‘Downton Abbey’ season 5 character debate: Elizabeth McGovern and Cora Crawley

Welcome back to our “Downton Abbey” character debate feature, where we try to look at the future for several of the show’s stars prior to the start of the fifth season’s production in the United Kingdom next year. As always, we start this out with warnings ahead for those of you who hate spoilers. So if you want to go into the airings in America on January 5 unspoiled about what is going to happen, stop reading now!

Today, the focus is on Cora, a Countess played by Elizabeth McGovern who, based on the actress’ recent quotes, may or may not be a part of the show for too much longer. So if she does leave for whatever reason and the show continues past next year, shouldn’t the writers find a way to send her off right? (Note that this is pure speculation, though, since it’s very well possible that both McGovern and the series could be around for years to come.)

Where we last saw her – Cora did not have a huge role to play in the Christmas Special, where Lady Rose was presented in London. While she was around, she certainly was not proactive in much save for some interactions with her American family; and, this comes following a season that did not have a whole lot of standout moments save for trying to shake up Robert’s brain a little.

What could happen – Given the historical perspective and the possible downfall of British estates over time, next season could mark a time where Cora really has to do more around Downton, and find more of a place beyond just hosting social gatherings and being there to communicate with loved ones and servants. Also, this could mark an opportunity for her to start to become more involved in her grandson George’s life as he starts to get a little older. The same goes for her granddaughter Sybil.

What we’d like to see – Personally, we’re hoping for something that makes the character edgier, like she discovers an a new hobby that people of her social standing often do not take on. She needs something more to make her dazzle, and give her more of a voice at the Abbey. Either this means a new responsibility, new friends, or something to give another dimension to a character who was last truly powerful at around the second half of season 3 following Sybil’s death.

What do you want to see for Cora on “Downton Abbey” next season? Share what you think below.

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