There's no doubt that Lady Mary's (Michelle Dockery) character has changed since the first few episodes of "Downton Abbey."
"When I first read the role, I assumed [Lady Mary] would stay -- a not very emotional, very tough aristocrat. And then, episode by episode, her character just softens," Dockery said, "particularly in Season Two, because she discovers that she's actually deeply in love with Matthew and is devastated to find that he's engaged to someone else.
"What's interesting about the new season is that some characters can't quite adapt to the rapid changes that occur after the First World War ... particularly Lord Grantham and, of course, Violet [Dowager Countess of Grantham] ... They find it difficult to adapt, whereas Mary goes along with the changes quite well in the third season."
“This is going to sound quite, um, pretentious, but someone said that it’s like a soap written by a poet," Dockery said in an interview with Harper's Bazaar in August. "I used to get quite defensive of people saying it’s soap-like, but it kind of is."
Season 3 of "Downton Abbey" will premiere in the U.S. in January 2013.