TV & Movies

A Bridgerton Theory Predicts Benedict’s Connection To Lady Tilley Arnold

Should Benedict be worried?

Lady Tilley Arnold on 'Bridgerton.' Photo via Netflix
Liam Daniel/Netflix

They may not be the central couple of Bridgerton Season 3, but Benedict and Lady Tilley Arnold’s budding connection has viewers buzzing. The independent, forward-thinking widow is not a character from Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton books, so the role she’ll play in Benedict’s life remains a bit of a mystery.

Several viewers might have worked it out, though — at least, they think they have. Fans argue that Lady Arnold may in fact be a prominent character from the Bridgerton book that tells Benedict’s love story, An Offer from a Gentleman: Sophie’s stepmother.

A Secret Stepmother?

If you’ve read the third Bridgerton book (and mild spoilers ahead if you haven’t), you know that it’s a Cinderella-esque tale. Benedict’s love interest, Sophie Beckett, is secretly the daughter of an earl — though her father doesn’t acknowledge her true parentage, and instead raises her as his ward. When the earl marries a widowed countess named Araminta, he lets her in on the family secret, and she becomes Sophie’s stepmother. Later, this earl passes away, leaving Sophie to endure cruel treatment at the hands of her stepmother.

Lady Arnold is a widow, too, which has some fans worried that Benedict may be sleeping with his future stepmother-in-law. One Reddit user pointed to the scene of Tilley talking to a solicitor at her home in Episode 4. “Maybe she is just very assertive but maybe she was being rude,” the Redditor suggested, noting a potential similarity to Araminta’s difficult personality.

Liam Daniel/Netflix

Plus, the solicitor does promise to “return with things in order.” A significant scene in An Offer from a Gentleman sees Araminta challenging her late husband’s solicitor over a provision in his will, which required that she take care of Sophie. If Tilley and Araminta are meant to be the same character, then this scene could be a nod to that disagreement.

And there’s a possible earlier clue. In Episode 3, upon formally introducing herself, Tilley assures Benedict not to be afraid of her trying to “ensnare” him because she’s not looking for a husband.

Liam Daniel/Netflix

“I am not afraid of you,” Benedict assures her.

“That... is a mistake,” Tilley replies.

At the time, it feels like a bit of flirty foreshadowing — but perhaps there is a real reason Benedict should be worried?

Another Path For Benedict

It certainly seems that there’s something going on with Tilly — but it may not be that she has a secret stepdaughter. If you’re not a fan of the theory, you’ll be pleased to know that another character was recently connected to Araminta: Lady Cowper, Cressida’s mom.

Bridgerton wig artist Grace Gorman teased the connection in a recent Instagram post. She shared a picture of Lady Cowper in costume, adding in the caption, “Fun fact - Lady Cowpers first name is Araminta!”

No one involved in the show has confirmed that Lady Cowper will be Sophie’s stepmother, but it certainly seems possible.