In Sherlock Holmes (2009), Lord Blackwood dies through a set of circumstances that cause him to be hanged via chain.

My question is this - was it merely coincidence that he ended up in the wrong place and the wrong time for the chain of events to kill him? Or did Holmes know it was going to happen that way it did? It seems a little too convenient to me, so I can't help but wonder if Holmes knew the crane would collapse as it did, setting off the chain of events. (Whether or not he knew if would kill Blackwood).

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    From Lord Blackwood's point of view the set of circumstances that caused him to be hanged was a very malicious one. And there is a famous saying "never attribute to malice what can be accounted for by stupidity". So maybe Lord Blackwood suffered from from chance circumstances, since nothing is more stupid and less intelligent than unplanned chance circunstances. Commented Nov 25, 2018 at 16:43

1 Answer 1


Blackwood was freakishly unlucky - perhaps doomed by his occult meddling

During the final confrontation, with Blackwood's plans already in ruins, Holmes - either rheotorically or sincerely - indicates the spiritual perils that Lord Blackwood has been daring throughout the plot.

Sherlock Holmes: You'd better hope it's just superstition, as you performed all the rituals perfectly. The Devil's due a soul, I'd say...

At this moment a black crow appears and caws, an obvious portent of evil and death.

Blackwood's hanging by the chain was extreme bad luck - possibly aggravated by the occult dabbling. Holmes actually saves Blackwood once, so he isn't planning Blackwood's ironic death by hanging.

Blackwood: For God's sake, Holmes, cut me loose!

[The plank finally snaps, and Blackwood is pulled towards the hole, only for Holmes to throw an axe at the rope pulling Blackwood towards the hole, saving him.]

Transcript Source: TVTropes

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