Warning: Spoilers ahead for season three of “Riverdale.”
With the Black Hood behind bars, a new threat has come to “Riverdale,” and it’s known only as the “Gargoyle King.”
On the season three premiere of the hit CW series, this mysterious being was named for the first time, but as of now, not many details are available. Here is what we know so far.
The Gargoyle King is introduced.
Dilton and Ben (Ms. Grundy’s music student and drive-in vendor) are playing a game at Pop’s that appears similar to Dungeons and Dragons. When Jughead asks them what they are playing, Dilton tries to answer, but all he gets out is “Griffons and…” before Ben tells him to shut up.
Later, when Jughead is preparing to go to Archie’s trial, Dilton knocks on Jug’s door in a panic.
“Ben and I thought it was just a game, a stupid role-playing game, but it’s not,” he says. “It’s so much more. He’s real.”
“Who? Who is?” Jughead asks.
Jughead starts to leave but then Dilton yells out, “The Gargoyle King.”
Jughead brushes him aside and tells him to wait at the Jones’ house and they will talk about it later, but when he returns home, Dilton is gone. A paper covered in weird symbols and what looks to be a stick creature is left. Jughead deduces that the symbols are drawn over Fox Forest Park, so he heads there.
He finds Ben and Dilton unresponsive and kneeling in front of what looks like an altar with symbols carved into their backs.
Ben starts to choke and Jughead tries to help him as a green liquid starts to drip from his mouth. Jughead screams for help as the scene ends.
On the second episode, it’s revealed that Dilton and Ben consumed cyanide, which ultimately killed Dilton.
The coroner tells Betty that he believes they are looking at “true evil,” something worse than what happened to Jason Blossom and worse than the Black Hood.
When Betty and Jughead visit Ben in the hospital, they find a stick figure. Ben’s mum mentioned a “nice girl” that left it, which turns out to be Ethel. She said she left the figure to protect Ben because they were dating. She also reveals that Dilton had a secret bunker in the woods.
Betty and Jughead later find the bunker and discover that the poisoned chalice Ben and Dilton drank from was part of the game they were playing, Griffons and Gargoyles.
Griffons and Gargoyles is a dangerous game.
The game appears to be similar to Dungeons and Dragons. In the bunker, Betty and Jug find coins with the Gargoyle King on them, drawings of the king, and various knick-knacks from the game.
Betty and Jug find the missing boy from Dilton’s troop who was waiting for Dilton to return. The boy tells them that Ben and Ethel were just dating in the game and that she warned him about their visit.
When Betty and Jug confront Ethel at school, she has a seizure and Betty notices that Evelyn is in the room, possibly connecting the Farm and the game.
At the hospital, the two go to check on Ben and find him perched on a windowsill. He tells them that Dilton was afraid of ascending but he’s not and leans out the window to his (probable) death.
So who or what is it?
Showrunner and creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa described the Gargoyle King as “gruesome, gory, grim, and gnarly” on Twitter, but viewers have no idea what it physically looks like.
Betty and Jughead get the first glimpse of the creature when they go into the woods looking for Ethel and the bunker. What they find instead is a tall creature with a head that looks like a horse’s skull covered in blood with wings made of sticks.
Is it a man (or woman) dressed in a creepy costume? Is a mystical creature? (Riverdale is only a town over from Greendale, Sabrina Spellman, and witches.) Or is it a made-up threat concocted by a group of people – possibly the Farm – to scare the residents of Riverdale?
Fans will just have to wait to see what else is uncovered as the season progresses, and we’ll be updating it all here.
“Riverdale” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.
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