Warning: Spoilers ahead!
Granted, this is just a theory—i.e., fun, harmless speculation—so take it with a grain of salt. That being said, Reddit user Not-Dry-Toast raises some very valid points. They posit that the Colin and Penelope relationship will be fast-tracked, maybe even to next season.
“The more I think about it, the more I just can’t see [Netflix] dragging out the romances for Anthony, Benedict, Colin, etc. etc. throughout season after season,” they write. “It doesn’t seem like their M.O. to make all these different seasons of a show, even if it is an extremely popular show.”
They continued, “People keep saying, for instance, that they can’t wait until season four for Colin to finally get together with Penelope. And to be honest, I really can’t see them stretching that plot line out that long because they tend to cut shows off early.”
So how does Not-Dry-Toast propose Netflix crunches the timeline? (After all, in the books, it takes Colin more than a decade to fall for Penelope.) They propose the mysterious heir to the Featherington estate—remember, Baron Featherington is killed in season one—will be a “very removed relative.” This person, Not-Dry-Toast theorizes, will “want to marry off the Featherington daughters as soon as possible to get them off his back.”
Let’s say this happens. Now enter Colin. Not-Dry-Toast posits that “the threat of Penelope being married off [will] speed up the process of him falling for her.” In that case, will their romance happen in season two?! Not-Dry-Toast thinks that would set things up nicely for a Colin-Penelope wedding in season three, which I’m very here for.
It’s a totally plausible theory. According to Screen Rant, Baron Featherington’s death doesn’t happen in Julia Quinn‘s novels, so perhaps Netflix created this storyline to play with character arcs. Of course, it’s worth noting series creator Chris Van Dusen did say an eight-season run of Bridgerton is possible; in that case, shortening timelines wouldn’t be necessary.
You can read Not-Dry-Toast’s full theory here. I can’t wait to see what actually happens!