Maggie Smith Teases Downton Abbey Exit: 'I Certainly Can't Keep Going'

Downton Abbey Season 6

Downton Abbey‘s Dowager Countess may be known far and wide for her wickedly dry sense of humor, but Maggie Smith‘s latest comments about her character’s future on the show are no laughing matter. (OK, they’re actually pretty funny.)

Speaking with the UK’s Sunday Times, Smith addresses the long-standing rumors of her departure, and she does nothing to put our worried minds at ease.

“I certainly can’t keep going,” she admits in the new interview. “To my knowledge, [Violet] must be 110 by now. We’re into the late 1920s.”

While this isn’t a direct confirmation of her eventual exit, Smith’s words do nothing to put our minds at ease. Fortunately, this is “nothing we haven’t heard before from Maggie,” executive producer Gareth Neame tells our sister site Deadline, explaining that Smith’s involvement with Downton has always been on a year-to-year basis.

Then again, following the events of the Season 5 finale — in which Carson proposed to Mrs. Hughes, Edith’s big secret finally came out, Mary found a potential new suitor and Tom took off for America — maybe next season should prove to be the last for all of the Crawleys.

Do you think Downton could continue without its matriarch? And when should the period drama finally fade to black? Drop a comment with your thoughts below.