After six successful season, Downton Abbey may be over, but that doesn't mean its characters stopped existing.
While series creator Julianne Fellowes prepares for the Emmy Awards (Downton is nominated in two categories), he spoke to Deadline Hollywood at The London Hotel in West Hollywood about the impact his show has had on the American audience.
Fellowes is quite proud of the way he wrapped the British series.
Instead of leaving viewers hanging as he's done in the past, Fellowes ended things on a high note.
"I feel that if an audience has been loyal to you for six years, they deserve to go away from the last episode feeling good," he said.
"And Edith, especially, deserved a happy ending.
I had teased people, with the end of the series before the Christmas special—with once again, it had all gone wrong. But it came right in the end, and I wanted her to outrank Mary."
Edith had fallen in love with a man who ended up inheriting a Marquess title from his late cousin, making Edith a Marchioness, which meant she ranked higher in the British aristocratic hierarchy than Mary, who was only a Lady.
Don't worry about Mary, though.
"It’s never “poor Mary," Fellowes insists.
"She would survive the 1917 Revolution. She’d become a Commissar."
What sort of life does Fellowes' leading lady live post-Downton?
"My own belief is that Mary, whether you like her or dislike her, is a hard worker, and she’s practical. I think she will employ the kind of advice that she needs," Fellowes predicts.
"She would probably have opened the house to the public in the 1960s, as so many of them did, and she’d have retreated to a wing, and maybe only occupied the whole house during the winter."
Many families with stately homes opted to open their doors to the public, treating the estate as a sort of museum. The money raised from admission fees would then help to keep up with the costs of running a place such as Downton Abbey.
"My own belief is the Crawleys would still be there, just as the Carnarvons are today [in the real Highclere Castle, where Downton was filmed]," Fellowes said.
"George [Mary’s son] would have gone to the Second World War, and of course the fear is that he would be killed.
"We know that Mary is pregnant, so there’s going to be another child.
"As for the title, I don’t know where it would go beyond George, but let’s hope he gets through the war and has children of his own," Fellowes continued.
"George was born in 1921, which makes him nine years younger than my father, and he only died in 1999. If he lived to the same age as my father, he’d have died in 2008, which takes us right into the modern age."
Well, there's seasons 7-10 right there. Somewhere on the Highclere estate, Lady Mary's great-great granddaughter is sneaking a cigarette with her equally naughty friends.