What happened to Reynolds? Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story viewers have been wondering about King George III's butler ever since the Bridgerton spinoff first dropped on Netflix on Thursday, May 4.
The Bridgerton prequel tells the story of the real-life monarch Queen Charlotte (played by India Amarteifio as a teen and Golda Rosheuvel as an adult) upon her marriage to King George (played by Corey Mylchreest in the 1761 timeline and James Fleet in the 1817 timeline) in Regency England.
Both royals are assigned footmen, dedicated servants who perform a range of duties that include opening doors, serving meals, managing visitors (like Arsema Thomas's Lady Danbury) and literally keeping constant watch of the monarchs from five paces behind (much to Her Majesty's chagrin). Brimsley—played by Sam Clemmett in his younger years and Hugh Sachs later in life—serves as Queen Charlotte's longtime personal footman, while Freddie Dennis portrays Reynolds, the King's secretary, in the first timeline.
However, viewers who pay attention may have noticed that we don't see Reynolds again in the later timeline. What happened to the character, and to his secret romance with Brimsley? Here's what we know.
What happened to Reynolds, 'Queen Charlotte' butler?
Yes, alongside the spinoff's main romance between Charlotte and George, their royal footmen Reynolds and Brimsley also become entangled in their own relationship, sneaking off together when they have a spare moment and working together to better the King and Queen's marriage.
“These are two young men that lead these very isolated lives within the monarchy. Their No. 1 duty in life is to serve the crown. But in their downtime, the only other person they have is [each other],” Clemmett tells Netflix Tudum. “They have this really beautiful emotional support system for each other, and they seek solace in each other.”
There are plenty of scenes of the cute queer couple as young men in love in the 1761 timeline, but one scene in the latter timeframe has Queen Charlotte fans confused. One of the final scenes in episode six of the miniseries features young Reynolds and Brimsley secretly dancing together outside of the ball. The scene poetically shifts to the future, where an older Brimsley is dancing alone, Reynolds nowhere to be seen.
From an earlier scene with adult Queen Charlotte, we know that Brimsley is currently single in the 1817 timeline. Does that mean that Reynolds sadly passed in between the two timeframes?
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Does Reynolds die in 'Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story'?
Not according to show creator Shonda Rhimes, who expanded on the relationship over on Shondaland: "A lot of people ask me, ‘Is Reynolds dead?’ Reynolds is not dead. There’s a lot more I could write about that. It was sexy, and it was fun, and it felt very romantic to watch them also have a very real complicated love.” (As for who did die in Queen Charlotte, we have the intel on that, too.)
“I really felt like, ‘Where would [Brimsley] find room to have love?’ He’s in service, so it really would be with another person who’s in service. And I loved that dynamic. And it was something that I hadn’t actually planned when I started writing it. I loved their love affair. I thought the idea that service takes over was really interesting. When you see Brimsley alone, that’s what that’s supposed to convey," Rhimes added.
“There was a scene that we didn’t film, because it was cut, where I was going to meet the older Reynolds,” actor Hugh Sachs told Vulture. “He was the love of his life, and for whatever reason, they could not stay together. So when they would pass each other in the passageway in the deleted scene, it wasn’t a toxic moment.”
Since adult Brimsley is still very much the Queen's righthand man throughout the Bridgerton universe, does that mean there's hope that Reynolds will return and the pair will rekindle their love in the future? We'll have to stay tuned to find out!
Catch Freddie Dennis as Reynolds in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, streaming now on Netflix.
Christina Izzo is the Deputy Editor of My Imperfect Life.
More generally, she is a writer-editor covering food and drink, travel, lifestyle and culture in New York City. She was previously the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York.
When she’s not doing all that, she can probably be found eating cheese somewhere.
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