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Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury in Bridgerton

Bridgerton Season 2 Just Cast A Very Important New Character

Papa Bridgerton is in the house.

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Netflix

Netflix's Bridgerton Season 1 took streaming by storm. One month after its premiere, the series became Netflix's most-watched show, reaching 82 million viewers as of Jan. 27, 2021. With that kind of debut, a Bridgerton Season 2 renewal was practically assured, even before Netflix formally announced a second installment is on its way.

Bridgerton is the second title to arrive from Shonda Rhimes' Netflix division after November's hit documentary, Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker. Considering Rhimes' contract with Netflix still has several more years on it, renewing Bridgerton for a second (and maybe even third, fourth, etc.) season was probably always in the cards, even if the show hadn't been the smash hit it turned out to be.

Most series have to wait a full 30 days before Netflix makes the call to renew or cancel. Netflix stuck close to that model in renewing Bridgerton, with the announcement coming 27 days after Season 1 arrived on Christmas Day. (Ironically, the announcement landed right around the time when the traditional London season starts!) As spring rolls in, filming is underway for Season 2. Here's what we know about the second season so far:

Warning: Spoilers for Bridgerton Season 1 follow.

Bridgerton Season 2 Renewal
Netflix

Oh yes, there will be more Bridgerton. On Jan. 21, 2021, Netflix announced Bridgerton Season 2 is officially a go. The news came in the form of a missive from Lady Whistledown herself (naturally), revealing the "incomparable cast" will return to production in the spring of 2021.

The cast is raring to go, too. Even though the series hasn't totally spelled out what the second season will cover, Phoebe Dynevor, who plays Daphne, already dropped hints. Speaking to Elle, she said her character is ready for revenge on Anthony for meddling in her love life in Season 1.

"I want to see Daphne get involved in Anthony's love life a bit, as he sort of meddled with hers quite a lot," she said. "I think that will be fun."

On March 28, actor Adjoa Andoh, who shot to fame as Lady Danbury, posted a behind the scenes picture to commemorate the beginning of Season 2 filming. Can the 1810s version of Charlie's Angels pull off another matchmaking scheme?

'Bridgerton' Season 2 Cast
Netflix

As for who will return in Season 2, fans assume the full Bridgerton family will be back, including Francesca, who spent nearly all of Season 1 offscreen. The Featheringtons (minus their late father) are also poised to come back; after all, Portia still has three daughters to marry off. With Rupert Young (Merlin) cast in a "major new role" on the series, could the Featheringtons have a new man in their lives?

But the big news is Anthony's new love interest now that Siena seems to have shown him the door. On Feb. 15, 2021, Netflix revealed Season 2's leading love interest for the eldest Bridgerton sibling, Kate, will be played by Simone Ashley. Ashley is best known on this side of the pond for Netflix's Sex Education, on which she plays Olivia, one of the school's "Untouchables." According to Deadline, her character, Kate Sharma, will be "newly arrived" in London starting in Season 2. In April, Deadline reported her younger sister, Edwina, will be played by newcomer Charithra Chandran. Their mother, Lady Mary, will be played by Shelley Conn (Liar).

Along with these additions also comes Calam Lynch, who fans will know from Derry Girls. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he's playing Theo Sharpe, a hardworking printer's assistant who turns out to be another unlikely love interest for one of the characters.

Another newcomer on the show will be Charmed star, Rupert Evans, who will play the late father of the Bridgerton children, Edmund Bridgerton. Deadline announced Evans would be joining the cast on May 28. For a refresher, Edmund passed away at 38 from an allergic reaction to a bee sting, which forced Anthony to become viscount at 18. It’s clear that Evans will appear as Edmund in flashbacks (probably Anthony’s). If that’s the case, fans will likely get a glimpse at young Violet as well. Violet’s younger self will also appear in the young Queen Charlotte limited series.

Evans tweeted the news on May 28, joking, “If it’s in @deadline then it’s happening.” It appears Evans’ Edmund Bridgerton is currently only slated for one episode of Season 2, so you’ll need to wait to find out if they opt to give him even more time on screen.

But with additions come subtractions. The biggest is Regé-Jean Page, who will not be back for Season 2. As devastating as this departure is, it kinda makes sense if you look at the source material. The books tend to focus directly on the Bridgerton siblings themselves, with their love interests only appearing in the novels in which they marry into the family. The Netflix series has changed that up in a few places, but Page's exit suggests that, overall, it plans to stick to that format.

As for other departures, the queen's nephew, Prince Friedrich, will probably stay in Prussia, since he didn't marry Daphne. And then there's Colin, who declared he would be going overseas. Could he be next season's Francesca, spending almost the whole season abroad?

'Bridgerton' Season 2 Plot
Netflix

Season 1's romance was a reasonably faithful adaptation of Daphne's story from the book The Duke & I. Fans might assume Season 2 would naturally follow Anthony's romance from its sequel, The Viscount Who Loved Me.

But although Season 1 stuck to the novel, there are already changes popping up when it comes to Season 2. The second book opens one year later, in 1814, at the start of the new social season. Anthony has decided he's marrying and picked his target: The newly-debuted Sheffield daughter, Edwina, the year's "diamond of the first water." There's just one problem: her overprotective sister, Kate, who at 28 is a confirmed spinster and determined not to see her baby sister married to a jerk who sleeps around.

For Netflix's Bridgerton Season 2, the 1814 timeline and the focal switch from Daphne to Anthony seem to be happening. But Kate's backstory is already being altered, as the show has changed the character to be of Indian descent, with the surname of Sharma instead of Sheffield. Instead of being an old hand to the ballroom scene, ignored for years by the men of the ton, this Kate is newly moved to London.

That changes the dynamics between Kate and Anthony for the better. The novel glosses over how Kate has spent a decade getting passed over for marriage while Anthony ignored the marriage mart until it was convenient. But Anthony's high-handedness in Season 1 made him a rather unpopular figure with viewers. Removing that angle will make his sudden "discovery" of Kate, who has been sitting there the whole time, less problematic. Keeping Edwina as Anthony's first choice also keeps how much Kate and Anthony are alike in protecting their younger siblings (past the point of effectiveness).

Now all fans need to know is if the show will also keep Kate's corgi pup Newton. Lady Whistledown might call the dog a "mutt of indeterminate breeding," but book readers are quite attached to the animal, almost as much as he is attached to his mistress.

'Bridgerton' Season 2 Theories
Netflix

But what of the rest of the cast? One of the highlights of Bridgerton Season 1 was the show's ability to turn Daphne's romance into a rollicking ensemble, with multiple side plots pulled from the backstories of novels that come later in the Bridgerton book series. Fans are hoping the same will be said for Season 2. Regé-Jean Page might be out, but hopefully the rest of the ensemble feel remains.

Other questions still remain for a second season to address: How much of Lady Whistledown will be in Season 2? Will Eloise continue her sleuthing? How will the queen react to Eloise spoiling her Whistledown trap?

One also assumes there will be more focus on Benedict, whose own romance is the subject of Book 3, meaning he could be the protagonist of potential Season 3 of the Netflix show. How his affair with Mme. Delacroix proceeds will be one to watch.

'Bridgerton' Season 2 Premiere Date
Netflix

There's no premiere date as of yet for Bridgerton Season 2. But with no installment of The Crown planned for 2021, wouldn't a new season of Bridgerton be perfect for the coming holiday season?