. In the film, however, not only is Moriarty at the height of his academic prestige, he's an advisor to nations as well.
    • Heck, even his credentials have seen an upgrade. Classic Holmes mentioned Moriarty's former base of operations being one of England's "smaller" schools, possibly Leeds. Now it's Cambridge.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Moriarty was a bad guy in the books too, but he never plotted to start wars, and his better qualities were far more genuine.
  • Always Someone Better: In the finale, Moriarty demonstrates that he has the same Awesomeness by Analysis as Holmes, and stays one step ahead.
  • Arms Dealer: He's secretly taken control of most of the industries across Europe that profit from war, "everything from bullets to bandages" as Holmes puts it. As since he controls the supply, his Evil Plan is to create demand...
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: He's a scarily perfect match for Holmes in that regard.
  • Badass Bookworm: Of the pure evil kind.
  • Badass Grandpa: Well, he's wrinkled and his hair is graying and thinning, so he looks almost past retirement age. But he moves like a man half that.
  • Badass Teacher: A professor at Cambridge, with a boxing background.
  • Beard of Evil: Undeniably evil, with a full, thick beard.
  • Berserk Button: Don't question this nutcase's sanity. Or simply don't spoil his plans.
  • Big Bad: The villain of A Game of Shadows.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Manages to keep up the facade of a gentlemanly scholar and intellectual, but Holmes knows that he's a deadly criminal mastermind and quickly learns that he's certainly no gentleman.
  • Boxing Battler: Relies on straightforward boxing techniques when fighting, in comparison to Holmes' modified Bartitsu fighting style.
  • The Chessmaster: Chess motifs at the climax.
  • Combat Pragmatist: In their final confrontation, his strategy is very simple: he brutally and repeatedly attacks Holmes' wounded shoulder.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: His use of the Villain with Good Publicity trope and preference for low profile manipulation contrast him with Blackwood, who intentionally uses the Obviously Evil trope to turn himself into The Dreaded.
  • Cop Killer: Late in the first film, he guns down a cop in the sewers and steals a part of the cyanide machine.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Suppose he sends you one of his bombs. Were you quick enough to prevent its explosion? Too bad! He had a failsafe mechanism that would set it off just the same. And assuming you survive even that, he's almost certainly placed Moran nearby to hit you with a poison dart. The Professor doesn't leave much to chance.
  • Cruel Mercy: Having a sort of twisted grudge/respect towards Holmes; instead of simply killing him, he targets his friends and allies, most likely with the hope of breaking him.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Moriarty is already a rich genius and can invest in the capital which will be used to fuel the next war without killing off the existing management. By his own admission, he doesn't even need to go about having people killed to make the war happen sooner. He's already loaded and has the power to advise the British government itself. He could have legitimately gained everything he covets without committing a single crime.
  • Darker and Edgier: Jared Harris is one of the evilest and creepiest versions of Moriarty in fiction.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Of the first World War. He also demonstrates an almost supernatural control over the inner workings of London.
  • Disney Villain Death: Perhaps.
  • The Dreaded: He is feared by the criminal underworld and many influential politicians and businessmen all over Europe. Even Sherlock Holmes gets terrified when he has a first-hand look at his plans for causing a war that is capable of engulfing all of Europe.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: During his final confrontation with Holmes, the one aspect of the encounter he fails to take into account is Holmes' willingness to perform a Heroic Sacrifice, if it means that Moriarty will die with him..
  • Evil Counterpart: To Holmes himself. It's even mentioned in the first by movie by Adler, as she explains that Moriarty is just as brilliant as Holmes but infinitely more devious.
  • Evil Genius: A renowned mathematician and astrophysicist who has little regard for human life and plots crimes the way other guys do crossword puzzles.
  • Evil Teacher: Although not towards his students - in fact he's shown to be quite kindly towards them. However when he's not teaching, he soon reveals the sociopathic monster inside.
  • The Faceless: In the first movie he is only seen from behind or in shadow, to preserve his mystery as a Sequel Hook.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He's quite polite, he's also a sociopathic mastermind who was planning and actually set up the conditions for World War I to happen.
  • For the Evulz: You can see a look of pure fiendish glee when he tortures Holmes on meat hooks.
  • Genius Bruiser: He's a world-renowned Mathematics professor at Cambridge and was the university's boxing champion in his youth.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: For the first film. He's the brains behind most of Irene's actions (specifically finding one of Blackwood's henchmen), but takes a more direct stance in the second movie, after disposing of her and focusing his plans directly on Holmes.
  • Hero Killer: After killing Irene. Every time he runs into one of the main cast, he either kills or horribly injures someone.
  • I Know Karate: Moriarty reveals he knows some Bartitsu as well aside from his boxing expertise. This allows him to turn the tide of the fight to his favor by armlocking Holmes's injured shoulder and hitting it.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Moriarty is on the same level of Blackwood, or maybe even worse.
  • Lack of Empathy: Holmes quickly writes him off as "morally insane", a neurological term of the day. Basically, his mind is sound, his methods totally insane.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Seriously, witness his fight against Holmes. The man moves like a bullet.
  • Loves the Sound of Screaming: He wears a soft, contented smile while dangling Holmes from the ceiling on a meathook, and even sets up a speaker system to broadcast the sounds throughout his factory.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Moriarty orchestrated the theft of Blackwood's radio wave device, which he likely puts to use with his bombs.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The German-speaking, Schubert-loving mathematician is plotting to assassinate a foreign diplomat at close-range and blame the Anarchists for it. Things don't go quite according to plan... But Moriarty assures Holmes that there are many more men like him. Although it's a German diplomat he intends to have killed.
  • Never Found the Body: He goes over the falls with Holmes and is presumed dead, but then again, Holmes survived...
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: After Holmes reveals that he's utterly ruined his organization, the final battle is waged... in his imagination. Holmes thinks he can just paste this nerd in the jaw and be done with it, but Moriarty instantly recovers and clamps on Holmes' bad arm like a cobra. It's downhill from there.
  • No-Sell: Sherlock's fight analysis/planning is useless against him because Moriarty can think as fast and fight even faster. They both conclude in their Sherlock Scans that Moriarty would tear Holmes a new one (in part due to Holmes' injury).
  • Nothing Up My Sleeve: Has a small gun with specialized ammunition hidden in his sleeve in the first film, used once to scare away a disguised Holmes, the second to kill a police officer. This firearm, despite helping put Holmes back on the case of Moriarty after some inspectors find the officer's dead body, doesn't show up at all in the second movie.
  • Oh, Crap!: His expression when Holmes tackles him into the waterfall below. He just can't believe this gumshoe has beaten him in a matter of weeks.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Can't suppress one when he confirms his plans to kill Watson. Also has one after his and Holmes' game of blitz chess, milliseconds before attempting to brutally beat his opponent.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Plans on killing Watson and Mary even though they were not going to be part of Holmes' investigations. See the character quote above.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: War with Germany is inevitable - that's why the British government will always come to Moriarty's aid in the end. They need arms dealers like him.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Rarely raises his voice above "polite chat" level, not even after he's eventually thwarted.
  • Sore Loser: How does Moriarty react to Holmes completely checkmating him? He threatens to kill Holmes and then find a creative of endings for the Dr. and Mrs. Watson. Though he's very cordial as he says it.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: Part of his redesign from the first movie, where he was an ominous, shadowy figure. When you see him in the sequel, he's obscured by the shadows of some blinds. But he pulls them back to look at Irene face to face, and we are introduced to... an ordinary man. An ordinary Moriarty who manipulates, tortures, and kills untold numbers of people without a second thought.
  • Tranquil Fury: Sherlock didn't foresee this, and as such had no real advantage over Moriarty in their fight.
  • Tuneless Song Of Madness: Thoroughly demonstrates his psychopathy by singing along with Schubert's Die Forelle just before torturing Sherlock.
  • Villainous Breakdown: An extremely subtle one, more to do with his actions than any expression or anger. His rage is restrained, but he makes the decision to go all-out on Holmes. And then that goes out the window after Holmes pulls off his Taking You with Me Heroic Sacrifice. His facial expression as he plummets to his death is of impotent rage.
  • Villainous Friendship: Type one with Colonel Moran.
  • Villains Out Shopping: He takes time out of his villainous schemes to feed the pigeons and attend a performance of Don Giovanni.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: To everyone except Holmes and his allies, Moriarty is a kindly and respected professor of mathematics at Cambridge University, and a personal friend to the Prime Minister. The British government even invite him to the peace summit, not realising that it's Moriarty's fault France and Germany are at each other's throats in the first place.
  • Visionary Villain: Moriarty foresaw the rise of the war economy, and is angling to occupy the ground floor.
  • War for Fun and Profit: Utilizing a variety of shell companies, the Professor is arming France and Germany for the war to end all wars. He's also buying bandages to patch everyone up (at considerable cost, no doubt), so Moriarty is going to profit one way or another.
  • Wicked Cultured: Has an appreciation of Opera, particularly the work of Schubert, which he sings during the torture scene. Also, attending Don Giovanni right before the Meinhart shooting.
  • Worthy Opponent: Holmes admits respect but can barely hide the great hate he feels towards him.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He murdered Irene and threatened to harm Mrs. Watson.
  • You Cannot Kill An Idea: He barely bats an eyelash when Watson derails his plans, because the framework he put in place still exists. War will come, and it will become a business.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: To the point where it's odd that anyone agrees to work with him. You have to wonder what Moran's pension plan is.

    Colonel Sebastian Moran
Portrayed by: Paul Anderson
Appearances: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

An ex-military sniper of great renown for his impeccable aim. Veteran of the same war (Afghanistan) that John Watson served in. Following a dishonorable discharge, he became a hired assassin.

  • Age Lift: In the books, Moran was in his early fifties when Holmes disappeared. Paul Anderson was 33 when he played Moran.
  • Bad Boss: Shoots one of his own men to get a clear shot at Watson whilst sarcastically "warning" the man to back away far out of earshot. Then later, when Sherlock and company attempt to make an escape, he tells the commander of several mooks that if he fails to kill or capture them, he'll be killed for his failure.
  • Beard of Evil: His looks a lot like Moriarty's, if a little thicker and neater, which alludes to his more disciplined, militaristic form of evil.
  • Cane Fu: Moran has an unorthodox example; instead of being used as a blunt weapon, Moran's cane conceals a poison dart gun.
  • Cold Sniper: Moran uses both a poison dart gun concealed in a walking cane, and a good sniper's rifle.
  • Colonel Badass: He's one when shouting orders to the German soldiers in the train yard during the Heilbronn shootout.
  • The Dragon: To Moriarty.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Watson. Both are the right hand men behind Holmes (Watson) and Moriarty (Moran) and use a cane as a weapon, and were part of an army. However, while Watson is a good-hearted hero, Moran is dangerous killer.
  • Hero Killer: Watson describes him as the best marksman in the British Army. He is responsible for the deaths of Hoffmanstahl, Meinhard, Andrzej, Marko and Rene and almost kills Watson twice.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Is on the scene of Moriarty's crimes to make sure no loose ends are left. And also arranges the Professor's travel plans, always careful to schedule enough time for him to indulge his habit of feeding the pigeons.
  • Hypocrite: Seems rather outraged when Watson resorts to using a cannon to try and kill him... despite the fact that he was trying to do much the same: shooting a man from long-range without any chance of his target effectively fighting back.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: He can hit a target at a 650 yards range with a 7-8mph wind, a feat which Watson claims could only have been reliably pulled off by about half a dozen men in Europe. He proves pretty good on the fly, too, taking a crack shot at Watson with a rifle he scooped up while running and missing by only the slightest degree, and later shooting a Gypsy from a fair distance while suffering from a bullet wound himself.
  • Karma Houdini: Outside of losing his employer, Moran gets off pretty good and is never arrested or brought to justice at all.
  • Kick the Dog: He shoots a random German soldier who happened to be standing in front of Watson, sarcastically "warning" him to move while lining up his shot.
    Moran: You were warned.
  • Made of Iron: Takes a shot to the gut from Watson during the forest chase and manages to gun down Marko as the gypsy boards the train. Moran is seen perfectly fine about a week later.
  • Oh, Crap!: Has one when he realizes that Watson is pointing a cannon at him.
    Moran: That's not fair!
  • Psycho for Hire: Subverted in that his boss is probably more of a psycho, but his behavior in the factory proves Moran is a little too gung-ho about killing his marks.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Former war hero in Afghanistan, now personal assassin for the Napoleon of Crime.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Does this to Holmes when he kills Hoffmanstahl.
  • The Determinator: The Heilbronn shootout.
  • Undying Loyalty: Runs into a collapsed building to ensure Moriarty is alright, and after ensuring he is, goes out for Holmes' and Watson's blood.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: After killing Rene.
  • Villainous Friendship: With Moriarty.
  • Wicked Cultured: At the Paris book signing, when Moriarty informs Moran that he won't need his opera ticket, Moran says, "It's a shame, professor. I was looking forward to Don Giovanni."
  • You Have Failed Me: Shoots Rene with a poisoned dart when the latter fails to kill the German ambassador.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Throughout the film, it’s his job to kill those who are no longer useful to Moriarty, such as Dr. Hoffmanstahl, Alfred Meinhard, and Rene Heron.

Alternative Title(s): Sherlock Holmes A Game Of Shadows


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: