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NYC Area Friends of JRR Tolkien & Fantasy Message Board › Who killed Mrs. Bates????

Who killed Mrs. Bates????

Timothy F.
Valley Cottage, NY
Post #: 134
Since in my "uniquely" very broad definition of "fantasy" that includes not only Wagner but even the Downton Abbey series on two counts: a) it gives us some social context for Tolkien and b) it is just so deliciously extravagant a life style that it qualifies as fantasy escapism in the best sense of the word (ie, as used by JRRT himself in his essay "On Fairy Stories")... permit me to submit this for your consideration (as they put in the Oscar world of Hollywood!):

At our Toast to the Prof on Jan 3rd a discussion arose on the above Subject of Who Killed Mrs. Bates (the First):

She was the bane of poor Mr. Bates the somewhat lame valet to Robert Crowley Earl of Grantham at Downton Abbey. They hated each other and then he fell in love with the head ladies maid Anna Smith, soon to be Mrs Bates the Second... well, when Mrs Bates I learns of this she really goes into high gear of hate and trouble making!!

I submitted the theory that Miss O'brien the head ladies' maid was looking very guilty when the subject was mentioned after Mr. Bates the valet was accused and convicted of murdering his vicious first wife. I theorized that O'brien did this out of guilt for her earlier act of harm to her Lady Grantham. She was trying to benefit the family out of sympathy for Mr. Bates.

Andi theorized that the culprit was Mr. Richard Carlisle the self-made newspaper magnate who tried to marry Lady Mary (one of the daughters of the house) but eventually was rebuffed by her, despite his having rescued her from public scandal... He kills Mrs. Bates because she broke a contract with him to keep quiet about Lady Mary's scandal.

Ok, I would like to offer another possibility that I now think is the most likely: Mrs. Bates indeed killed herself out of sheer spite at Mr. Bates for his having married Anna the head housemaid. There was a line in the latest episode where Anna talks about Mrs. Bates with a neighbor of the wife. The neighbor notes:
"I remember she had made pastry and she was scrubbing it out of her nails like she didn’t care if she took the skin off.

Earlier there was a joke by Anna that Mrs. Bates couldn't have died of arsenic poisoning from eating a pie... So perhaps Mrs Bates the First concocted a plot to poison Mr. Bates when he came by either out of fear and guilt in his regard or perhaps just sheer spite and then somehow she ate her own arsenic pie either out of mistake or an attempt to frame him in revenge.....
Dr. Jackie P.
Brooklyn, NY
Post #: 32
Yes, I do believe Mr. Richard Carlisle is the culprit. I am thinking the plot could be like this: Mrs. Bates 1 makes that pie in the hopes she poisons herself and Mr. her disturbed mind a romantic suicide pact. While this is playing out Mr. Carlisle either gets wind of it and somehow (in television fantasyland) gets Mrs. Bates 1 to eat her own pie or he has poisoned her himself with some other foodstuff or drink and leaves the pie as evidence. And somehow Mrs. O'Brien is involved in the latter plot. She's a cold one, that O'Brien.
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