A Sherlock Wedding? Show's Creator Drops Three Season 3 Clues – What Do They Mean?

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Sherlock Series 3Where’s Sherlock Holmes when you need him?

Sherlock creator Steven Moffat dropped three one-word spoilers on Twitter Friday in advance of the show’s third season, which goes into production in January ahead of an expected Fall 2013 launch on PBS.

The clues he offered were, “Rat. Wedding. Bow.” (Keep in mind, the three words Moffat dropped ahead of Season 2 last year were, “Woman. Hound. Fall.”)

RELATED | Sherlock‘s Benedict Cumberbatch Breaks His Silence on That ‘Mortifying’ Downton Abbey ‘PR Disaster’ 

What does it all mean?! Nancy Tartaglione of our sister site Deadline speculated it could mean the Arthur Conan Doyle source material used for the episodes will be “The Giant Rat Of Sumatra,” “The Noble Bachelor” and “His Last Bow.”

Did your investigation turn up the same? Share your findings in the comments!



Comments (32)

  • SO. EXCITED.

    Comment by slizabeth – August 24, 2012 10:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Good one.

      Comment by find you true love here – August 24, 2012 01:27 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Can’t wait. EXCITED!!!

    Comment by me – August 24, 2012 10:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Eeeek!!! Beyond excited!!!!!!!

    Comment by Bea – August 24, 2012 10:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sherlock and Holmes got married in the second episode and live happily ever after. That’s for sure.

    Comment by Leo – August 24, 2012 10:29 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love these teases! “Wedding” makes me think John and Mary, but then that might be too obvious. I just hope “Bow” doesn’t mean His Last Bow, as in, no Series 4.

    Comment by Jenny – August 24, 2012 10:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Oh, oh, oh…bite your tongue, Jenny, on “His Last Bow”. I’m holding tightly to the comment BC made before that he wants to do Sherlock for a long, long time since he and MF are as young as they are now.

    Comment by LickyDisco – August 24, 2012 10:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Oh, me, too! I love what he said about wanting to see Sherlock in his 50′s. It’d be great if they all come back together every couple of years to film more episodes. I’m just nervous because they’ll have an even harder time working out the schedules in the years to come with all the success Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are having. I’d imagine, though, that as long as everyone involved still loves making it, they’d find a way to work it all out. I hope so, anyway!

      Comment by Jenny – August 24, 2012 11:58 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I just hope that the lag time behind the UK screenings aren’t as much as it was for Series 2. Five months is just ridiculous.

    I love that Series3′s words are much more ambiguous than Series2′s. Moffat loves making us work for it!

    Comment by Michelle – August 24, 2012 10:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Did he pronounce “bow” as in “taking a bow” or “pulling back the string on a bow?”

    Comment by HeatherInNY – August 24, 2012 10:56 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • He posted it on Twitter, but it seems most likely that it’ll be “His Last Bow”.

      Comment by liddad – August 24, 2012 11:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Dear God I hope Benedict wants to do more. In the Last Bow Sherlock retires.

    Comment by Rachel – August 24, 2012 11:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Sherlock retires long before his last bow.

      Comment by glenn branca – September 23, 2012 03:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Wait! You say we have to wait until fall of 2013 for more Sherlock????? That’s outrageous!

    Comment by Suzie – August 24, 2012 11:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Whatever it means, hope Irene Adler makes an appearance at some point; her chemistry with Sherlock is electric.

    Comment by Saint Alicia – August 24, 2012 12:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Okay, I’m just going with reader favorites here. The first episode HAS TO be (at least partially) based on “The Empty House” right? And when i hear “wedding,” I immediately think of Watson’s marriage so I’m thinking “Sign of the Four?”

    Comment by Jess – August 24, 2012 12:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Also, I couldn’t remember a sherlock holmes story titled “the giant rat of sumatra” and almost had a stroke thinking there’s SH story I missed somehow. But no, it’s “the sussex vampire” story. I’m thinking Moffat is using rat in the “sneaky” way and not the actual animal.

    Comment by Jess – August 24, 2012 01:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am mad I read this. I don’t want to know ANYTHING that’s coming up…this summer, my kids and I watched all six of the eps that are already out and what a great surprise – only being recommended by EW and then not knowing specifics and then being fully blown away by it all. That just doesn’t happen very often. It was a rare treat for all of us.

    Comment by malarson2 – August 24, 2012 02:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Well, except for the fact that The Last bow was referenced in the season two finale….

    Comment by Sheldon W. – August 24, 2012 05:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Dear US viewers: Boo hoo, you had to wait 5 months. There are countless US shows that are cancelled before we even get to see them (IF we get to see them).

    On topic: Can’t wait, series 3 can’t come quick enough.

    Comment by Penguin_King – August 25, 2012 04:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Identify yourself. Are you in Canada, the UK, Oz, where? Wherever you are, I sympathize. We [the aforementioned and the USA] are all family and should get all programming at the same time. IMO

      Comment by Tara – August 25, 2012 09:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • UK & yes I agree, it’s rather silly in this day & age that other country’s (wherever they may be) have to not only wait to see a show, but don’t count to it’s viewing figures. (but then from what I understand of the antiquated Neilson system, it doesn’t/cannot get most of the figures correct in it’s own country).

        Comment by Penguin_King – August 26, 2012 11:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • People who are just getting on board with Sherlock don’t realize we waited 18 months for series 2. And you can see if for free on pbs. Pbs waits any where from 3 to 5 months after it premiers on bbc.

      Comment by kdes – November 22, 2012 03:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I don’t know what the words will mean but I think that it is unlikely that sherlock will be ending at series 3 as Benedict says he “wants to do more”… we’ll see only time will tell…

    Comment by sasha – August 25, 2012 01:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I was thinking the “rat” clue might have been the same “rat” in the Boscombe Valley Mystery… where it actually referred to Australia and someone coming from Ballarat.

    Comment by Jonathan Scheel – August 26, 2012 09:12 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So if John and Mary Morstan get married and she dies between “The Adventure of the Final Problem” and “The Adventure of the Empty House” when sherlock comes back does that mean we don’t have to have her around for long in the show?

    Comment by kscovington – August 27, 2012 02:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Well they’ve already taken a lot of liberties. Don’t forget that Conan Doyle didn’t even want to continue after the Reichenbach Fall, it was just under fan pressure (which in most other cases, I can’t stand…just let something die in peace). So if they do introduce her, it doesn’t necessarily have to follow a pattern. Heck I’m not sure if the Downey Jr. version has any intention of axing her off…but I guess we’ll have to see.

      That said, I wouldn’t mind Sarah coming back and being the Mary Morstan of the ‘Sherlock’ series, married or not (I know the writers said they weren’t sure about having him married a while back, I don’t know if that’s changed). Other than the damsel-in-distress part at the end of ‘The Blind Banker’, I thought she was a very strong and relatively-supportive character. Plus Sherlock seemed to approve by the end of that episode, so all’s well there. And they didn’t go into detail about how she and John broke it off, so there’s room for excuses.

      That’s just something I wouldn’t mind. I don’t think John absolutely has to get married, but when he said “mundane’s good sometimes”, it seemed like he was genuine. Even just being in a long-term relationship with a nice, supportive woman would make me very happy for him. I don’t think he wants to be known as a “confirmed bachelor” forever, if at all.

      Comment by Marissa – September 16, 2012 01:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Rat – Arrarat Boscomb Valley mystery, wedding the Noble Bachelor, Bow (one of the stories within possibly the Dying Detective)

    Comment by Simon Peters – November 3, 2012 01:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Correction – Ballarat

    Comment by Simon Peters – November 3, 2012 01:07 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Don’t forget that there is a dying man’s reference to “the rat” in The Boscombe Valley Mystery so that is a possibility as well.

    Comment by marksackler – November 3, 2012 12:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think the “rat” is the person who helped Moriarty ruin Sherlock’s reputation. I think that was Sally Donovan. The “wedding” must mean that Watson is getting married, just as he did in the canon. I don’t think “bow” relates to His Last Bow (although there’s a possibility it could relate to the series of stories that are under that umbrella). I think “bow” relates to the Gloria Scott. In that case it would be a prequel. Which would set us up nicely for season 4 (I just pray there IS a season 4!).

    Comment by winnie – December 20, 2012 06:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I don’t think Sherlock can really ever retire because he is Sherlock. Moffat got us thinking that Sherlock was dead for a minute there in the last episode he can surely tease us about Sherlock’s “retirement” in the same way. And they’ve already expressed their want for a fourth season. They may have even already signed for it, I believe. But don’t quote me on it. All I know is Sherlock season three…I’m much too ready. – SH

    Comment by SH – April 16, 2013 03:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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