Julian Fellowes, bringer of brilliant period drama and, now, breaker of hearts, has officially called time on his hit ITV period drama. This series will be the last, with the Crawleys saying their final farewells on Christmas Day.
While we’re sad that the era of the Abbey is over, we can take some solace in the fact that nine (hopefully) brilliant episodes remain with the potential to wrap up all the drama’s loose ends and give our beloved characters the conclusions they deserve…
Who will marry Lady Mary?
Since Matthew’s shocking death in the 2012 Christmas special, Mary has been on the lookout for husband number two. Lord Tony Gillingham almost got the job, until an illicit tryst planted doubts in her mind about their compatibility.
Pig wrangler Charles Blake tried his luck too, but the search begins anew this final season. The likely candidate is Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode, above), but she really is one tricky Lady to please.
Is Lady Edith cut out to be a mogul?
Having inherited her late lover’s media empire in London, Lady Edith has the chance to leave behind her miserable years as the overlooked middle sister. But can she start a new life in the big city with her daughter? And will we see Downton’s most downtrodden resident smile?
Will Bates and Anna ever be happy?
This below-stairs marriage has been plagued by despair. Bates (Brendan Coyle, above, with Joanne Froggatt) was arrested for murdering his ex-wife just hours after he and Anna said “I do”. At Christmas, she was arrested and released on bail for the murder of the man who raped her, but with the investigation ongoing, their future remains uncertain. Downton’s luckless lovers dream of filling their cottage with a brood of babies. Will Julian Fellowes let them live happily ever after?
Who Killed Green?
It’s been almost two years since Anna’s attack at the hands of Lord Gillingham’s valet, Green. His subsequent death led to police interviews, arrests, confessions, suspicions and jail time for poor Anna, but we’re yet to get a confession. Did Bates secretly travel to London that day? Why was Anna picked out of a police line-up at Scotland Yard? Who pushed Green under that bus?
And finally: will Mr Carson and Mrs Hughes ever make it to the altar?