Jan 172014


As some of you may already know, I’m an ardent fan of Downton Abbey.  These past couple of weeks I prepared myself for Season 4 by re-watching (numerous times!) Seasons 1-3.  And now I am currently watching Season 4 (without knowing about any spoilers this time!)  Since my mind is full of Downton Abbey and its characters, I thought it would be fun to create some Top Ten lists (you know me, any excuse to make a list!)

So here is the first one.  It is a list of my favorite Downton Abbey characters from Seasons 1-3.  (This list was made before viewing any Season 4 episodes.)

With the abundance of characters (major and minor) that come and go throughout these three seasons, it was not easy to narrow my favorites down to only ten!

Warning…I’m definitely on #TeamServants!


10. Mrs. Hughes


Efficient in her position, always honorable, extremely helpful towards Ethel (who doesn’t deserve it!), “and make no mistake” such a kind-hearted soul.

9. Mr. Molesley


I know he has is…er… awkward moments and is sometimes ridiculous, but I can’t help liking poor Mr. Molesley!  He tries real hard, has such a gentle, soft-spoken manner, and never gets the praise he deserves!

8. Mr. Bates


Honest and dutiful to a fault, Mr. Bates is, of course, one of my favorites.  I didn’t care for his threatening/violent ways in jail, but I do love how he sticks up for other servants in the house like Daisy and William.

7. Lady Mary


I know, I know! Mary is quite horrid B.P. (before Pamuk), but I think that experience changes her into a much kinder and more likable person.  Especially in Season 2 and 3 with her support of Anna and Bates, and her concern for William and Lavinia.

6. Anna Smith


Could you ask for a better or truer friend?  She’ll keep your secrets, defend you to your enemies, and go to great lengths to seek justice for you.  She’s a kind person that puts anyone at ease.

5. Lady Sybil


Oh, lovely Sybil! :'( Friend to the servants, supporter of gloomy causes – selfless, brave, an independent thinker.  There is so much to love about Sybil!

4. Mrs. Patmore


I find Mrs. Patmore endearing.  She is feisty yet vulnerable, a force-to-be-reckoned-with yet tender-hearted.  While she may sometimes be too harsh with Daisy, I think deep-down she cares for her very much.  And after Lady Grantham, I think she has the greatest lines.

3. The Dowager Countess


No surprise here!  Love her wit!  But what I love more is how she cares as strongly for the servants of Downton Abbey as she does her family.  How she tries to prevent William and Molesley from going to war, always asks after everyone’s welfare and family, and browbeats the vicar into marrying William and Daisy.  Go Lady Grantham!

2. Carson, the Butler


He’s like a big lovable teddy bear you just want to hug!  I love how loyal he is to the Crawley’s – claiming them as the only family he’s got.  He  has a lovely friendship with Mrs. Hughes, a high respect for Mr. Bates, and sweet concern for Mrs. Patmore. And let us not forget his special relationship with Lady Mary. 🙂

1. Mr. Mason


Now this might be a bit unexpected…but I find Mr. Mason to be the sweetest and most adorable man!  We don’t see him very often, but every time we do he steals my heart and brings tears to my eyes.  I just want him to have all the happiness in the world and for Daisy to take care of him and be his daughter!  What a dear man!


And there we are!  I hope you liked the first installment of Downton Top Ten!  Check back in a few weeks to see some more. 😉

What do you think of my top 10 favorite characters?  

What are your top 10 favorite characters from Downton Abbey Seasons 1-3?

*If you can, please be careful to not share any spoilers of Season 4 in your comments.  Thank you!

**image credits – pbs.org 

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22 Comments on "Downton Top Ten: Characters"

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On behalf of Mr Mason(I’m the Adm. of a Mr Mason fan/roleplayer FB/Twitter page), I thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We had hoped to make #10!! If we go on another 40 seasons, we’ll always remember this.

Lori J.

Love this slist, Meredith!

I adore Violet, the Dowager Countess. How can you not? Behind her, I would say Sybil (sniff) and Anna.

What a fun exercise! In fact, I agree with most of your top ten, though I might rearrange them a bit, but that is just splitting hairs. I don’t do well with “favorite” questions, so a list with multiples I enjoy! And you’ve hit most of them. (And I agree re Mr Mason too!) I would have to add Daisy too, as her development has been so much fun to watch. And I’ve become quite a Branson/Tom fan too. Oh, heck, just too many to choose from — (I’m sure your Top Ten Villains list will be fun too) I… Read more »
Kelli H.

Lovely list, Meredith! My favorite characters have always been Matthew and Mary. I loved them from the start and everything about their relationship! I am still in mourning over his death. Mr. Fellowes has some major work to do to fill Matthew’s shoes in my opinion!!:)

Lady T

Like your list very much,however when it comes to the Crawley girls,I’m Team Edith all the way. Yes, she has done her sister wrong in the past(and certainly needs a better sense for picking boyfriends) but her Jan Brady status in the family is much to blame for that,imo.

My Top Three Downton Abbey characters would be 1) Countess Violet 2)Anna(so sad about her current story line) and 3) Isobel,Matthew’s mother. Also adore Mrs. Patmore’s good common sense and Mrs. Hughes with her take charge with compassion attitude:)

Living a Goddess Life

We have similar taste but….no Matthew? Like Mr. Bates, he’s honorable, kindhearted, generous, and forward-thinking.


Tom Branson is very high on my list. I think he’s had the most interesting character development throughout the series. I always love it when he’s around!

Joana Starnes

Great list, Meredith! I never sat down to think about TOP 10, but I can share my top 3 🙂
The Dowager Countess and Carson vying for Number one; Mrs Patmore and Mrs Hughes for Number 2; and Mr&Mrs Bates inseparable at No. 3. I absolutely adore Maggie Smith and I hope she stays healthy, active and well for many years to come, there’s no one like her!!!!

Lmao! You really do not know how wonderful it has been for me to follow your posts recently. I am some what a loner in my Austen obsession, although my sister in law has recently jumped on the band wagon, I do not want to frighten her off lol!! Thank you again for letting me participate, I only started watching Downtown this year as I missed some episodes when it started on T.V over here in England. I bought the boxset and my hubby and I watched them all in time for season four which aired this fall. It has… Read more »

In my top Downton Abbey there are Sybil,mattew,Tom,(the chauffeur <3), thomas 😀
I love your top , I didn't like Mrs Patmore , Mrs Molesley.

Robin Helm

I want Dan Stevens to come back. He was my favorite, and I’m pouting big time.


Excellent list! Though I would put Lady Mary higher up on the list. Being the eldest daughter of the household she has always shown such poise, grace and good manners and is good to all be it aristocrats or servants. I loved her from even before Pamuk 😉 .
Would love to add Matthew on the list though I agree with you in one of your comments that he does care little about some of the servants unlike his wife who is always fair and knows how to behave with anyone. I regret his death though 🙁


I’m planning a rewatch of all of Downton once I’ve finished my Austen marathon, though I may just rewatch Poldark in between. I counted the number of episodes they made of Downton and it runs in at 52, so if you watch one a week, that’s a year gone! It’d be difficult for me to name a top ten but I think the Dowager Countess has to be my favourite overall and I just love her repartee with Mrs. Crawley.

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