The highly anticipated new season of Bridgerton will be here in a matter of weeks. Based on the popular books series from Julia Quinn, the Netflix series is set to return March 25 and stars returning cast members Phoebe Dynevor, Nicola Coughlan, and Claudia Jessie, among many others.
Adapted from The Viscount Who Loved Me, the new season is set to center on Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) and his search to find a wife. His world will turn upside down when the Sharma family makes their debut in London. The world of Bridgerton continues to diversify the regency drama by making Anthony’s love interest and her family of Indian descent and changing their last name from Sheffield to Sharma. Simone Ashley plays Kate Sharma, Charithra Chandran plays her younger sister, Edwina Sharma, and Shelley Conn plays their mother, Mary Sharma; together, they make up the Sharmas, a family of women traveling from India to participate in the social season. Before they make their grand entrance, here’s everything you need to know about them.
Simone Ashley is Kate Sharma: a smart, headstrong woman who has no time for rakes and fools interested in her younger sister. As the eldest, she focuses all her energy and attention on finding Edwina a love match. After her father dies, Kate takes up the duty to care for her family while Mary grieves. She is loyal to her family and will do whatever it takes to ensure their happiness, even at the expense of her own. When she meets Anthony Bridgerton, he is everything she doesn’t want for younger sister. In the first clip released during Netflix’s Tudum fan event, she has no problem telling him how she disapproves of him and his list of marriage requirements. Kate isn’t one to mince words with Anthony, leaving Anthony stunned by her frankness. No doubt, their continued verbal sparring will fan these sparks into a flame.
Kate is also known to be competitive. In The Viscount Who Loved Me she participates in the Bridgerton family game of Pall Mall. While it seems like an ordinary game of croquet, the real objective is to send each other’s balls as far away from the course as possible. When a Bridgerton picks up a mallet, it brings out their ruthless nature, one that Kate shares with the family. She holds her own and uses Anthony’s “mallet of death” to his detriment, foreshadowing her perfect fit within the family as the future Viscountess. Based on the trailer for Bridgerton Season 2, audiences will get to see Pall Mall in all its glory.
For all of Kate’s outward strength and rigidness, she also has her own fears and insecurities. For instance, in The Viscount Who Loved Me, she is so terrified of thunderstorms that she has a panic attack during a visit to Aubrey Hall, the ancestral home of the Bridgertons. Anthony finds her in the middle of it and comforts her through it. In addition to this, she’s also insecure; compared to her diamond of a sister, she doesn’t see herself in that vein and is convinced she will live out her days as a spinster. It’s one of the reasons why Kate Sheffield is a fan favorite among book fans. Whether Kate Sharma will suffer these same self-doubts remains to be seen.
Edwina Sharma, played by Charithra Chandran, is Mary Sharma’s only child and the younger half-sister to Kate Sharma. She enters the London season wide-eyed and full of excitement about what it will bring her. Since she’s traversing the marriage mart for the first time, she heavily relies on the counsel of her sister, Kate, in finding a husband. Like Kate, Edwina is loyal to her family and values their opinions. In The Viscount Who Loved Me, she is described as gentle, not having a devious bone in her body. As one can imagine, when she plays Pall Mall with Kate and the Bridgerton’s in the book, her skills are found lacking. She is more studious and enjoys reading, even confiding in Kate that she’s keener to marry a scholar than a traditional gentleman.
She’s considered the family beauty, so it’s no surprise that in The Viscount Who Loved Me Edwina is the diamond of the season. Like all diamonds, Edwina is under a lot of pressure in order to sparkle. For the sake of the Sheffields in the book, there is pressure for Edwina to find a husband who can provide financially. In the trailer for this season, Edwina Sharma is looking for a charming, handsome gentleman to sweep her off her feet. It’s clear that she captures the attention of the Viscount. Will she be able to capture his heart as well?
Mary Sharma, played by Shelley Conn, is Edwina Sharma’s birth mother and stepmother to Kate Sharma. Kate’s mother died while Kate was young, and her father remarried Mary soon after. In the book series, Mary never views her stepdaughter as other; in Mary’s eyes, Kate is equally her daughter as much as Edwina is. She shares a strong bond with her daughters. Mary is also a widow. As she has grieved her husband’s passing, the family’s finances strain significantly, so the trip to London for the season is important.
A key difference between Mary Sheffield and Mary Sharma is her new backstory. Based on the character description, Mary Sharma is an Earl’s daughter whose marriage to Kate’s father caused quite the scandal. She hasn’t been back in London ever since, so returning with her daughters is going to turn many heads. Will she and the Sharma sisters be able to handle the scrutiny of the ton? Perhaps, Mary Sharma will need backup from some powerful women of society.
We can’t talk about the Sharma family without mentioning the true star, Newton. The rotund corgi belongs to Kate, and while Kate adores Newton, the rest of the family is not as keen towards him. He’s unafraid to hop on some unsuspecting lap to be the center of attention. Newton is not the most well-behaved canine in London and has an affinity for mischief. In The Viscount Who Loved Me Newton is especially troublesome for Anthony and Edwina, when he runs off from Kate and knocks Edwina into the Serpentine at Hyde Park. In the official trailer for Bridgerton Season 2, Newton is seen growling at Anthony, as well as tripping him into a lake. He is the menace to society London has been waiting for!
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