Who Is The Gargoyle King On 'Riverdale' Season 3?
23 January 2019, 20:57 | Updated: 23 January 2019, 21:01
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 is officially BACK, baby! Season three picked up three months after the catastrophic events of season two and judging by that wild first episode, it looks like we're about to be in for a season of even more drama and even more death - all thanks to the mysterious Gargoyle King.
Originating from the dangerous game, Gryphons and Gargoyles, the Gargoyle King appears to be much more dangerous than the villains of seasons past, like the Black Hood and Hiram Lodge. In fact, he's already claimed the lives of a bunch of people - including two teenagers.
Thanks to all the new information spilled in the amazing parent flashback episode, we now know that the game and the Gargoyle King existed in the '90s and that little nugget of info has now opened up a whole new host of suspects, including Hiram Lodge, cult leader Edgar Evernever, Polly Cooper, Hermione Lodge and maybe even FP Jones... Shall we 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 looks like a figure that is created by the players of the game as well as a physical being. It's also been teased by Aguirre-Sacasa that it could be 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 mob boss Hiram, particularly after episode 7 revealed his huge master plan to take over the entire town. In episode 8, the Gargoyle King appears in Hiram's office, confirming that he is either working with him, or he is being hallucinated by Hiram, who might be playing the game himself. (Or, you know, it could just be Hiram's own costume that he's hung up to admire.)
We now know that Hiram is involved with the production of Fizzle Rocks and is testing it on the girls at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy, which just so happens to be heavily involved with the Gargoyle King. In episode 5, we find out that the warden at Leopold and Loeb prison is also playing the game and that his main quest was to kill the Red Paladin (Archie). We know that Hiram is in cahoots with Warden Norton, and we also know that Hiram's life would be much less complicated if Archie was... eliminated. Were the two working together? Did Norton kill himself to avoid being killed by Hiram for failing his task?
Obviously, Hiram honestly wouldn't be seen dead in that AHS: Roanoke cosplay but who's to say he hasn't employed someone to do his dirty work again? Oh, and... remember when hundreds of those player manuals started spreading around the school? You know who has access to mass printing facilities? Hiram. Why? Because he now owns the Register.
Then again, seeing as we know Hiram is playing the game, not controlling it, maybe he's not the big bad boss he thought he was after all.
Is Edgar Evernever the Gargoyle King?
So far, season 3 hasn't given us much to go on in regards to The Farm leader Edgar Evernever being the man responsible for the Gargoyle King but it looks like we might have a new reason to suspect him after all... On Dec 10, Mädchen Amick posted a picture of the "farmies" posing in what looks like the Gargoyle King's chamber at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. Given that it was revealed by Ethel in episode 7 that that's where the GK "resides", could the behind the scenes photo link The Farm and the Gargoyle King together?
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 Hiram's drugs are being used at the Sisters - which is also linked with the Gargoyle King - could they be to blame?
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 Polly Cooper the Gargoyle King?
Polly has been a suspect in Jason's murder, and many fans thought she was the one behind the Black Hood too. Could this be third time lucky for the one Cooper sister I do not, and will never, trust?
Polly's involvement with the Gargoyle King is reliant on whether or not Edgar is the man pulling the strings. It's very convenient that, following the appearance of the GK at the Cooper house, Edgar was able to persuade Alice to come back to the farm and persuade her to send Betty, the one who is investigating this whole thing, to the sisters.
Could Polly, a very loyal Farm member, have been the one dressed as the GK that night on Edgar's orders? Using scare tactics to drive her mother to back to the farm and her sister to "safety" with the Sisters (aka, the Gargoyle King's apparent headquarters)? I'm not saying Polly's part of this but... Polly is 100% part of this.
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.
Is Hermione Lodge the Gargoyle King?
Honestly, I don't think Hermione has it in her. There's no way she would let two innocent boys die on her watch. OR WOULD SHE? Mrs "I’ve always wanted to be free from moral reasoning" Lodge is 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.
In episode 5, when we find out that Warden Norton has failed his quest, we see him drink the poison chalice just before Hermione walks into his office. Did he drink it because he knew the game master had arrived to kill him herself? Or did he drink it to avoid spilling any information to her?
In episode 8, it became very clear that she is working "with" Hiram (probably begrudgingly, judging by her absolute distain for the man and his schemes). She knew about Hiram's drug testing and was absolutely livid when Veronica got caught up in it and she called in the executive order to have the town quarantined. She's also got a file on her desktop marked with the Gargoyle King symbol for 'sacrifice,' let's not forget that!
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 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.
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?
Is Sierra McCoy the Gargoyle King?
Listen, I'm not convinced that my favourite mayor of Riverdale is THAT evil but there was one shred of evidence that raised a few suspicions in the fandom. In the flashback episode, Sierra was seen writing on the mirror using lipstick in the bathroom. When Alice goes to the bathroom later in the episode, 'Flip for your fate' is scrawled across the walls in... red lipstick. It's a reach, but at this point, everyone is a suspect.
Now, someone totally could have stolen her lipstick in lieu of a sharpie but... who knows? She's probably not the one dressing up in present day but who's to say she wasn't the one who filled the chalices and drew on the walls back in the day? She seemed incredibly shook when Alice started pointing fingers too... She knows something.
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 Charles Smith? The jury is still out on Chic's involvement in this, but I wouldn't put it past him.
Is Hal Cooper the Gargoyle King?
He's in prison. Don't be stupid.
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.
Whatever, or whoever the Gargoyle King is, it sounds like his stay in the town could result in multiple deaths of our fave characters. With several lives now claimed, including that of our beloved Joaquin, it looks no one is safe...