Another season of everyone’s favorite regency romp is on the way! Yes, Bridgerton will be back for a third round of perfect couples, pastel frocks, and lots of flirting – but who will be Season 3’s featured couple? Here’s what we know, what we don’t, and our take on what might be in store for our favorite Georgian beaus.
Another season of everyone’s favorite regency romp is on the way. Yes, Bridgerton will be back for a third round of perfect couples, pastel frocks, and lots of flirting – but who will be Season 3’s featured couple? Here’s what we know, what we don’t, and our take on what might be in store for our favorite Georgian beaus.
A few spoilers from the books coming up.
Season 3 Will Star Penelope and Colin’s Romance
Bridgerton is inspired by a series of novels by Julia Quinn, and each novel follows the love story of one of the eight Bridgerton siblings. So if the show were going in order, next up would be An Offer from a Gentleman – the story of second son Benedict’s romance.
But after executive producer Shonda Rhimes hinted that the show was “not necessarily going in order,” star Nicola Coughlan revealed that Season 3 would skip ahead to Book 4, Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, and center the romance between Penelope and Colin.
Season 3 showrunner Jess Brownell confirmed the news, saying “it’s Colin and Penelope’s time” – after all, Season 2 already explored the developing feelings between the couple. Still, they didn’t exactly end on an up note – and in classic Bridgerton romance style, the couple will have a lot to overcome before a happily ever after.
So, What Will Happen with Colin and Penelope?
By the end of Season 2, Colin seems to, at last, be giving Penelope the attention she’s desperately desired. After his long-standing fixation on Marina (now Lady Crane), Colin starts to snap out of it a little after Marina gives him a hint that he should be paying more attention to someone else.
Marina: “If you would only open your eyes to what’s in front of you then you will see that there are already those in your life you make happy.” - Bridgerton, 2x04
Later in the season, Colin defends Penelope’s honor from her unscrupulous, scheming cousin Lord Featherington, and they dance together on the night of the Featheringtons’ gold ball, while he makes cryptic, yet significant-sounding statements that leave her elated. However, as she goes outside after her fight with Eloise, she overhears Colin being quizzed about their dance by a group of other guys – and he responds dismissively and cruelly. The scene echoes Anthony’s thoughtless bluster in front of other gentlemen at the beginning of the season, which Kate overheard and hated. So perhaps Colin is just being a stupid guy here – putting on a front for the boys because he’s not ready to openly admit his true feelings.
In the fourth novel, Colin and Penelope do end up getting together. As actress Nicola Coughlan points out though, in the books, the couple doesn’t get together for another 10 years – so there may still be a lot of time for many twists and turns, and deeper feelings to develop. Coughlan theorized that perhaps this incident will “stop (her) treating him like a God” – which is definitely a healthier foundation for a relationship. Coughlan has also observed Penelope’s very modern mentality of wanting it all, and we wonder if, potentially, something may have to give for her in Season 3.
What About the Other Sibling’s Upcoming Romances?
It’s possible Season 4 will center Benedict’s romance: Book 3, An Offer from a Gentleman, is a full-blown Cinderella story – Benedict falls in love with a mystery girl at a ball who disappears after midnight. Her name is Sophie Beckett and she’s the illegitimate daughter of an Earl who turns out to have been forced into servitude by, you guessed it, her wicked stepmother.
Season 2 already showed more interest in the second brother’s character development. Benedict was fleshed out a lot more, had some pretty funny scenes where he saw into the deeper nature of existence while on opium powder, and he got a pretty sweet scene where he hypothesized about what love might feel like. So there is a poetic, sensitive lover in there. But so far in his love life, Benedict has been off having a lot of fun – first with seamstress Madame Delacroix, and next with model and aspiring artist Tessa. He’s contrasted with his older brother Anthony and younger sister Daphne, who as the eldest male and female siblings, respectively, carry more responsibility to marry well as part of their duty to the family
Anthony: “I only mean to say, you may be a second son, brother, but that does not exempt you from familial duty altogether.” - Bridgerton, 2x07
We already saw Season 2 planting the seeds for the character development and future romance of more siblings at once, especially in Eloise and Colin’s plots. So, it seems like as seasons go on, it might not stay laser-focused on just one love story at a time.
How About Eloise – and Theo?
There’s also a good chance Season 4 will skip over Benedict again to feature the romance of a bigger fan favorite: Eloise. At first, this season pretended to be about Eloise’s introduction to society – but Eloise is a non-conformist, who was shown to be totally disinterested in men and marriage in Season 1. However, while Eloise was predictably unimpressed with society’s offering of gentlemen, the show introduced her to someone far more exciting: Theo, a young man who’s not of her social class but shares her intellectual interests and introduces her to stimulating new political thought.
Eloise: “When I read something new or provoking, it is you I would like to speak with about those thoughts.” - Bridgerton, 2x06
The show started a budding romance between the pair, before Penelope’s interference and his doubts prevented her from going further. Eloise clearly has feelings here, so many fans would like to see more Theo in the future. However – spoiler from the books coming up – Theo’s not actually in the Bridgerton novels, and in Book 5, To Sir Philip, With Love, Eloise marries someone else: Sir Phillip Crane, Marina’s current husband. Eloise gets together with him after Marina dies (though in the books, Marina is a distant cousin of the Bridgertons, not the Featheringtons), and Eloise and Philip fall in love through writing letters to each other before even meeting. TikToker Joan Sunaware theorized that Eloise’s future romance is the real reason Season 2 briefly reintroduced Marina.
“They wouldn’t have brought in Marina Thompson if it wasn’t Eloise’s season next…it sets up her death, Eloise writing the letters to him, and Sir Philip and Eloise meeting and getting married.” - Joan Sunaware, TikTok
What Will Happen to Lady Whistledown?
At the end of Season 2, Eloise Bridgerton finally uncovered Lady Whistledown’s true identity, and it was her best friend, Penelope. Eloise realized that Pen had exposed damaging secrets about Eloise’s family and Eloise herself. Pen saw the choice to reveal Eloise’s friendship with Theo as helping Eloise since the Queen was certain that Eloise was the writer and was ready to punish her. But Eloise sees it as a ruthless power move, revealing just how little Penelope actually values the people she claims loyal to. In Season 2, we saw how much gratification Pen gets from Whistledown, and when Eloise considers lying to the Queen that she is Whistledown, Pen feels threatened. When she’s challenged by Eloise (and talking about finding one’s calling with Colin), Penelope speaks about how she feels like she’s doing something great and finding her purpose. So while it briefly seemed like a chasm between Eloise and Penelope might stop Lady Whistledown from writing, at the season’s end, Penelope picks up her pen once more.
Lady Whistledown: “Gentle reader, you thought I was silenced, but you thought wrong.” - Bridgerton, 2x08
Leading up to this passage, we actually hear some of the speech in Penelope’s own voice. So maybe the symbolism of this is that Lady Whistledown is now resolved not to stop even if Eloise’s discovery leads to Penelope getting unveiled. She’s doubling down on her newfound career fulfillment, just as in her personal life she’s feeling particularly devastated and wounded over losing her best friend and (she thinks, at least) being rejected by Colin.
What’s Going on with the King and Queen?
Bridgerton isn’t trying to be very historically accurate – it’s set in a universe that developed without our world’s racism, for example – but the monarchs of that time really were King George III and his Queen Charlotte. They were happily married, and George, known as the ‘Mad King of England’, did suffer from a mental illness which caused him great confusion – and his wife great grief. The very brief glimpses we get of the couple in Bridgerton show George after his health has declined, in deeply sad and poignant moments that hark back to their beautiful, young love.
So it makes sense that Rhimes has chosen the couple to form the basis of her next Bridgerton offering – a prequel spin-off, delving into the early days of Queen Charlotte and her love story. The conflicts we might see a younger Charlotte and George face were alluded to in Edwina’s monologue to the King, as she calmed him when he was disoriented. But the prequel is set to feature the young Violet Bridgerton and Lady Danbury.
Will Kanthony Be Back?
Fans were left wanting more of Kate and Anthony’s relationship since we only got to see them together at the very end of the final episode – and Simone Ashley, the actress who plays Kate, has confirmed they’ll be back.
“Yeah, we will definitely see more of Kate and Anthony!” - Simone Ashley, Extra
Though viewers may have been worried that Kate and Anthony would suffer the same fate as Daphne and the Duke – losing airtime after their own season’s conflicts were resolved – Simone says that their marriage will be explored further in the next season, and Jonathan reinforced the family nature of the show, saying, “We intend to be at every wedding.”
What about Edwina?
It remains to be seen whether Edwina will make a match, although the scene seems to be set for her to marry the prince of her dreams. After she massively impresses the Queen, the monarch offers up her own nephew– the prince who almost ended up with Daphne in Season 1 (and briefly flirted with Cressida Cowper, who gives this look when the Queen brings him up for Edwina). At the start of Season 2, Edwina expresses her desire to marry a man with a very important title; and she seems very excited about the lifestyle and status Anthony, as a viscount, can offer her. But after she’s deeply hurt to learn he loves her sister, she begins to grow as a person and seems to realize she does want real love in her life.
Edwina Sharma: “I want to know myself truly, and to know who you are too because I am unsure I like the young ladies we’ve both been playing.” - Bridgerton, 2x08
So it seems like it will be important to see if the prince actually captures her heart. The actress who plays Edwina, Charithra Chandran, said that, though she’d love to see Edwina in a romance of her own, “there is a far more important story to be told first — and then love can happen — which is one of self-discovery.” Jonathan Bailey even speculated that Edwina may make it into the Queen’s spinoff series.
What Else Can We Expect?
Vulture predicts that Francesca, the sixth Bridgerton sibling, may make more of an appearance in Season 3 – and it’s also been reported that a new actress, Hannah Dodd, will be taking over the role. Francesca’s dedicated book is sixth in Julia Quinn’s series of novels, so there’s still time to get to know her better. But so far we’ve only met her briefly in the seasons, and it may make sense to introduce her more thoroughly in Season 3 to get people excited about her prospective matches.
We also know that Adjoa Andoh, the actress who plays Lady Danbury, would like her own romance. And as a show that thrives on breaking down TV’s boundaries, we can imagine Bridgerton giving a woman in her 50s a beautiful love story. Plus, after the Sharma sisters’ beautiful arcs, fans have already been campaigning for another great representation opportunity in the next episode’s lead.
So, what are your theories on Bridgerton’s hotly-anticipated Season 3?
Elpers, Shelby. “Bridgerton Season 3 Is Benedict’s Time to Shine, Not Colin’s.” CBR, 15 Apr. 2022, www.cbr.com/bridgerton-season-3-benedict-not-colin/.
Fremont, Maggie. “What to Expect in Bridgerton Season 3, Based on the Novels.” Vulture, 1 Apr. 2022, www.vulture.com/article/bridgerton-season-3-book-storyline-benedict-colin.html.
Gibson, Kelsie. “Everything to Know about Bridgerton’s Queen Charlotte Spinoff Series.” People, 30 Mar. 2022, people.com/tv/bridgerton-queen-charlotte-series-everything-to-know/.
Kim, Leena. “The Bridgerton Prequel Has Started Filming.” Town & Country, 26 Apr. 2022, www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/arts-and-culture/a36449511/bridgerton-spinoff-queen-charlotte/.
Meyerowitz, Anya. “Bridgerton Season 3: The Cast of the Regency Drama on What Will Happen Next.” Tatler, 4 Apr. 2022, www.tatler.com/article/bridgerton-season-three.
O’Keefe, Meghan. “‘Bridgerton’s Nicola Coughlan Says Penelope Used Lady Whistledown to Destroy Eloise out of Love.” Decider, 20 Mar. 2022, decider.com/2022/03/30/bridgerton-season-2-nicola-couglan-lady-whistledown/.
Odman, Sydney. “The ‘Bridgerton’ Family on What Comes next for Seasons 3 and 4.” The Hollywood Reporter, 6 Apr. 2022, www.hollywoodreporter.com/tv/tv-features/bridgerton-finale-seasons-3-and-4-romances-1235125819/.
Westenfeld, Adrienne, and Ammal Hassan. “We Finally Know Who Bridgerton Season 3 Will Be About” Esquire, 16 May. 2022, www.esquire.com/entertainment/tv/a39537656/bridgerton-season-3/.