Now I love mormor as much as the next guy but it really kind of irks me when I read Moran and he’s written as being dumb or incompetent. Moran has always been one my favorite characters in Holmes mythology so let’s have a chat about his characterization, shall we?
Canonically speaking Moran was the son of Sir Augustus Moran, CB, and sometime Minister to Persia, he studied at both Eton College and the University of Oxford, not to mention he was a colonel and member of the1st Bangalore Pioneers (a fictional army unit created by Conan Doyle).
Moran is pegged as an avid sportsman and a highly skilled sniper and assassin who was said to have once crawled down a drain in pursuit of a man eating tiger. He’s also the author of two books Heavy Game of the Western Himalayas and Three Months in the Jungle.
Moran was a ruthless killer who was forced to retire and return to London after a scandal. Despite his ambivalence toward chaos, he was able to blend in with civilized society and keep up appearances by keeping a house on Conduit Street, Mayfair in central London and membership in several prestigious card clubs ( Anglo-Indian Club, the Tankerville Club and The Bagatelle Card Club). He was the second most dangerous man in London after Moriarty and was hand picked by Moriarty to be his chief of staff. Moriarty paid for Moran’s lifestyle and utilized his skills to carry out various assassinations. When Sherlock helped bring down Moriarty’s crime ring in The Final Problem, Moran, is one of the only members who escapes prison and goes with Moriarty to Reichenbach Falls. After Holmes kills Moriarty it’s Sebastian who’s left rolling boulders in an attempt to kill Sherlock. When Holmes escapes, Moran, goes back to London and, without Moriarty, falls back into a life of cards and clubs.
Moran is taken to jail only after murdering Ronald Adair (who exposes him as having cheated in cards) with silenced air rifle that fired revolver bullets and attempting once again to kill Holmes when he returns to solve the case in The Adventure of the Empty House.
Moran is mentioned several other times both in The Adventure of the Illustrious Client and His Last Bow. He was also the Villain in a Sherlock Holmes play written by Conan Doyle called The Crown Diamond.