Warning: Spoilers ahead for Netflix’s Bridgerton season 1. If you want to know who Lady Whistledown is in Bridgerton on Netflix, you’re not alone.
From the first 10 minutes of the first episode, Bridgerton—based on Julia Quinn’s book series
of the same name—introduces Lady Whistledown as the anonymous author of the scandalous society pages that cover the Regency London high society families like the Bridgertons and Featheringtons. Though we hear Lady Whistledown’s voice as the narrator of the series, viewers don’t find out who she is until the final episode of season 1 when it’s revealed that she was one of the main characters all along.
So who is Lady Whistledown in Bridgerton? (Spoilers ahead.) Well, in the final moments of episode 8 of Bridgerton, viewers learn that Lady Whistledown is none other than Penelope Featherington, the youngest daughter of Baron Featherington. For a short moment, the camera flashes over Penelope’s face as she seals off the final newsletter of season 1 under her pseudonym, Lady Whistledown. While the reveal may come as a shock to viewers, fans of Quinn’s book series knew that Penelope was Lady Whistledown all along. The author’s identity was revealed in the fourth book, Romancing Mister Bridgerton, which was published in 2002. However, there is some mystery to Penelope’s reveal as Lady Whistledown. Given that season 1 of Bridgerton covers Quinn’s first novel in the series, The Duke and I, fans are curious to know why Lady Whistledown’s identity was revealed so soon, and what that will mean for Penelope in season 2 of Bridgerton, which is expected to cover the second Bridgerton book, The Viscount Who Loved Me.
Of course, Penelope’s reveal as Lady Whistledown makes sense in terms of Bridgerton‘s story. Season 1 saw Penelope as one of the many women in London high society trying to find a suitable husband. Penelope had her eyes set on her best friend’s brother, Colin Bridgerton. Season 1 also saw Lady Whistledown reveal Marina Thompson’s pregnancy, which, looking back, makes sense as to how the author knew the information given that Penelope had been Lady Whistledown all along.
Another interesting thing about Bridgerton‘s reveal of Penelope as Lady Whistledown is how different their views on marriage are. While Lady Whistledown seems to relate more to Penelope’s best friend, Eloise Bridgerton, in in her traditional view of domestic life, Penelope believes that women can be married and have ambitions. It’s expected that Penelope hopes to change societal limitations on women at the time through her role as Lady Whistledown. Of course, Nicola Coughlan, who plays Penelope, doesn’t voice Lady Whistledown. (That would be too obvious.) Lady Whistledown is narrated by the legendary Julie Andrews. Can’t wait for Bridgerton season 2.
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