TV & Movies

Bridgerton Fans Are Praising This Change To Francesca & John’s Love Story

It’s a small but powerful shift from the books.

'Bridgerton': Memes & Tweets About Francesca & John

There’s more than one love story happening in Bridgerton Season 3. And while the main event is obviously Colin and Penelope going from friends to, um, carriage carpoolers, fans have quickly fallen in love with the budding relationship between Francesca and John Stirling, Earl of Kilmartin.

Francesca and John’s connection begins during a ball in Episode 3, in which they both step outside to get a moment of peace. “Perhaps we can enjoy the silence together,” John says. After another suitor just said he wanted to have eight kids so his house could always be “filled with constant chatter,” it’s exactly what Francesca needs to hear.

They don’t even learn each other’s names until later when a smitten John shows up at the Bridgerton home to be formally introduced. “Miss Francesca,” he says. (Swoon!!!) “John Stirling, Earl of Kilmartin.” On a show that’s often filled with angst, it’s fun to see a couple with such a gentle, easy chemistry — one that’s built on moving gestures like John rearranging a piece of music to suit Francesca’s taste.

Viewers reacted to every charming moment on X (formerly Twitter), and shared their thoughts on Francesca and John’s future. Major spoilers for Bridgerton book When He Was Wicked ahead.

A New Fan-Favorite Couple

Viewers couldn’t resist the connection between John and Francesca after Season 3’s premiere. “Get yourself a man who understands your love language the way John Stirling does for Francesca Bridgerton,” wrote one fan of his musical gift.

“This is what I imagine love to be,” another replied.

One viewer simply couldn’t help but scream at the pair’s first official introduction at the Bridgerton abode, where they simply enjoyed each other’s silence. “AHHH THE CHEMISTRY.”


Book Readers Went *Through* It

If you’ve read Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton books, you likely had a bittersweet reaction to John’s introduction to the ton. John suddenly passes away early into his marriage with Francesca, and the remainder of her book is focused on processing that loss — and, ultimately, her finding love with his cousin, Michael Stirling.

“Watching Francesca and John getting married is gonna be devastating and beautiful at the same time,” one viewer wrote.

As another fan put it perfectly, “My heart becomes soft at their lovely first meeting and breaks at their future.” Viewers also pointed out that Francesca was playing Mozart’s “Funeral March” before she made her debut in Episode 1, lending a tragic air to her journey.

But There’s A Bright Side

Because When He Was Wicked is all about finding love after loss, readers don’t get to spend too much time with John. In fact, his death is briefly mentioned in Romancing Mister Bridgerton, well before Francesca’s book. And even by Book 6, little is shared about John and Francesca’s relationship.


So by introducing John now, Bridgerton is able to shine a light on the couple’s sweet courtship — much to fans’ delight. “I'm excited that we are introduced to him now at the same time as Francesca because in the novel we barely get to know him before he dies,” wrote one viewer.

Another applauded the way Victor Alli’s casting as John Stirling was kept under wraps. “It allowed us to have some suspense trying to figure out how this was going to play out on the show, since we don’t get this part of Fran’s story on page.”