Well, of course, in BBC’s Sherlock, the proper phrase is, “The game is on,” and Sherlock is metaphorically comparing solving crimes with playing an actual game. One like this:
However, that particular battle cry is actually derived from Canon Holmes’ exclamation in “The Adventure of the Abbey Grange,” when he rouses Watson from his warm bed in response to a 3:30 am telegram from Stanley Hopkins:
The candle in his hand shone upon his eager, stooping face, and told me at a glance that something was amiss.
“Come, Watson, come!” he cried. “The game is afoot. Not a word! Into your clothes and come!”
Of course, it’s not original to Sherlock Holmes, either. “The game is afoot” comes, as do many Canon quotes, via Shakespeare, this time from King Henry IV, Part 1, and again from King Henry V. In the latter, the entire quote is:
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’
Nor is the game and actual game, as in Monopoly, or football. No, it’s this kind of game….
But whether it’s on or afoot, involves a board or a fluffy bunny, we Sherlockians know what it’s all about, and that’s why, today’s prizes–yes, it’s a dual prize day–involves Sherlock Holmes as a game himself.
As in other dual prize contests, you will have a choice. The first is based on Neil Gaiman’s award-winning story, “A Study in Emerald,” which is a startling meld of the Sherlockian and Lovecraftian universes.
The second contains 2 more traditional games:
I have never played any of them (I am not really a gamer), so I can’t tell you how good they are. If you are a winner, give us a review!
For your chance to be a winner, just tell us where in the Canons (both Sherlockian and Shakespearean) this quote can be found. It sounds like a good strategy….
Thrice is he armed, that hath his quarrel just.
As always, send in your answers via blog comment, Twitter DM, or Facebook PM, and I CANNOT EMPHASIZE THIS ENOUGH—-PLEASE PROVIDE YOUR CHOICE OF GAME ON YOUR ENTRY, AS THEY WILL BE DRAWN SEPARATELY. IF YOU DON’T CARE, THEN TELL ME, SO YOU CAN BE A PART OF BOTH DRAWINGS. ANSWERS WITHOUT ANY GAME GIVEN WILL NOT BE PUT INTO EITHER DRAWING!!!!
ahem. Thank you, good luck, and all the very best in 2017.
Congratulations to Resa Haile, the winner of the Sherlock S4 pre-order! “Omne ignotum pro magnifico” comes from Tacitus’ Agricola. And yes, now it doesn’t seem so amazing after all, does it?