|Occupation:||footman, valet, under-butler, butler, Corporal, Lance Sergeant|
|Other:|| Thomas Barrow at Downton Abbey Wiki|
Thomas Barrow at Wikipedia
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Thomas is the focus of many of the fandom's fanworks which aim at redeeming him and giving him a happy ending.
Over the course of the canon, Thomas Barrow rises from junior footman to head valet, under-butler and finally to butler. He served as a Corporal and later Lance Sergeant the army medical corp during WWI.
He was initially presented as an ambitious, manipulative antagonist, particularly towards Bates, whose job Thomas coveted. However over the course of the show, he was progressively given more and more nuance and redeeming features.
Thomas is canonically queer, and struggled with his sexuality during the series. By the end of the 2019 movie, he seemed at peace with himself, having realized he could find community and perhaps even love.
Common Tropes and Fanon
- Fix-it: "Thomas/Happiness" is a major trope of Thomas-centric fandom, whether it means fixing particular plot points (his unrequited love for Jimmy Kent, his various betrayals and petty actions) or simply making sure that Thomas has an HEA
- Crossovers: authors delight in putting Thomas in crossover settings, sometimes pairing him with various characters or sometimes simply as a snarky, gen presence.
As of Sept 2021 on AO3:
- Thomas Barrow/Jimmy Kent: ~975 works. Unrequited in canon, fanworks love to make it work.
- Thomas Barrow/Richard Ellis: ~490 works. Introduced as canon in the 2019 movie.
- Thomas Barrow/Edward Courtenay: ~175 works
There is also a significant Thomas/OMC presence, due in part to writer Alex51324 who wrote several wildly popular, epic fics of this type, and even one which gathers Thomas and all of the author's OCs (But Among Our Own Selves We'll Be Free, or, Thomas and the Island of the Gays, 2020, tagged "Thomas Barrow/Happiness" and "Thomas Barrow/Community")
- Thomas and the Society of Sentinels by Alex51324, an AU where Sentinels and Guides are Known, starring Thomas Barrow and a cast of original characters, Thomas/OMC, (2012)
- Perdition by sunsetmog, a Season 3 AU where "Thomas might be mean but he also needs a hug." Thomas/OMC. (2012)
- Tony Stark Meets an Extremely Unimpressed Time Traveler, or, Thomas Barrow Makes a Surprisingly Good 21st Century Butler by Alex51324, Avengers crossover, Thomas Barrow is transported to the 21st century, Tony Stark hires him as the Avengers' butler. Thomas Barrow/Tony Stark (2014)
- A Question of You by CosmicZombie, a slow burn Thomas Barrow/Jimmy Kent story (2017)
- Whispers In The Attic by lea_ysaye, a post-movie Thomas/Richard Ellis story (2019)
- The Halo Effect series (AO3 link) by Alex51324, an AU where Thomas's heroic actions during the S1 Turkish Gentleman Incident/fire grant him the benevolence of his colleagues and employers, changing the face of the canon. Part 1: 81k, Part 2: 445k, Thomas/OMC (2019-2020)
Archives and Communities
- Thomas Barrow at Downton Abbey Wiki