TV & Movies

Bridgerton’s Butterflies Connect To A Penelope Easter Egg

Penelope’s new era was foreshadowed long ago.

Penelope wearing butterfly earrings in 'Bridgerton.' Photo via Netflix
Liam Daniel/Netflix

If you’re reading this, you likely breezed through the first half of Bridgerton Season 3 and have no idea how to move on after that cliffhanger. Well, same! It’s a real bummer: Fans will have to wait until June 13 for the rest of the episodes to roll out. But in the meantime, why not revisit the latest episodes and pay special attention to all the Easter eggs you missed on the first watch? Specifically... the bugs.

Yes, Bridgerton loves a good insect motif. The buzziest of these (heh) is the bee, of course, which has appeared in various sartorial designs since Season 1. Its full significance wasn’t revealed until Season 2, when Edmund Bridgerton died by bee sting, changing the fabric of the family forever. Anthony in particular was scarred by this incident, leading to a particularly charged scene in which Kate was stung and he realized how scared he was to lose her.

But there’s been another insect waiting in the wings for its moment to shine — and it has strong thematic ties to Colin and Penelope’s love story. So, what is the meaning of butterflies in Bridgerton Season 3?

The Bridgerton Butterfly Goes Way Back

They may have just come the fore in Season 3, but butterflies have appeared on Bridgerton from the very start. In the first episode of the series, for example, Penelope wears a butterfly accessory in her hair.


She also dons a beautiful dress with a butterfly bodice in the same episode.


The butterfly doesn’t only appear near Penelope — it appears on other Featheringtons’ clothes, too, as well as on the family’s staircase.


But from the start of the series, it’s clear that the symbol really belongs to Penelope. The trend continues in Season 3, where she sports a pair of butterfly earrings when her mom tells her, “I take comfort in knowing that you will always be here to take care of me.” It’s fitting that the very next thing Penelope does is transform her wardrobe and resolve to marry so she can move out of the Featherington home — because the butterfly is a symbol of change!

A Meaningful Motif

In an interview with Shondaland, showrunner Jess Brownell described Penelope as a “butterfly emerging from her chrysalis” in Season 3. She also tells Bustle that butterflies and their association with metamorphosis were “very on-point thematically” for Colin and Penelope’s story.

“More than ever, people are transforming in ways that are opposite to who they’ve been in the past,” she says.

Indeed, butterflies start as adorable caterpillars before they take their final, dazzling forms. But these aren’t separate animals — they’re just different stages of the same life! Similarly, Penelope might have been a self-described “wallflower” at one point, but there was nothing wrong with her look. She just felt it was time for a new, more confident wardrobe to reflect her changed sense of self.

Liam Daniel/Netflix

And crucially, the new era comes with wings! A big piece of Penelope’s journey has been her desire for independence, but like a caterpillar who can’t yet fly, she’s felt stuck at home (on top of the already stifling restrictions Regency women face). She sees marriage as a way out. “It’s been hard enough living under my mother’s rules, but my sisters? To live at the whim of either the most cruel or the most simple person I know... I must take a husband before that happens,” she tells Madame Delacroix. “It is time.”