Who else could it be but Moriarty, the nemesis of Sherlock Holmes at the Reichenbach Falls and quite simply the greatest villain in literature. Jim Moriarty wasn't married, had no relationship and so was Sherlock (his admiration of Irene Adler isn't love but mostly respect and the engagement to the . relationship between Sherlock Holmes and his arch-nemesis, James . only ever introduces Moriarty into the narrative of “The Final Problem” (), the BBC.
And — most pertinently, - if you are in the business of creating literary villains, what might you learn from him?
Harry Potter and Voldemort. Luke Skywalker and Darth Vadar.
King Arthur and Mordred. So where exactly do you begin?
Well, even compiling that short list, it seems that many of these characters have a close association with the greatest enemy of all and the one that no man can hope to beat: Moriarty, Voldemort and Mordred all reference the Latin word, mortem, and to them might be added Morgana, another enemy for King Arthur and Sauron in The Lord of the Rings who lives, after all, in Mordor. JK Rowling was probably smart to leave Voldemort out of the third and sixth Harry Potter books — he barely appears in the fifth too.
If you get to know the villains too well, they lose their efficacy. This might have been the fate of Hannibal Lecter, one of the most striking creations of modern times. He makes only occasional appearances in Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs but by the next two books, Hannibal and Hannibal Rising, he is centre stage and the more disgustingly he acts eating the brains of a man who is still alive and talkingthe less effective he seems.
Moriarty never does anything cruel or disgusting.
Sherlock v Moriarty: perfect foes
He is a gentleman. It does help, in literature, if the villains are literate. Long John Silver and Captain Hook are both suitably disfigured. Cruella has very strange hair. Moriarty also has a marked preference for organizing "accidents". His attempts to kill Holmes include falling masonry and a speeding horse-drawn vehicle. He is also responsible for stage-managing the death of Birdy Edwards, making it appear that he was lost overboard while sailing to South Africa.
It is stated in The Final Problem that Moriarty does not directly participate in the activities he plans, but only orchestrates the events. As Holmes states below, what makes Moriarty so dangerous is his extremely cunning intellect: Holmes described Moriarty as follows: He is a man of good birth and excellent education, endowed by nature with a phenomenal mathematical faculty.
At the age of twenty-one he wrote a treatise upon the binomial theorem which has had a European vogue. On the strength of it, he won the mathematical chair at one of our smaller universities, and had, to all appearances, a most brilliant career before him.
But the man had hereditary tendencies of the most diabolical kind. A criminal strain ran in his blood, which, instead of being modified, was increased and rendered infinitely more dangerous by his extraordinary mental powers.
Dark rumours gathered round him in the University town, and eventually he was compelled to resign his chair and come down to London.
He is the Napoleon of crime, Watson. He is the organiser of half that is evil and of nearly all that is undetected in this great city But in calling Moriarty a criminal you are uttering libel in the eyes of the law—and there lie the glory and the wonder of it!
The greatest schemer of all time, the organizer of every devilry, the controlling brain of the underworld, a brain which might have made or marred the destiny of nations—that's the man! But so aloof is he from general suspicion, so immune from criticism, so admirable in his management and self-effacement, that for those very words that you have uttered he could hale you to a court and emerge with your year's pension as a solatium for his wounded character.
Is he not the celebrated author of The Dynamics of an Asteroida book which ascends to such rarefied heights of pure mathematics that it is said that there was no man in the scientific press capable of criticizing it?
Sherlock v Moriarty: perfect foes - Telegraph
Is this a man to traduce? Foulmouthed doctor and slandered professor—such would be your respective roles! He shows a fiery disposition, becoming enraged when his plans are thwarted and he is placed "in positive danger of losing my liberty" as well as furiously elbowing aside passengers in the train station in his pursuit of the disguised Holmes.
Moriarty also shows a fiercely independent streak, pursuing Holmes to Switzerland alone, while by contrast Holmes takes Watson with him everywhere he goes. The "smaller university" involved has been claimed to be one of the colleges that later comprised the University of Leeds ;  but in Sherlock Holmes: