Who is the Gargoyle King on Riverdale season 3?
24 May 2019, 09:39 | Updated: 24 May 2019, 17:52
Riverdale season three has a brand new villain called 'The Gargoyle King' but what is he, who is he, what does he have to do with the game 'Griffins and Gargoyles' and WHY is he terrorising the town?
UPDATE: Riverdale season 3 has now finished and the Gargoyle King has been unmasked. If you want to be spoiled, click HERE to find out who was behind the entire thing. If you don't, scroll ahead and start theorising!
[WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS FOR RIVERDALE SEASON 3 ENDING AHEAD!]
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Riverdale season 3 is almost over and the Gargoyle King is STILL wreaking havoc upon the town. After the grand unmasking of Tall Boy as the Gargoyle King - hired by Hiram Lodge - we thought we'd finally seen the last of him. But surprise bitch, the Gargoyle King is back and he's just as dangerous.
So far, there's been four iterations of the King. The original present day King (episodes 1-10), the unidentified flashback King seen by Alice Smith at school (episode 4), the Gargoyle King 2.0 who terrorises Kevin and Moose (episode 12) and the Gargoyle King 3.0 who kidnaps Jellybean (episode 18-onwards).
In all instances, the King originated from the dangerous game, Gryphons and Gargoyles but who is behind each version? Tall Boy and Moose's dad Major Mason have both been unmasked as two versions but who was the one in the past, and who kidnapped JB? Let's investigate...
What - and who exactly - is The Gargoyle King?
What is the Gargoyle King?
The Gargoyle King is a character from the game 'Gryphons and Gargoyles', which is kind of like Riverdale's version of Dungeons and Dragons.
Visually, the Gargoyle King is this weird figure that kind of looks like an animal, with twigs and branches for wings (??) and horns, has a weird necklace and a weird cape. It's very earthy and very woodsy. Very True Detective. In fact, the show served as the basis for this season's mystery.
The Gargoyle King, described by show runner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa as 'gruesome, gory, grim, and gnarly,' is the main villain of the game and a creepy, dangerous figure that is now "stalking the streets of Riverdale." GREAT.
Who is the Gargoyle King?
According to Aguirre-Sacasa, “he's more of an urban legend, more of the Slenderman. The Black Hood was a serial killer, Hiram is a mob boss, and this guy is almost like, the bad guy in the fairytale.” (The Demogorgon will see you in court.)
“We don't know if he's real or if it's someone in a suit. So there's kind of a sense of myth about him. And he's a lot more dangerous.”
Judging by what we've seen so far, the Gargoyle King is both a real person (as seen in the Cooper house) and also a hallucination (as seen with the kids who took Fizzle Rocks at the Sisters.) It's been stated before that there's no magic in Riverdale, so we assume that any weird supernatural creatures would be out of the question. So if someone is dressing up as the Gargoyle King, who could it be?
According to IMDb, the actor who plays the Gargoyle King is called James Challis (although he's credited as the Gargoyle Knight on the site.) While some people are theorising that he's a new character, it's likely that he's simply playing the physical Gargoyle King to avoid any obvious spoilers while we all lose our minds trying to sleuth the real culprit.
So with that in mind, who's behind this mess?
DETECTIVE, BRING ME MY SUSPECT BOARD.
Is Hiram Lodge the Gargoyle King?
It would be stupid to completely rule out Riverdale's former (?) mob boss Hiram, particularly after episode 7 revealed his huge master plan to take over the entire town. He might have stepped away from the drug trade after Gladys Jones' arrival, but it's clear that he hasn't stopped playing the game.
In episode 10, the Gargoyle King was revealed to be former Serpent Tall Boy, who was hired by Hiram. In episode 14, it's explicitly confirmed that Hiram had been sending out the quest cards to kill Archie, the Red Paladin. While Hiram didn't appear to be active with the game anymore, his quest cards were still in play and the game continued.
In episode 19, Jellybean's kidnapping results in Gladys leaving Riverdale. It's entirely possible that Hiram still has control over the Gargoyle Gang and he set this quest in motion in order to gain his King Pin title back. With the inclusion of Penny Peabody, who was still working for Hiram when she had her eye gouged out by Gladys, it's almost a dead giveaway that Hiram was behind it. He is 100% not above "kidnapping" a child to scare his enemies out of town.
Obviously, Hiram honestly wouldn't be seen dead in that AHS: Roanoke cosplay but who's to say he hasn't employed another one of his associates someone to do his dirty work again? Malachai, who we haven't seen in months, is likely still around.
Hiram has also been suspiciously quiet following his shooting and his meeting with Gladys. In episode 19, we see that he's been using Elio to try and bring down Archie but now he's back in the fold, it's all so very coincidental that the King has returned, huh? He's now in jail but his wicked schemes will no doubt continue.
Is Edgar Evernever the Gargoyle King?
Now that we've finally met Edgar and we've started to learn a lot more about the Farm, there's still a very strong possibility that he could still play a role in the game.
As we've seen with the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, the Gargoyle King is a hallucination. We now know that Edgar and The Farm are also able to induce strong hallucinations, like Jason appearing to Cheryl as if he were alive. It's possible that Edgar could be using the Gargoyle King figure to drive more recruits to the Farm. Vulnerability is key when it comes to getting people to join your cult too. Hermione points out that Gryphons and Gargoyles “seems targeted at impressionable developing minds," which is a very blatant cult recruitment tactic.
So far, however, there hasn't been a clear link between the two. As far as we know, Edgar has his own plans for the town and they don't seem to be dressing up as a tree monster. The game has also been around since 1992 so it's unlikely that Edgar had anything to do with it back then.
HOWEVER! There's only a handful of people who know about the Midnight Club's experiences with G&G and the Gargoyle King: the nine that were there, Betty, Hal and the Farmies - thanks to Alice who spilled the tea over the summer. If Edgar and Evelyn know all the ins and outs of what happened back in the day, they could totally use it to their advantage now. And just because he doesn't have the tattoos, doesn't mean he's not the game master.
There's also the creepy Evelyn Evernever, who clearly knows something about the seizures the girls keep having in town but has yet to spill. Seeing as the run-off from Hiram's drugs caused those seizures (or so Penelope says...), could Evelyn have some strange link to the Gargoyle King's Fizzle Rocks trade?
Is Chic the Gargoyle King?
As we all know, Chic is currently MIA. The last we saw of him, he was running for his life from the Black Hood. But what if he's in cahoots with Hal, a man who clearly still wants revenge on the town? Look, Hal allegedly hated him, but perhaps not enough to kill him. Did he spare him and black mail him so he could continue his wicked schemes from behind bars?
Does he want revenge on the town himself? Did he somehow end up in Hiram Lodge's tangled web of twisted tricks? Is he involved with the Farm? Did Polly track him down?
There's also the brand new nugget of information about the person who got G&G symbols tattooed on their back. The tattoo artists said that they had "sandy hair and blue eyes". Chic has sandy hair and kinda blue eyes.
Hart Denton is also (allegedly) set to return in season 3 and we're still yet to see him. Is it because he's under that costume? My sources say YES.
Is Jason Blossom the Gargoyle King?
In episode 21, Ethel revealed that Jason Blossom was the Gargoyle King, which as we all know is impossible because Jason BEEN dead. Or is he still alive? There's several theories about whether or not he's actually still alive (and you can read them all here) but there's also a theory that ties in with the hallucinations that Ethel experienced at the Sisters and the hallucinations that everyone experiences at the Farm. What if Ethel hallucinated and saw someone pretending to be Jason?
Or, she could just be completely lying as part of a quest to throw Jughead off the scent.
Is Hal Cooper the Gargoyle King?
Previously in this article, we dismissed the idea that Hal Cooper was the Gargoyle King because he was in a maximum security prison when this whole thing kicked off. BUT GUESS WHAT? He's just escaped and is now on the run which meaaaaans, Hal could be our final Gargoyle King - or at least part of it.
Episode 20 made it clear that Hal is not the physical GK but there's still a possibility that he's involved. Remember Hiram's Legion of Doom? Hal could totally be part of that but had to be benched because he was in jail. When the opportunity arose for him to escape, Hiram was 100% up for helping him transfer. Now that he's out, he could be aiding Hiram's game.
Or, Hal could have started his own new game once he got out of jail, using Chic (for example) as his Gargoyle King. Betty did bring him that players manual after all, and Penelope told him about ascension night.
Is Penelope Blossom the Gargoyle King?
Penelope Blossom was a game master back in high school along with Daryl Doiley, who allegedly set up the chalices so they could ascend together. After it's revealed that she lied about Daryl's death (and it was revealed that someone with access to the Blossom greenhouse killed him via oleander poisoning), there's a strong possibility that she is - or knows who is - behind the whole thing.
Honestly, judging by what we know about the game (that it only exists in Riverdale, was created at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy and is literally ingrained in the town's DNA), it would be wise to suspect literally everyone in the Blossom/Cooper family tree, especially Penelope who, out of all the characters who have spent time at the sisters, is the earliest known 'patient'. They're the two oldest families in Riverdale, both shady AF, both have a history of murder... what if Nana Blossom once played the game?! WHAT IF IT'S NANA BLOSSOM!?
It's been said that Penelope has her own motives so her being part of Hiram's team of evil parents might just be a decoy. She'll no doubt having something to do with this. Somehow. We love a scheming opportunist.
Is Gladys Jones the Gargoyle King?
Honestly, with the level of scheming we've seen Gladys do in the short time she's been knocking around town, we wouldn't put it past her. At the time the Gargoyle King appeared to Jughead in the scrapyard in episode 19, Gladys was in hospital with a broken arm and a ruptured kidney (Kill Bill cosplaying really be like that sometimes). It's also pretty clear that Gladys didn't plan the kidnap of her own daughter either, seeing as she was the one who ended up the worst.
But you never know, Gladys has now left town which kind of gives her the perfect cover-up. Then again, she's like, quite small so... maybe not? If it's her, she's wearing stilts. (It's not her. She's had her villain moment. Let her live!)
Is Penny Peabody the Gargoyle King?
As we all predicted, the legendary Ms Penny Peabody is not dead. She merely lost an eye at the hands of Gladys Jones.
In episode 19, one eyed Penny returned to fight Gladys in a G&G quest. As we just said, Penny is still working for Hiram so that feels like confirmation that Hiram set the whole kidnapping thing up, right?
Again, when the GK approached Jug in the scrapyard, Penny was likely being bandaged up somewhere after being stabbed in the thigh with a knife. Or maybe not, maybe she found the strength within her to throw on the twigs and the dirt cloak and channel her inner Gargoyle?
Either way, Penny still has to address that "beef" she had with FP and what better way to raise the stakes than to be involved in a plot to terrorise his family. Could she be involved?
Is Hermione Lodge the Gargoyle King?
Honestly, I don't think Hermione has it in her. There's no way she would let so many innocent people die on her watch. OR WOULD SHE? Mrs "I’ve always wanted to be free from moral reasoning" Lodge has some very sketchy game plans.
Consider the facts: Hermione was the one who called the meeting with the parents (acting concerned from the jump), she was the one who banned the game (knowing it would only peak curiosity), she's quick to point fingers at other people (Penelope Blossom, which, judging by that eye contact between the two in episode 8, could have been an act) and in the '90s, she was the one who hid the chalices (very important component of the game) in high school. She's also got a file on her desktop marked with the Gargoyle King symbol for 'sacrifice,' let's not forget that!
Hermione made a huge mistake when she tried to pull the rug out from under Hiram's feet. She tried to kill him, but failed. And then ended up selling his entire drugs business. Could Hermione have kidnapped JB in a bid to destroy Gladys and drive her out of town? She's no longer married to Hiram, so she technically owes him nothing but as we've all seen... Hermione still has a bit of that mob boss edge to her.
Is FP Jones the Gargoyle King?
Ok, so there was a moment back in episode 6 that, despite not making an OUNCE of sense, really had everyone sweating over whether or not FP was involved with this Gargoyle bullshit. Thanks to a Scream reference, fans began speculating that Riverdale might be pulling a "Billy Loomis" on us.
When the Gargoyle King appeared in the Cooper house, FP just happened to show up at the exact same time. Not only that, but the scene made sure to pull off a shot for shot remake of an iconic moment in Scream where Billy climbs through Sidney's window to "save" her. Of course, in the film, it's later revealed that Billy climbed through Sidney's window as a distraction and is later revealed as one of two murderers.
The thing is: FP had no motive to be the Gargoyle King. And we know for a fact that he would never hurt or terrorise Love of His Life™ Alice. Or Betty, for that matter. Or Jughead!
The Scream reference was a total red herring but, to be fair, FP did once dress up as the Gargoyle King to catch Claudius Blossom so technically...
Is Claudius Blossom the Gargoyle King?
He was part of Hiram's Legion of Doom and was working with him to supply the Fizzle Rocks to the Sisters and the kids around town who were all involved with the game.
While he was involved in the whole thing, he wasn't the one in the cheap Party City costume. That was Tall Boy. As for the new Gargoyle King? Well, he's like dead now so... no? Then again, you honestly never know who's gonna come back from the dead next on this show.
Is Clifford Blossom the Gargoyle King?
Yeah yeah yeah, he's dead... but what if he's not? Listen, the news about Jason potentially being alive has got everyone shook, so why not throw all logic and understanding out the window and throw Clifford's name into the ring.
To be fair, there's a theory behind this: Fizzle Rocks first appeared when Hiram brought them into school during ascension night, telling the group that they just hit the streets. But, at that point in time, Claudius (who we're assuming is the creator of said drug) had already run as far away from Riverdale as possible after being threatened by his brother Cliff.
Yes, it's entirely possible that the drugs may have somehow made their way to Riverdale from wherever Claudius was in hiding but what if they aren't Claudius drugs at all... what if they are Clifford's drugs? WHAT IF HE'S ALIVE?
Then again, if Claudius really is dead, then the chances of him being able to pull off a Parent Trap sitch are slim to none. RIP x2 Clifford.
Is Ethel Muggs the Gargoyle King?
In episode 2, Betty and Jughead come across an actual living and breathing Gargoyle King in the woods. Just before they see the figure, they hear a noise and Betty literally asks, "That's probably Ethel, right?"
In episode 3, after Ethel is hospitalised after drinking the Fresh Aid, we see the figure at the foot of her bed in the hospital room (a hallucination). And in episode 7, it's clear that she's is low-key in love with the GK. So clearly, it's not the good sis Ethel.
Is Dilton Doiley's dad the Gargoyle King?
Given that the game was very much part of the parent's lives when they were at school, it could very well be one of the adults - more specifically, someone we don't actually know yet, like Dilton Doiley's dad Daryl.
In the flashback episode, suspicions were raised about Daryl in regards to the ascension party. Penelope Blossom assumed that Daryl set up the party that led to the death of Principal Featherhead, but he never confirmed or denied it when Penelope asked if it was him.
UPDATE: Dilton Doiley's dad is not the Gargoyle King because he's dead. RIP to Dilton Doiley's dad.