Have Sherlock fans discovered a clue in a licensed coloring book? It seems they may have.
SPOILER WARNING for past and possibly future series of Sherlock.
An official adult coloring book titled Sherlock: The Mind Palace went on sale recently, and it is said to have "vital" clues drawn into it by illustrator Mike Collins. Tumblr user ladymacphisto got her hands on a copy, and thinks she may have found a piece of evidence confirming a major fan theory.
The theory states that John Watson's wife, Mary Watson, is actually Sebastian Moran, one of Sherlock's deadliest foes from Arthur Conan Doyle's original stories. Moran is a skilled assassin who often works with Sherlock's arch nemesis, the criminal mastermind Moriarty.
The theory has its roots in the Series 1 finale, which featured a poolside standoff with Holmes, Watson and Moriarty. In that scene, which also opened Series 2, Moriarty had snipers trained on Sherlock and his companion. Fans have come to assume that one of those snipers was Moran, though none of the snipers ever appear on screen, and Moran's name is never mentioned.
The plot thickened when Watson became romantically involved with a woman named Mary Morstan. Fans immediately picked up on Mary's surname as a possible bastardization of Moran, but had little else to go on to connect her with deadly assassin from the source material. That changed in Series 3, when Mary was revealed to have a mysterious past as a skilled marksman and assassin.
Whether or not Mary really is Moran, the subplot seemed to be behind the show after Watson burned a file containing Mary's entire history without even glancing at the contents. But with the surprise return of Moriarty at the end of Series 3, all theories are back on the table.
That brings us to the coloring book. The book contains a page showing readers all of the clues that have been hidden within its pages, and which episodes they're connected with. One of those clues is Mary's wedding ring, connected to the episode "The Sign of Three," the Series 3 episode that centered on Mary and John's wedding.
That sounds natural enough, but the place you actually find the ring hidden is in the background of a pages depicting the Series 1 finale pool scene.
Here's the original Tumblr post:
For some, this is absolute confirmation that Mary is Moran. For others, it may not confirm that she is Moran precisely, but it certainly suggest she's one of the snipers from the pool. Others find it unlikely that showrunners Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss would leave a clue for such a huge plot twist in a coloring book, but Moffat and Gatiss do have a reputation for leaving clues in surprising places.
Perhaps we'll learn more in Sherlock: The Abominable Bride, the Victorian era special airing on New Year's Day. Sherlock Series 4 begins filming in April.
Via The Daily Dot