Was Lord Debling Robbed of a Happy Ending in Bridgerton Season 3?

Was Lord Debling Robbed of a Happy Ending in Bridgerton Season 3?
Image credit: Netflix

Why did the writers forget about Lord Debling at the end?


  • Bridgerton Season 3 featured many subplots that interfered with the development of Polin's relationships.
  • However, many of these storylines were simply not resolved, especially the arc of Lord Alfred Debling.
  • Fans feel that he deserved a much happier ending.

The third season of Bridgerton has come to an end, and many fans are already looking forward to the next installment. The wait for the new season will be about two years, though, so we are left to chew on the events that have taken place so far. But unfortunately, the bitter taste of the third season's outcome is still present in the fanbase, and this goes far beyond the rumored deleted scenes that robbed a deeper development of the romantic relationship between Colin (Luke Newton) and Penelope (Nicola Coughlan).

Many viewers were unhappy with the amount of subplots introduced in Bridgerton Season 3. Instead of the long-awaited Polin, we kept stumbling across subplots involving other characters. But this wouldn't have been such a big issue if the writers had managed to strike a balance by giving Polin and everyone else enough time. Instead, we're left with minor storylines for major events and unfinished arcs for several characters.

This is especially true for the fate of Lord Alfred Debling (Sam Phillips). Despite being an original character in the series, the writers have not bothered to give him a happy ending. Or any ending at all.

How Did Lord Debling's Arc End in Bridgerton Season 3?

As we said, Lord Debling was not conceived by Julia Quinn and only appeared as an original character in the third season of Netflix's Bridgerton. Though not every viewer liked him at first, as he became an obstacle to Colin and Pen's passionate romance, he actually turned out to be a very dignified man who would certainly respect his potential spouse and give her the freedom to live on her own terms, against society's expectations.

Was Lord Debling Robbed of a Happy Ending in Bridgerton Season 3? - image 1

Of course, he was not the best choice for Penelope. Although his proposal to marry him and look after the house while he went on expeditions for several years was very attractive, as Pen would be able to devote herself to writing, the future Mrs. Bridgerton longed for pure love, combined with equality and mutual respect.

But this in no way justifies the way his arc ended. In short, the result was practically nonexistent. At the ball, just as Alfred was about to confront Pen about her choice of a marriage of convenience, Colin burst onto the scene and made Lord Debling realize that it was Bridgerton whom Pen truly loved. In need of a reliable marriage partner, if not affection, he left the ball with nothing.

Doesn't Alfred Deserve a Happy Ending?

Fans felt it was incredibly unfair how he was ultimately treated without any kind of closure. However, as some viewers pointed out, his storyline was far more important to the overall plot than that of the Mondriches, of whom there were many more in Season 3.

Of course, no one is saying that Pen should have stayed with Lord Debling, but he still deserved his own happy ending, having found his practical match in someone else.

The big potential was Cressida Cowper, who also ended up being underdeveloped. In the books, Cressida, under parental pressure, married the uncredited Lord Twombley in the third novel, a character who, in the course of events, would leave Cressida a widow.

As the series script began to diverge from the source material, it was possible to make Debling her husband instead of Twombley. This would have given Cressida more motivation to confront Penelope about claiming to be Lady Whistledown, since, unlike Pen, she would have been in an unhappy marriage.

Well, if the writers decided to do things differently, hopefully both Cressida and Alfred will find happiness in future seasons.