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August 12, 2013 12:40 pm  #21

Re: I.O.U. Update: Breakthrough!

I think you might be absolutely right about cinderella being the third part. In the beginning I was really sceptical, and in certain ways I still am.
But more about this later.
"Aschenputtel" is about a prince trying to find back the girl he danced with at a ball. The princess lost one shoe and now he is travelling the country and asking all girls to try on this one shoe.
And I really think the key to understanding the timeline of the end scene are the shoes.
When Sherlock receives Ms "I am waiting" message in the lab, one can see his flat, soft soles on the table.
Up on the roof, he is wearing shoes with heels and 'capt-toes', meaning an extra layer of leather over the toes. When he steps onto the ledge the first time (ledge number one, without steel edge), still the heeled shoes. When he jumps back onto the roof, when realized he did not need to jump off it immediatly, you see these shoes again.
Later, when he steps back onto the ledge (ledge number two, more flat and with steel edge), he is wearing the soft, plain shoes again.
So, there is definitely no direct connection between the lab scene and the meeting of M and S "afterwards" I would conclude.
Later, we see S standing on the ledge #1 (heeled shoes again), throwing away his phone. He leans back. Cut. No shoes can be seen at the very moment he jumps.
But if you pause exactly at the moment when he jumps, you can see the flat soled shoes again up in the air.

So I think, these are two different scenes. Perhps two jumps, but we can only see one.
I have other video stills underlining this theory (basically containing lots of pictures of finger nails), but I'm not entirely sure, what to make of them.

Problem with the whole theory being, I O U is a riddle from M.for Sherlock. The different shoes belong to the cliffhanger though, the riddle that was given the viewers from the writers...


August 13, 2013 9:06 am  #22

Re: I.O.U. Update: Breakthrough!

Well, if you're looking for links relating to shoes, I suppose perhaps the footprint could count? If not, there's always Carl Power's shoes! (which were lost, just lke Cinderella lost her shoe). Anyway, I think that Moriaty was playing the fairytale idea way before TRF. In Cinderella, there's fairy godmother figure, I wonder who it would be? The only person I can think of is Sherlock, which is weird, or perhaps Sherlcok would be the prince trying to hunt down who's shoe it was. Anyway, just throwing random ideas out there

That's the thing about fanfiction, it's always a self-portrait
People want to believe what is easy, rather than what is right.
"One begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts"

August 17, 2013 8:22 am  #23

Re: I.O.U. Update: Breakthrough!

This is very thorough and interesting, Swanpride!

But there's one more allusion to a fairytale - and my favourite idea for the fall: Rapunzel.

You know, the prince, leaping off the tower in despair after the "which/good-old-fashioned villain has mocked him. He survives the fall and afterwards there's a tearful reunion with his beloved Rapunzel.

John: "Have you spoken to Mycroft, Molly, uh, anyone?"
Mrs Hudson: "They don’t matter. You do."



August 17, 2013 9:29 am  #24

Re: I.O.U. Update: Breakthrough!

There's also Rumpelstiltskin. In fact, Moriaty is very much alike Rumpelstiltskin. Also, when Mrs Hudson says, "funny name, like the fairytales", what name was on the envelope? It could've been rumpelstiltskin but I don't know.

That's the thing about fanfiction, it's always a self-portrait
People want to believe what is easy, rather than what is right.
"One begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts"

August 17, 2013 11:28 am  #25

Re: I.O.U. Update: Breakthrough!

sherlockian111 wrote:

There's also Rumpelstiltskin. In fact, Moriaty is very much alike Rumpelstiltskin. Also, when Mrs Hudson says, "funny name, like the fairytales", what name was on the envelope? It could've been rumpelstiltskin but I don't know.

That's also what I had to think of immediately when I saw TRF for the first time. It probably is the funniest name in all of Grimm's fairy tales.
It would make sense in the way that in Rumpelstiltskin it's all about guessing Rumpelstiltskin's name. That reminds me of Moriarty vs Richard Brook. Who is he really, Moriarty or Brook?
If they don't get his name right, then he will come and get the queen's child. In Sherlock this could mean that the lives of John, Lestrade and Mrs. Hudson are taken.

"Am I the current King of England?

"I see no shame in having an unhealthy obsession with something." - David Tennant
"We did observe." - David Tennant in "Richard II"


March 13, 2014 11:09 pm  #26

Re: I.O.U. Update: Breakthrough!

I am liking the Rumplestilksten theory much. This is a very good hypothesis- if we're going to forget about the I O U message. I am in the process of running the letters I O and U through a number of different ciphers. I am startin with Caesar's Cipher, Pigpen Ciper, and Grid Ciper to begin with. These were all ciphers mentioned on the official bbc Sherlock website. Anyway, I will get back to you all as soon as I make progress.

This is so cool!!!

"In 900 years of time and space, I've never met anyone who wasnt important" -Eleventh Doctor 

"Sentiment is a chemical defect found in the losing side" -Sherlock

March 15, 2014 3:01 am  #27

Re: I.O.U. Update: Breakthrough!

Loved reading that analysis. The thing with the show is that it makes an enormous amount of references to popular culture. Actor shout outs, films, books, celeb culture, fan culture, the Bible etc - there is a reference to Dragon slaying, Smaug, Archie is a small ringbearer, John stares at a ring in HLV .It's surely intentional or also accidental and kept in - not so much for fans, no, but becuase the writers really want to do it.

We solve crimes, I blog about it and he forgets his pants, so I wouldn’t hold out too much hope. (Scandal in Belgravia)

I asked you for one more miracle. I asked you to stop being dead..........I heard you.(The Empty Hearse)

March 15, 2014 5:59 pm  #28

Re: I.O.U. Update: Breakthrough!

Okay- Here are my results.

Caesar's Cipher: IOU = XDJ (no visible connection)
Pigpen Code: L E. D (basically various symbols. No such characters appeared on my keyboard, so I had to improvise. If we were even to go on this theory, Lead is a kind of metal, but it can be used as a poisoning. This could connect us to the Mercury poisoning, but then we're at a dead end.)

I= 9 (th letter of alphabet)
O= 15
U= 21

Previous theories have suggested that I O and U corrosponded to the Grimm Fairy Tales book that Sherlock picked up. Since no further explanation is really emphasized on screen, this gives a trememdous amount of weight that Moftiss wants us to figure the puzzle out on our own. 

9th fairy tale= The Twelve Brothers
15th= Hansel and Gretel
21st= Cinderella

I am very keen with this theory, becuause Moftiss put the fairy tales in order.

12 brothers: 
Grimm Tale: basically, there are 12 prince brothers. The queen (their mother) is expecting a baby. The king (their dad) will kill all of the sons if the mother births a daughter. If she births a son, the sons will live.

Moftiss: Moriarty goes to the 12 juries (in Moriarty's trial) and threatens them. If he is found innocent, their loved ones live. If he is found guilty, they die. 

Next, Hansel and Gretel:
Grimm Tale: 2 children get cast into the forest, find a candy house, and an old woman almost kills them, but they escape.

Moftiss: The American ambassador's children get taken by Moriarty. They are fed mercury-coated candy, and left to die. Sherlock and his team find them, and rescue him. HOWEVER, when Sherlock goes in and tries to talk to the children, the girl, Claudette, screams. Remember Molly's previous boyfriend, who looked EXTREMELY like Sherlock? What if Tim (the bf) is working for Moriarty? What if he was the kidnapper, and to a scared child, he and Sherlock looked like the same person?

Anyway, the last one is Cinderella. 
Grimm Tale: A poor orphan girl is forced to do all of the housework for her spoiled stepfamily. One day however, she is enchanted by fairy godmothers and meets a prince at a ball. They fall in love. 

Moftiss: Molly is Cinderella. In literally every scene, she is concocting some kind of experiment. However, she is never noticed by he one person she truly cares for. Sherlock. She mentions having dated Morarty. Maybe Sherlock and Moriarty are the evil stepsisters? 
what if Molly is actually a double agent?? heh. sorry. that would be terrible.
Anyway, I really feel like Moftiss intended for us to try and figure this out.
This is a mystery show. The viewers always strive to be like the best character, which in this case is Sherlock. Moftiss is making us think- "What would Sherlock do if he was in this siuation?" 
IOU has to mean something. It has come up too many times (apple, hospital windows, etc.), and hasn't been explained on screen.

Not sure if these theories are spot on, or I'm way overthinking this.  

"In 900 years of time and space, I've never met anyone who wasnt important" -Eleventh Doctor 

"Sentiment is a chemical defect found in the losing side" -Sherlock

May 29, 2014 8:26 pm  #29

Re: I.O.U. Update: Breakthrough!


May 30, 2014 8:26 pm  #30

Re: I.O.U. Update: Breakthrough!

These are great theories guys, this one about the Grimm's storybook keeps coming up, and it's really believable!! i wonder if we'll ever find out... ;)

"Anderson, don’t talk out loud. You lower the IQ of the whole street.”
 - Sherlock Holmes
"Brainy's the new sexy"  -  Irene Adler
“We solve crimes. I blog about it, he forgets his pants. I wouldn’t hold out to much hope.”  - John Watson
"Is that a British Army Browning L9A1 in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?"  - Jim Moriarty


June 13, 2014 9:32 pm  #31

Re: I.O.U. Update: Breakthrough!

I like the idea of Tom kidnapping the children & that's why the girl thinks it's Sherlock.  He just needed the same coat & she'd be easily fooled!


June 13, 2014 9:34 pm  #32

Re: I.O.U. Update: Breakthrough!

Do we think Tom is capable of this?
Is he just pretending to be an oikI


December 29, 2014 2:32 pm  #33

Re: I.O.U. Update: Breakthrough!

I apologize for digging up an old thread but I think I've come up with something that may add to this theory.
To begin with, I think the story of Cinderella is simply meant to parallel Moriarty's plan to portray Sherlock as a fraud. Cinderella involves deceiving people into believing that the main character is something different than she normally is.

On rewatching the episode, one thing that kept bothering me was the constant emphasis on the word "you". Mostly from the rooftop scene, the lines that stuck out were:
I O U (obviously)
I am you
You are me
Without me, you are nothing

Switching to symbols, I think its just a basic logical substitution:
U=me (also URme)
Without me, U R nothing (or, URme - me = UR, or UR(nothing))
extending that, the original message becomes UOme or You Owe Me, the commonly used opposite of IOU.

Most importantly, though, I got to thinking of the significance of "R" and "me". Continuing with Joalro's method of substituting numbers for letters, we have 18 for "R" and 18 for "m(13)+e(5)". The 18th story in the Grimm's tales is the "The Straw, The Coal, and the Bean", the synopsis from wikipedia is as follows:
An old woman has got some beans that she intends to cook over her fire. Being in a hurry, she grabs some straw to make the fire light faster. She pours the beans in the pot and, being in a hurry, she drops one on the floor which lands next to a piece of straw. Soon the fire is burning nicely and a hot coal jumps out and lands next to the straw and the bean. They talk and realize they have all narrowly escaped the fire; they band together to flee. At a river, the straw lies down to let them cross. The coal, being hot tempered by nature, immediately sets across. But when the coal is halfway across, the water rushes underneath, and the coal becomes terrified of being drowned. So he stops, too afraid to go on. The straw catches on fire from the coal, and splitting in two, the straw and the coal are swept downstream.

The bean cannot help but laugh at the misfortune of his comrades, and indeed he laughs so hard that he bursts his side. He is in trouble, but luckily there is a friendly tailor nearby who sews him back up with some black thread, and ever since beans have had a black seam.
In the original Conan Doyle story, "The Final Problem", which Reichenbach Fall is based on, Sherlock fights Moriarty and both supposedly fall over Reichenbach Falls and are washed away down the river, leaving Dr. Watson on the shore.

Last edited by qnelvis (December 29, 2014 2:36 pm)


January 11, 2015 5:48 pm  #34

Re: I.O.U. Update: Breakthrough!

All your posts, on this subject, are brilliant!  I'm going to throw in some tidbits:
Someone mentioned shoes & I instantly thought of M's threat of "I'll make you into shoes".  Lol!
I really love the Grimm Fairy Tales references.  I'm sure Mofftiss read these, as children, & wouldn't hesitate to use their significances.  I don't think it's far fetched or coincidences. (Didn't Mycroft say there were no coincidences?!)
The references to the Fairy Tales are just everywhere so they won't be ignored, like clues; but you all know this.  Anyway, well done:  Jago Bago & izatty!  I loved your notes!
I thought of/seemed to remember S mentioning the assassins sparing him because he had the code.  (9, 15, 21)  I'm not sure about Canon, but every other book I've read about Moriarty stories, dubs him as a brilliant mathemetician.  So why wouldn't numbers & calculations abound?  He's playful, as well, like a Grimm story teller & he loves being the villian within this world.  (Sorry if my thoughts are scattered here)
I love sofiou21's link to Tumblr too!  Well done!  I might have to share this & others on my Andrew Scott group page:  Andrew's Scotties.  I hope you don't mind.  They need a wider audience!  I think the mention of The Strange Musician story was a great find!  It all makes sense!  As does the hilighted Snow White quote about suicide!  Thanks so much for sharing your deductions/research!
I also thought back, to the roof scene, when M gets frustrated.  S is still not letting on that he's figured stuff out, so M is trying to not miss any pieces of what S is feeding him.  (They just love playing, don't they?!)   Maybe M thinks S is on the wrong track, saying "it's too easy", why haven't you figured out all these clues I've left you?!  And I definitely agree that Staying Alive is the final problem! 
Last note:  M singing, in the Mind Palace, is a sort of nursery rhyme song, isn't it?  Or at least playful to the end & beyond!


January 11, 2015 5:54 pm  #35

Re: I.O.U. Update: Breakthrough!

I forgot to mention, someone's reference to Rumpelstiltskin:  Wasn't that character after children for power, etc?  It made me think of Mary & John's baby.  Maybe this is a thread.


January 11, 2015 6:02 pm  #36

Re: I.O.U. Update: Breakthrough!

I thought he was just after gold.


April 10, 2016 6:30 pm  #37

Re: I.O.U. Update: Breakthrough!

I thought about the I.O.U as a promissory note. If you owe someone something, you took something from him. Maybe Moriarty has stolen something from Sherlock?
I was also a bit suprised why Sherlock did not mentioned it to John. It seems to be that this words/letters means something to him. So propably it must be easier to solve as we expect.


April 11, 2016 5:50 pm  #38

Re: I.O.U. Update: Breakthrough!

Could it be that Moriarty reference with "I owe you a fall" to the airplane whitch couldnt take off with the dead bodies? Because Moriarty lead Sherlock to solve the code from Mycroft, the terrorists could not shoot down the airplane and so he owes him a fall (in the meaning of crash)? That would explain why Sherlock was surprised as Moriarty wanted him to jump from the roof top because Sherlock thought that Moriarty talks about the airplane case. And he hide this from John because he did not know that Sherlock botched this plan and Sherlock dont want him to know? I think he did not know, but I'm not sure. The Apple could be reference to the Newton apple (gravity).

Last edited by Danielle80 (April 11, 2016 5:50 pm)


June 3, 2016 4:50 pm  #39

Re: I.O.U. Update: Breakthrough!

I like Joalro's solution to this puzzle, but people seemed to have dismissed it back when it was posted. Not sure why- it's beautiful.

In his (her?) interpretation, the three fairytales all fit, even Cinderella, when you take it from the point of view of the media/press: Sherlock is the villain in all three stories. Every good story needs a good old fashioned villain, says Moriarty, but he wasn't referring to himself. Nobody sees themselves as the villain, do they? As John put it at the beginning of the episode: "They'll turn, Sherlock, they always turn, and when they do they'll turn on you." That was Moriarty's plan: to turn Sherlock into the villain. And he did- even had Hansel and Gretel screaming at the very sight of him!

As Joalro put it, on the matter of Cinderella:
"Now if Sherlock is the villain, then he is clearly the evil step mother.  The evil step mother neglected Cinderella, wouldn't let her go out, and would give her tedious tasks to do.  I think the clear choice for Cinderella is Molly. When Sherlock solved Moriarty's riddle, the first person he went to was Molly.  And then he told her "You were wrong, you do matter""

Indeed, that makes perfect sense to me. Sherlock tells her this directly: "The one person he thought didn't matter to me at all, mattered the most." A seemingly confusing line otherwise, unless you're a Sherlolly shipper. But what he's saying here isn't that Moriarty totally dismissed Molly as being important... but that he knew she was, to the story. She was the most important person at all: the protagonist. Cinderella. And this is precisely because Sherlock ignored her and used her so much (Nope, you're not going to lunch today Molly, you're having lunch with me because I need you to do stuff for me.)

And that, in turn, explains this line: "Don't think for one second I am one [an angel]." Up on that rooftop, Moriarty was convinced Sherlock was boring and dull and being slow and obvious and disappointing. Only after Sherlock convinced him he had figured out the fairytale -- that he was meant to be the baddie, not the goodie -- did he stop moping about Sherlock being wrong and boring, and his face lit up with glee. "Thank you, Sherlock." And then it lit up a bit more with exploding gunpowder.

Doomsteady on AO3 & Tumblr

June 3, 2016 4:52 pm  #40

Re: I.O.U. Update: Breakthrough!



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