The Non Downton Abbey Fan's Guide to The Abbey

So I've been writing in the Downton Abbey fandom for a few weeks now and I'm putting out a three chapter short in which all of the characters are spies, kind of in the same tone as Chuck. It's called The Abbey.  I know quite a few people get emails for stories and might be curious about this one, and I'm always willing to help out, so I've put together a guide to Downton Abbey and yet still want to read The Abbey, click the More button and prepare for some very, very pale, pretty people to flood your window. Let's do this thing! Oh, right, spoilers. Duh.

This is Matthew Crawley. He's a solicitor from Manchester who discovers that he's the heir to the Earl of Grantham, Robert Crawley. Grantham's country seat is called Downton Abbey. It's big.

This is the earl and the countess, Robert and Cora:

They have three daughters (Mary, Edith, and Sybil) who can't inherit the estate, as it's entailed away to the next male heir (Matthew).

This is Mary Crawley. She speaks her mind, is very proper, witty, and in line to become the next HBIC, and wears a number of marvelous hats. She's also my favorite character:

Matthew and Mary have Chemistry:

They also have a very, ah, tumultuous relationship. Mary was sort of engaged to the previous heir, her cousin Patrick, but dude perished on the Titanic (sad). Now she's basically forced out of her own inheritance by Matthew. To be fair to him, he doesn't like it much either. But that doesn't stop her from being kind of awful to him at first, likening his middle class ways to him being a sea monster in the story of Andromeda and Perseus.

Mary's maid is Anna. Their friendship/relationship is my absolute favorite part of the show.

They're such good friends that Anna has literally helped Mary move a dead body.

Speaking of dead bodies, here's Mr. Pamuk, the son of a Turkish diplomat who caused a scandal by dying in Mary's bed:

In addition, Anna (the head housemaid) is in love with Robert Crawley's valet, Mr. Bates.

And if you can't tell from that picture, they are ADORABLE and I have no idea why Julian Fellowes hates adorableness, but there you have it.

Also at Downton Abbey are Sarah O'Brien, Cora's Ladies' Maid, and Thomas Barrow, a footman.

They are Horrible People. I adore them.

More importantly, there's the butler, Carson. He's VERY into propriety (heaven forbid they have a maid serving at dinner! The country may be falling to pieces, but that's no excuse), and his eyebrows are begging me to make him into a muppet, but he's fantastic and he always looks out for Mary, which is a note I adore about them.

And most importantly of all, you have the dowager countess, Violet Crawley.  She IS the HBIC. Think McGonagall, but wittier, and even a little scarier. She's stuck in the old ways, but can be surprisingly progressive when it suits her.

So that's the cast and how they're all kind of related to each other. The fic focuses mostly on Matthew, Mary, and Anna, with Violet making a few precious cameos. It all takes place in modern times and kind of an AU world from ours anyway.

Oh, right, and this Evelyn Napier who will someday be Viscount Branksome. he's important, too:

I'll have to post another one of these guides after Chapter Two. That should be fun!


  1. Michael11.6.12

    Thank you for the guide Frea. I look forward to reading the story.

  2. Anonymous8.7.12

    Thank you Frea for posting this mini guide.
    I've read the article on wikipedia on Downton Abbey after you posted a new story based on it. After reading the article I didnt want to watch it the least.

    I changed my decision after reading your guide and am now very glad to have discovered this small jewel of tv production. I usually dont care about this genre or time, but this series is really well done.

    to get to the point: thanks for sharing your thoughts on the series :)


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