About Matthew Crawley
Matthew Crawley (played by Dan Stevens) is a major character in British television series Downton Abbey. He is the son of the late Dr. Reginald Crawley, a physician, and Mrs. Isobel Crawley (Penelope Wilton), a trained nurse. He is Lord Grantham's third cousin, once removed, and works as a qualified solicitor in Manchester.
After the family heir tragically dies in the Titanic, the family lawyer discovers Matthew is the next closest relative and Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) invites him to move to Downton Abbey and become part of the local community. Matthew eventually agrees but only if he can continue to work. His arrival is initially met with opposition from the rest of the family and servants, especially Violet (Maggie Smith), as he was a "middle class lawyer". As the new heir presumptive he finds it difficult at first to adjust to the change in lifestyle. He refuses to adopt their traditionalist views but is eventually accepted into the family and becomes something of a surrogate son to Lord Grantham.
After initially acting in a lukewarm fashion to each other he and Mary (Michelle Dockery) begin to fall in love. It is thought the two will marry, though when Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) becomes pregnant and there is a chance that Matthew, the heir presumptive, will not inherit the earldom after all, Mary is advised by her aunt Rosamund to refuse his proposal. Unfortunately, Cora miscarries when she slips in the bathroom, and so there is no longer any doubt about Matthew being the heir to the earldom. Matthew withdraws his proposal from Mary after she hesitates to accept him, as he is unsure of her motives.
He later becomes engaged to Miss Lavinia Swire (Zoe Boyle), daughter of a London businessman. Following the outbreak of the First World War he volunteers to join the British Army and is appointed Lieutenant and later promoted to Captain. He is injured whilst serving alongside the family's footman William Mason (Thomas Howes) in France and was saved by William, who shielded him from an explosion and later succumbs to his injuries. Matthew is paralysed from the waist down, and despite being told that he will never walk again and can no longer have children, Lavinia continues to care for him and does not call off the engagement.
Following a miraculous and happy recovery, he and Mary realise that they are still in love, but he informs her that Lavinia's efforts to recuperate him even when it was thought that he could not have children mean that he cannot break up their relationship, for he is indebted to her. When Lavinia dies of Spanish influenza at Downton, he is plunged into grief and vows that neither he nor Mary deserve the happiness they want by being together, because it would be an insult to Lavinia's memory. He is later persuaded to think differently, and proposes to Mary in January 1920, where she accepts.
WHY I LOVE MATTHEW
Matthew is one of the most likeable characters on Downton Abbey. Because he is part of the working middle class, and falls into a lot of money rather unexpectedly, it takes him time to adjust to the lifestyle. Being dressed by the butler is an absurd concept, but eventually he accepts it and Molesley becomes Matthew's valet. He is close to his mother, and they are often seen together. When Mary comes into Matthew's life, the sexual tension between them is palpable. It's fascinating watching their relationship grow, then dissipate, being separated yet still in love with each other...
Matthew has such a lovely persona; he is kind, witty, intelligent, and a true gentleman. It also helps that Dan Stevens, who portrays him, has amazing blue eyes, gorgeous smile and blond hair. *swoon* I can't wait to see what Season 3 has in store for him!