Who is Lady Tilley Arnold in Bridgerton season 3?

Meet Hannah New, the actress who plays Benedict’s new lover in the third season of the Netflix series.

Akhil Arora, a Film Critics Guild member and a Rotten Tomatoes-certified TV critic, who has been reporting on Netflix originals since 2015. He has written for NDTV and SlashFilm.

Hannah New as Lady Tilley Arnold in Bridgerton season 3 episode 3
Hannah New as Lady Tilley Arnold in Bridgerton season 3 // Photo: Liam Daniel/Netflix

The first two seasons of Bridgerton were based on the first two books in Julia Quinn’s series of books. But the third season—Part 1 released May 16 on Netflix—is based on the fourth book (Romancing Mister Bridgerton) not the third (An Offer from a Gentleman). The former is about #Polin while the latter is centred on Benedict Bridgerton. That switch in the order of adaptation was done to accommodate season 2’s Lady Whistledown reveal. In the book, Eloise Bridgerton doesn’t know about Penelope Featherington’s secret identity. While Penelope might be the centre of attention in Bridgerton season 3, Benedict still has a subplot devoted to him. Hannah New plays his new lover, Lady Tilley Arnold, who is introduced in the third episode, “Forces of Nature”.

Spoilers ahead for Bridgerton season 3.

They meet at the hot air balloon event after Benedict makes a comment about escaping the mamas of the ton. Lady Arnold then notes her interest in new ideas before defending the creator of the hot air balloon—Lord Hawkins—from the conservative views of the men present. Later that night, Tilley and Benedict see each other again at a ball, where she compliments him on his brute strength. (Benedict had saved the balloon from wreaking havoc along with Colin and others.) She also reveals that she’s long been a widow and has no interest in trapping him in marriage, unlike all the other women at the event. Benedict calls on Tilley the next morning, but Tilley says she has no interest in being called upon. They jump straight into bed.

Ruby Stokes as Francesca Bridgerton, Phoebe Dyvenor as Daphne Basset, Will Tilston as Gregory Bridgerton, Florence Emilia Hunt as Hyacinth Bridgerton, Ruth Gemmell as Lady Violet Bridgerton, Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton, Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton in Bridgerton season 2

Every Bridgerton episode, ranked

From the three seasons of Bridgerton to the spin-off Queen Charlotte, TV critic Akhil Arora ranks every episode of the Netflix series.

Is Lady Tilley Arnold Benedict’s wife in the Bridgerton books?

If you’ve enjoyed Tilley’s fierce independence and dedication to getting straight to the point, I’m sorry to disappoint you. Lady Arnold does not end up marrying Benedict in the Bridgerton books.

That’s because she doesn’t even exist. The character of Tilley has been created by the writers of the Netflix series. Lady Arnold’s presence was revealed in October 2022, with the announcement describing her as “a firebrand widow”.

Hannah New as Lady Tilley Arnold, Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton in Bridgerton season 3 episode 3
Hannah New as Lady Tilley Arnold and Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton in Bridgerton season 3 // Photo: Liam Daniel/Netflix

“Widowed at an early age, she enjoys the privileges and power that come with being at the helm of her former husband’s estate, living life on her own terms with financial independence and sexual freedom,” the announcement continued.

Spoiler ahead for An Offer from a Gentleman.

In the book, Benedict marries Sophie Beckett, the illegitimate daughter of an earl who’s raised like his own. Of course, there’s no guarantee that Bridgerton will follow the novel to a tee. After all, we wouldn’t have Lady Tilley Arnold then.

Meet Hannah New, the actress behind Tilley Arnold

Before she joined Bridgerton season 3, New was best known as Eleanor Guthrie—daughter of a wealthy black marketeer and the chief fence/supplier for many pirate crews—in the historical adventure series Black Sails that serves as a prequel to the famous novel Treasure Island. New played Eleanor across the four seasons of Black Sails from 2014 to 2017.

Over on the film side, New had a small role as Princess Leila—Aurora’s mother, Stefan’s wife, and King Henry’s daughter—in the Angelina Jolie-led 2014 movie Maleficent, the live-action reimagination of Sleeping Beauty. In 2017, she appeared in the horror drama series The Strain, co-created by Guillermo del Toro. In 2018, New had a recurring role as Victoria Holdsworth—a trustee of the J. Paul Getty Trust—in the drama series Trust.

When does Part 2 of Bridgerton season 3 come out?

We will likely see more of Lady Tilley Arnold in the second half of the third season. For the first time since its debut, Netflix has split Bridgerton into two parts.

Part 1 (consisting of four episodes) dropped on May 16 and will be followed by Part 2 (the final four episodes) on June 13.

Akhil Arora