The last we saw of the Crawley family was poor Matthew's tragic demise on a country roadside, leaving behind his wife Mary with their newborn child. It certainly did not make for cheerful festive viewing as the nation mourned Dan Stevens' departure over their Christmas turkeys.
But with a new year comes a new start - and a new name as ITV revealed the couple's offspring has been named George, perhaps after George V who was on the throne at the time of his birth.
Although, unsurprisingly, the sombre mood appears to have extended into 2013, with the first shot from Downton Abbey series four featuring a glum-looking Lady M. Dressed in her black mourning attire and holding in her arms the heir to the Crawley family fortune, the new widow's sorrowful stance sets the tone for what is likely to be a fairly downbeat beginning to the run of new episodes.
In contrast, baby George is sporting a rather fetching sailor outfit, but - for the time being - his face remains a mystery to viewers.
Following his birth during the feature-length Christmas Day episode, George is aged six months as Julian Fellowes picks up his plot half a year after Matthew's death.
Filming is currently under way at Highclere Castle and Ealing Studios, for broadcast on ITV later this year.