Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton in Bridgerton season 3, part 2

What Does That ‘Bridgerton’ Benedict Reveal Mean for the Future?

After all that teasing, Bridgerton finally went there. Benedict Bridgerton is now officially queer. What does this mean for the story moving forward? What does this mean for Benedict?

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This is something that the show has been hinting at since season one, but only in season 3 part 2 have they actually gone there. As the second oldest son, Benedict Bridgerton does not carry the same responsibilities as his eldest brother, Viscount Anthony Bridgerton. While Anthony must act as head of the household, a role that once had him twisting himself inside out, Benedict has no such duties to perform. Instead, Benedict has all the freedom in the world to pursue his own hobbies, which tend to lean toward the licentious.

Benedict’s romantic history thus far

His first foray into the queer crowd was upon meeting the painter Sir Henry Granville, who we soon discovered had a fairly open relationship with his wife, one that included other men. Upon seeing this, Benedict did not judge or decry, he seemed merely curious. But rather than follow that path, he sated his own needs with Genevieve Delacroix, the fashionable “French” modiste. In season two, that relationship was dropped with nary a whisper, and Benedict moved on to fulfilling his artistic appetite, attending art school.

Here, fans were left unsatisfied when he once again had a passionate affair with another woman, Tessa. A model at the art school, Tessa wished to study art herself, and she and Benedict discussed the opportunities afforded women. Much like Genevieve, Tessa too was dropped in the third season to make way for his latest fling, the widowed Tilley Arnold, a wealthy woman of means and intelligence. At least Benedict is drawn to women with independence and intelligence, but it’s no longer his taste in women that we are solely interested in.

Benedict is officially queer!

Benedict Bridgerton, Tilley Arnold, and Paul Suarez in bed together, Season 3 part 2

In season three part two, Tilley introduced Benedict to her good “good” friend, the dashing Paul Suarez. It’s made fairly clear early on that there is something going on between Paul and Tilley, but when Benedict confronts them, he is offered an invitation to join in the fun. The three engage in a ménage à trois, with Benedict seeming very much to enjoy sharing Tilley’s bed with Paul. Towards the end of the season, Tilley states that she actually sees herself engaging in more of a traditional relationship with Benedict, having developed feelings for him. Benedict, on the other hand, has just had a whole new world opened to him, and he isn’t ready to give it up just yet.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, the series’ showrunner, Jess Brownell, had this to say on Benedict’s sexuality:

Benedict’s sexual identity is not a fixed belief for him. In modern terms, he might be described as pansexual, someone for whom gender doesn’t really matter. We’ve talked a lot about Benedict’s fluidity since season one, and I know that it’s something that people picked up on, and it’s something that we wanted to make a stance on and make clear about the character. Because I do think that he’s a character who would naturally be more about connection than he would be about gender. And in a bigger way, I think the threesome, or throuple, storyline for Benedict is about him learning to embrace his true self in the same way that Pen and Colin are embracing their true selves. Benedict has always been an unconventional character who lives a little bit outside of society in terms of his comfort. And so this season, Tilley (Hannah New) is really helping him embrace who he really is and is teaching him how to own that and that’s something that will carry forward for Benedict in future seasons.

What does this mean for Benedict’s storyline? Season three was meant to be Benedict’s, if we had been following the order of Julia Quinn’s novels. Instead, the series decided to push back Benedict’s story to focus on Polina, which was the right move.

Benedict’s future

Hannah New as Lady Tilley Arnold and Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton in Bridgerton season 3

However, there is talk that season four will still not be Benedict’s. Brownell stated, “I think we’re going to continue on the storyline of Benedict learning exactly how he wants to exist in the world.” She added that, though Benedict may still want room to grow, Tilley’s words about wanting something seemed to hit home. “I think what he’s starting to realize is that he also craves depth, and so Benedict reconciling breadth with depth is something we’re going to dive into pretty deeply in future seasons.”\

Book spoilers ahead!

The books see Benedict end up with Sophie Beckett, but the show has already deviated from the books. This was seen in the introduction of another possibly queer character in the form of the gender-swapped Michaela Stirling. Speaking of Michaela Stirling, will we have another queer Bridgerton sibling? This isn’t the first queer relationship for the show’s main characters, with Queen Charlotte giving us the most heart-wrenching relationship between Brimsley and Reynolds, but it is the first one for our Bridgerton family, which is about time.

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Laura Pollacco
Laura Pollacco (she/her) is a contributing writer here at The Mary Sue, having written for digital media since 2022 and has a keen interest in all things Marvel, Lord of the Rings, and anime. She has worked for various publications including We Got This Covered, but much of her work can be found gracing the pages of print and online publications in Japan, where she resides. Outside of writing she treads the boards as an actor, is a portrait and documentary photographer, and takes the little free time left to explore Japan.