Fans are loving 'Downton Abbey's' big, happy finale

Downton Abbey: Cast Relive Emotional Final Scenes
Downton Abbey: Cast Relive Emotional Final Scenes

The sixth and final season finale of Downton Abbey aired on Sunday night in the U.S., featuring a wedding, a birth and an all-around happy ending. Fans gushed on social media about the series' emotional resolution and posted Instagram photos of costume and celebratory tea parties.

There was one element fans loved the most (spoiler alert): the idea that Edith, played by Laura Carmichael, now outranks her sister Mary, played by Michelle Dockery, in the convoluted hierarchy of the British aristocracy. (Viewers never really forgave Mary for her selfish outbursts earlier this season.) After years of struggling with a reputation for being the "ugly" career-oriented sister, Edith's wedding to Bertie, the 7th Marquess of Hexham, was the finale's happiest highlight.

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A Vocativ analysis of more than 31,000 tweets that used the hashtag #downtonabbey since Sunday morning showed that Edith was the finale's most popular character, mentioned by fans over 2,400 times—more than any other character. Hundreds of viewers also tweeted about the Edith-Mary rivalry.

Although the series focused on the British gentry, the later seasons of Downton Abbey had better ratings in the U.S. than across the pond. And an estimated 60 percent of users interested in the show are American, a Vocativ Facebook analysis showed.

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The finale wrapped up multiple story lines and left all the characters, regardless of wealth, either triumphant or at the start of an optimistic new adventure. The Baxters, loyal members of the working class staff, finally had a healthy baby after years of struggling to start a family, and the aristocratic Granthams resolved their grudges over Cora Crawley, American heiress and mother of the manor, running the local hospital. The whole thing felt so Hollywood-esque that The New York Times even titled their finale recap: "A Grand British Story With an American Finish." And judging by the social media reaction, viewers loved every sweet moment.

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Originally published