Bridgerton season 2 hits Netflix on March 25, and as it’s one of our most anticipated TV shows of 2022, we’re breaking down the trailer and cross referencing it with the novel to bring you a very close look at what’s in store for the Bridgerton family this season.
If the several million views of the new trailer in only a few days are any indication, the world is more than ready for Bridgerton season 2, and I know that I’m far from the only one who has watched the clip countless times in order to wring every bit of nuance out of it as possible.
Following the same formula as the novels by Julia Quinn, Bridgerton season 2 will focus on a new sibling, and this year, it’s time for Viscount Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) to find love. The finale of Bridgerton season 1 presented Anthony’s decision to dispassionately marry and produce an heir in part as a reaction to the end of his disastrous relationship with Siena Rosso (Sabrina Bartlett), the opera singer who became his mistress.
For those who want to remain in the dark going into Bridgerton season 2, turn back now. Abundant book spoilers ahead.
What isn’t yet apparent in Bridgerton the show is the emotional issue around which everything revolves for Anthony in his book, The Viscount Who Loved Me. When his beloved father dies suddenly at the age of 38 after being stung by a bee, Anthony is so shattered that he convinces himself if such an incredible man did not make it past the age of 38, Anthony himself will not live past that age either.
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He’s so sure of his imminent death in a few short years that when it comes to choosing a wife there’s no need for pesky things like feelings to get involved, especially after having his heart broken. So although he’s not romantically interested in her at all, he decides that diamond of the season Edwina Sharma (Charithra Chandran) will do. But Edwina’s elder sister Kate (Simone Ashley) is dead set against such a notorious rake getting anywhere near her family.
It seems as if Bridgerton season 2 is going to follow the spirit of the The Viscount Who Loved Me very closely, although a feature on actress Simone Ashley in Glamour states that there’s “a dramatic departure in episode three from the book,” so Bridgerton season 2 is also still going to be very much its own entity. I combed through this trailer frame by frame looking for everything to analyze, and while the urge to take screenshots of every second was strong, I refrained and only stuck to the moments that really demanded to be broken down.
If Anthony thought he was going to be able to go about this finding a suitable wife business subtly, his mother Violet (Ruth Gemmell) absolutely and instantaneously vaporizes that hope by loudly announcing his plan to a crowded ballroom, and she’s clearly not sorry about it. Her main goal in life is to see her children married; she was successful last season, and she clearly has every intention of going two for two.
Anthony’s relationship with his mother is fascinating to me. Teasing what I anticipate will be one of my favorite scenes of Bridgerton season 2, there are a few shots in the trailer of Anthony and Violet talking about how closed off he became after his father’s death. Edmund Bridgerton (Rupert Evans) dying suddenly and Anthony having to take over and assume all the responsibilities of being head of the family was always going to change things between Violet and her eldest son, and while in the books her motivations are much more straightforward — she wants her children to marry for love — things are a bit more complicated in the show.
In Bridgerton season 1, it’s clear that finding a true love match is what she wants for Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor), so much so that she’s disappointed that Daphne might marry a literal prince because she’s so convinced that Simon (Regé-Jean Page) is the better match for her daughter. At the same time, she gives Anthony lists of random debutants and throws girls in his path at parties, seemingly uncaring that his heart is clearly engaged elsewhere.
A man in Anthony’s position was never going to be able to marry a woman like Siena, but there were times when Violet seemed a bit unfairly dismissive of her son’s feelings. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, because it makes her a more realistic and well rounded character, but she and Anthony are due for a true heart to heart, hopefully one that leads to a closer bond between them, and all the better if it not only helps Anthony heal from the wounds of his past, but also allows him to have a happier future at the same time.
That future is about to roll into London. Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh), who will be hosting the Sharmas — their last name has been changed for the show, it’s Sheffield in the book — in her home, introduces Mary (Shelley Conn), Kate, and Edwina to the Queen (Golda Rosheuvel). Kate and Edwina look beautiful in their first closeup solo shots of the trailer, which showcase their personalities perfectly — Kate with a hint of a sardonic grin and Edwina with a sweet smile. As in the book, at first Anthony sets his sights on Edwina.
He debonairly leads her to the dance floor, which seems to please Queen Charlotte. She was also pleased last season when it seemed her nephew was going to marry Daphne, and it would be a fun running gag if the Queen always backed the wrong couple. Who’s she going to want to see Benedict (Luke Thompson) with in season 3, only to have the rug pulled out from under her yet again when he ends up with Sophie Beckett instead?
Kate is not about to let things between Edwina and Anthony go any further than dancing. She loves her little sister and isn’t about to watch her get hurt. Kate, Edwina, and Mary have been a tight little until for years, and God help the man who tries to disrupt that.
As soon as the trailer was released many fans were quick to point out a beautiful Sharma family moment — a Haldi Ceremony!
It’s an Indian pre-wedding tradition where turmeric, oil, and water are applied to the skin to make it glowing and healthy. So Edwina will presumably end up hitched, just not to Anthony. We all love a passionate romance, but Kate and Edwina’s relationship will be the other big love story of the season, and rightfully so.
Lord and (the eventual) Lady Bridgerton
The enemies to lovers energy is strong with Anthony and Kate, and while that’s a trope that I think gets used a bit too often, I’m nothing if not a contrarian, so it’s also one that I fall for every single time.
I just re-read The Viscount Who Loved Me, my favorite book in the Bridgerton series, knowing full well that the adaptation is always different but nevertheless wanting to reimagine all the best moments between these two now that we know how well Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley will play off of each other.
The trailer really does perfectly portray all their different facets as a couple. They smirk at each other while Kate shuts a door in Anthony’s face, he tells her that his honor “is hanging by a thread that grows more precarious with every moment in your presence,” they dance together when Anthony isn’t wearing gloves to act as a barrier between his hands and her bare skin. It’s scandalous, sweet, and sexy all at the same time.
Speaking of hands, I was delighted by a nod to one of my favorite movies, the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice. Anthony and Kate’s pinkies reaching out for each other is one of those moments that make people love Regency romance, and when their hands actually touch (see our header image!) it’s so electric that they can’t take it, causing Anthony to tackle a man and end up falling off a pier and emerging from the water soaking wet, in a reference to another well-loved version of Pride and Prejudice. Just gaze upon this triptych of Anthony barreling towards the water.
It’s everything that I hoped for from this fan favorite scene from the book, and how fortuitous for Kate as well as the audience that when he got dressed on the morning of this outing Anthony decided to don his finest tissue paper shirt. Kate chiding Edwina for staring and then going on to stare even more openly herself is some relatable stuff.
Things will get really crazy when the Sharmas show up at the Bridgertons’ country home, Aubrey Hall. As they arrive we finally, finally get to see the true star of Bridgerton season 2 in action — Newton! He’s the very best boy and is protective of his mama, so he’s not here for viscounts who would toy with her feelings. He’s perfect, and he deserves his own spin off.
It’s at Aubrey Hall that the battle is well and truly on between Kate and Anthony. In what is perhaps the most highly anticipated of all the highly anticipated scenes, the Bridgertons will unleash their insane competitiveness, and more importantly Anthony and Kate will banter with each other mercilessly during a game of pall mall. In the book this is more than just a game, it’s the point at which Anthony and Kate’s relationship really begins to tilt on its axis.
It seems as if the competition will continue in the form of shooting, a new addition for Bridgerton. I’m not a gun expert by any means, but I think having your eyes closed while your finger is on the trigger of a loaded rifle is a bit of a no-no. However, this shot of them is incredibly sexy, which transcends everything else when it comes to a romance.
As we know, Anthony and Kate will be engaged by the time their trip to Aubrey Hall is over. Spot that mark near Kate’s collarbone in the screenshot below. That means the infamous bee sting has already happened, which makes this conversation the one where Kate tells Edwina “I know he’s been courting you but it turns out I’m going to be the one to marry Anthony because he was caught publicly with his head buried in my chest while he tried to suck venom out of me” moment. Who among us hasn’t had that conversation with their sister, am I right?
I would be remiss if I didn’t point out THE LIBRARY. If you’ve read the book then you’re already losing your mind over this scene. Countless analyses of every second of it will surely span the entire internet once the season drops, and rightly so. The lighting alone is stunning, and these shots made my heart beat faster in anticipation more than any other moment in the trailer.
Because the writers clearly know the Bridgerton fanbase, they realized that seeing Anthony get all wet once was simply not enough, and so there are several shots of him riding furiously through the rain chasing after Kate, in a scene that will most likely stand in for the carriage accident scene at the end of The Viscount Who Loved Me.
It’s all in keeping with the very first bit of footage we ever saw of Bridgerton season 2, the first look clip from Netflix’s TUDUM event, where Anthony finds the elder Sharma sister outside at a society party and clearly recognizes her from a previous equine related encounter. What is he to do but unleash a charm offensive? Surrounded by beautiful firelight, Kate proceeds to knock Anthony down about fifty pegs.
Everything we all love about this couple is on full display. A man like Lord Bridgerton behaving in such a way would be insufferable without a worthy opponent, and Kate is exactly that. She rebukes him about openly discussing all the qualities he wants in a wife like they’re simply items on a checklist, and Anthony is astonished at being called out. When Kate advances forward and really starts to lay into him, the sheer force of her distaste makes him physically step back, something fans picked up on immediately. They just can’t help but have a strong reaction to one another.
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Bridgerton season 2 may well and truly belong to Kate and Anthony, but the trailer also teased us with glimpses about what some of the other characters we love might be getting up to in the coming episodes.
Daphne and Baby Basset
The Duchess of Hastings is not about to let her brother find a wife without her help, especially after Anthony was oh so involved in her search for a husband in Bridgerton season 1. How the tables have turned, Anthony. There are also a few shots of Daphne and Simon’s sweet little baby, and it’s a small detail, but I’m curious to see what his name will be. In the books the Bassets’ first child is a girl, Amelia, but in the show Daphne gives birth to a baby boy. The only thing we know for sure is that his name will begin with the letter A. Andrew? Maybe Alexander?
Anthony isn’t the only Bridgerton on the marriage market in 1814. His sister Eloise (Claudia Jessie) makes her debut this same year, and we know from Bridgerton season 1 that she isn’t at all looking forward to it. While her sister Daphne’s concern was finding the right husband, Eloise doesn’t yet want a husband at all. By the time Eloise meets her leading man in the fifth book in the Bridgerton series (To Sir Phillip, With Love) she has turned down six marriage proposals, so hopefully some screen time will be spent on Eloise sending at least a few unwitting suitors packing.
While she may not want to find a husband, it seems Eloise may find herself with a little bit of a crush in the form of printing shop assistant Theo Sharpe (Calam Lynch), which is a storyline I’d really like for her. In Bridgerton season 1, Eloise was presented as the sister with the most modern sensibilities — she laments that women are not given equal education and opportunities, is livid that their only options in life are getting married and having babies or living at home forever, and she loves that Lady Whistledown is a woman making a name for herself and earning her own money.
But that also led to her sometimes being dismissive of the women in her life. She’s insensitive to the situation her best friend Penelope (Nicola Coughlan) is in — because of her family’s financial situation, Eloise will remain financially secure even if she never marries, while Penelope will not. She also doesn’t seem to value that Daphne’s greatest desire in life is to become a wife and mother. While her own great love won’t come along for some time, realizing that it’s possible to have romantic feelings and desires while still remaining a strong, intelligent, and independent woman will do Eloise some good.
Even though the Ton remains in the dark, now that the audience knows that Penelope Featherington is Lady Whistledown, some of Bridgerton season 2 will also be dedicated to how she continues to evade detection. Easy to spot in the trailer — because of the red hair and because her mother still insists on always dressing her in yellow — we see her whip up the corner of a rug to either retrieve or hide something in the floor. There’s also a concerning moment with Penelope and Colin (Luke Newton) where she looks very upset. These two still have a while to go before they end up together, and I hope Bridgerton doesn’t put them through the ringer too much until season 4.
The trailer’s parting shot is of Queen Charlotte, who, upon being told that her idea to entrap Lady Whistledown is genius, replies “Yes, that is why I thought of it.” That’s the energy and attitude I want to bring to everything I do in life from this point forward, including when I inevitably decide to watch this new season on constant repeat for the first week after its release.
Thanks to Queen Charlotte for the inspiration because I, along with the rest of the Bridgerton fandom, are waiting with bated breath like the ton awaiting the latest issue of Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers to see how all the characters we love so much make it through the 1814 social season when Bridgerton season 2 makes its debut in just a few short days.
‘Bridgerton’ season 2 comes to Netflix on March 25.
This article was written by Subjectify contributor Jamie Whitebread. Find her on Twitter at @jamiewhitebread.