What’s Ahead for Bridgerton in Season 2, According to the Books
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Get all the scoop on the hit Netflix historical romance series, now officially renewed for season 2!
Bridgerton burst onto the streaming scene at the end of 2020 with the series we all needed: an escapist, visually stunning romp into a world of balls and romance. But the Shonda Rhimes-produced Netflix series also broke ground in its racially inclusive casting, as part of an imagined multicultural, upper-class society in early 19th-century England. The show was also noteworthy for its Gossip Girl-like, all-knowing “scandal sheet” writer Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews), and some very revealing scenes of intimacy. The show is based on author Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton book series, some of the best romance novels of all time.
A sort of reimagined Jane Austen-esque story, Bridgerton season 1 featured Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and her love interest Simon, Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page). But what will happen in season 2, according to the books? Each novel in the Bridgerton series follows one of the eight Bridgerton siblings and their search for love; book one, The Duke and I, follows Daphne, while book 2, The Viscount Who Loved Me, focuses on oldest son Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey). “You have these two main characters and they have a happy ever after—if you then went on to have another book with these two characters still in the lead positions, it would mean that something happened to the happy ever after, which is a no-no,” Quinn told OprahMag.com. “So romance series are not sequels, but more of a collection of spin-offs.”
Does this mean major changes for Netflix’s Bridgerton in the next season and beyond? It’s likely. Although the series does greatly expand upon the content of the books, we can still get some clues from the page; and in addition to the novels themselves, Quinn wrote “second epilogues” to all the books to tie up some loose ends and give readers another glimpse in the characters’ futures. Let’s take a look at where Bridgerton‘s major characters may be headed when filming starts this spring—and if you want more spoilers, check out the entire series of Bridgerton novels. Then, read more of the most sizzling hot romance reads. Caution: Spoilers for the first season of Bridgerton below.
Lord Anthony Bridgerton
Courtesy NetflixAs in the second novel, The Viscount Who Loved Me, the oldest Bridgerton sibling will be the show’s new focus. “So, season 2, we’re really going to be with the eldest Bridgerton brother next season, Lord Anthony Bridgerton, played by Jonathan Bailey,” creator and executive producer Chris Van Dusen announced on Today. “We left him at the end of the first season at a bit of a crossroads, so I’m looking forward to jumping in and discovering how he fares on the marriage market. I think it’s going to be as sweeping and moving and as beautiful as viewers of the first season have come to expect from the show.” Anthony ended his relationship with opera singer Siena Rosso (Sabrina Bartlett) at the end of season 1; that could be all we’ll see of her, as she only appears in the books briefly and by a different first name. Keep reading for who his new love interest might be. Here are the 15 most romantic quotes from books.
Daphne Bridgerton, now Duchess of Hastings
Courtesy NetflixBut what about Daphne and Simon, our lead couple from season 1? We’ll still see them, but likely as secondary characters. In The Viscount Who Loved Me, Daphne participates in a very competitive game of pall-mall (a game like croquet), which book fans are no doubt looking forward to seeing on screen. Because Daphne and Simon are also growing their family (she has her first child at the end of season 1), the show’s writers might also expand on that to show how the couple is adjusting to parenting. And although it’s not in the books, Dynevor has hopes for another potential storyline. “I want to see Daphne get involved in Anthony’s love life a bit, as he sort of meddled with hers quite a lot,” she told Elle. “I think that will be fun.” Read more of the bestselling books behind TV shows.
Simon, Duke of Hastings
Courtesy NetflixIn The Duke and I‘s second epilogue, readers finally see the contents of the mysterious letters Simon’s father left him before he died. In season 2 (or a future season), it’s likely Simon will open them to get total closure on all of his issues with his father—especially now that he’s a dad himself. But what about Simon and Daphne, who’ve already reached their happily ever after? “As far as continuing to explore characters, I think that love is an evolving thing—it’s a living, breathing thing that needs tending, that needs looking after, that needs mending when it gets worn or torn,” Page told TV Guide. “They get married very young. They still have a lot of growing to do. They have a lot to do, and I think it’ll always be fun to watch them do that together.” Try watching Bridgerton with your partner, and check out these utterly romantic books you’ll want to read as a couple.
Courtesy NetflixThe first season set the scene for Penelope’s (Nicola Coughlan) future relationship with her friend and neighbor, Colin Bridgerton, which is the focus of the fourth novel, Romancing Mr. Bridgerton. And as season 1 jumped ahead a bit to give viewers a peek at some of the other revealing events of the fourth book (such as the identity of the anonymous gossip writer Lady Whistledown), it’s safe to say we could see a bit of advancement in Penelope’s love life, too—even if we will likely have to wait a while for her happily ever after.
We might also see how Penelope’s friendship with Eloise Bridgerton is changed now that viewers know a major secret Penelope is keeping from her. “I’d like to see her be more honest, because the worst deception is to Eloise, her best friend,” Coughlan told TV Line. “Eloise is totally upfront with Penelope all the time, but Penelope doesn’t tell her so much, and it stresses me out to think about when that finally comes out. What is it going to mean for their friendship?” If you love Eloise and Penelope’s friendship, check out the best movies about friendship to watch with your bestie.
Courtesy NetflixAs we mentioned, we’ll probably see some development in Colin’s (Luke Newton) friendship with Penelope. At the end of season 1, the third Bridgerton son had decided to travel; in the books, he’s also known for his wanderlust. Colin’s adventures will give him lots to discuss with Penelope when he returns to London, but we’re guessing the show’s writers will also create a few more obstacles in this future couple’s way. “If people are really wanting to find out the gossip then they can definitely read the books,” Newton told PIX11 News, admitting he himself doesn’t yet know what’s in store for the new season. “I think that’s what the cast is doing to have a little insight of what to expect for the future!” If you’ve got wanderlust like Colin, check out these 14 travel movies that will make you feel like you went there.
Courtesy NetflixThe end of season 1 teased that independent-minded Eloise (Claudia Jessie) is reluctantly going to be making her debut in society. “The idea of Eloise being able to be in that environment doing it in Eloise’s way is potentially the funniest thing in the world,” Jessie told Decider. “Can you imagine her dancing with someone? Can you? I can’t. She’d be terrified, and she’d be brilliant.” And in addition to Penelope keeping secrets from her bestie Eloise, the reverse might be true as well. “I’m sure there are loads of secret love and romantic desires that Eloise has had that she hasn’t been brave enough to share,” Jessie said. In the books, Eloise is something of a spinster before she finds love in the fifth book, To Sir Phillip, With Love—and astute viewers may remember they have already met a character named Sir Phillip in season 1. Bridgerton is one of the best TV shows with strong female leads you need to watch now.
Second son Benedict (Luke Thompson) has to wait until the third book, An Offer From a Gentleman, for his Cinderella-like love story with new character Sophie Beckett. In the novels as well as on TV, Benedict is an artist, so viewers can expect to see more development in his character’s artistic pursuits in season 2. Benedict’s relationship from season 1 with the modiste Madame Delacroix is a creation for television, so we’re likely biding time until his true love appears—and it’s possible we might see a set-up for that storyline toward the end of season 2. Bridgerton fans will enjoy the 50 best romantic movies of all time.
Courtesy NetflixEven book readers might not remember that they have, in fact, met a character named Marina (Ruby Barker) in one of the novels (hint: It’s in the prologue of the fifth book)—she was not created for TV. So we’re likely not done with her on-screen character either, although whether she’ll make an appearance in season 2 is still unknown. If she does, we may see her in her marriage, as a mother, and possibly beginning her battle with depression. If you’ve skipped immediately to the prologue of book five, you’ll realize that unfortunately, Marina’s storyline does not end up any less tragic than it was in season 1. While you’re waiting for season 2, watch the 10 top romantic movies you haven’t seen yet—but should.
Lady Violet Bridgerton
The widowed matriarch of the Bridgerton clan hosts a country house party in The Viscount Who Loved Me, so viewers can expect to see an episode or two of the second season taking place at the Bridgerton country manor, Aubrey Hall. We’ll likely see Violet (Ruth Gemmell) get involved in Anthony’s (and all of her children’s) matchmaking, but according to the books, she will not marry again herself. A novella, Violet in Bloom, which appears in The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After, includes a flashback to her husband’s untimely death, and, later, an evening dancing with a mysterious gentleman at a ball. So, we could see some parts of that story in season 2. But why doesn’t Violet end up finding true love again? “I’ve thought about it a while, and in all honesty, I don’t think I could come up with anyone good enough for her,” author Quinn wrote on her website. “Seriously. I just adore her.”
Courtesy NetflixLady Featherington (Polly Walker) is just as much of a busybody in the books as she is on TV. She plays a role in Anthony’s betrothal in The Viscount Who Loved Me, so viewers can expect to see her up to her old meddling ways. But the TV storylines about her husband’s gambling and the mystery of who will inherit the estate after his death—one of the biggest cliffhangers of the first season finale—are completely made for television. Could the heir be someone we already know, such as Marina’s father or Will the boxer, both of whom Baron Featherington had monetary exchanges with; or another new character? As this plotline isn’t in the books, it’s anyone’s guess.
Courtesy NetflixThe venerable Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) only briefly appears in the second book, although her presence is felt throughout the series. In the fourth book, she announces a contest to unmask Lady Whistledown—but we’re guessing this plotline might go to Queen Charlotte in the TV version since in season 1, Her Majesty has already shown a keen interest in finding out who the anonymous writer is. Fans would also love to see more of Lady Danbury’s married women-only parties, a TV creation we got a taste of in season 1. “I would love to really develop those female friendships, for Lady Danbury to be a sort of conduit for doing that,” Andoh told Decider. “I would love to see some development of the friendships between the older women, particularly.”
Courtesy NetflixTV viewers may be surprised that Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) was actually not in the books at all. So although we don’t have the novels to guide us, we can use something else: history itself, as she was a real person. We’ve seen her difficult relationship with her husband, the “mad” King George III, in season 1; this season, we could also see her son, the Prince Regent, as he rules in his incapacitated father’s place. The real-life Queen Charlotte had 15 children, so there’s definitely potential for more familial relationships to explore as well. Fictionally, the Queen is eager to uncover Lady Whistledown’s identity, so we can expect to see more of her efforts in that area, too—with some false reveals before the Queen, and all the other characters, find out the truth. Here are the real-life royal family scandals that shocked the world.
Courtesy NetflixIn The Viscount Who Loved Me, a new character named Kate Sheffield is Anthony’s love interest. Although the TV producers haven’t announced if his love interest will be the same on the show (or who will play her), it’s likely. “The fact that we’re following Anthony’s pursuit for love shows that you know there’s definitely going to be some similarities [with the book],” Bailey told Entertainment Tonight. “Having read the second book, if Anthony gets to meet anyone half as brilliant as Kate Sheffield is, then he’s going to be a very lucky man.” If Kate appears, we can also expect to see her sister, Edwina, her stepmother, Mary, and her dog, Newton.
Viewers can also look forward to meeting Anthony’s father, Edmund Bridgerton, in flashbacks, as Anthony’s lingering grief over his father’s death plays a huge part in his storyline in the book. Put the Bridgerton novels on the list of good books you really should have read by now.