Sherlock Holmes/John Watson

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Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson from the BBC's Sherlock.

Sherlock Holmes/John Watson is a non-canon slash ship based on the Sherlock Holmes novels and short stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and their many adaptations. The ship name is commonly shortened to "Johnlock".

There has been speculation about the nature of Holmes and Watson's relationship in Conan Doyle's stories for many years. In 1941, Rex Stout, author of the Nero Wolfe series, published a satirical article entitled "Watson Was a Woman?" that pointed out several scenes of apparent domestic bliss and used them to argue that Watson was actually Holmes's wife[1]. The first known example of erotic fiction about the two men, The Sexual Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes, by Larry Townsend, was published in 1971. Another early example of fiction that treated Holmes and Watson's relationship as romantic and sexual was My Dearest Holmes, by Rohase Piercy, which was first published in 1998.

The ship saw an increase in popularity thanks to the 2009 film Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey Jr. as the titular detective and Jude Law as his sidekick, and a positive explosion as a result of the BBC series Sherlock, which moved the setting to modern London and starred Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes and Martin Freeman as Watson. Of the more than 45,000 works tagged Sherlock Holmes/John Watson on the popular fanfiction archive An Archive of Our Own, more than 42,000 are tagged as being based in the Sherlock fandom. A smaller boost was also received for the genderswap pairing of Sherlock Holmes/Joan Watson from the American television series Elementary.

The Johnlock Conspiracy

The Johnlock Conspiracy, often abbreviated TJLC, is the belief prevalent among some Johnlock shippers in the Sherlock fandom that Johnlock will actually become canon. Sherlock showrunners and writers Stephen Moffatt and Mark Gatiss (who is himself openly gay) have denied that they have any plans to make Johnlock canon, however.

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