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What's Taters, Precious?
13 February 2014 @ 07:03 am
I posted this last night on Tumblr and the conversation got kind of derailed so I thought I'd post it here and see if anyone had any thoughts. Beware spoilers for S4!


I just reblogged a Rose/Tony photoset…I’ve seen the idea of the pairing floating around the Downton tags the past couple weeks and because I liked it I even slipped a tiny hint of it into the most recent chapter of SWH. Not really sure why I like it, except PRETTY and something about their personalities seems like they’d mesh and come on Rose is twenty and stunning and sweet and a good catch so why can’t we ever see a realistic love interest for her? (TBH I’d ship Rose with anybody.)

But this post isn’t really about Rose/Tony, it’s mostly about Tony and how he’s yet another of those new characters on Downton who had a fleeting moment of potential but just hasn’t managed to do much more than be lovesick. That’s really a crying shame because really in the bones of his backstory is a great mirror to Mary’s.

Tony’s the heir to a title and an estate—what Mary always wished she could be—yet the post-war economy has forced the family to sell the manor house so he’s ended up being a landless lord—the very thing Robert did not want to see happen to the Grantham title were he able to break the entail for Mary. Now that Mary is co-owner of Downton (and I cannot imagine that at some point Robert won’t kick the bucket and leave the rest of the estate to Mary, too, so that he can at last give it to her but not break up the land from the title which will someday be George’s), Tony stands as a stark reminder of what she must do to stop that from being the fate of Downton and George. (If only anything were actually made of this--my constant frustration with Downton!)

When Tony was first introduced, there was a lot of speculation in the fandom about his motives: was it Mary he loved, or her estate? Of course S4 progressed and Tony became kind of a one trick pony with his constant surprise visits to Downton, his passionate declarations of love, the kiss, the quickly made and quickly broken off-screen engagement. I couldn’t help but think he might have been a lot more interesting if his motives had remained unclear, or if he’d been completely pragmatic from the get-go.

We know Mary really does care more about romance than she once let on (so that’s a point in Tony’s favor). It’s also true that Tony can’t get her estate, it belongs to George…But what if there had been a sort of reversal of gender roles, with Mary being the one with the property the man wanted, and the man being the one who needs to make an advantageous marriage so he’s not living out his days in a dower house? It’s not even that there’s not a precedent for Tony to have a more mercenary side to him, since he was presumably going to marry Mabel Lane Fox for her money. And I’d just kind of like to see Mary experience what it’s like to be on the other side of the power balance for once, to get a fresh perspective of the marriage market and where she’s come from—and perhaps even understand her parents a little better, given that their marriage began on a similar foundation.

So I guess all that’s to say…I don’t really have a stake in which suitor Mary chooses but…it could have been you, Tony. It could have been you.

What's Taters, Precious?
08 February 2014 @ 07:14 am
The Highclere Awards have announced the nominations for the fifth and final round of Downton Abbey fic awards. This time nominations were open to any DA fic published since the start of the show rather than fics written this year. There were over 1500 nominated authors and fics across the categories, including a number of friends--big congrats to gilpin25, ju_dou, silvestria, and vladnyrki (and I hope I haven't forgotten anyone--the list of nominations was massive and I might have missed some of my LJ friends)--and I was especially tickled to see Mary/Richard fics dominate the minor pairings categories as well as hold their own in the regular ones, too. I'm over the moon (and the June ;)) to be up for the following awards:

Author: Other Het Ship

Author: Overall

Characterization: Cora (Spare the Rod)

Characterization: Edith (Something Worth Having)

Characterization: Mary (A Girl In Black, Something Worth Having)

Characterization: Sybil (Sexual Relations)

Characterization: Minor Male Character (Evelyn Napier in Something Worth Having)

Characterization: Richard (A Girl In Black, Something Worth Having)

Writing: Technique (A Girl In Black)

Writing: Plot (A Girl In Black)

Writing: Dialogue (A Girl In Black, Something Worth Having)

Writing: Overall (Something Worth Having)

Genre: AU Period (A Girl In Black)

Genre: Friendship/Family (Spare the Rod)

Length: Full Length (Driving Lessons, Who We Are)

Length: Epic (A Girl In Black)

Progress: One-Shot (Sexual Relations, An Irishman and a Scotsman Walked Into A Pub)

Progress: Work In Progress (Something Worth Having)

Progress: Multi-Chapter (A Girl In Black, Driving Lessons)

Rating: T (A Girl In Black)

Sybil/Branson: Overall (Driving Lessons)

Other Het Ship: AU Period (Something Worth Having, A Girl In Black)

Other Het Ship: Overall (A Girl In Black, Something Worth Having, Who We Are, Another Chapter)

To anyone who nominated me, thank you, and of course if you have a moment to vote, I'd of course be very grateful for that, too. ;)

What's Taters, Precious?
31 January 2014 @ 06:50 am
It's been ages since I linked my fics here (or posted anything at all--to my chagrin!) so here's what I've been writing lately:

We had a winter challenge at GameofShips, and I returned to ASOIAF with a couple of pre-canon Jorah/Lynesse fics (because apparently I can't do ships that aren't doomed):

What do (she) bears do in winter? [T, 1301 words]

In Sickness
Catelyn remembered how young the Lady Lynesse had been, how fair, and how unhappy. One night, after several cups of wine, she had confessed to Catelyn that the north was no place for a Hightower of Oldtown. (ASOS) [G, 1871 words]

Tooth and Claw
An unexpected gift from Lynesse's new husband leads to even more unexpected expressions of gratitude. [M,1398 words]

And there have been many updates of Something Worth Having, but here is the most recent:

Chapter 24: Over the Hurdle
As Evelyn confronts the barriers to his future, while Mary struggles with unexpected obstacles in her path to happiness.

Read it @AO3 | @FF.Net

How's everybody doing? Written/read any good fics lately?

Downton fans, what did/do you all think of S4? And GoT-fans, are you getting excited about S4 with the new rash of trailers and promo pics?

What's Taters, Precious?
31 October 2013 @ 09:51 pm
Happy Halloween from Tater and Tot!Clicky for the piccy...Collapse )
What's Taters, Precious?
26 September 2013 @ 09:42 pm

Chapter 17: Family Affairs

Luncheon with Richard’s brother reveals much about the inner workings of the Carlisle family, but there are some secrets he continues to keep. And how will Mary keep her own when her family finally arrive in London?

Read it @AO3 | @FF.Net

What's Taters, Precious?
11 September 2013 @ 11:00 pm

Chapter 16: A Hundred Indecisions
Mary must confront the truth that the choices she makes--and doesn't make--affect other people than herself. And that she is not the only one whose actions may lead to regrets...

Read it @AO3 | @FF.Net

As usual, be sure to check out my tumblr for some historical tidbits!
What's Taters, Precious?
30 August 2013 @ 01:33 pm

When Mary moves to London to escape painful memories of Matthew at Downton, she must face more than grief as former suitors and her estranged sister come back into her life.

Chapter 15: In Broad Daylight

In the light of day, Mary must face whether the decisions made in the night were the wisest ones.

Read it @AO3 | @FF.Net

What's Taters, Precious?
20 August 2013 @ 06:24 am
Chapter 14: Unmasked Ball

A visit to Richard's flat reveals more of his private life than just his residence. (And the fic at last earns its M rating.)

Read it @AO3 | @FF.Net

Bonus FeaturesCollapse )

What's Taters, Precious?
08 August 2013 @ 01:19 pm
Title: Something Worth Having (13/?)
Author: mrstater
Fandom: Downton Abbey
Characters & Pairings: Mary Crawley/Richard Carlisle, Rosamund Painswick, George Crawley, Amelia Semphill (OC), Anthony Gillingham
Rating & Warnings: M for references to power dynamics in relationships; adultery; PTSD; terminal illness; widowhood; sex (in future chapters); spoilers for S3
Summary: When Mary moves to London to escape painful memories of Matthew at Downton, she must face more than grief as former suitors and her estranged sister come back into her life.
Chapter Word Count: 5700ish words
Chapter Summary: A night at the opera provides an interlude from Mary’s troubles; will it also prove an introduction for something more?
Author's Note: Extra special thanks go to vladnyrki for all her assistance with chapter. She always goes above and beyond the call of beta duty, but this time she proved invaluable in helping me get the opera details right (you can read more about those here), not to mention helping me keep the story’s emotional trajectory on the right track. This story would not have happened without her. If you haven’t read her latest story, An Unexpected Honeymoon is a great summer read. And of course, thanks to every one of you who is following this story and encouraging my endeavors. I’m so happy to have friends to share it with.

Read it @AO3 | @FF.Net
What's Taters, Precious?
05 August 2013 @ 06:48 am

Came across this wonderful tidbit yesterday while researching the Royal Opera:

By the 1830s, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert would frequent the Royal Box up to four times a week in high season. However, in 1856, disaster struck once again. The theatre, hired for a masked ball by a man known as the ‘Wizard of the North’, burned to the ground following a night of drunken revelry and had to be completely rebuilt.

The story gets even better if you check out John Henry Anderson’s Wiki entry—the aforementioned Wizard of the North.

I don’t know which part is better: that his party led to the destruction of a major artistic institution, or that he kept having affairs with people in his act and producing children who were also magicians. It’s like The Wizard of Oz-meets-The Prestige-meets-Harry Potter-meets a circus sideshow.