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As promised, Sherlock creator Steven Moffat today revealed (during a Sherlock Masterclass) three words that indicate which stories are going to be adapted in Sherlock series 3!

They are… rat, wedding, and bow.

As we told you in May, Mark Gatiss will be writing the series 3 premiere episode. They are expected to start filming in a few months.

UPDATE: Check out Hypable’s in-depth analysis of these words, and their potential meaning within the narrative (including predictions on the three stories that will be adapted) here

For reference: Last year’s words were woman, hound, and fall.

Sherlock’s Masterclass was held at the MediaGuardian Edingburgh International Television Festival today.

  • jghike

    Well, I was looking on Wikipedia at Sherlock Holmes’s page, and it says there’s a story called “The Last Bow” where Sherlock retires. But I can’t imagine Moffat would end the series so soon…

  • http://hunyumstan.tumblr.com/ hunyum

    rat – about the giant rat of sumatra?
    wedding – “The Noble Bachelor”
    bow – “his last bow” — but then no more Sherlock?

    • http://twitter.com/PabloRV7 Pablo Ruiz V

      The Noble Bachelor! Of course! =)

  • http://twitter.com/PabloRV7 Pablo Ruiz V

    Rat could reference The Adventures of the Dying Detective, although it’s confirmed the first episode will be based on The Empty House, correct? Wedding makes me think they’ll tackle John’s marriage, although I can’t remember if he gets married in any of the stories or if it’s “off-screen”. And Bow does make me think of the last story I want them to adapt. His Last Bow is both a collection of 8 stories (that includes The Adventures of the Dying Detective) and a story by itself, where the Great Detective retires…I really hope they’re not ending the series!

    • http://hunyumstan.tumblr.com/ hunyum

      if rat is dying detective then it makes two stories from :his last bow” series, which worries me. possibly a no fourth season?

      • http://twitter.com/PabloRV7 Pablo Ruiz V

        I am terribly worried now. I am not ready to say goodbye to this wonderful show! Let’s hope he’s messing with us by saying ‘Bow’ and it actually references something completely different.

        • http://hunyumstan.tumblr.com/ hunyum

          yes lets hope so. Moffat is a big time troll. teasing us with this and DW!

    • Cari

      John’s marriage(s) is/are only obliquely referenced in the books.  He meets Mary Morstan in the Sign of the Four and they have come to an understanding by the end of that story.  By the next story, he’s already married.  The Noble Bachelor doesn’t strike me as a terribly interesting story; therefore, I’d bank on “wedding” as a reference to John’s marriage and the way it impacts the relationship between Sherlock and John (that seems much more interesting — to me at any rate).  The word “Bow” gives me palpitations since it appears to be a reference to “His Last Bow”, which was intended to be Sherlock’s epilogue and implies the end (it involves German espionage prior to World War I).   “Rat” has me puzzled.  I can’t recall any actual rats from the stories.  LeStrade is frequently described having a “rat-like” face, and there are a lot  of stories revolving around people who “ratted out” on others (e.g., Sign of Four), and there are a lot of nasty characters that I could easily describe as “dirty rats” (the blackmailer Milverton, the murderous deceiver Baron Gruner, the coward Colonel Barclay, and, of course, all of the really, really horrible people from The Valley of Fear. These are just my hurried initial thoughts.  At least we now have something to keep us busy with for the next year!

      • http://twitter.com/PabloRV7 Pablo Ruiz V

        What about The Boscombe Valley Mystery for “rat”? A man is implicated in his father’s murder and the key to all is a dying reference to a rat…I agree wedding is probably a reference to John’s wedding. And “Bow” seems too easy…they must be messing with us

        • Cari

           Boscombe Valley is a great idea!

      • Musician

        The espionage story was in between two sets of serials, wasn’t it?

  • tG

    oh god dammit moffat, you used the word wedding. Now the johnlock shippers will never shut the hell up.

    • http://hunyumstan.tumblr.com/ hunyum

      lol tumblr is already exploding

  • Jazz

    I highly doubt this will be the last season of Sherlock. They’ve always said they want to do tons of them. Moffat likes to torture people though.

  • WillaOakes22

    SOOOO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000867506723 Ifan Barber

    Watson’s wedding, could Mrs Hudson be a rat and Sherlock will take a bow for successfully hiding his survival? 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alyssa-Karounos/1248275691 Alyssa Karounos

    Thank you thank soooo much for posting this. I can’t get on tumblr or twitter right now! I love Hypable<3<3

  • Emily Brett

    Theory: Sarah turns out to be a “rat,” working for Mycroft all along, thereby breaking poor Watson’s heart. He turns to Sherlock for comfort which leads to a blossoming romance and “wedding.” In the final episode, they have their first date as a married couple watching the DVD of the Hunger Games. Hence the word “bow.” 

  • Maddieep

    “The Last Bow,” a return of Irene, and “The Giant Rat of Sumatra.”

  • Aquilla

    Well! Not the words I was expecting at all. I was really hoping for Milverton and maybe the Red-Headed League? Always time for that later, I suppose.
    Rat would seem to refer to the giant rat of Sumatra, which is one of the cases mentioned offhandedly in canon (during “The Sussex Vampire,” as I recall?) but never actually written. Certainly this way the writers will have the opportunity to invent an original story of the rat, as many have tried before them. Sounds like fun!
    Wedding! Big surprise there. I’ve been looking forward to meeting this adaptation’s Mary Morstan but having them marry already is a bit shocking. I really don’t want John out of Baker Street! There are plenty of canon stories in which weddings or marriages are involved in the plot, but I think there would be better word choices then ‘Wedding’ if he were trying to allude to any of those.
    Bow, as in the short story “His Last Bow” sounds great to me, assuming they will be using the spying-for-the-government aspect of the story. I’m not concerned at all about potential retirement for Sherlock. Moffat and company has been clear how willing they are to keep up the show.
    All in all, very exciting news! Certainly given me a lot to think about.

  • kristi

    Anyone else thinking Ratigan?

    • WillaOakes22

      lmao yes!

  • Dumpling47

    The Giant Rat of Sumatra, John & Mary’s Wedding, and His Last Bow. Hmmm …

  • stargazer

    John gets married!

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