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Best Dowager Countess Quotes: ‘Downton Abbey’ Season Three

Lady Violet’s best zingers and bon mots

Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey, Dowager Countess

Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2011 for MASTERPIECE

Oh no she Downt'nt! True, Downton Abbey may not be the most action-packed show on television. But thanks to the irrepressible presence of Lady Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, it packs an arsenal of zingers, one-liners, and bon mots brutal enough to make a Walking Dead shotgun blast look like a musical number from Dora the Explorer. Imagine those two old-man Muppets who heckle from the balcony dressed in Edwardian drag and you've got an idea of the scathingly funny energy that Dame Maggie Smith brings to every scene she's in.

Which makes it hard to come up with the definitive list of her best lines from Downton Abbey Season Three, but like the Dowager Countess herself we never shirk from a challenge. In the aftermath of Sunday's shocking season finale, here are Lady Violet's 16 best quotes from Season Three. Disagree if you want, but both we and the Dowager are never wrong.

By Sean T. Collins

Downton Abbey, Maggie Smith

Giles Keyte/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for MASTERPIECE; Giles Keyte/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for MASTERPIECE

Episode Six, to Isobel

Isobel: "Were you a very involved mother with Robert and Rosamund?"
Violet: "Does it surprise you?"
Isobel: "A bit. I'd imagined them surrounded by nannies and governesses, being starched and ironed to spend an hour with you after tea."
Violet: "Yes, but it was an hour every day."

Downton Abbey, Maggie Smith

Courtesy of (C) Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for MASTERPIECE

Episode Seven

Violet: "That is the thing about nature: there is so much of it."

Laura Carmichael, Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

Joss Barratt/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for MASTERPIECE

Episode Seven, to Edith

Violet: "Edith, stop fascinating that young man and come make a four at bridge."

Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey

Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for MASTERPIECE; Joss Barratt/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for MASTERPIECE

Episode Seven, to Robert

Robert: "They do say there's a wild man inside all of us."
Violet:
 "If only he would stay inside."

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