Unanswered Questions We Have From the First ‘Downton Abbey’ Film

No matter how many times fans think Downton Abbey is finished, they’re gifted with more. The series was so popular that one movie wasn’t enough for fans; they needed two. No one is ready to say goodbye yet. So the creators of the show have announced a second film called Dowton Abbey: A New Era, which could see big changes for our beloved characters. But where did we leave off, and will the second film answer some of our most burning, unanswered questions?

Michelle Dockery on the 'Downton Abbey' film set.
Michelle Dickery on the set of ‘Downton Abbey’ | Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images

Where did ‘Downton Abbey’ the film leave off?

At the end of the first Downton Abbey film, Mary and Henry discuss that it would be impossible to leave Downton behind. Mary has a tear-jerking moment with her grandmother, Lady Violet, about carrying on the legacy, as the Dowager says she’s dying. Tom steals a secret dance with Lucy Smith and agrees to write to her, and King George allows Bertie to stay home from a royal tour for the birth of his and Edith’s first child. The Earl and Countess Grantham dance while reflecting on their adventures.

Meanwhile, back at Downton, the downstairs feel fulfilled, tricking the royal staff and serving the king and queen on their own. Daisy and Andrew make up and start planning their wedding, while Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes close out the film pondering how Downton will look in the modern era. A perfect lead-up to Downton Abbey: A New Era. But we still have some questions about the first film. Here are some unanswered questions we have following Downton Abbey.

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10. What happened to Mr. Carson’s illness?

At the end of the series, Mr. Carson is forced to retire as head butler because he has palsy. He returns to duty at the drop of a hat in the film, and he and Mrs. Hughes don’t talk about it. He doesn’t carry anything when he returns as the head butler, but other than that, the film doesn’t acknowledge anything about his health. We don’t think he was cured, but maybe he’ll discuss it in the next film.

9. Where was Lady Rose and Aunt Rosamund?

Toward the last couple of seasons of Downton Abbey, Lady Rose, played by Lily James, was a popular character simply because she brought a breath of fresh air. Likewise, Aunt Rosamund, Robert’s sister, was always a voice of reason and gave an interesting perspective on things. They were two important characters in their own right and yet were absent from the film. We don’t know what Rosamund was doing, but Rose’s character did move to America, which was a way of writing James out when she started taking on bigger roles. We’re not positive either character will make an appearance in the new film.

8. Will Daisy marry Andrew?

At the end of the film, we see Daisy make up with Andrew, following Andrew’s embarrassing bout of jealousy with the plumber. They mention that they will start planning their wedding, but we don’t see if Daisy actually makes it down the aisle. However, a new clip from A New Era reveals a wedding, which could be Daisy and Andrews, or possibly also Tom and Lucy’s.

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7. Why did Major Chetwode need Tom to assassinate the king?

One of the more tense moments of the film happens when Major Chetwode, an Irishman disguised as a friend to Tom, attempts to kill King George during the parade. Tom manages to stop him before he can shoot and reveals he’s part of the radical group of Irishmen who oppose the royal rule. The whole subplot is confusing as it starts with Chetwode seemingly needing Tom to fulfill his plan. That doesn’t seem the case, though, when he actually goes to kill. Why did he even need to get close with Tom? Maybe he didn’t think he’d get a chance to carry out his plan at the parade and instead needed Tom to get in with the royals somehow? Either way, it’d be interesting to see Tom working for the king as some sort of bodyguard in the next film.

6. Will Tom marry Lucy?

Things between Tom and Lucy looked really comfy when we left them in Downton Abbey, so it wouldn’t surprise us to see that they get married either before A New Era or during. Remember, we do have confirmation there will be a wedding. If they do get married, Tom will inherit the Granby estate and leave his duties at Downton, which would be a big loss to Mary and Robert. But he’s done a great job modernizing Downton that he should have no trouble to do the same at another great estate. We’re just glad Tom found love again.

5. Why was Mary doubting Downton’s future?

Nothing serious happened during Downton Abbey that would threaten the future of the Crawley’s home. At least nothing like Robert’s bad financial decisions. They don’t have the safeguard of another trust fund coming out of nowhere to help them if things go bad, but at least toward the end of the film, things are looking up for the estate. Mary talks with the Dowager and reaffirms her love for her home. But isn’t it a little weird she asked Henry if he’d want to live somewhere else? Thankfully they both realize they’re silly talking about such things.

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4. Will Lady Violet appear in the film?

As mentioned, Lady Violet tells Mary that she’s slowly dying and that Mary’ll need to protect Downton when she’s gone. This has led many fans to wonder whether she’ll be dead by the time A New Era starts. However, Screen Rant reports that the entire cast will return and Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes says Maggie Smith will be there and that Violet will be alive in the film.

3. Where are the children in the film?

We get to see the two newest additions to the upstairs and downstairs in the film, meaning the Bates’ son and baby Talbot, but we don’t get their names. What’s life been like for each family as they’ve welcomed their babies? The Bates’ seem to get less screen time than usual, and Henry is absent for most of the film too. It would be great to see the children a little older, bringing their generation into the estate. More importantly, how well is that Marigold secret holding up?

2. What does Edith do now, does she still have the newspaper?

When Cora calls Edith about the royal visit, Edith mentions something about being busy, but we don’t really get specifics. When Edith and Berties get to Downton, Robert makes a point of saying the family is traveling light, meaning they have no valet, maid, or nanny traveling with them. Bertie says they like to live modernly. So does that mean that Edith is still at the newspaper, operating a huge estate and homeschooling Marigold simultaneously? We’d like to know more about the highest-ranking Grantham daughter.

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1. Will there be an royal appearances in the new film?

With most of their staff seemingly gone and replaced by Downton staff, the king and queen were probably weirded out during their stay at Downton Abbey. But the Downton staff took care of them nonetheless, so maybe that means they’ll want to return someday. Depending on when A New Era takes place, we might even get to see how Downton reacts to King Edward’s abdication.

One thing is for sure; fans will always want more of Downton Abbey. One more movie is probably not enough for some fans, but we’ll take what we can get.