Who is John Stirling in Bridgerton season 3? Character details from the book & show explored

Bridgerton season 3 introduces Francesca and her husband John Stirling (Image via Netflix)
Bridgerton season 3 introduces Francesca and her husband John Stirling (Image via Netflix)

Bridgerton season 3's first part arrived on Netflix on May 16, 2024, with the first four episodes dropping simultaneously. The storyline starts by introducing Francesca Bridgerton into society and giving a glimpse into Colin and Penelope's romance.

Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers from the Bridgerton novel series by Julia Quinn.

As Francesca looks for an ideal suitor to marry, among the few interested young men she meets and entertains, John Stirling comes across as one she finds most comfortable with. Later in the plot, Francesca gets married to John, Earl of Kilmartin.

For the newly indicted fans of the series, Bridgerton is a Netflix series based on a novel series by Julia Quinn. The eight books of the series cover the lives of eight children of the late Viscount Bridgerton and Violet. In the book series, Francesca's story is the sixth novel, titled When He Was Wicked. In the Netflix series, Francesca's story lands in Bridgerton season 3.


Bridgerton season 3: John Stirling's introduction and character development

Francesca meets John in one of the ball parties (Image via Netflix)
Francesca meets John in one of the ball parties (Image via Netflix)

As Francesca prepares to mingle in society, Bridgerton season 3 episode 3 introduces John Stirling, the Earl of Kilmartin. While at the party, the heroine does not know the gentleman who is ready to stand with her in silence outside the ballroom. However, they seem to find the silence between them comfortable.

Later, when he pays her a visit, he introduces himself. They meet repeatedly, even running into each other on the street. He then gifts her a newly arranged piece of music that Francesca finds fitting her style.

Their romance in Bridgerton season 3 would need to move forward at a fast pace to move into their marriage and stay as close to the book as possible.

The third season introduces Francesca's story arc (Image via Netflix)
The third season introduces Francesca's story arc (Image via Netflix)

The book, When He Was Wicked, introduces John Stirling as Francesca's husband. Their comfortable and loving relationship is taken for granted in the backdrop of Michael and Francesca's friendship.

Moreover, in the book, John Stirling suddenly dies two years into his marriage, leaving Francesca a grieving widow and Michael an unwilling Earl. The author does not elaborate on the cause of his demise in the book, except for the complaint of a headache after dinner. However, fans would need to wait for that part of the storyline to land in the series.

Read more: Every Bridgerton sibling and who they marry in the show & books


What is John Stirling's character like in the Bridgerton book and in Bridgerton season 3?

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In the book, the Earl of Kilmartin comes across as a wise, quiet, and understanding person who appreciates Francesca for who she is. He loves her but doesn't judge her. He doesn't smother her with demanding love, nor does he practice indifference. In the later part of the book, Michael describes his brother as one with a huge heart who would want happiness for him and Francesca.

The first part of Bridgerton season 3 stays true to the book image of John Stirling. For now, he identifies Francesca's love for music and has arranged for a piece for her to play. Moreover, he is seen spending silent moments with her without the urgency to communicate, dance, or engage in any activity.

Read more: Bridgerton season 3: Is Francesca Bridgerton autistic?


Who plays John Stirling in Bridgerton season 3?

Actor Victor Alli is playing John Stirling in the series (Image via Netflix and Instagram)
Actor Victor Alli is playing John Stirling in the series (Image via Netflix and Instagram)

British actor Victor Alli plays John Stirling in the Netflix series. In an interview with Tatler.com, the actor spoke about his take on the Earl of Kilmartin. According to Alli, John is a charming personality with a self-deprecating sense of humor.

The actor had to read the book to prepare for his role. Though he prefers to keep tight-lipped about the ending of the season, he believes readers of Quinn's novel already know the character's fate.


Watch out for Bridgerton season 3 part 2, which is slated to arrive on Netflix on June 13, 2024. Meanwhile, watch part 1, which is currently streaming on the platform.

Read more: Bridgerton author already knows season 4's love story: What is it?

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Edited by Shreya Das
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