Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Bridgerton season 2.
The Bridgerton season 2 ending neatly wraps up Anthony and Kate’s storyline, while laying the groundwork for what’s coming next in the Ton in season 3 and beyond. Bridgerton is one of Netflix’s most popular shows, with season 1’s period drama and steamy romances drawing in viewers. Luckily, there’s a lot more to come too: there are eight Bridgerton books for Netflix to adapt, and given how big a hit it is there’s a good chance all of them will happen, with seasons 3 and 4 already confirmed.
Exactly where the show goes in the future remains to be seen, not least since the show is happy to deviate away from its source material, but Bridgerton season 2’s ending does provide a strong foundation to build upon. This was in many ways Bridgerton’s biggest proof of concept, simultaneously showing that season 1 was no fluke, that it can survive the absence of its breakout star Regé-Jean Page, and that it can tell different kinds of romance stories, with Anthony and Kate’s love a switch from Daphne and Simon’s, but no less compelling.
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Similarly, Bridgerton season 2 was also a transitional year in some respects, continuing to grow its characters and push forward despite some major absentees. Where Bridgerton season 1’s ending revealed Lady Whistledown to audiences, season 2 more fully reckons with her identity, the weight of that secrecy, and what happens when the characters themselves found out. This mix of romance and scandal builds perfectly to Bridgerton season 2’s ending, a climax that connects to the show’s main themes, ties up loose ends, and sets the stage for plenty more drama to come.
Why Anthony & Kate Get Married Offscreen
Bridgerton season 2’s ending concludes, unsurprisingly, with Anthony and Kate getting married. Their attraction to, and ultimately love for, one another was impossible to ignore in the end, their passions and desires getting the better of them and Anthony finally allowing himself the chance to be truly happy. Because Bridgerton is an 1800s-set drama, then of course the romance has to quickly arrive at a marriage, such is the proper way of things even despite the rather improper origins of their relationship. Even though Anthony has chosen to go against the grain in a sense, there’s still got to be a sense of honor, but it also means their marriage is truly one of love.
What’s more surprising, perhaps, is that Anthony and Kate’s wedding occurs offscreen. Bridgerton is a glitzy period show that never shies away from a chance to put its stars in incredible costumes and dazzle with production design, making the choice not to show the wedding all the more intriguing. The onscreen wedding that was important in Bridgerton season 2 was Anthony and Edwina’s, ironically the one that didn’t happen, because it’s about him realizing his true feelings and, after that, choosing love over duty and honour (after Edwina’s own decision to not marry him). That’s what Anthony and Kate’s romance is really about, so it’s more important to show them as a happy family with the other Bridgertons than the wedding itself.
What The Bee In Bridgerton Season 2’s Final Scene Means: It’s Different To S1
The final shot of Bridgerton season 1 was a bee at the window shortly after Daphne had given birth to her and Simon’s son. Very much designed as a symbolic tease of things to come, the bee comes into greater focus in season 2, with a clear sting in the tale. A bee sting is what killed Edmund Bridgerton, father of all eight children, as shown in flashbacks during Bridgerton season 2, episode 3. That makes Bridgerton season 1’s ending tinged with tragedy, the bee an ominous sign of the past death that would come to the fore and define much of season 2, in particular the lasting impact it has had upon Anthony.
With that, the Bridgerton season 2 ending flips the bee scene from season 1. It’s not quite at the very end, for a start, but does appear at the beginning of the final scene. Whereas before it hovered menacingly, now it flies free among the flowers; it’s a mirror of what came before. If that first bee was a sign of Anthony’s traumatic past and how it would be unspooled, then the bee in Bridgerton season 2’s ending reflects how Anthony has been from that pain thanks to his love of Kate. It was a bee sting that caused him to shut himself off and refuse to love again, putting duty above all, and it was a bee sting to Kate that first truly set the spark between them, allowing him to open himself up once more. With that, it’s fitting the bee appears in the final scene here, a sense of Anthony being at peace with what happened, new love springing forth in its stead.
Why Queen Charlotte Supports Anthony & Kate’s Marriage
One of the biggest reasons Anthony and Kate’s love is allowed to flourish is Queen Charlotte, who gives her approval to the couple. It’s a marked shift in approach, given she had previously arranged the wedding between Anthony and Edwina, resulting in a royal mess that needed some careful cleanup to protect her own image. Bridgerton’s Queen Charlotte is, however, something of a romantic deep down, which Bridgerton season 2 reminds viewers of in its King George scene. Bridgerton’s King George III is a tragic figure, plagued by illness, yet the one thing he very clearly remembers is the love he has for his wife, and she for him.
It’s a touching, beautiful moment that speaks to the often unknowable and ineffable nature of love: the many forms it takes, the surprising places it can be found, and that in the end it conquers all; that true love is a rare thing to be completely cherished, which is why Queen Charlotte stands so resolutely by King George, why she’s so often swept up in the romance of the season – as well as a love for gossip, and a desire to get one over on Lady Whistledown – and why she knows Anthony and Kate’s love should not be denied, because it’s a chance to let it shine give them a sense of the same genuine happiness she herself had.
What Happens Next To Anthony & Kate: Bridgerton Books Story
Anthony and Kate’s story is mostly over by Bridgerton season 2’s ending, at least insofar as them being the focus of the show goes, which is largely in keeping with the books. Much like Daphne and Simon, the books and presumably show do shift away from the couple, but Julia Quinn’s novels do reveal some of what happens to Anthony and Kate after Bridgerton season 2. In The Viscount Who Loved Me’s first epilogue, it confirms they’ve been together for 10 years, with the pair celebrating Anthony’s 39th birthday; a second epilogue shows they’re still married five years after that too, partaking in the annual pall-mall game at Aubrey Hall, which was referenced in the finale. Furthermore, the Bridgerton books also confirm Anthony and Kate have four children after the Bridgerton season 2 ending: Edmund (after Anthony’s father), Miles, Charlotte, and Mary (after Kate’s mother).
What Eloise Discovering Penelope Is Lady Whistledown Means For The Future
Bridgerton season 1 ended with a major Lady Whistledown twist, as the final moments unveiled Penelope Featherington as the Ton’s chief gossip columnist. That was a shock to audiences, but Bridgerton season 2’s ending Whistledown twist offers something with a more tangible in-universe impact as Eloise learns Penelope is indeed Lady Whistledown. It’s a crushing moment for Eloise, a double whammy of discovering her best friend has been keeping the biggest of all secrets from her, and that the person who wrote such damaging things about her life was the one person she trusted the most. Penelope and Eloise’s friendship appears to be irrevocably damaged, which itself represents a change to the status quo – amidst the dances and debuts, they have been a safe space for one another to be with, confide in, and to provide some extra mocking and self-awareness for what’s actually going on.
There are bigger potential implications too. For Eloise herself, it’s a damaging blow to one of Bridgerton’s most self-sure characters, who has always been confident in who she is and what she was doing, even if it didn’t conform to societal norms or expectations. Hopefully that same person still exists, but it wouldn’t be surprising if there was some more lasting damage or trauma from this sense of betrayal that leaves a more lasting mark.
At the same time, it gives more of an edge to Whistledown’s operation too. While Madame Delacroix knowing Whistledown’s identity was never a threat, with no motive to drive her to unveiling it, the fallout between Pen and Eloise means it is at least a possibility. Would Eloise do it? Perhaps, though it seems more likely she will internalise it. Would anyone believe her if she did? Again, unclear, since even among the Queen’s suspects, few would genuinely accept it had been Penelope Featherington, the wallflower in yellow, who had written such tawdry, damaging things. But nonetheless, and especially for all Pen knows, that threat does exist and the secret now has a greater chance of spilling out, which should at least add a new dimension and more risk to her activities.
Why Penelope Resumes Being Lady Whistledown In Bridgerton Season 2’s Ending
Alongside the fallout with Eloise, the Bridgerton season 2 ending also sees Penelope resume being Lady Whistledown, having previously stopped when Queen Charlotte had accused her best friend of being behind the papers. Whereas Penelope gave up Whistledown because she had something to lose, now there’s nothing left, with a perfect storm in season 2’s ending culminating with her return. Firstly, there’s the argument with Eloise, which removes the single biggest obstacle to Penelope being Lady Whistledown, because that’s one of the only people she truly worried about hurting.
Another who falls into that category is Colin Bridgerton, and he too no longer applies after his mean comments about Pen in the finale, which further spur her to becoming Whistledown again (the Ton hath no fury like a woman scorned). There’s also something to be said, though, for the idea that Penelope likes being Lady Whistledown: whereas she is overlooked at balls, pushed into the corners, as Whistledown she shines, she takes all of the attention, and it is something she truly excels at. This is further signified by Penelope narrating part of Bridgerton season 2’s ending, rather than just Julie Andrews as the voice of Lady Whistledown, suggesting the line between them is now more blurred than ever before.
Does Edwina Marry Prince Friedrich?
Edwina does not marry Anthony in the Bridgerton season 2 ending, but her own chance at romance is established thanks to Queen Charlotte. With Edwina and the Queen forming something of a bond across the course of the season, which culminates in them both rooting for Anthony and Kate to be together, the Queen mentions that Edwina should meet her nephew, a prince. This is, of course, a reference to Bridgerton’s Prince Friedrich, Daphne’s suitor from season 1. Will Edwina marry Prince Friedrich? There’s no clear answer to the question, because Prince Friedrich was created for the Bridgerton show rather than appearing in the books. Similarly, Edwina marries another suitor, Mr. Bagwell, in the novels, but he isn’t introduced into her story so far on the show. That leaves it pretty much open, but based on the setup it’s entirely possible there will be a return for Prince Friedrich and a romance with Edwina in Bridgerton season 3.
How Bridgerton Sets Up Season 3’s New Main Character
Each Bridgerton novel focuses on one of the siblings in turn, something the show has stuck to: season 1 was Daphne, as in The Duke and I; season 2 was Anthony, like The Viscount Who Loved Me. Assuming Bridgerton season 3 continues to follow the same order of the novels, then it will be an adaptation of An Offer From A Gentlemen, which is a romance story centered around Benedict Bridgerton and his own search for love, including him falling for a maid. The show could go in a different direction, of course, but Bridgerton season 2’s ending does setup Benedict’s story. He quits art school, and is reminded of his responsibilities (despite being the second son) by Anthony, which lays some groundwork for him to not only be even more present and come into greater focus, but for further exploration of the push-and-pull between his more outsider status and freedoms he’s enjoyed, and doing what’s right and expected of him.
How Else Bridgerton Season 2’s Ending Sets Up Season 3’s Story
As well as the setup for more Benedict, the Bridgerton season 2 ending also lays the groundwork for several other storylines. Even if it’s likely Anthony and Kate will take much more of a backseat, it is still possible they will factor into things, with a particular difference to Daphne’s situation in that Anthony remains the head of the Bridgerton family, and so has to be at least somewhat more present, even if his duties can provide an excuse for having less screentime. Beyond those, then the biggest storyline will likely revolve around Lady Whistledown and Eloise, building upon the fallout there and how each reacts, with a more vengeful Whistledown on the cards, while Queen Charlotte will presumably continue trying to uncover her identity. That should also feed into Penelope’s storyline with Colin, too, since the show will presumably further develop the idea of a possible relationship between the two, even despite his insistence such a thing would not happen in season 2, as well as the question of who Eloise will marry in Bridgerton and her future romances (in the books it’s Phillip Crane, but the portrayal of his relationship with Marina Thompson so far suggests it may change the books), all allowing for several distinct yet overlapping plot lines to come to the fore in season 3.
Will Daphne & Simon Have Bigger Roles in Bridgerton Season 3?
Despite being the focus of season 1, Daphne has a much smaller role in Bridgerton season 2 while Simon is missing entirely. Thanks in no small part to the success in portraying Anthony and Kate’s relationship the pair aren’t hugely missed, but they remain two of Bridgerton’s biggest, most popular characters and the romance that propelled the Netflix show to such huge levels of popularity, meaning there will likely always be some discussion of their futures. Neither factor massively into the subsequent Bridgerton books, although both do appear and have mentions, so there’s not a major story drive to include them. It’s probable Daphne, like in Bridgerton season 2, will continue to make occasional appearances, especially for notable family events like the many weddings to come. Whether Simon returns is another matter, since Regé-Jean Page’s career continues to take off, but it’s not implausible a cameo could happen eventually.
Bridgerton Season 2 Ending’s Real Meaning Explained
The Bridgerton season 2 ending and its real meaning hammers home all of the show’s core themes: family, duty, love, and truth. This is particularly evidenced via Anthony and Kate’s romance, where he finally learns to put his heart and happiness above duty and honor. Bridgerton season 2’s ending is unabashedly romantic in that regard, celebrating real, true love above all else, acknowledging while it is that which can cause both the greatest joys and the greatest heartbreaks, it’s better to experience it, regardless of the risks, than to shut oneself off from it completely as Anthony had done previously. With that, Anthony is actually able to become more of the person his family has always needed him to be since Edmund’s death: not simply the cold Viscount Bridgerton who has to crunch the numbers and do what’s right, but someone who can truly understand and be there for them, providing love and care. In this sense his ending pairs will with Simon in Bridgerton season 1’s ending – both overcoming past traumas and self-imposed rules that dictate (and actively limit) their own happiness, from tragedy springing hope.
That same theme of family is reflected in the Featheringtons’ storyline in Bridgerton season 2’s ending as well, with Portia turning against Jack in order to protect her children. It continues on with the idea of family and love – whether that’s familial or romantic – coming before wealth and status. Both also show the power in the truth, something also seen with Eloise’s uncovering of Lady Whistledown’s identity: truth, like love, may be more painful, but it’s also much better in the end, whether that’s lying to your best friend or lying to yourself. Amidst all of this there remains a sense of honor and doing what is right, but both of Bridgerton‘s main houses understand what is truly important in life by the end.
Next: Bridgerton: What Happens To Simon After Season 1 (Book Story Explained)
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About The Author
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James is Screen Rant’s Movies Lead Editor, having started out as a writer for the site back in 2019. A Sports Journalism graduate, James quickly realized that supporting Sunderland AFC was painful enough without writing about it, and so decided to talk a load of rubbish about movies and TV instead. Formerly the TV editor at WhatCulture, he has a particular love of Star Wars (The Last Jedi was great), Game of Thrones (season 8 was good), and Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling…never mind) – y’know, all that really niche, nerdy stuff. Spending most of his days editing articles about or writing on movies and shows, James likes to really get away from work and unwind by, er, watching movies and shows. He’s fuelled by pint-sized cups of tea, peanut butter, more tea, and a quiet, constant anger (like the Hulk, only not green, or strong, or big).
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