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The characters of the Sherlock Holmes 2009 film series.

Both Films

Sherlock Holmes

 "The game is afoot!"

Played By: Robert Downey, Jr.

Dr John Watson

 "I’ve been going over my notes of our exploits over the past seven months. Would you like to hear my conclusions? …I am psychologically disturbed."

Played By: Jude Law

Irene Adler

 "I’ve never been in over my head."

Played By: Rachel McAdams

Inspector Lestrade

 "In another life, Mr. Holmes, you would have made a excellent criminal."

Played By: Eddie Marsan

Mary Morstan

 "It does seem a little far-fetched, though. Making all these grand assumptions based on such tiny details..."

Played By: Kelly Reilly

Mrs Hudson

 "What will I do when you leave, doctor? He'll bring the whole house down!"

Played By: Geraldine James

Sherlock Holmes

Lord Henry Blackwood

 "You and I are bound together on a journey that will twist the very fabric of nature."

Played By: Mark Strong

Lord Coward

 "How terrible is wisdom, when it brings no profit to the wise."

Played By: Hans Matheson

Sir Thomas Rotheram

 Played By: James Fox


 "Cours, petit lapin, cours."

Played By: Robert Maillet

Ambassador John Standish

 Played By: William Hope

A Game of Shadows

Professor James Moriarty

 "Come now, you really think you're the only one who can play this game?"

Played By: Jared Harris

  • Adaptational Badass: In Conan Doyle's work, Moriarty was not one to truly get his hands dirty - a testament to how serious a threat Holmes was to him - and was not mentioned to be that much of a fighter, unlike either Holmes of Watson. In the film, Holmes concedes to being outmatched by Moriarty in their fight. Furthermore, whilst in the original text Moriarty resided in one of England's smaller schools, in the film he's a renowned professor at Cambridge University!
  • Ax Crazy: A rare cold-blooded one.
  • Awesomeness By Analysis
  • Badass Bookworm: Of the pure evil kind.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Professor James Moriarty is never seen without one.
  • Beard of Evil: He is a British Victorian gentleman villain, after all.
  • Berserk Button: Don't question this nutcase's sanity.
  • Big Bad
  • The Chessmaster: Quite literally.
  • Combat Pragmatist
  • Complexity Addiction
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy
  • Diabolical Mastermind
  • Disney Villain Death.
  • Evil Brit
  • Evil Counterpart: To Holmes himself. It's even mentioned in the first by movie by Adler.
  • Evil Teacher
  • Faux Affably Evil: Moriarty always talks with a civilised, polite and gentlemanly demeanour, even when he's about to cold-bloodedly murder someone. Quite frankly, there is nothing in the film more frightening than this.
  • For the Evulz: He doesn't want to rule the world, just get filthy, stinking rich from his arms dealing during a potential world war; he does take some pretty sick pleasure from how inevitably such a conflict is, and that all he has to do is wait for it to come along. He also maliciously taunts Holmes on their first proper meeting with the news that he murdered Irene Adler via tuberculosis.
  • Genius Bruiser: He is disturbingly strong for his age, and he's capable of scanning a fight on the same level as Sherlock himself.
  • Killed Off for Real.
  • The Man Behind the Man: This is his purpose in the first film.
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • Narcissist: He never questions the self-conception that other people can stop him. Whenever he talks to Holmes, he gives off the impression that he's already won.
  • The Sociopath: It is even addressed in the film, where Sherlock describes him as having a lack of empathy, a pronounced narcissism and being morally insane. Also counts as a Reason You Suck Speech on Holmes' part.
  • Soft Spoken Sadist: He could give Lord Blackwood an infernal run for his money in this regard.
  • Sore Loser: How does Moriarty react to Holmes completely checkmating him? He threatens to kill Holmes and then Dr. and Mrs. Watson.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: He's a very good friend of the British prime minister, and an affluent professor at Cambridge University.
  • Villainous Breakdown: An extremely subtle one, more to do with his actions than any expression or anger. His rage is restrained, but he makes the decision to go all-out on Holmes. And then that goes out the window after Holmes pulls off his Taking You with Me Heroic Sacrifice. His facial expression as he plummets to his death is of impotent rage.
  • Villains Out Shopping
  • Wicked Cultured
  • Worthy Opponent: Holmes admits respect but can barely hide the great hate he feels towards him. He makes it undeniably clear that the only reason he hasn't had Holmes wiped off the face of the earth when they first meet is because he admires Holmes and considers him a potential equal.
    • He can even Sherlock-scan Sherlock himself!
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: To the point where it's odd that anyone agrees to work with him. You have to wonder what Moran's pension plan is.

Madame Simza Heron

 Played By: Noomi Rapace

Mycroft Holmes

 "Good evening, Mrs Watson. I'm the other Holmes."

Played By: Stephen Fry

Colonel Sebastian Moran

 Played By: Paul Anderson

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