Not to be left behind by upcoming sister show The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Archie Comics adaptation Riverdale will be introducing a sinister new presence called the Gargoyle King. Showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa shared a photo of the season 3 villain on social media, along with the promise that the Gargoyle King will be “gruesome, gory, grim, and gnarly.”
The second season of Riverdale ended on a cliffhanger, with Archie arrested during his student body president inauguration for a crime he didn’t commit. According to the official synopsis, season 3 will kick off with Archie’s friends trying to save him from going to jail – but that won’t be the only problem that they have to contend with. The Black Hood killer (well, one of them) is now behind bars, but the Gargoyle King will be stepping up to take his place.
With just two weeks left to go until Riverdale‘s season 3 premiere, Aguirre-Sacasa offered a chilling tease of what’s to come on Twitter. Along with a picture of the Gargoyle King stalking a wooded area, he included a string of mysterious emojis: a snake, an old key, a fire, a playing card with a Joker on it, and a game die. The snake seems to be an obvious reference to the Southside Serpents, but the other symbols will likely only reveal their meaning as Riverdale season 3 unfolds.
— RobertoAguirreSacasa (@WriterRAS) September 26, 2018
Riverdale has flirted with supernatural themes in the past, but it’s safe to say that the Gargoyle King is probably just a person in a costume, not an actual monster. The design brings to mind a wendigo, with the branches that make up its wings similar to the antlers of the wendigo, but it also has two horns and spikes that form a crown on its head. The Gargoyle King was first spotted in a promo for Riverdaleseason 3, which also showed it wearing a necklace with teeth or bones and a mask with a face painted on it. It’s certainly a more elaborate disguise than what the Black Hood came up with, but who is hiding underneath it?
Aguirre-Sacasa’s tweet also indicates that Riverdale season 3 is going to get pretty violent and step up the horror elements of the show. Despite last season’s serial killer plotline, there weren’t a lot of overly gruesome deaths – just a lot of shootings. However, that one particularly shocking murder during the school’s musical production of Carrie may have set the tone for the “gruesome” and “gory” things to come.