Get your quills out, your diamonds polished, and your corsets laced, because Season 3 of Bridgerton is coming! But in true Shonda Rhimes fashion, it's not without a few surprises thrown in. And a huge departure from the books.
After we saw Kate and Anthony tie the knot at the end of Season 2, our sights were set firmly on Season 3. Book three of Bridgerton focuses on the love story of Benedict — a cheeky, loveable artist with excellent face play. But fans collectively lost their marbles when Nicola Coughlan, who plays Penelope Featherington, dropped a bombshell on her Instagram: the next season of Bridgerton is jumping ahead and focusing on the love story of Colin and Penelope.
In an interview with Variety, showrunner Jess Brownell shared the reasoning for the switch. “I feel like, especially in the last season, there are these moments of tension between them where it’s like, Colin walks up to the line of almost realising that Penelope has feelings for him but doesn’t quite get there. Instead of treading water on that dynamic, we wanted to push it into their season. It really felt like the perfect moment to tee it up.”
Here's everything we know about Bridgerton Season 3 so far.
What will Season 3 of Bridgerton be about?
Julia Quinn's novel, Romancing Mister Bridgerton, follows the story of Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington. The series hasn't been shy in already showing us glimpses of their relationship. So far, we've seen Penelope fall in love with Colin, unwillingly becoming another victim of unrequited love as his eyes have been set firmly on her cousin, Marina Thompson. Then, we ended Season 2 with our pitchforks in hand after Penelope overhears Colin saying he would "never dream of courting her" (you'd be so lucky, babe!).
Expect Season 3 to address this, with Colin having some serious making up (and making out) to do. We won't spoil how they get there, of course, but expect the quintessential friends-to-lovers trope, lots of steamy scenes, lingering eye contact and even more drama about Lady Whistledown's identity. "I think people are going to be really obsessed", Nicola Coughlan said. "I think book fans are going to be happy."
Luke Newton (who plays Colin Bridgerton) shares the excitement about Season 3. "I love Polin", he said, admitting that he likes taking a scroll through the #Polin hashtag. He admits that everyone is a little ticked off with Colin after the Season 2 finale (guilty!), but holds out hope for his redemption. "I'm hoping that he has sort of a more sensitive side to him,” Newton says. “I love that we are exploring a relationship that so many people have had, where you form a friendship and you get to know each other down to the core. Then it sparks something from there.”
Who's starring in Bridgerton Season 3?
Nicola Coughlan returns as our favourite loveable character, Penelope Featherington. Likewise, Luke Newton will also be continuing his role as the naive, and kind of annoying, Colin Bridgerton.
Also expect appearances from the rest of the Bridgerton cast, especially those whose stories haven't been told yet (we're looking at you, Benedict). The characters who are likely to return for the third season include Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne Basset; Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton; Simone Ashley as Kate Sharma; Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton; Claudia Jessie as Eloise Bridgerton; Florence Hunt as Hyacinth Bridgerton; Ruth Gemmell as Violet Bridgerton; Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury and Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte. It's not clear yet if Charitha Chandran will be reprising her role as Edwina Sharma, but we're hoping she'll finally get her happily ever after (with a prince in tow, perhaps?).
The role of Francesca Bridgerton (who?!) has also been recast, with Hannah Dodd (of Anatomy of a Scandal) replacing her.
What else might we expect in Bridgerton Season 3?
Benedict could have a big role
Whilst Benedict's story is being pushed back, don't worry — you'll still be seeing a lot of him in this series. New showrunner Jess Brownell stated, "even though we’re reversing the order of the books, I think all the people you would expect to see — Benedict, who is book three, he will be a vital part of Season 3."
In his book, An Offer From A Gentleman, Benedict falls in love at first sight with a maid called Sophie at a ball. After their encounter, there's a pretty big time jump before they meet again. There's a strong chance this ball might actually happen this season, effectively setting up Benedict's story.
Even if this doesn't happen, there's a lot more storytelling that needs to happen for us to really get to know our boy, Benedict. Especially his sexuality — whilst he was presented as straight in the books, the TV series has alluded to his queerness since Season 1.
We'll be seeing more of Daphne, Anthony, and Kate
Feel like you need more #Kathony goodness in your life? Well, you're in luck. Brownell said that we'll keep seeing all our favourite Bridgerton siblings (and their boos). "We feel like those moments when the whole family is together is what really makes the show and makes all of us, I think, want to be a Bridgerton. So yes, you will definitely be seeing Daphne, Anthony and Kate — how much, I don’t want to say quite yet, but you have to tune in." There's no word yet on if our favourite, Simon (Rege Jean Page) will be appearing yet, but we're crossing all our fingers and toes.
Lady Whistledown's identity will be interrogated
At the end of Season 2, we saw the gruelling aftermath of Eloise discovering Lady Whistledown's true identity — Penelope Featherington. With a budding romance underway between Colin and Pen, we can expect Penelope to land in even more hot water once Colin inevitably discovers who she really is. Let's hope the rest of London doesn't find out, too.
When can I watch season 3 of Bridgerton?
Here's the bad news. With Season 2 only just hitting our screens, it's likely that it'll be a long wait before we get to see the magic of #Polin. With production to return mid-year, it's possible that we may see their love story unfold in early 2023. Season 4 has also been confirmed already, with Shonda Rhimes saying that she'd like to adapt all eight books from the series.