Will Benedict And Eloise’s Love Interests Be Gender-Swapped In ‘Bridgerton’?

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The Gender Of 'Bridgerton' S4 Leads Will ChangeLiam Daniel/Netflix - Netflix

Bridgerton’s season three finale featured a surprise twist when Francesca Bridgerton's future husband in the novels, Michael Stirling, was introduced as Michaela Stirling, but that's not the only gender-swapping that will be incorporated into upcoming seasons of the Regency-era drama. In fact, it may well be that Benedict and Eloise will also have their own gender non-conforming love stories in future seasons of the show.

Bridgerton's showrunner, Jess Brownell, has expressed her desire to incorporate more queer storylines into the show, and while Francesca and Michaela's is certainly the most obvious, there are other gender non-conforming roles that have been woven into the fabric of the series.


In regards to Benedict’s sexuality, the show’s writers 'talk about him as being pansexual [and] the idea that for him, gender is not that important when he is finding attraction,' Brownell revealed to TVLine in June 2024. While in the Bridgerton novels, Benedict falls for Sophie Beckett — the daughter of an Earl who eventually becomes her mother’s maid, in the third series he finds himself in a throuple with the widowed Lady Tilley Arnold and her friend Paul Suarez.

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© 2023 Netflix, Inc.

This, according to Brownell, was intentional. 'Benedict is someone who is interested in energy and spirit, and he’s not interested in convention or labels. He sees a person as a person,' she continued in her TVLine interview. 'And while his throuple chapter with Tilly and Paul seems to have come to a close at the end of the season, we’re certainly not done exploring that part of his personality. As all queer people know, your queerness is always a part of you, no matter who you end up with.'

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2023 © Netflix

Brownell also stressed that, while Sophie has yet to be introduced to the series, the show's writers intend on continuing to explore Benedict's fluidity. 'This is not the end of that storyline,' Brownell teased. 'As any fluid person knows, fluidity is a part of your identity, whether or not you end up with a man, a woman or a non-binary person.'

Eloise Bridgerton’s story unfolds in book five of Julia Quinn’s series, To Sir Phillip, With Love, but the Netflix character is not intended to be queer, although Brownell has stressed that she 'understands' why the character is interpreted as such.

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2023 © Netflix

'We’ve talked about Eloise in the room a lot about the fact that to a lot of people, she does read as queer, and I totally understand why,' Brownell stressed to TVLine. 'But we felt it’s really important to hold space in this show where everyone is obsessed with romance for there to be a character — specifically a female character — for whom that is not the priority.'

The showrunner also made it clear that for Eloise, the focus 'is on a path of finding her place in a society that doesn’t make a lot of room for women who care more about ideas than they do love.'

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