character: tom branson

4

The thing is, this big thing Tom hates to think about, is that Sybil Crawley was supposed to die the evening the votes were counted in Ripon.

Tom’s not sure of the exact details, broken neck, internal bleeding into her brain, something. It didn’t matter to him.

He wasn’t there for her death, he was just there for the aftermath, to take Lady Sybil’s soul to the great beyond. Guide her on the short, but terribly permanent trip from life to death.

Except her cousin had looked right at him and asked for help. Tom shouldn’t have even been visible to him and less than a minute later he wasn’t. But it was that time in which Tom had picked up Lady Sybil and carried her to the waiting car.

He shouldn’t have been able to do that either.

And Lady Sybil didn’t die.

Tom had been called back and asked to explain his actions and he couldn’t, not really. He had been asked for help and he had given it. He was a kind person and that being his only crime they had sent him back. He was assigned to Lady Sybil Crawley after all and with her he’d have to stay until it came of time to collect her soul.

The other thing, the slightly more inexplicable thing, is that Sybil Crawley can see him now.

And not for a moment like her cousin. All the time, as real as if he were alive. She can hear him too, hear as he explained who (what) he was, why he was there, why no one else could see him, why she couldn’t touch him or perceive him with any other senses.

Hear him as he told her he was there to wait for her to die.

At first she tries to ignore him, hoping it will go away. Wondering if she hit her head so hard she’s gone mad. But Tom doesn’t leave, he can’t. He’s bound to her until she dies.

After a while Sybil doesn’t want him to.

After a longer while, she rather thinks she never wants him to leave her.

Sybil Crawley was not supposed to be alive.

She was not supposed to have fallen in love with her reaper.

Tom was most definitely not supposed to love her back.

It’s a good thing neither of them really care what they’re supposed to do.

“Alastair Bruce, our historical advisor, has always left me slightly outside the group in relation to etiquette,” Leech said. “I’ve never been given the full brief. So if you ever notice, sometimes I do accidentally pick up the wrong cutlery. And Tom should do it wrong.“

“Actually, the best at this is Maggie (Smith, who plays the Dowager Countess), because she’ll throw a look. It’s often in the show, where I pick up the wrong cutlery, and she’ll go, ‘Hmmm.’ There’s a reason for that. She doesn’t do that accidentally. Because she knows. She sees it.”

“But oh my God, she’s the most fun ever. Between takes, she has me in fits. We all make mistakes with our lines, but the first person to enjoy that and make fun of it is Maggie. It puts you at ease immediately. And when she does it, she’s the first to go, ‘Oh my God, this is going terribly.’ She is a legend, she really is.”  - Allen Leech (x)

4

“She is so beautiful.”

5

“I’ve got Sybbie and George!”

6

Tom and Sybbie play Poohsticks.

2

“I always wanted to continue the line and say ”I don’t suppose we could go somewhere to talk?”“

- Allen Leech (x)