chronicle of the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the post-Edwardian era—with great events in history having an effect on their lives and on the British social hierarchy.
Elizabeth McGovern Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham
Maggie Smith Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham
Hugh Bonneville Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham
Jim Carter Mr. Carson
Phyllis Logan Mrs. Hughes
Brendan Coyle John Bates
Penelope Wilton Isobel Crawley
Joanne Froggatt Anna Smith
Michelle Dockery Lady Mary Crawley
Iain Glen Sir Richard Carlisle
Samantha Bond Lady Rosamund Painswick
Amy Nuttall Ethel Parks
Rob James-Collier Thomas Barrow
Siobhan Finneran Sarah O'Brien
Lesley Nicol Mrs. Patmore
Dan Stevens Matthew Crawley
Allen Leech Tom Branson
Robert Bathurst Sir Anthony Strallan
Kevin Doyle Joseph Molesley
Ed Speleers James "Jimmy" Kent
Laura Carmichael Lady Edith Crawley
Zoe Boyle Lavinia Swire
Thomas Howes William Mason
Sophie McShera Daisy Mason
David Robb Dr. Clarkson
Jessica Brown Findlay Lady Sybil Crawley
Lily James Lady Rose MacClare
Rose Leslie Gwen Dawson
Matt Milne Alfred Nugent
Cara Theobold Ivy Stuart
The Great War unsettles life at Downton and surprising news about Matthew rocks the family. New maid Ethel irritates O'Brien - and Bates returns with devastating news for Anna.
Carson is finding it tough maintaining standards in the house, and the suicide of a young officer prompts Isobel to suggest converting Downton Abbey into a convalescent hospital.
After Downton is turned into a convalescent home for wounded officers, Matthew brings a general to visit, but Branson has a surprise in store. And is Lavinia hiding something?
Tensions flare between Isobel and Cora. Ethel's flirtation with Major Bryant lands her in hot water. There is worrying news about Matthew. Branson declares his feelings for Sybil.
Robert receives some shocking news from the front. Daisy's relationship with William moves faster than she would like. Vera threatens to expose old secrets.
Carlisle threatens to ruin Mary if she jilts him. A major comes to stay - but is he really who he claims to be? Bates learns that Vera has succeeded in scuppering the divorce.
How long can Sybil and Branson keep their secret? Carlisle puts Anna in a difficult position, Bates is left reeling from the news about Vera, and Thomas embarks on a new scheme.
With the wedding approaching there is excitement in the air, but will Branson's plans rattle everyone? A decisive Anna forces Bates to think about their future.