- Bridgerton -Kate Could Be 'Bridgerton' Season 2's Most Important Character
The virtual ton is buzzing over the impact a certain Lady Kate Sheffield could have on a potential Bridgerton Season 2, and for good reason. Although there's nary a mention of a Kate in the first season of Netflix's hit period drama, the character is central to the plot of the second book in author Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series, The Viscount Who Loved Me. So who is this newcomer and what can we expect from her if and when Season 2 finally arrives on our screens? (Warning: Spoilers for Bridgerton books and Season 1 follow.)
Allow me to scoop Lady Whistledown, and reveal that Kate is set to bedevil and romance Anthony Bridgerton in equal measure. Although the eldest Bridgerton son spent most of the first season either running away from his responsibilities as the head of his family or trying far too hard to prove he was the man of the house when he almost married poor Daphne off to the lecherous Nigel Berbrooke, he is now ready to settle down and find a proper young lady to marry.
However, within the pages of the books that lady is not Kate, but rather her younger sister Edwina. But since this is a romance novel, things get complicated for Anthony fast, and soon he finds himself drawn to Kate, a self-identified wallflower and virtual spinster to boot. Reader, you will love her, and if showrunner Chris Van Dusen adheres to the plot of The Viscount Who Loved Me, she could end up being the single most important character in Season 2.
Bridgerton Season 1 Foreshadows Kate's Imminent Arrival In The Finale
The majority of Season 1 is rightfully devoted to Daphne and Simon's love story, but Bridgerton is clearly looking to the future in the season finale. First, there's Anthony declaring to Daphne and Simon that he's going to choose an appropriate wife and take his duties as a viscount seriously. This scene comes after he and Siena finally split for good, and he makes it clear he views his search for a wife as a necessary evil that has nothing to do with love.
It's telling that Simon and Daphne exchange a meaningful look when Anthony declares he's not looking for a love match. They know from firsthand experience that fate has its own plans, and the eldest Bridgerton has no idea what his future holds.
Which brings me to that buzzing bee. A bee is seen in both the first and last episode of the season, and it's not just a visual representation of the hive of gossip that is London's ton. A bee is responsible for Anthony having to step into the role of viscount and the head of his family at the age of 18 after his father dies from being stung.
As a result, Book!Anthony is convinced he too is living on borrowed time, which is one of the reasons why he's reluctant to marry. It's unclear whether or not the Anthony of the show harbors similar feelings, but the bee in the finale also points toward his potential relationship with Kate, which in a morbid twist of fate, also hinges on a bee sting. (I won't say more for fear of spoiling what comes next, but as far as plot twists go, this one is wild.)
Fans Think Bridgerton May Have Already Introduced Kate's Parents
Just in case Anthony promising he's going to look for a wife and that pesky bee aren't enough foreshadowing for you, fans on Reddit think Bridgerton may have sneakily introduced Kate and Edwina's parents. Redditor oflayla noted that Lady Whistledown tells the story of the shortest engagement in the history of the ton in the finale. She reveals the honor goes to Mary Leopold, and eagle-eyed book fans were quick to note that Lady Sheffield, Kate's stepmother, is also named Mary.
Of course, Mary is a common name, so it could purely be a coincidence, but it does seem strange that the series actually takes time to introduce the couple. "Lady Sheffield's name is Mary and book 2 made a point that Kate's father re-married shortly after his first wife's death because little Kate needed a mother figure," oflayla wrote in their theory. Also adding credence to this fan theory is the presence of the bee buzzing around their wedding carriage, and the mention that it's unknown why they left London so quickly after exchanging vows — perhaps, Lord Sheffield was eager to get back to Kate?
But whether or not Mary Leopold is Kate's stepmother and Edwina's biological mother, Bridgerton certainly seems to be paving the way for Kate's arrival, which is exciting news for Anthony and the show's future.
Here's Why You're Going To Love Kate
If you're a fan of Eloise and Penelope, prepare to fall hard for Kate. While Daphne is a fairly traditional romance heroine in terms of being the belle of the ball, Kate plays into an entirely different romance trope: the smart and resilient wallflower.
Unlike Daphne, Kate would never be declared the "Diamond of the First Water." In comparison to her little sister Edwina, she's relatively plain and unassuming. But she's also fierce, funny, and deeply protective of her sister. (And she has an adorable and mischievous dog named Newton!)
Even though Kate doesn't have any experience with men, she knows enough about the key members of society to understand that Anthony has a reputation as a rake, and there's nothing she won't do to protect Edwina from marrying such a man. Much to Anthony's frustration, it's important to Edwina that her older sister approves of her match, which leads to near-constant clashes between Anthony and Kate.
One of the best things about Kate is her ability to challenge Anthony at every turn. She's shrewd and quick-witted, which leads to them trading some truly excellent barbs. And since their relationship is built on the enemies-to-lovers trope, the show needs to be smart about casting someone who has a spikey kind of chemistry with Jonathan Bailey.
Who Will Play Kate On Bridgerton?
According to What's on Netflix, Bridgerton Season 2 could begin filming as soon as March 2021. That means the role of Kate may have already been cast — not that Netflix is spilling the tea just yet.
For now, all fans can do is dream-cast the role, and it seems quite a few of them have the same dream. The most popular Kate fancast by far is Sai Bennett, who previously starred in The Spanish Princess and Mr. Selfridge. Her experience in historical dramas means she could likely dive into the romance of Bridgerton without missing a beat, and fans on Reddit have also noticed that she's friends with quite a few members of the cast on Instagram.
Of course, as a British actor, she could simply run in the same circles as the young cast. Or her likes on Bridgerton posts really could hint at an upcoming role on the show. For now, all we can do is speculate.
But while we wait for Netflix to confirm or deny her casting, I would like to offer a few of my own humble suggestions for the role of Kate. At the top of my wish list is Emma Corrin, who just wowed Netflix viewers with her portrayal of Princess Diana on Season 4 of The Crown. Given how high profile her breakout role was, taking on the romantic lead in Bridgerton Season 2 could be a good move for her career as it would allow her to continue to show off her range. Also working in her favor is the way she absolutely nailed Diana's big blowout arguments with Charles — if she can do that but with more levity on Bridgerton, she would be a perfect fit for Kate.
My next two choices are actors who work steadily in the world of British TV, but who are a little more under the radar. The first is Mandeep Dhillon, an absolutely superb comedic actor who has appeared in shows like Some Girls, After Life, and Adult Material. When I think of Kate, I think of someone who is at once unassuming and completely fierce, and Dhillon excels at playing characters who walk that fine line. (And she's also a total comedy queen, which would make the banter scenes between Kate and Anthony so good.)
My final pick would be Hannah Murray, who is perhaps best known for her roles as Gilly on Game of Thrones and Cassie on Skins. Murray generally gets cast as supporting characters, and it's long past time for her to land a leading role. The very fact that she managed to stand out in a cast as stacked as the Game of Thrones lineup is proof she could hold her own against Bailey, and she has a natural look of mischief that screams Kate Sheffield.
Ultimately, whoever ends up taking on the role of Kate, the character is set to be a pivotal part of Season 2, and I for one, can't wait to see her baffle, infuriate, and ultimately woo the rakish Lord Bridgerton.