About John & Anna

John Bates and Anna Smith are two characters from British period drama series Downton Abbey, portrayed by Brendan Coyle and Joanne Froggatt respectively.

Bates is the Lord Grantham's valet and he arrives at Downton in the first episode. Anna May Smith is the head housemaid at Downton. When the staff see that Bates uses a cane, they are at best surprised and at worst angry feeling that they will have to pick up the slack for him due to his disability slowing him down in the large house. Most of the staff give him the cold shoulder while Thomas and O'Brien try to get rid of him to further their own ends. Only Anna offers him any sympathy and friendship.

Bates and Anna fall in love, and it is when he thinks of marrying her that he realises he has yet to divorce his previous wife, Vera. Vera comes to Downton only to inform Bates that if he does not come away with her, she will sell the scandalous story of the death of Kemal Pamuk in Mary's bed to the newspapers, which could ruin the reputation of Downton Abbey. Bates goes with her, and it is thought that his romance with Anna is over, despite his constant promising that they will be together someday, and that he will find a way to leave his wife.

After a long and somewhat secretive courtship, Anna and Bates marry in 1919 in a ceremony at a registar's office. Lady Mary allows them to share their first night together as husband and wife in a guest bedroom at Downton. Shortly after their wedding night, Bates is arrested for murdering Vera, although Anna and the rest of the residents at Downton are convinced that he is innocent. When Bates is deemed guilty and is sentenced to be hanged, Anna breaks down and briefly prepares to leave Downton Abbey with Lady Mary, offering to accompany her mistress on an extended holiday to America. When she helps to reduce Bates's sentence from execution to life imprisonment, she decides to stay at Downton, although she vows that she will not rest until Bates is free.

I have loved Anna and Bates since the very start, when they first meet and there is the hint that they secretly like each other. I loved the 'courtship' process, Bates giving Anna a tray of food when she is ill, both of them skirting around the issue of feelings... It takes them a long time to admit their love, and even longer before they share their first kiss but it's well worth the wait. They are not without drama, as Bates' ex-wife Vera continues to create havoc for the pair. I called the fanlisting "through thick and thin" because there is a line said in Season 2 by Anna, where she is talking to Bates and tells him that she will stick by him no matter what, "through thick and thin". :3

+ Wikipedia: Bates | Anna