“Downton Abbey: 10 Most Hated Supporting Characters Of All Time”
From the pilot episode to the recent film release, Downton Abbey‘s cast of colorful characters has entertained audiences. Viewers have fallen in love with the likes of Lady Mary, Mr. Carson, Lord Grantham, and more, following their escapades around early 20th century England.
While the heroes of the series are some of the most likable on TV, the villains are some of the most despised. The worst of humanity can still be found at a grand house like Downton. Throughout its six seasons and film release, these characters have been a thorn in the side of Downtown’s residents.
10 Sarah O’Brien
Some might find Mrs. O’Brien’s placement as last on our list a little too generous, and for good reason. Not only did this pessimistic woman try to climb her way to the top of the servant’s ladder, but she exacted vicious revenge on Cora and her unborn child.
But O’Brien wasn’t without her humanity. There were many moments of remorse and sadness that she showed throughout her run on the show. Sadly, it never received the same treatment as Thomas Barrow, who was eventually redeemed come the series’ end.
9 Septimus Spratt
While much of the attention falls on the characters living in Downton Abbey itself, some time is also given to Violet Crawley and her servants too. The lead butler of her home, Spratt, remains one of the most annoying characters in the series.
His constant snootiness and dedication to ways of old is even worse than Carson, and his abrasive personality doesn’t help. Spratt certainly had some moments of levity, including the reveal that he runs a gossip column. But, for all the humor, he remained a fairly nasty individual.
8 Gladys Denker
While Spratt could be harsh and mean, Ms. Denker took the cake as the worst servant in the house of Lady Violet. The lady’s maid to the Dowager Countess, Denker schemed her way to success at any means, even if it meant risking the job security of others.
Not only was Denker a self-centered worker, but her downtime included gambling and hustling. She tricked the young footman, Andrew, into her schemes as well, involving him in shady activity. She is certainly one of the least likable servants on the show.
Stowell appeared only briefly in the series, serving as the butler at Canningford Grange under the employment of Lord and Lady Sinderby. Like Spratt and Carson, Stowell is a staunch conservative in regards to the old ways of service, so much so that he thinks the titles of his employers are unearned.
Stowell’s rudeness extends then to their guests, Lord Grantham, and his family. During the Christmas special, Stowell refuses to serve Tom Branson since he doesn’t have a title and was once a chauffeur. His extreme rudeness is nearly unmatched.
6 Amelia Grey
Amelia Grey, formerly Cruikshank, is the wife of Lord Merton’s son, Larry Grey. Though seemingly polite at first, Amelia turned out to be nothing more than a conniving and selfish individual, only looking to manipulate her father-law for her gain.
At first, Amelia looks to dump Lord Merton onto Isobel Crawley, so she doesn’t have to deal with him when marrying Larry. But the minute he falls ill and is suspected to pass, she shuns Isobel in order to get as much of Merton’s inheritance as possible.
5 Edna Braithwaite
Edna was somewhat of a sympathetic character, coming from nothing and doing whatever she could to scrounge up a better life for herself. It’s just a shame she went about it in such a manipulative and mean-spirited way, attempting to guilt and control Tom Branson.
Her pursuit of Tom is the linchpin of her plan, attempting to court him into a romantic relationship at any means, including faking a pregnancy. Luckily, through the honesty of Tom and the assistance of Mrs. Hughes, Edna was dismissed from Downton with little issue.
4 Sir Richard Carlisle
One of the defining storylines throughout the series is Lady Mary’s many pursuits at a suitor. By far the worst of the bunch was Richard Carlisle, the newspaper tycoon. Though successful and a decent fit, Mary didn’t care for him, and he used her past mistakes as blackmail against her.
Not only that, but his temper was unwieldy, lashing out in jealousy when he knew Mary loved Matthew more than him. He was a vindictive, mean and manipulative man, and would have been the worst-case scenario for Mary to wed.
3 Larry Grey
Out of all the snobbery of the aristocrats at Downton, few are as mean-spirited and repulsively arrogant as Larry Grey. His insidious beliefs on birthright and status have resulted in some of the worst dinners at Downton.
Upon his first visit, he drugged Tom Branson’s drink, causing him to get upset and vocal about his political beliefs. Larry saw no issue in drugging the “grubby little chauffeur.” His later attitude towards Isobel for similar reasons resulted in a chasm between him and his father that was never repaired.
2 Nanny West
Nanny West only appeared in a single episode of the series. Though her tenure was short, her actions echoed through the rest of the series, making her seem like one of the most sickening characters of the show.
Nanny West looked after George and Sybbie, the son of Lady Mary and the Daughter of Tom. Though she doted over George, she was cruel and abusive towards Sybbie due to her Irish heritage. How anyone like Nanny West could get a job in child care is a mystery.
1 Mr. Green
Without a doubt, the most despised side character of the series was the valet to Lord Gillingham, Mr. Green. Green visited Downton and befriended most of the servants, but held a high interest in Anna. This interest resulted in the darkest and most horrifying moment of the entire series.
Green corners Anna in the kitchens and sexually assaults her while the rest of the servants enjoy a concert upstairs. Eventually, Green got his just desserts, but his role remains like a heavy cloud over the better half of the series.
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