I have been hoping for a couple years that my beloved, Courtney Perry, would guest post here at Theoblogy. Her photos have appeared many times, but not her words. Well, I’m thrilled to introduce her first post:
A verbatim conversation had while Tony and I caught up on the Downton Abbey he missed (and I put on hold) while he was in Malaysia:
TJ: “She’s such an 8. I like her.”
CP: “No way, babe. She’s totally an unhealthy 2 who is stressed a lot.”
Immediately my Love begged me to write a guest post on the Enneagram numbers of Downton characters. I’ll do what I can. I’m no Suzanne Stabile, but when it comes to the exaggerated, soapish characters of D.A., it’s not too hard to pinpoint a few personality types. If I’m wrong, please chime in. (If you think the Enneagram is a load of bunk, 1) I’m sorry for you, and 2) we get it and don’t need to hear it.) This post is called simply having fun.
Isobel Crawley: Matthew’s mother, Isobel is the “I can help! I can help!” version of an unredeemed 2 that inspired the aforementioned conversation. Tony thought her forcefulness indicated her 8-ness, and it did, but not as her core. Twos go to 8 in stress, be it good or bad stress, and the Crawleys are usually in some state of imminent peril.
Twos need to be needed.
Tom Branson: Branson, the chauffeur-cum-socialite-husband, plays the role of the tragic victim, believing that he represents all of his fellow Irishmen as an unredeemed melancholic 4. To fours, the world is hard place and no one could possibly understand them. They don’t want to do ordinary things and can be reckless (burning down that castle probably counts).
Fours gain energy from the tragic.
Thomas Barrow: As the ever-conniving footman, Barrow is an unredeemed 3 who needs to succeed. Deceit is the biggest hang-up for a 3. He spends his life working on the external and reads the crowd to see who and what can meet his own needs. He is trapped in an image, and I think his forced closeted sexuality has made this 3 blind to his own deception.
Threes live with the idea that it’s not okay to have one’s own feelings and identity.
Lady Mary Crawley: Though the time period and social structure reign her in a bit, Lady Mary seems to be an 8, and female eights are quite misunderstood. Eights don’t like to have anyone in power over them, and that was something we saw Mary struggle with as it was established that the family wealth can only be passed to a man. She was willing to marry men she didn’t love because she had to in order to retain her family power. Vulnerability is equal to weakness.
Eights may not know exactly what they want, but they always look like they do.
Mr. Carson: Devoted to the family and possessing rigorous standards of excellence, the butler strikes me as a 1, the perfectionist. And actually, he might be a healthy 1. Ones suppress their anger and keep it tight-lipped, as Carson does in many awkward public confrontations, but every once and while it bursts out. “Should,” “must,” and “ought” are buzzwords for a 1. They are loyal to family (even though in this case they are his employers) but they are not mushy or romantic. Love means you do your part.
Ones are on a quest for absolute moral authority.
*You should never tell a person in the real world what number you think s/he is. It’s a journey of self-knowing. In certain cases of distant knowing, such as Downton and Tony’s prior post about the presidential election, it can be both fun and helpful to surmise numbers.