Thomas Barrow

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Name: Thomas Barrow
Occupation: footman, valet, under-butler, butler, Corporal, Lance Sergeant
Relationships: Richard Ellis
Fandom: Downton Abbey
Other: Thomas Barrow at Downton Abbey Wiki
Thomas Barrow at Wikipedia
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Thomas Barrow is a character in the British costume drama Downton Abbey. He is portayed by actor Rob James-Collier.

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

  • Hurt/Comfort
  • 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
  • Post-canon
  • Pining
  • 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:

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")





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