Bridgerton: One Word Defines The Tragic Truth Behind Season 2

Shonda Rhimes’s Netflix hit series Bridgerton season 2 makes use of one significant word to describe the heart-wrenching truth of its lead characters. Kate Sharma, played brilliantly by Simone Ashley, fervently declares that she would be “content” to remain unmarried, leave her family, and become a governess in India so that Edwina can find love in England during a conversation with her formidable host Lady Danbury in the season 2, episode 2, "Off to the Races." Though Lady Danbury tries to persuade her otherwise, knowing that she cannot sacrifice her own feelings for her family, Kate continues to push her sister’s interests to the forefront of her priorities, making for a tumultuous yet compelling plot and characterizing herself as a stubborn yet protective and responsible sister.


Bridgerton season 2’s other main character is Jonathan Bailey's Viscount Anthony Bridgerton , a Mr. Darcy-like unmarried lord who finds himself in a similar predicament to find a wife. However, he makes it clear he will be marrying purely for social advantage, and a notable montage in season 2, episode 1, "Capital R Rake" shows him formally interviewing several eligible women hoping to find the characteristics he deems suitable for ladyship, eventually landing on Kate's younger sister, Edwina. All of his actions show that he does not seek a life partner to fall in love with, but a viscountess to share the duties of his household and societal status. While he states later in the episode that “love is the last thing [he desires],” he proves himself wrong throughout Bridgerton season 2 when he realizes it's not Edwina Sharma, but Kate whom he loves.

Related: Bridgerton: Why Kate & Anthony's Wedding Happens Offscreen

Bridgerton season 2 illustrates its leads being "content" with their lives’ paths. Though they try to convince themselves and others that their contentment is enough for them and they do not require anything more, this single word reflects the tragedy behind their conflicting beliefs of love and obligation; by fulfilling their duties to their families out of love, they forego their own chances at similar happiness. Ironically, their shared experience of feeling trapped in their circumstances and settling for less so their loved ones can have more is what makes Anthony's romance more realistic than his sister Daphne's in season 1.

The Theme Of Contentment Continues Through Bridgerton Season 2

Kate’s and Anthony’s story arcs in Bridgerton season 2 mirror each other—they each feel the obligation as oldest siblings to take on their families’ troubles in place of their late fathers. However, while they both struggle, there are higher stakes for Kate since she is a woman with no money and no preexisting high-society connections at the beginning of the season, save for Lady Danbury and her estranged grandparents, the Sheffields. Kate must actively search for mere contentment, let alone true joy, in a way that Anthony does not have to because he is a rich and titled man who has more options for contentment. Furthermore, his defiant refusal of love is motivated by his fear of heartbreak, as he left season 1 feeling dejected after breaking off his affair with opera singer, Siena, and also is haunted by Lord Bridgerton's tragic death from a bee sting, rather than by social or financial need like Kate.

Both of Bridgerton season 2's leads resign themselves to being content, knowing they can take care of their families and secure their futures in society while sacrificing their own true happiness and chances at love. Fortunately, against all their best efforts, they are unable to resist the joy and passion they find with each other. Anthony’s and Kate’s shared experiences are what allow them to move past butting heads to ultimately bonding together. Though they both looked only to be content, with each other they found true love.