A glimpse at Downton Abbey A New Era
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Since Downton Abbey began on TV, Dame Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess of Grantham has been a fan favourite. Although with the series and movie stretching from the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 to 1927, such an elderly character surely can’t last forever? Accordion to Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, Lady Violet Crawley was born in 1842, making her 85-years-old in the first movie.
Downton Abbey: The Motion Picture concluded with the Dowager telling her granddaughter Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) that she’s had some tests and is dying.
By ending the film on such a cliffhanger does that mean that Lady Violet will be dead by the setting of Downton Abbey 2?
Well the first trailer tease and images for Downton Abbey: A New Era have arrived, but there’s no sign of Dame Maggie’s sassy character at Tom Branson’s wedding.
Nevertheless, People magazine have confirmed that the star is indeed reprising her role in the new movie.
However, with Lady Violet’s revelation to Lady Mary that she’s dying taking place in 1927, the 1930s set Downton Abbey: A New Era could begin with the Dowager’s death.
Certainly, this would be a touching goodbye to the character, saying farewell to the old era as the new one kicks off.
Last year, Express.co.uk spoke with Lord Fellowes about the future for Dame Maggie’s role.
He said: “She’s not very well, but she’s not dead. There’s no indication she’s dying imminently. We just have to wait and see what happens.”
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Lord Fellowes added: “Of course, we also have to see whether Maggie wishes to survive her present situation or not.”
Interestingly, when the first movie was released in 2019, Mr Carson star Jim Carter predicted the Downton Abbey 2 would open with a funeral.
Speaking with PA, he said: “I know if there is a second one it will start with a funeral and people walking away very solemnly from a graveyard.”
Before joking: “There will be a panning shot along six headstones of those who weren’t available for the film and that is how it will start.”
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Nevertheless, The Sun reported a leak back in August that an iconic character would be killed off in Downton Abbey: A New Era.
An insider claimed that Lord Fellowes “has made this death so poignant. Those who have seen the scene said they are so emotional.
“They really will leave fans in floods. It’s heartbreak at Highclere Castle and there won’t be a dry eye in cinemas.”
But who knows, maybe there could be a twist with the Dowager getting better and another fan favourite kicking the bucket?
Downton Abbey: A New Era hits cinemas on March 18, 2022.
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