“If he had been prepared to come back for maybe two or three episodes in a series, that would be different. Then we could have had a foreign posting or invented a career that would have made it possible for him to be away,""Downton Abbey" creator Julian Fellowes explained to the Telegraph. "Otherwise we would have had to make this tremendously successful love affair between Mary and Matthew unhappy, which I didn’t feel would be believable ... So we didn’t really have any option. By him dying, their love can remain in tact."
While we see where Fellowes is coming from, was that car accident really necessary? In the slideshow below, find seven ways we think Matthew could have exited in the series more gracefully ... or at least creatively.