You can have a broken heart, a heart of gold, a heart of stone, a beating heart, a bleeding heart, a heart of steel, the heart of a lion or a wild heart, but at the end of the day, after the fight, after the pain, our hearts still beat at the same rate.



Michelle Dockery, who plays icy Lady Mary in Downton Abbey, tearily describes the cast as a “second family”, and says she holds a particular connection with Maggie Smith, her onscreen grandmother, the Dowager Countess. Smith, in turn, says she “dare not catch Michelle’s eye when we’re around the dining-room table — it is so dangerous when we start giggling.” The reason for the irreverence in the face of such grandeur? “We have a great rapport, perhaps because we are both Essex girls.”


Somehow, despite their mutually fiery personalities, Mary and Tom have found a way to compliment each other and become each other’s rock of stability, each one keeping the other cool and calm in the face of adversity. As confidants, they are able to trust each other because they recognize their own shared strengths in one another other: a scrappy persistence, an understated kindness, and a fierce, unwavering loyalty.

If Downton Abbey would only be brave enough to take the chance, it has a golden opportunity to develop a beautiful, realistic love story. Enough time has finally passed to make Mary and Tom’s relationship feel organic in a way few others have had a chance to be told on the show, because theirs is a relationship built on friendship, not drama. It’s the slow burn of the 20th century, and a different kind of epic — a story about finding a second true love after tragedy.[x]