Described by her former lover the King of Bohemia as an adventuress, Irene Adler is a beautiful young American opera singer living in London when the story begins. Adler is built up as an incredible woman, and each new piece of information introduced serves to make her appear even more captivating. She dodges burglary attempts, turns down lucrative payoff offers, and fraternizes with future kings. At the start of the story, Adler is single, and she is holding on to photographs and letters that prove she was in a romantic relationship with the King of Bohemia. The King describes her as diabolical. However, when Holmes meets her himself, she is kind and generous. Watson even claims she is so kind he feels badly about being involved in a scheme against her. By the end of the story, Adler manages to come out on top. She kept the photographs she treasured, outsmarted the most intelligent detective in Europe, and married a man who appreciates her more than the King of Bohemia ever could. Even the King of Bohemia only has positive things to say about Adler in spite of her earlier threats. He admits she would have made a wonderful queen. Holmes generally proves he's the smartest person in the room throughout his many stories, but Adler's intelligence even surpasses his.