season 3 skips a book to adapt a love story that only happens later in the source material, and it will miss out on a huge storyline. Shonda Rhimes has so far adapted two of Julia Quinn’s novels, which dedicate a story to each Bridgerton sibling. 's seasons 1 and 2 have followed the books’ order with Daphne Bridgerton and Simon, Duke of Hastings being the focus of season 1, and Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sharma being the focus of season 2. However, after , it was announced that season 3 would not be following book 3’s focus on Benedict Bridgerton, but instead, book 4’s, with the focus being on Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington.
Shonda Rhimes’ adaptation of the books has not been exact, with one example being Eloise’s romantic storyline with Theo Sharpe. However, these changed sub-plots have not affected the main plot of each season, and has mainly been a faithful adaptation of Quinn’s novels. The sub-plots have meant some side characters becoming more prominent, and thus more popular. It is mainly the older Bridgerton siblings who have had air time, with the younger ones still being children and featuring less in . However, season 3 is the first time Bridgertonwill be veering so far from the order of Quinn’s novels.
Book 3 of the novels is and is about Benedict’s romance with Sophie Beckett. is going to tell Penelope and Colin's love story instead. season 3 showrunner, Jess Brownell, told that they are skipping Benedict’s story because she “.”. Penelope’s love of Colin and his obliviousness to it has been building since season 1, and the season 2 finale saw Penelope overhear Colin say he would never marry her. There is the tension with them throughout that Brownell felt needed to be pushed.
Because of this build-up, Brownell recognizes how invested in the pair audiences are. Plus, diverted from the books by revealing Penelope as Lady Whistledown in season 1 and having Eloise find out Penelope’s secret at the end of season 2. These details have made everything come to an emotional head for Penelope in season 3, which is why now is the ideal time to tell her and Colin’s story. Brownell mentions how Colin has become so close to realizing Penelope’s feelings for him that season 3 felt like the “” which means skipping Benedict’s story is worth it for the stages that each character is at by the end of season 2.
is inspired by , and Quinn introduces Sophie Beckett, the illegitimate daughter of an Earl, who is reduced to maid work by her stepmother and step-sisters after the Earl’s death. Sophie meets Benedict after sneaking into a masquerade ball but has to leave at midnight and Benedict never finds out Sophie’s identity. Benedict is hung up on the mystery woman but unknowingly meets her again, two years later, this time as a housemaid. Benedict is drawn to Sophie and is compelled to rescue her from her awful living situation, yet he is still determined to marry the mystery woman.
After being unable to deny his feelings for Sophie, but being scared about marrying a different social class and breaking his vow to marry the mystery woman, he proposes that Sophie becomes his mistress. Sophie refuses as she does not want her children to carry the same illegitimate title that she did. When Benedict finally finds out Sophie’s identity, he is angry, and she leaves the Bridgerton household. Unfortunately, her stepmother accuses her of being a thief. The Bridgertons find out Sophie is in prison through Lady Whistledown and save her, and Benedict and Sophie soon marry. An epilogue reveals they have at least four children.
It is unknown whether , especially as Eloise is becoming more popular and audiences are keen to know who she ends up with. Completely skipping Benedict’s story will stray far from the books and leave a lot of fans unhappy, but may also folder his story into season 3 in a lesser way. Eloise’s story includes a big time jump, so it would be extremely difficult to return to Benedict’s story if does decide to dedicate season 4 to Eloise. However, Benedict’s story includes a two-year time jump as well, so it is possible to start his story in season 3 and run it alongside Eloise’s in season 4.
So far, Bridgerton’s sub-plots have had depth without pulling from the main couple’s storyline, so Benedict’s story could be properly told this way. However, Benedict could meet Sophie in season 3 and then start season 4 just after the two-year time jump. Having season 4 dedicated to Benedict would allow to keep Eloise as the young, independent woman she is. Also, it would give a chance for more of a story with Theo before the events of her book. Eloise is arguably the main character of the entire series, so creating her season too early could mean her character becomes less important afterward, which would go against her popularity.