Bridgerton Boss Explains Why Penelope and Lady Danbury Book Friendship Was Scrapped

30 May 2024, 12:34

Here's why Bridgerton doesn't include Penelope and Lady Danbury's friendship from the books
Here's why Bridgerton doesn't include Penelope and Lady Danbury's friendship from the books. Picture: Netflix
Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

Did you know Penelope Featherington and Lady Danbury are actually besties in the Bridgerton books?

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It's no secret that Netflix's Bridgerton has deviated considerably from Julia Quinn's original books. From skipping over Benedict's love story in favour of Colin's, to completely scrapping the youngest Featherington sister (justice for Felicity!), there's several huge differences that have been made in order to fit the show's narrative and pace.

One of those big differences involves Nicola Coughlan's Penelope Featherington and Adjoa Andoh's Lady Danbury. In the show, the two rarely cross paths in a major way. But in the book, Penelope actually has a very close friendship/mentorship with Lady Danbury.

Showrunner Jess Brownell has now explained why that dynamic does not exist in the show.

WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for Bridgerton season 3 and book 4!

Colin ends up mentoring Penelope in season 3, which sparks his feelings for her
Colin ends up mentoring Penelope in season 3, which sparks his feelings for her. Picture: Netflix

In the books, Lady Danbury is a key part of Penelope's journey. She champions Penelope, encourages her and helps her build confidence in order to navigate the marriage mart. Instead, the show sees Colin become her mentor, which eventually acts as the catalyst for him realising his feelings for Penelope.

Pen's friendship with Lady Danbury is also a major reason as to why the Lady Whistledown reveal doesn't damage Penelope in society. Penelope and Colin also name their first born daughter Agatha, in honour of Lady Danbury.

Explaining why that friendship was removed from the show, Brownell told Decider: "There were a few different reasons. I mean, first of all, I do love the Penelope and Lady Danbury connection in the book."

"We felt like we’ve watched two seasons of Lady Danbury being heavily involved in molding or shaping the main couple and we wanted to give her a storyline that was more about her," Jess continued. "And not just about her being an accessory on the sidelines to someone else’s story. We wanted to put her more front and center."

Bridgerton season 3 part 2 trailer teases the reveal of Lady Whistledown

In season 3 part 1, Lady Danbury ends up focusing her attention on Francesca Bridgerton and her mother Violet, who appears to be striking up a lil' romance of her own with Danbury's brother, Marcus.

Jess added that Lady Danbury's storyline in Part 2 will tie-in with her storyline from Queen Charlotte. In the prequel series, it was revealed that the love of Lady Danbury's life is actually Violet's father Lord Ledger.

Speaking about the intention to deepen her and Violet's backstories, Jess continued: "It felt nice to connect Violet and Danbury by bringing in the Marcus Anderson character, who both follows up on the plot about Violet wanting to 'tend to her garden,' while also continuing to delve more deeply into Lady Danbury’s backstory."

So there you have it! And with the loss of Penelope and Danbury's close friendship, it's now unlikely that Polin's first born will be named Agatha... Maybe Polin will end up winning the Featherington heir race with a son instead?

Read more about Bridgerton here:

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