ABOUT
Welcome! This forum was set up in response to the dire lack of discussion forums for ITV’s Downton Abbey. You’ll find a number of discussion topics spanning characters, all of your favourite ships, alongside an RPG and a place for both fanfiction discussion and recommendations and posting your Downton related graphics. Whether your allegiances lie upstairs or downstairs, you’ll find something here for you. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to contact a member of the administration team below. And above all, enjoy and play nice.

STAFF
Administrators
Bex

RPG Moderator/Genie
Scarlet

Discussions Moderator
Ariadne

Fan Created Works Moderator
Molly

We're a friendly bunch, so don't be afraid to approach us if you have an issue or query.



RPG
The year is 1916 and the war is raging throughout Europe, leaving the men fighting for their lives and the women manning the home front. The war has touched Downton deeply and now the Crawley family and their servants are feeling the ramifications. The days of frolicking in the sun and living the life of luxury are over and hardships and turmoil are affecting each and every one of them. Come along and join in – there are main characters still free and plenty of others too. We’re happy to let you fill in the story so far but we’re now running an AU of Series 2. Enjoy!

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 Accepted Characters
Bex
Posted: Mar 17 2011, 03:01 PM


Administrator


Group: Admin
Posts: 490
Member No.: 2
Joined: 15-March 11



Once you've been accepted by a moderator, please post your completed application form here. smile.gif


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"I know that I've done you wrong, but you're hard to please.
When your faith is gone, and when you can't believe...
I'm on my hands and knees."
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Lady Grantham
Posted: Mar 17 2011, 03:03 PM


Played by Bex


Group: RPG Players
Posts: 91
Member No.: 8
Joined: 17-March 11



Real Name: Bex

E-mail address: {private}

Character

Name: Cora, Countess of Grantham

Age: 44 in 1912, on the basis Robert states he and Cora have been married for 24 years and they married when she was 20 years old.

Character description:

Cora arrived in England in 1888 and married Robert, Viscount Downton in 1889 at the age of 20. Her relationship with her in-laws was rocky from the very start, and she accepted the clause regarding her fortune very reluctantly. She has had three daughters with Robert throughout their 24 year marriage, and although she had wanted a son, she loves her girls fiercely and would drag a corpse around the corridors of Downton for any of them.

Cora is certainly not the "yes darling" "anything you say darling" type of wife or woman. She was raised in America, presumably New York, and therefore brought up in a country open to change and new possibilities unlike anything that existed in England, including political ideas. She'd be much more liberal than Robert, therefore, and much more likely to accept Sybil's "radical ideas" as acceptable. I do still think she's have some reservations though – she's still from an entirely different Victorian generation – but I think she'd be happy enough to allow Sybil, for example, to attend University if she really wanted it (I think she'd be much happier about Sybil going than Mary because Sybil's the third daughter and in a sense less important, if you get what I'm saying?) and I really do think she supports Sybil's political interest – just not when it puts her in danger. Cora was happy to let Sybil go to Ripon at first, but I really doubt she'd have agreed to let her go to the counting of the vote. It was just too dangerous.

Cora is the middle ground in the family – you've got Robert and Violet who stick to tradition and to the right with staunch firmness (even if Robert is a fair landlord and saddened by the third class tragedies on the Titanic he's still an Earl and utterly Conservative) and then the new generation, the children (more so Sybil and Mary to some extent – ideas of a modern woman etc – but she still holds on to the "way we do things") on the left and they're championing these new ideas like women's rights etc, and then Cora's in the middle and she's the medium between these two entirely different worlds.

I think she’s still struggling to fit into a country that's not really her own, and she's suffered from a great deal of hostility from her mother in law and most likely from the vipers of English society for the crime of being an American and not giving the family an heir.

Where you would like to take the character: (Just a general idea. You don’t have to use these ideas in the RPG)

In an ideal world, she’d have a tragic and epic affair with Sarah O’Brien.

But in the ‘real’ world, I’d really like to develop her relationship with her children, especially Edith, and explore the dependence and fondness she and O’Brien feel for each other, and the origins of that. I just want some good solid character development and interactions with the family and servants, especially Violet, O’Brien and the children (Edith in particular as I think Cora’s really dropped the ball there)

Relationships: (Just a description of your take on the key ones)

Cora and Sarah: Need I say anything? I love her relationship with Sarah. It's my favourite relationship on the entire show. They're both so stupidly fond of each other but neither will admit it, and there's a mutual dependence and reliance that goes way beyond mistress and employer. They’re so cute, they really are, and I love the issue of that invisible line and Cora’s unconscious abuse of it that leads to Sarah’s confusion (the servant’s hall scene in Episode 2 for example). It’s so tragic.

Cora and Robert: She loves him. She finds his adherence to tradition and the sort of staunch English ideals endearing, and finds him charming and amusing. I’m not certain the relationship is as smooth as it seems on the surface, I think there would be the shadow of the lack of an heir hanging over them, and Robert tries not to feel it but he would naturally be somewhat disappointed. I think he’s a little more understanding than the usual English Earl though (because he’s Hugh Bonneville), so there wouldn’t be the automatic knee jerk “it’s all your fault Cora” response. But I think there’d be, deep down, some element of disappointment in his wife, and Cora would feel a bit of a disappointment, especially with Violet always breathing down her neck. But it’s a good, honest relationship, a solid and affectionate marriage and Cora would really do anything for him.

Cora and Rosamund: They’re very close, I think, and I’d like to explore that. Cora was lonely and scared and completely baffled by this conservative English world with its nosy society and Rosamund took her under her wing and nurtured her and helped her find her feet. They adored each other from day one. Cora was fluffy perfection and Rosamund was outgoing and completely the opposite of what she’d been expecting, and she found her to be such a breath of fresh air. Rosamund found Cora charming – liberal and smart, and stupidly adorable. They were made to be BFF’s.

As for her children, as I said above she loves them deeply but I don’t think she’s been a particularly wonderful mother. And that’s not because she’s selfish or ignorant, but she’s a Countess and she hasn’t been raised to coddle her children – she’s been raised to believe the best thing for them is a good education and an excellent match, so that is what she’ll give to them in place of hugs and kisses and singing them to sleep every night. But, again, she does adore them, and she does show them affection when the situation calls for it, like Mary crying in her bedroom about her father’s preference of Matthew. Again, she’s really dropped the ball with Edith, and I’d like to explore that in the RPG.

Writing Sample: (In 300 words approx. just give me a snapshot into the characters inner thoughts, what drives them, motivates them, who they love, what they think about something. Anything really, as long as it’s in character)

With Robert at war and Rosamund in London, Cora had been running painfully low on allies – on friends¬ – and had been for years it seemed. Her husband didn't count, and though both Rosamund's letters and presence were an immeasurable comfort to her, her visits were few and far between, especially now the world had gone mad. And now, when it came to basic human contact, her options were depressing low. Her children were no help; sometimes Cora suspected Mary thought the need for affection a grievous human weakness and Sybil was far too busy with her causes and lovesick letters to think much about her tiresome Mama. Edith, god bless her, had taken to visiting the local school and Cora could not fault her that, but it took her away from Downton and Cora.

But O'Brien had always been here and Cora could not even begin to express just how much this embrace meant to her. She sank into it, basking in O'Brien's warmth and comfort and her blessedly undemanding presence. This was everything Cora had needed; simple uncomplicated affection to give her strength and purpose and remind her she was not alone, and there was no-one better to give it to her than the one woman who had never let her down.

Cora closed her eyes as the other woman's arms encircled her and tucked her chin in the crook of her uniformed neck. She could quite happily stay like this forever, at least for the remainder of the War, safely encased in this embrace and sheltered from the insanity and the pain – she had the distinct sense that O'Brien would ride out and fight dragons for her should she wish it – but she had a household to run and she was determined to prove a disappointment to Robert and to Downton no more.

She smiled at O'Brien's words, surprised by how genuine her amusement was, and momentarily tightened her grip on the maid. But the shift in mood seemed to signal the end of the embrace and Cora pulled reluctantly, and slowly, back. Her heart felt heavy at the loss of contact but lighter than it had in weeks.

Her eyes twinkled in amusement – she knew exactly what O'Brien thought of the others and found it as endearing as she did amusing, even if Robert thought it grounds for her dismissal. Because Cora knew that she had a good solid heart, and a loyalty so fierce she would do anything for her – so Robert could keep his nose firmly out.

"I'll definitely stick with you, O'Brien." She smiled mischievously. "Anna ties my corset far too tight."


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Lady Mary Crawley
Posted: Mar 17 2011, 05:35 PM


Played by Rose


Group: RPG Players
Posts: 114
Member No.: 4
Joined: 16-March 11



Real Name: Rose
E-mail address: private

Name: Lady Mary Crawley

Age: 20 in 1912

Character description: As the eldest daughter of the Earl of Grantham who, thanks to the entail, nevertheless is unable to inherit, Mary grew up with her life dominated and constrained by her duty to Downton, to marry the heir Patrick and be the mother of the future line of Earls. Mary loves Downton as if she were the heir and was happy enough to marry her cousin one day. She always considered her future as Countess as secure. When Patrick and his father died in the Titanic disaster, however, everything changed. It was no longer clear what Mary’s position in society would be and suddenly choice, which she had previously not had, opened up for her. The first thing Mary did was attempt to attract another husband, preferably of an even higher status than Patrick, unable to imagine her life without the security of being well married. Both her attempts, firstly with the Duke of Crowborough, and secondly with Evelyn Napier, failed abysmally. In the latter case, it led to a traumatic sexual encounter with a Turkish diplomat, Kemal Pamuk, who died in her bed. 

Her reputation ruined in her own eyes, even if her secret is kept from the wider world, Mary now feels more adrift than ever. She feels unable to consent to marry anybody since she is no longer a virgin but equally unable to see her way in the world as anything other than an aristocratic wife. These feelings are complicated by the fact that she has fallen in love with the new heir, Matthew. Matthew, with his middle class background, is not at all the kind of person Mary expected would attract her and she was initially very against him, mainly because it was seen as a good thing for her to marry him. Now in love with him and her feelings reciprocated, Mary finds it impossible to accept him thanks to her background – she has too great a sense of honour to accept him under false pretences but is too afraid to tell him the truth.

Mary’s behaviour and manner often contrast with her real feelings. Her upbringing has given her an aloof, polished social façade – charming and witty when required but equally capable of coldness and calculation. She is far more vulnerable and lacking in self-confidence than she appears. She is prone to deep thought, over-analysis of people and circumstances and flights of romantic imagination. All these are efforts to make sense of her own experiences and put them in a wider context. Intelligent and deeply passionate, but with both aspects of her character stifled, her rebellion against the life she is expected to lead as a woman in early 20th century society has, apart from her moment of madness with Pamuk, taken a very inwards looking form.

Mary is very well educated as an aristocratic lady. She speaks correct French and Italian, dances well, and plays the piano reasonably well; her performances are technically polished but lack emotional depth. She enjoys riding and hunting on her horse Diamond, solitary walks, and has a taste for “heavy” literature, with the psychological novels of George Eliot and Henry James being particular favourites.

Where you would like to take the character: 
Mary has lots of issues to work through, though I’m not convinced that sorting all of them is possible or even desirable. I’d like to develop her relationship with Matthew, leading to some kind of happy resolution though precisely what or how depends on when the RP is set. I want to start to work through and deal with her feelings about what happened with Pamuk, possibly with Matthew as I think she would tell him about it. I’d also like to develop her as a future countess and the future mistress of Downton, and how that impacts on her relationships with her mother and particularly the upper servants, Carson and Mrs. Hughes. I’d also like to develop her relationship with Sybil, as a kind of mentoring influence.

Relationships: 
Complicated with her family. Loves her father but also resents the way he did not fight to break the entail for her. Close to her mother especially following Pamuk. Has a terrible relationship with Edith – Mary mainly sees her as an easy target. Gets on with Sybil. In love with Matthew – he challenges her and is the bridge between the freedom of modern times that Mary is reaching out to and the traditional life she's been used to. (To be expanded later…)

Writing Sample: 

Dearest Matthew,

I do not know how to write this letter. You will observe that I begin by confessing a weakness, and so I will continue. I have no desire to conceal anything from you and so for now you must endure the truth of my frailty in small matters as well as in large.

I have begun wrongly. Matthew, I love you. I have loved you for a very long time and for a longer time than I have been aware myself. My hesitation to accept your proposals stemmed not from any lack of sympathy to your feelings, but from more worldly considerations. I am not like you, Matthew. It is hard for me to imagine a life different to the one that was appointed me from my birth, though I fear that is something every one of us must face now. I say this not to excuse, but to explain. I want you to understand me.

There is something else that I want you to know and when you have read it you will not want anything to do with me. It is only my own cowardice and selfishness that has prevented me from telling you before now for it will break my heart to have you think badly of me. Yet I believe in the end my heart would break by degrees if I knew that you had unknowingly married me under false pretences. I hereby freely release you from all engagements. I can see you exclaim at this but once you have finished this letter you will be glad of it. I am not a virtuous woman. Kemal Pamuk, the Turkish emissary who died at Downton two years ago, was my lover. He died in my bed. I wish I could say that there was some terrible mistake about this or some extenuating circumstances, but there are none. I understand now that I never loved Kemal – how could I when I knew him so little? but I thought I did at the time and I was a willing participant. If he did seduce me, then there was only too little resistance on my part. I do not deserve any husband, least of all someone as good, honourable and true as you are. You should marry a far better woman than I. Mama, the only one of my family who knows this sordid truth, would have me conceal what I have done from you and I think that many people would have acted thus but you know me, Matthew, I could not be happy with anything less than the truth. So because I love you too much to lie to you I must let you go. "Lord, what fools we mortals be!"

I have only one request for you now which I hope you will grant out of respect for my father. He knows nothing of this and I have promised Mama that it will remain so. He must never, never know of it.

I am sorry, more sorry than you will be able to believe, for writing this to you at a time when what you most need is support and comfort. Whatever our relationship may be, please believe me that you are always in my thoughts and in my prayers. Your safety, along with that of my father, is paramount to me. Not a day, not an hour, not a minute goes by without my hoping and wishing that you may be safe and well. I have visited your mother and shall continue to do so for as long as she wishes to see me. She is in good health, though I am sure that she is writing to you herself to tell you so.

For the first and last time, allow me to sign myself, with love,

Your Mary


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Lady Edith Crawley
Posted: Mar 18 2011, 01:56 PM


Played by Molly


Group: RPG Players
Posts: 1
Member No.: 28
Joined: 18-March 11



Real Name: Molly

E-mail address: private

Character

Name: Lady Edith Crawley

Age: 20 (Jessica mentioned in an interview that Mary was 21, Edith 20 and Sybil 17.)

Character description: I think Edith is a deeply misunderstood person, who bitterly resents her place of birth in the family. She has had to contend with an older, more beautiful sister who was lavished with attention growing up, and a younger sister who has every family member wrapped around her little finger. She has had what some would call a care free upbringing. Being the daughter of an Earl and Countess, she would have had everything she could need at her beck and call, yet she is a deeply unhappy young girl, who I think, beneath all the bitterness just wants to be loved.

Where you would like to take the character: I would really like to explore Edith's relationship with her parents as I feel it was greatly ignored in the series. It is mentioned that her parents rarely discuss her, so I would like to discover why, perhaps. I do think her parents do love her, as this is illustrated in the deleted scene between Edith and Robert in episode 1. I would also like to see her finally find a handsome, young man who will love her, despite her faults.

Relationships: In terms of relationships de l'amoreeee, Edith has been incredibly unlucky. She was in love with young Patrick, who was all set up to marry Mary; however he tragically died in the sinking of the Titanic, leaving Edith stricken with grief. Then there was a glimmer of hope in the form of Sir Anthony Strallon, who was horribly put off by Mary. Terribly unjust, if you ask me! She also took a shine to the new heir Matthew, but he only had/has eyes for her older sister, Mary.

I think her relationship with her parents is that of a normal aristocratic family. She was raised by nannies and governesses, seeing her parents if and when she needed to. She would have been vying for her parent's attention, losing out to her sisters a lot of the time. This would have made Edith very wary of her parents, particularly if and when they ever attempted to show any affection towards her.

Writing Sample:

Edith wandered down one of the numerous corridors in Downton, taking in the vast portraits of Earls and Countesses with their children. The images portrayed scenes of happy, comfortable familes, however Edith knew it was a facade; beneath the surface the families all had stories of hatred, bitterness and resentment. Edith could relate.

One of the images showed one of the earlier Earls holding his young daughter, the little girl's cherubic face displaying laughter and adoration for her father. Edith struggled to remember a time when her own father would have shown such love and attention towards her younger self, but her mind failed to produce any memories. Her parent’s affections extended to an occasional hug and a pat on the head This was common place for families such as hers, however she could remember her father lifting Mary up and smothering her with kisses and words of affection. Edith, on the other hand, had been left with a smile and a ruffle of her red curls.

Edith fingered one of the photographs on the dressers. It depicted a young Mary and Edith gazing with wonderment into a large crib containing a newly born Sybil. Edith vividly remembered the day; everyone fussing around Sybil, their nanny comforting her if any cry escaped her tiny mouth. Mary, on the other hand, could not have been happier at another opportunity to pose for a photograph. She had been narcissistic, even as a young girl. The only thoughts going through a young Edith's mind were, "Someone else to contend with for Mama and Papa's attention."

She sighed as she traced the outline of her younger self, the little titian girl only too aware of what her future held. A future of insecurities and missed opportunities.




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i've got a thick tongue, brimming with the words that go unsung
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Charles Carson
Posted: Mar 18 2011, 01:59 PM


Played by Ariadne


Group: RPG Players
Posts: 31
Member No.: 29
Joined: 18-March 11



You

Real Name: Ariadne

E-mail address: [private]

Character

Name: Mr. Charles Carson

Age: 55 in 1912 (on the assumption he is somewhat older than Mrs. Hughes, who is listed as 50 in the ITV press pack)

Character description:

Carson has worked at Downton for approximately 20 years and has watched the three daughters grow from little girls into young women. Before arriving at Downton, Carson made a living on the stage, including a number of years singing and dancing as part of the two-person "Cheerful Charlies" show. He has no wife or children of his own and considers the Crawleys his surrogate family.

Carson is very committed to the traditional values of the aristocratic system and believes strongly in maintaining the dignity of Downton Abbey at all times. He is a typical butler, stoic, dignified, and meticulous in his duties. He is also very loyal to his employers and fully discrete regarding their affairs. He rules his downstairs domain with an iron fist and uncompromising standards. He actually has a soft heart and a dry sense of humor but he keeps them well hidden for fear of challenges to his authority should they become apparent.

Where you would like to take the character:

I currently don’t envision any ambitious storylines with Carson because I think it suits his character to simply be a quiet presence, maintaining order and calm. He wants to glide in and out of the background, not especially noticed and yet an essential cog for the operation of the estate. Unless there are crises upstairs or conflicts downstairs, Carson's role tends to be very subtle. I do believe that Carson is someone who is very aware of much of what goes on, but he often does not act on his knowledge. During all of this, I think Carson's main challenge will be to sort out his loyalties, both the conflict between upstairs and downstairs, and also between some of the Crawley's should he ever be caught between them (Violet and Cora, for example).

Much of Carson's role will depend on the timeframe of the RPG. If the game occurs during the war years, then Carson will face many challenges to his orderly world. He'll have to learn to cope with fewer male staff and possibly even the horror of housemaids serving at dinner. He may have to accommodate injured servants returning from the front. He'll also be worried about the family, knowing that if anything were to happen to Lord Grantham or Matthew Crawley, the family and the estate would be in a state of uncertainty. I would very much be interested in exploring his fear of all this change even as he tries to maintain that perfect semblance of dignity.

If the RPG occurs before the war, then I would like to focus on Carson's relationships with the family and the staff. I'm sure there will be plenty of drama both upstairs and down and Carson will want to resolve it all quickly and efficiently. Of course, he will want to deliver some strong lectures and cutting rebukes when appropriate.

(I think I have spent a lot of words here making Carson sound very boring! But I just don't see him as a character who incites anything, merely reacts to the action around him.)

Relationships:
  • with Lord Grantham: I see this as a relationship of mutual respect. Carson is of course very loyal to his employer. Though he knows he is there to carry out Lord Grantham's orders, he expects the Earl to not interfere too much with the minutiae of his domain. Additionally, he believes in gently guiding the Earl to the correct decisions with either a well-placed question or comment or a discrete cough as necessary.
  • with Mrs. Hughes: They have a steady friendship. He sees Mrs. Hughes as a near-equal and an ally. He will back her up downstairs and he trusts her enough to share his opinions and problems with her.
  • with Lady Mary: Out of all the family, he loves her the most and views her as something of a surrogate daughter. He's watched her grow up so he sees the soft side of her character that few others may glimpse. Though his primary loyalty should be to her father, he will find that challenged if Lord Grantham and Lady Mary's interests are at odds. He will always comfort her and defend her as necessary.
Writing Sample:

The silence of the courtyard seemed fitting that night.

It had been a long twenty-five years, Carson reflected, especially those four tumultuous years of war. He knew that was a faulty statement, time being a fixed measure, and yet the intensity and impact of those years gave truth to his belief.

Tonight was his last night at the Abbey. Tomorrow he would leave quietly, no fuss, no ceremony, just a quick goodbye to the other servants followed by a dignified exit. Perhaps, if Lord Grantham desired, he would be summoned for a final interview. More likely, it would simply be the steward Mr. Gibbs who would issue thanks and usher him out the door. It was apt, he knew. His life here had been devoted to the preservation of serenity and calm, a conductor directing a cacophony of instruments below the stage to ensure perfect harmony above. Now his final act was the seamless transition to a new music master, so smooth no one would ever know a new hand was about.

And yet, despite his strong belief in tradition and the stoic silence of servitude, his heart couldn't avoid a pang at the thought his passing would be so unmarked. He had given twenty-five years to this place; a quarter century of his life. Was his touch truly so ephemeral?

Images cascaded through his mind, like a ripple of notes from the symphony of his life. A moment spent telling stories to a giggling Lady Mary, all six-year-old charm and dimples and escaped from her bed. Studying the bells in those pre-dawn hours of his first day as the new butler, marveling that all their different tones sounded for him now. Silently retreating from the courtyard containing a whispering O'Brien and Thomas, presumably saying their goodbyes before the latter went off to war. Standing in their place a year later with a weeping Mrs. Hughes, her gasping sobs tickling his ears in their shared mourning for the first of the Downton fallen.

Many years ago he had loved sounds of the theater, the blending of the loud and the soft, the infinite and the minute, the dissonant and the pure. When he had left his act, Downton had become his stage, an orchestra awaiting its maestro. He had poured all his heart into his song; tomorrow he would stop his baton.

The silence was all the applause he needed.


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Anna Smith - Head Housemaid
Posted: Mar 18 2011, 06:34 PM


Played by Nina


Group: RPG Players
Posts: 115
Member No.: 25
Joined: 18-March 11



You

Real Name: Nina

E-mail address: (private)

Character

Name: Anna Smith

Age: 30

Character description: Head housemaid at Downton Abbey she also looks after the Crawley girls. Kind and sweet, she is defensive of Mr Bates and the other younger maids. She is loyal to the Crawley family.

Where you would like to take the character: Generally I want to explore the relationship with Bates, her role within the house especially during the War and how this affects her. Also Vera would need exploring and her friendship with Gwen.

Relationships: Blossoming romance with Bates, a nice older sister friendship with Gwen and a confidante/friend to Lady Mary.

Writing Sample: (In 300 words approx. just give me a snapshot into the characters inner thoughts, what drives them, motivates them, who they love, what they think about something. Anything really, as long as it’s in character)

I have been working at Downton Abbey since I was thirteen. I was born to tenant farmers and grew up on my father’s farm surrounded by idyllic countryside. I am the eldest child and so much responsibility was placed upon my shoulders. I had to leave home at thirteen to earn extra money for my family after the crops failed and the threat of losing the farm became all too real. Luckily I was taken on at Downton Abbey as a scullery maid and gradually I progressed up through the ranks.

Service has been good to me and I like my job which is more than some people in service can say. I never really imagined myself wanting to get married, I was happy with my life and my friends and I wanted to progress in my career – after all I am head housemaid now and the next step would to run my own little home as a housekeeper, a good position for a girl like me. I should be happy with that, I would have been happy with that, until two years ago.

When Mr Bates came to Downton as his Lordship’s valet, I felt something I had not experienced in all my life. Suddenly there was someone else I wanted to care for, be with, love even. And before I knew it, I did love him. I’d fallen in love and I don’t remember how. It happened so slowly, it was gradual like, just one day I realised that life without him would not really be a life at all. How did this happen to me and how am I ever to deal with it?

I suppose I should be happy with what I have; my Dad would say I was a foolish girl and should forget all ideas about marriage and concentrate on my job. There are many girls out there who would kill for a life like I have; I have a nice place to live, food every day and a decent wage at the end of the month. What more could I need or want?

However since Mr Bates’ arrival and the announcement that Gwen wants to leave service, I’ve begun to wonder if maybe I want more from life? Maybe I want my own home with my own husband and children? I suppose I have a lot of thinking to do, that’s if this bleedin’ war doesn’t kill us all first!




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"It's not against the law to take a mistress, Mr Bates."
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Thomas, First Footman
Posted: Mar 18 2011, 07:04 PM


Played by Julia


Group: RPG Players
Posts: 38
Member No.: 30
Joined: 18-March 11



YOU

Real name: Julia

CHARACTER

Name: Thomas Merrick

Age: 24 (for the sake of the story)

Character desciption:

Thomas is often seen as a villain, an evil, manipulating person whose only interest is self-gain. However, being three-dimensional rather than just a pantomine villain, there are other more vulnerable sides to Thomas that we don't see very often.
He is a footman, and slightly resents having to work for other people, not seeing them as superior to him. Bates comes in and effectively takes the job Thomas sees as his when he was expecting promotion, and this annoyed Thomas, so he and O'Brien worked to get Bates sacked. When this failed, the scheme became clear and the other staff grew to dislike Thomas.

He also dislikes William, the second footman, and the man is often on the recieving end of snide remarks. A love triangle forms when William falls for Daisy, but Daisy falls for Thomas.
Thomas, however, does not reciprocate, merely pretends to in order to annoy William, because he is a homosexual, which is an added strain in that era, homosexuality being illegal at the time.

To cut my own rambling short, he is a man who resents being where he is, with a sarastic outlook on life.

Where would you like to take the character:

Well, what happens depends a lot on which way the RP goes, but I think it would be nice for others to see more to Thomas rather than just the bad things. It would also be interesting for him to see more to other people. It could lead to some interesting revelations and unlikely friendships, if that's the word I'm looking for. It's hard to say much now, because of all the possible ways this could go, but basically it would be nice for people to learn more about Thomas and vice versa.

Relationships

In 1912 Thomas had a romantic and tempestuous affair with a Duke of Crowborough, which ended when the Duke went back on his promise to take Thomas away from Downton, leaving him bitter about having to stay there when he had expected to leave.

At Downton he is closest to O'Brien, a lady's maid. The two are often talking, or smoking in the back yard. She is his closest, and at some times, only friend.

Writing sample:

Of course nobody was here. Of course nobody would come. Nobody cared. So he was leaving. So what, what did that matter to anyone else? It's not like anyone wanted him to stay. They were probably muttering 'Good riddance' to each other right now. Well, you know what, it didn't matter, because he hated them too, all of them! He did.

The night was cloudy. It would be. Just to suit the mood, the weather had to go and be gloomy. It would probably rain later as well. Typical. Just typical.
At least he was finally leaving. Leaving this gosforsaken house for good, and then he could go anywhere. Sort of. It was just... well... knowing where to start.
But he was finally leaving the muppets, surely that was cause for celebration, not this empty feeling that filled his stomach? It wasn't like he'd attached any importance to the house. It wasn't.

Slowly, he turned to look back at the corridor leading up to the back door where he was currently standing. The shadows leaned against each other, packing together, the night building up as the light drained out of the scene, escaping into the moonlight.

How long had he been at Downton? He remembered arriving, all those years ago. A warm welcome, followed by strict guidance on how to lay the table, which way to fold the knapkins, and finding his way around the house. The older servants leaving, the new ones arriving. Talking with O'Brien - O'Brien. He'd expected at least her to come. Then again, he hadn't really mentioned when he was leaving.

Now all that was arranging itself neatly into an old memory, to fit in his mind and be forgotten. Just like him.

Well, he wasn't stood here in order to reminisce, was he? He was going, he wasn't coming back.

In a remarkably cliche style, the rain began to be dragged down to the ground and grass, coating it with a shining polish. Thomas looked back into the silence, and picked up his suitcase. "Well, I'm... off." He announced quietly, and walked away.




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Sarah O'Brien
Posted: Mar 18 2011, 07:52 PM


Played by Scarlet


Group: Admin
Posts: 98
Member No.: 7
Joined: 17-March 11



You

Real Name: Scarlet

E-mail address: phoenix_910@hotmail.com

Character

Name: Sarah O'Brien

Age: I'm going to say she's 44 by 1914. Younger than Cora tongue.gif

Character description: Sarah O'Brien has not led an easy life. Raised in an orphanage and loved by no one she learnt to look after herself from a very early age and has been doing just that ever since and does not take kindly to being told what to do. She is fiercely protective of Thomas, immediately taking his side in the Bates war, and is utterly devoted to Cora, even if she doesn't especially want to be. When her position is threatened she reacts in an utterly devastating manner, immediately regretting it and cultivating a deep self-loathing for her actions.

O'Brien feels like she is stuck amongst a world of fools (with the exception of Thomas) and dislikes the majority of her colleagues. Even the ones with two brain cells to rub together don't use them properly! Anna and Bates are particular thorns in her side and Mrs Hughes doesn't help matters, continually breaking up her and Thomas' discussions about much more important things, such as how to get rid of Bates. I think she genuinely takes against Bates to begin with from the perspective of just another servant who feels put upon because he can't do his share of the work but later it gets personal and she is the one who sees through him the most. Whether everyone wants to think he's a tragic hero or not he still went to prison and we are yet to have the whole story, so whatever Vera's input, we can assume Bates himself did some wrong. We know he was a bad husband and got drunk a great deal (we only have his mother's word that he was never violent after all) and I think it is something of an injustice that despite this he is portrayed as a noble figure and O'Brien is a boo! hiss! villain when all she's really done is be a bit sarcastic and kick over a cripple. We've all done it.

I think she, like Thomas, might be quite pleased at the beginning of the war, not because of the terrible things about to unfold obviously, but because there possibility for change and a shift in the social order is high. It's possible that it's more of an observer thing, she might think she herself is too old and set in her ways to change, but there is the potential for Thomas (her plotting-apprentice and braintwin) to make something of himself and I think that'd please her. On the other hand I think she'll miss him and their reasonably sheltered life at Downton quite a bit once the war really takes hold.

She's a pessimist and I think this is a defence mechanism. If you expect nothing then you can't be disappointed and I think the optimism of the rest of the staff probably grates with her. They don't understand how terrible life can be like she does and she resents that someone like Gwen is able to better herself and pull herself into a better position in life. I don't think it's for any great love of service, but it's all she's ever been allowed to do so she hates that someone else gets the opportunities she was denied.

(And incidentally, why does Mrs Hughes never chastise Anna when she's rude to O'Brien? Because it happens frequently and is always allowed to slide and yet Hughes/Carson are quick with a "That's enough Miss O'Brien" when she does it. And at least she waits until Bates is out of the room! Rude.)

Where you would like to take the character: In the ideal world she'd be involved in a tragic love affair, but alas, the world is not perfect, even if Corah is. I'd like to explore her relationship with Thomas, even if we have to do it via letter because I think their friendship is awesome and they're so funny together. If we continue with the war years then I think they will write to each other regularly but perhaps not announce it to anyone else. It wouldn't do for anyone to think they were soft after all! I think her relationship with Cora would also be lovely to delve into and develop. Once the men are gone the women will be so reliant on each other and none more so than Cora and O'Brien; after the terrible accident and O'Brien's part in it Cora will need her more than ever (in many different ways). I'd like to develop her relationship with Mrs Hughes too, I feel like their antagonism could develop into an accord over time, although I don't think she will ever be friends with Anna. The arrival of Vera will also throw a spanner into the works for the whole house, however O'Brien may rise to the occasion and defend her adopted family from a nefarious presence (even if she doesn't like some of them). On the other hand she might smirk and help her out.

Relationships: Thomas: I think there is definitely an older sister/younger brother feel to this relationship. She cares about him getting the valet position and immediately lashes out at Bates when he takes the position over her little bro. She only smiles at two people in the series, one is Thomas. At the end of ep.7 when he says "We should be making plans" I LOVE the "What do you mean?" response, because she seems surprised, but oddly pleased, that they might make plans together and run away from the evils of Downton and service. They're co-conspirators and I think the show will be the lesser for not having the two of them together. And no matter what people think about them being the "villains" I think the two of them are just really, really funny and seem to have affection for each other.

Cora: Tragic love. Obviously. wink.gif Actually, joking aside I do think there is a touch of the Mrs Danvers about O'Brien and she does have more than a healthy interest in Cora. I think this links back to what Siobhan said about the upstairs being their soap opera and O'Brien is far too invested in Cora, however I think it works both ways. Cora isn't obsessed with O'Brien in the same way obviously but I think she does rely upon her utterly for most things and the thought of coping without her is horrifying. O'Brien, on the other hand, perhaps realises, and is somewhat repulsed, by how protective she feels about Cora. She doesn't WANT to feel this way but she can't bring herself to leave and her utterly horror at the prospect of being sacked I think is two-fold; she's resentful at being given the boot obviously, but I think she feels utterly betrayed by Cora and in that stupid, stupid moment, really does loathe her and all that she stands for. She realises a moment too late that the bitter lashing out is not who she is, but the damage is done and she's now even more trapped in the cycle of staying with Cora.

Mrs Hughes: She resents being controlled by anyone, and I think the Housekeeper really rubs Sarah up the wrong way and their working relationship is fraught. She utters possibly the greatest line of the entire series when the possibility of Mrs Hughes having a boyfriend is raised and is not impressed when she’s forced to do anything ("I am not a slave!"ť "Just do it, Miss O'Brien, just do it.") During the war I think they might band together more so, with so many of the men being gone, and O'Brien being so important to Cora, her status within the house might well go up and Hughes will be forced to acknowledge that her best route to Cora (with her increased responsibility) is through O'Brien.

Writing Sample:
Sarah clutched the button hard enough in her hand for it to leave an indentation on the skin. The stupid pattern would be a testament to her anger and the second she was able to reach the isolation of her own room she threw the damned thing as hard as she could but was still left unsatisfied when all it did was ricochet off the bureau. She took deep, erratic breaths and numbly sat down on her bed, biting her lip harshly to prevent it from shaking again, and distractedly ran a hand up to rest on her forehead.

"Bitch!"ť

She leaned forward, resting her head in both hands now, and felt her elbows dig into her thighs with the pressure. Taking deeper breaths now she tried to regulate her pounding heart and hissed at her knees.

"You bloody filthy cow."ť

She was unsure which emotion was controlling her at the moment, she certainly knew that there were plenty running through her at the moment and didn't like to think how complex some of them actually were. Indignation had made her snap to Anna downstairs, a lifetime in service had prevented her from displaying the full extent of her hurt to Lady Grantham, and sheer humiliation had guided her up the stairs to her bedroom. Mrs Hughes had not stopped her, allowing her to go and compose herself and she supposed she should be grateful to the older woman for understanding but she couldn't bring herself to be. The Housekeeper hadn't stuck up for her had she? Thomas was right, they should be allowed to say whatever they liked; they were still human beings weren't they? But Mrs Hughes had allowed Lady Grantham's admonishment to be absolute.

Sarah ground her teeth together slightly and allowed herself to fall back onto the bed. She had done this as a child, lying on her back, with the belief that gravity would make her tears fall back into her eyes rather than spilling down her face and then no one would be able to see the telling signs on her face. It was needed now and she tried to angle her head appropriately to prevent anything spilling over. She could barely see the ceiling anymore, her eyes were so clouded.

She couldn't stop herself from blinking and a single tear fell down her face. Roughly she reached up and swiped it away, taking a single deep breath and waiting, as still as possible, until the moisture subsided. She wouldn't have long afterall. She had to stitch the button back on Lady Grantham's bloody coat and then she'd best press her evening wear for tomorrow, and that was assuming her majesty didn't wake up before the dressing gong.

No doubt she was sleeping soundly as ever, dreaming of shopping with Lady Rosamund or throwing dinner parties and every other frivolous bit of nonsense the bleedin' woman filled her days with. She hardly needed to dream of a better world did she?


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Daisy, Kitchen Maid
Posted: Mar 19 2011, 03:02 PM


Played by Michelle


Group: RPG Players
Posts: 4
Member No.: 33
Joined: 19-March 11



You

Real Name: Michelle

E-mail address: private

Character

Name: Daisy

Age: 16 in 1912

Character description: Daisy is a rather shy, sweet, and naive young girl. She is unaware of many of the evils that are in the world and only sees the good things. She is a hard worker, although often clumsy if she is scared or startled. She wants to do her best and please everyone around her. She is also a bit of a romantic at heart, hoping to find that special someone.

Where you would like to take the character: I would like Daisy to become and strong and more self and worldly aware. I want to see her become able to face her fears and speak up for herself.

Relationships: Daisy currently has a crush of Thomas and she is completely ignorant of the fact that he is gay. She thinks she's sweet and funny, but that's because she doesn't see through the mask that he is wearing for her benefit.

She is also completely unaware that William likes her. She sees him as a friend and she likes talking to him and she is just know beginning to realize that he might actually be the better of the two men.

Daisy is afraid of Mrs. Patmore. She feels as if she is the cook's personal slave. She is constantly be yelled at for the littlest of mistakes and she is rarely thanked for any work she does do. Yet, despite all that, Daisy is still very loyal to Mrs. Patmore and she is more than willing to help her in her times of need.

Writing Sample: Daisy was day dreaming when she should have been helping Mrs. Patmore getting ready for dinner. Instead of the kitchen, she was seeing a handsome face smiling at her. She saw Thomas's eyes sparkling as a laugh escaped his lips. She saw the way he offered his arm and she heard the way he asked her to go on a walk.

There was aloud clang and Daisy was jerked back to reality. She blushed when she realized what she had been thinking about and she prayed no one had noticed or would ask.

Her cheeks were burning and she realized she was feeling feverish. No doubt because of the day dream. She quickly grabbed a spoon and began mixing the ingredients for the cake, hoping that she would remain invisible for the moment.


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Matthew Crawley
Posted: Mar 20 2011, 06:01 PM


Played by Claire


Group: RPG Players
Posts: 91
Member No.: 35
Joined: 20-March 11



You

Real Name: Claire

E-mail address: [private]

Character

Name: Matthew Crawley

Age: 28

Character description:

Matthew is a very sensible young man. He thinks deeply about things, and is inherently good - he has very strong ideas on the fairness of things/situations and will hold to those. He would always consider both sides of an argument. He has a sense of duty, and will conform to his 'duty' as long as he agrees with it. He's very intelligent and passionate.

Where you would like to take the character:

Interesting question. I'm interested in exploring his relationship with Mary mainly, but also the way he fits into the Downton family, coming to terms with his position (and how to deal with that following Series 1). I'd also be interested in exploring any war action - I think he would enlist as he'd consider it his duty, but maybe not right away. But I'd enjoy that.

Relationships:

Obviously Mary. He loves her very deeply, though he's not quite sure why - she has such a strong pull on his emotions. He feels rejected and hurt at the end of Series 1, though he doesn't hold anything against her and still loves her.

Writing Sample:

He had been quite happy in Manchester, with his mother. They had never entertained any notion of leading a grander life than they did. He had not asked to become the heir of Lord Grantham, to become an Earl ministering to an estate so grand as Downton. He had not desired it, and his newfound family had evidently not desired it either, and yet it had become so. Just when he had been beginning to see a future for himself, had begun to accept it, the rug had been pulled out from under him, forcing him to once again contemplate the life he had never wished to leave in the first place, and yet had been made to leave. And just when he had determined that he could accept that, Cora had miscarried and, once again, beyond any control or desire of his own, he had been thrown back into the position of heir.
It seemed unjust that such momentous turns in his own fortune should have been thrust upon him such. Which was why he must now leave, there was no other option – he must for now do something with his life that he had chosen for himself. He had no real intention of leaving forever, simply needing to be in control of his own life for a time. He knew that Robert would be disappointed, but hoped that he might understand.
And then, of course, there was Mary. He certainly could not stay now, as things were between them. He could not bear it. To see her around the estate every day, and yet not be with her would be too much, the pain of her rejection too fresh in his heart. He knew it had been too much to hope for, that she might love him as he loved her. He had begun to think that maybe, she might... She had no longer seemed so cold towards him, had begun to smile, laugh, flirt with him... And considering how she had made her initial feelings concerning him perfectly clear, he had hoped beyond hope that her softening of attitude signified genuine affection. It had certainly seemed so, when he had been sure that he felt his own passion reflected in her kiss.


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Avatar and sig by Eolivet
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Lady Violet Crawley
Posted: Mar 20 2011, 06:21 PM


Played by Judith


Group: RPG Players
Posts: 2
Member No.: 36
Joined: 20-March 11



You

Real Name: Judith

E-mail address: {private}

Character

Name: Lady Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham

Age: mid-70s

Character description: Lady Violet is a bold and an immensely proud woman, set in her ways and does not approve of the rapid changes in society. As her granddaughter Sybil says, any sign of reform or change and “she hears the rattle of the guillotine.” As the matriarch of the Crawley family, Violet tries to have some kind of influence in everyone’s lives. She bears a formidable appearance, leading everyone else to stay out of her way for the most part. However, Violet is not a heartless woman and does have her soft moments where she shows much kindness and sympathy to others. She remains loyal to her son and the estate and will do what she can to protect it and her family. When she sees fit, she takes matters into her own hands and shows everyone who’s boss around Downton.

Where you would like to take the character: Much of it depends on what happens in the RP but I would like Violet to be involved in matters concerning her family. Perhaps she might even come to accept the social changes what with the war coming and the progress being made in women’s rights. But, as always, anything is possible! I hope I can do her justice as well as Dame Maggie does.

Relationships: Her family plays a big part in her life, of course, and so the relationships she has with each Crawley is important. In particular, though she and her daughter-in-law Cora have not always seen eye to eye, the two come to a mutual understanding because of their concern for Mary and they ally themselves on that common ground to fight for her and later on their relationship grows into something more positive than before.

In addition, her newest rival, Isobel Crawley, is one to stand her ground against Violet and they have their own personal battles between themselves with both taking turns in one-upping that other, which is rather amusing. She considers Mrs Crawley too common for her tastes and the idea that the new heir, Matthew, has a job as a lawyer and takes weekends off is more than she can handle. These two basically just come to Downton and turn the world she has known for years and years upside down.

Writing Sample:

The Dowager Countess sat in her drawing room faced towards the window, her eyes gazing at nothing in particular. The sun shone brightly through the glass onto the chair in which she had placed herself, its heat radiating warmth onto her. On another day, she would be glad the sun was out, pleasantly shining on Downton. But today, it almost seemed cruel that it should be out as if all was right in the world. She’d much prefer there to be cloudy grey skies, even rain, at a time like this; those would certainly be more appropriate now.

Violet scoffed and turned her face away from the sun. The blasted thing could shine all it wanted but the truth remained that nothing was right, in fact, everything was just wrong and the world was headed down a dark and difficult path.

Only yesterday, Robert had announced that England was at war with Germany at the garden party. It was another tragedy in a string of unfortunate events over the years that had befallen the estate and those who called it home. First the sinking of the Titanic and the loss of the heirs, the intrusion of that insufferable woman and her son from Manchester, the discovery of Mary’s shame, the miscarriage of poor Cora’s baby, and now this. She wondered if her family would ever truly be happy. Not now though, not for a long time it seemed. War was on its way and everything would change.

She had experienced war before and the memories of it were coming back all too clear now. Her son had been away fighting in South Africa. She remembered what it was like sitting up at night, wondering and worrying if he would ever return home safely. Her little boy … well he was a grown man now but to her that meant nothing. He was still her boy. And now he might have to go off to fight in another war. And who would take care of the family? Cora and the girls? The thought was too much for her as she felt her eyes well up with unshed tears.

No, she thought, she wouldn’t cry. Lady Violet rarely ever let tears escape and she wasn’t going to let them do so now. She didn’t live this long to be broken by another misfortune no matter how gruesome it was. She would be fine and she’d make sure the others would be fine too. Heaving a sigh, she rose from her chair and rang the bell. Her ladies’ maid quickly came to answer.

“I will be dining at Downton this evening. The black dress with the lace will do.”

The girl nodded and set off to get the Dowager’s evening wear ready. She was increasingly spending more of her time there rather than in her own house. Well, she thought, at a time like this, it was better to be with her family. Violet made to follow the maid out the room but she stopped short and turned back towards the window. It seemed that a cloud was now hiding the sun from view and the chair she had previously sat in was presently in the shade, light no longer being cast upon it. She nodded as if giving her approval.

“Better,” she murmured and left the room.


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What is a weekend???
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Lady Sybil
Posted: Mar 20 2011, 07:20 PM


Played by Ellie


Group: RPG Players
Posts: 17
Member No.: 34
Joined: 20-March 11



Real name: Ellie

E-mail address: Private.
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Name: Lady Sybil Crawley

Age: 18

Character description:
Sybil is something of a livewire, one might say. For 1914 at least. She wants to break free of the constraints surrounding her - who wants to talk about parties when you can talk about politics? She doesn't want to learn French, and how to curtsey. She wants to learn about the world, to branch out and befriend those she wants to befriend, not just society girls who are thrust at her left right and centre. She's close to Gwen and Tom, and considers them to be her close friends. Perhaps something more, in both cases.

In my head, she grew up upstairs and downstairs. She's close to Mrs Hughes, and sees her as a motherly figure, and she respects Mr Carson a great deal. She's also close to her parents - she can wrap her father round her little finger, and shares some of her mothers beliefs, if a little more radically. She loves both of her sisters dearly, though she wishes that they didn't fight so much. She gets on fairly well with both of them.

Her developing interest in politics is getting slightly dangerous, though she wouldn't stop for the world. She wants to be her own person. She's passionately interested in the reforms being made by the Government, and is an admirer of Lloyd George and Churchill and their reforms to help the poor - though she resents them not giving women the vote.

Where you would like to take the character:
I'd love to develop the relationships between Sybil and her family. I think she loves them all a great deal, but I'd love to know about how they feel about her and her burgeoning political ideals. And of course I want to work on the whole Tom/Sybil dynamic, but I'm also intrigued by the Gwen/Sybil relationship as well. But what I really want to do is to let Sybil grow up a bit. She's young, but she's going to develop in

Relationships:
Tom/Sybil - I love this pairing. I know quite a few people don't, and don't see them as much of a relationship, but I adore them.
Gwen/Sybil - This intrigues me. If Tom didn't exist, I would ship them to oblivion. I do like it, and think that they'd be very sweet as a couple.

Writing Sample:
You really shouldn't be looking.

But you can't help yourself. His golden hair sweeps across his forehead, the candlelight glinting off it, strands of it falling into his eyes, and his eyes follow you around the room while he talks to the footmen, and he thinks you don't notice. You smile at him, and his eyes light up when you go to talk to him – who wants to talk about parties when you can talk about politics?

You can almost hear the smile in his soft Irish voice when he talks to you about your opinions. He's kind hearted, and values your opinion, and doesn't just see you as a pretty face, the way the gentlemen around the room do. You remember the time he gave you the leaflets, and the weird fluttering in your stomach when he talked to you about his beliefs. You remember that he inspired you to wear that gown and the way he looked at you through the window, when he didn't think you'd see him. You remember the night he carried you out of that fight, remember how that was when you fell in love with him. You remember the fight that night with Papa, and how you meant every word you said.

And then you remember that you're from different classes, and society expects you to marry one of the arrogant men in the room

And then you remember that you don't give a damn what society thinks.


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Lady Rosamund Painswick
Posted: Mar 21 2011, 03:18 PM


Played by Scarlet


Group: Admin
Posts: 21
Member No.: 32
Joined: 19-March 11



You

Real Name: Scarlet

E-mail address: Private

Character

Name: Lady Rosamund Painswick

Age: About 50 I’d say but desperately pretending not to be. Although I’m undecided on whether Ros just doesn’t give a Turkish delight or not.

Character description: Lady Rosamund Painswick has led an ostensibly easy life. Born the eldest child of a Earl and Countess she was the undesired girl and her parents probably felt a sense of disappointment. However, she was presumably the first go so perhaps she wasn’t as resented as she could have been.

Nevertheless, she was the girl and more of a hindrance that needed marry off than anything else and as such she was married off, probably quite young, to Marmaduke Painswick, who had no seat, but heaps of money. Her parents, presumably, didn’t care too much about her marrying anyone with a title.

Marmaduke died, I think, quite early on in the relationship, leaving Rosamund as a young sexy widow with pots and pots of money. I think she lived the highlife quite frankly and made hundreds of friends around London who were all quite fickle and she felt quite lonely until she met her brother’s new wife who was immediately her BFF. They have had a great deal of adventures over the year, with varying levels of mischief and alcohol being involved but I think Ros’ exploits are to fill up the loneliness she feels (due to being childless, something her mother never lets her forget).

Opinionated and rapidly turning into a more modern version of her Mama Rosamund, like Cora, is trapped in that middle point – she’s not quite the old guard of respectability but the world is not changing quickly enough for her to become fully engulfed in modern ideals.

Where you would like to take the character: I think during the war she would see a lot more of the family than we assume she has done through the series. With supplies become limited I think she might come to Downton so Cora doesn’t have to spare half her stores for her, and whilst there obviously the relationship with her family will strengthen. I’m hoping that she gets to have some fairly frank conversations with her Mama during this time and plenty of gossiping. Also, and I debated this heavily, but I think Rosamund IS one of the Suffragettes, because it seems ludicrously that a sensible woman like her shouldn’t be able to vote and yet idiots like her brother are!

Relationships:
Robert: I think she has a protective relationship with her brother and, being the very epitome of an interfering older sister, she thinks it’s her duty to make sure that his life runs as smoothly as possible. She just doesn’t appreciate that keeping her nose out would probably be the best thing to do. I think she does love Robert, but I think the way they live their respective lives make them so different that they don’t spend a great deal of time together, even when the family are in London.

Violet: Her relationship with her Mama has been frosty, especially during her adulthood being so far away all of the time. Whenever they do see each other Violet usually has a cold word for her daughter and Rosamund has learnt to deflect the disappointment. I think they spend little time dwelling on Rosamund’s lifestyle in London, but she really would like nothing more than for her Mama to just hug her once and feel like she was loved properly by her.

Cora: Rosamund had many acquaintances but no truly close friends until she met Cora, who was utterly adorable and fluffy perfection and Rosamund loved her immediately. I think she initially liked that Cora was impressed by her and loved having someone to take under her wing but grew to appreciate Cora was an equal with whom she could have a great deal of fun. Over the years I think their friendship has been one of the true constants in Rosamund’s life and Rosamund loves her little sister completely and utterly.

The girls: The girls all seem to be fond of their Aunt Rosamund and we can assume that Mary in particular is close with her. I like the think she prefers Edith to the other two purely for reasons of gingery solidarity, and I think she likes Sybil’s enthusiasm for change, even if she herself is not too sure about what change will mean for people in her rank.

Writing Sample:
Rosamund sighed deeply and walked through the corridors, oblivious to the staff looking at her with concern, and eventually reached the back door to the yard. It didn’t feel right going through the front door somehow. Going through the front door felt like it was official, like something terrible had happened and she, as the closest to the title, was walking out to announce the death of Lady Gr-…

No! It didn’t bare thinking about. Cora wasn’t dead! She would be fine…she had to be.

Rosamund wiped her hands on the front of her dress. Blood. It was caked on her hand by now no doubt. She felt like she could scrub them forever and ever and never be free of the stain. Her dress already bore the signs of what had happened upstairs – blood flecked here there and everywhere and a tear at the sleeve where Cora had tugged at it in complete and utter agony. Rosamund stifled a sob. Oh lord what she would have given to take the pain away from her somehow. To share it even.

But half of what Cora had endured tonight seemed a feeble offering and she scoffed at herself, feeling pathetic and useless. She’d been unable to do anything but mop Cora’s brow and hold her hand, kneeling on the bed herself, propping up Cora as best she could and talking endless prattle to her darling sister in an attempt to keep her conscious.

The torture had seemed to go on for hours, perhaps it had been hours? Rosamund looked up at the dimming, grey sky and saw the outline of the moon beginning to form. There had been sun when they went into that room hadn’t there? She couldn’t remember, it seemed so long ago and she was so tired now. There had been a point, a terrible point that she felt positively monstrous for, when she had almost screamed at them to just let Cora sleep. Let it be over and give her some respite for god’s sake! It wasn’t until moments later she realised what that would really mean.

“Oh god,” she wondered at her phrasing. She hadn’t spoken to god since she was a little girl and her Mama had told her about her dead twin Richard and she’d felt so lonely and asked god to tell him that she’d always known she was half a person without him. “God…” She whispered, not wanting the staff to hear. “If it has to be someone…let it be me. She has three little girls, assuming you let that little girl live, and they’ll need her.”

She thought of Jack, who she loved so much but would never allow herself to have children with for their own sake. Darling Jack with whom she wanted to spend her whole life but knew in her heart that they would never be allowed to as long as he drank the way he did. She knew, somehow, some incredible way that she didn’t like to think about, that Jack’s beautiful face would never grow old, that he would always be as he was and would die like that.

And she didn’t imagine herself old either. Couldn’t conceive of why she would be allowed to grow old, she who had done so little for the world. But Cora? Beautiful, darling Cora with her brood of little girls was needed and deserved to live on.

What if she didn’t? Would Robert even want the girls then? Perhaps she could take them?

No! Stop it Rosamund! She’ll live. She’ll be fine. She has to be.

“It should be me.”

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Gwen Dawson
Posted: Mar 27 2011, 03:29 PM


Played by Hattie


Group: RPG Players
Posts: 22
Member No.: 41
Joined: 27-March 11



You

Real name: Hattie

E-mail address: (private)

Character

Name: Gwen Dawson

Age: 17

Character description:

Gwen Dawson is the daughter of a farmhand and the under housemaid at Downton. She is very ambitious, keen to improve herself and determined to achieve her dream: to leave service and become a secretary. She’s not naďve about it; she saved her wages to buy a typewriter, and she knows that it will be difficult or impossible to achieve her dreams. Her life has taught her that nothing will be handed to her on a plate. She appreciates that, and still aims to achieve what she wants - as a housemaid she is used to hard work, and characteristically she works incredibly hard to reach her goal.

Gwen isn’t arrogant, and is sometimes embarrassed by how high she is aiming, which is reinforced by other peoples’ reactions, both above and below stairs. Many of them simply don’t understand why she wants to leave service when it’s such a good job for someone in her situation, or are angry at what they see as her presumption. Understandably with all this to deal with, on top of a number of setbacks, Gwen sometimes gets cast down and feels like she will never be able to break out of service, but she always picks herself up again after a bit of encouragement from someone who is on her side; she never gives up.

Where you would like to take the character:

I’d be interested to see if Gwen’s forward thinking-ness on women making their own lives extends to any of the other ‘newfangled ideas’ like the vote, and I’m also intrigued by her relationship with Sybil and what exactly is happening there.

Relationships:

Gwen and Anna – the two of them are very close friends, and Gwen views Anna as an older sister figure.

Gwen and Sybil – Sybil takes Gwen under her wing and helps her to find a job. It’s possible there’s a bit more than friendship there…something to explore, maybe?

Writing Sample:

Last night, last night. Gwen’s heart is drumming in her chest. As she hurries up the stairs towards the room she shares with Anna, she remembers how she had sat on those very stairs on her first night at Downton, terribly homesick and unable to sleep. How overwhelming it had all been, the grandeur upstairs and the hustle and bustle below; how shy and clumsy she had felt, being chivvied by Mrs Hughes and told in no uncertain terms to ‘keep out from under my feet, girl’ by an irate Mrs Patmore. Anna had come down on that first night to try and comfort her with a few kind words, but homesickness had carried on twisting at Gwen’ insides for weeks.

She smiles to herself as she enters her bedroom – the farm girl who had arrived here almost seems like a different person, she had changed so much. She is no longer shy and clumsy (most of the time, anyway) and Downton is no longer overwhelming. Sometimes, when the range is warm and Mrs Patmore is in a good mood and everyone is resting their feet in the kitchen after a long day while William plays the piano, it almost feels like home.

She glances over her belongings for the hundredth time. There’s not much. A small case for her few dresses, a mending kit and her boots, everything packed meticulously. Another box containing her typewriter. Gwen checks it over with professional pride, wiping off a fingerprint with her sleeve.

She’s far too excited to sleep. She feels like a child on Christmas Eve.

She glances out of the small window that overlooks the drive. How many times has she been up or down that path, strolling on her day off, hurrying with food orders that hadn’t been delivered or the latest section of her correspondence course? She feels slightly uneasy when she considers that tomorrow’s journey will likely be her last one. The last chance to see the grand house where she has worked for so long and had so many good times.

But she’s too happy to feel uneasy. It seems ridiculous remembering her conversation with Lady Sybil, when Gwen had informed her that her dreams almost never came true. Because all her dreams seem to be coming true right now, and she can hardly breathe for joy.


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WotcherNymphadora
Posted: Mar 31 2011, 08:53 PM


Butler


Group: Members
Posts: 172
Member No.: 20
Joined: 17-March 11



You

Real Name: Grace

E-mail address: {Private}

Character

Name: Tom Branson

Age: 23

Character description: Branson is from Ireland originally but moved to England to work as a Chauffeur for the Crawley family. He has a passion for politics and has very liberal views, he thinks the gap between the aristocracy and the poor is unfair and he personally wants to change things by becoming a politician some day.

Where you would like to take the character: Personally I think I would like to take Branson on a journey of self discovery, I think he's too much the idealist and I think that his relationship with Lady Sybil will bring him back down to earth. I know I'll probably get shot by the shippers if I ever do this but I don't really plan to have his relationship with Sybil work, basically because it can't. I'd like to explore the reasons why and how it feels for the both of them. I also (if we're starting over on here) will defiantly have Branson go off to war, despite being Irish I think he's a good and honest man and would not wait to be drafted.

Relationships: (I'm just going to do the existing ones and not his mother, father, brothers ect, I hope that's okay...come to think of it, Branson hasn't got many mates)
Lady Sybil- Branson met Lady Sybil when he started working for Lord Grantham, he definitely considers her a friend if nothing else. He took her to Ripon for a count where she was injured, through his concern he showed that he cared for her greatly.

Lord Grantham- Upon meeting Lord Grantham Branson seemed to get along with him, he was impressed by his library as was Robert with Tom's enthusiasm. Branson doesn't dislike Robert for being an aristocrat and thinks he's a "good employer" and a "good man". Branson lost Robert's trust after taking Sybil to Ripon (despite Mary and Sybil's protests that it wasn't his fault) he was very nearly fired.

Writing Sample: (I took this from a one shot I'm never going to publish, I got rid of the actual dialogue so it was more thoughtful)

I had much better things to do than this; I’d just about gained enough confidence to borrow one of his lordship’s books again. Since Ripon I’d been too terrified to go anywhere near the library incase he was in there! Being without books for two months had taken its toll on me, there wasn’t a library around for miles and books where damn expensive so I’d become very bored, very bored indeed. I’d sustained myself with newspapers but the gloomy news about the Black Hand hadn’t done much to keep my spirits alive. Just as I’d decided to be a man and go and sign out a book one of the blasted cylinders had gone and I’d spent the best part of the day with a pair of pliers in my hand, and to make it worse they were so old that all the wadding had fallen off so I had a tremendous bruise on my palm.

I heard a knock at the door and I uttered for them to come in. I thought it might be one of the maids bringing my dinner for me to take back to the cottage but it wasn’t, it was Lady Sybil. There she was, dressed in her evening finery, asking if she could join me. Like hell I was going to say no! She was standing in the doorway like some sort of goddess. Her hair, her clothes, they were all immaculate, as she’d just finished dinner. I’d never know why one got so dressed up just to eat with your family but heck I wasn’t complaining if I got to see her looking like this.

Just as she went to sit down she caught my palm and gazed-with obvious concern in her eyes-at the red and purple blotch on my palm. I assured her that it didn’t hurt only because I didn’t want to worry her. I regretted it though, perhaps if she’d thought I was in discomfort, she would’ve held onto my hand for longer but alas I was a proud fool and refused to admit to a woman that I was in pain. I couldn’t forget it though, the feeling of her delicate fingers rubbing against my calloused palm so softly...damn! When did I get so obsessed with her hands? She did have other assets and I knew that all to well.


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