There’s no doubt about it: Bridgerton was a huge hit for Netflix in 2020. It comes as no surprise, then, that the staff of Fangirlish are already looking forward to future seasons, curious to see the love stories of each member of our favorite family play out. In this spoiler-free roundtable, we discuss what we want to see in each character’s love stories in the future. Leave a comment below and join our discussion!
All of the Bridgerton Boys are dumb in their own ways, but our primary Dumb Bridgerton Boy has to be Anthony. What did you think of the love story he had with Siena this season, and what do you want to see for him next year? How do you think his story with Siena set him up for his own love story?
Lizzie: Oh, my dear emotionally constipated baby. I really do like Anthony, because I remember reading his book and feeling an instant connection to the burdens he bears, and also truly enjoying how open he was with his grief, and how much that determined who he was. It’s rare that books – even romance ones – allow men to be as vulnerable as Anthony was about something NOT love related, so he will always hold a special place in my heart for that.
As for Siena …Siena who? I mean, fine …I think Siena served a purpose. I don’t particularly think it was love, she didn’t know him, he didn’t know her, and they never even tried to get to know each other beyond the physical, you know? What Anthony needs, and what people who’ve read the books know he will find, is a partner. Siena was never gonna be that, not just because he didn’t allow her to be, but because she wasn’t looking for that either. And by mutual decision, the relationship could never be more than what it ended up being, neither of them let it.
But the setup works because now he knows the difference. He thinks he knows what love, or caring for a woman romantically is, and then …then he will find out how very wrong he is. And hopefully we’ll get to express the difference, out loud. Because what I want for him in season 2 is an equal relationship, a partnership, someone he respects and trusts with his darkest fears and his happiest wishes, and someone who, in turn, can trust in him in the same way. He needs to find his best friend if he’s gonna marry her, as per his mother’s advice, after all.
Raquel: I hated them together. There is no way to smooth it out. I mean, I knew it was necessary because Anthony had to become the head of the family that he was supposed to be, he had to grow up, and with that growth, he had to realize that what he felt for Siena was not love.
He thought so because he just doesn’t know what love is, he has never felt it and that was the strongest he felt for someone … but it was just obsession, a toxic relationship. When he really knows love with Kate, he will realize that what he felt for Siena was not even a tenth of what he feels for Kate … and he will really know love. So he also needed this toxic relationship with Siena to be aware, when the time comes, of how much he loves Kate and to know how to recognize that feeling.
So that’s what I hope for him in season 2. That he really knows love with Kate.
Julie: Oh Anthony, the annoying fool that we love. I think they went extra hard on making us annoyed by him this season so that we can see him get his ass handed to him by Kate in the next. The storyline with Siena is a complicated one, to be sure. While I don’t want them to be together, there were times I did feel bad for her because of the way he treated her.
Anthony is that guy that breaks up with a girl, but is not cool with her being with someone else. Remember that Anthony essentially made her homeless in the beginning when he stopped “taking care of her,” but still went back for sex. It’s just not cool, all around.
I do think that he’s finally in a place at the end where he is ready to settle down, but he’s a fool to believe he won’t fall in love. Our boy is not going to know what hits him when Kate rolls up on the scene.
Jade: I love Anthony. I really do. I may love him more in the first season than I did in Daphne’s novel. But, man, he is a Dumb Boy. And while I wasn’t terribly invested in his “love” story with Sienna, I guess I get why they put it in the show. For one thing, they wanted to show that there’s more going on under the surface than one would think, given his determination to wed Daphne to someone she didn’t love. He’s also someone who almost always does what’s best for the family, and the one time he tries to break free of that, it doesn’t go well for him. Without that, he might have seemed to genuinely just not care about Daphne, to be so convinced he knew better than she did.
I also think it sets up his romantic story next season, with him not necessarily looking for love but intent upon building a relationship that’s predicated on something else. I mean, those who have read the book know the reason he’s the way he is, but they might have thought that wouldn’t justify a season long of internal conflict. Sometimes things just play better in books than they come across in a visual medium. So I get it. I just never cared that much.
Benedict didn’t really have a love story in the first season. He had an orgy. Do you think he’s ready to engage in his own love story yet, or does he have some growing yet to do? How would you like his character to develop next season (assuming he will be the focus of a presumed Season 3)?
Lizzie: I don’t think he’s ready, but I don’t think we need him to be. I think what he had to learn this season is to be more open, and though I believe the show could have gone a bit deeper into the reasons why Benedict, of all people, could learn that, sometimes, it’s not about adhering to what society wants (or expects) of you, but about what makes you happy, I can’t say I hate that they made it very clear that he’d be the one to choose happiness above everything else, no matter the consequences.
Next season, he needs to go deeper. Especially since they already started on this journey, I think they need to make sure Benedict doesn’t just start to entertain these ideas when he meets Sophie. This is who he is – not who he is because of her. Not saying that the book made it seem otherwise, but I think the show has the advantage of a lot more time to make that exceedingly clear.
Raquel: I think he still has things to do and explore. Benedict loves to paint, he is an artist and it remains to be seen what happens with that — something I would like to see in the next season — and where his passion takes him. He also has to test his limits in terms of his love and sexual relationships to get to know himself until he finds the right person.
Julie: I love Benedict! He is so loving and creative, and I can’t wait to see more of him. His relationship with Eloise was one of my favorites on the show. I think that Benedict is just dipping his toes into discovering who he is. He is learning a valuable lesson in being open to different types of people and doing what’s best for him instead of what society expects of him. I think though that he is a little lost right now. In the future he will probably continue to live that party lifestyle until he realizes he can’t find fulfillment in it. Enter Sophie. He has to get to that place where he is ready to fall in love and be with one person, and I think it will be a while before he gets there.
Jade: I don’t think he’s ready to embrace his love story, and that’s okay. It isn’t his turn just yet. I do think that the first season set him up to be a bit of a romantic, who throws himself into things wholeheartedly. And perhaps a little rashly. And who may not entirely know how to process his own emotions. He threw himself into the orgy. He threw himself into the relationship with the seamstress. Really, knowing what’s coming in his love story…well, let’s just say that what they did with his character in the first season totally laid the internal groundwork for what’s coming.
For those who have read the books, Penelope’s crush on Colin – and his obliviousness – weren’t a surprise, but they were somewhat painful to watch. Do you think Colin has feelings for Penelope that he doesn’t realize? Are you rooting for these two to get together, or do you want Penelope to move on and find someone who truly sees her?
Lizzie: I don’t think Colin has feelings for Penelope he doesn’t realize, I think he knows she’s his friend – I just think he hasn’t really considered what her being his friend means. She’s a casual friend, someone he has never paid much attention to, and he doesn’t understand that he typically gets to see a side of her others don’t. So, of course, he would consider their relationship to be more superficial than it is, whereas Penelope understands that Colin has seen more of her than others have even tried.
Had I not read their book I might have been like – Penelope, girl, you deserve better. But I have a couple of scenes in my head of Colin literally screaming from the rooftops how amazing and beautiful Penelope is, so I can’t really shake that, and I just want him to get there. To finally open his eyes and see what was there the whole time. I don’t think it’s about seeing feelings that were always there, it’s about opening his eyes to the foundation that was always there, which will allow the feelings to just flare up.
Part of me, however, hopes it doesn’t take as long as in the books. I don’t want to see Penelope suffer for so long.
Raquel: I think Colin feels more for Penelope than he thinks or allows himself to think. She has always been there, she has been his friend, his confidant, she is … he knows her so much (or he thinks he knows her because he really doesn’t know her at all), that familiarity does not let him see further and thinks that he loves her as a friend, as a sister … but we don’t realize what we have until we lose it so I think Colin needs to see that Penelope won’t always be there because she has a life of her own and she’s not going to wait for him lifetime.
Make no mistake, I’m here for #Polin because I love them but I think Colin needs to wake up and react so I’m also here to see him crazy with jealousy as he realizes that Penelope slips through his fingers and that he feels more for her than he ever thought.
Julie: Colin is completely oblivious, which is going to make that moment he realizes how much he loves Penelope all the sweeter. He does know that she is important to him. He knows that he enjoys laughing with her at society events, wants to spend time with her over society’s mean girls, and values her opinion. But he doesn’t realize what that all means yet. As many people repeated to him throughout the series, Colin is still very young and naive. I think getting his heart broken by Marina made him grow up a bit, and he will travel and be jaded for a while until one day he will notice Penelope has been there the whole time. He’s not ready for all the wonderfulness that is Penelope Featherington. But one day he will be.
Jade: Colin may honestly be the most out-of-touch with his feelings of all the Bridgerton boys, and that is saying something. I don’t think he really knows how he feels about her, but he’s also just so young emotionally. He was ready to jump into marriage without a second thought, and as romantic as that is, I don’t think either he nor Marina would have been very happy together, in the end. So it’s okay that he doesn’t see his feelings for Penelope yet, because I don’t know that he’d know what to do with his feelings if he did. However, I adore Pen, so it does rather break my heart. I know she won’t, but part of me wishes she would have another flirtation for a bit, until Colin’s ready to see what’s right in front of him. If only because it breaks my heart that she’s so amazing and – for the moment, at least – so heartbreakingly invisible.
Eloise is a clear fan favorite, but she’s not eager to join the Marriage Mart. It’s safe to say, with her aversion to the expectations put on her by Society, she won’t have the same kind of love story as Daphne did. (Daphne is more accepting of the role she is expected to play.) What are you hoping to see from her love story?
Lizzie: Trick question, as I already know what we’re going to see from her story, and what I want is …actually, what we get, but more. The thing with Eloise is that she’s not the typical character, or the typical woman of that time period, so to expect the typical love story would be to expect her to be someone other than who she is.
So I expect her to take the reins, more than other women would. I expect her to make what she wants clear. I expect her to be impulsive, and to be surprised and charmed, and I expect her to discover that, even for her, that are still things that can be learned, and the mystery of love is one of those. But I don’t expect Eloise to be a passive participant in her own happiness, no. Nor would I want her to. Eloise, for better or worse, takes matters into her own hands.
More importantly, I expect her to be the one to tell her brothers what they can do with their opinions on how she decides to live her life. I really want that.
Raquel: I hope that she is as fighter as ever and that she finds someone who not only accepts both her way of thinking and acting but also loves her for it and helps her, who supports her and is always there in the way she needs. But I also want her to realize that love is part of life and that loving, getting married and having children does not automatically mean losing your freedom, cutting your wings and ceasing to be yourself, if not the opposite, especially if you find the right person.
Julie: I already know Eloise’s story as well, but I do hope in the meantime before we get to it, she continues to subvert the expectations placed on her. In the next season or so, we will see her make her society debut. She had a brief taste of it for Daphne’s ball and HATED everything about it. I think that it may be used for comedic relief in upcoming seasons, but I hope they still continue to capture the truth about how limited women’s options were back then.
Eloise deserves to be happy, and to do it on her own terms. If anyone tries to force her into a marriage like Daphne almost had with Berbrooke, all hell will break loose. If we thought things were tense with Lady B and Daphne this season, it’s about to get even more so between Eloise and her mother. Eloise is coming into the ton like a wrecking ball, and I pity any poor fool who stands in her way.
Jade: I can’t wait for her love story. Not just because I know what’s coming in her future, but because I think her character is an interesting counterpoint to Daphne’s. Both women wanted to take charge of their future in their own ways, but Daphne was willing to do so within the confines of Society’s expectations. Eloise wants none of that. The person who catches Eloise’s attention is going to have to engage her mind first, before anything else. And given how witty and perceptive she is, that’s going to take some doing. Hers won’t be a typical love story, but if they handle it well (and I certainly hope they do), it will likely be one of my favorites.
We didn’t really get to see Francesca much this season. Why do you think she was such a minor part of the season? Do you have hopes for her story, or do you even care about her at this point?
Lizzie: I think they probably thought there was little they could set up in her story, and that having them all be a focus in the first season would be a tad overwhelming. That has to absolutely change in season 2, considering that, despite Francesca being book 6, she has a previous marriage and that still needs to be set up, because it’s an important part of who Francesca is, and what her love story with Michael ends up being.
My thing is, for people who haven’t read the books – and can we talk about how different and emotional her book is? – she might seem like an afterthought, and I think that’s a miscalculation. They need to make Francesca a more present part of season 2, because even though she’s the “quiet one” we know she and Eloise, at least, got up to some mischief, and I would love to see that side of her (and Eloise!).
Raquel: I think they decided that they already had a pretty solid and complete story, with different plots for different characters that spanned all eight episodes of the show and they decided not to cover more than they could because with Francesca they couldn’t do the same thing as with the younger siblings like showing her in a few cute and familiar scenes, Francesca, being an older Bridgerton meant they had to dig a little deeper into her story and they decided that before doing it fast and bad … better wait.
As I didn’t read the books and I only have the show as a reference, Francesca really seemed lively and interesting but I don’t worry at this moment about her story, I’m not involved in it, something that I hope will change in season 2.
Julie: I think they honestly didn’t know what to do with Francesca. I think we will see a bit of her romance with her first husband in the next few seasons, but they will also probably introduce Michael around the same time. He did, after all, meet her when she was about to marry his cousin. I think it’s a good opportunity for readers to see their story happen during real time, rather than suddenly experiencing it without any backstory.
Jade: I don’t know that we saw enough of Francesca to really care about her (unless you’ve read her story – and it is mostly her story because I don’t think she plays too great a role in anyone else’s, even in the novels). And I guess that makes sense, because there were a lot of Bridgertons to set up and not a lot of time. Some of them had to take greater prominence than others. That said, I do hope they explore her character more in the second season. I actually enjoy her story, but I’d like to care about her character before her season, so I’m already rooting for her happy ending before her story even begins. Plus, while she wasn’t a huge presence in the novels leading up to her own, she had some really fun, witty moments in the scenes she was in. Particularly in Benedict’s book. I’d love to see more of that side of her.
Gregory and Hyacinth are too young to talk about their love stories for the moment. So let’s not even go there. What do you think they added to the show this season, and what would you like to see of them in the future?
Lizzie: They added a sense of family, which I think was one of the reasons this series was adapted, and one of the reasons it works so well. The Bridgerton family might be rare for the time period, but for us modern viewers they’re infinitely more relatable, and it’s easier for us to invest in people we have known for ages. Imagine when we do get to their love stories …we will have seen them grow up in front of our very eyes, and that means we will be desperate to see them happy.
So I hope we get to see more of that, them in the family dynamics. I don’t need more yet, their time for romance isn’t anywhere close. But I don’t want them pushed aside because the dynamics they make work – the family ones – are what makes the show work.
Raquel: I think thanks to them we saw cute and familiar scenes and we saw Simon and Daphne smile even in the worst moments. I think those moments helped Simon see what, in fact, a real family was, and what his life with Daphne could be like. They helped him realize that this was exactly what he wanted with her: a big family brimming with love.
Julie: I think they were essential in showing how close the Bridgerton family is, including letting the younger children eat together with the adults. This was not done in normal ton families. Personally, I loved the humor they brought to the show. I can’t wait to see more of them as their sibling’s love stories unfold and to see them grow up. I hope that by the time Colin’s story rolls around, we will see the so-far elusive Felicity Featherington so she can have a friendship with Hyacinth like Eloise and Pen have.
Jade: Like everyone else, I think they helped flesh out the idea of the Bridgertons as a family. It’s not just about getting married to suitable people or having sex with totally unsuitable people. These are a group of people who dearly love each other and would do anything for each other. They help show how the Bridgertons are not like the other families they know, that may put appearance over affection. And, honestly, I think as we get into Anthony’s story and beyond, there will be an interesting dichotomy between the eldest Bridgerton, who lives his whole live with his father’s spectre over his shoulder, and Gregory or Hyacinth, who likely remember their father little (or, in Hyacinth’s case, never got to know him at all). For the youngest Bridgertons in particular, when they think of a father figure, Anthony is probably the person who comes first to mind. And that’s going to be an interesting dynamic that I hope we see explored in future.