Credit: ITV

Downton Abbey Season 3 hasn’t even premiered in the U.S. yet, but one of the show’s major characters has already planned his Season 4 departure. 

After months of rumors, Deadline officially broke the news that Dan Stevens (otherwise known as Matthew Crawley, or Lady Mary’s husband, or the potential heir to the Downton throne) will not be back for Season 4 of the wildly popular period drama.  

While American viewers won’t learn of Matthew’s fate for another few months, Downton viewers in the U.K. are already in on the secret: The character’s departure was explained in a Christmas special that aired last night. Click here to read all about how Matthew’s exit was handled.

Credit: Rahoul Ghose/PBS

As Deadline noted, Dan has found success on Broadway, starring in The Heiress with Jessica Chastain. The actor will also be busy filming the upcoming indie flick Summer in February

“We were always optioned for three years,” Dan told the Telegraph. “And when that came up it was a very difficult decision. But it felt like a good time to take stock, to take a moment. From a personal point of view, I wanted a chance to do other things.

Be that as it may, our hearts may never heal from the everlasting separation of Matthew Crawley and Lady Mary!