How is Downton Abbey finally going to end?

Lady Mary, the Dowager Countess and co are poised to say their farewells, but how will the drama come to a close this Christmas Day? Ellie Walker-Arnott has the inside scoop...

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The sun is setting on Downton Abbey. Season six has come to an end and just one feature-length episode stands between us and a Crawley-free world. There will be tears (obviously) but we have been promised resolution rather than terrible twists and shock deaths. 

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“Some matters will be left open, because no-one reaches complete resolution until the lend of their lives,” executive producer Gareth Neame has said of the final episode, adding: “Romantic stories require resolution. But the fact is that our camera will gradually drift away from the Abbey and whichever inhabitants remain and we’ll leave them to continue their lives…”

Intriguing, no? Well, here’s what we think will happen when the Crawleys return to our telly screens for their final foray… 


Edith will say ‘I do’ – thanks to the Dowager Countess

The unlucky-in-love Edith simply must have her happy ending. It might have looked like all hope was lost, after Mary outrageously outed Marigold as Edith’s daughter, but Bertie will see the error of his ways in the final ever episode. He’ll realise that he can’t live without her and her “illegitimate bastard”, perhaps with the help of the Dowager Countess, who proved she’s the master of bringing about happy conclusions in tonight’s episode.

Lady Mary will be serenely happy 

Remember when Lady Mary wasn’t a bitchy, acid-tongued ice queen? No, us neither. But her marriage to Henry Talbot has changed her. She’s set on helping Edith find happiness – she has some serious making up to do where her younger sister is concerned, after all – and generally not making other people’s lives a misery. She’ll smile and stop snapping at Branson. In fact, she’ll barely roll her eyes during the feature-length special. 

The Crawleys will return to Brancaster Castle

Rumour has it the period drama decamped to Alnwick Castle during filming, and as we haven’t spied Bertie’s new home yet, we can only assume the Crawleys will be visiting during the final ever episode. Will the Dowager Countess head there to persuade Bertie and his formidable mother (who we reckon will be played by Patricia Hodge) to take Edith back? Or perhaps they’ll all embark on yet another boring shooting holiday. Yay. 

Anna and Bates will hear the pitter patter of tiny feet

But not before some serious baby drama. These two have had their fair share of upset, from miscarriages to murder charges. But it’s high time someone (*cough* Fellowes) cut them some slack. The arrival of baby Bates will be far from smooth, because a baby never has been welcomed into the Downtoniverse with ease, but Anna and Bates will absolutely end the episode with the fledging family they crave.

Carson will consider life after Downton

Times are a-changing, there’s no denying it. Having an under butler is already considered extravagant, and it’s only a matter of time before butlers themselves are a bit old hat. It’s time for Carson to consider a life that doesn’t involve the Abbey and his Lordship. We think this life could very easily involve him following in Patmore’s footsteps and running a B&B. Where he does all the cooking. 

Daisy and Andy will get it on

Daisy’s an independent, accomplished and educated woman who has passed, like, loads of exams. She’s full of potential and absolutely doesn’t need a chap… but she’s been awfully unlucky-in-love. The closest she’s come to romance is begrudgingly marrying poor dying William. It’s time she found Mr Right, and we reckon he just happens to be right under her nose. 

Patmore’s B&B will become rather successful 

Mrs Patmore’s sin-infested B&B is no longer dubbed a house of ill-repute. The den of infidelity was washed clean when the awfully morally upright Crawleys dropped by for scones and jam. Easy peasy. In fact, the scandal has done her some good. All publicity is good publicity, after all. She’s a rather successful business woman now and has a nice set up to retire into when the time is right. 

And she’ll get a little friendlier with Mr Mason 

Now her retirement fund is sorted, Patmore’s just got one last thing to tick off her list: a nice man to call her own. With Daisy distracted by her new fancy man Andy, Patmore and Mr Mason’s relationship ramps up a notch. But whether its romance or just companionship remains to be seen… 

Moseley will make his move on Baxter

Moseley has turned things around for himself. Once upon a time he was seen as a bit of a fool, but nowadays he’s captivating and enchanting classrooms with his wise words and lyrical storytelling. He’s become something of a catch. Baxter has long had a soft spot for the bubbling former-footman and with his success at the school boosting his confidence, it’s time for him to grab life (and love) by the horns.

Isobel and Merton will make another go of things 

That wily Ms Crookshanks will work her magic on Larry, who will give Isobel his blessing, and the duo will give their relationship another go. But Dr Clarkson might interrupt their wedding to declare his undying love for her. There’s been some sexual tension simmering there for seasons now…

Thomas will finally find happiness, in a low-key kind of way

After the upsetting events of the season six finale, Thomas’ future at the Abbey is no longer under question. He’s here to stay and thank the lord because the country pile wouldn’t be the same without his simmering resentment. Though, that said, he’s a changed man. The truth is out, people know he has a heart, and even Carson is nice to him now. Aw. 

The Abbey will find a viable financial future

And it’ll totally have something to do with cars. The future of the aristocracy is at risk. With the privilege of hindsight we know most of Britain’s grand houses were eventually bequeathed to the National Trust. But the Crawleys have a plan, and it doesn’t involve anything as “revolting” as opening their home to the unwashed masses. With Branson setting up a repair shop on the edge of the estate and Henry moving to the Abbey, Downton will soon be a hot spot for anything that involves an engine. And if Mary has anything to do with it, a hot spot for things like air bags, MOTs and safety tests too. 

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Downton Abbey concludes with a Christmas special later this year