One Thing About Bridgerton's Penelope Book Fans Got Completely Wrong

One Thing About Bridgerton's Penelope Book Fans Got Completely Wrong
Image credit: Netflix

Fans of the Netflix series Bridgerton are eagerly awaiting the third instalment, which is likely to hit our screens sometime this year.

Unlike the Julia Quinn books, Netflix has chosen to tell the tale of Penelope and Colin next, which is the plot of the fourth book Romancing Mr. Bridgerton . It's not known why book three has been surpassed, but as long as fans get their dose of Bridgerton on their screens, they're not too bothered.

A transformation leads to romance

In the book, Colin notices Penelope after she undergoes a transformation, which is a dramatic weight loss. With Bridgerton fans gearing up for the next season, chatter began about Penelope's upcoming transformation and there were discussions of its appropriateness within a popular drama. Essentially, if Penelope were to be seen losing weight to attract a man, there could be serious implications in the way of the message it sends out to women and girls watching.

Fans have also been worried since noticing that Nicola Coughlan, the actor who plays Penelope, has recently lost weight, coinciding with the filming of Bridgerton Season 3.

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The consensus among fans is that neither Coughlan nor Penelope should have to slim down to become loved by a man. From the outside, it seems like Hans Christian Anderson's "The Ugly Duckling" tale. But does Penelope really change for Colin as fans are insinuating?

Book misinterpretations

In Romancing Mr. Bridgeton, this isn't exactly how things pan out. At the start of the series, Penelope is young and holding onto puppy fat as some young girls and women do.

The transformation she undergoes is not so much about weight loss (although there is some due to growing up) but rather, the improvement in her self-confidence given that she is no longer under the watchful eye of society and her mother. She also gets noticed by Lady Danbury for these reasons too.

Perhaps we'll never find out if Coughlan has lost weight deliberately to film Season 3, but we can hope that the producers focus less on this aspect of her transformation and instead choose to draw attention to other things like a change of dress, hair, and above all, confidence.

Plot changes afoot?

With the books shifting in order, there will inevitably be changes to the Season 3 plot. We already saw things happening in Season 2 that weren't mentioned in the books until Season 4. What's more, the producers have never stuck to the books' plots in Season 1 and 2, so it's unlikely they'll make a big deal over any weight loss. They've been pretty canny (though not perfect) so far in terms of inclusivity and diversity and have pushed back on more traditional notions of race, gender, and class.

Penelope's transformation for Season 3 will hopefully be focused on her increased self-confidence as she is. It would be a shame (and pretty stupid) for Shondaland to pursue a superficial romance with Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) based on a character's weight loss.