Ranking ‘Downton Abbey’ Characters by Moral Reprehensibility

Recently at Vulture, Amanda Dobbins produced a list of items that explain why everything bad that happens on Downton Abbey is Lord Grantham’s fault. It’s difficult to disagree with her assessment; beyond the great costumes, family drama, and snippy servants, Downton is first and foremost a show about the last days of the English empire, and nobody is as perfect a symbol of that downfall as old-fashioned Robert Crawley, with his unique ability to screw up the lives of everybody around him.

But does Lord Grantham’s ineptitude make him a bad person? Because unlike some of the other characters who live and work within the estate’s walls, the head of the Crawley family doesn’t seem particularly malicious — especially compared to some of the people around him. At least he tries to be a nice guy.

So where does the Earl of Grantham’s moral compass stack up to those of the other characters on the show? We ranked Downton characters from saintly to straight-up horrible to help you figure it out.



At the moment of her death, Lady Mary’s maid is sure to be welcomed to heaven by a chorus of angels.