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Anne Shirley is our favorite ginger hair orphan from 'Anne with an E'. Let’s explore our lead in a little more detail.

Who is ‘Anne with an E’? All about the titular protagonist

The girl who changed all of Avonlea when she got adopted, Anne Shirley (Amybeth McNulty) is our favorite ginger hair orphan (sorry Annie). Anne with an E gives us a fresh coat of paint on the beloved Anne of Green Gables story we already know, bringing Anne and the Cuthberts to life.

A CBC and Netflix co-production, Anne with an E aired on CBC in Canada and on Netflix for the rest of the world, and unfortunately caught the axe barely a month ago. But even if season three will be the final season, there’s still plenty to love about this show, and season three hasn’t come out just yet! 

If you’ve failed to hop on the Green Gables express, and need some motivation to spend your Christmas break to catch up on two seasons of Avonlea drama, we got you covered. We’ve already covered the need to know about the show, but let’s explore our lead in a little more detail. 

Who exactly is Anne Shirley Cuthbert? 

Our little orphan girl Anne comes from Nova Scotia, coming to the Cuthberts on accident. As you already know, since this comes straight from the pages of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s novel, the Cuthberts were looking for a young boy to help them with farm work around Green Gables. Then Matthew Cuthbert (R.H. Thomson) goes to the train station, and ends up picking up Anne instead. 

At first, the Cuthberts and Anne don’t get along. There’s a lot of gender bias, and Anne ends up getting on a train back to the orphanage. But the Cuthberts realize that even if she’s not the boy they were hoping for, they care about her deeply and want her as their daughter. She may be a bit brash and loud, and she definitely isn’t traditional looking with her bright orange hair and freckles, but Anne fixes the hole the Cuthberts need. 

How is TV Anne different from Book Anne? 

One big difference is Anne’s origin story. We’ve always known Anne’s life of an orphan isn’t sunshine and rainbows. But the show gives some more context to the past. The Hammond family was abusive, and left some dark marks on Anne. They were so abusive, Mr. Hammond had a heart attack while beating Anne half to death. 

Anne’s also turned into a feminist figure more so than in the books, as it seems like all of Avonlea just wants her to be a homemaker. The boys bully her and tell her to go back to the kitchen, the town’s minister tells Marilla Cuthbert (Geraldine James) Anne can focus on being a good wife, and it just seems like all the men are pigs and misogynistic. 

Not that this is a bad thing at all, as it really shines a light on how great Anne is when it comes to her new situation. She takes it all in stride, and is willing to fight until she gets her fair shot at the world. Anne is as fiery as her hair in this adaptation of the story.

Any love on the horizon for Anne?

Unlike the original stories, Anne ends up being a lot closer with Gilbert Blythe (Lucas Jade Zumann), close enough where it looks like a relationship could bloom. Gilbert breaks his good boy mold within the first few minutes of his portrayal, as a smug bully out to make Anne’s life miserable. 

But then Gilbert’s father dies earlier on, Gilbert is left as an orphan, so he turns to the only other orphan he knows: Anne. The two end up growing closer until Gilbert leaves town to hop on a boat. While the two aren’t in a relationship by the end of season two, it wouldn’t be surprising if they were by the end of season three. 

Anne with an E season three drops on Netflix January 3rd, 2020.

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