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[personal profile] pennswoods
I am busy grading and coding data, so of course I spent the morning writing meta. Originally posted to [my Tumblr].

Reading Mycroft meta has just given me an awful, awful thought. One of the hallmarks of so much fiction about boys becoming men is how they struggle with loss and through it move toward independence.

Even though BBC Sherlock is not about a boy becoming a man, Lestrade’s early words (Sherlock Holmes is a great man, and I think one day—if we’re very very lucky—he might even be a good one) coupled with the creators’ claim that this is not a detective story but rather a story about a detective suggests that we are watching a story about the formation and maturation of a character (Sherlock Holmes), in which the people, cases and challenges he faces are what help him grow into his full self. One of these people/challenges is his relationship with his older, smarter, more powerful brother, Mycroft.

It’s easy to sneer at and be annoyed by Mycroft’s overbearing and controlling nature throughout the show, and the Sherlock series has featured both the ominous and ridiculous sides of ‘The British Government’. But series 3 has further highlighted just how tied together the two Holmes brothers are, with the older having a history of looking out for, rescuing, and overshadowing the younger. stephisanerd points out a great deal of this in her meta on Sherlock and Mycroft (go read it if you haven’t yet). And Mycroft’s own words to Sherlock in HLV (Your loss would break my heart), reveal such a depth of caring behind all of Mycroft’s annoying and underappreciated (by Sherlock) controlling and protective behavior.

However, sometimes when we coddle someone too much, we prevent them from growing and maturing in their full potential. I have just said that Sherlock is not a story about a boy becoming a man, but in some ways the almost willful immaturity of Sherlock suggests that this is exactly what this show is about.

And now for the awful, awful thought.

I have been rooting for Sherlock to break free of old habits and patterns, and I see his relationship with others and the formation of friendships as a way to achieve this (e.g. John replacing Mycroft as Sherlock’s inner voice in his Mind Palace; Sherlock listening to and taking social cues from Molly).

But another way to achieve independence is through overcoming the loss of a protector or guardian figure who has always been there (think Harry Potter after the death of Dumbledore in book 6 of the HP series). And it just occurred to me that in my exuberance to figure out Mary and what will happen to her, that I am forgetting about Mycroft and what series 4 and 5 might hold for him.

How will Sherlock cope if the east wind comes and takes Mycroft?

Date: 2014-08-17 05:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Fascinating. It would definitely be something worth exploring. I'm not sure if I'd want the show to take that route, for many reasons, most importantly right now is that Mark Gatiss' Mycroft makes me extremely happy, but I'd sort of love to see it explored in fic. I do so love when people break characters and put them back together.

Date: 2014-08-17 07:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh noooo, I had similar terrifying thoughts about Mycroft possibly dying before HLV aired, and I was so very grateful that that didn't happen.

But this:

But another way to achieve independence is through overcoming the loss of a protector or guardian figure who has always been there (think Harry Potter after the death of Dumbledore in book 6 of the HP series).

OMG, this is absolutely terrifying. I would be totally broken if Mycroft died. We don't have enough major characteres for us to lose a major one!! :(

I can only hope desperately that Mark Gatiss loves playing Mycroft too much to ever stop. :)

Date: 2014-08-17 08:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wow, I never thought of that. But it makes a lot of sense. Although it would be just as terrifying and sad as when Dumbledore died.

Date: 2014-08-18 05:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Do you remember when I had this same terrifying thought right before His Last Vow came out? I suddenly had this terrifying thought that it would actually be Mycroft's last vow, and that something would actually happen to Mycroft.

I really don't know. On the one hand, executing the deux in the deux ex machina is the ultimate release for the hero to be his own man. The same reason why Dumbledore was killed so that Harry didn't have that father figure to fall back on. But if Mycroft died...I would be devastated.

Date: 2014-08-18 01:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I wondered that, too, both for structural reasons, because of M's role as a guardian, and because of the ominous sound of the east wind and "break my heart" comments. Say what you will about series three, it really got across the Sherlock-coming-of-age themes! My only hope is that Gatiss is having far too much fun to let that happen any time soon. (Perhaps that's why S's parents were introduced?) M.

Date: 2014-08-18 06:23 pm (UTC)
mid0nz: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mid0nz
This is brilliant.


pennswoods: (Default)

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