- "My first instinct was to kill you. Quietly-discreetly. But then, the more I learned about you, the more...curious I became. Here, at last, seemed to be a mind that rivaled my own, something too complicated and too beautiful to destroy. At least, without further analysis."
- ―Jamie Moriarty
Jamie Moriarty is Sherlock Holmes' nemesis. After Sherlock interrupted several of her plans when he worked for Scotland Yard, she tricked Sherlock into falling in love with her so she could study him, knowing her only as Irene Adler. She is the main antagonist of the first season, and her character (both as Irene Adler and as Moriarty) is mentioned in many episodes of Season One before she actually appears. Even after her arrest and imprisonment, she continues to have a great impact on him, and he writes letters back and forth with her because she is 'the only person he can relate to'. She is played by Natalie Dormer.
Jamie Moriarty's past relationship with the detective, over the course of seven months, is shown in flashbacks in the episode The Woman. When Sherlock Holmes interrupted several of her plans of assassinations in London, Moriarty at first considered killing him, but intrigued by his deductive abilities- which she has compared more than once to her own, although firmly maintaining she is the smarter individual- she instead created the identity of Irene Adler and arranged for him to visit her. As Irene, she was an American traveler in London who both painted her own works and restored historic ones- apparently stealing some so that she could 'properly' preserve them, which Holmes respectfully chose not to report her for. Moriarty's passion for art is one of the few characteristics she retained as Irene. She seduced Sherlock into falling in love with her as so she could study him, finding him curious. When she discovered that Sherlock was not a real threat to her other operations, she staged Irene's death (leaving a pool of her own blood and a note signed 'M', the modus operandi of her primary assassin, Sebastian Moran), and resumed her business as Moriarty. Jamie was unaware of Sherlock's subsequent descent into drug addiction, and showed genuine regret when she found out about it.
Sometime around 2005-2006 (well before she met Sherlock as Adler, and when she was just beginning her career as a criminal overlord) Jamie had a brief affair with Joshua Vikner and became pregnant. She did not have an abortion; however, she knew that having children would interfere with her criminal aspirations. Instead, after giving birth she gave the baby (Kayden) for adoption to the Fullers, a wealthy infertile English couple who later moved to New York. Despite her extremely ruthless nature, Jamie kept close track of her daughter and clearly cared about her, although there is no evidence that she ever communicated with her.
Sherlock notes that Jamie seldom actually involves herself directly in her operations, since she is the head of her crime syndicate and it poses a risk. However, she is perfectly capable of operating alone, as shown in 'Heroine' and 'The Diabolical Kind' when she hunts down and kills her various rogue agents single-handedly.
"I would never kill you. Not in a million years...you may not be as unique as you thought, darling, but you're still a work of art. I appreciate art. What I can do, what I will do, is hurt you. Worse than I did before. I have reserves of creativity I haven't even begun to tap. So, for your own good, let me win."
-Jamie to Sherlock, after revealing herself
After Moriarty staged her death as Irene Adler, Sherlock got addicted to drugs, moved to New York, and eventually checked-in to rehab and got on the road to recovery. When she heard about Sherlock's recovery, she followed after him to New York to see how far he'd recovered- partly because he was once again posing a threat to her interests, but also because she was genuinely concerned about him.
The character of Moriarty is first mentioned in the episode 'M' of Season One, when Sherlock captures the assassin Sebastian Moran-who is making hits on behalf of Moriarty using an M.O. to make the police think he is a random serial killer. Sherlock interrogates Moran, believing he killed Irene Adler because the scene of her 'death' had the same M.O. Moran knows he was in prison when Irene's murder happened, and concludes Moriarty killed her and framed him; he offers to give Holmes as much information on Moriarty as possible to get revenge on 'him' for the betrayal (Moran has never actually met Moriarty, and like many others assumes she is a man). Sherlock vows to bring down Moriarty and avenge Irene.Moriarty appears physically in the final three episodes of Season One. She continually contacts Sherlock as Moriarty through the series, disguising herself behind a man's voice (one of her lieutenants) and manipulating him into exposing the head of a major security firm in New York, leaving her with an easier route to her criminal plans. In return for Sherlock's assistance,
Moriarty leads him to a house in Queens at the end of Risk Management, where he find her as Irene, alive. Appearing as if she has been held captive, and very convincingly faking symptoms of PTSD, she is checked-into a hospital in The Woman, and eventually moves in with Sherlock under his care. When someone breaks into his house and leaves a flower at her bed as a supposed threat, Sherlock takes her to a safe house and plans to elope with her. After Sherlock sees a mole missing on her back, he figures out that she may have been faking her death to begin with and suspects her of working for Moriarty, causing Irene to angrily abandon him. Later, when one of her assassins who has gone rogue attacks Sherlock, Irene saves him by killing the man, and reveals herself to be Moriarty and how she tricked him back in London. She tells him to let her win, or she will hurt him.
Moriarty's plan at first seems deceptively simple to the NYPD as it unravels in the Season finale Heroine, although Sherlock cautions them not to underestimate her, apparently relishing the idea of having a 'nemesis'. A Greek businessman nicknamed the 'Narwhal', strongly suspected of smuggling, has had his daughter kidnapped by Moriarty's agents (which the NYPD only discover after talking with the daughter's husband). Holmes deduces that Moriarty is forcing the Narwhal into assassinating an unofficial Macedonian diplomat, thus damaging the likelihood of Macedonia joining the European Union (which is obstructed due to a spat with Greece) and switching its' currency to the Euro; Moriarty has recently bought huge quantities of Macedonian currency to convert, allowing her to make at least a billion dollars if her plan succeeds. With the Narwhal doing the killing, all will assume it was part of a Greek nationalist plot. Holmes relays the warning through the NYPD, but the man they have guarding the Macedonian and his wife is on Moriarty's payroll, and lets the Narwhal into the house to kill them. As soon as the Narwhal's daughter is returned safely to her home, Moriarty's agent shoots the Narwhal, completing her scheme. Holmes seems visibly apoplectic at her ability to stay one step ahead of him and Watson.
Moriarty later visits Sherlock in the hospital when he supposedly overdosed on drugs, wanting to help him; she tells him to come away with her, saying once again that they are alike. Sherlock reveals that Watson used Moriarty's claim of having 'eyes everywhere' to their advantage, making it look publicly like Holmes was completely out of control when in fact he had never O.D.'d at all. Holmes tells her that there is not just one person who can surprise her (him) now; there are two, and Watson steps into the room with the NYPD, who arrest Moriarty.
Sherlock had recorded their conversation without her knowing, and gets her on tape admitting to ordering at least three murders. She is imprisoned and her lawyer battles against multiple life sentences, while the Macedonian money she has acquired is frozen in her accounts.
Jamie: "You look a bit tired."
Sherlock: "You look a bit evil."
In We Are Everyone, Sherlock writes a letter to someone, asking them if he believes in the possibility of truly knowing another person and claiming "yours is the only opinion I trust". At the end of the episode he receives a reply, ending with a hope that he will continue writing. The letter was sent from Newgate Prison, and was signed "Jamie Moriarty." Moriarty's voice can be heard reading the letter.
In The Diabolical Kind, Jamie Moriarty has apparently continued her correspondence with Sherlock from her prison cell. She has been trading certain valuable information to the police in exchange for privileges, such as being moved to a semi-comfortable cell in an otherwise-abandoned warehouse, being given her art supplies so she can continue painting, and getting a daily copy of the New York Ledger. Despite being held indefinitely on the triple murder conspiracy charge, Moriarty has not actually admitted to controlling a criminal organization (though most know that she is) nor has she exposed any parts of her own organization.
When a seven-year-old girl called Kayden Fuller is kidnapped and her father shot, Holmes and Watson arrive in time to hear the ransom demands of $50,000,000. Holmes quickly recognizes the voice as that of the man who previously pretended to be Moriarty, who Jamie herself described as one of her subordinates. Assuming Jamie somehow gave the orders for the kidnapping, Holmes and Watson visit her for the first time since her arrest, discovering she has made a large painting of Watson's face in perfect detail. Jamie coolly denies being involved in the kidnapping, but offers to give the names and likenesses of her subordinates (who probably were involved) in exchange for more 'favors'. Holmes refuses and leaves immediately, but shortly afterwards discovers she has been recruited as a consulting agent by the NYPD in exchange for an undisclosed 'favor', to his agitation.
Jamie has chips embedded in her forearms and electroshock stun bracelets on her wrists, but Holmes still believes she will try to escape. Jamie duly gives them the likenesses of three of her subordinates and asks to see the crime scene; Watson accompanies her, irritated that Holmes and Jamie discussed her personal life in their letters. Jamie admits she finds Watson more intelligent and interesting than at first, and that part of the reason that she and Sherlock write to one another is because they are the only ones who can understand and relate to the other to some degree.
When Moriarty's subordinates ambush two policemen and kill them (although one of the three men she drew is killed in the process), Holmes angrily yells at her, thinking she somehow communicated the information to them directly. For once, Jamie does not attempt to manipulate him, but continues to deny involvement in the kidnapping, looking increasingly distressed when her former lieutenant, Devon Gasper, makes a call and puts the frightened Kayden on the phone crying for her 'mummy'. It is quickly clear that Gasper is acting without Jamie's orders (as he knows she made the sketches) but Holmes nonetheless orders her removed from the team and sent back to her cell.
After Holmes decodes Moriarty's sketching of Gasper's stubble, containing subliminal messages Gasper was meant to find, he finds it is coordinates for a location in the Norwegian island of Svalbard, which results in her being forced to wear the stun bracelets in her cell as an additional precaution. Watson wonders if that is where her escape team is supposed to meet her, but Holmes no longer suspects escape is her primary motive. Watson also wonders why Jamie looked so upset when Gasper put Kayden on the phone, saying "She looked like she wanted to kill him". When Holmes, suspecting she had two-way communication with Gasper, looks for coded messages in the classified section of her newspaper, he is stunned by his discovery. Not only is Jamie not behind the kidnapping, she is one of its victims, because Kayden Fuller is her biological daughter. Gasper has been demanding both the ransom and the location of the Svalbard coordinates, and whatever lies there, in exchange for Kayden's life.
Meanwhile, Jamie escapes her cell by using glass shards of her paint jars to neutralize her stun bracelets (despite the glass cutting her wrists badly) and strangling her only guard unconscious. She promptly tracks down Gasper and two of his men at an old property of hers in the Bronx, where Kayden is also being held, and guns down all three kidnappers. Jamie then calls Sherlock, who is investigating the scene of her escape, telling him she wants to see him and that the police can wait outside.
Holmes finds her sitting alone by the corpses, with her wrists bleeding severely. She says Kayden has been sent away, 're-situated', to a safe place, indicating that not all of her crime syndicates abandoned her during her imprisonment. She admits Kayden's conception was an unintended incident early in her criminal career quite a while before she met Holmes, and that she went through the pregnancy intending to give Kayden to the Fullers for adoption, knowing "motherhood would not mix well with my... proclivities". Jamie suspects Gasper somehow learned about Kayden from the girl's biological father. Sherlock asks her about the Svalbard coordinates, and Jamie reveals she made a dossier of 'interesting facts', a nod to the character of Irene Adler, who was her mask. In fact, the dossier was not even in Svalbard, but Jamie had been sure she could escape and eliminate Gasper and his men before they learned she'd deceived them. Sherlock remarks that she could have run as he examines her injuries, but Jamie confidently predicts that she will be free soon enough, so there was no need to live as a fugitive. She thanks Sherlock for his letters, saying she finds them influencing her decisions occasionally, such as not to kill her guard, which she would have found 'expedient' but Sherlock would have found 'repugnant', indicating her character is beginning to redeem herself, and she and Sherlock still care about each other on some level.
Jamie begins to black out, and Holmes carries her outside to an ambulance. At the end of "The Diabolical Kind", Watson tells him she lost a lot of blood but she'll be okay. She is presumably rearrested.
Jaime Moriarty appears again in the episode The Female of the Species. She writes a letter to Watson expressing her admiration for Watson's career and her displeasure at the attempt on Watson's life. She then arranges the death of Elana March to protect Watson. She also hints at an "unfolding game between Sherlock and herself", of which she says Watson is a player.
|Season one appearances|
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| ||Risk Management||The Woman||Heroine|
|Season two appearances|
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|Season three appearances|
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| ||The Female of the Species|| || |
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- The name that her supposed kidnapper was called by, Mr. Stapleton, is a reference to a character by the same name in the original Sherlock Holmes book, The Hound of the Baskervilles.
- On a letter she sent to Sherlock Holmes, her return address was Anemoonstraat 86, 5271 GS Sint-Michielsgestel, The Netherlands.
- The episodes featuring Irene were written with Natalie Dormer in mind. She was cast before the episodes were written.
- Jamie is revealed to have had a child whom she gave up for adoption years before she met Sherlock.
- Jamie mentioned having a mentor who shared the same enthusiasm as her.
Every photo of Jamie Moriarty on this wiki can be seen here.