Talk:Professor Moriarty

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Moriarty does not first appear in The Red-Headed League. I guess youre confusing the book with the tv show. The link to the red-headed league article even says it was changed for tv. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:52, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

I was about to move this to James Moriarty, when it struck me that this is a fictional person. Do naming conventions also apply for fictional persons? Jeronimo

Probably not as much. Also, naming conventions allow (I think) for pseudonyms, stage names, and common names when these are overwhelmingly more known than the person's real name. -- Tarquin 10:15 Sep 13, 2002 (UTC)

I had no idea his first name was James. He's often referred to simply as "Moriarty," and if not that, then usually "Professor Moriarty." --KQ

In "The Final Problem", we are introduced to two Moriartys: the Professor, whose first name is not given, and his brother, Colonel James Moriarty. However, when Holmes is recapping in "The Empty House", he refers to Professor James Moriarty. (He doesn't refer to the Colonel at all, so the most likely off-screen explanation is that ACD got his Moriartys mixed up; but some of the fan attempts at an in-story explanation are quite amusing.)
And then, of course, there's the Professor's other brother, the station-master, mentioned in The Valley of Fear: as far as I recall, his first name is not mentioned, and the idea that he also is called James is merely the by-product of a particularly symmetrical fan theory.
-- Paul A 3:05pm Jan 20, 2003 (UTC)
Remember ACD was writing at a time when these sort of deep analysis of fiction was not considered (although Biblical Analysis is comparable). It's not surprising that Watson couldn't remember where his war wound was, let alone details of dead characters which were created for particular stories. CFLeon 00:30, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

We ought to keep him as Professor Moriarty as this is how he is better known. For the Doctor Who page, for example, we don't call him by his university name "Sigma Theta"


"Moriarty never actually shows his face in the Holmes canon"? Has anyone actually sat down and read "The Final Problem"?
"He's often referred to simply as 'Moriarty'"? I'm convinced that no one since 1971 has been willing or able to crack open the book and read the printed words.

Lestrade 20:36, 21 September 2005 (UTC)Lestrade

The professor only makes a on-stage appearance in Holmes' flashbacks (and the letter he writes to Watson). Watson only sees him from a distance and doesn't know who he is at the time. In fact, until "The Empty House", EVERYTHING Watson knows about Moriarty is what Homes has told him. Several writers have speculated that Moriarty was invented by Holmes for various reasons. CFLeon 00:30, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
How does that tie in with Watson's mentioning Colonel Moriaty's pieces defending his late brother, which Watson gives as the reason for recounting the events of Holmes' death? Timrollpickering (talk) 14:03, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

The Waterfall[edit]

I hope you don't mind me removing the picture of the waterfall; it seemed highly unnecessary and was kind of clamming the article up. -- 05:34, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Moriarty in TNG Mistake or No?[edit]

The article states ...when Geordi LaForge has the computer create a foe, he mistakenly asks it to create a foe "capable of defeating Data" instead of Holmes. Due to this error in phrasing...

However, the episode's article doesn't say it was a mistake in phrasing, neither does the Memory Alpha page.

Geordi purposely wants the computer to create an opponent capable of defeating Data, but does not realize the ramifications of the request until later. Prometheus-X303- 14:18, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Geordi does not want to create an opponent the equal of Data. Dr. Pulaski contends that Data is incapable of solving a Holmes mystery that he hasn't read, and Geordi decides to test her theory by having the computer create an original Holmes adventure. The point isn't to create a mystery that would challenge Data, but to create one that would challenge Holmes and see if Data can solve it. Later in the episode, when Geordi and Picard are discussing what could've gone wrong, Geordi says something along the lines of, "I asked the computer to create an opponent capable of defeating Holm--shiznit! I asked it to create an adversary able to defeat Data." Seantrinityohara (talk) 20:45, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Moriarty a mathematician?[edit]

I think this "He is a man of good birth and excellent education, endowed by nature with a phenomenal mathematical faculty. ..." comes from a book called The Seven Percent Solution, which was not written by Conan Doyle. LDH 01:38, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

No, Google books finds this in "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes", by Doyle. LouScheffer 07:12, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Right you are. What I misremembered from the 7% book was something like, "Who has anything new to say about the binomial theorem these days?" :) LDH 10:38, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

The following assertion is made at Non-Euclidean geometry#Fiction:

Professor James Moriarty, a character in stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is a criminal mastermind with a PhD in non-Euclidean geometries.

No reference is given. Can someone find a passage that supports the assertion ? — Rgdboer (talk) 23:39, 13 March 2016 (UTC)

No response from 152 watchers over 5 days. The passage was removed. — Rgdboer (talk) 21:24, 18 March 2016 (UTC)


In an unfavored and forgotten version, Moriarty and Holmes die falling off a cliff. Doyle was so tired of Holmes, so he decieded to kill him. The public didn't like it, so they forced Sir Arthur to make another version. So, Doyle makes Sherlock die in his sleep. The public allowed it. Search for it on Google, I heard this in my British Literature course. -- 03:10, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Interestingly enough, in another forgotten version written later by a friend of Doyle's, that scene is played out from Watson's view, where he finds Holmes attacking himself and punching himself. He subsequently realizes that Moriarity is nothing but Holmes himself. ~ PHDrillSergeant...§ 16:42, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Not exactly. Wryspy (talk) 22:59, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
There is a story called "The House that Jack Built" by Edward Wellen that deals with the idea that Holmes and Moriarty are akin to Jekyll and Hyde.--BruceGrubb (talk) 22:10, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Jeremy Brett died in his sleep - the actor that portrayed Sherlock Holmes in the UK series. Qewr4231 (talk) 09:07, 20 June 2010 (UTC) Jeremy_Brett

La jeune fille à l'agneau[edit]

I don't think Moriarty is actually stated as owning this specific picture; Holmes is just using it as an example of how expensive a Greuze is. This was a real painting which really did fetch the amount stated at the sale of the collection of the late James-Alexandre, comte de Pourtalès-Gorgier in 1865; it is mentioned in the 1911 Encylopædia Britannica article on Jean-Baptiste Greuze. Opera hat (talk) 08:59, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Upon further inspection, this looks correct. In the pictures with a lamb, the young lady does not have her head on her hands. Picture with lamb - Another picture with lamb - Picture with head on hands, looking sideways. Here are the lines from the book (it's out of copyright):

"It would be. Did you happen to observe a picture over the professor's head?"

"I don't miss much, Mr. Holmes. Maybe I learned that from you. Yes, I saw the picture—a young woman with her head on her hands, peeping at you sideways."

"That painting was by Jean Baptiste Greuze."

The inspector endeavoured to look interested.

"Jean Baptiste Greuze," Holmes continued, joining his finger tips and leaning well back in his chair, "was a French artist who flourished between the years 1750 and 1800. I allude, of course to his working career. Modern criticism has more than indorsed the high opinion formed of him by his contemporaries."

The inspector's eyes grew abstracted. "Hadn't we better—" he said.

"We are doing so," Holmes interrupted. "All that I am saying has a very direct and vital bearing upon what you have called the Birlstone Mystery. In fact, it may in a sense be called the very centre of it."

MacDonald smiled feebly, and looked appealingly to me. "Your thoughts move a bit too quick for me, Mr. Holmes. You leave out a link or two, and I can't get over the gap. What in the whole wide world can be the connection between this dead painting man and the affair at Birlstone?"

"All knowledge comes useful to the detective," remarked Holmes. "Even the trivial fact that in the year 1865 a picture by Greuze entitled La Jeune Fille a l'Agneau fetched one million two hundred thousand francs—more than forty thousand pounds—at the Portalis sale may start a train of reflection in your mind."

There are still a couple more assertions in this section of the article that need clarification. Opera hat (talk) 21:48, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

The anime-character[edit]

How about Moriarty in the anime Sherlock Hound? Egon Eagle (talk) 00:03, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

Role models[edit]

While the article shows some real terriblr people in the worldodels, it seems to me neglected a fictional antecedent: analogously to Poe's August Dupin, the unscrupulous Minister D (from the "The Purloined Letter") can be a model for Moriarty. D is both poet and mathematician, expert in Calculus. The Minister D is presented as contemporarily very smart and cunnning. -- (talk) 21:31, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

The Wikipedia article on the flamboyant French criminal/detective Vidocq suggests that he may have been the model for many literary characters, including both Moriarty and Holmes. In French literature he inspired Balzac's master criminal Vautrin . (talk) 03:26, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

No Moriarty face-to-face[edit]

The article states that M never shows his face in the canon, when The Final Problem has 2.5 pages of dialogue between Holmes and M? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Noonand (talkcontribs) 13:57, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Holmes describes the interview to Watson. Watson never sees Moriarty himself, unless you count a far-off view of a man "walking very rapidly", "his black figure clearly outlined against the green", towards the Reichenbach Falls where Watson last saw Holmes. Opera hat (talk) 18:29, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

The Article[edit]

There is some confusion in the article, which I don't know how best to rectify. One or two things are more or less said twice. There is what seems like internal discussion of whether it is two or three times that Moriarty was killed off in the Basil Rathbone films. I don't think I have them all, to check this. I find it just as interesting that he was never played by the same actor twice. And Orson Welles also played both Holmes and Moriarty, for radio in both cases.

Rogersansom (talk) 17:28, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Needs to be fixed[edit]

"have described this as a pun by Doyle upon the name of Thomas Agnew of the gallery "Thomas Agnew and Sons", who had a famous painting[2] stolen by Adam Worth, but was unable to prove the fact.[1]"

The sentence begins midway through. (talk) 02:45, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Done. Thanks for the flag-up. Mezigue (talk) 14:53, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Moriarty in popular culture[edit]

The Moriarty in popular culture section is pretty bloated, and seems to be a list of not just depictions, but practically every time the word "Moriarty" has appeared in popular culture. It's pretty much trivia. I reckon we could rename it to Moriarty in later works, condense it down to a paragraph and perhaps have a short list of the most important depictions - i.e.

In later adaptations and derivative works of the Sherlock Holmes stories the character of Moriarty, or derivatives thereof, frequently appears as an antagonist to Sherlock Holmes. In many he is Holmes' principal and greatest nemesis.

Some of the best-known portrayals of Professor Moriarty include:

  • A list of maybe a dozen or so of actors who have portrayed the in some of the best known adaptations.

What do people think? In my opinion the long list doesn't do this article any favors right now. LukeSurl t c 00:18, 23 December 2011 (UTC)


  • I considered not mentioning it, but since the article goes so far as to say that Dublin-born Andrew Scott plays the character of Jim Moriarty "with a strong Irish accent," I thought it worthwhile to note that the character's manner of speaking appears to be inspired by Enrico Colantoni's portrayal of "Mathesar" in the 1999 film "Galaxy Quest". That's my original research, but the similarity is uncanny. --Dystopos (talk) 03:25, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

Meaning of last name?[edit]

There is Spanish verb 'morir' which means 'to die' and 'mori' means 'i die' in Spanish, but I assume that the latin (which I do not know) word 'mori' means 'you die'. Then add on the word 'arty' and it impresses me that his name confers 'the art of making you die'. Help me on this, I am not qualified in this area. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:02, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

Spoiler in the opening paragraph.[edit]

"...was introduced primarily as a narrative device to enable Conan Doyle to kill off Sherlock Holmes"

Not sure what the policy is here, but could we consider removing the major plot spoiler in the opening paragraph? Chris112358 (talk) 04:36, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

The adventures of shirley holmes : Sarah Ezer as Molly Hardy: Shirley's nemesis, and Moriarty counterpart[edit]

This incarnation of moriarty is missing, please add it to the TV's adaptations section Here is here info: Sarah Ezer as Molly Hardy: Shirley's nemesis, and Moriarty counterpart. A newcomer to Sussex Academy, Molly first appeared as Alicia Gianelli's running mate during the school election for student council president. Through an elaborate scheme, Molly is elected student council president. Her true scheming nature is hidden from everyone except Shirley and Bo. Although her machinations are routinely thwarted by Shirley, Molly manages to escape punishment. She is revealed to be a sociopath in "The Case of the Crooked Comic" and is a mastermind of evil genius with an IQ of 160. Molly first appeared in "The Case of the Ruby Ring." It is possible that she is in fact descended from Professor Moriarty. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Drumerwritter (talkcontribs) 21:03, 1 May 2016 (UTC)