The Bridgerton family is the envy of everyone in the ton, a showcase of “four perfectly handsome sons and four perfectly beautiful daughters,” even before the eldest girl, Daphne, shines at her debut in the first episode of Netflix’s historical romance. Named alphabetically, Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory, and Hyacinth are good-looking, well mannered, and, of course, monied. But money simply can’t buy sense.
Throughout the show, the Bridgertons are hindered by the ignorance that aristocratic privilege affords. Anthony fantasizes about a life with an opera singer, Daphne somehow made it to marriage without knowing a single thing about sex, and Benedict … let’s just hope Benedict isn’t done soul-searching. For all the stuffy Regency sensibilities showrunner Chris Van Dusen throws out, the Bridgertons cling to them as if they got dropped into this colorful new world Enchanted style. Where the best heroes and heroines of this genre are precocious, painfully self-aware, and armed with a purpose, the Bridgertons sure are pretty. Always down for a little sibling rivalry, we ranked them (including matriarch Violet) by utter cluelessness to find the true family diamond. Sorry, Daphne, the little bangs won’t help you here.
8. Anthony Bridgerton, Viscount
For the first half of the season, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) is our most tangible villain as he sabotages Daphne’s chances at love with such a passion it feels like he wants to marry her himself. As he struggles between fulfilling his familial duties and following his heart (read: fucking an opera singer), Anthony disregards the feelings of the women in his life until they have to put him in his place. By the time he finishes self-destructing and sorts out his feelings, he’s several steps behind his mother, sister, and his love interest. More interested in a roadside bang than a ball, his mistress (Sabrina Bartlett) found someone who doesn’t make her compromise and got to shut the door in Anthony’s face. Didn’t they tell you Siena’s a savage?
7. Daphne Bridgerton
Being the eldest daughter comes with a heap of responsibility, whether it’s 1813 or 2021. Unlike Anthony, Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) has made her duties her whole personality. Maybe this explains why the teen has precisely zero friends to tell her about the birds and the bees. Society girls like the Bridgertons and the Featheringtons are sheltered, sure, but certainly Cressida Cowper knows what goes on behind chamber doors. Competitive and used to perfection, Daphne believes there’s nothing she — or love — can’t fix with a Disney princess–esque determination. It’s just not realistic, and comes off as insensitive, when she falls in love with a traumatized Black duke.
6. Violet Bridgerton, Dowager Viscountess
Oh my God? Teach your kids about sex? It’s the thing that brought them into the world, so it’s definitely your responsibility to at least explain the *ahem* broad strokes. Anthony, Benedict, and Colin get by on the ol’ “boys will be boys,” but the incurious Daphne clearly needed more than “The two of you care for each other deeply. When all is said and done, nothing else matters.” Violet Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmell) considers herself less bloodthirsty than the other mamas, hopeful that her kids will find love matches, but let’s not forget that she and Lady Danbury plot to set Daphne up with the Duke of Hastings long before the scheme crosses his pretty little mind.
5. Colin Bridgerton
Colin (Luke Newton) nearly risked it all to add a swirl to the Bridgerton family line. We get it, but it’s not what the cunning Marina Thompson (Ruby Barker), a distant cousin to the Featheringtons, deserves. While race doesn’t seem to be an issue for the third Bridgerton son, it clearly comes up for her cousins and Anthony, who forbids Colin from marrying her despite eagerly marrying off his sister. After her pregnancy is revealed, Colin tells Marina he would have cared for her child as his own, and she doesn’t believe it for a second. Like Daphne, he has honest intentions but no real understanding of the hardships Marina faces as a Black unmarried mother, making his word just as foolishly laughable as Anthony’s is to Siena. He’s gonna have to get it together if he wants to keep up with Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan).
4. Benedict Bridgerton
Owning his birthright as the second son, Benedict (Luke Thompson) experiments with a bohemian lifestyle as an artist, gets intrigued by gay men, but opts for a tryst with the modiste instead. Queerbaiting in 2021? Simply won’t stand for it. In an upcoming season, just let Benedict marry a man. (Sorry, fans of the books.) It’ll probably require less paperwork than a hetero marriage did back then. Eloise is right when she snaps him out of his Byronic malaise in episode three, saying, “If you desire the sun and the moon, all you have to do is shoot at the sky. Some of us cannot.” What sort of hero gets bodied by his little sister like that?
3. Francesca and Gregory Bridgerton (tie)
We’ve come to the Bridgertons with the least amount of screen time. The “bonus Jonas” to Anthony, Benedict, and Colin’s Kevin, Joe, and Nick, Gregory (Will Tilston) will likely have his time to shine in future seasons, just like how Frankie Jonas is currently becoming a TikTok star. Francesca (Ruby Stokes), who spent much of the season off studying pianoforte with an aunt, so far seems more chill than either of her big sisters. Obviously we need a lot more data, but for now they’re ranked here, noting their absences. Yaaasss, Bridgertons, give us nothing.
2. Eloise Bridgerton
Seeing the pressure Daphne puts on herself, it’s no wonder Eloise (Claudia Jessie) is so staunchly anti-marriage. She wants nothing to do with the sacrifices her mother and sister have made. Her real fears about marriage and childbirth are tossed aside the louder she expresses them. “It must be taxing,” she tells her older sister, “the game of pretend you feel you must endlessly maintain.” Still, she is a Bridgerton. Eloise is unashamed of making her opinions quite clear, even if they alienate her from the other women in the ton, including her best friend, Penelope.
1. Hyacinth Bridgerton
Sure, she’s not a main character, but as the youngest Bridgerton, Hyacinth (Florence Hunt) didn’t witness her mama and papa’s great love and doesn’t face any of the pressure her elder siblings feel. With three strong sisters — determined Daphne, bright Eloise, and the talented Francesca — as examples, clever Hyacinth talks back to her brothers, laughs in Lord Berbrooke’s face, and has the best bangs in the family (no bangs). Ladies and gentlefolk, we’ve found this season’s incomparable!