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Downton Abbey Season 4 to Jump Ahead, Explore "Rebuilding of Mary"

by at .  Updated at . Comments

It's sad but true: Downton Abbey Season 3 is in the books... and Matthew Crawley is dead.

As previously reported, actor Dan Stevens had only been signed for three seasons and had made it clear early on that he planned to pursue other avenues once Season 3 was complete.

Therefore, creator Julian Fellowes has said he had no choice but to kill off the character, believing it would have been untrue to Matthew and Mary's romance if the two were left "estranged or parted."

Matthew with Mary

So does this mean Season 4 will kick off with Mary and company deep in mourning? Not necessarily.

Fellowes tells The New York Times that the new season will pick up "six months" after the tragic event that concluded Season 3.

Moreover, he teases that an overarching theme will be “the rebuilding of Mary."

"In a society that is changing," Fellowes says. “We would see women’s roles in the ’20s as being very much behind women today. But it was a big advance on what it had been 30 years before. And that’s all explored.”

Along those lines, it won't be long until Mary has a new suitor. He may very well be played by Tom Ellis.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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I also agree with the posts above , very disappointed with the wedding and the death of Matthew. There was no time allowed for Matthew to enjoy his son that would have been nice to see them together as a family.

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i just wish they do endith was the center of story instead of it always being mary

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It's just too melodramatic, the death of Matthew coming so soon after the death of Sybil. It's all starting to feel too soap-operish to me. One character I'd like to see return is that of the man Mary almost married -- Sir Richard Whatever. I thought he was interesting and he and Mary had good chemistry. But this is all starting to feel like one of those "Perils of Pauline" serials ...

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I am very upset to learn that season 4 will open 6 months after Matthew's death at end of season 3. Which means we will not experience the family's reactions and emotions to the tragedy. Not only are we robbed of those story points playing out by these characters we've invested in, but it also robs the actors from showcasing their acting talents and giving the incredible performances they are capable of. I was also upset about the wedding of M&M...as fans who are invested in these characters and their pairing, we were cheated out of that wedding. I dont know, its just my opinion. I mean we as fans are dedicated to the show and these characters yet we seem to get shortchanged on the payoff for our investment...