Downton AbbeyDownton Abbey fans, I've got some great news for you: the official season 4 trailer will be released this Saturday, August 31. The show just wrapped its final day of shooting a week ago, editing for the Christmas special began on August 21, and today a teaser video for the upcoming season hit the web.

With all these exciting announcements, it almost makes up for the fact that U.S. viewers have to wait four frickin' months after the show premieres in the U.K. in mid-September! ALMOST.

The 10-second teaser features Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess, and while the video doesn’t reveal too much visually, her dialogue hints at the major heartbreak still resonating from last season's tragic events.

(Spoilers for season 3 ahead!)

As you likely remember all too clearly, Matthew died last season in a car accident that happened just after he'd seen his newborn son for the first time. Even though I'd been spoilered about his death, I was still completely shocked and dismayed when it happened. Because first he was all, doop di do tra la la LAAAAAA!

And then he was like, gaaaaaaaaack.

And I was all,


Anyway, season 4 will reportedly pick up six months after Matthew's death. Much has been made about the fact that Lady Mary will have new suitors in the wake of losing her husband, but based on this new teaser clip, she'll be faced with some very heavy and realistic grief along the way. Take a look:


That's quite a line, isn't it? "You have a straightforward choice before you: You must choose either death or life."

We can't see who the Dowager Countess is talking to, but it stands to reason that she's giving advice to Lady Mary. Michelle Dockery, who plays Lady Mary, recently spoke about season 4 and how her character would evolve after losing Matthew. Dockery referenced the new love interests ("One is an old family friend who she hasn't seen since she was a child"), but she also described the challenges Lady Mary will face at the start of the season:

Mary was never going to be a very maternal mother. To begin with, it's hard to bond with the baby because she looks at him and sees Matthew. So motherhood is a slow process for Mary. She's incredibly strong and she has the strength to kind of see it through. Throughout the series, Mary slowly comes back to life and, of course, it's important for her to eventually move on. But it is kind of touch and go in the beginning. She is in a really, really dark place.

It sounds weird to say I like hearing this, because who likes watching someone mourn and struggle with new motherhood? But it's somehow good to hear that the show will focus on the logical aspect of how Mary would be dealing with so much sorrow, and not brush that aside in their eagerness to trot out the hotly anticipated list of new suitors.

What did you think of this quick teaser?


Images via PBS