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Where Did the Downton Abbey Characters Leave Off? Catch Up Before the Downton Abbey Movie

There are just so many characters to keep track of ... 

August 8, 2019

A wedding! A birth! A pregnancy! The Downton Abbey series finale tied up all of its loose ends into a neat bow back in 2016. But that was more than three years ago. (I know, I can’t believe it’s been that long, either!) That’s more than enough time to lose track of what happened to all of our favorite characters. Forgetful fans better catch up. The Downton Abbey movie premieres September 20, 2019. 

The series finale’s almost uncharacteristically happy endings were discussed by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes in an interview with Variety in 2016. Fellowes said, “I didn’t want to disappoint people. There was a wonderful quote on Twitter: ‘If Edith Crawley isn’t happy by the end of the series, Julian Fellowes better sleep with one eye open.’”

Our sentiments exactly. But other than Edith finally getting some good news, what exactly did happen in that Season 6 finale? 

Don’t feel discouraged if you’ve forgotten where your favorite Downton players ended up ⁠— there are just so many characters to keep track of, afterall. We’ve got your back. Here’s where the Downton Abbey characters left off in the series finale. (And, FYI, all six seasons are available on Passport.) 

Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Talbot

When all was said and done, Lady Mary and Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode) were newlyweds with a baby on the way. Henry had given up racing, but couldn’t entirely give up his love of driving. Henry and Branson went into business together with Talbot and Branson Motors, an automobile shop in town.

Laura Carmichael as Edith Pelham, Marchioness of Hexham

Finally! A happy ending for unlucky Lady Edith! She and Bertie (Harry Hadden-Paton) finally married in the finale episode. She no longer had to carry the burden of her secret about Marigold with her loved ones. And, she and Mary were actually on friendly terms. 

In one of the Grantham sisters’ final scenes together, Mary tells Edith, “Let’s try to do a little better in future.” 

Jim Carter as Charles Carson

Carson and Elsie (Phyllis Logan) married in the finale season (Making her Mrs. Carson!). Sadly, after suffering an onset of a mysterious family illness he called “The Palsy,” Carson had to retire. Leaving his position at Downton to … 

Rob James-Collier as Thomas Barrow

Who knew we could root for Thomas? The series’ original villain ended up with one of the most memorable story arcs. In the finale episode, he left his boring job (it looked terrible!) and landed back at Downton, where he has some pretty big shoes to fill. 

Joanne Froggatt as Anna Bates

Good news also finally came for Mr. and Mrs. Bates (Brendan Coyle plays John Bates). They welcomed a son in dramatic Downton Abbey fashion ... During Edith’s wedding … In Lady Mary’s room. 

Elizabeth McGovern as Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham

Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) comes to terms with Cora’s new job at the hospital. This support also improves the health of their marriage. 

Sophie McShera as Daisy Mason

Daisy did a lot of growing up in the final season. First, she passed her exams. In the finale episode, she got a new look (after a small incident with a blowdryer) and fell in love. At first, Daisy rebuffed Andrew (Michael C. Fox). But, in the end, things were looking promising for the young couple. Daisy also united worlds by moving to Mr. Mason’s farm, where it looked like he and Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) could end up together. 

Penelope Wilton as Isobel Grey, Baroness Merton

Isobel had broken up with Richard Grey, Baron Merton (Douglas Reith), after his greedy children caused a stir. When Isobel finds out that “Dickie” is suffering from pernicious anemia, she doubts ever having left him. With Violet’s help, Isobel is able to break past his children, and free Dickie from their tight grasp. The couple marries and is delighted to find out that Dickie is not dying, afterall. 

Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham

A fan favorite since day one, it’s a little outrageous that the formidable Downton matriarch didn’t get more screen time in the finale episode. She dealt with a humorous rift in her household staff (remember how annoying Denker could be?), gave Cora a pep talk and helped Isobel. Let’s hope for more screen time in the movie, despite the fact that our beloved Dowager Countess would be in her late 80s. 

Allen Leech as Tom Branson

Another character with an underwhelming finale was Tom Branson. Yes, he had a hectic season (breaking up with that schoolteacher). And yes, he started a business with Henry. But his role in the actual series finale was small. Though, it was strongly hinted that love could be brewing between Tom and Edith’s editor Laura, who coincidentally caught the bouquet at Edith’s wedding.


Still need to catch up? All six seasons of Downton Abbey are currently streaming on Passport


Caroline Gerdes

Caroline Gerdes is the social media specialist at Cascade Public Media and a New Orleanian living in Seattle. She was also a National Geographic Young Explorer — which is totally a real job title. She recently published her first book, An Oral History of the New Orleans Ninth Ward

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