TV & Movies

A Viral Bridgerton Theory About Benedict & Cressida Just Got Debunked

#Benophie nation can rest easy.

A 'Bridgerton' Theory About Benedict & Cressida Got Debunked
Liam Daniel/Netflix

The quill ink has dried on Bridgerton Season 3, but the theories are just getting started. Given all the clues that point to Benedict being the potential Season 4 lead (that masquerade ball mention), it only makes sense that viewers are particularly interested in the second-eldest Bridgerton brother.

The Cinderella-esque story of Benedict’s book, An Offer from a Gentleman, is a favorite for many readers. However, a recent theory suggests a major departure from Julia Quinn’s novel — in fact, what if Benedict’s love interest is not Sophie Beckett but Cressida Cowper?

Another Book Twist?

That would be quite a major change, but is there any merit to it?

Though several fans have put forth the prediction on social media, @cassmorann’s viral Instagram post compiles some of the main arguments. “The ultimate redemption arc for Cressida would be to marry into the Bridgerton family,” the user suggests. “The most obvious avenue for that, of course, being Benedict.”

@cassmorann adds that with Cressida being sent off to live with her aunt at the end of Season 3, a return to Mayfair could be similar to the “rags-to-riches” story seen with Sophie in An Offer from a Gentleman.

Liam Daniel/Netflix

The user also notes that the last time Cressida is seen in Season 3, she has a chain element in her hair. “She is literally being held captive,” adding that Benedict can be seen wearing a key on his waist in the same episode, suggesting that he holds the literal and figurative key to changing her fate.

Don’t Worry, #Benophie Stans

A Bridgerton deep dive is always fun, but if you can’t bear the thought of Benedict’s love interest changing from Sophie to Cressida, fear not. Someone does hold the key to Cressida’s hair cage, but it’s not meant to be Benedict.

Jessica Madsen, who plays Cressida, recently told Entertainment Weekly that an alternate ending showed Lady Cowper joining her daughter in the carriage. In her hair? A key! This represented the mother “choos[ing] her daughter,” showrunner Jess Brownell confirmed.

Grace Gorman, Bridgerton wig artist, even shared a video of the unseen key look. “The key to happiness is freedom, the key to freedom is in Lady Cowpers hair 👀🗝️🔒,” Gorman wrote on Instagram.

Plus, trend expert Cat Quinn shared in her own video that Gorman explained the significance of the mother-daughter wig moment, and wrote in her caption that “Her mom Araminta comes to save her in an alternative ending and holds the key to her freedom. (not Benedict as some are reporting).” So, consider this one debunked.

But was Benedict wearing a key in the Season 3 finale? Maybe, but so are most of the men you’ll see on Bridgerton, if you look closely.

Liam Daniel/Netflix

Apparently, Regency guys wore adorable little keychains all the time!

Liam Daniel/Netflix

There’s a good reason for that, too. According to the Greater Bay Area Costumers Guild, men of Benedict’s time would carry a watch inside a special fob pocket, and that watch chain would have a special key for winding. So it seems Cressida’s cage clue, while compelling, was really only ever meant to be a sweet Easter egg about her mom.

As for Sophie, Brownell did recently tell Glamour that we will “see her at some point.” So it seems she very much exists in the Bridgerton universe.