Warning: Spoilers ahead for season three, episode 12 of “Riverdale,” titled “Bizarrodale.”
With the Black Hood behind bars, a new threat has come to “Riverdale,” and it’s known only as the “Gargoyle King.”
Jughead discovers that Tall Boy, a former Southside Serpent, has been under the horrifying mask and is behind 14 deaths, but the revelation of his identity isn’t the end of the Gargoyle King’s mystery on the hit CW series. On Wednesday’s episode, a second Gargoyle King briefly appeared, and fans have yet to learn who started it all back when the parents were teens.
Here’s everything we know about the Gargoyle King.
The Gargoyle King is introduced.
Jughead first learns about the Gargoyle King when Dilton, who’s playing “Gryphons and Gargoyles,” 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.”
Dilton’s visit leads Jughead to discover both Dilton and Ben kneeling in front of an altar with symbols carved into their backs. It’s later 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.
“Gryphons and Gargoyles” is a dangerous game.
Betty and Jughead discover that the poisoned chalice Ben and Dilton drank from was part of the game they were playing called “Gryphons and Gargoyles,” which is similar to “Dungeons and Dragons.” In their investigation, Betty and Jug find coins with the Gargoyle King on them, drawings of the king, and various knick-knacks from the game.
On the mid-season finale, Betty and Ethel learn that the game was created by youths at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. The kids would be thrown into a room with a terrifying gargoyle statue, and they created the game to deal with the fear.
The Gargoyle King has a team.
When Jughead stumbles upon the Gargoyle King in the woods, he follows the creature and finds a group of about 10 people gathered around a fire while wearing gargoyle masks.
Sweet Pea, Fangs, and Jughead learn Joaquin is involved and confront him. When they question him, he says he is a “pawn” and that Archie is marked for death. Joaquin says that “the man in the black suit” controlled the warden, so Jughead goes to confront Hiram and calls him the Gargoyle King. Hiram denies the claim.
On episode nine, the Gargoyle Gang, as these men are called, attack Reggie when he is picking up a shipment for Veronica’s speakeasy. When Veronica confronts her father about the attack, he denies being in control of the men, but it’s pretty clear that he is. He wants Veronica to pay him for protection.
Hiram is working with the King and the Sisters of Quiet Mercy.
At the end of the mid-season finale, Hiram is seen in his office, raising his glass to the Gargoyle King after getting the town of Riverdale quarantined, showing that he’s not the creature but is working with him.
Betty, who is put into the Sisters of Quiet Mercy by her own mother, becomes suspicious of Hiram when she sees him arrive at the group home. She suspects he is providing the Fizzle Rocks that are being given to the youths. She tricks Ethel into going with her to the “Gargoyle King’s chamber” to prove her point.
When she returns to the room, she finds Ethel sobbing on the floor because Ethel realises that the king is actually a statue. Betty explains that they thought they saw the king because they were high on Fizzle Rocks.
“The Sisters feed us drugs that make us susceptible to visions that they suggest,” Betty says. “They let us play the game and then they use our delusions of the Gargoyle King to scare us into submission. … The Sisters are running some kind of scam with Hiram Lodge. I think he’s paying them to test his drugs on the patients.”
“But I’ve seen him in real life,” Ethel says. “In my hospital room. The Gargoyle King – he’s out there.”
“I know,” Betty responds. “I saw the Gargoyle King in town, too. Or someone dressed up as him, but at any rate, it doesn’t change the fact that in here, he’s just a hunk of cement.”
The Gargoyle King is both hallucination and reality, but it’s still unclear exactly what he wants or why Hiram would care.
Tall Boy is the Gargoyle King.
Fangs goes undercover with the Gargoyle Gang in an effort to determine the King’s identity, and his work pays off because he’s invited to join the gang’s inner circle. He attends the ceremony with Jughead, FP, and some other Southside Serpents as his backup, and they ambush the King.
Tall Boy is revealed when Jughead takes off his mask. The former Southside Serpent, who was hired by Hiram to pose as the fake Black Hood, was last mentioned on season two after he was allegedly killed during a firefight with Sheriff Minetta.
The Serpents take Tall Boy to Dilton’s old bunker and question him. He tells them that he was hiding in Athens, the same town Archie and Jughead visited while on the run from Hiram.
“We know you’re working for Hiram,” Jughead says. “You’ve been dressing up in that little costume like his mascot, so now you are going to help us take him down.”
Their plan to take down Hiram fails, and Fangs accidentally shoots and kills Tall Boy when he tries to escape.
A second Gargoyle King tries to kidnap Kevin and Moose.
As Tom Keller and Sierra McCoy prepare for their wedding, they receive a threatening letter from the Gargoyle King, telling them that they must complete ascension night with the other parents. They all break into the school and look for the chalices but don’t find them; instead, Penelope screams when she discovers a Gargoyle King skull in a classroom and a note on the wall that reads, “Got you.”
The parents suspect it was a distraction and call their kids. Kevin Keller, Tom’s son, is the only one they don’t hear from. But Kevin’s friends knew he was in the bunker with Moose so the parents and kids rush there. They find Kevin and Moose surrounded by men in gargoyle masks and two chalices.
Cheryl shoots the King with an arrow, who turns out to be Moose’s dad, Major Mason. FP questions him, and he says that there was no poison in the drinks, he just wanted to scare the boys. He made his plan a quest for the RROTC men.
Mason then tells a story about how he once kissed his high school best friend, Tom Keller, and was sent to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy.
“That’s where I first met the King, and where I started playing ‘Gryphons and Gargoyles,'” he says. “The Sisters cured me of impure thoughts. I became strong, as I have been all these years.”
But Mason says he broke down when he learned Tom was getting married and that his son was seeing Tom’s son. He wanted to do to Moose and Kevin what the Sisters did to him.
There is still more to the story.
The “gruesome, gory, grim, and gnarly” Gargoyle King, as described by showrunner and creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, is still a mystery.
Viewers know Tall Boy has been dressing as the creature in the present day, but he wasn’t the Gargoyle King who appeared during the parent’s high school days.
As FP says, “We keep taking down Gargoyle Kings, and they keep popping up again.”
Jughead notes that some other person had to have originated the villainous character. At this point on the series, there is no other information on who could’ve terrorised the parents. 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.
- Read more about “Riverdale”:
- ‘Riverdale’ star Mark Consuelos wants his entire family to be on the show after his wife guest-stars as his mistress
- Everything we know about the mysterious cult-like Farm on ‘Riverdale’
- The young stars of ‘Riverdale’ played the parents on the ’90s flashback episode – here’s how they compare
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