*Warning: This article contains spoilers for Bridgerton season 3 part 2.*


After a month-long wait, the second half of Bridgerton season 3 is now upon us and as well as navigating the impending nuptials of Penelope (Nicola Coughlan) and Colin (Luke Newton), there's plenty of other storylines to dig into in the new episodes.

Not least, the matter of Benedict Bridgerton (Luke Thompson) and his newfound relationship with Lady Tilley Arnold (Hannah New). Although the older Bridgerton son meets Lady Tilley in the first half of season 3, fans have since been enjoying Benedict's queer storyline in part 2 as he explores his sexuality with another partner, Paul Suarez (Lucas Aurelio).

Speaking about having the opportunity to explore his character's sexuality in part 2, Thompson told Bustle: "He seems to approach his feelings in a spirit of curiosity. There’s very little angst about it. It’s refreshing to see someone tackle that side of themselves without anxiety about who they are and what it means."

Lucas Aurelio as Paul Suarez, Hannah New as Lady Tilley Arnold and Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton sitting at a candlelit dinner table and laughing.
Lucas Aurelio as Paul Suarez, Hannah New as Lady Tilley Arnold and Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton in Bridgerton. Liam Daniel/Netflix

Although Benedict's sexuality has long been the subject of much fan speculation over the years, Thompson also added: "Male sexuality, particularly, can feel boxy in the way that it’s explored. Let’s be clear, it was an extremely repressive period.

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"By our modern terms, the closest [descriptor] would be something along the lines of pansexuality — being attracted to the way that someone thinks and feels, regardless of gender. That’s a word that could be used. But what’s refreshing about it, certainly in the way that it’s being discovered at the moment, is that there is a sense of labelless-ness about it."

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And Benedict isn't the only Bridgerton whose romantic developments have since sent the fanbase into an excited spiral, with the season 3 finale also giving us a glimpse of some of the romantic tension brewing between Francesca (Hannah Dodd) and Lord John Stirling's (Victor Alli) cousin, Michaela (Masali Baduza).

While only a brief glimpse at what could come in the future, Thompson said of Francesca's future love interest being Michaela, instead of Michael as in the original Julia Quinn novel: "To welcome positive, happy queer love storylines [that aren’t] all about angst or tragedy or things going wrong, it’s a really lovely thing."

Hannah Dodd as Francesca Bridgerton and Victor Alli as John Stirling walking through a garden in the middle of the night.
Hannah Dodd as Francesca Bridgerton and Victor Alli as John Stirling in Bridgerton. Liam Daniel/Netflix

The season finished on quite the high for both Bridgerton characters, with Thompson's Benedict breaking things off with Lady Tilley in favour of being "free" and thanking her for opening up his world. Similarly, Francesca rides off in a carriage with her new husband, his cousin and Eloise to live a more quiet life in the Scottish Highlands.

For now, fans have been left to wonder just which Bridgerton sibling will next take on the role of series lead but eagle-eyed fans will have picked up on the masquerade ball hint dropped by Benedict in the finale. The mention of his mother's masquerade ball is actually how Benedict's book, An Offer From a Gentleman, begins when he meets new romantic interest Sophie Beckett.

While the new series lead is yet to be confirmed, we do know that work on the new season is currently underway but that fans will just have to bide their time until it lands on our screens.

Showrunner Jess Brownell recently confirmed that season 4 won't be hitting Netflix until 2026 but admitted that "we are working to try and put the seasons out more quickly".

She told The Hollywood Reporter: "But they do take eight months to film and then they have to be edited, and then they have to be dubbed into every language.

"And then writing takes a very long time as well, so we're kind of on a two-year pace, we're trying to speed up but somewhere in the range."

Here's to waiting patiently for more Benedict Bridgerton developments, then!

Bridgerton seasons 1-3 are available to watch on Netflix now. You can buy the Bridgerton book series on Amazon.


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