Bridgerton: Do Lord Kilmartin aka John Stirling and Francesca End Up Together?

Image Credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix

The third season of Netflix’s ‘Bridgerton’ gives the audience not one but two romances, with the primary focus on Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington. The season is dedicated to the romance of the wallflowers, and it truly sticks to the theme by focusing on another wallflower of the season. While Penelope may have walked the peripheries of the ballrooms for far too long, when she sees Francesca adapting to the same lifestyle, she advises the young Bridgerton to be more open to the idea of courting. Francesca, an introvert, finds it difficult to spend time with the men who take to her like flies, and all the attention levied upon her doesn’t interest her one bit. That is until she meets someone who seems to be exactly like her. The season focuses on their fledgling romance, but does this mean they will get their happy ending? SPOILERS AHEAD

Francesca and John Stirling’s Romance Ends Tragically

Image Credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix

With Daphne and Anthony out of the way, ‘Bridgerton’ opens the door for the younger siblings to come into focus. While Colin and Penelope will surely walk down the aisle by the end of the season, another Bridgerton sibling is gearing up for a wedding. Considering how fast things move in the first half of Season 3, it seems like Francesca might get her wish and settle down sooner than imagined.

Francesca doesn’t like attention but she does want to have a husband and a family. She wants the same thing her mother had, but she doesn’t want to rush into it for fear of ending up with the wrong person. In fact, she is so prudent about the whole thing that she doesn’t even consider love as a deciding factor, only mutual respect. Luckily, love does come into the equation when she meets John Stirling, aka Lord Kilmartin. Just as, if not more, introverted as Francesca, John Stirling hits it off with her on the first meeting even without saying anything. And that’s all that needs to be said about their relationship.


According to the books, Francesca and John don’t take much time to process their feelings and get married as soon as they realize they are meant for each other. Considering how similar their personalities are, it makes sense that they click immediately, leaving no room for any other prospect to show up and stir things up.

Image Credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix

As happy as the beginning of their relationship is, the ending is rather sad. The couple spends two great years together, but then, one day, John dies of a brain aneurysm. His sudden death breaks Francesca’s heart, as she not only loses the man she loves, but they don’t even have children, which is what both of them really wanted. Her dream of having a big family and a fulfilling life with the man she loves is shattered, and for a while, it seems like she might have to resign to the situation of her life.

The third season of ‘Bridgeton’ lays the foundation of this tragic romance, giving the audience time to process what will eventually happen to John by building upon their relationship early on. It is a great decision on the show’s part to introduce John at this time because, at the end of the day, he is not the endgame when it comes to Francesca’s story.

Every book in the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn focuses on the romance of one sibling. Francesca’s turn comes in the sixth book of the series, ‘When He Was Wicked,’ which takes place after the death of John and introduces the audience to Michael Stirling, John’s cousin, his heir, and Francesca’s eventual life partner. Considering that her elder siblings, Benedict and Eloise, are still to receive their turn, it makes sense that the show would allow space for Francesca and John’s story now so that a couple of seasons later, the audience and Francesca have processed John’s death and are ready to welcome Michael with open arms.

Read More: Do Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington Get Together in Bridgerton?