Anonymous asked you: Hey ! First of all your blog is my ultimate reference on the subject of this dear Mycroft, who is definitely one of my favorite character of all times ! So, I was having a discussion with a friend and she said that John was the only one in the show that was ready to kill in order to save or protect Sherlock, and I completely disagree with her : without even thinking about other characters, I’m positive Mycroft would do it too, if he hasn’t already. What is your opinion ?
Hello Anon. Sorry it’s taken me so long to get around to answering! I am undoubtedly on your side of your debate.
The depth and steadfastness of John’s loyalty was made clear in the very first episode when he shot and killed Jeff, the cabbie, in order to save Sherlock’s life. There is no debating that - John can and has killed for his friend, and, if his threat to the Golem in The Great Game is anything to go by, he is more than prepared to do so again.
Mycroft, however, is not the man of action that John Watson is, and so hasn’t the same chance to demonstrate where his allegiances lie or what he is capable of on-screen. We know very little about him and his shadowy, government job, that ties him to Whitehall, Westminster, the Palace and MI6. He is dangerous, to be sure, and, going from his indifferent expression when confronted with the “bashed up” body of a woman assumed to be Irene Adler, with facial damage so extensive it even makes Molly, a morgue technician, wince, he is no stranger to death. Whether Mycroft has ever fired a gun, though, or simply ends a traitor’s life with the swish of a fountain pen across an official warrant, is a matter for one’s own headcanon. But there is certainly more to Mycroft than his front of the genteel civil servant.
It is established fanon that Mycroft has, in the past, used his shadowy powers to help his younger brother out of trouble. I agree that this is likely - Sherlock may be a capable and brilliant detective, but he has an unstable personality and a history of drug-use, and Mycroft has demonstrated a consistent, albeit controlling, level of care throughout the series. Who can tell what it may have been necessary for him to do in the past? We will probably never quite know what has happened between them, and how far Mycroft has had to go for the sake of his brother.
What we do know, however, is what Mycroft was prepared to do when confronted by Irene Adler in the dénouement of Scandal. Irene had a phone full of scandalous secrets and a list of demands that elicited a look of alarm from Mycroft - but her real bargaining chip was Sherlock. When she first confronted him in the plane, he was staring her down, fury in his eyes and the machinations of his magnificent mind hard at work. It was when she mentioned that she had tricked Sherlock into implicating himself in the derailment of Bond Air that he wavered, and had to look away:
You have no idea how much havoc I can cause and exactly one way to stop me – unless you want to tell your masters that your biggest security leak is your own little brother.
One may presume that, had Irene not had that leverage over Sherlock, Mycroft would not have so quickly capitulated to her demands. He may have had a go letting his people attempt to extract the information from her - as he did when faced with Moriarty and his computer code. Because Sherlock was involved, he gave in far quicker than he otherwise would have done.
Giving up governmental assets and, in turn, potentially facing the ire of his masters, may not be quite the same as killing someone to save Sherlock, but there is a degree of self-sacrifice to this move that Mycroft was willing to make.
We’ve yet to see Mycroft at his most dangerous, his most deadly. We’ve yet to see him take a life, but I could envision him doing as much for Sherlock. He was prepared to sacrifice so much closer to him than a criminal’s life in order to protect his brother.
I am also of the opinion that Moriarty would have been swiftly disposed of on Mycroft’s orders, were it not for his his web and that Sherlock had other plans. But that’s only a theory. Time and Series Three will tell.