As we prepare to officially kick off the end of an era this weekend– otherwise known as the US premiere of the final season of Downton Abbey – it seemed appropriate to take a moment to really wallow in our heart-bursting nostalgia before the new episodes start.
Downton Abbey has been many things to many people – a game-changing, global ratings smash, a revitalizing reminder that no one does period dramas like the British, a regular source of devastating Maggie Smith quips. But, at its heart, Downton is about people, and the relationships between them, and despite its occasionally overly-soapy missteps (remember that time Matthew’s paralysis was cured because it just turned out his doctor was wrong?), it has always gotten the emotional beats of its story right. And from upstairs to down, from servants to aristocrats, it’s the characters who make up the heart of Downton Abbey, and the reason why, even when the storylines were almost too stupid to be believed, we still loved every silly, soapy, overly dramatic moment.
So, let’s celebrate the beginning of the end with a look back at some of the show’s great moments (or at least yours truly’s favorite moments) and remember all the reasons that our Sunday nights will feel a bit emptier next year once Downton is gone.
(You will absolutely have deletions or additions to this list – so make sure you hit the comments to share your favorites!)