Earlier today, Sherlock co-creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss revealed three words essential to the plot of series 3’s adventures – they were rat, wedding, and bow. Join us as we take an in-depth look at the words’ significance, and the stories we expect to see when the show returns.

Last year gave us woman, hound, fall – three keywords which were clear references to the Arthur Conan Doyle stories “A Scandal In Bohemia” (“A Scandal in Belgravia”), The Hound of the Baskervilles (“The Hounds of Baskerville”) and “The Final Problem” (“The Reichenbach Fall”). Since the writers picked the three most iconic adventures for Sherlock’s sophomore series, these words pretty much spoke for themselves. This year however, they’ve gone down a more ominous route. Rat, wedding, and bow could all refer to several stories from the Sherlock Holmes canon – so we’re exploring the many adventures of the super sleuth to try and predict what’s ahead for our favorite characters.


Rat – “The Boscombe Valley Mystery”

Probably the easiest of the three words to decipher, there are very few things that “rat” could be referring to. Sure, Lestrade is often described as “rat-faced,” but it’s unlikely that a full 90 minute episode could be constructed from a facial description of a character who’s been with the show since it began – though we’re not putting anything past the writers of Sherlock. Instead, this is most likely to be a reference to “The Boscombe Valley Mystery” from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

The story sees Holmes and Watson travel to Herefordshire, where they’ve been commissioned to investigate the seemingly unsolvable murder of Charles McArthy. While trying to prove the innocence of McArthy’s son, Sherlock untangles a web of blackmail, gangs and robbery with the “rat” in question being a dying reference to the murderer.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about “The Boscombe Valley Mystery” is Patience Moran, a girl who witnesses part of the crime being investigated. While in the original story she’s an incidental character, she shares a surname with Colonel Sebastian Moran – Moriarty’s right hand man and the person widely believed to be taking up the villain mantle from Sherlock’s arch-nemesis. Mark Gatiss has confirmed that “The Empty House” will be the starting point of series 3, a story in which Moran tries to exact revenge on the great detective. Given the writer’s reputation for mashing-up stories and characters, we wouldn’t be surprised if the similarity in surnames was utilized for a shocking plot twist…


Wedding – The Sign of Four

This is where things become a little bit harder to pinpoint. We’re fairly certain that “wedding” refers to the marriage of John Watson and the love of his life – but the trouble here is: which one? Canon enthusiasts everywhere are quick to make jokes about Arthur Conan Doyle’s ambiguity when it comes to John’s spouses – and that’s because the good doctor marries six women throughout the course of his life, none of which are ever mentioned by name. Of course, Moffat and Gatiss have joined in on the jesting and set up Martin Freeman’s take on the character with a string of girlfriends throughout the first two series. Now though, it looks like we’ll finally see him tie the knot for the first (and hopefully last) time.

The Sign of Four is the only time throughout the 60 stories where a potential spouse is mentioned by name, and her accompanying mystery is diverse and thrilling. After her father’s unexplained disappearance several years previous, Mary Morstan approaches the duo with a mystery concerning inheritance, assassination and a gun fight on the River Thames. As the complex plot unravels and a pact made between four convicts and two security guards is revealed, John falls in love with Morstan and the two become engaged.

As only the second Sherlock Holmes story in a long list, The Sign of Four could change the dynamic of BBC’s Sherlock. After marrying Mary, John moves out of 221B Baker Street to live with his wife. He returns for many more mysteries, and eventually moves back in after Mrs. Watson’s death, but for the vast majority of the canon, Holmes lives in the apartment by himself. Since Steven Moffat has made several comments about being “interested” in the effect marriage would have on Sherlock and John’s friendship, it’s only a matter of time until we hear wedding bells ring – and The Sign of Four presents the perfect opportunity.


Bow – “His Last Bow”

Here’s where things get a little worrying. There are very few things that this final word could point to, and only one story that justifies such an overt reference. “His Last Bow” tells the story of the last case Sherlock Holmes takes before retiring from “the game” and keeping bees until his eventual death. Could this mean our favorite high functioning sociopath will be arrogantly flipping up his collar for the last time?

Although Doyle went on to write 12 more stories (set before this final adventure), “His Last Bow” shows the super sleuth turn his hand to espionage for a final game of wits with German spy Von Bork. Largely believed to be a piece of propaganda ahead of World War I due to its patriotic nature and third person narrative (breaking from the usual tradition of John Watson “writing” Sherlock’s adventures). As Holmes takes on an undercover alias – “Altamont” – he finds himself tracking, capturing, and interrogating Von Bork in order to try and prevent a bomb from detonating.

“His Last Bow” lends itself to the grander scale and political implications that were introduced in series 2, and would certainly make for a great series finale. However, we’re not convinced it will actually bring the end of Sherlock. Moffat, Gatiss and Thompson are known for messing with the canon’s chronology to fit their narrative – and the former has promised that the series 3 finale will bring a bigger cliffhanger than “The Reichenbach Fall.” While we certainly wouldn’t put it past the writers to end the show on a cliffhanger, the modern adaptation is faring far too well commercially and critically to end before its prime.

What do you think of our predictions? How do you think the writers will bring these three stories into the modern day?

Quiz: What is your pet’s Ilvermorny house?

Why should you be the only one who gets a second wizarding house?

1:00 pm EDT, July 29, 2016

Will your pet be sorted into the same Ilvermorny house as you, or will you have to disown them for joining your rival?

Step aside Hogwarts, there’s a new wizarding school in town (or rather, across the sea)! With a new school comes new houses, and a new sorting test. You might’ve gone through an identity crisis after taking the test for yourself, but you’re not the only one who needs sorting. That furry, scaly, or feathery friend needs to know where they belong too, and we’re here to do just that! Last time we helped you find out what Hogwarts house your pet would be sorted into, so now we’ll help you figure out what Ilvermorny house they belong in.

It’s typical for pets to have similar personalities to their owners, so maybe your pet will end up in the same house as you. But to those who have house rivalries, brace yourselves: It’s also possible your pet will end up in a different house than you, maybe even your rival house! Will you be saying ‘bye bye birdie,’ or do you thrive in competition? That probably depends on your Hogwarts and Ilvermorny house.

Whether you have a dog, cat, rabbit, bird, or reptile, all pets are welcome at Hypable’s Ilvermorny sorting ceremony! Take the quiz below and let us know where your pet’s loyalties lie, and be sure to take it for each of your pets (unless they’re a squib. Is there an American name for squib?). Don’t want any of them to feel left out!

Now that you know your pet’s Ilvermorny house, maybe you’ll want to decorate their bed with their house crest (shoutout to the Hufflepuffs)! Or maybe you’ll forbid them from entering your room if they’re in a different house (shoutout to the Slytherins)!

Did your pet get the same Ilvermorny house as you?

Forget seeing Luke Cage and Daisy Johnson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. According to Jeph Loeb, it’s simply too hard to plan.

Although the Marvel movies and TV series ostensibly exist in the same universe, and although Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. does its best to include Avengers references whenever possible, TV show characters are unlikely to ever show up in the movies.

This despite Chloe Bennet’s continued efforts to remind people that she is, in fact, Marvel’s first on-screen female Asian superhero, and the awesome crossover possibilities the Marvel Netflix series have opened up.

Marvel fans have long been aware of the difficulties of bringing TV characters into the movie ‘verse, but at the 2016 TCAs, Jeph Loeb provided a few more reasons for why it’s practically impossible to coordinate.

“Part of the challenge of doing this sort of thing is that the movies are planned out years in advance of what it is that we are doing,” Loeb says, as quoted by SlashFilm. “Television moves at an incredible speed. The other part of the problem is that when you stop and think about it, if I’m shooting a television series and that’s going to go on over a six-month or eight-month period, how am I going to get Mike [Colter] to be able to go be in a movie? I need Mike to be in a television show.”

In terms of planning out the character arcs, this makes a lot of sense. A Marvel movie might be mapped out years in advance of production, for not to mention release, which means any character scheduled to appear would need to have their stories planned for many seasons in advance. The continuity would certainly be hard to keep track of.

Of course they could still throw in cameos, which fans would probably really appreciate — and crossovers from movies-TV are much more doable, as evidenced by Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander)’s multiple appearances on AoS.

But Marvel is wary of doing that too much, too, because “we never want to be known as an Easter egg farm. It has to work within the story. We never want to do Luke Cage gets into a cab as Foggy Nelson and Matt Murdock are getting out of the cab,” Loeb says, referencing The Man From U.N.C.L.E..

However, don’t lose hope yet. “Anything is possible,” says Loeb. “As I often get reported by you folks for saying #ItsAllConnected, our feeling is that the connection isn’t just whether or not somebody is walking into a movie or walking out of a television show. It’s connected in the way that the shows come from the same place, that they are real, that they are grounded.”

Would you like to see Marvel TV and movie characters cross over more?

If Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda weren’t enough to get you excited about Mary Poppins Returns, maybe Meryl Streep’s name on the roster will do the trick.

Mary Poppins Returns is not a remake of the original 1964 classic but rather a sequel to the Julie Andrews-led musical. As such, it stands to reason that we’ll be getting some new characters this time around. One of those characters will be Miranda’s Jack, who will be a street lamplighter.

And, according to Variety, another one of those new characters will also be portrayed by none other than Meryl Streep, who will be taking on the role of Mary Poppins’ cousin, Topsy. And, yes, the legendary actress will be taking on a singing role for the film.

This will also reunite Streep with her Into the Woods co-star Blunt, as well as Director Rob Marshall and Producer Marc Platt. Streep played the Witch in Into the Woods, while Blunt portrayed the Baker’s Wife opposite James Corden.

Disney’s official synopsis for Mary Poppins Returns reads:

Blunt has been cast as Mary Poppins and Miranda will play a new character, a street lamplighter named Jack. Drawing from the wealth of material in P.L. Travers’ seven additional novels, the story will take place in Depression-era London (when the books were originally written) and follows a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, who, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.

Mary Poppins Returns and will hit theaters December 25, 2018.

Are you on board with ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ now that Meryl Streep has joined the cast?