The release of the new TV show Bridgerton on Netflix has everyone collectively thirsting over one man: Simon, the Duke of Hastings (portrayed by British-Zimbabwean actor Regé-Jean Page). The internet went ablaze with an unquenchable thirst for him, and those who may have not yet watched the show (what are you waiting for?) may be wondering why.
Clips of Simon kissing one particular character, licking a spoon (per The Cut), and just you know, existing, have circulated the web as people have consumed the eight-episode series. But this new internet obsession — akin to fans’ fervor of the Edward Cullens of the world — is a lot. So this all truly boils down to one question: Why?
[Spoiler alert: The article contains spoilers for Bridgerton]
Who is Simon in ‘Bridgerton’?
Simon, the Duke of Hastings, is a character who returns to London in 1813 and inadvertently gets caught up in the social season, in which young women attend balls to meet men to marry. Simon initially doesn’t want to get involved, as he has taken a vow to never marry, but he strikes a friendship with Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), who eventually becomes the exception to his rule.
The two agree to a deal: He’ll pretend to be interested in her to make other men interested so she can get engaged and she’ll satisfy nagging, unwanted questions about when he’ll marry from others that he doesn’t want to answer.
Of course, just like clockwork, their fake dating scheme turns real — as does their love for one another. At the end of the season, Simon gives Daphne what she has always wanted and ultimately, it fills him with equal amounts of joy, too.
Why are people thirsting over him?
The appeal for Simon is due to a few factors. Of course, he’s objectively ridiculously good-looking. But beyond that, Simon’s relationship with Daphne (and therefore, the viewers’ lens into his romantic side) starts out as a friendship, in which Simon can show how attentive he is to her, all the while spitting out sarcastic, witty comments that show he knows how to banter. And upon explaining to Daphne what sex would be like between her and a cisgender man, he explains how she should pleasure herself privately, which is undeniably the hottest scene on Netflix in 2020.
When Daphne and Simon are “forced” to enter a marriage together due to being caught kissing, Simon retreats from Daphne, afraid that she resents him for the situation they’ve entered. But later he confesses his love, and the montage of them having sex to Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams” will surely be on everyone’s minds for weeks.
He’s a man who knows what he wants, has a sensitive side, and isn’t bad to look at at all. Of course he’s the internet’s newest boyfriend.
However, Simon is not without fault. He doesn’t seem to last long in the bedroom and tricks Daphne into thinking he is unable to have children as opposed to explaining he just doesn’t want them. Daphne is also extremely flawed herself. But with Simon, nothing he does yet has seemed to deter the undeniable craving audiences have for his character.
What’s next for Simon?
Even though Simon’s journey seems to be complete by the season one finale, it’s likely he could be included in a possible season two of Bridgerton. The book series, which Julia Quinn wrote, has a sequel following Anthony Bridgerton — Daphne’s older brother. With the dedication and passion fans have for Simon, it is likely should Bridgerton have a season two, his character would at least make an appearance. And if it does, the Simon thirst will surely live on as well.
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