Lady Mary Crawley // loving, loyal, cold on the surface, caring, when you get to know her; warm-hearted and kind, progressive, supportive, hard-working, self-confident, vindictive, emotional, courageous, willful, graceful, honest (Scorpio, Cancer, Capricorn, Aries)
Lady Sybil Crawley // open-minded, idealistic, sweet, politically engaged, strong opinions, brave, does not care about the things others say, energetic, lively, dreamer, dedicated, innovative, not afraid of change, understanding, respectful (Pisces, Aquarius, Leo, Sagittarius)
Lady Edith Crawley // reserved, kind, wants to be respected and loved for who she is, quiet, vengeful, romantic, survivor, enduring, curious, independent, never gives up, strong, good-hearted, can be selfish, longs for love and an own family (Taurus, Gemini, Virgo, Libra)
Today’s edition of fics I won’t be writing is brought to you by Dan Stevens as the Beast in Beauty and the Beast because naturally, that makes me want a Beauty and the Beast/Downton Abbey AU (inspired in part by Matthew Crawley’s story on Downton Abbey).
The Beast would be a spoiled young man who is heir to a vast, old estate just before World War I. In addition to being spoiled, he’s boorish and has no respect for the servants or the townfolk.
But even the heir to the Duke of Gascony can avoid the call to arms when war erupts, not if he wishes to keep his family’s good name intact. So he goes to war, where he continues his spoiled, ill-tempered ways.
And maybe it’s karma, maybe it’s a curse, but a shell explodes in his trench and leaves him grievously wounded. Not only is his face hideously scarred, but his back is broken, and the doctor tells him that not only will he never walk again, but he’ll never sire children.
Understandably, when the Beast returns to his home, he is not the same monster he was before; if anything, he’s worse. Less purposefully cruel, maybe, but a withdrawn shell of himself. And when his father tells him on his deathbed that his dying wish is for his son to somehow find someone to make him happy, the Beast goes into a deep depression, knowing that he has nothing now to offer nor any way to secure a proper arrangement. He fires most of the staff and isolates the few who remain from the nearby village.
When Belle arrives in the village, she is an odd girl, but not because she likes to read (though she does) or because she invents the precursor to a washing machine, but because she is nobility as well – a second daughter of a minor baron, to be sure, but nobility nonetheless, and one who has rejected the trappings of nobility, who skips her season and presentation at court and has zero intention of being pulled back into the world of the nobility, rejecting every suitor who pursues her.
But when the Duke of Gascony issues a formal invitation for her to join him for tea, not even she can refuse.
So she goes, only to find that it was not the duke who invited her, but his valet, and the duke is less than pleased to see her. He’s rude and curt and Belle is unafraid to tell him so. So the Beast orders her out. Not just out of his home, but out of the village. And Belle, who unflinchingly meets his gaze despite his now scarred face, tells him, “No.”
And the Beast is furious, and punishes her the only way he can: he invites her to stay at his estate during her time in the village, which leaves Belle held captive by propriety, as refusing the duke’s offer would be a grave offense, one not even she is willing to commit, if only for the sake of her family.
Thus she stays, and thus the story goes: Beast falls in love with Beauty, and Beauty with Beast, and there are servant shenanigans both downstairs and up, set against the changing landscape of the 1920s, and the Beast tries to send her away when he realizes his feelings, because she deserves to be with someone whole and healthy and everything she deserves.
But again, she refuses.
There’s no curse to break here, no enchantress to set him free from his injuries. But Belle’s love is still transformative, for while his scarred face will always remain, and while children may never be in their future, the Beast, with Belle’s love, is truly a beast no more. He becomes a philanthropist, donating much of his family’s money. He also opens the estate and allows the servants more time to spend in the village and they throw a ball for the whole county and Belle wears a yellow flapper dress because yasss.
And most importantly, they live happily ever after.
Until he dies in a car crash just when they’re finally happy #stillbitter
idk the idea of Downton Abbey Beauty and the Beast just makes me happy.
- oh my gOD Bates get a hold of yourself. so william comes barreling through the door and spills Thomas’ tea all over him and thomas gets mad. and says something snotty. wow. call the constable, what an effing crime. like. now thomas has tea all over his clothes so he’s either got to go and change (which i’m sure he has just masses of other clothes no problem right) or wait for it to dry, during which time if Mr. Carson catches him he’s going to get a verbal thrashing. DO EITHER OF THOSE OPTIONS SOUND APPEALING. like I am the first to admit that thomas is the most…JUST THE MOST. but don’t treat him like he just ripped the head off of a baby lamb for having a reaction jesus BACK OFF BATES
- oh good lord when Daisy says, “i’d do anything for you” and Thomas glows - ACTUALLY GLOWS - with something like pride and wonder and genuine surprise. i mean in the next second his face shifts and he does this villainous little smirk sure yeah because that’s a weapon, that’s something to defend yourself with if you need it, something to use against other people duh. (honestly i don’t know how anyone who isn’t a slytherin makes sense of the world but okay) but in that moment before, there was bare vulnerability and it was fucking beautiful. shit. i’m gonna make a shitty gif of it because you guys have got to see this shit.
THOMAS. (90% of my live action commentary watching this show is just me yelling out in a pained and strangled voice THUHMASSS).
-this is a real live actual conversation that happens.
OB: [plotting against Bates} What we need to do is to make him a suspect when something’s really been stolen.
Thomas: How do we know anything’s been stolen?
OB: Because you stole it, you noodle.
You are both noodles, and this is a terrible idea.
- side note: how fucking spot on is it that when there are scenes happening in Carson’s office or the servants hall you can hear Mrs. Patmore and Daisy bickering in the background. I mean. I take this show to task for a lot but wow that is some tight storytelling.
- man do i miss the good ole days of Thomas and OB plotting and smoking in the courtyard. iconic.
- there is not much i find more delightful than Thomas saying “sod ‘em.” why can’t he have been given more dirty lines please…why is RJC’s ridiculous accent so fucking soothing. SEE HOW SOOTHED I AM. i am currently just a skin bag of loose bones and honey.
- Daisy and Mrs. Patmore are fuking underappreciated. Daisy misunderstanding Mrs. Patmore and thinking she’s supposed to poison the food while Mrs. P is away for eye surgery is one of the best and most subtle moments of comedic genius in television history.
- why is watching Thomas putting food in his mouth…so erotic. i did not ask for this. i was perfectly happy not knowing this about myself.
- okay so look. i am the first (okay maybe not the first) to admit that Thomas says and does some mean shit. he’s not perfect! some days…he is so overwhelmingly far from perfect that hypothetically you have to go have a good long talk with yourself in the bathroom mirror about why the eff it’s one o clock in the morning and you are lulling yourself to sleep with VIVID fantasies of putting a grown man in the bathtub, washing the pomade out of his hair, and seeing what kinds of noises he makes when you skritch the back of his head. hypothetically. i can only imagine that’s what it would be like because none of this is personal experience. but also let’s not pretend that i won’t defend Thomas to the everloving end. yes, it is not his finest moment to make light of a woman losing her pregnancy or a young person losing their mother, BUT for fuck’s sake why does no one seem to have a problem with people putting their hands on Thomas in violence, holy shit.
- aghhhhh the fact that Thomas holds himself so still, head so high and proud when he’s got bruises on his face. It is the Don’t Fucking Touch Me Stillness, cousin to his Blank Look of Shame, and you all know how i feel about that.
- hahahahahhah ohhhhhhh well fuck me i guess branson/sybil/gwen was the ot3 i didn’t even know i wanted.
UP NEXT IN SEASON 2: THOMAS SURROUNDED BY MEN IN UNIFORM, HOW WILL HE DEAL (spoiler alert: badly and with lots of looks of PANGED LONGING)