Credit: ©Nick Briggs/Carnival Film and Television Limited 2013 for MASTERPIECE

Guys, we have a Downton Abbey confession to make: As much as we loved Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) and still can’t believe he’s gone forever, we’re kinda crazy about the new man in Lady Mary’s (Michelle Dockery) life. It doesn’t count as emotional cheating if your former flame has been snuffed out, right?

Before you answer that question with a resounding “No! Matthew can never be replaced!” just take a look at the new gentleman in question.

His name is Anthony Foyle or, as he’s known among the upper crust, Lord Gillingham. Played by Welsh dreamboat Tom Cullen, Anthony couldn’t look more different from Matthew. Where Mary’s dearly departed husband had the golden hair and youthful face of a baby angel, Anthony’s got the dark 'do and chiseled jawline of a Greek god. Picking a favorite seems impossible, except for the fact that Anthony’s got one clear advantage: He’s breathing.

Beyond triumphing in the departments of looks and living, a Downton Abbey preview of the January 12 episode shows Anthony is beautiful on the inside, too. In the sneak peek, the pair chat about their respective grand estates. They’re old friends from childhood and Mary remembers having tea once with Anthony’s grandmama. “She gave me ice cream and I got it all over my dress. Nanny was furious,” Mary says with the first hint of a smile we’ve seen in ages.

The talk naturally turns to children with Anthony saying he’s “gotten close” to settling down a couple of times. “In fact, I’m close now,” he says while gazing into Mary’s eyes. You bet the grand estate you are, Anthony. Just dump that rumored fiancée of yours and we’ll have ourselves a new romance to help us through the final stages of grieving Matthew.

But is Mary as sold on the fellow as we are? Watch the final few seconds of the video and judge for yourself.


Elisabeth Kramer is an Assistant Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident Downton Abbey expert. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!