Jim Moriarty

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Name: James "Jim" Moriarty
Occupation: Consulting Criminal
Relationships: Molly Hooper (it's complicated), Sherlock Holmes (fan of and archenemy), Irene Adler (consultant for)
Fandom: Sherlock (BBC)
Other: Professor Moriarty (Wikipedia)
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Jim Moriarty is "our favorite Semtex-happy consulting criminal"[1] and the major antagonist in BBC's TV miniseries Sherlock. He is based on the original Sherlock Holmes character Professor James Moriarty, and "Jim" is a nickname for "James."[2][3]

Jim is portrayed by Andrew Scott. Although 'Moriarty' is an Irish name, Scott is the first actor to lend the character a corresponding accent - in this case, Scott's own Dublin accent.[4]


"I had all this stuff and never knew what to do with it. Thank god for the consultant criminal. ... Didn't even ask for anything, I think he just likes to cause trouble. Now that's my kind of man."
- Irene Adler on Jim Moriarty, A Scandal in Belgravia

"Moriarty" is referenced in the first and second episodes as a behind-the-scenes antagonist. He sponsors a serial killer in the first episode where it is also revealed that he is a "fan" of Sherlock Holmes, and he works with a Chinese smuggling gang in the second.

In the tie-in blogs between episodes two and three, Jim introduces himself to Molly Hooper after she accidentally mentions Sherlock's name on her blog. The comments show that they meet for coffee, begin seeing each other, watch Glee together, and they flirt in the comments.

Jim is officially introduced in the third episode when he begins playing a "game" with Sherlock where he will kill people if Sherlock doesn't solve his puzzles on time. When Molly introduces "Jim" to Sherlock, he's "playing gay" to throw him off and this upsets Molly. Jim reveals he is Moriarty in the final confrontation scene when he has John Watson kidnapped and strapped with semtex explosives. The episode ends on a cliffhanger, which is resolved in series 2.

Series two reveals more of his obsession with Sherlock. At the end of the series he reveals his belief that neither can live without the other before killing himself.

Jim made his comeback, though in dream form, during the 2016 christmas special. This follows the global release of his "Did you miss me?" video at the end of series 3. During the special Jim lures Sherlock to the original Reichenbach falls only to be stopped by John. He also appears in a wedding dress as to mimick a bride who died and came back to life in a similar fashion to Jim's supposed revival. He also repeats a scene from series 2.

In series 4 Jim is seen arriving to Eurus' cell in a helicopter only it's revealed that this happened before the events of his death. It's also revealed that he made extensive voice and video recordings for Eurus to play with before he died to trick Sherlock into thinking he was still alive.

In summary, Jim lived for the torment and suffering of Sherlock Holmes.


One aspect of Jim that is especially loved by fans is the overt homoerotic tension between himself and Sherlock Holmes; he refers to Sherlock with endearments such as "sexy" and "my dear," he "play[s] gay" to get close to Sherlock, and he makes other sexually suggestive remarks ("Is that a British Army Browning L9A1 in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?") to him. Sherlock plays along (in response to the above quote, Sherlock playfully says, "Both!" and pulls out the gun) and is intensely interested in their game despite the threat to peoples' lives. Jim/Sherlock is Jim's biggest pairing.[5][6]

The scene where Jim is first introduced has caused some controversy in fandom, specifically the part where Sherlock deduces Jim is "gay" based on his physical appearance. Although Jim later says he was "playing gay," so he wanted Sherlock to deduce that he was homosexual, Sherlock's conclusion dismisses bisexuality and excludes evidence that Jim and Molly were in a romantic relationship (Molly explicitly refers to it as an "office romance"). Fans have criticized the writers, as well Sherlock's character and his use of logic. Other fans have defended the scene, saying it shows how well Jim understands how Sherlock works so Jim is able to manipulate him.

Following series one, some fans speculated that Jim Moriarty might not be the "real" Moriarty, and he is perhaps a relative of another "James Moriarty." However, creator Mark Gatiss specifically refers to Jim as "James Moriarty" in the series one DVD commentary, and the theory was mostly put to rest with series two. One version of this theory is that Molly Hooper is the real antagonist of the show and is working with Jim, and this version of her has been nicknamed "Molliarty"/"Mollyarty". Another theory is that Jim is named after his father James Moriarty who is really running things.

Quotes that have been widely turned into merch and Sherlock icons include "Honey you should see me in a crown" and "Westwood!". The carved I.O.U apple from series 2 has also become an emblem of the show.


Jim is most commonly shipped with Sherlock Holmes,[5][6] as well as with Molly Hooper (see Jim/Molly) and John Watson.

He's also been shipped with Sebastian Moran (ship known as MorMor), who is Moriarty's right hand man and "bosom friend" from the original Sherlock Holmes stories, although he hasn't yet been introduced in the BBC miniseries.[7][8][9] Moran is basically an original character, and fan interpretation of him and his relationship with Jim varies widely. Sebastian is also cited by Jim fans as a useful way to exploring other sides of Jim's character.

Following series two, Jim's pairings with Sebastian Moran and Mycroft Holmes both became a bit more popular.


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



  1. ^ As quoted here by the_randomist in advertisement for the Jim Moriarty fan community.
  2. ^ The character's first name is always referred to as "Jim" in the show and is listed as "Jim" in the credits, but in the commentary for The Great Game co-creator Mark Gatiss clearly identifies Jim as James Moriarty.
  3. ^ Jim is confirmed to be a nickname for "James" in The Reichenbach Fall.
  4. ^ According to Mark Gatiss in the DVD commentary for episode 1.03.
  5. ^ a b Based on the pairing tags at SherlockBBC, Jim/Sherlock has more posts than all of Jim's other pairings combined.
  6. ^ a b Sherlock/Jim is also the highest rated pairing on Jim's shipping poll.
  7. ^ There has been some speculation that the "Sebastian" character from the second episode was Moran, but his last name is Wilkes.
  8. ^ Counter point: "Sebastian Moran ... was totally in the show, he was one of the snipers. IT COUNTS, OKAY" [1]
  9. ^ Fans have also speculated that one of the (shown) gunmen in the final series two episode was Sebastian Moran.