The Evolution Of Bridgerton's Kanthony: 7 Ways Netflix's Couple Beats The Book

The Evolution Of Bridgerton's Kanthony: 7 Ways Netflix's Couple Beats The Book
Image credit: Netflix

Which Kanthony do you prefer? From the books or the show?

If Bridgerton Season 1 introduced viewers to the Shondaland Bridgerverse, it was the Season 2 story of Kate Sharma and Anthony Bridgerton aka Kanthony that created a worldwide addiction to the Regency-inspired world.

Kanthony's chemistry and sexual tension were so sizzling that fans still can't get enough of the Lord and Lady Bridgerton. Even though they know the baton has been passed to another heart-melting couple (Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington), many were waiting for Season 3 just to get a glimpse of Kanthony's marital bliss.

To ensure this obsession, the Shondaland creators made some changes to the Season 2 source book, Julia Quinn's The Viscount Who Loved Me. In fact, many fans who read the novel after watching the show find that the on-screen couple outshines their book counterparts. Here are seven alterations that made that happen.

Cultural Layer

The show's major tweak to the original material is crafting a Regency-era world where love trumps racism, granting all races entry into high society. This opened the door for British-Indian actresses Simone Ashley and Charithra Chandran to play Kate and her sister Edwina, adding a compelling cultural layer to their backgrounds, wardrobes, and overall outlook on life.

Inner Struggles

In the book, the characters' inner struggles differ greatly from the show's portrayal. Anthony fears the same fate as his father (dying young), while Kate struggles with insecurity compared to her sister. On screen, both are dealing with the loss of their fathers and prioritizing family over personal happiness. This makes their motivations deeper and hits much closer to home for more viewers.

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Increased Stakes

The show's plot makes it clear that the Sharma family is broke, and if one of the sisters (presumably Edwina) doesn't find a rich husband, they may not have the means to survive. In contrast, the book presents a less dire situation: if Edwina remains single, the family will simply return home without much consequence. This raises the stakes for the show's Sharmas and adds the tension necessary to keep the audience emotionally invested.

Age Gap

The aspect that makes Season 2 so much more relatable to modern viewers is the age of the leads. In The Viscount Who Loved Me, Kate is 21, while Anthony is 31, making the difference between them ten years. In the show, Anthony has been aged down one year and Kate's birth date has been moved back five years, making her 26 in Season 2. This brings them much closer in age and allows them to connect on a whole new level.

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First Meeting

The show and the book take a different approach to Anthony and Kate's first encounter. In Quinn's novel, Anthony and Kate meet at a ball, but in the show, it's a sizzling morning horseback ride that sparks their romance. This steamy moment sets the wild-ish tone for Kanthony's entire love story, adding an exciting, period-inspired twist that draws viewers in from the start.

Bee Sting

Both the show and the book highlight the moment when a bee stings Kate in the Bridgerton garden as a pivotal point in the Kanthony saga. In the book, however, it unfolds in a dramatic and somewhat cringeworthy manner. Following the sting, Anthony panics and sucks out the venom, leading to an awkward encounter. Caught in a compromising position, the couple is forced to marry to salvage Kate's honor. The show wisely avoids this storyline, instead having the leads bond over Anthony's phobia

Violence in Relationship

In the book, Anthony and Kate's relationship is far from sunshine and roses. Anthony's behavior tends towards toxic masculinity with aggressive actions like kicking, choking, humiliating and locking Kate up. Such scenes, lacking in humor and charm, make readers uncomfortable. Fortunately, the show takes a different tack, toning down the violence between the two. Instead, the creators have highlighted Anthony's vulnerable side, making him a slightly feral but lovable ultimate Internet boyfriend.

Do you agree that the on-screen Kanthony beats the book couple?