Downton Abbey: 9 Unpopular Opinions About Mary, According To Reddit

Love her or hate her, it's impossible to ignore Lady Mary of Downton Abbey. Reddit has some hot takes on the eldest sister of the Crawley family.

Lady Mary Talbot, previously Crawley was a character whom audiences both love and hate. She was unique, to say the least, and her strong personality wasn’t for everybody. However, it’s hard to refute the fact that she carried Downton Abbey for large parts of the show, and everything from her questionable romantic decisions, to her fights with Edith, are highly entertaining to watch.

Her polarizing character has given birth to many unpopular opinions about Lady Mary, especially on Reddit. Fans and haters have a lot to say about the eldest Crawley in Downton Abbey, but it’s clear that they can’t ignore the feisty Mary no matter how hard they try.

Mary And Thomas Should Have Been Friends

Conniving Thomas and scary Mary didn’t share much in common, apart from living on the Estate, but schampo1 on Reddit seems to think that they could have been great friends. He thinks that they would have understood each other well because of their similar traits: “Mary and Thomas have very similar personalities/character and Fellowes should have developed their friendship.”

The two tended to take revenge on people and ruin them for fun, but the odds of Mary becoming close friends with the deputy butler, especially since Carson disliked him so much, were almost none. She didn’t have a connection with Thomas, and there was no way the two could sit and plot together, since their targets were of varying classes. Thomas already had O’Brien to hatch schemes with, and Mary had more pressing matters to attend to.

Tom And Mary Should Have Gotten Together

Some fans think Mary could have been with others, apart from Henry, and Tom is one of the candidates. They seemed to share a good relationship which was becoming deeper by the day, and they felt that writers were headed that way till they changed their minds. ArgentManor said “When Tom called Violet to talk to Mary about Henry Talbot, I was so hoping that she would confess to Mary his love for her. They get along so well.”

It’s quite cliché to assume that just because a man and a woman are friendly, they should be together romantically. As brother- and sister-in-law, the two were respectful and helpful to each other, and getting them involved would complicate things for everybody, especially their children. Moreover, Mary would not insult Sybil’s memory by marrying her husband, so keeping them as close relatives made a lot more sense.

Her Romance With Matthew Was Dull

Matthew and Mary were inarguably one of the best couples on Downton Abbey, but Redditors opine that they weren’t all that. They feel that the two weren’t good for each other, and Matthew could be quite dull. Their chemistry was lacking and they weren’t an impressive pair. According to WrightIam, he “thought Matthew was incredibly boring and it dulled Mary’s spunk and she became boring in return.”

The slow burn romance between the two was the focal point of the show’s first three seasons. It carried the show forward, and audiences tuned in everyday just for Matthew and Mary. Matthew’s absence was felt keenly after season 3, so it’s completely baseless to say that he was boring. None of her other suitors matched up to her first husband — because their love was one of the great ones.

She Chased Men

Mary gets scrutinized further on Reddit, as some netizens believe she was desperate for attention, and it showed. Whitefox00 thought that she was too obvious about her interest in men, and that they “cringed at the way she basically chased after Mr. Pamuk.”

Beautiful and imperious, Mary almost always had men queueing up to court her. In season 1, she was but a youngling who was entering society, so more than desperation, her lack of experience was what showed with Mr. Pamuk. So, it’s not factual to say she chased men because she was almost always leaving them hanging, be it Matthew, Tony Gillingham, Charles Blake, or even Henry Talbot.

Mary Was Nice

Even after watching all six seasons of the popular drama, some fans have come to the contentious conclusion that Mary was a nice person, period. They think that she never did much wrong unless she was provoked, and the times she saved Anna from a miscarriage, nursed Matthew, and even gave Robert an earful about Thomas’ suicide attempt were what was memorable. Jm5201977 said “Mary is really nice. She is a younger version of Violet–kind but arrogant.”

A likable character does not necessarily have to be good, and objectively, Mary could be very heartless. She repeatedly targeted Edith, ruining her marriage not once but twice. Her demeanor towards Gwen when she returned was terrible, and she was mean to her dear Carson as well. Mary was very lovable, but she had a big mean streak which can’t be ignored.

She Was The Least Interesting Sister

Although most would argue Lady Mary led a memorable life through the early 1900s, some Redditors thought otherwise. She was compared to her younger siblings Sybil and Edith and their lives, and they reached the conclusion that Mary was quite boring and run-of-the-mill in front of her sisters. ExpectedBehaviour stated, “Mary is by far the least interesting of the Crawley sisters.”

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Mary may not have rebelled openly or taken up unconventional jobs, but that was because as the eldest, she had the burden of keeping the Crawley name intact. She had responsibilities, and keeping Downton in the family fell on her. She defied societal expectation routinely when she had sex for fun and refused to sit pretty during horse races. She started caring for the estate like a man would, and did it better than her father too.

Mary’s Men Were Pointless

After Matthew’s death, Mary healed and found herself on the Twenties dating scene. She flew through several men who were interested, but some viewers thought that their presence was pointless because Mary didn’t marry them. Marvelfanboy88 felt that it was wasted time and plotlines, “What was the point of spending so much time on those 3 boring suitors and their nonsense if the writers never actually intended on making any of them Mary’s husband?!!”

There were several reasons why this plotline made a lot of sense. Finding a replacement for Matthew was next to impossible for Mary, but that didn’t mean that she couldn’t date. As a progressive woman, she wanted to see men casually, especially after being pressured about the heir of the Estate for so many years. Just because she didn’t marry them, didn’t mean that it was a wasted story. It showed how women’s tastes were evolving even then.

The Matthew And Lavinia Love Triangle Was Pointless

Unlike most viewers who adored the last love triangle between Matthew, Mary and Lavinia, fra080389 thought it was a stretch and could have been avoided. They said “I loathed the useless dragging out of Mary/Matthew/Lavinia triangle, her death, that RIDICULOUS “Matthew got Swire’s money because shut up”

It would have been unrealistic to have Mary and Matthew reunite directly after the war, especially since Mary had weighed him against money and his status as heir and rejected him earlier. The triangle gave fans a delicious waiting time and lots of angst before the two married, and Mr. Swire’s money conundrum was exactly what Matthew’s character stood for, so it made perfect sense.

Mary And Lavinia Should Have Become Friends

In wishful thinking and slightly bizarre opinions, Redditors wanted Matthew gone completely. They felt that he deserved neither of the women who were too good for him, and Mary was actually kind to Lavinia, unlike her usual behavior. Canolafly said “Take out Matthew, leave Mary as good friends with Lavinia.”

It’s true that Mary was good to Lavinia, but it was only because she mattered to Matthew. She cared for him, and if someone was important to him, it meant that Mary would be kind to them. The two were destined to be together, and just having the girls become best friends would have taken the show in a very different direction.

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