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Benedict and Lady Tilley Arnold in \'Bridgerton\' Season 3 Part 1
Benedict and Lady Tilley Arnold in \'Bridgerton\' Season 3 Part 1
Culture > Entertainment

Benedict’s Got A New Love Interest In ‘Bridgerton’ Season 3, But Are They Endgame?

Spoiler warning: Spoilers for Bridgerton Season 3 Part 1 and An Offer From a Gentleman follow.

Bridgerton may be based on Julia Quinn’s book series of the same name, but Netflix certainly isn’t afraid to rewrite some pages. For example, readers only find out that Penelope is Lady Whistledown in the fourth book, but viewers have been in the know since Season 1. Also, Kate Sharma is called Kate Sheffield in The Viscount Who Loved Me but was given a whole new backstory and heritage in Bridgerton Season 2 (a win for representation!). And if Season 3 is any indication, it looks like Benedict Bridgerton’s love story might be getting a very different ending.

Each Bridgerton book and season centers on a different Bridgerton sibling’s love story. The first two seasons of the show went in the same order as the books: Daphne’s story first, then Anthony’s. Julia Quinn fangirls expected Benedict’s story to take center stage in Season 3 given that his book is the next in the series. However, Netflix shocked everyone by announcing that Colin and Penelope’s story (which is the focus of the fourth book) would serve as the main plot of the third season. But don’t worry, Benedict is still in Season 3 — and he’s got a new love interest. 

Viewers are introduced to a no-nonsense, intellectual widow named Lady Tilley Arnold in episode three. She and Benedict are interested in each other, but she makes it clear that she’s in no hurry to find her next husband. That doesn’t stop her from dancing and flirting with him in public, though. There’s definitely chemistry between them, but does that mean they’re endgame?

According to the books, the answer is no. In Benedict’s story, An Offer from a Gentleman, he ends up with a housemaid named Sophie Beckett. In fact, Lady Tilley Arnold doesn’t exist in Quinn’s books at all. Her appearance in Season 3 could serve one of two purposes: to remind viewers that Benedict’s still around while keeping the bench warm for Sophie’s eventual arrival, or to replace Sophie as Benedict’s ultimate match.

Lady Tilley Arnold In \'Bridgerton\' Season 3

Whether she becomes Lady Tilley Bridgerton all depends on whether Netflix is planning to give Benedict his own season. By skipping his story to make Season 3 about Polin, Eloise and Francesca’s stories (in that order) should be up next. There’s no doubt that fans want to see Benedict dominate the screen, but Netflix has spent more time developing Eloise’s and Francesca’s characters rather than his. They could be introducing Lady Tilley Arnold to give Benedict some character development before making him the star of Season 4. After all, it’s hard to care about a character you hardly know.

The alternative possibility (stay with me, Benedict girlies) is that Netflix might be using Lady Arnold to tie up Benedict’s arc with a loose bow and skip straight to Eloise and Francesca’s seasons. I, for one, don’t want to see that happen, and not just because his Bridgerton glow-up is going to be one for the history books. An Offer From a Gentleman’s Cinderella-esque plot is exactly what Bridgerton needs to add a new kind of romance to the mix. Eloise and Francesca can wait a little longer — Netflix needs to give Benedict his time to shine.

Fabiana Beuses is an entertainment journalist at Her Campus, where she interviews celebrities and professionally fangirls over pop culture phenomena. She previously served as the Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus at FSU and as Her Campus' Summer 2023 Entertainment & Culture Intern. She graduated from Florida State University with double majors in Media/Communication Studies and English (Editing, Writing, and Media) and a minor in Film Studies. When she's not polishing her latest article, you can find her browsing bookstore aisles, taste-testing vanilla lattes around town, or rewatching the Harry Potter series for the millionth time.