Skip To Content

    16 Differences Between "The Viscount Who Loved Me" Book And "Bridgerton” Season 2

    Readers remember the iconic bee stinging incident with Kate, but oh, how it differs in the show...

    Adaptations are bound to have differences from the original source. And that's alright! We can enjoy both, each in a different format, whenever we are in the mood to do it. This time around, Netflix has blessed us with a new season of Bridgerton, which is based on the book, The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn. Here are all the book-to-screen differences we spotted.

    Warning: This article contains spoilers for Season 2!

    1. Kate and Anthony's first meeting.

    Kate Sharma and Anthony Bridgerton meeting for the first time when they bump during riding their horses.
    Netflix

    In the book, Kate (played by Simone Ashley) and Anthony (played by Jonathan Bailey) meet at the Hartside Ball one Wednesday evening. Kate already knows who Anthony is. Or, really, she knows his reputation as a rake. While Anthony has no clue who Kate is at that point in the story, (That quickly changes though!) one Colin Bridgerton introduces them after Colin is static about meeting Kate, knowing her inner thoughts about the viscount. 

    But in the show, Kate and Anthony surprisingly bump into each other one day after Anthony returns home from a liaison with a woman. He basically gets run over by Kate, who is out riding her horse. She has a hood on, so Anthony has trouble seeing her, as she's riding like they're being chased by hounds. Luckily, he manages to catch her. They dazzle us with their banter, and you can see how their relationship will blossom.

    2. Lady Danbury hosts the Sharmas.

    Lady Danbury, Mary Sharma, Edwina Sharma, and Kate Sharma sitting together, drinking tea.
    Netflix

    Lady Danbury takes it upon herself to sponsor the Sharmas into society this season. She hosts them at her elegant, beautiful manor, even introducing them to the queen. But that's not really what happens in the book.

    You definitely see more of Lady Danbury in the show than in the book. Adjoa Andoh, who plays the legendary woman, is a force to be reckoned with, and every time she's onscreen, you can't help but smile. Even though it is said that the Sharmas used the last of their funds for the one-way trip to London, Danbury provides them with money, housing, and a season to remember.

    3. Eloise Bridgerton is debuting in society.

    Eloise Bridgerton with a feather on her head when she is presented to the Queen during her debut.
    Netflix

    Eloise's character receives a more focal point this season. She is debuting in society ⁠— this is her first season. This means that she is debuting alongside Edwina Sharma, Kate's younger sister. 

    The book does this differently. Violet Bridgerton introduces Eloise to the Sheffields when they arrive at Lady Bridgerton's musicale. Kate asks Eloise if this is her first season, and Eloise replies "I'm not officially out until next year, but my mother has been allowing me to attend functions here at Bridgerton House." Eloise hasn't debuted yet — she's there to accompany her mother and siblings. 

    Eloise takes on a huge role in this season! After Shonda Rhimes announced that they might not follow the same order of the books, you start to wonder if maybe Eloise is next...?

    4. We already know the true identity of Lady Whistledown.

    Penelope Featherington with a blue cape, trying to not being found out by anyone she knows.
    Netflix

    Now, this is such a huge detail! In the books, we only get snippets of what Lady Whistledown publishes at the beginning of each chapter. It is a smart use of the pamphlet, a way that gives us details as to where, perhaps, the main characters are or which party they're currently attending. In The Viscount Who Loved Me, we do not know who is behind the scandal sheet.

    But if you watched last season of Bridgerton, you know that they revealed Penelope Featherington is Lady Whistledown. In this season, we gain a deeper knowledge about the infamous gossip whisperer. How she pays attention to every single thing happening around her, how being a wallflower works in her favor, how she goes about the printing of the paper, and many more details surrounding Lady Whistledown.

    5. The Anthony Bridgerton curse.

    Anthony Bridgerton looking at Kate Sharma.
    Netflix

    "Edmund Bridgerton had died at the age of 38. And Anthony simply couldn't imagine ever surpassing his father in any way, even in years." One thing that rules Anthony's life, aside from his familial duties, is the curse. After Edmund's death, Anthony fully believes he won't live longer than his father did at his age. This is one of the main reasons why Anthony doesn't want a love match. He knows his own mortality and doesn't want either of them — himself or his wife — to suffer.

    In the show, this plot line is nonexistent. It is said that Anthony doesn't want to marry for love, but the reason given why in the books isn't the same as in the show. 

    6. There's a love triangle!

    Kate Sharma and Anthony Bridgerton standing up while Edwina Sharma is sitting down looking at Kate.
    Netflix

    Having read the book before watching the show, the dynamic between Edwina, Kate, and Anthony was already established in my head. In the book, Anthony's courtship with Edwina isn't that deep. They don't really have a relationship at all. Alas, Edwina in the book is 17 years old, so it makes sense that Anthony and Edwina don't have a lot in common and cannot relate to each other on a deeper level.

    In the show, they create a love triangle. Edwina (played by Charithra Chandran) even says she loves him, which she never does in the book. When Anthony suddenly finds himself engaged to Kate after the bee incident, Edwina and Kate never fight or argue about the sudden turn of events. Edwina never really liked him, and soon after, she is courted by another man who is the perfect match for her.

    7. Anthony gets jealous? YES.

    Anthony looking at Kate (off-screen) while standing with his mother, Violet Bridgerton, and Edwina Sharma.
    Netflix

    Now, if I remember correctly, in the book, Anthony is never seen acting jealous. Kate is never courted by anyone else when Anthony is focusing on Edwina. Even though this is Kate's first season in London, she is 21 years old. So for society back then, she is basically a spinster. But Kate doesn't care about that — her attention is focused on finding the perfect match for her little sister who she adores.

    What the show gave us is an Anthony who gets jealous when someone approaches Kate. In this case, we see a new character, Mr. Thomas Dorset, who asks Kate to go around the lake on a boat. Anthony can't manage to stop staring at them while they go on their little outing. Even his mother notices he can't stop looking Kate's way! And so, when they finally return, Anthony helps Kate out of the boat, but the soft touching between their hands makes him distressed enough to bump into Newton and fall in the lake. 

    8. But where's Anthony sucking the bee venom from Kate's breast?!

    Kate and Anthony holding hands to their chests in order for Anthony to calm down after Kate is stung by a bee.
    Netflix

    Look, the bee sting scene is iconic in romancelandia. Because the bee sting leads to Anthony and Kate being found in a compromising position. And you know that, when it comes to historical romance, if someone is alone with another person, that means there is a possibility that a scandal can happen. This happens to Anthony and Kate in the book. They are found by Mary Sheffield, Violet Bridgerton, and Portia Featherington in a compromising position.

    In the novel, Anthony, with the thought of his father's death still very much present, becomes instantly afraid when one bee stings his nemesis, Kate. The iconic part of this scene is that the bee stings her on her breast. Anthony can't help but try to take the venom out... with his mouth. So, yeah, the ladies find Anthony and Kate with his mouth on her breast, and this leads to them becoming engaged.

    9. Buzz, buzz: Edmund Bridgerton's death.

    Edmund Bridgerton dying after being stung by a bee. Violet and Anthony holding him on the floor.
    Netflix

    Edmund Bridgerton's death is an emotional moment for everyone, even for us as readers. It's told in the prologue of the book, where you get to know more about the father who suddenly passed away at a very young age. In the book, Anthony returns from a ride with Benedict when he finds 10-year-old Daphne on the floor, crying. It's then that he is told that his father, the center of his world, has suddenly died from a bee sting.

    If you watch the show, you'll see a clear difference. Anthony returns with his father, and they stop to pick some flowers for his mother. The bee stings him, creating the moment where Anthony watches his father die before his eyes.

    10. No Duke of Hastings.

    Most of the Bridgerton siblings (Eloise, Daphne, Colin, Anthony, Benedict), Edwina and Kate Sharma playing Pall Mall at Aubrey Hall.
    Netflix

    The famous Pall Mall scene. *Sighs in love.* When I read this scene, I couldn't stop laughing. The relationship between the Bridgerton siblings is on full display, and you clearly see how much they love each other. The Pall Mall game is vicious and brings the worst of the Bridgertons out into the light, which is incredible to witness because they all want to win. The only two who don't have the Bridgerton name attached to their first name are the Duke of Hastings, Simon, and Kate Sheffield.

    In April 2021, it was announced that Regé-Jean Page was not returning to the show as the Duke of Hastings. To be honest, I totally understand. Simon appears maybe twice in the book, and one of them is the iconic Pall Mall scene. The Bridgerton crew filmed Season 2 during the height of the pandemic, so we can understand why Regé-Jean Page said no. 

    Yes, Simon's involvement in the Pall Mall game is hilarious in the book. It gives you insight as to how Daphne and Simon are doing after their story ended. One of the things I love the most about romance series is that you get a look at either past or future pairings.

    11. Anthony proposes to Edwina.

    Anthony, down in one knee, proposing to Edwina while Kate stands to the side.
    Netflix

    The show takes a turn after this episode. It strays significantly from the book because most of the events that occur after this scene don't appear in the novel. 

    As I mentioned before, Edwina and Anthony's courtship isn't that memorable for either of them. They never fancied each other, so when they part ways, it doesn't really affect anything in their lives. But in the show, Anthony actually proposes to Edwina. He still believes he has to do it in order to take care of his family. 

    This moment creates something powerful between Kate and Anthony: Angst. Readers, I introduce you to angst. To the yearning between two characters who want each other so badly, but unfortunately, one is engaged to the other's sibling. You'll see stolen looks, light finger touches, deep, heart-pounding longing when they are in close proximity, and so much more.

    12. The story behind Kate's fear of thunder.

    Kate on her bed while a storm in passing through Aubrey Hall.
    Netflix

    In Episode 4, there's a storm at Aubrey Hall. Kate is seen not being able to sleep, and when a loud thunder is heard through the estate, she instantly stands up. She then goes to Aubrey Hall's library in order to calm her nerves, but she doesn't expect Anthony Bridgerton to come into the room late into the night as well. 

    Anthony asks her if the lodgings are the reason she cannot sleep. She replies by saying that it's actually the storm, that she has always found them unsettling. But in the book, it's far more intense than that. Kate has a strong fear of thunderstorms, and whenever one arrives, she cannot even move a muscle because of the fear she houses inside herself. She even calls it "a weakness," for it always messes up her plans. 

    Kate's fear of thunder and Anthony's curse were something that united them in a way. They represent a pivotal moment in their lives that they couldn't get past: each of their father's deaths.

    13. Edwina isn't 17 years old, thank god.

    Edwina getting ready to face her estranged grandparents. Kate behind her.
    Netflix

    I am quite happy Edwina ages up in the show. Because I found it very disturbing that Anthony, who was 29 when he met Edwina in the book, was courting her while she was underage. I guess you can say it was normal back then if we're talking about historical accuracy, but why make that historically accurate when you also didn't have things like good dental hygiene — yet every single nobility we meet in this historical romance has amazing teeth? Just wondering...

    14. Oh, no! Kate and Edwina are at odds.

    Edwina, crying, wearing her wedding dress after the wedding was stopped.
    Netflix

    When Anthony and Kate are caught with his lips on her breast, our protagonists quickly become engaged. You might think the book follows the same storyline as the show, since Edwina was the one the viscount had been courting, but no. In the book, Edwina was thrilled when Kate and Anthony got engaged. She even said, "It was obvious to me that he was smitten. I do not know why no one else saw it.

    But in the show, the Sharma sisters' relationship crumbles when Edwina finds out Kate and Anthony have feelings for each other. She is outraged with both her sister and Anthony because she's the last one to notice that they care for each other. As you can see, it's quite a different reaction from the book. 

    15. Anthony holding Kate after her accident > anything else.

    Anthony holding Kate after she got tossed off from the horse in the rain.
    Netflix

    In both the show and book, we get a scene where Kate has an accident. I do love reading and watching scenes where someone gets injured or sick, and the other person endlessly worries about them. I don't know what that says about me, but I always eat it up.

    In the show, Kate is tossed off her horse in the rain while Anthony witnesses. He's in disarray when he finally reaches Lady Danbury's manor with Kate in his arms, calling for help. He's basically experiencing what happened with his father all over again, but now with the woman he loves.

    We do get Kate's accident in the book as well, but it's a bit different than the one on the show: Kate is on a carriage ride with Edwina and Edwina's suitor, Mr. Bagwell, when suddenly the carriage runs up over a large rock, quickly overturning it. Anthony, like in the show, witnesses and comes to their rescue. Kate comes out of the accident with a broken leg and a love confession.

    The rain in the accident scene makes it so much more agonizing and perfect! When Anthony receives word that Kate is awake, his face crumbles and he pushes a sigh of relief. A beautiful moment that Jonathan Bailey delivered in spades!

    16. And last but not least, Kate and Anthony are married by the middle of the book.

    Kate and Anthony dancing.
    Netflix

    As I previously mentioned, Kate and Anthony marry when they are found in a compromising position, aka the bee sting incident. This happens in the middle of the book as opposed to them getting together right at the end of Season 2. You basically get #Kanthony post-marriage life in the second half of the novel. All those adoring moments! There's even a scene where Anthony pulls Kate onto his lap. 

    That's something many will miss for sure. Although the end of Season 2 put a permanent smile on my face, so I'm not complaining.

    Even with all of these changes, you cannot deny that this season was very entertaining. If you're reading this post, it probably means you've already watched it all! (Maybe you're even thinking about starting it over again?) Kate and Anthony know how to display the slow-burn trope in its entirety. I mean, the way they kept yearning for each other throughout the whole show? *Fans self.* What will the third season bring to us?