In the episode "His Last Vow" when Sherlock gets shot by Mary, he started to enter his mind palace in order to survive the shot.

We begin to see a series of regular persons belonging to his daily life such as Molly, Mycroft, his "dog" Redbeard...

Whilst the pain increases and his death is approaching, he starts to go downstairs through a spiral staircase. I do not understand two things now:

  1. What is that room he entered into where there is that chained guy?

  2. Most of all: who is that chained guy? He is obviously not Moriarty, for he is completely physically different from him. I cannot remember seeing him anywhere during the past episodes, so who is that guy?


3 Answers 3


It's Moriarty portraying Perseus when he was chained to a rock. That's why Sherlock asks how he did it, how he coped in the myth. Sherlock identifies with Perseus. Greek mythology is used throughout the series.

  • 1
    Wasn't it Andromeda who was chained to a rock in the Perseus myth?
    – Dancrumb
    Jun 9, 2020 at 20:25
  • 31
    Do you mean Prometheus? I don't think Perseus is famous for being chained.
    – Lamprey
    Jun 10, 2020 at 0:17
  • 9
    I know I have a vested interest in this, but apart from the comments suggesting that your knowledge of mythology is inaccurate, I also honestly think you've over-analysed it. "How did you do it" could easily mean "How did you [Moriarty] not die when you were shot".
    – F1Krazy
    Jun 10, 2020 at 8:40

He is obviously not Moriarty

He most certainly is Moriarty. On the left is a picture of him, and on the right is the "chained guy" you describe:

enter image description here

The Moriarty in Sherlock's mind palace appears to have lost his composure and gone a bit crazy, which is why they don't look identical, but to me they're still clearly the same person.

Wikipedia and TV Tropes confirm that the chained man is Moriarty, as does IMDb, which attributes his lines to "Jim Moriarty".

  • 3
    Being actor Andrew Scott.
    – Alan B
    Jun 9, 2020 at 14:10

It is absolutely Moriarty!

However I think the reference is to another fictional character who uses the Jesuit principle of the Memory Palace.

In the book Hannibal (sequel to Silence of the Lambs), we read how Lecter keeps his "Monsters" chained the basement of his Palace, I always assumed this was a deliberate homage.

In addition, writer Mark Gatiss is good friends with the mentalist magician Derren Brown. He's included numerous references to Hannibal Lecter though his earlier works so maybe there's an influence there. I remember talking with my friend about how Derren probably consulted with the writers to develop Sherlock's faked death (I'm sure references to Mr Brown are littered throughout Sherlock - he's a huge fan of the Canon, too). Imagine our hilarity when he appeared in the reveal!!

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