Gov Kodos wrote:
Edith is a great character, whom I hope will grow to see what a harpy Mary is.
She's certainly more fun to watch than Mary; Laura Carmichael tells volumes with her face while Michelle Dockery has about three expressions: arch, self-satisfied and cross. Edith did pull a nasty trick on her sister in S1, though. Of the sisters, Sybil is the only one I'd rank alongside Anna or Mrs. Hughes.
I know people who say they can never, ever root for Edith because she wrote the Turkish ambassador about how poor Kemal died.
The things I point out -- That was seven years ago (in the chronology of the series), Edith was 19 at the time, and 19 year-olds do rash, immature things for pointless reasons. That's not to excuse her behavior, just to point out that we've all done rash and stupid things when we were 19 that years later we wish we hadn't.
For me, the difference between Mary and Edith can be summed up in two scenes from this season:
On Edith's wedding day, Mary offers a one day truce in their hostilities. (Which, to be frank, don't seem particularly hostile any more.) Edith accepts the one day truce.
On the day Sybil dies, Edith offers Mary a permanent cessation of hostilities. Mary rejects it outright.
Edith is flawed. She's not the dutiful elder child, nor is she the rebellious younger child. She doesn't have a role in the family. She's not quite sure what her role in life is. She often behaves as if she were starved for affection. But she also recognizes that she's done mean and horrible things -- and she wants to stop doing them.