Who Is The Gargoyle King On 'Riverdale' Season 3?

24 April 2019, 22:13 | Updated: 24 April 2019, 22:18

Katie Louise-Smith

By Katie Louise-Smith

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?

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.

Season three picked up three months after the catastrophic events of season two and the Gargoyle King has been terrorising the town and claiming lives from the jump.

When Is The Next Episode Of Riverdale On And When Does Season 3 Start On Netflix?

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).

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?

Gargoyle King Riverdale
The Gargoyle King has arrived in Riverdale and is set to terrorise the entire town. Picture: The CW

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.

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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 who's to say he's stopped playing the game all together? What if he's just switched targets?

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.

It's entirely possible that Hiram still has control over the Gargoyle Gang, not Gladys Jones as she was lead to believe. Hiram is also not above kidnapping a child to scare his enemies. It's Ricky DeSantos who pulls JB into the game. Ricky is desperate to continue the quest his brother Joaquin failed (killing Archie) so he can join the gang. Could the King have set him a new task? Like, kidnapping the Princess, for example?

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. And seeing as we haven't seen Penny Peabody's dead body, it's possible that she's alive somewhere too.

Hiram has been suspiciously quiet following his shooting and his meeting with Gladys. Is it possible that he's been plotting something in order to drive Gladys back out of town? To make her think her own gang has turned on her? We'll see...

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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 create 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 - for safety, ya know? 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.

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?

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. Also... they're literally drinking kool aid in the hopes it'll take them to 'the kingdom'. SOUNDS CULTY TO ME!

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. Gladys is currently - or so she's been led to believe - in charge of the Gargoyle gang. Once Tall Boy was outed as the GK, they were leaderless. She stepped in and used them to shift her drugs.

Could Gladys have used the gang to kidnap her own daughter in a bid to throw Jughead and FP off the scent?

Is Penny Peabody the Gargoyle King?

It's assumed that Gladys killed Penny but as we all know on Riverdale, if there's no dead body? They're not dead!

Before Gladys "handled" her, Penny was still working with Hiram to bring down Archie. Now, there's two scenarios in which Penny Peabody could potentially be the new Gargoyle King. SCENARIO ONE: she's now working with Gladys on her plan or SCENARIO TWO: she somehow escaped where Gladys had been keeping her and is back working with Hiram in order to take Gladys down.

Either way, Penny still has to address that "beef" she had with FP and what better way to raise the stakes than to kidnap his beloved daughter. The theory that Penny is somehow involved sounds pretty legit.

Is Gladys Jones the Gargoyle King?
Is Gladys Jones the Gargoyle King? Picture: The CW

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!?

Is Chic Cooper the Gargoyle King?

As we all know, Chic is 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 not enough to kill him... apparently. Did he spare him and black mail him so he could continue his wicked schemes?

Does he want revenge on the town himself? Has he tag teamed with the real Charles Smith? The jury is still out on Chic's involvement in this, but I wouldn't put it past him.

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 is still pretty much a main suspect at this point.

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 Hal Cooper the Gargoyle King?

He's in prison. Don't be stupid.

Is FP Jones the Gargoyle King?

Hot Dad of Riverdale™ FP would have been one of the last people we suspected to be involved but thanks to a Scream reference that featured in episode 6, fans are now 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. Could Riverdale be hinting at the same thing with FP? (Honestly, they better not be.)

While it was VERY sus, there doesn't really seem to be a reason for FP to pull a such a sinister stunt like this. What's his motive? He literally doesn't have one! Why would he have one?! There's also no way he'd ever hurt Alice, or Betty for that matter. Or Jughead! And besides, when the Gargoyle King appeared in Hiram's office in episode 8, FP wasn't even in town. SO THERE.

UPDATE: Good news! FP Jones is NOT the Gargoyle King. Well, he did dress up as him once to catch Claudius Blossom so technically... he kinda was but that Scream reference? A total red herring. And thank God.

Is FP Jones the Gargoyle King on Riverdale?
Is FP Jones the Gargoyle King on Riverdale? Picture: The CW

Is Claudius Blossom the Gargoyle King?

Up until episode 7, Claudius was the only member of Hiram's Legion of Doom that we hadn't seen this season. Going off what we just said about potential involvement from the Blossom and the Coopers, could Claudius be doing all this on Hiram's orders?

We know that he's the one delivering the fizzle rocks to the Sisters but what else could he be involved in? At the end of season 2, Hiram told Claudius that the new prison would have his drugs running through it. Assuming that the fizzle rocks are indeed his drugs, could this all just be one big operation being run by Claudius and Hiram in order to take over the town? We shouldn't count him out just yet... and we shouldn't count out his ~alleged~ twin brother either.

UPDATE: He's dead now so... no?

Is Clifford Blossom the Gargoyle King?

Yeah yeah yeah, he's dead... but what if he's not? HERE ME OUT. 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 Clifford is the one who has set this entire game in motion? WHAT IF HE IS POSING AS CLAUDIUS? WHAT IF HE'S ALIVE?

UPDATE: If Claudius 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?" Later in the episode, Betty talks herself out of it by saying that it couldn't be Ethel because she wasn't tall enough. Now, this could obviously be a huge red herring, an obvious nod to a popular theory but listen - this is the same show that gave us the obvious Hal Cooper as the Black Hood so I'm not falling for their intricate schemes anyway...

UPDATE: 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. 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.

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