The third season of Riverdale is finally here, and of course, it brought another dark and twisted new mystery along with it. But this time around, the mystery is so much creepier than it has ever been before. Wednesday night's premiere episode ended with one of the most spine-tingling cliffhangers that the teen drama has ever given us, leaving every fan asking the same question: What happened to Dilton Doiley and Ben on Riverdale? Let's break down everything that we know about that twisted final moment of the Season 3 premiere.
Spoiler alert: This post contains spoilers from the Riverdale Season 3 premiere episode, "Labor Day." While the bulk of the Season 3 premiere focused on Archie's murder trial, there was clearly something strange going on with Dilton Doiley in the background. Towards the beginning of the episode, Jughead notices Dilton playing a mysterious board game with Ben in a booth at Pop's Diner. Now, some fans might not really remember Ben, but he has popped up a few times before. He worked at the Twilight Drive-In before it got shut down in Season 1, and he made a couple very eyebrow-raising appearances in Season 2 as Ms. Grundy's new student/boy-toy in Greendale and paying a mysterious visit to Chic at the Cooper house. Due to all of his brief and unexplained scenes on the show, a number of fans are wondering what might really be going on with Ben... but his role in the new episode only made his character seem even more mysterious.
When Jughead asks Dilton and Ben what game they're playing, Ben immediately shushes Dilton before he can respond. However, we already know thanks to showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa that the game is called Griffins and Gargoyles, and it's a role-playing game in the vein of Dungeons and Dragons. Later, Dilton shows up at Jughead's house looking panicked, and he tells Jughead that something named the Gargoyle King is real. Unfortunately, Jughead is too preoccupied with Achie's trial to hear Dilton out, and when he looks for Dilton again, he is lead to a tree in the woods adorned with bones and a horned skull.
Underneath the tree, Jughead finds Dilton and Ben's bodies lying prostrate with strange carvings on their backs. The two boys appear to be dead, with Ben foaming at the mouth.
Ummm, what!? This is some spooky, creepy stuff, even for a dark show like Riverdale. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has previously teased that this mysterious Gargoyle King will be at the center of the big mystery of Season 3, and it definitely sounds like he probably the big boss in this Griffins and Gargoyles game... except brought to life somehow. The spooky introduction of the Gargoyle King seems to suggest he is supernatural somehow — like he may be some sort of ghost or demon — but Lili Reinhart made it clear in a recent interview that there is no magic or supernatural stuff in Riverdale. So this Gargoyle King must be an actual person, I guess.
We'll just have to keep watching Riverdale Season 3 on Wednesday nights on the CW to try to figure out more about the Gargoyle King.