‘Downton Abbey’ Producer Reveals Major Season Three Spoilers

And we can’t help ourselves from sharing them, so you’ve been warned – if you do not want to know three major plot points from the period drama’s third season stop reading. Like, NOW.

Last year, we felt hard for “Downton Abbey” and we weren’t the only ones.

The show’s second season averaged 7 million viewers (up 2 million from its already hugely successful first season) and the season finale drew 8.1 million eyes, the most for any PBS program since the premiere episode of Ken Burns’ acclaimed documentary series “National Parks.”

Anyway, the show is an absolutely addictive, super sudsy highbrow soap opera, and we love it. Last season ended with a big finally moment, and while it appeared like things were finally starting to pan out the way we all hoped they would, we should know better than to expect the best for the residents of “Downton.”

So we’re simultaneously thrilled and a little nervous about the big-time spoilers executive producer Rebecca Eaton told The Orlando Sentinel this week. Ready for a very early look at the third season of “Downton”? Read on.

Eaton revealed three key plot points to the Sentinel:

>>> Matthew Crawley and Lady Mary will get married.

>>> A child will be born – which isn’t really a spoiler, because we already know Lady Sybil is expecting a baby with her husband, one-time chauffer Branson … unless Eaton is referring to another baby!

>>> “Somebody will die, somebody pretty key in the cast.” (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Some stuff we already knew:

>>> Season three will begin in 1920 and span about 18 months.

>>> There actually be two weddings. Eaton just revealed that one will be Matthew and Mary’s, but we still don’t know who else is getting hitched.

>>> Lady Cora’s American relatives will be visiting – presumably for the wedding(s) – and her mother will be played by Shirley MacClaine.

>>> Allen Leech, who plays Branson, is being added to the main credits, indicating he will play a large part in season three. (Will Sybil and Branson return to Downton? So many questions!)

Now, back to the whole someone dying thing. These things happen on shows all the time – in fact, last season a major plot point hinged on William’s death and Daisy’s discomfort with being treated like his widow when she only married him on his deathbed to give him comfort. BUT, there has been some chatter that behind-the scenes producers are having trouble negotiating Maggie Smith’s contract for further seasons.

Does this mean the Dowager Countess might be … we can’t even say it. Smith’s character has been the breakout from the show. With her cutting lines and sarcastic quips, she always brings even the most out-there storylines into focus and keeps everyone firmly in their places. She’s also become a fun Internet meme.

We’re just thinking out loud here – and there certainly has been no further info indicating the Dowager Countess may be the character who is killed off – but would the show be able to survive without her? Fans, of course, don’t necessarily tune in every week specifically for the Dowager Countess, she supplements what is on its own a fantastically acted, gorgeously filmed, thickly plotted drama, but there’s little denying that Smith and her character brought the show the attention it needed to start building viewers. And without her there to lighten things up, would all the high drama just be too much?

Again, just thinking out loud here!

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Related:
>>> ‘Downton Abbey’ Gets ‘Delicious’
>>> Matthew Crawley Teases ‘Thrills and Chills’ On ‘Downton Abbey’
>>> ‘Downton Abbey’: A Playlist From Mary To Matthew
>>> ‘Downton Abbey’s’ Lady Mary And Lady Grantham To Record an Album … Together

What do you think of the “Downton” spoilers? Excited for the weddings? Worried about which character will be offed? Let us know in the comments below.