Irene Adler

From Fanlore
Jump to: navigation, search
Name: Irene Adler (married name, Irene Norton)
Occupation: adventuress
Relationships: Godfrey Norton (husband), Sherlock Holmes (respected adversary)
Fandom: Sherlock Holmes
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Irene Adler is one of the most notable female characters in the original Sherlock Holmes canon.

Sherlock Holmes (Granada)

Sherlock Holmes (Granada) she is portrayed by Gayle Hunnicutt.

"A Scandal in Bohemia" was the first episode of the first series of Granada Holmes. The portrait of Irene is kept in Holmes' desk and appears in a few more episodes.

Sherlock Holmes (2009)

In the 2009 movie Sherlock Holmes she is portrayed by Rachel McAdams (also of Slings & Arrows.) In this film she has divorced her husband and is "Irene Adler again." She and Holmes have a more romantically tinged relationship.


In Sherlock the episode 'A Scandal in Belgravia' is the first and (as of now) only episode in which Irene Adler, portrayed by Laura Pulver, appeared. Irene, who is a Dominatrix (a woman who plays BDSM games with her clients), has incriminating pictures of her and a female member of the Royal family on her phone and provides a tough obstacle for Sherlock, who is sent by his brother to recover the picture. She claims to be gay, but admits that her clients are not limited to the female gender.

True to her set-up in Arthur Conan Doyle's Canon she plays with Sherlock and is the only woman to get to him.

Due to her portrayal as a dominatrix, her role is criticized by some fans as sexist.

Sherlock on Irene:

Sherlock: Where's the woman?
John: Which woman?
Sherlock: The woman woman!
(A Scandal in Belgravia, BBC DVD)

Sherlock: Meta/Analysis


In Elementary, Irene was Sherlock's ex-lover who is thought to have been killed by a serial killer called "M." She is later found alive, apparently being held captive by Moriarty. It is revealed that "Irene" actually is Jamie Moriarty, who assumed the identity to seduce Sherlock and distract him from his investigations. Irene/Moriarty is portrayed by Natalie Dormer.

Russian TV

This article or section needs expansion.

Sherlock Holmes (2013 TV Series)

Irene Adler (portrayed by Lyanka Gryu) has a love affair with Sherlock Holmes.[1]

Example Fanworks

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.





In other fannish media

  • Sophie Devereaux dresses up as Irene Adler for a costume party in S5 of Leverage.
  • The first patient in the first episode of House, M.D. is named Rebecca Adler. In S5, James Wilson tells a story about a patient named Irene Adler that Gregory House saved and then fell in love with, but the story is apparently not true.
  • There is a Marvel Comics character called Destiny, whose real name is Irene Adler. She is the lover of Mystique and adoptive mother of Rogue.


  1. ^ Sherlock Homes (2013 TV Series) on Wikipedia