James Moriarty

Sherlock’s number one nemesis and obsessive fan. Moriarty is the criminal mastermind who haunts Sherlock Holmes as the great detective hunts him during many of his investigative endeavours. Moriarty’s impeccable intelligence and wit make him a perfect mirror of Holmes, often in an eerily romantic way. He seems to watch Holmes’ every move, often right in front of his eyes, yet goes unnoticed.

Moriarty Facts


"He is the Napoleon of crime, Watson" says Sherlock Holmes of Professor James Moriarty, the celebrated Binomial Theorem expert and author of "The Dynamics of an Asteroid".


Moriarty appears in only two tales directly, "The Final Problem" and "The Valley of Fear" but he is alluded to in five others.


Sidney Paget reveals his portrait of Professor Moriarty for the December Strand Magazine.

Portrayed by

To date, Arthur Conan Doyle's characters have been translated onto the page, into products and onto the screen by Hollywood and beyond. Here are just a few of the interpretations of this original Arthur Conan Doyle character over the years. Work with us to create the next version of this fascinating character.

Andrew Scott

Sherlock, BBC (2015)

Jared Harris

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Warner Bros (2011)

Natalie Dormer

Elementary, CBS (2015)

Ralph Fiennes

Holmes & Watson, Columbia Pictures (2018)

Sidney Paget

The Strand Magazine (1893)

Laurence Olivier

The Seven-Percent Solution, Universal Pictures (1976)

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Original Arthur Conan Doyle characters available for adaptation

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