With the news that Season 3 of Bridgerton will focus on Penelope and Colin’s romance and production of the new season already underway, this leaves the story of Season 4 in question. In Julia Quinn’s book series, Penelope and Colin, dubbed #Polin by shippers, only became romantically involved in the fourth book, Romancing Mister Bridgerton. With the Bridgerton Netflix series jumping ahead, here are three ways Season 4 can go, depending on what the showrunners want.
1. Benedict and Sophie’s story: An Offer From a Gentleman
Of course the showrunners could simply choose to go backwards. Seeing as Benedict and Sophie’s romance was the focus of the third book, the Netflix series could choose to make their romance the main story of the fourth season. In the book, Benedict and Sophie have a very Cinderella-style introduction, with Sophie being the illegitimate daughter of an earl, with an evil stepmother and two stepsisters.
Seeing as the first season introduced all the characters and the second brought more new characters into the fold, it makes sense that the third season would focus on characters who are already present and well-known to the audience. However, after Season 3 focusing on two well-known characters, Season 4 could introduce Sophie into the mix, along with her family.
2. Eloise and Theo’s (or another male interest’s) story: To Sir Phillip, With Love
The show has already made it clear that Eloise’s romance is not going to be like her story in the book series. In Julia Quinn’s original story for Eloise, her love match was with Sir Phillip. However, in the Netflix series, he was introduced in the first season as Marina Thompson’s eventual husband. In the second season, Eloise grew to have romantic feelings for Theo, a worker at the printshop that Lady Whistledown used. However, in the finale of Season 2, Eloise rejects Theo’s advances.
It is possible that Eloise may try to reconcile her romance with Theo, but it is equally possible that she might have another love interest. Anthony Bridgerton, whose romantic story is The Viscount Who Loved Me, spent Season 1 enamoured and in love with an opera singer, Siena, only to marry Kate Sharma in the second season. While Eloise is still innocent and undefiled despite her heart having been won over by Theo, the show could choose to explore her romance in the fourth season. Eloise has had much more character development and growth than Benedict, which could prompt her to become to focus of Season 4.
The third and unlikely route the show could take would be to resume Eloise’s romance with Sir Phillip. In Julia Quinn’s book, Sir Phillip’s wife, Marina, tries to commit suicide and dies from hypothermia, leaving behind two children who need a mother. While in the Netflix show, Marina is clearly not supremely happy with her husband and her two children are biologically his niece and nephew, it is still possible that the show might revert to the story of having Eloise becoming the stepmother of Marina’s children after Marina dies.
However, the Netflix series has already made drastic changes to Anthony and Kate’s romance in the second season. It is clear that they are not too focused on following the exact plot of the books. Given that Eloise has already established as a character who cares not for the regular conventions of a woman of her rank, it would regress her character to have her marry Sir Phillip. Having Eloise be romantically involved with someone else, be it Theo or someone else, would be much more progressive for her character.
3. Francesca and Michael (and John)’s story: When He Was Wicked
Francesca is the only Bridgerton sibling to remain somewhat of a mystery to fans. In the Netflix series, she disappeared in the first season, staying with a Bridgerton aunt for most of the season, and in the second, she once again vanished after one or two episodes. The actress portraying her, Ruby Stokes, was busy with other projects and has since been recast with Hannah Dodd.
Additionally, Francesca’s romance is the only one to truly involve a love triangle. She marries her first husband, John, off-screen (even in the books), and later becomes a very young widow when he dies. With the recasting of the character, it is entirely possible that the showrunners will marry Francesca and John in Season 3 or in the hiatus between Seasons 3 and 4, only to kill John in Season 4 and start Francesca and Michael’s romance in that season. However, given the lack of screentime around the character thus far, it is far more likely that the show will proceed with Benedict or Eloise’s stories first.
Bonus: Hyacinth and Gregory’s stories
It is highly unlikely that the show will choose to delve into Hyacinth’s romance with Gareth or Gregory’s love story with Lucy in Season 4. Both actors and characters are very much younger than the rest of their siblings and in order to do so, both would have to be recast or seriously aged up. Chances of either It’s In His Kiss or On The Way to the Wedding being adapted in the fourth season are very slim, especially since there are many older Bridgerton siblings to be married off first!
With the third season having just started filming and it being released in 2023 at the earliest, it is unlikely we’ll get answers about Season 4 until next year. However, until we get more news about Season 3, read our take about how accurate (or inaccurate!) Season 2 was compared to its book counterpart!