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You kill me now and you'll be killing the best clue you ever had.

— Sebastian Moran to Holmes, "M."

Sebastian Moran is an assassin who worked for Moriarty.



Sebastian Moran is an ex-Royal Marine turned assassin for hire. He served a prison sentence of six months at Brixton Prison for beating up a Manchester United fan in 2011. He is hired by Moriarty to kill seemingly random people and killed 37 before being caught. He receives these names via coded text messages. He kills by hanging his victims upside down on a tripod, cutting their throats, and then dumping their bodies in the ocean. Moran is a huge fan of Arsenal (an English football team).

Season 1[]

Moran first starts killing in New York City after Sherlock Holmes moved there. He leaves a cutout-letter note in Holmes' home under the alias of M, not knowing Holmes has security cameras in his house, and discovers his identity. Holmes then sets out to find him to torture and murder him. Holmes captures Moran just as he is about to make his next kill. Holmes believes Moran killed his ex-girlfriend Irene Adler (since the scene of her faked death had the same M.O.) and brings him to one of his father's properties to interrogate him. Moran resists Holmes' intimidation and beatings, and willingly reveals he didn't kill Irene, as he was in prison at the time of her murder. Moran suspects his employer, Moriarty, was the one who killed Irene Adler. Moran realizes he has been set up by Moriarty and vows to cooperate with Holmes as revenge. Holmes brings him to the 11th Precinct and Moran denies that Sherlock kidnapped him.[1]

S01E12-Moran at 11th precinct
I've led a charmed life.
Moran, now in prison, has instilled fear into his fellow inmates. He forces one of the inmates to change the channel on the communal TV to the Arsenal football game. While flipping through channels, Moran notices a man named Philip van der Hoff recently died. This piques his interest informs Holmes of the murder ordered by Moriarty, staged to look like a heart attack. Moran reveals he was hired to kills van der Hoff likes his prior victims but since his imprisonment, someone else took the job from Moriarty. Holmes later returns to have Moran solve a coded message from Moriarty. Moran lies and tells Holmes that he doesn't understand the message. Holmes later solves the code, and it is revealed that the message was a threat to Moran telling him to kill himself, or his sister would die. Moran is then seen committing suicide by slamming his head repeatedly into the wall of his prison cell. Gregson informs Holmes that Moran was admitted to the prison infirmary with brain swelling isn't expected to survive the night.[2]

S01E21-Moran before suicide
Moran moments before slamming his head into a mirror.


  • Moran's death is never officially confirmed.
  • Moran is based on Conan Doyle's Sebastian Moran.



  1. Season 1, episode 12: "M."
  2. Season 1, episode 21: "A Landmark Story"