Archie's New Tattoo Is Confusing Riverdale Fans

Photo: Courtesy of the CW.
A new tattoo is confusing Riverdale fans, but is it what we think it means?
If there's one thing you should know about K.J. Apa's Riverdale character Archie Andrews, it's that the boy just LOVES exclusive groups.
Not only is the athlete a card-carrying member of the Riverdale Bulldogs, he also started not one, but two gangs while in high school. (To speak nothing of his pilot episode attempt to join Josie & the Pussycats). Anti-Black Hood vigilante group the Red Circle, and their pretty insane shirtless video, gave way to the mob-tied Dark Circle, which gave way to Reggie (Charles Melton) nearly killing Fangs (Drew Ray Tanner).
Bad ideas? Sure. But camaraderie has always been important to Archiekins.
So it should come as no surprise to anyone that, when given the opportunity to assimilate to a squad, Archie might jump at the chance... which could explain why he's rocking a Southside Serpent tattoo in a new trailer for season 3 of the CW show.
Check out Archie's tat, in all its (terrible high school mistake) glory:
So is Archie joining the Southside Serpents, the West Side Story-adjacent gang that his BFF Jughead (Cole Sprouse) operates? According to Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the answer is — nope.
Okay, kidding. But don't assume that Archie is throwing himself into yet another subgroup.
"It’s not what the fans think — actually, I’m not sure what they think," Aguirre-Sacasa told Entertainment Tonight of the new ink. "It’s a protection that Jughead can extend to his friend, and that’s the origin of that tattoo."
There are a few reasons why Archie might want to seem like he's connected to the Southside Serpents. Maybe Jughead wants to finally blend his two worlds together, and having Archie as an honorary Serpent will make it easier for Archie to stay safe in snakeland. But the more dire reason is that Archie is headed to prison for a murder he did not commit, as it was teased in the season 2 finale, and that he'll need to seem tougher and "affiliated" in order to survive behind bars.
The bottom line is: you don't get such an aggressive tattoo for absolutely no reason. And right now, well — we're a little worried about Archie's wellbeing.

More from TV

R29 Original Series