Downton Abbey: 10 Unpopular Opinions (According To Reddit)

Downton Abbey united fans in their love for the Crawleys - but not everyone was completely on board with all the ships and storylines.

The hit British period drama Downton Abbey might have completed its 6 season arc in 2015, but fans couldn’t get enough of it, resulting in writer Julian Fellowes creating Downton Abbey: The Movie in 2019 to offer the audience some closure.

The series became an unprecedented phenomenon as audiences around the world became invested in the story of the Crawley family, representing the last vestiges of the decadent pre-war British aristocracy. But despite the fandom, there are those whose views are often contrary to popular opinion about the series – and fans take to Reddit to vent about the things that everyone else loves, but they hate.

10The Bates’ Story Grew Tedious

Anna and John Bates were two major characters in the hugely talented ensemble that made Downton Abbey the phenomenon it became. However, a minority of fans weren’t impressed by the Bates couple whose story seemed to have grown duller once they got together.

According to these fans, Anna was fun as an individual character in the first two seasons but she became tedious once she married John Bates, the valet to Lord Grantham. Once together, the Bates’ story became boring and one fan has even compared it to a Shakesperean tragedy stating that that the constant misery inflicted upon them went overboard.

9John Bates Was Toxic And Boring

Not just the couple as a whole but John Bates himself has been berated for being rather a boring and toxic personality.

Bates, according to this Redditor, loved to consider himself a martyr and was too full of himself, constantly behaving as if he never deserved much of anything he ever got. This fan even went as far as to state that Bates’ sudden appearance had robbed Thomas Barrow, a largely negative character well known for his morally dubious nature, of his opportunities to make his way up the service ladder.

8Tom & Mary Should Have Ended Up Together

A small portion of fans has an unpopular opinion about how Tom Branson, the Crawleys’ chauffeur who later became their son-in-law thanks to his marriage to Sybil Crawley, and Mary Crawley herself.

Tom was a fan favorite and Mary, of course, was for all intents and purposes the lead heroine of the series. Tom became a widower after his wife tragically died shortly after their marriage, and Mary chose Henry Talbot in the final season. Tom and Mary developed an adorable brother-sister relationship ever since Sybil’s death and were confidantes to a great extent. However, some fans seem to have shipped the two of them, believing that the two would have made a better couple than Henry and Mary.

7Lord Grantham Was A Hypocrite

Yet another unpopular opinion suggests that Lord Grantham, the aristocrat who owned the lavish estate at Downton Abbey, was a hypocrite.

Lord Robert Grantham was shown to be expressing his deep attachment to the property although his hypocrisy lay in the fact that, as one fan points out, that he was unwilling to try more modern approaches to save his land and the future of all his tenants. Another fan also feels that he behaved like a hypocrite when he was ready to get physically intimate with the housemaid, Jane, whom Cora never found out about.

6Edith Should Have Been With Strallan

Lady Edith Crawley was the second Crawley sister and an ill-fated, unfortunate woman for the most part until her luck finally turned in the final season.

Edith got left at the altar early on in the series by Anthony Strallan, a man who was many years her senior and of good standing, although not particularly interesting. Strallan only appeared briefly and was purported by the family as someone who would have apparently ruined Edith’s future if he had gone ahead with the marriage. But one fan suggests that Strallan and Edith made a cute couple and that they should have ended up together; they shared an equation that neither Michael Gregson who was in love with Edith nor Bertie, who eventually married her, did.

5The Anti-Tom Club

Tom Branson, played by the adorable Allen Leech, was beloved by the masses as he went from the lovelorn chauffeur to a single parent with a little daughter.

Tom was mostly loved by everybody, but there are those who thought he was controlling and creepy in his behavior towards Sybil (whom he claimed to love). Moreover, the way he fled from Ireland leaving Sybil alone in the midst of a political manhunt enraged a few fans.

4The Dull Writing

The hit period drama had been nominated for and awarded numerous accolades throughout its run. Supported by some remarkable acting talents and bolstered by its historical premise that appealed to millions of viewers worldwide, the series gained fans all over the world.

But yet again, there are those who weren’t all that impressed by the show in general. Here’s an unabashed Redditor who considered the show’s writing substandard and sloppy. Whether it was the stilted dialogue or the dull storylines, some fans were very vocal about how they weren’t impressed by the series.

3Carson & Hughes Didn’t Make Sense

Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes were the butler and housekeeper at Downton Abbey and were responsible for maintaining order among the ‘downstairs’ folks.

Both Carson and Hughes, especially Carson, were fan favorites, and the fact that ended up together was heartwarming for many. But this fan boldly goes with an unpopular opinion, stating that the Hughes and Carson storyline was off-putting and seemed to have incorporated for the sake of appeasing fans.

2Mary & Charles Shippers

Lady Mary Crawley, played by the stunning Michelle Dockery, was unapologetically snobbish and not necessarily the most likable person, even though her character went through an unspeakable tragedy on the show.

After Matthew Crawley’s shocking death, Mary had a bunch of suitors gravitating towards her, from Lord Gillingham to Charles Blake and finally, Henry Talbot whom she eventually settled for. A few fans apparently shipped Mary with Charles, played by Julian Ovenden, a government officer researching the future of grand aristocratic mansions such as Downton. Charles and Mary seemed to be absolute equals in terms of their wits and sharp intelligence and as these fans seem to think, would have been perfect for each other. It indeed seemed for a while that the writers toyed with the idea of uniting them but eventually abandoned the storyline.

1Henry Talbot Was Perfect For Mary

Dan Stevens’ Matthew Crawley made an ideal couple with Mary, but their love wasn’t meant to be. Matthew was killed off unceremoniously, and shockingly, at the end of season 3, leaving Mary a grieving widow with a newborn child.

However, Mary recovered from the tragedy by and by, and soon she was swamped with offers from different suitors, one of them being Henry Talbot, played by the handsome Matthew Goode. Mary and Henry had become a couple and were even expecting their first child together by the end of the series finale. While Talbot wasn’t bad, many fans had never quite been on board with the idea of him being with Mary. In fact, these fans never got over Matthew Crawley’s death and didn’t ship Mary with anyone else at all. But according to a few Redditors, Henry and Mary didn’t lack chemistry as some have suggested and were a fine couple indeed.

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