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Top 10 Downton Abbey Moments

VO: Emily Brayton
Top 10 Downton Abbey Moments Script written by Nick Spake Subscribe:  If you’re looking for a well written, critically acclaimed historical drama show then Downton Abbey is the show for you. The show’s characters are mesmerizing and there are definitely some moments that stood out more than others, including the discovery of Mr. Pamuk’s body, Mr. Carson’s Proposal, Edith being left at the alter, Bates and Anna’s wedding, Anna’s rape, and Cora’s miscarriage. Special thanks to our users Kirby619913 and for submitting the idea on our Interactive Suggestion Tool at MsMojo's Social Media: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: Snapchat:

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Top 10 Downton Abbey Moments

This is 1920, time to live a little! Welcome to MsMojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Downton Abbey Moments.

For this list, we’re taking a look at the most charming, tragic and unexpected moments from this acclaimed period drama series. It should go without saying, but a SPOILER ALERT is in order.

#10: Mr Pamuk’s Body

Lady Mary is immediately drawn to Kemal Pamuk, but she’s taken aback when he makes sexual advances. Despite her apprehension, the persuasive Mr. Pamuk convinces her to spend the night with him. Their passionate evening takes an unexpected turn for the worse, however: as Mary loses her virginity, Pamuk suffers a heart attack and dies in her bed. To preserve the eldest Crawley daughter’s reputation, her mother and her loyal servant Anna help move the body. The three return Pamuk to his room, although the scullery maid—Daisy—catches them in the act. This was the first of many scandals that befell Downton Abbey, and it offered a glimpse of how jaw-droppingly good the series would become – while working in some dark humor.

#9: Mr Carson’s Proposal

Although they keep their relationship strictly professional for most of the series, Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes have always felt like a married couple. As the butler and head housekeeper at Downton Abbey, they’ve developed an intense and meaningful bond while maintaining order in the household. It was positively uplifting when they walked along the beach together, but we’d have to wait another year for Carson to finally pop the question. Having purchased a property in their names, Carson confesses his feelings for Mrs. Hughes and asks for her hand in marriage. She’s quick to accept the old booby’s overdue proposal, practically moving them both to tears of joy. After so much will-they-won’t-they tension, this sentimental declaration of love couldn’t have been more satisfying.

#8: Edith Left at the Altar

It’s not easy being the middle Crawley daughter. Every time it looks like Lady Edith is going to find happiness, failure and sorrow seem to be waiting around the corner instead. Case in point: her wedding day. Despite a significant age difference, Edith is keen on dedicating her life to Sir Anthony Strallan. As the bride arrives at the altar, though, Strallan suddenly gets cold feet. Not wanting Edith to throw her life away, the elderly groom calls the wedding off. To be fair, Strallan only had Edith’s best interest at heart, but he couldn’t have chosen a worse time to drop this bombshell. The audience is every bit as devastated as Edith, who just can’t catch a break.

#7: Anna’s Rape

Valet Alex Green might seem friendly at first glance, but he shows his true colors when he attacks Anna Bates in the kitchen. The head housemaid screams for help, but everyone else is preoccupied upstairs as Dame Nellie Melba sings. Following the sexual assault, Anna is left in pieces while Mr. Green resumes his normal duties. This was easily the most controversial subject “Downton Abbey” ever tackled, with many critics arguing that the show had gone too far. While Anna’s rape was undeniably brutal, it’s also an iconic and shocking moment from the series that we won’t soon forget.

#6: Cora’s Miscarriage

After tirelessly searching for a male heir, Lord Grantham’s problems are seemingly solved when his wife Cora becomes pregnant. If the baby’s a boy, he’ll inherit his father’s property and fortune, preserving tradition. The future of Downton Abbey is put back in jeopardy, however, when maid Sarah O’Brien intervenes. Infuriated that she might be replaced, O’Brien leaves a bar of soap for Cora to slip on. She quickly regrets this cruel deed and attempts to correct her wrongdoing, but it’s too late: Cora falls and loses her unborn child. It’s a haunting moment that left viewers stunned. To make matters worse for Lord Grantham, it turns out the baby would’ve been their sole son.

#5: Bates and Anna’s Wedding

If there are two people at Downton Abbey that deserve to live happily ever after, it’s Mr. Bates and Anna. After overcoming so much, these two finally make it to the altar where they’re pronounced husband and wife. With some help from Lady Mary, Anna and Bates get to spend their wedding night in one of Downton’s guest rooms. Their evening together is nothing short of heavenly, but this emotional rollercoaster ride is still far from over. Shortly after secretly tying the knot, Bates is arrested for allegedly murdering his ex-wife. Our hearts stopped when he was found guilty and sentenced to death. Fortunately, Bates would eventually earn back his freedom and return home to the woman he loves.

#4: “I’d Wait Forever”

Along with Bates and Anna, Lady Sybil and Tom Branson were easily among our favorite couples on “Downton Abbey.” Despite coming from different classes, the youngest Crawley daughter and the family chauffeur share instant chemistry. They’d gladly give up everything to be with each other, although World War I stands in their way. When Tom proposes marriage, Sybil holds off on giving him an answer until the war is over. She asks Tom for a little more time to consider his offer, to which he replies, “I’d wait forever.” While this exchange is brief and simple, it says so much about the sincere connection between these two characters.

#3: Matthew’s Death

Matthew and Mary’s relationship certainly had its ups and downs over the years, but Downton’s primary couple reaches the pinnacle of happiness upon welcoming a baby boy into the world. Now that Lord Grantham has two heirs, it appears everything will work out for the Crawley family. Unfortunately, this joyous occasion is followed by tragedy, as Matthew dies in a car crash on the way home. While the show had killed off major characters before, the idea of Matthew dying was considered unthinkable by audiences and was received by fans with anger, shock, and profound sadness. This twist was a major game changer, showing the Crawleys that nothing lasts forever.

#2: Lady Sybil’s Death

Part of what made Matthew’s death so traumatic was that viewers were still coping with the loss of Lady Sybil. In addition to being Lord and Lady Grantham’s youngest daughter, Sybil was arguably the most modern and spirited Crawley. After marrying Branson and giving birth to a baby girl, Sybil’s future seemed brighter than ever. Her happiness was short-lived, though, as she began convulsing and suffers one of the show’s most untimely deaths. Watching Sybil take her last breath is gut wrenching to say the least. As the family surrounds her deathbed, the audience is left at a complete loss for words. Adding to the grief, Sybil’s death could’ve been prevented had her father listened to Dr. Clarkson and taken her to the hospital.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Daisy and William’s Deathbed Wedding
- Lady Sybil’s Dress
- Atticus Proposes to Lady Rose

#1: Marry Me, Mary

Downton Abbey was fearless when it came to breaking our hearts, but it was also never afraid to be utterly romantic. Ever since Mary and Matthew met, we wanted nothing more than to see them together. It was especially touching when Matthew returned home from war and joined Mary in a duet. But nothing can top this elegant proposal. On a picturesque Christmas night, Matthew and Mary lay all their cards on the table. Deciding to forgive and forget, Matthew asks Mary for her hand in marriage. Mary is eager to accept, although she is adamant that Matthew gets down on one knee first. This scene can only be described as enchanting, and is “Downton Abbey” at its finest.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite “Downton Abbey” moment? For more dignified Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to MsMojo.

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