TV & Movies

Bridgerton Fans Just Noticed An Easter Egg About Penelope’s Name

There’s more to her alter ego.

Violet and Penelope on Bridgerton. Photo via Netflix
Liam Daniel/Netflix

Bridgerton fans know how to find meaning in even the smallest detail, from the bee and butterfly motifs to a pall mall game that’s theorized to represent the order of the show’s seasons. So intricate and splendorous is Shondaland’s depiction of Regency England that such close viewing really does pay off. As Luke Newton (who plays Colin) recently told Bustle, “The fans have their finger on the pulse. There are moments when I’m like, ‘Have they read a script?’”

But alas, it’s impossible to pick up on every detail during the first watch or two — and for many viewers, a pretty important one has been hiding in plain sight.

A Sneaky Pen Name

Viewers on X (formerly Twitter) came to the realization that Penelope’s alter ego as Lady Whistledown gives her name special significance. “Just realised Penelope’s pet name (pen) is a nod to her being Lady Whistledown lmao,” one user wrote.


Similarly, one fan on Reddit wondered if they were “the last person on earth” to realize the double meaning of Penelope’s name. Not only does a writer use a “pen,” but a pseudonym (or author’s alias) is typically referred to as a “pen name.” Of course, a writer of this time wouldn’t have a ballpoint pen, but a quill made from a feather. Featherington!

Liam Daniel/Netflix

As one fan on Instagram mused, “You’re telling me her name is literally Pen Feather and yet no one has figured out she’s the anonymous gossip columnist?”

But indeed, many commenters saw the light right then and there. “Omg I didn’t even notice this until now! That makes sense though,” wrote one viewer.

Lady Whistledown’s Surprising Origin Story

If you’re just making the connection now, don’t worry — you’re clearly not alone! In fact, it was never Bridgerton author Julia Quinn’s intention for Penelope’s name to be some carefully crafted Easter egg for readers (or viewers) to uncover.

As Quinn recalled in an essay on her website, she wrote The Duke and I (the very first Bridgerton novel) without even knowing who Lady Whistledown would be. “I figured it out right around the time I started writing the next book in the series [The Viscount Who Loved Me] and then frantically reread The Duke and I to make sure I hadn’t written anything that would disqualify my candidate,” she wrote.

So while Penelope’s name might be a clue about her alter ego, it wasn’t necessarily meant to be one — rather, it seems to be a serendipitous twist of fate.