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Episode 2.09 - 2011 Christmas Special

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Christmas at Downton Abbey
Series 2, Episode 9
Air date 25th December 2011
Written by Julian Fellowes
Directed by Brian Percival
Episode guide
Episode 2.08
Episode 3.01

Plot Edit

Set in December 1919 and January 1920. The household is bustling with all the Christmas preparations. Mr Bates is put on trial for the murder of his ex-wife Vera. Lord Grantham and Mrs Hughes testify but Bates is not portrayed in a good light and the evidence for prosecution look much more convincing than for the defence. Bates is found guilty and sentenced to be hanged. Anna breaks down and decides that she will have to leave Downton if worst comes to worst. Matthew tells Anna there's still a chance to fight, and later the death sentence is commuted to life imprisonment.

Cora Crawley finally informs Lord Grantham on the missing detail about Lady Mary's engagement to Sir Richard Carlisle. Lord Grantham later speaks to Lady Mary and convinces her that she shouldn't marry Sir Richard Carlisle despite his threatening to reveal her dark secret regarding Kemal Pamuk. She decides that she will go to America and stay with her grandmother until the scandal blows over.

She then tells Matthew about Pamuk knowing that he'll have to find out eventually and is surprised to hear that Matthew isn't worried about it. He says that they both lived their lives in different ways and it's in the past. Finally Matthew proposes to Mary but only after she insists he get down on one knee. She then accepts.

Cast ListEdit


  • So far, this episode and the 2015 Christmas Special are the only two Downton Christmas Specials actually set at Christmas.

Thomas and Violet dancing during the Servant's ball.

  • Violet uses the phrase Mais où sont les neiges d'antan? quoting the French poem Ballade des dames du temps jadis. It literally translates to Where are the snows of yesteryear?, or more figuratively, Why does life fade so quickly?[1].
  • Robert says that Sybil has crossed the Rubicon. Roman law at the time of Julius Caesar made commanding troops into Italian territory a capital offence. When Caesar had his troops cross the river Rubicon in 49BC, he was irrevocably committed to his actions, hence the origin of the phrase.[2]

External linksEdit

Transcript Part 1 at Script Line
Transcript Part 2 at Script Line


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