I was wondering : at the begining of the series, Robert says to Sybil that Tom would call him and Cora Lord and Lady Grantham. But at the end of the DA, how does Tom call them ? Now that they're closer than before Sybil's death.
I think Julian Fellowes made certain that the conversation between Tom and the Earl and the Countess did no need him to call them by name, like a conversation already in progress or some other dramatic device. Tom could have call them Papa or Mama, just like Cora adresses the Dowager as "Mama".
Going from experiences of similar awkward situations (in cultures where the mode of appellatives is in a state of transition) I should imagine Tom manouevres as skillfully as he can to avoid calling them anything: he probably cannot bring himself to call them Papa and Mama since Sybil was not around for long enough to help him make that transition, and he may well feel that Lord and Lady Grantham is too formal for their current relationship.
This is an interesting question; I've been whirring this around my brain trying to come up with any scene that might give us the answer. Matthew regularly addressed or referred to his in-law's as Robert and Cora. Tom, I think, would have had every right to do the same. I can imagine Tom asking Matthew about this behind the scenes at some point and Matthew saying it was more than okay for Tom to address them as he does. Cora invited Rose to call her Cora instead of cousin Cora, and in the last episode, Rose finally called cousin Robert just Robert. This leads me to believe that Tom could easily have transitioned from "father Robert" to just Robert. Darned if I can think of a single scene to prove the point.
I found a scene that might give us a clue as to how Tom may have addressed his in-laws. At the beginning of S5e9, the family is sitting at luncheon. Violet announces that Shrimpy's men have found the Princess. While they are discussing this, Tom asks, "But if you don't like her, why have you gone to the business of sending SHRIMPY to her rescue?" Ah-ha! Tom has just called an adult family member, the Marquess of Flintshire (someone more important and higher up than the Earl of Grantham) by his NICKNAME, no less. Now it wasn't to his face, but we never hear Tom refer to Robert or Cora in any setting as other than Lord or Lady Grantham. Was this a slip-up in the script, or do we find that Tom CAN address nobility by their first names? I don't find any other place in the series where Tom does this.
Also there is an epsiode, where Violet Crawley(Old lady grantham) is driving past Tom and ms bunting. S
he stops and tell shes going to roses ball. At that point she firstly calls tom mr.branson, then correct herself and calls him Tom. She probobly alrdy called him Tom earlier, but do this to tell ms bunting hes one of them, and she isnt, but thats not the point.
Throughout the series none of the nobles(Unlesh its lower degree servants), would call any person by hes/hers first name, unlesh thoose they adressed could do the same.
Point if old lady grantham calls tom tom, INFRONT of another person. He would defently be allowed to call her violet perhbabs even grandma or something like that, beacuse of hes daughter. And if shes allowing that, i will guarantee you that lord/lady grantham, would allow him to do the same.
Also it seems kinda obvious to me. Robert loves Tom as a son in the end. And mary loves him as a brother.
Sorry for bad english
What do you think?