Michelle Dockery looks ahead to her character’s most dramatic season yet.
U.S. viewers still have nearly four months before we get to enjoy Downton Abbey‘s fourth season — mark your calendars for Jan. 5, 2014 — but across the pond, the madness has already begun. The period drama’s fourth season kicked off Sept. 22 in the U.K., and it’s already a rough ride for the newly widowed Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery).
Per Downton‘s official Tumblr, season four picks up six months after the tragic death of Matthew (Dan Stevens), and Mary has a lot on her plate: Not only does she have to raise their child on her own, but she also has to run the estate. Michelle says her darker mood is reflected in her season four wardrobe:
Normally, three months after someone’s passed away, the women would start to change into lilacs and greys and purples but Mary is refusing, even after six months, to change out of anything but black.
The Many Sides Of Mary Crawley
Everyone at the abbey — both the upstairs and downstairs residents — attempt to lift Mary’s spirits in season four, but fans of the Mary-Matthew relationship will be pleased to know she’s not ready to put her husband behind her just yet.
Still, Michelle says Mary’s mourning process will reveal new layers — and perhaps even melt her icy exterior:
Initially, when we read the storyline with Matthew’s death we all thought, ‘What will happen now?’ But it has taken things down a completely different avenue. Series four is a complete contrast to series three. And I’m still discovering so many sides to her character.
And it sounds like we can also expect a few fiery encounters between Mary and Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville).
“She puts up a fight when she thinks that he’s making the wrong decision,” Michelle says. “That’s another lovely aspect of the story for me.”
WATCH: ‘Downton Abbey’ Season 4 Trailer
— Andy Swift