Bridgerton S3 Theory: Does Eloise Have a Hidden Reason for Not Forgiving Pen?

Bridgerton S3 Theory: Does Eloise Have a Hidden Reason for Not Forgiving Pen?
Image credit: Netflix

Can the friends make up, or are there much stronger and more conflicting feelings behind the grudge?


  • In Bridgerton Season 2, Eloise discovered the identity of Lady Whistledown.
  • In Season 3, Eloise seems to be more grounded in social expectations, which may be a hint of jealousy towards Pen.
  • However, her feelings may be much simpler and based on a betrayal of trust.

Bridgerton felt a little underwhelming due to Netflix's decision to split it into two parts, but the fact that the remaining episodes will land on the streaming service's library in just a few days makes up for it! Season 3, Part 2 will debut very soon, on June 13. And while we wait in anticipation, let's take a moment to reflect on where the characters will be when the new episodes arrive.

Specifically, we won't be focusing on Polin, but on the relationship between Penelope (Nicola Coughlan) and Eloise (Claudia Jessie): At the time of the season two finale, their friendship was on the brink of collapse, and the fallout from the Lady Whistledown scandal was affecting the two young women's high places in London society. But there may be more to Eloise's inability to forgive Pen than a strong grudge. Let's get to the bottom of it.

The Truth at the Cost of Friendship

Colin (Luke Newton) and Penelope aren't the only characters to get a major transformation in Season 3. Along with Polin, Eloise now has a significant presence in the ton. She has become more in tune with social expectations, less vocal about her political views, more interested in fashion, and has struck up a friendship with the pretentious Cressida Cowper (Jessica Madsen).

But what she carried with her from Season 2 was a grudge against Pen. In the Season 2 finale, Penelope's storyline was at a low point. She had a falling out with Eloise after she discovered that Penelope was the infamous gossip writer Lady Whistledown.

Eloise Might Feel Something beyond Resentment

Of course, perhaps the problem as such would not exist if Lady Whistledown did not exist whatsoever. And yet, in a way, Eloise should be genuinely pleased that her friend has become the realization of her political ideals, a Bridgerton version of Mary Wollstonecraft, if you will. Lady Whistledown is a literal example of a woman, not dependent on her husband's or family's dowry, who has managed to support herself through her own labor.

Bridgerton S3 Theory: Does Eloise Have a Hidden Reason for Not Forgiving Pen? - image 1

Moreover, although Pen projects her experiences and dislikes through her literary alter ego, she tries to minimize her subjectivity. In fact, she is an excellent example of an honest journalist — she could have repeatedly sunk those who slandered her, including the recent Cressida, but instead she chose to remain unbiased.

All of this may indicate that Eloise is experiencing some form of envy towards her friend, as Pen has put all of her principles into action without drawing attention to her personality. In other words, it was Penelope who turned out to be a badass feminist — something Eloise could not afford and therefore reverted to a conformist image.

And Yet She Felt Betrayed

But even though she has experienced jealousy, Eloise is not a bad friend. Fans should remember that Eloise has always shown compassion for Pen.

And while she may seem callous and self-centered at times, she cares deeply for the people closest to her, as seen when she comforted Penelope who was grieving after her father's death, or when she helped her bond with Colin in Season 3A.

As for the strong resentment, there's no denying that Lady Whistledown has brought upon herself a lot of trouble by betraying her best friend's trust. Hopefully, both friends will finally put their past grudges behind them.

As we said, Bridgerton Season 3, Part 2 will be hitting our small screens in just a few days, on June 13. In the meantime, you can stream all the episodes from the two and a half seasons that have already been released on Netflix.