The Queen’s Gambit arrived on Netflix in October but fans have been left asking if Townes is gay after Beth’s affection for him remains unrequited.
Chess might not seem like the sexiest of board games but the way in which The Queen’s Gambit shows off the intense nature of the game certainly makes it seem that way.
The closeness of the players and the focused concentration make it an exhilarating spectacle, especially if the opponent is particularly good looking.
That’s an issue that faces Beth Harmon in The Queen’s Gambit when she comes face to face with D.L. Townes in her first proper tournament.
She instantly falls head over heels for her fellow player but her feelings remain unrequited by Townes.
As a result, and thanks to the events of episode 3, fans have been left theorising that the reason why Townes doesn’t requite Beth’s feeling is that he is gay.
Are The Queen’s Gambit’s fans right?
The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix
The Queen’s Gambit arrived on Netflix on October 23rd, 2020.
The seven-episode limited series tells the story of Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) who is an orphaned chess prodigy.
We follow Beth from her childhood until she becomes a young adult and one of the best chess players in the world.
However, while Beth competes in several high-stakes matches to become a Grandmaster, her biggest opponent is herself as she struggles with addiction.
Who is D.L. Townes?
D.L. Townes is introduced in the second episode of The Queen’s Gambit, Exchanges.
He is a fellow player at the Kentucky State Chess Championship at Henry Clay High School and their paths cross when Beth is finding out who her first opponent is.
It’s clear that from this very first meeting, Beth has taken a fancy to Townes and it doesn’t take long for the two to end up playing each other.
Townes is played by Jacob Fortune-Lloyd in The Queen’s Gambit who fans may recognise from Wolf Hall, Medici or Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker where he played a Sith Fleet Officer.
Is Townes gay in The Queen’s Gambit?
- It’s never openly revealed if Townes is gay in The Queen’s Gambit but events in episode 3 would certainly hint that he is.
Beth is shown to have an instant crush on her fellow player but her affection for him remains unrequited and simply platonic throughout the series.
Instead, Beth ends up in relationships with Harry Beltik and Benny Watts, both of which eventually come to an end.
Townes is never openly seen with a partner during The Queen’s Gambit but it’s entirely possible that he is gay but hiding it, especially bearing in mind that homosexuality was illegal in almost all US states at the time The Queen’s Gambit is set.
In episode 3, when Townes is getting a picture of Beth for an article, a man named Roger Dionne enters the hotel room and seems rather friendly with Townes and it’s clear that there is some sort of connection between the two.
As Townes is from Kentucky, where we first meet him in episode 2, homosexuality wouldn’t have been made legal there until 1992 so any homosexual relationship he had would have to remain hidden.
The Queen’s Gambit is available to stream now on Netflix after releasing on Netflix on October 23rd, 2020.