The Reason Lady Sybil Crawley's Death In Downton Abbey Was Planned All Along

For fans of beloved period drama Downton Abbey, Lady Sybil Crawley's death came as a deeply saddening surprise. As the only member of the elite aristocratic family with a more modern, liberal, fair-minded view of the world who dared to break tradition and all class and political laws of the time to love and marry an Irishman who worked as her family's chauffeur, Lady Sybil stood as a beacon of rebellion and love and equality in a stuffy, old fashioned family (via Screenrant). Fans loved her.

So when, at the end of the third season, Sybil, played by Jessica Brown-Findlay, died in childbirth, fans were heartbroken. She had won so many victories and changed so many dynamics for the better, it felt she was taken from the family (and from fans) far too soon. And while viewers may have been shocked to see the youngest of the Crawley sisters ripped from the storyline of their favorite show, it turns out the writers, showrunners, and actors saw it coming a long, long time in advance.

Why Lady Cybil's death was planned in advance

Julian Fellowes told Vanity Fair of some of her writing challenges, saying, "Jessica had said she was going to leave right from the beginning. She said, 'I'm doing three years, then I'm leaving.' So that was all worked out." Since leaving Downton Abbey, Jessica has added several credits to her IMDB profile, including appearances in other television shows like The Outcast, Harlots, and Castlevania, just to name a few. She has also appeared a multiple movies.

And while the actress had lofty ambitions for 2020, the pandemic put a damper on those (like it did for most of us), but she's found both hobbies and humor in the meantime: In an interview with The Telegraph, Jessica said she's spent her time cooking and knitting, and while she's very good at cooking, she admits she's not at talented at making sweaters, joking, "Everyone's going to be getting really terrible jumpers from me this Christmas." She says her goals this year had been "to do more dancing, travel more, and work really, really hard," and she joked that clearly, the powers that be had other plans. "Whoever's up there was like, 'Ha!'" she laughed. We relate, girl. We relate.