HomeFC ORIGINALSWhy Was Moriarty Obsessed With Sherlock?

    Why Was Moriarty Obsessed With Sherlock?

    In the polished corners of 221B Baker Steet in modern-day London, a brilliant mind often makes trips to his mind palace amid his perpetual boredom with the mundanity of ordinary minds around him. Somewhere else in London is an extraordinary predator and a master of manipulation, lurking in the shadows, and keen to challenge the greatest detective of our time. These two characters, Sherlock and Moriarty, from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s book series, have long managed to weave stories of intrigue and genius.

    BBC’s ‘Sherlock‘ has done full justice to both these characters by introducing a whimsical and charming Sherlock and a similar Moriarty to the screens. Played by Andrew Scott, Moriarty is fairly obsessed with Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock on the show. While fans have duly noted the obsession, many are confused about the reason behind it. Some suggest that the two have an enemies-to-friends trope and are in love with each other, while others opine that the two could be related, just like Sherlock and his psychopathic sibling Eurus. Here’s what we know about this fascinating obsession between the two characters.

    Related: ‘Sherlock’ Co-Creator Says “We’d Love To Make A Film” Version With Benedict Cumberbatch And Martin Freeman

    What Is Moriarty’s Obsession With Sherlock About?

    Sherlock and Moriarty
    Sherlock and Moriarty

    While several shows and films have been made based on the iconic lore of detective Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, only a few have managed to introduce a worthy adversary in it. In BBC’s acclaimed series ‘Sherlock’, that role is expertly filled by Jim Moriarty, Sherlock’s diabolical yet charming nemesis.

    BBC’s modern-day adaptation of ‘Sherlockcast Benedict Cumberbatch as the genius detective with Martin Freeman as his steadfast companion, Dr. John Watson. Set against the backdrop of contemporary London, the show presented some of Sherlock’s iconic cases, while also introducing audiences to several interesting characters. Other than Irene Adler, another new character that stood out was James Moriarty, played by Andrew Scott.

    Moriarty introduced himself as the “consulting criminal” to Sherlock’s “consulting detective, ” fitting perfectly like the Yin to his Yang. It was no rocket science to catch Moriarty obsessed over Sherlock, watching his every move and missing no chance to challenge him. And why wouldn’t he? After all, Moriarty is also a victim of the same feeling of boredom that Sherlock grapples with on a daily basis because of what they both call “ordinary” minds around them.

    Moriarty’s fascination with Sherlock ran deeper than mere rivalry. Like Sherlock, Moriarty was a genius with a complex psyche. The most viable reason for Moriarty’s obsession with Sherlock is the thrill of outsmarting someone who’s as much of a genius as he is. Both these characters find it thrilling to be challenged so they can use their brains to declare a scathing checkmate at the end of the game. Despite being the protagonist, even for Sherlock, solving cases is more about the adrenaline rush it gives him than it is about actually solving crimes. And so the two fit perfectly like pieces of a puzzle.

    In case you missed it: ‘Sherlock’: Benedict Cumberbatch Is Ready To Return For 5th Season But On One Condition

    Is Moriarty More Intelligent Than Sherlock?


    Sherlock‘ is one of those few shows that put fans in a deep dilemma about their love for the show’s protagonist and/or antagonist. Sherlock is definitely loved by many, but so is Moriarty. Whether it is because of the charisma of the villainous character or because of Andrew Scott’s pitch-perfect acting, we cannot say.

    This dilemma stems from another, much bigger dilemma about Moriarty’s intelligence compared to Sherlock’s. Which of the two is smarter has long been a topic of debate among many fans. While Moriarty undoubtedly gave cutthroat competition to his nemesis and put Sherlock in several difficult situations, many argue that Sherlock’s deductive prowess ultimately surpassed that of his adversary. Others contend that Moriarty’s ability to manipulate and deceive Sherlock tactfully every time, gives him an edge over the detective in certain respects.

    However, the relationship between Sherlock and Moriarty is a complex interplay of intellect, obsession, and despite it all, mutual respect. Whether or not Moriarty was truly more intelligent than Sherlock is a matter of interpretation, but one thing is certain: their rivalry remains one of the most compelling and intellectually stimulating in the history of TV shows.

    As the show progresses, Moriarty realizes that he is merely a reflection of his arch-rival, Sherlock. He recognizes a kindred spirit in the detective’s dark and troubled soul that is similar to his own. Being the criminal psychopath that he already is, Moriarty decides to kill himself on the spot and leaves Sherlock with no other choice than to commit suicide to save his friends.

    Both characters reappear in the latter seasons, though Moriarty plays a role in the past, and of course, makes Sherlock go through hell there too.

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    Aishwarya is a Senior Sub-Editor at First Curiosity. Working as a news writer for over 3 years, she has written on an array of things for a couple of media houses in different capacities. With writing as her outlet, she is now exploring the world of art and glamour. She has previously been associated with ETV Bharat and India Today as part of national editorial teams. With a fair share of work done covering national and international issues, she is now navigating through her abilities in the field of films and art. A movie and TV show buff, Aishwarya at First Curiosity tries to bring forth what a layman's eye might easily miss out on. Her flair for words and ability to convey what's between the lines are her biggest strengths. Her love for films and writing stems from her fondness for words and all things artsy. An avid reader and writer alike, Aishwarya likes to delve into any and all forms of art. When not tapping on her keyboard churning out articles, she can be found staring at books or screens, trying to find stories that'll help her explore the world and its portrayal through art better.

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