This is an excellent article! ~ V
Anthony Bridgerton experienced the death of his father early on in life, and the new season explores the complexities of — and healing from — that loss and grief.
Season Two of “Bridgerton” has stark differences from the first: different Bridgerton protagonist, more South Asian representation and less sex, to name a few. But it also surfaces a new conversation that’s actually quite difficult to put into words: the grief that comes with losing a parental figure.
Season Two of “Bridgerton” focuses on the story of Anthony Bridgerton, the eldest child in the Bridgerton family, as he tries to court the diamond of the season, Edwina Sharma, to be his wife while pushing away his feelings for her half sister, Kate Sharma.
While this complicated love triangle takes center stage, Anthony’s storyline also dives into why he’s pushing love away at age 30: the heartbreak, trauma and grief from his father’s sudden death, which he witnessed at age 18 and the show portrays through flashbacks.
Anthony is in an ’emerging adult’ phase
In episode three, “A Bee In Your Bonnet,” viewers catch a glimpse of teenage Anthony before his father dies for just a moment, and the difference is remarkable. There’s a glimmer in his eye and an innocence about him that aligns with his adolescent age. His father is showing him how to hunt, and Anthony is giddy with joy when he hits a deer, exclaiming, “You’ll have to show me how to do that!”
Anthony’s at the age that experts call “emerging adult,” a transitional period in a person’s life when they go from adolescence to adulthood and are still trying to figure out who they’re going to be.
Mary-Frances O’Connor, associate professor of psychology and grief researcher at the University of Arizona, said that the “emerging” phase is a pivotal moment in a young adult’s life.
“The reason that we use the term ‘emerging’ is the idea that you’re not necessarily able to do all adult things yet,” O’Connor told TODAY. “You haven’t been married, you haven’t had a child, you haven’t necessarily financially been responsible before.”
The death of his father thrusts Anthony into a parental role
After Anthony’s father, Edmund, gets stung by a bee outside their home, Anthony looks at his father with a smile on his face, thinking nothing of the incident. But when his mother, Violet Bridgerton, cradles his husband in her arms and the life leaves his eyes, Anthony goes into shock.
The next flashback shows Anthony just moments later in their home, tears in his eyes, listening to a servant talking about funeral arrangements that need to be made. Another servant steps in asking about the body, and out of the corner of his eye, he sees his mother collapsing in disbelief.
It starts to settle in that he is now the head of the household and must make the decisions, as the eldest living male of the family.