TV & Movies

Nicola Coughlan Quickly Shut Down A Bridgerton Season 4 Fan Theory

Viewers interpreted a behind-the-scenes detail as proof of next season’s lead.

Bridgerton's Nicola Coughlan Addressed A Season 4 Theory
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images/Liam Daniel/Netflix

Swooning over steamy scenes set to orchestral pop covers is only half the fun of Bridgerton. The other half, for many viewers, is hunting for Easter eggs to analyze the love stories that abound in the ton — and those that will come, too.

So when Nicola Coughlan (who plays Penelope) posted a collection of behind-the-scenes snaps from filming Season 3, fans quickly latched onto an intriguing detail: a mirror sporting a sticky note with the name “Sophie” written on it.

Now, you might not catch the significance of such a detail if you haven’t read Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton books. But in the series, Benedict’s love interest is named Sophie Beckett, and fans have long predicted that Sophie might make her debut by the end of Season 3.

An Accidental Clue?

So if an actor playing someone named Sophie were, say, getting their makeup done — that would be a big deal for those patiently awaiting Benedict and Sophie (or #Benophie)’s season. Fans shared their excitement in the comments of Coughlan’s June 2 Instagram post. “The ‘SOPHIE’ post it made me SCREAM,” one user wrote, with another simply asking: “SOPHIE?!?”

Over on Reddit, one fan wondered if the note was indeed “another sign” for Season 4. (If you’ve been keeping up with fan theories, you know there’s been much speculation about the lead for Bridgerton’s next round.)

Lady Whistledown Clears The Air

While her character’s alter ego may enjoy stirring the pot, Coughlan was quick to shut down the implication that she’d accidentally spoiled Season 4. “lolll no that’s @sophie.burton.33’s makeup station!!” she replied to one commenter, tagging a Bridgerton makeup artist.

So... case closed! But Benophie stans, stay strong. Even if this particular detail didn’t turn out to be a hint about Season 4’s lead, there are still plenty of convincing clues that suggest Benedict will step into the spotlight.

For example, in the Bridgerton books, Benedict’s marriage (and subsequent absence from the Bridgerton abode) lays the groundwork for Eloise’s love story. Because without her older siblings to talk to, she seeks friendship in a pen pal who later becomes something more. So it would make sense for Benedict to marry before the second half of Bridgerton romances can truly begin.

Liam Daniel/Netflix

Plus, showrunner Jess Brownell has teased an important journey for Benedict over the course of Season 3. “I think by the end of the season, he’s going to know a lot more about what he wants out of life and where he belongs,” she recently told The Hollywood Reporter.

Perhaps the artistic, second-eldest Bridgerton brother is finally ready for a serious relationship of his own?