Why Sherlock Made Big Changes to Irene Adler (from the book version)

The BBCs Sherlock made a lot of changes to the Great Detective, his cases, and the characters in Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories to adapt them to a modern setting, but the character who changed the most was Irene Adler (Lara Pulver), and here’s why and how she is different. As one of the most beloved literary characters, Sherlock Holmes has been adapted to all types of media for over a century, and one of the most recent and successful adaptations was that of the BBC. Sherlockcreated by Steven Moffat and Mark Gattis. Sherlock aired from 2010 to 2017, bringing the Great Detective to modern-day London, accompanied by characters such as his best friend John Watson (Martin Freeman), his brother Mycroft Holmes (Gatiss), and his nemesis Jim Moriarty (Andrew Scott).


Another major character from Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories is Irene Adler, who referred to Sherlock as “The Woman.” As in the books, Irene Adler only appeared once on the series, in the Season 2 episode “A Scandal in Belgravia” While the episode received positive reviews, it was also criticized for its portrayal of Irene Adler, who was very different. then the characters readers encountered in the original story, “A Scandal in Bohemia”, and the most controversial scene, in which Irene appeared in full. naked, was seen as demeaning and unnecessary for the story of the episode and that of the character.

Related: Was Sherlock In Love With Irene Adler (And What That Would Mean)?

Why There Was So Much Controversy Around Sherlock’s Irene

In SherlockIrene Adler is a dominatrix known as “The Woman” who takes photos of her clients on the job as a way to protect herself, so if they do something unfavorable to her, she has something to blackmail them with. Irene turns out to be an interesting opponent of Sherlock, as she is a very intelligent woman and is ultimately the only person who cannot “read” the famous detective due to his incredible observation and deduction skills. However, Irene’s mistake is falling in love with the ever-cold Sherlock Holmes, and this ends up playing against her. Irene first appears in Sherlock completely naked, much to John’s surprise rather than Sherlock’s, and this was the basis of the controversy surrounding Sherlock‘s image of the great Irene Adler.

Sherlock took away Irene Adler’s agency and she came across as predatory rather than a woman who freely indulged and explored her sexuality, and she was not the brain she was in the books, as it was eventually revealed that she was not heavily influenced and manipulated by anyone other than Moriarty. Moffat’s reputation for not being the best at writing female characters and his sarcastic comments about the controversy over Irene Adler didn’t help at all and only added to the criticism of the way he wrote the character and how he tried (and failed) to its “modern”.

What happened to Irene Adler in Sherlock?

By the time the public met Irene Adler in Sherlock, she got more and more enemies. Irene had compromising photos of herself and a female member of the royal family, so the authority was looking for her cell phone, but it turned out to be a lot more complicated. Having to fake her death, Irene returned to ask Sherlock to decipher a code she stole from the Department of Defense, and she later gave that information to Moriarty. Irene later sent a list of demands to Mycroft, including protection, in exchange for the contents of her phone, but her plan backfired when Sherlock realized her love for him and he successfully unlocked her phone. Months later, Mycroft informed John that Irene had been killed by terrorists, but in reality Sherlock had disguised himself as her executioner and instead helped her escape. Sherlock gave Irene Adler a somewhat similar fate to her counterpart in the books, who escaped although it is still debated whether she survived or not due to possible confusion in Conan Doyle’s words, but the show’s version is far from the strong, cunning and very intelligent woman who defeated Sherlock Holmes and earned his respect, which is why he called her “The Woman”.

Next: The Real Moriarty? Sherlock theory gives villain a new spin

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