Up until now, this season of Riverdale has felt pretty disjointed. Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead have all kind of been off on their own, with Archie in prison, Veronica running a speakeasy, Betty worrying about a cult, and Jughead investigating a strange board game. But finally, the gang came back together again on Wednesday night's new episode, and yet again, it left fans wondering who the Gargoyle King might be. With everything finally coming together, though, things are starting to point back to a familiar villain. Is Hiram Lodge the Gargoyle King on Riverdale? Let's go over all the new clues that we got from the latest episode.
Spoiler alert: This post contains plot details from Riverdale Season 3 Episode 5, "The Great Escape." After only a couple of episodes, Wednesday night's new episode of Riverdale brought an abrupt but welcome end to Archie's time in juvie. Once Veronica discovered Warden Norton's underground fight club, she rallied the troops (A.K.A. Betty, Reggie, Kevin, and Josie) and came up with a plan to bust her boyfriend out of jail. But the biggest shocker of this jailbreak was what the Southside Serpents were up to at the time. Jughead, Cheryl, Toni, Sweet Pea, and Fangs all fell deep into the dangerous new board game Gryphons and Gargoyles, and strangely enough, the quest that they went on in the game exactly mirrored Archie's jailbreak, which was going on at the same time.
The parallelism between reality and Gryphons and Gargoyles was definitely confusing, but it also may have shown some light on the mysterious board game. Jughead reveals that Gryphons and Gargoyles has only ever existed in Riverdale, nowhere else, and also points out that the game's kingdom of Eldirvare is an anagram for Riverdale. Clearly, the game is connected to the town. Jughead also says that the more he plays the game, the more he realizes that everyone in town has been "playing" all this time, just without a board.
As weird as Jughead's theories about Gryphons and Gargoyles sound, they actually seem to prove true when Jughead's game quest appears to control the actions of Veronica, Betty, and Kevin during their plan to break Archie out of jail. And we also find out Jughead was not the only Gryphons and Gargoyles player with a stake in that jailbreak — Warden Norton shockingly also plays the game, and was ordered to kill the red paladin (the game's name for Archie). When he fails his quest from the Gargoyle King, Warden Norton drinks a poisoned cup of Fresh-Aid just like all the other victims.
So, who could be the person under that Gargoyle King mask? Well, one major suspect after this week's episode definitely seems to be Hiram Lodge. Not only was Hiram one of the members of the Midnight Club, making him a prime Gargoyle King suspect, but he also definitely wants Archie dead. Who else had both the power and the motive to order Warden Norton to kill Archie? And who else is ruthless enough to demand the warden kill himself for not succeeding? It all goes back to Hiram.
But there are still some questions the come with this theory, like why would Hiram want Dilton, Ben, and Ethel dead? And what's the deal with parading around in the woods in a spooky costume? We will have to just keep watching to see if we get any more clues in the coming weeks.