Shondaland’s Netflix Original series, ‘Bridgerton‘, is a passionate romance set in Regency-era England. The story revolves around the aristocratic Bridgerton siblings, all alphabetically named (Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory, Hyacinth), and part of London’s elite beau monde. The first season of ‘Bridgerton’, a steamy, sexy romp, follows Daphne Bridgerton’s deliciously scandalous romance with Simon Basset, the strikingly handsome Duke of Hastings. But it’s not all ball-gowns and breeches in ‘Bridgerton’; there are some serious themes that run subtly, under the cover of frivolity.
Daphne’s first season out in society promises to be an instant success when the Queen pronounces her the Incomparable. But her popularity with the opposite sex is soon tanked by her constantly hovering over-protective brother Anthony. Enter Simon Basset, the aloof and incredibly dashing Duke of Hastings who is also Anthony’s best friend from school. To give the impression that he is unavailable (and thus discouraging the efforts of hopeful debutantes and their matchmaking mothers), Simon suggests a ruse that he and Daphne enter into a fake courtship. A pretend courtship with the duke should also help Daphne grab the attention of other eligible suitors and take her back to the top of the most desirable list. What Daphne and Simon don’t count on is being attracted to each other. How does their ruse pan out? Let’s find out. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Do Simon and Daphne Get Married?
Yes, Simon and Daphne do get married but it is not willingly, even though they are quite evidently in love with each other. Simon, who had been neglected and verbally (and emotionally) abused by his father because he had a speech impediment as a child, is averse to the very idea of getting married and having kids. As a sort of revenge for a crappy childhood, Simon promises his dying father that he will never produce an heir and let the Hastings line die with him.
When he meets Daphne, though, his resolve is put to the test. From the very first interaction, it’s clear that Simon and Daphne share a burning attraction. They also become close friends and are unusually comfortable with each other. They engage in toe-curling flirtation, which soon has Daphne dreaming naughty dreams about Simon. But when it becomes clear that Daphne is falling for the duke, he backs off and ends their pretend courtship, deciding to leave the country for a while to get away from Daphne and the unsettling feelings she has roused.
However, at a ball, Daphne and Simon’s growing attraction leads to an unbidden passionate moment and they share a not-so-chaste kiss, which is unfortunately witnessed by Anthony. Viscount Bridgerton promptly demands that the duke marry Daphne, but Simon says no. Enraged that Simon would so dishonor his sister, Anthony challenges him to a duel at dawn. And while this may seem a tad too dramatic to the audiences, you have to bear in mind that during the 1800s, women were still largely considered more “property” than “people”. Primitive ideas of chastity suggested that an unmarried lady’s honor and reputation depend on her being “pure and untouched”. As such, regressive concepts of men defending their women’s honor by fighting deadly duels, over mere kisses, were pretty much the norm back then.
Daphne does manage to stop the duel by convincing Simon to marry her. She tells him that she will be ruined anyway if he doesn’t wed her because apparently Cressida Cowper, another attendee at the ball, had seen them alone together and would not hesitate to besmirch Daphne’s good girl rep. Simon tells Daphne that he cannot have children even if they get married, to which Daphne agrees (since that’s the only way to stop Anthony from killing Simon). So Daphne and Simon obtain a special license and get married within a week of the kissing incident.
Is Daphne Pregnant in Bridgerton?
When Simon tells Daphne that he cannot have children, she takes it to mean that he is incapable of siring progeny. She has no idea about Simon’s vengeful vow to his dying dad. Simon and Daphne embark on a life of a blissfully passionate marriage, spending most of their honeymoon making love in different locations on the duke’s country estate. Daphne is not aware of the fact that Simon is employing birth control by pulling out of her just before he climaxes. This cluelessness stems from the fact that Daphne has no idea about the technicalities of human reproduction. Back in the 19th century, there was no concept of sex education, more so for the genteel female population, for whom matters of the sexual nature were considered improper and inappropriate to discuss.
Even before her wedding night, Daphne’s mother blubbers through heavy embarrassment to talk about the “marital act” in vague euphemisms. It’s no wonder that Daphne is utterly unaware of how sex and reproduction work. When Daphne does discover Simon’s underhanded birth control method, she is understandably upset and feels betrayed. But before she confronts him about it, Daphne seduces Simon and forces him to ejaculate inside of her, not letting him pull out, and thus giving herself the chance to become pregnant. Through the fall-out of her actions and all the ensuing drama, Daphne hopes she has managed to conceive but it turns out she hasn’t. She is devastated when she gets her period.
After Simon and Daphne make up by declaring their love for each other (and after Simon decides to let go of the hate for his father that’s keeping him from starting a family with Daphne), a little epilogue confirms that Daphne does get pregnant soon after and gives birth to a baby boy. So while we do not see her pregnant during the series, the end does show her becoming a mother, with a happy Simon next to her.
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