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  • Can anyone recall if Sybil's grave stone has actually appeared in an episode yet?

    The grave stone I'm talking about is the prop that we can see in this paparazzi picture: here.

    Personally I can't recall seeing it in an episode - or at least not close enough to see the detail of the wording that this prop shows. I don't think we saw it when we saw Matthew's grave stone being erected.

    Now this is a very important point, as this prop is what calling Robert Crawley the 5th earl of Grantham is based upon. If I recall correctly, other evidence points to him being the 7th Earl - this grave stone prop was what pushed the number back to 5th Earl.

    If the grave doesn't appear in an episode with the detail "Daughter of the 5th Earl of Grantham" clear - then it isn't canon information.

    The reason I say this is because although this is a picture of a prop for Sybil's grave, it isn't an official picture of it. It's a paparazzi picture of it - an unofficial picture taken without permission.

    This means that just because the stone shows the "5th Earl" we can't take it as canon unless it appears in the show. Because we have no way of knowing if the show makers ever intended this prop to be seen in such detail.

    So, what is everyone else's opinion on this?

    I haven't read it yet, but if anyone has access to the latest behind the scenes book, it would be interesting to know if there is any information on this issue in there.

    ETA: The image in question has been deleted from this wiki as it is a violation of the photographers copyright. Please do not reupload it. However, you can view it here: 'Downton Abbey' Series 4 Pictures - Maggie Smith As The Dowager In Graveyard Where Lady Sybil And Matthew Crawley Are Buried

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    • It would certainly make a lot more sense for him to be the 7th Earl than the 5th, because otherwise there are two missing generations between the 3rd and 4th Earls to account for.

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    • Technically, it would work with Robert being the 5th Earl; there WERE wars in the 1780 - 1840s (roughly the time the two missing generations fit) so they could easily have died there.


      It was the season 2 book that said he was the 7th earl; but the grave, even though it has not appeared, WAS built for the show; that, by the canon policy on this wiki, makes it the higher form of canon, thus Robert is the 5th Earl of Grantham.

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    • It isn't so much that the 3rd Earl's sons and grandsons died young as it is that he lived an exceptionally long time, because he would need to out live all of his sons and grandsons, yet at least one line survive long enough to produce a great grandson in his life time. 

      Rare, but not out of the question. Ramses II out lived all of his sons and many of his grandsons, and unlike the 3rd Earl, had many wives, and hense many more children to out live. Of course, a more recent example is a little harder to come by. :)

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    • Exactly; it's possible that the third Earl lived to be 80 or 90 and outlived his son and grandson and was then succeeded by his great-grandson, Robert's father.

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    • HarryPotterRules1 wrote:
      Technically, it would work with Robert being the 5th Earl; there WERE wars in the 1780 - 1840s (roughly the time the two missing generations fit) so they could easily have died there.


      It was the season 2 book that said he was the 7th earl; but the grave, even though it has not appeared, WAS built for the show; that, by the canon policy on this wiki, makes it the higher form of canon, thus Robert is the 5th Earl of Grantham.

      To be a higher level of Canon it would have to appear in the show. At the moment the behind the scenes books are still the higher level of Canon as the grave picture is just an unofficial paparazzi shot of a prop that they may never have intended to show in such detail in the show.

      I'll have to see if I can get a hold of the latest book and see if that says anything about this.

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    • awwww wellll

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    • Well, the grave stone hasn't appeared in the series so we'll have to wait and see if it appears in the Christmas Special. If not I think we have to say the image isn't canon.

      (And if anyone has access to the latest behind the scenes book and can shed light on this issue I'll be very grateful!)

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    • Actually, the gravestone has appeared. Though we cannot see the writing on it, I saw it several times in the Graveyard scenes of series 4.

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    • The fact that we can't see the writing on it during an episode means that the information isn't canon.

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    • Actually, no. It doesn't mean that; they put the writing on the prop and we can explicitly see the prop - meaning that they made it. As they made it, that makes the information on it canon. End of.

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    • They put writing on it but then didn't show it clearly enough to be read - perhaps they realised the info was incorrect, perhaps it will appear in a deleted scene. The point is that we don't know. But the fact is that it hadn't yet appeared on screen, only in an unofficial paparazzi photo - that does not make it canon.

      Until it appears in an official source I really don't think we can take it as canon given an official canon source has previously given us a contradictory number and given that it would make much more logical sense for him to be the seventh not the fifth earl.

      Of course if the latest behind the scenes book has info on this this argument becomes a moot point. I really will have to see if I can get hold of a copy.

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    • Yes, someone must get a copy of it!

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    • Took a look at the book and annoyingly it seemed to have no info on the number of earls that I could see. It just referred to Robert as Robert, Earl of Grantham.

      Guess we can wait and see if the gravestone features in the Christmas Special.

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    • Yah - and, if it doesn't, then we go by the series 3 book, which describes him as "the seventh earl".

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    • I suspect if they want Robert to be the 7th earl, then they'll fix the prop. Maybe it hasn't appeared in detail in the show because they realized the error in numbering?

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    • A FANDOM user
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