“Downton Abbey” will welcome back a familiar face in Season 6. Rose Leslie will return to the PBS period drama as Gwen Dawson. Her appearance in the final season will mark the “Game of Thrones” actress’ first return since her famous role on the HBO hit.
U.K. viewers saw Gwen show up at the end of episode 3, Metro reports, but her brief appearance already gave audiences several clues about what has become of the former servant. Gwen used the main entrance rather than the servants’ entrance, indicating that she may have moved up in society. Barrow (Rob James-Collier) also makes a snide remark about her priorities. “She hasn't got time to greet her old friends, then,” he says. Unfortunately, U.S. viewers will have to wait to find out Gwen’s circumstances until PBS airs the series in January.
Leslie shot down rumors of a return to “Downton Abbey” last year, just before Season 5 began. She thought that they’d wrapped up Gwen’s storyline, and there wasn’t much need to return. “We left my character in a very happy place, married, out of domestic service and living the life she always wanted,” she told Radio Times.
Gwen seemed to have found her happy ending. She left Downton to become a secretary in Season 1. Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) helped her get the job, and then she was mentioned in passing when a letter revealed that she had gotten married. No one mentioned much about her husband, except that his mother was ill, so the ceremony was small and simple. Perhaps she has returned for Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) and Mrs. Hughes’ (Phyllis Logan) wedding?
While Gwen’s history is mysterious, Leslie has remained in the spotlight since leaving the show. She went on to star as Ygritte in “Game of Thrones.” Her character was the love interest of Jon Snow, and coined the famous phrase, “You know nothing, Jon Snow.”
“Downton Abbey” Season 6, the final season, premieres Jan. 3, 2016 on PBS.