The Fate of This ‘Bridgerton’ Couple Might be the Most Intriguing Mystery in the Show so Far
Why was he dancing alone?
Bridgerton’s spinoff-slash-prequel Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story brought us into the beginning of the marriage of the ton’s supreme ruler, the fabulously commanding Queen Charlotte, and the current King of England, George III.
While we’ve grown accustomed to seeing them in the two seasons of Bridgerton, where they’re played by Golda Rosheuvel and James Fleet, Queen Charlotte transports us back in time to when they’re newlyweds just getting to know each other—and played by the already massively popular faces of India Amarteifio and Corey MyIchreest.
While the romance between Charlotte and George obviously takes center stage as the two deal with the political pressures usually put on a royal marriage and the slowly emerging issue of George’s illness, it’s not the only love story we were treated to. This spinoff also brought us the very first queer romance in Bridgerton history, one that has predictably become dearly beloved by fans and casual viewers alike.
This article contains spoilers for the entirety of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story so be warned.
Who are Brimsley and Reynolds in Queen Charlotte?
Everyone knows that royal households are full of staff, and the one in Bridgerton is no exception. We were already introduced to Brimsley, the Queen’s man and personal attendant in the main Bridgerton series, where he’s played by Hugh Sachs and described by Charlotte as “a terrible gossip”—like everyone else in the ton, one might add. There’s a reason Lady Whistledown is so popular.
In Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story we see how the two met and started working together. A young Brimsley, played by Sam Clemmett, enters the Queen’s service immediately upon her arrival to the United Kingdom and remains with her—always five steps behind—from that moment on.
From ordering people to pick the Queen’s oranges to taking care of her travel plans, Brimsley grows sincerely attached to Charlotte—so much so that we see him try to take matters into his own hands when her marriage to King George seems to be going south. And that includes talking to the King’s man.
King George III, who ascended to the throne in his early twenties, obviously also has a personal attendant: Reynolds, played in the series by Freddie Dennis. The two are shown to be quite close, though one might say only as close as a King and a member of his staff can be, but of course this is a period fantasy so things are a bit different from what they might have been in reality. Reynolds is one of the very few people who knows of the illness that affects George and the extent to which it affects him.
Those who are familiar with how these kinds of period pieces usually go might have guessed that something was going to happen between the King’s man and the Queen’s man from the very first moment they appeared on screen together, but Bridgerton made it clear that their relationship is already ongoing the moment the story starts—so we got to skip the courting part, instead following along as their romance waxes and wanes in light of the queen and king’s struggles.
At the very end of Queen Charlotte—once Charlotte and George have no more secrets between them and have decided to live together and love each other in the way that works best for them—Reynolds and Brimsley share an adorable moment in the bathtub together. They muse on how what lies before them is a life in which they will pretty much always be together, and in which they will have the chance to grow old alongside one another while walking the halls of the same palaces.
Their promise is sealed when they dance together at the ball thrown by Charlotte and George—deeper into the gardens and secluded from view. Fun fact: the official novel that goes hand in hand with Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story revealed that the king and queen actually do catch a peek of their attendants dancing together—and are very happy to see them in love, just like they are.
All of this only makes the edit from Reynolds and Brimsley dancing together to an older Brimsley spinning by himself that much more painful. And it’s a question that has kept fans busy ever since the show premiered: What exactly happened to Reynolds? Why is he gone by the time we reach the main Bridgerton timeline?
What happened to Reynolds at the end of Queen Charlotte?
So far, there has been no official answer as to what exactly happened to Reynolds and why an older version of him hasn’t appeared in Bridgerton. Of course, the extradiegetic answer might very simply be that the show’s executive producers hadn’t yet created him when Bridgerton first started.
Still, in an interview with Netflix’s official website Tudum, both the stars and creator of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story gave their reasons for Reynolds’ absence. Dennis and Clemmett joked that Reynolds is probably on holiday, even though they disagree on the destination, with the former saying the Maldives and the latter declaring that it’s Barbados. Sachs, who plays the older Brimsley, also stated that his solo dancing scene was not meant to be a sad one, but rather Brimsley reliving a happy memory, “when [he] was in love and Reynolds was the love of his life.”
But it’s showrunner Shonda Rhimes’ words that give fans the most hope. “Reynolds is not dead. There’s a lot more I could write about that,” Rhimes said. By showing Brimsley dancing alone she wanted to convey the idea that “service takes over,” and not necessarily that Reynolds passed away sometime before the Bridgerton timeline.
Hopefully that leaves the door open for catching a glimpse of an older Reynolds sometime in the future Bridgerton seasons—maybe leaving the king at Kew Palace, which would give his relationship with Brimsley a bittersweet air, similar to the one between Charlotte and George.
(featured image: Netflix)
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