‘Downton Abbey’ creator still hasn’t decided if Lady Violet will be killed off

There’s still hope for fans of Maggie Smith’s character in Downton Abbey!

Dame Maggie reprised the role of the Dowager Countess in last year’s hit Downton movie.

However, in a moving scene towards the end of the film, Lady Violet confessed to Lady Mary that she “may not have long to live,” before reassuring her granddaughter that she is “the future of Downton.”

“I’m leaving the family and the place that I treasure in talented hands,” Lady Violet tells Mary.

Downton Abbey producer Gareth Neame previously explained: “It was my decision because I thought it’s taken us a while to persuade Maggie to do the film and I wanted to demonstrate we wouldn’t ask her again.”

He added: “If the character actually died, that would’ve just been very, very sad and not really very Downton.”

In a new interview with Empire magazine, Downton writer Julian Fellowes discussed whether the scene means that Maggie Smith has now been killed off for good and won’t appear in the next movie.

Giving hope to Lady Violet fans everywhere, he revealed that a decision about whether she’s dead or not hasn’t yet been made.

Fellowes commented: “We should remember that at the end of the film, Maggie was by no means dead. You imagine Violet is on her way out, but that decision hasn’t been reached.”


We imagine whether the Dowager Countess survives or not will largely depend on whether Dame Maggie Smith feels like coming back.

Don’t get your hopes up too high though, as the star has admitted she doesn’t find the role “satisfying”.

Fellowes recently announced that he won’t start working on the second Downton Abbey movie for quite a while, as he needs to finish his upcoming The Gilded Age series first.

It was also recently confirmed that a Downton Abbey movie star will replace Olivia Colman in the final season of The Crown next year.

The Downton Abbey movie is available on DVD on Amazon.