From the first moment I saw Downton Abbey’s opening credits and heard that “now” marvelous familiar theme song, I was pretty much a goner. I knew I’d just found my next obsession. The show’s general scenario is twofold: Downton Abbey tells the upstairs’ stories of its proprietary family, The Crawley’s, and then tells of the lives of their servants (the downstairs’ stories).
Deriving from the mind of Julian Fellowes (who won the Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards previously for Gosford Park – an upstairs/downstairs murder mystery), there was something compelling and addicting not only about its world but the characters. Whether it was the haughty upstairs resident, Lady Mary Crawly or the likable downstairs servant, William, everyone had a story. Even with the insane number of characters, nothing ever seemed overwhelming or lost. Season one surprised in ways no one anticipated and as such was written to the show’s best advantage.
With the sixth and final season just two months away (for U.S. viewers), I decided to look back on some of the best moments from Downton Abbey. Given how very fond of this show I grew to be in six years (difficult to believe this has entertained me for as many years), there are plenty of Downton Abbey confessions I could cop to. But I don’t know about you, it’s looking back at those big or special moments that I remember most.
10 Downton Abbey Memories
Is there anyone who wasn’t a Mary and Matthew shipper? I know I was 100% behind them. Their first meeting was delightful. Mary was her typical pert self (claiming she didn’t want to “push in” after overhearing Matthew’s thoughts on the Crawley’s) and Matthew, well, I’m convinced he was smitten from that very first moment.
#2. “What is a Weekend?
If there is only one thing we learn from Downton Abbey, let it be this: the definition of a weekend. I don’t think there is one of us who don’t remember Violet Crawley’s immortal words asking, “What is a weekend?” Maggie Smith’s deliverance of the line is all too perfect, a quote that has created many inspirations for GIFS around the world – or at least, the World Wide Web.
#3. Theo James
Let’s face it, we’ve probably all forgotten Theo James (known for playing Four in the Divergent series) appeared in the first season of Downton Abbey. But I assure you he was in the hallowed halls, sipping tea with Lady Mary and being an all-around scoundrel. He meets with a not-so-favorable end that is also a bit comedic in a dark British kind of way simply because it was so unexpected.
Not only do we remember, love and miss the darling Lady Sybil, one of my most favorite scenes with her involved her scandalously sporting an elegant ensemble that was designed to have the freedom of pants! Such a rebel that Lady Sybil was.
#5. Bates and Anna
Seeing these two marry and enjoy some happiness was priceless.
I don’t think there were many who didn’t 100% ship Sybil and Branson. The scene of Sybil essentially asking Branson to give her a bit more time and wait, and his reply is one of my favorites.
Despite their ultimate ending, nothing can ever damper Matthew’s proposal. After two seasons of seeing this pull and tug between this pair, it was perfection. I loved how Matthew loved Mary; loved that he made her a better person; and finally I loved that Mary didn’t bow to the pressure of starting their life on a lie. She made a clean break with her past before saying yes, ensuring there were no skeletons hanging over their chance for happiness.
#8. Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes
Much as I loved the story between these two throughout the entire series run, this scene of them at the beach was one of my most favorite moments between them.
#9. Rose and Atticus
Say what you will about Rose (I know she’s been a bit of a controversial character), but she’s grown up a lot since her introduction. The reason I wanted to include a moment with her on this list is for that very reason, plus I adore her and Atticus together. They are so cute. It’s their understated albeit cute first meeting that gets a shout-out today.
I’ve never completely understood why the sisters Crawley hate each other so very much. Edith keeps her entire world bottled up, egging Mary on. Then there’s Mary: she’s relentless in her pursuit to put Edith down. If I were to write a letter to these girls, I’d tell them to lay the past to rest: Edith did you wrong once upon a time Mary. Get. Over. It. It’s time to step into the future without these ghosts.
But I’m getting off topic. The moment I’m thinking of comes in the fifth season Christmas special when Tom Branson (Sybil’s husband), Mary and Edith share a moment of shared sorrow, remembrance, and family unity. It’s really a beautiful scene that’s likely passed off as insignificant.
This list only touches the surface of the many beautiful moments waiting to be discovered inside Downton Abbey. I’m no doubt missing far too many, but going on might result in carpal tunnel. And that would never do. Instead, I’d like to invite you to reminisce about your favorite moments, quips, kisses, swoon-worthy declarations, and characters. I’d love to read your comments, so please, sound off down below.
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