Netflix's Bridgerton Takes Liberties With Colin & Penelope's Relationship - and Fans Are Divided

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The creators of Bridgerton appear to increasingly deviate from the source material.

Season 1, which portrayed the love story of Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Basset, closely followed Julia Quinn's book. Season 2, featuring the passionate romance of Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sharma, introduced some alterations to the original plot. Season 3, however, promises a completely new narrative.

First, the upcoming third season will be mostly based on the fourth novel, Romancing Mister Bridgerton. The creators cited the natural progression of the plot as justification for this shift; according to them, the way things have been unfolding in the series, the relationship between Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington needs to be shown next.

Additionally, both protagonists exhibit notable differences in age, personality and backstory from their book counterparts. Last but not least, their love story will take a markedly distinct direction compared to the novel.

In the books, Penelope has long had a crush on Colin, who only begins to notice her in Romancing Mister Bridgerton. As he gets to know her better, he gradually falls in love with her, captivated by her quirks, habits, and hobbies. This sweet story is what many readers would have liked to see on screen.

However, the official Season 3 synopsis proposes an alternative plot.

In the show, Penelope and Colin's story will be more intense and emotionally charged. Penelope, humiliated by Colin in front of her suitors, decides to find a suitable husband instead. As she becomes more distant, Colin tries to regain her affection while helping her navigate the marriage market, resulting in numerous admirers, jealousy, and passionate romance.

Despite all the deviations from the book, many Bridgerton fans are eager to see this version of events. In the series, Colin and Penelope seem to have a closer friendship at the start of their story than in the novel.

While in the book, pity dances at balls evolve into a genuine connection and love, the show has already established their bond through conversations and letters during Colin's absence. As such, Colin requires a stronger catalyst to realise he is in love with Penelope, with jealousy as a perfect motivator. Moreover, Penelope deserves an opportunity to reject her childhood crush and explore other possibilities.