Johnlock 101 – An Introduction to The Johnlock Conspiracy

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Title: Johnlock 101 – An Introduction to The Johnlock Conspiracy
Creator: JayEz
Date(s): August 17, 2014
Medium: online
Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Topic: The Johnlock Conspiracy
External Links: AO3, archived version, on tumblr, Archived version
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Johnlock 101 – An Introduction to The Johnlock Conspiracy is an introductory primer to The Johnlock Conspiracy.
While researching #tjlc for my Sherlock essay, I discovered that no one had written something like "Johnlock 101" yet - so I did! Thanks to merlenhiver for breaking her beta hiatus for me <3

The aim of this essay is to show that TJLC has a point to people who haven’t spent endless hours reading up on it, who are skeptical, or who are just interested in the topic. It isn't a polemic document and I'm not trying to force my view on any reader. I'm just pointing out what members of TJLC find obvious. I don't want to offend anyone with this, just add something to the existing treasure chest of Sherlock meta.

EDIT 08-2016: Several of the sources have been deleted from their original location, but despair not! The Sherlock Meta Library will provide a safe archive in the future for ALL meta, not only TJLC-centric writing.[1]

Some Topics Discussed


"People new to TJLC might think we’re all mad and have joined Sherlock in a drug-induced daze of wishful thinking. I grant you, when I first heard the theory that “Johnlock is endgame”, I sighed longingly while chiding myself for being so naïve as to think it would ever happen in real life. Then I started reading meta and subsequently drowned in evidence until I just couldn’t deny that I’m not actually delusional, that it’s actually there and we are not at all mad. Well, at least not when it comes to TJLC.

The aim of this essay is to show that TJLC has a point to people who haven’t spent endless hours reading up on it, who are skeptical, or who are just interested in the topic."
"John hitting on Sherlock at Angelo’s – Sherlock and flirting (part II)

Like the audience, John catches up on all these little hints. As a soldier, he addresses it straight on (no pun intended) and actually asks Sherlock whether or not he has a girlfriend.
SHERLOCK: Girlfriend? No, not really my area.
JOHN: Oh. Oh? Right. [pause] Do you have boyfriend? Which is fine by the way.
SHERLOCK: I know it’s fine.
JOHN: So you’ve got a boyfriend?
JOHN: Right. Okay. [licks lips] So you’re unattached. Like me. Fine. Good.
If you look at the dialogue alone you’ll see what TJLCers mean: John is actually hitting on Sherlock, who realises this (which he didn’t or pretended not to in Molly’s case, mind you) and tells John that he is married to his work. Okay then. John backpedals and the case distracts them again, yet the point stands.

And if you’re having trouble seeing it, just imagine the scene playing out with a man and a woman instead. NOW they’re definitely flirting, right? Since we have hints from three different people who have known Sherlock for a while, it is not unreasonable to assume that Sherlock is not, in fact, heterosexual."
"The title card of the Unaired Pilot features a statue, more specifically the statue of Anteros, the Greek God of requited love. It is located on Shaftesbury Avenue and if you’re giggling like I was when I read that for the first time, you’re not wrong to do so. Shaftesbury Avenue has all sorts of homosexual connotations and it constantly shows up in BBC’s Sherlock: it features in The Blind Banker (it’s where Sherlock and John find the first code in the Chinese Emporium), the Network Game (more on that later), and in The Geek Interpreter, a case detailed on John’s blog.

So, the Greek God for requited love on Shaftesbury Avenue. This leads TJLCers to the conclusion, which is still only one of many, that Johnlock has been requited since the pilot, or in the least that the sexual attraction has been present since the pilot – on both sides. (For transparency’s sake: There is still a bit of discussion about when exactly John and Sherlock fell for the other.)"
Steven Moffat... In terms of LGB representation, he has some things going for him: He invented the character of Jack Harkness on Doctor Who, who is often cited as a great example of a queer character on TV. In the 1990s, he wrote a show called Press Gang which featured prominent female characters and people of colour. And he wrote two lesbian AUs of Holmes and Watson – Vastra and Jenny on Doctor Who as well as Miranda and Min on Jekyll."
"There is so much evidence that TJLCers is not only a figment of our imagination but actually exists that I find it dizzying at times. There is so much more than I have included here.

Of course, we might be wrong. This might all just be a mass delusion instead of a slow-burn romance veiled in a story about a detective and his blogger.

I would be very sad and disappointed in that case, but I really don’t think it’s going to come to that. Johnlock will be canon by the end of season 5 (unless they greenlight another season). It will be glorious and a landmark for LGB presentation on international television.

If you don’t see it, it’s okay. Your interpretation of the show is different from mine. Please, just don’t shame anyone for believing in TJLC. And TJLCers, don’t shame anyone for not seeing it your way either! Keep an open mind. In the end, whether it’s John and Mary or John and Sherlock, Sherlock is an amazing TV show and brings lots of people a lot of joy."

Fan Reactions

On AO3

[Account Deleted]

"Thanks a lot for putting that together. I read through the most important metas already, so I'm in TJLC anyway, but this was put together well and orderly in a way that makes sense and flows naturally. Very thorough (even though, yes, there is so much more to put in there) and carefully written, thanks for taking the care to do that.

I have to admit that th LSIT's meta on the BBC LGBT research comission was what sold me completely, too. I'd read quite a number of TJLC metas before that one, and I thought it was interesting and held very intelligent and shrewd observations regarding so many different aspects (cinematography, plot, etc.) but even then it felt... like you said, I felt a little naive. "What, no, yeah, I love Johnlock but this is never gonna happen. This is reality." But then I read 'Softly, Softly,' and it made so much more sense. SS really hit the nail for me. Convinced me utterly. I'm still a little shaky in my belief (because by God that would be--...beyond brilliant) but then I'll remember SS and that there's a social statement behind all of this, and it makes so much sense it couldn't possibly be anything else.

If TJLC is wrong, then, well, it's wrong, but that doesn't change the fact it would have been made for it.

Anyway , sorry for blathering. Thank you again, thoroughly enjoyed it. <3"[2]


"Woah this must have taken so much effort. I would totally be on board with this if it wasn’t for season 4. Does anybody know of anywhere where there’s a s4 explanation for tjlc?"[3]

[JayPendragon (OP)]

"Ha, yes, season 4 was the slap in every TJLCer's face... I'm still not over how hard they dropped the ball^^

I do remember some weird theories about how s4 is all in Sherlock's mind palace or how 4x01 and 4x02 are but that The Final Problem is John's nightmare version or something....However, I haven't been keeping up with meta at all in the wake of s4, so I can't say more, I'm afraid."[3]

On Tumblr

As of July 2020, the essay has slightly over 500 notes on tumblr (counting likes and reblogs), but not many in-depth comments. The comments on the post are mostly favorable.

"Okay I totally thought this would all be batshit, but it was actually a really interesting read. As for Johnlock - we can only hope!"[4]





  1. ^ Johnlock 101 – An Introduction to The Johnlock Conspiracy, Archived version by JayEz. Published on August 17, 2014. Accessed on July 27, 2018.
  2. ^ Comment thread on AO3, Archived version (Accessed July 18, 2020)
  3. ^ a b Comment thread on AO3 (Accessed July 19, 2020)
  4. ^ Reblog by booksblanketsandtea, Archived version (Accessed July 22, 2020)
  5. ^ Reblog by lordifarz (Accessed July 22, 2020)