Aug. 1, 2012 at 7:53 AM ET
When viewers last saw Lady Mary on "Downton Abbey," she and Grantham heir Matthew had finally kindled their long-burning romance with one another and had ended up affianced. And after two seasons, that they finally connected came as a pleasant surprise.
But as Michelle Dockery -- who has earned an Emmy nomination for her portrayal of Lady Mary -- notes, what was not so surprising is that the pair caught on with fans of the show.
"That will-they, won't-they tussle was going on for so long, it didn't surprise me that fans wanted to know what would happen," she told TODAY.com. "It wasn't an easy ride for them, so at the end of (season) two, it was nice to hear that people were jumping up and down for them. I did wonder if (show creator) Julian (Fellowes) would string that out even more, that Matthew would be her biggest regret, so I was really pleased. It feels right."
That said, as Dockery hinted before, just because Mathew and Mary are together doesn't mean it's happily ever after.
"They're both very strong-willed and have their own opinions about certain issues," said Dockery. "They were never going to just be skipping around on the grounds of Highclere. I think the audience will understand that and still enjoy them, because as real-life partnerships are, it's not quite perfect."
The series returns to PBS in January, which gives fans a long time to think about how the twists and turns of season three.
Dockery admits that season two did feel a little soap opera-ish, but she doesn't see anything wrong with that. "There was so much to cover," she explained. "It was always Julian's intention to cover the war and get through it. But like all good series, they change with the seasons. I never saw (the melodrama) as a bad thing."
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