6 Clues ‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 Will Be About Colin & Penelope

Bridgerton Seasons 1 and 2 focused on following the Julia Quinn novels the series is based on. Season 1 radically changed the surrounding details, but the central romance stuck faithfully to the books. Season 2 focused on Anthony’s romance the same way Book 2 does, but it drastically altered the central romance. Fans are starting to suspect Bridgerton Seasons 3 and 4 may upend all expectations and skip Book 3 altogether. However, these clues Bridgerton Season 3 will be about Colin and Penelope actually make a lot of sense.

Warning: Spoilers for the Bridgerton book series follow, along with Seasons 1 and 2.

Before getting into the clues, here’s a rundown of what the show would be deviating from. Season 1 covered Book 1, The Duke and I. Though the background stories for Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Eloise, and Penelope Featherington were additions and Queen Charlotte was a wholly added character, Daphne and Simon’s romance was faithful to the book. Season 2 covered The Viscount Who Loved Me. Not only were the stories for Benedict, Colin, Eloise, and Penelope Featherington added in, but it turned Anthony’s straightforward marriage to Kate into a love triangle with Edwina.

The following books, which fans assumed covered Seasons 3 and 4, An Offer From a Gentleman and Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, are Benedict and Colin’s stories. Benedict falls in love with an Earl’s bastard daughter who works as a lady’s maid, while Book 4 is where Colin finally realizes he loves Penelope, years after she gave up on him. Moreover, Book 4, Book 5 (Eloise’s To Sir Phillip With Love), and Book 6 (Francesca’s When He Was Wicked) form a trilogy and co-occur with plots that intertwine.

So how will the show handle this? Here are a few clues changes are afoot.

01

The Cast Is Talking Like Colin & Penelope Are Next

Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022

The first significant clue changes are coming came from actress Simone Ashley, who played Kate in Season 2. Since Rege-Jean Page left after Season 1 covered his romance with Daphne, interviewers asked her if she’d be back for Season 3 since her romance with Anthony is complete. She has said she’s hopeful because she’s “super excited for the world to see Nicola and Luke rock it,” referring to the actors who play Colin and Penelope, not Benedict.

02

The Showrunner Focused On Setting Up Their Story

Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022

The second clue came from Chris Van Dusen, the showrunner for Seasons 1 and 2. Now, fans should note he is not the showrunner for Seasons 3 and 4; his duties are moving to another Shondaland show, while Scandal writer Jess Brownell is taking over the show. But when asked about the handoff, he too focused on Book 4. “We did a lot of work in these first two seasons as far as setting up Penelope and Colin’s love story,” he said, notably skipping over Benedict’s backstory additions.

03

Seasons 1 & 2 Have Set The Stage For Them

Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022

Another major reason fans are starting to suspect Colin’s romance is coming sooner rather than later — the show’s focus on Lady Whistledown and the early reveal of Penelope as the gossip scribe. Though Benedict has ex-girlfriends and a stint at an art academy, his story of him has nothing on Colin and Penelope. Her unrequited love for him had been a significant subplot since the first season’s premiere and a throughline in both seasons. With Season 2 ending with her overhearing Colin thoughtlessly bashing her to his friends de ella, it seems like the show is ready for Colin to realize the perfect girl has been there waiting for him the whole time.

04

Benedict’s Story Happens Away From His Family

Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022

But there are clues in the books that suggest the show may decide if not to skip over Benedict, at least move up Colin to pair with him, instead of doing Benedict solo and then Colin-Eloise-Francesca as a unit. One big one is how Benedict’s story is structured. The first half is set in London in 1815, where he meets Sophie, a lady’s maid in disguise, at a ball. But then the story jumps forward three years to 1818, which is when the majority of the love story happens.

Moreover, the second half of Benedict’s story doesn’t happen in London. It occurs in the English countryside, away from his family, on the estate where Sophie works. That won’t work for the series, which has made the goings-on in London, and the other Bridgerton siblings’ escapades, a significant focus. By pairing Benedict with Colin and Penelope, the show would have a reason to keep part of the focus on London and the other Bridgertons.

05

Queen Charlotte Is Too Important To Lose

Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022

The other major clue the show will want to change up the book’s timeline is how much it has put into emphasizing Queen Charlotte as the Grand Dame of the ton. The books do not include Queen Charlotte — her presence de ella and influences on the Bridgerton love stories are made up from whole cloth. Since the books do not include her, the end of her reign (and the Regency Period in 1820) have no bearing. The books skip from 1815 to 1818 in Book 3 to 1825-1826 in Books 4-6 to 1829-1830 for the final love stories of Hyacinth and Gregory without addressing the political and social changes that came with George IV’s reign.

But Queen Charlotte is a huge deal for the series. The show is practically unimaginable without her de ella, which means skipping ahead to 1825 is unthinkable. The show has to collapse the timeline and bring the Colin-Eloise-Francesca stories within the bounds of the decade at hand, if not Gregory and Hyacinth. The easiest way would be to move up Colin’s love story to coincide with Benedict in Season 3 and focus on Eloise and Francesca for Season 4.

06

Lady Whistledown’s Early Reveal

Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022

And finally, there’s the Lady Whistledown conundrum. In the series, since there’s no Queen Charlotte, there’s no one hunting for Lady Whistledown the way there is in the show until Book 4 when Lady Danbury puts a reward for information. When Penelope is revealed to the reader as the gossip scribe in Book 4, it’s not a dramatic unmasking by Eloise. Colin finds out, and his response from her is mainly to be jealous she has a purpose in life while he does not; Eloise barely mentions it, and it all gets pushed to the side when Colin asks Penelope to marry him anyway.

The show has already fundamentally changed that. For the show to suddenly skip five years to a post-Queen Charlotte world makes no sense since an unmasking to her family de ella and the Queen is part of the show’s endgame. The most practical solution is moving up her romance de ella with Colin and their marriage de ella to Season 3, leaving Season 4 for the final denouement.

Bridgerton Seasons 1 and 2 are streaming on Netflix. Season 3 and 4 are already greenlit.

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