Bridgerton Fans Spot 1 Big Change From Books In New Episodes That Hints At A Future Queer Romance

The Bridgerton family

Warning: This article contains major spoilers for season three of Bridgerton.

Bridgerton fans were thrown a major curveball after the new episodes of the hit period drama debuted on Netflix.

The second half of Bridgerton’s third season began streaming on Thursday morning, diving deeper into the romance between Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington (dubbed “Polin” by fans) after that carriage scene cliffhanger last month.

However, it’s a very different budding romance that got viewers talking in the new episodes.

In the original Bridgerton books, Francesca’s love interest is a man named Michael Stirling. However, in the new season three episodes, she’s seen getting flustered when introduced to a young woman named Michaela – immediately leading fans to the conclusion the character is a gender-flipped version of Michael, which will see the show exploring its biggest queer relationship to date in a future episode.

Hannah Dodd in character as Francesca Bridgerton
Hannah Dodd in character as Francesca Bridgerton LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX

Bridgerton’s official IMDB page also reveals the character’s full name is Michaela Stirling, played by newcomer Masali Budaza.

And to say the news got a big reaction would be a bit of an understatement…

Before joining the cast of Bridgerton, Masali’s biggest roles included the BBC adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s Noughts + Crosses, the Viola Davis action movie The Woman King and the 2021 slasher Slumber Party Massacre.

Meanwhile, showrunner Jess Brownell is keeping schtum about which member of the Bridgerton family will be taking centre stage in season four.

I’m really excited about what we’re writing. We’re towards the end with the writers room season, with the scripts. And I feel like it’s some of my best work and my writers room’s best work. We’ve just really gelled our collaboration, and we’re firing on all cylinders so I can’t wait for fans to see what we have,” she teased to The Hollywood Reporter.

Bridgerton season three is now streaming in full on Netflix.