What’s Ahead for Bridgerton in Season 2?
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Get all the scoop on the hit Netflix historical romance series as we head into Bridgerton season 2.
Dearest readers, the ton are abuzz with all the latest gossip about Bridgerton season 2, which is right around the corner! The trailer was recently released, and viewers cannot wait to get back into the romance and intrigue of this visually stunning period piece. One of the best shows on Netflix, it burst onto the streaming scene at the end of 2020 with the escapist romp we all needed. While the show will change lead characters in its second season—we’ll miss you, Regé-Jean Page—the books provide ample clues for us to surmise what we can expect.
Why do viewers love Bridgerton so much? The Shonda Rhimes–produced Netflix series broke ground in its racially inclusive casting, part of an imagined multicultural, upper-class society in early 19th-century England. The show was also noteworthy for its all-knowing, Gossip Girl–like “scandal sheet” writer Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews) and some very revealing scenes of intimacy. Bridgerton is based on author Julia Quinn’s book series, some of the best romance novels of all time.
So let’s take a look at the Bridgerton season 2 release date, casting, changes from the source material, and other must-know info as well as where Bridgerton‘s major characters are headed when the second season begins. While you’re waiting for Bridgerton season 2, check out the most romantic movies on Netflix, best movies of all time, and romantic movies to fill the void. It won’t be long now!
When is Bridgerton season 2 coming out?
The Bridgerton season 2 release date is March 25, 2022. On Christmas Day 2021, exactly one year after season 1 premiered, fans got a special present: The official announcement of the second season in a video from the stars of the show themselves.
Fans were hoping the series would be back for a Christmas 2021 release, but a COVID-19 outbreak on the London-based set forced production to halt as the show was filming in the summer of ’21. This delay may have contributed to the second season’s later release. (But, hey, at least that gave us time to get through some of those Amazon Prime TV shows we’ve been dying to watch.) Production on the show finished in November 2021.
Where can I watch the new season of Bridgerton?
Bridgerton season 2 will air on Netflix. The series, based on some of the best-selling books, is executive-produced for Netflix by Shondaland, the company run by Shonda Rhimes, who created Scandal and your favorite doctor show, Grey’s Anatomy. She’s turned her attention solely to Netflix, with a new four-year deal; in addition to Bridgerton, she recently created and wrote the buzzy series Inventing Anna for the streaming service.
When it premiered, Bridgerton broke Netflix records—82 million viewers tuned in during the first 28 days. It was the highest-ever release for a series until Squid Game came out in September 2021.
How many seasons of Bridgerton will there be?
In April 2021, Netflix announced to the delight of viewers everywhere that in addition to season 2, Bridgerton has also been renewed for a third and fourth season.
There are eight books in the Bridgerton series—some of the best fiction books you’ll read all year—so there is ample material for more seasons. Plus, in addition to the novels themselves, author Julia Quinn wrote “second epilogues” to all the books to tie up some loose ends and give readers another glimpse into the characters’ futures. “There are eight Bridgerton siblings, and as far as I’m concerned, there are eight Bridgerton seasons. And maybe more,” Shonda Rhimes told Variety.
Viewers can expect at least one spinoff show too. Rhimes will be creating and writing a limited prequel series on the origin story of Queen Charlotte, a character who doesn’t appear in the Bridgerton books but became a favorite of the series. The spinoff will also feature younger versions of the family matriarch Violet Bridgerton and the venerable Lady Danbury.
Will Regé-Jean Page be back as the Duke of Hastings?
Sadly, no. In April 2021, Netflix announced that Regé-Jean Page, who played Simon, Duke of Hastings, the romantic lead from season 1, will not be returning for Bridgerton season 2.
That differs from the source material, The Duke and I. In the book’s second epilogue, readers finally see the contents of the mysterious letters Simon’s father left him before he died, which could allow him to finally get closure on all his issues with his father—especially now that he’s a dad himself. The character also appears in a secondary role in the other Bridgerton novels.
Page had previously appeared on board with future seasons of the show, but he seems to have changed his tune on his character’s one-season arc, telling Variety in May 2021 he thought his storyline was wrapped up. “Simon was this bomb of a one-season antagonist, to be reformed and to find his true self through Daphne,” Page said. “I think one of the bravest things about the romance genre is allowing people a happy ending.”
Rhimes echoed that she didn’t feel Page would have enough to do as the show moved on to focus on other characters. “He’s an enormous star now,” she told Variety. “As I like to say, the idea that we would write Regé to stand around in the background doesn’t make any sense at all to me.”
Fans may disagree, but we’ll have no choice but to “bid adieu,” as Lady Whistledown would say, to Page and the character of Simon. We’re not saying goodbye to Page altogether, though. Part of the reason for his departure from Bridgerton is ostensibly to work in film, including the upcoming action thriller movie The Gray Man.
What happens in the Bridgerton books?
Some of the best historical fiction books, each novel in the Bridgerton series follows one of the eight Bridgerton siblings in their search for love in Regency-Era England. To refresh your memory: The reimagined Jane Austen–esque story of Bridgerton season 1 followed the plot of the first book, The Duke and I, and featured Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and her love interest, Simon, Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page).
“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 [in the romance genre],” author Julia Quinn told Oprah Daily. “So romance series are not sequels but more of a collection of spin-offs.”
This means major changes for Bridgerton season 2 and beyond. The second season will follow the second book, The Viscount Who Loved Me, focusing on oldest son Anthony Bridgerton and his new love interest, Kate Sharma (renamed from Kate Sheffield in the book). We’ll also find out more about Anthony’s backstory and the death of his father, which had a tremendous impact on him. The rest of the family (with the exception of Daphne’s husband, Simon) will reappear as well. That’s a major plus for viewers, who name the family’s dynamic among their favorite things about the series.
Keep reading to find out what will happen to each character in Bridgerton season 2.
Lord Anthony Bridgerton
As in the second novel, The Viscount Who Loved Me, the oldest Bridgerton sibling will be the show’s focus in the second season. Heartbroken after his opera singer mistress (Sabrina Bartlett) leaves him and still suffering over his father’s death, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) is determined to make a marriage match based not on love but solely on social standing in order to produce an heir. He identifies his target, newcomer Edwina Sharma, but finds himself increasingly attracted to her older sister, Kate (Simone Ashley).
Their banter in the novel may not be among the most romantic book quotes, but they do have something of an Elizabeth Bennett/Mr. Darcy dynamic. “Enemies to lovers is extreme,” Bailey told Entertainment Weekly about Anthony and Kate. “They can hit each other’s buttons within a second, and it’s something that’s instinctive. Their sense of self they project to other people, they can’t do that [with one another]; they’re naked in front of each other.” Metaphorically speaking, that is!
Strong-minded and self-assured Kate, new to the London society scene, is the same character from the novel, with one exception: In keeping with the show’s commitment to on-screen diversity, her last name has been changed from Sheffield to Sharma, and her family is of Indian descent. She comes to London from Bombay with her stepmother and stepsister, with whom she’s extremely close.
“She came with one goal: to take care of her sister,” Ashley told Entertainment Weekly. When she believes the rake (Regency speak for “player”) Anthony Bridgerton is after her sister, she’s determined to protect her at all costs. But when her own reputation is put in jeopardy, things might not turn out exactly as she planned. Kate could rival Pride and Prejudice‘s Elizabeth Bennett as one of the strongest female literary characters of all time.
A new character, Edwina (Charithra Chandran) is less obstinate than her sister and has a gentler, more naive demeanor. Still, she is determined to have a love match for herself. “She is full of surprises. She is the definition of ‘don’t judge a book by its cover.’ I’d say she goes on the biggest journey in the second season,” Chandran told PopSugar UK.
She underscored the importance of the sibling bond. “I would describe it as that they are each other’s soul mates,” Chandran says of her character’s relationship with her sister. “For Kate and Edwina, it’s each other. It’s the most important relationship in each of their lives.”
Viewers can also look forward to meeting Anthony’s father, Edmund Bridgerton (Rupert Evans), in flashbacks, as Anthony’s lingering grief over his father’s death plays a huge part in his story line. Without giving away too much, let’s just say that all those bee motifs you may have noticed in Bridgerton provide a clue to the patriarch’s untimely death.
In life, he was the true love match of Violet Bridgerton as well as a wonderful father to Anthony and his siblings. When Anthony had to take over as viscount after his father’s death, he was just 18 years old, which had a profound impact on his life. There’s no word yet on whether we’ll see a young Violet or the other siblings as children, but it’s likely we’ll see at least some of the Bridgertons in their younger years.
Daphne Bridgerton, now Duchess of Hastings
It’s the question Bridgerton fans have been wondering for a year: Are we going to see much of Daphne and Simon, our lead couple from season 1? Viewers will still see Daphne for sure. In The Viscount Who Loved Me, Daphne participates in a very competitive game of pall-mall (a game like croquet), which book lovers are excitedly looking forward to seeing on-screen. And she’ll be giving her older brother some love advice. “I want to see Daphne get involved in Anthony’s love life a bit, as he sort of meddled with hers quite a lot,” Dynevor told Elle. “I think that will be fun.”
But how will Simon’s absence be explained? Our best guess is that he’ll be away on business frequently. “I think [Simon will] definitely be referred to a lot. I think we’ll see the baby,” Dynevor told The Wrap. “And we’ll just focus more on her relationship with the Bridgerton family.”
The first season set the scene for Penelope’s (Nicola Coughlan, who stars in one of the best TV shows about the ’90s, Derry Girls) future relationship with her friend and neighbor, Colin Bridgerton, which will be the focus of the fourth novel, Romancing Mister Bridgerton, and the already green-lit fourth season. So we may see some advancement in Penelope’s love life in Bridgerton season 2, even if we will have to wait awhile for her happily ever after.
And as the first season 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), we’ll also see more surreptitious activities from Penelope as she creates an alter ego—an Irish maid named Bridget—to do some sneaking around.
We’ll also see how Penelope’s friendship with Eloise Bridgerton has changed now that viewers know a major secret Penelope is keeping from her. “She’s morally excused herself from certain things to barefaced lie to her friend and make it OK, but she also wants to impress Eloise,” Coughlan told Entertainment Weekly. “Eloise is on a pedestal for her. She thinks she’s the funniest, smartest, best person in the world.”
We’ll see some development in Colin’s (Luke Newton) friendship with Penelope. At the end of the first season, the third Bridgerton son 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 their relationship will be a slow burn as we wait for the fourth season.
“He’s not focusing so much on romance and that aspect of his life anymore,” Newton told Entertainment Weekly of his character this season. “He’s looking for new pursuits and different ventures that maybe don’t cause as much heartbreak.” If you’ve got wanderlust like Colin, travel movies that make you feel like you circled the globe could help you bide your time before Bridgerton season 2 premieres.
In Bridgerton season 2, independent-minded Eloise (Claudia Jessie) reluctantly makes her debut in society, where she’ll be expected to start her own marriage quest. “She’ll be suffocated slightly because she does need to please her family,” Jessie told Entertainment Weekly. “But it will only confirm to her why she wants complete autonomy and a future she believes she’s entitled to.… She doesn’t want to find a husband and dance.”
Instead, Eloise focuses on her efforts to find out the identity of Lady Whistledown. “I can understand why that has become nearly an obsession. She admires Lady Whistledown, who she believes to be this autonomous woman with loads of money spilling gossip about people all about town,” Jessie says. 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 the first season.
Second son Benedict (Luke Thompson) is next in line to take over the romantic torch after Bridgerton season 2. The third book, An Offer from a Gentleman, features his fairy-tale love story with Sophie Beckett (a new character). Benedict is an artist, so expect more development in his character’s artistic pursuits in season 2 as viewers get to know him better in preparation for his leading role in the third season. Benedict’s relationship from the first season (with the modiste Madame Delacroix) was created for television, so we’re likely biding time until his true love appears, and we’ll probably see a setup for that storyline toward the end of season 2.
Even 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—so she was not created for TV. We’re likely not done with her on-screen character, who at the end of last season had to marry because she was pregnant. “It’s going to be fantastic. It is going to be spectacular and colorful, beautiful, exciting, romantic, and funny,” Barker told Yahoo about returning for Bridgerton season 2.
Although we haven’t heard anything official about Marina’s appearance in the second season, we may see her as a wife and mother. 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 last season.
Lady Violet Bridgerton
The widowed matriarch of the Bridgerton clan hosts a country house party in The Viscount Who Loved Me, so viewers may expect an episode or two of the second season to take place at the Bridgerton country manor, Aubrey Hall. We’ll see Violet (Ruth Gemmell) get involved in Anthony’s matchmaking, but according to the books, she will not marry again herself.
The 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 awhile, 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.”
Lady Featherington (Polly Walker, who you might recognize from the late-aughts HBO TV show Rome) is just as much of a busybody in season 2 as she was last season. 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. “She’s controversial because she’s very pushy and ambitious,” Walker told Stylist. “She’s someone who was trying to survive in the Regency era, where women didn’t have any power apart from marrying well. But she’s just doing the best she can.”
The first season’s cliffhanger about her husband’s death and the mystery of who will inherit the estate was completely made for television, so we can’t yet speculate who their heir might be. But there are a couple of new, made-for-TV characters in Bridgerton season 2 who could fill that role.
The imposing Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) only briefly appears in the second book, but we’re sure her role will be expanded for TV: In recently released images for season 2, we see her escorting the Sharmas to a ball, so she may be taking the lead introducing the new family into society. In the fourth book, she announces a contest to unmask Lady Whistledown, but this plotline might go to Queen Charlotte in the TV version since 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 the first season. “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.”
TV viewers may be surprised that Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) was actually not in the books at all, so we can’t give clues for her character based on the novel. But we do have something else to guide us instead: history itself. So, who was Queen Charlotte for real? The wife of the “mad” King George III, some historians believe she was of African descent. That’s the case in Bridgerton, which has also portrayed her difficult relationship with her husband. Queen Charlotte had 15 children, so there’s definitely potential for more familial relationships to be explored, a happy possibility for fans of royal movies and TV shows.
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. “I think there’s a lot of joy in that for Queen Charlotte because she loves a little bit of gossip,” Rosheuvel told Insider. “The game is on.”
More new characters
There are a few more characters joining the Bridgerton season 2 lineup, including the Sharma matriarch, Mary (Shelley Conn), the daughter of an earl who had a scandal of her own when she got married for love—to a tradesman. According to the book, now that her husband has died, the family only has enough money for one society season in London, during which she hopes both her daughter, Edwina, and stepdaughter, Kate, will find husbands to secure their futures. Viewers will also see the family’s beloved corgi, Newton.
There are two more characters written for the show whose roles have been kept secret. Theo Sharpe (Calam Lynch) is a printer’s assistant, a working man who seems a far cry from the elite society of the ton. Another new character is a society member named Jack (Rupert Young) who has a “connection” to a prominent family. No last name for his character has been given, possibly because that could reveal his surprising identity. Could he be the long-lost Featherington heir?
All will be revealed when Bridgerton premieres on March 25. Till then, dearest readers, you’ll have to bide your time with romantic Netflix Korean dramas or maybe some of the sexiest movies on Netflix.