Which Holmes Brother is Truely More Intelligent?

by bdhesse

Lately I have been obsessed with Sherlock Holmes. I go through phases when it comes to various story lines where one month I will want to absorb everything about a character and then I’ll forget about it for a year. So I guess this month it’s Sherlock (sadly there was about a three year gap of me caring on this one).

Anyway, while going through the stories, I noticed something. It is canonically accepted that Mycroft is smarter that Sherlock. In one of the books, Sherlock says as much, and he and Mycroft say as much in the BBC show. However, it is never actually obvious who is smarter. Sherlock and Mycroft assume that Mycroft is smarter, but Mycroft is also 7 years older than Sherlock. Growing up, they had no reference point for who was smarter because of the age gap. And Sherlock would have always looked up to Mycroft as his big brother. As adults, they seem to have kept that perception without having anything to go on. We don’t know what kind of grades either got, or how well they did in school, or even much about what Mycroft general excels and fails at (other than politics). When we do see Mycroft using similar skills to Sherlock’s, they are generally comparable. As such, we can’t actually say who is smarter, we can only say that both Sherlock and Mycroft believe that Mycroft is smarter, which is very different.

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