Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington and Sam Phillips as Lord Debling in Bridgerton season 3
(Netflix)

So, Who’s the Handsome Suitor Sparking Colin’s Jealousy in ‘Bridgerton’ Season 3?

The Bridgerton season 3 trailer not only gave us our first proper look at Colin (Luke Newton) and Penelope’s (Nicola Coughlan) budding romance but a first peek at Colin’s new rival, too. As Colin helps Penelope find a husband during the London season, she seems to catch the eye of a rather handsome gentleman known as Lord Debling.

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But who is he, and where did he come from?

Who is Lord Debling?

Those of you who haven’t read Colin and Penelope’s Bridgerton book, Romancing Mister Bridgerton, are just as in the dark about this new character as the rest of us. Lord Debling, as portrayed by actor Sam Phillips, is a character created entirely for Netflix’s Bridgerton adaptation.

Now, to be fair, what would Bridgerton be without a love triangle? Both previous seasons have featured one, too, albeit with varying degrees of success. Let’s be honest—after being cast aside, made fun of, and ignored by most of London’s elite, Penelope deserves to bask in the attention of a handsome suitor or two before Colin finally comes to his senses. And bask in his attention, she will, as the trailer seems to suggest she and Debling become quite familiar with one another both on the dancefloor and beyond. He certainly seems to know what he’s doing.

That shouldn’t be surprising, though, as Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) plainly states in the Bridgerton season 3 trailer that Lord Debling is “eager to take a wife this season.” It looks like Colin’s Regency-era dating advice and Penelope’s updated wardrobe might be doing their jobs a little too well. Besides, Penelope and Debling may just be a well-suited match. Last year, when Netflix began to reveal more casting details about the upcoming season, Deadline reported that Debling is a “genial lord with unusual interests” with enough wealth and a title to “back up his eccentricities.”

Additionally, on Valentine’s Day this year, Phillips spoke with Shondaland about the upcoming season and revealed that Debling was on the hunt for a love match. He, much like Penelope, “lives on the fringes of society.”

He’s after someone who goes against the grain, someone who is a little bit of an outsider like him. And he spots Penelope. He thinks she’s special because she’s sort of seen as an outsider too. Lord Debling is interested in other things outside of the norms of society. For instance, he loves wildlife, he’s a conservationist, and he is a vegetarian.”

As Penelope still believes Colin only sees her as a friend, she may be rather interested in living a life with a kind, understanding, and unconventional husband on the edges of polite society; especially one who might just be interested in what she has to say and, most importantly, might find her side business an intriguing venture rather than an abhorrent hobby. Penelope may be a wallflower in bloom, but stepping into the spotlight takes a lot of courage. There’s a good chance she’d happily step back into the shadows once she finds a husband.

We all know #Polin is the endgame, of course, but Lord Debling seems to be just the kind of person who may force Colin to finally take notice of what’s been right in front of him all along. What’s so wrong with that?

(featured image: Netflix)


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