Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Benny Watts (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) seem like a match made in heaven, but their relationship in Queen’s bet, it’s very complicated. Both are talented chess players, somewhat isolated by their genius and ambition, but find themselves less alone in each other’s company. Despite this connection and eventual romance, the show ends up as friends. Why did Beth reject Penny in the first place, and how did they reconcile?
Beth first meets Penny at the US Open, where he defeats her in her first professional loss. However, he still admires her acting, especially since she is a child prodigy. When they meet in Episode 5, “Fork,” Beth defeats Penny, and piques his interest even more. Then Penny’s New York apartment becomes a regular stalker for Beth as he begins mentoring her. As Penny Beth trains for her match in Paris against Russian master Vasily Burgov (Marcin Dorochinsky), the two push each other to improve their chess skills. They also begin a sexual relationship, as the first signs become clear that their relationship is unsustainable.
After having sex for the first time, Penny begins to strategize how Beth is going to defeat Burghoff. Beth is clearly angry that he can only talk about the failures at this pivotal moment in their relationship. It’s as if Penny only sees Beth’s chess abilities, not her feelings – an issue that has also plagued Beth’s relationship with Harry Beltick (Harry Melling). He’s pretty obsessed with chess and his mentorship to Beth at this point. As Cleo (Melle Brady) points out to Beth in Paris, no one can match Penny’s love for himself.
Explaining Beth and Benny’s failed relationship
Beth returns to Lexington after her disastrous loss to Borgoff instead of returning to New York to train with Penny. She knows that if she’s ever going back to New York, Penny will want to dissect her gameplay and practice for her next game, which is the last thing she wants. Beth chooses to be alone, which she also knows will lead to her relapse into drug addiction. It is a rejection of chess as much as a rejection of Penny and his fixation on chess beth rather than his entire being.
Obviously, Beth’s choice hurts Benny. In the seventh episode, “End of the Game”, she asked him to accompany her to chess matches in Russia. He refuses, saying that her return to Kentucky means she would rather be drunk than be with him. However, he was still clearly following his matches, as he called alongside Harry and his other friends to give him encouragement and advice for his match against Burghoff. It’s a clear moment for forgiveness, as well as a revival of their friendship.
Both Penny and Beth needed time to heal after their relationship ended, especially Beth as she faces her own personal demons. Inviting Penny to Beth was a way of acknowledging her understanding of this need and providing her with chess support and mentorship when needed. Even though their romance didn’t work out, the two are still able to bond with the game they love and help each other move forward, a dynamic that lends more depth to their friendship.
Will there be a Queen’s Gambit season 2?
After the success of the first season, Queen’s bet The second season is sure to attract a huge and enthusiastic audience. However, no further seasons of the series have been announced and it seems unlikely that they will ever happen. Anya Taylor-Joy, who plays Beth, said she would seize the opportunity to come back Queen’s bet Season 2, but director Scott Frank claimed that doing another season would spoil the story, as Season 1 already ended Beth’s arc as it should. Queen’s bet It is based on the novel of the same name by Walter Teves, and has no sequel. This means it Queen’s bet The second season will need to develop an original plot, which will very likely undermine the effectiveness of the first season. These factors have not prevented the production of sequels and seasons before, but hopefully, Queen’s bet It will remain as it is.
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