If, for some reason, you are not caught up on Downton Abbey, there are spoilers and spoilers moving forward.
It’s been months and months since Dan Stevens’ character, Matthew Crawley, bit the dust during Downton Abbey’s Christmas special episode. A few months later, American audiences were privy to the character’s demise. Crawley’s death within the series was untimely, especially during a season already marked by the death of a prominent character. Many fans were not particularly happy about the outcome, and Stevens has finally spoken out about his character's death.
The actor recently told Radio Times that the decision to kill off his character was not his doing.
"I am sorry about that! I think what emerged is that it's an unwritten rule that you're not supposed to die on British television on Christmas Day, and that, specifically, was not my doing."
While I would argue Stevens’ decision to leave the show and move on to other projects does make him at least partially responsible for where Crawley ended as a character, it seems the actor would rather blame Julian Fellowes for where Crawley landed after crashing his car. Indeed, Stevens had nothing to do with the writing of the final Season 3 episode, and at least he was good enough to admit that it was better to kill off the character than for Mary and Matthew to end their love affair.
"It was right that he didn't run off and have an affair with somebody. I don't think that would have been right for Matthew as a character."
While Fellowes has been pretty open about why the character was killed off, it’s nice to hear Stevens finally have something to say about his beloved character. No doubt the decision was an alright one for the actor, who is already expected to appear in numerous projects, including February in Summer, but that doesn't make his decision any less bittersweet.
Downton Abbey is expected to return to the schedule in the U.S. in early 2014.