The Explanation For Daphne’s Absence From Bridgerton Season 3’s Weddings Makes It Worse

Phoebe Dynevor not returning as Daphne for Bridgerton season 3 had already established she would not be seen in season 3’s two weddings, but the official explanation for the elder Bridgerton sister’s on-screen absence even made things worse. Daphne’s appearance in Bridgerton season 2 completely changed her role, presenting her as a dependable supporting character, especially in the way she tried to reason with Anthony’s refusal to follow his heart. With Anthony and Kate settling in as those imparting marriage guidance in Bridgerton season 3, it made sense for Daphne not to appear, especially considering her story arc was completed.

However, a key aspect of Netflix’s Bridgerton was how the family at the center of the show had always been there to support each other, making Daphne’s onscreen absence particularly difficult to explain. Not being present at her siblings’ weddings would make Daphne’s behavior out of character, even considering that one of the weddings in the Bridgerton books happens in private, as it would single Daphne out as the only one missing the season 3 celebrations. This made the Bridgerton season 3 showrunner’s explanation for Daphne’s onscreen absence the only possible one, nonetheless making the problem of Daphne’s absence worse.

Daphne Still Being “Present” In Bridgerton Makes Her Absence Worse
Not Acknowledging Her Absence Makes It A Bigger Problem

Bridgerton season 3 showrunner Jess Brownell revealed they didn’t tackle Daphne’s absence onscreen as referencing Daphne and Simon sitting somewhere else, being not visible or away felt “wonky,” making it easier to just avoid the matter of their not being seen altogether. However, such an approach makes the question of Daphne’s whereabouts even weirder, as Daphne’s family would have talked about Daphne whether she was present or not, being such an important part of the family. Not mentioning Daphne feels as if she disappeared from her family’s minds, thus risking highlighting the problem of her absence and making it bigger.

Bridgerton Would Be Better Off Referencing Daphne Than Ignoring Her Absence
Bridgerton Season 1 Already Did So & Season 3 Also Mentioned Another Ex Key Character

While Brownell’s examples of the possible explanations for Daphne’s onscreen absence could have very much looked “wonky,” it would have still been better to mention Daphne in some way. The Bridgerton books didn’t have all the siblings present all the time and in every book, and yet their whereabouts were briefly mentioned. Moreover, Netflix’s Bridgerton already handled such a central absence in season 1, brilliantly referencing the reason for Francesca’s repeated absences without letting such mentions feel bizarre.

Even Bridgerton season 3 dealt with another character’s absence by facing it head-on. Edwina Sharma was a central character in Bridgerton season 2 and her absence in season 3 could easily be noticed. Still, Kate’s mention of Edwina marrying felt natural and worked, as it updated viewers on the story of a previous key character without having to show them. Daphne’s centrality in the past and her being a Bridgerton might have made things more difficult, but updating viewers on what was going on in Daphne and Simon’s life would have still made more sense than ignoring them altogether.

Bridgerton often showed how detached the lives of the ton members were and each season in the show being set during the social season is a great indicator of that. Daphne’s absence would have worked in this sense, but only if it was properly mentioned, as life updates about siblings often came via letters. This highlights even more how missed an opportunity it was not to acknowledge Daphne’s absence in Bridgerton season 3, but season 4 can still rectify that, giving the right amount of attention to past and present key characters whether onscreen or not.