- Bridgerton -'Bridgerton' Author Julia Quinn Reveals Anthony & Simon Are More Alike Than You Think
Saying goodbye is never easy, but Bridgerton fans must bid the Simon-era farewell as Anthony Bridgerton dives head first into the marriage mart to find himself the perfect viscountess in Season 2. With his expert brooding and sexy spoon-licking skills, the Duke of Hastings was the perfect regency hero, but he was never meant to be the show's primary romantic lead forever. Still, the news that the show was handing over the reigns to the eldest Bridgerton — who was little more than a pompous rake with mutton chops in Season 1 — felt like a risky move at best. Thankfully, it pays off, and, as Julia Quinn, the author of the Bridgerton book series, reveals exclusively to The Dipp, that's thanks in large part to the similarities between Anthony and Simon.
I know what you're thinking: Anthony and Simon appear to be worlds apart in Season 1. Despite being old university pals, the two men approach societal expectations, love, and family in different ways. Due to his issues with his father, Simon wants nothing to do with love or marriage, having long ago decided the Hastings line will die with him. Meanwhile, Anthony is driven by his sense of duty to care for his mother and siblings — which he knows will eventually mean finding a respectable match.
Still, neither man wants to fall in love, and their reasons for guarding their hearts are tied to their dads. "They're both very fundamentally shaped by their relationships with their fathers," Quinn explains. It's just their response to their paternal traumas that's different.
While both Simon and Anthony's issues are rooted in their relationships with their dads, the men who shaped them couldn't be more different. For Quinn, exploring that dichotomy was fascinating. "How they differ really is if we look at the difference in relationships," she explains. "How does having a cold and non-existent relationship compare to one where it was the central most important thing in your life and then you lost it?"
As Quinn puts it, Simon is ready to "blow his whole house to the ground" in Season 1, hence his determination to never become a father. His own father's coldness and cruelty have left the Duke with a need for revenge, even if it means hurting himself. Meanwhile, Anthony idolized his father, and being with him at the moment of his death leaves him emotionally scarred in a way he'll have to process before he can reach a happily ever after on par to the one Simon found with his sister, Daphne.
"He [Anthony] is so obsessed and concerned about providing for and supporting his family and fulfilling this role that is his destiny, that he denies himself his own happiness," Quinn says. "So it's a little bit different. I mean, they just have a very different outlook on how to handle this heritage that they've been given."
But in both cases, the weight of their family name is a huge motivating factor for the characters, as is the looming shadow of their fathers. But where Simon was dead set on ending his family's line, Anthony is hyper-focused on preserving the Bridgerton family in hopes of honoring his father's memory. In Season 2, this means taking love out of the equation entirely in hopes of finding a woman that meets his long laundry list of qualifications to become the new Viscountess Bridgerton.
As you can imagine, his best laid plans will be thwarted just as Simon's were, proving that these two men who are so different on the surface are deeply alike when it comes to matters of the heart.
Images: Liam Daniel/Netflix