morwenandhercats said: Who are your favorite ships in Downton?
OKAY OKAY OKAY FRIEND ARE YOU SURE YOU ARE READY FOR THIS
I’m going to start right away with zero hesitation and say that my favorite is Matthew and Mary. And, yes, before anyone says anything, it is (I almost said “was” but then I caught myself becAUSE NO I REFUSE TO BELIEVE) the most primary relationship on the whole show, the one that everyone likes, yada yada - but I truly, honestly, wholeheartedly adore it for reasons far beyond it just being there and being cute. My reasoning is this - their relationship is probably the single most healthy on-screen romantic relationship I have ever seen.
- They, above all, treat each other as equals. From the get-go, they match each other in wit and cleverness. Both develop a (begrudging, at first - and on Mary’s part, at least) respect for each other that starts somewhere around the vicinity of their second meeting. Rocky start aside, they always, always sincerely speak and think highly of each other, whether it be in the privacy of their own thoughts or out loud - I think both of them have actually said out loud something along the lines of “I don’t deserve you”, which is interesting. They admire and respect each other an incredible amount, and it’s done in such a natural, organic, simple way - none of this hero-worship/kissing-the-ground-you-walk-on sort of nonesense that novels seem to promote? Like, for example, it could very easily be said that from maybe the second meeting Matthew is very clearly head over heels in love, but he is never blind to Mary’s faults. He embraces them and chooses to admire and respect her despite them (same goes for Mary with Matthew, though it took a bit longer for her to come to the same conclusions)
- They’ve each seen the other at their worst - before they were married. something that I would never ever change about this relationship is the way it grows and changes and becomes so deep and touching over the very long time that they know each other. If they had gotten married straight off the bat, when Matthew first proposed, it would have been very different, and, while they may have been reasonably happy, the dynamic, the intimate way they know each other, truly know each other, that is present by the time the season 2 CS rolls around just wouldn’t be there. A friend of mine once told me that you should never decide to marry someone unless you’ve seen them and accepted them at their utter worst, and I agree. They argue constantly, even get into full blown fights several times, before either comes to their senses and decides it’s high time to get hitched – that means they’ve seen each other in miserable emotional states, they’ve hurt each other just enough to show that they’re capable of hurt but little enough that it can be forgiven and accepted – just – okay, arguing in relationships is a healthy thing, I think, as long as it doesn’t get abusive (which it definitely doesn’t here). If a relationship is all happy go lucky and sunshine and daisies, neither party will ever see the other at their worst. And then when they do see them at their worst, it’ll be too late and things might collapse. So THAT’S IMPORTANT. And in this particular case we’re not just talking arguing – Mary’s seen Matthew in what is probably the most vulnerable state he can be, when he’s laying broken on the hospital bed. That scene where she tells him about losing his legs and he apologizes for “blubbing” gets me every single time because it’s so dreadfully emotionally (not physically, though there is that whole thing about Mary helping Sybil undress him but I digress) intimate and private and you can see Mary’s heart breaking even as she smiles at him and tells him it’s perfectly alright to blub. And the whole business with Pamuk and how Mary finally tells him and he doesn’t truly judge her for it (and this is a whole other conversation because Matthew Crawley is so bloody important but let’s not get ahead of ourselves) – that’s Mary practically baring her soul and dissolving in front of him and okay yes basically before I start rambling they’ve both seen each other at their worst, emotionally and physically, and that’s important.
- They embrace each other’s flaws while still being prepared to challenge the other on it – like, they don’t just blindly accept, you know? They call each other out on their bullshit, point out hypocrisy or rudeness or hurtful behavior and try to get around it and fix it. I think part of what comes out of knowing each other for like, ten goddamn years before getting married is that they’re well-acquainted with each other’s screw-ups. Notice that the tipping point in their relationship is when Mary finally Reveals The Thing and trusts Matthew fully with her Sordid Past (or whatever) and he doesn’t judge her for it – he asks her why, of course, and is shocked and hurt and all manner of other things, and doesn’t take it lying down – but in the end, he sticks by her despite it, and comforts her, and assures her that she doesn’t need his forgiveness, etc – like, that part where he says “stop joking about this when I’m trying to understand” is So Important because it shows that he’s willing to work with her on figuring things out and not just have an overtly emotional reaction and walk away, and/or immediately say “no it’s fine there’s nothing wrong in what you did”. Am I making any sense? Likewise, Mary approaches Matthew’s own self-condemnation with a similar air – she allows for the fact that he screwed up, agrees that he did wrong and everything, and allows for him to push her away. But she still sticks by him. She still stands up for him, defends him to Richard, seeks out his company, etc etc. She is there for him and gently poking and prodding until he is ready to accept his mistakes in a less self-deprecating fashion and sksdkfasd yes okay I just really like these nerds.
- THEY ARE ALSO THE VERY BEST OF FRIENDS AND THIS MAKES EVERYTHING SO MUCH SWEETER AND NATURAL AND OKAY like the single most important thing in a romantic relationship is the fact that you are best friends with the other person, because being best friends means that you trust each other, that you are mutually supportive and co-dependent, that you are protective of each other, that you love each other, that you enjoy spending time with each other and have fun talking – there are so many things this entails, anD I JUST. Like, their playful friendly banter is nothing compared to those scenes in which they so obviously get each other on this whole other level and are constantly looking out for each other in the smallest of ways – and how they’re both so fiercely loyal and protective of each other, how the first time in the whole show that Mary very nearly starts crying in public is when she gets angry and defensive on Matthew’s behalf, how she prays for his safe return in her room and supports him throughout his injury and doesn’t let anyone stop her; how Matthew, the moment he realizes that Mary’s relationship with Richard is less than ideal, immediately assures her that she doesn’t have to marry anybody and that she can live at Downton comfortably as long as he’s alive – and it’s not done with ulterior motives, not done with the idea that “ditch Richard and come with me”, it’s purely out of concern and friendship and protectiveness and like it just makes me so happy and like, when he says, all the way at the beginning of season two, how “I’m sure I’ll like him once I get to know him – if he’s good to you, that is. If he isn’t, well, he’ll have to go through me” Just. I just. bYE. AND THE WAY THEY JOKE AND TEASE EACH OTHER and how they make each other laugh so easily and how very comfortable they are standing next to each other and talking and aaaaaaashfalskhflsdf.
- THE LUCKY SOCK PUPPET LIKE DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THAT STUPID STUFFED DOG
- As I said before, co-dependency and mutual support. They help each other grow and are constantly encouraging each other to better his/herself. This is … unspeakably important.
- Above all else, how they so freely and honestly love each other. How Matthew grins so hugely at Mary and how Mary’s face lights up when he says something to tease her, how they have those stupid innuendo-laced conversations and how Matthew shows up at her door then night before their wedding to apologize, how even when they’re both engaged to other people they’re still sincerely happy for each other because all that matters is the other’s happiness and yes okay the bottom line is that this is my favorite ship in the entire show AND I AM SO UNSPEAKABLY ANGRY THAT DAN STEVENS LEFT sorry Dan Stevens I’m sure you’re a lovely person BUT I HATE YOU
(I also enjoy Sybil and Tom because it wasn’t cliche at all when it could have very easily been and also they’re very cute)
Agreed on all accounts (well, bar the DS hate, but that’s really not the point :P).
Very good points. I agree with them all (no surprise.). As for DS, I wonder if JF was willing to work with him regarding other projects that he had lined up? At first I was angry with DS, but in the end it was JF who killed off Matthew. He had other options but took the lazy way out. My hate is reserved for him. lol