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Downton Abbey Discussion Forums and Role Playing Game > Carson & Mrs. Hughes > Are They Just Friends?


Title: Are They Just Friends?


Laura - March 27, 2011 11:42 AM (GMT)
Mrs Hughes and Mr Carson both of a lot of respect for each other and seem to get on very well.

But do you think there's something more there between them than friendship? Could we have a story of unrequited love on our hands?

bijou156 - March 27, 2011 01:55 PM (GMT)
I think that the relationship between Carson and Hughes only extends to platonic friendship, almost like siblings (to some degree). This is because both them are natural allies downstairs; they respect, care and trust each other very much. They both look out for the servants’ wellbeing and the family’s interest. They are both the father and mother figure downstairs (especially since all live-in servants had to be away from their families for long times)

Examples: (not in specific order)
1) When Anna catches a cold in ep.5, Mrs. Hughes instructs her to go straight to bed and that she will take her some cold medicine.
2) After William’s mother dies, Mr. Carson asks Mrs. Hughes about how well William have being coping and she says that “we only have one mother”. She is shown to be sympathetic and caring toward William. Also, William then asks Mr. Carson’s permission to wear the black wristband to mourn his mother to which Carson says that it is ok but not when they are entertaining.
3) During the time when Thomas bullies William, Mrs. Hughes advises him to forget about Daisy, whom is oblivious of William’s affection, and to concentrate in advancing his career first and then pursue someone else who may value him more than Daisy was at that moment.
4) Then it is Carson who sits down with Mrs. Padmore and consoles her about her declining sight.
5) Carson and Hughes are bewildered when they discover that Gwen wants to leave service to become a secretary. They try to dissuade her by telling her how fortunate she should be for a having a good place like Downton.
6) Towards the end in ep.7, after the news of Gwen’s new job, the triple hug and Branson/Sybil interactions, Mrs. Hughes warns Branson about losing his job and ending up with broken hard. I think that she sounded very motherly, it is almost like when your mom tells you not to walk down a dangerous path because it could have (possibly) tragic consequences. In addition, I think that Mrs. Hughes may have thought about the implications all of that it would mean to the Crawley family (and possible scandal !).

I think that these two characters represent the idealised butler and housekeeper who were fair, loyal, responsible and understanding. I don’t think there existed many like these two in real life but I’m not saying that there weren’t.

Furthermore, these two also represent that in order to progress up the career ladder sacrifices must be made and we see that in them. Carson says that the Crawleys are the only family he’s got hence why he is so loyal to them and cares about them, especially Mary. In response to this, Mrs. Hughes is perplexed but in the end she decides to stay at Downton because she likes her job, though it meant that she had to decline Joe Black’s proposal in ep.4.

Selma - March 27, 2011 03:55 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (bijou156 @ Mar 27 2011, 01:55 PM)
I think that the relationship between Carson and Hughes only extends to platonic friendship

I agree with you. I think there are many warm feelings between the two of them but I don't get the feeling that it is more than friendship. And I also don't think that is has to be... Friendship can be very strong, warm and important, just like love - but different.

Nina - March 27, 2011 08:37 PM (GMT)
As much as I think the idea of them being more than friends is sweet, I don't ship them as a couple. I actually prefer to think of them as merely old friends who get along nicely and share the same interests of upholding the honour of Downton.


bijou156 - May 1, 2011 09:06 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Nina @ Mar 27 2011, 08:37 PM)
As much as I think the idea of them being more than friends is sweet, I don't ship them as a couple. I actually prefer to think of them as merely old friends who get along nicely and share the same interests of upholding the honour of Downton.

I agree with Nina because, say, their relationship doesn't work out then they will have a miserable existance as they will have to work with each other 24/7 for many years.
I think that both Hughes and Carson are very business orientated and have lots of principles of ‘proper’ behaviour and duty. Duty and honour would always come first for them (however, there may be times when they are willing to bends the rules in order to do what they would think is ethically correct) . They share the common interest of upholding Downton’s good name but their loyalties can sometimes be questioned. Carson’s loyalty to the Crawley can never be questioned as he considers them his family whilst in ep.4 Hughes is seen to doubt her loyalty to them. Part of Hughes wants to marry but the other is unsecured about embarking on a difficult and unsteady future.

Leviathan - May 25, 2012 11:27 AM (GMT)
They're very good friends and they do trust each other. They certainly value each other and know each other well. But they are not in love I think. There are some moments in the series when I suspect deeper feelings but most of the time they seem like friends or siblings even.

They both don't have a family so the servants and the Crawleys are the closest thing to a family they've got. They'd both do a lot to protect "their family".

I know many people ship them and I think they'd make a cute couple but in the series I don't think they're in love.




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