Shondaland’s Netflix Original series, ‘Bridgerton,’ is a period romance drama set in Regency-era England. It follows the story of the prolific Bridgerton brood, with all the alphabetically named siblings – Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory, and Hyacinth – navigating the choppy waters of London’s beau monde where scandal awaits them at every turn. Season 1 centers on Daphne Bridgerton’s dramatic romance with Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings.
What is initially a ruse, a fake courtship to steer ambitious marriage-minded mothers of the ton away from Simon and to draw the attention of other eligible gentlemen towards Daphne’s imminent desirability, turns very real when Simon and Daphne’s growing attraction leads to a passionate kiss that further leads to marriage. All the while, an unknown writer, operating under the pseudonym Lady Whistledown, reports on all of London’s elite in her deliciously scandalous gossip column. Let’s take a more detailed look at the ending of ‘Bridgerton’ season 1. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Bridgerton Finale Recap
It’s evident to everyone around them that Simon and Daphne are very much in love, but His Grace has a chip on his shoulder. His father was unforgivably mean to him as a child, so he made a vengeful vow to the old Duke (at his deathbed, no less) that he will never marry and the title of Hastings shall die with him. That vow is the only thing keeping Simon from pursuing a happy married life with Daphne. The season finale of the first season of ‘Bridgerton’ opens with Daphne and Simon deciding to go their separate ways after they host the Hastings ball.
Over at the Featheringtons’, Sir Phillip Crane arrives bearing the news of Sir George’s death. He proposes marriage to Miss Marina Thompson, who is pregnant with his late brother’s baby. Serial gambler Lord Featherington hopes to recover his lost fortune by placing the biggest bet of his life. Will Mondrich makes a deal with Lord Featherington and throws a boxing match so that Featherington makes a lot of money.
Meanwhile, Daphne finds the letters that Simon had written to his father as a boy. By reading them, she gets a better idea of what her husband went through as a kid. Elsewhere, Anthony rekindles his affair with Siena, but it is short-lived, and the opera singer ultimately breaks things off for good with Lord Bridgerton. Simon spends time with the youngest Bridgerton siblings and proves to be excellent with children. Eloise successfully prevents Lady Whistledown’s identity from being revealed. The Hastings ball proves make-or-break for Daphne and Simon.
Bridgerton Season 1 Ending: Does Love Conquer All For Daphne and Simon?
We have to admit; things were looking pretty bleak for Simon and Daphne till the last episode. Both of them had messed up big time, and for a very unsettling episode 7, it seemed like all had been lost. Thankfully, the finale episode sees the couple reconcile after Daphne declares her undying love for Simon at the Hastings ball, and Simon finally admits to himself that holding a grudge against his long-dead father is getting him nowhere.
Lady Danbury and Lady Bridgerton play their own roles in getting the young couple back together. Violet tells Daphne that even though she found her true love in Daphne’s father, their marriage was not without its own trials and tribulations. No relationship is without problems. Lady Danbury pleads with Simon to not let his pride get in the way of his happiness. Ultimately, Simon’s better sense and love for Daphne wins against hatred for his father.
He realizes that keeping a vow of vengeance that he made to his father, a man who is not even alive anymore, is keeping him from true happiness. So Simon tells Daphne that he loves her more than anything and is ready to have a blissful life with her. In the end, love truly does conquer all for Simon and Daphne, and they end the episode with the birth of their first child, a boy who Simon wants to name with the alphabet A, keeping in tradition with the Bridgerton family.
What Happened to Lord Featherington?
The last we see of Lord Featherington is entering a room with shady-looking men who had taken bets on the boxing match that Mondrich threw. Returning from the Hastings ball, Lady Featherington comes home to the news that her husband has been killed, and the Bow Street Runners are on the case. The money that Lord Featherington had won at the boxing match is nowhere to be found.
The Featheringtons bid farewell to Marina Thompson, who accepts Sir Phillip’s proposal for the sake of her unborn child. There is a look of foreboding on Lady Featherington’s face as she reads the name of the man who will inherit the Featherington title and estate, but it is not revealed to the audience who that man is. The identity of the next Lord Featherington and what really happened to Penelope’s father is the cliffhanger that the show leaves us with, hopefully, to be answered in the next season.
What is Anthony Bridgerton’s Problem?
At the end of season 1, Viscount Bridgerton tells Simon and Daphne that he plans on finding a wife soon, adding that it doesn’t matter whether he is in love with whoever the woman is or not. Anthony’s cynical views on love stem from a broken heart over getting dumped by Siena. Anthony clearly cares for Siena but is unable to get over the fact that they are from two different worlds. Anthony is a prominent aristocrat while she is an opera singer.
Women who worked the stage in those days were often considered of loose reputation, with actresses and singers choosing to become mistresses to the wealthy nobility. In the eyes of the ton, Siena is not a respectable woman. As she is not a “lady,” Siena is wholly unsuitable to marry Anthony. Even though he loves her, Anthony is unable to break free of the societal norms and accept Siena as she is. Instead, he tries to make her into a “lady.” This leads her to break up with Anthony to be with another man who knows her reality and accepts her just as she is.
Who is Lady Whistledown?
Finally, we get to the question that has been on everyone’s mind since the very first episode – who is Lady Whistledown? Eloise, a self-proclaimed genius, comes to the conclusion that the modiste, Madame Delacroix, is Lady Whistledown. While at the Hastings ball, Eloise hears of the Bow Street Runners’ plan of catching Lady Whistledown red-handed as she visits the printers. She manages to warn the woman she thinks is Delacroix, and Whistledown’s secret identity remains secret. Only the audience, through a flashback, sees that Lady Whistledown is none other than Penelope Featherington!
It doesn’t come as a surprise that Penelope is Whistledown, seeing as how she had been a top suspect ever since the truth about Marina’s pregnancy was published. Penelope is sharp-witted and observant, two qualities that Whistledown often exhibits in her scandal sheet. In retrospect, Eloise’s imagination about Lady Whistledown living life on her own terms seems laughable. Penelope may be the one wielding Whistledown’s ruthless pen, but even she cannot defy her mother and wear a lovely non-yellow gown for once. The irony is not lost on us.
Read More: Is Bridgerton a True Story?