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Eh Tar

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Holmes, remember what I always told you: control your emotions or they will be your downfall.
~ Eh Tar to Holmes


Eh Tar, aka Professor Rathe, is the true primary antagonist in the 1985 film Young Sherlock Holmes. He is a fencing coach and senior member of the board at the Brompton boarding school in London, serving as the mentor and friend-turned-enemy of the young Sherlock Holmes. He is also the leader of the Rame Tep, an ancient Egyptian society worshiping Osiris, the Egyptian God of the Dead, renowned for their deviance from traditional beliefs and performance of violent and sadistic rituals.

He was behind a series of kidnappings and murders of six men and five women. The women were sacrificed to the god of the dead; they were mummified alive and boiling oil poured over them. Rathe was himself the high priest, wearing the mask resembling the god Anubis. He has a ring that is highly reflective, and is designed to hypnotize those who are forced to stare at it for a time.

He is portrayed by Anthony Higgins.


Many years ago, six men discovered a tomb of five Egyptian princesses. Their findings angered a nearby village, threatening the men's lives. Egypt was still a British colony at the time, and several troops began a massacre in the village, eventually burning it to the ground. The six men returned to Great Britain only to find their lives threatened again. They received a letter from a young man named Eh Tar, vowing that when the time came, he and the Rame Tep would exact their revenge on the men. The village that had been destroyed was Eh Tar's home, and his parents were among those killed. Eh Tar and his sister were living in Britain with their grandfather at the time. He appointed his sister as second in command of the Rame Tep and chief assassin. He also recruited many homeless people and criminals throughout London and showed them the way of the Rame Tep, creating a cult. He spent years planning his revenge, while having a secret temple in the shape of a pyramid constructed in London, so the Rame Tep could hold their dark rituals.

To avoid any suspicion, Eh Tar became a teacher at Brompton under the name of Rathe (Eh Tar spelled backwards) while his sister became the school nurse, Mrs. Dribb. He built himself up as a respected figure in British society, erasing his former identity. Rathe took young Sherlock Holmes under his wing and taught him many things: the use of a sword and how to deal with emotions. When the murders began, one of the men was a former schoolmaster at Brompton, Rupert Waxflatter, and one of Holmes' closest friends and mentors. Before Waxflatter's death, Holmes was framed for cheating and academic fraud and was expelled. He had one last fencing duel with Rathe, in which Holmes was unintentionally injured. With no help from Scotland Yard, Holmes began solving the murders himself but did not expect one of his closest friends would be the culprit. He learned that the men were injected with a thorn that made them hallucinate ghastly, nightmarish images. They would kill themselves to escape the nightmare, making the murders look like suicides or freak accidents. Holmes, a young Watson and Elizabeth discovered the Rame Tep temple and barely escaped with their lives.

Rathe was present at the temple when Holmes was spotted there and knew that he was hiding in the school. He found Holmes in Waxflatter's apartment and threatened to have him arrested, but chose to be lenient and let him go. Holmes found the last survivor of the murders who told them the origin of Eh Tar. While leaving Holmes suddenly realized that Rathe was behind everything. Before Holmes could confront him, Rathe and Mrs. Dribb kidnapped Elizabeth, Waxflatter's niece and Holmes' lover and brought her to the temple, making her the final sacrifice. Holmes and Watson barged in and through a complex plan, created a diversion causing the temple to begin to collapse and inadvertently set the temple on fire. Eh Tar was knocked down by the falling rubble, but recovered and Holmes was forced to kill Mrs. Dribb with her own murder weapon. Eh Tar confronted Watson who was saving Elizabeth. He punched Watson and kidnapped Elizabeth. After tying her up so she couldn't escape, he tried to make off in his carriage with her, but Watson stopped him by attaching a grappling hook to the end causing it to be pulled apart. After saving Elizabeth, the trio watched the temple burn and began to leave but Eh Tar was standing behind them and tried to shoot Holmes. Elizabeth took the bullet instead, sacrificing herself. Using a sword he took from the temple, Holmes then dueled Eh Tar in a fight to the death. Initially Eh Tar had the upper hand and tried to use Holmes' anger against him. However Holmes turned it back on him, pointing out that Eh Tar had lost it all: the temple, the Rame Tep, all his dreams had failed. He then managed to injure Eh Tar (bearing an ironic resemblance to the injury Holmes had received in their previous duel). The skirmish broke into fisticuffs, and they ended up on the frozen river Thames. Each grabbed oars and continued to fight. Meanwhile, the already-damaged ice began to crack. Eh Tar lost control of his temper and tried to deliver a killing blow, when his sudden action caused the ice to give way, and he fell through into the ice-cold water. Elizabeth did not survive her injuries and said a final goodbye to Holmes just before dying. Following Elizabeth's funeral, Holmes told Watson that Rathe had personally begged the board of Brompton to keep Waxflatter on school grounds as part of his secret plan for revenge, as the six men frequently met with each other at the school. This fact made Holmes realize it was Rathe who was responsible.

In a post-credits scene, a mysterious man is seen checking into an inn in the countryside. The hotel clerk asks for his signature and he signs the book as "Moriarty". The man is none other than Eh Tar, who has survived the freezing waters and is now taking a new identity as James Moriarty, foreshadowing his future as Sherlock Holmes' archenemy.

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