‘Downton Abbey’ season 4: Julian Fellowes speaks in defense of [spoiler]

Dan StevensThe past few days have not been particularly kind to “Downton Abbey,” especially after Julian Fellowes made a drastic move that ended up effectively changing the course of the entire series. But is this something that he really wanted to do? Based on some of the comments that the actor made in a new interview, we now have our official answer to that. (Warning: the are some major spoilers ahead for American audiences. Read on at your own risk.)

Speaking within a brand-new interview with the Daily Telegraph (which is where Dan Stevens confirmed earlier this week that he is not going to be back for season 4 of the show), the show’s creator and writer explained that he really did not have any say into how the actor decided to leave, and made the choice to kill off his character of Matthew based on the fact that he wanted to ensure that the character never did anything to hurt his one true love in Mary:

“If he [Stevens] had been prepared to come back for maybe two or three episodes in a series, that would be different. Then we could have had a foreign posting or invented a career that would have made it possible for him to be away ,,, Otherwise we would have had to make this tremendously successful love affair between Mary and Matthew unhappy, which I didn’t feel would be believable. So we didn’t really have any option. By him dying, their love can remain intact.”

Fellowes also confirmed that he also wanted to see Jessica Brown Findlay stay on board the show as Sybil, but she (like Stevens) made the choice to quit the show in order to take on some other career opportunities moving forward.

Do you understand the reasoning behind killing off Stevens, even if it was a risky decision for Fellowes to make? If you want to find out some more news on the return of Michelle Dockery to “Downton Abbey,” you can do so over at the link here.

Photo: ITV

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