Season 3 of Riverdale started off with Jughead (Cole Sprouse) investigating the strange deaths of Dilton (Major Curda) and Ben (Moses Thiessen), two teens who prayed to a mysterious figure known as the Gargoyle King. It soon became apparent that Dilton and Ben were more than just worshipping this deity made of sticks and leaves: The boys believed that they were living in some fantasy world, all through a Dungeons & Dragons-adjacent roleplaying game called Gryphons & Gargoyles.
In the investigation, Betty (Lili Reinhart) learned that her own mother, Alice (Madchen Amick) — as well as pretty much all the parents of Riverdale — had played the game as teenagers. After the Midnight Club took hallucinogenic drug "fizzle rocks" (not to be confused with jingle jangle!) on their own ascension night, their game ended nightmarishly, with their school principal dead.
Naturally, the now-adult parents of Riverdale wanted their kids to never speak of Gryphons & Gargoyles again — let alone play it. Unfortunately, someone disperses copies of the game book all around Riverdale High, leading to the whole school assigning themselves titles like "radiant knight," "hellcaster," and "deadeye." And, apparently, some kids are getting even more into the game by accompanying play with the sketchy fizzle rocks.
How G&G came into existence was a question that the Bughead sleuthing team was desperate to answer. Unfortunately for Betty, she had to go into the belly of the beast — aka a mental asylum known as the Sisters of Quiet Mercy — to learn the truth.
During her time with the Sisters, Betty discovers that Hiram Lodge (Mark Consuelos) is using the patients at the asylum as essentially test subjects for his new strain of fizzle rocks. The Sisters are using the drugs for their own purposes: to keep the girls under their care compliant. The Sisters use the drugs to incite hallucinations of the Gargoyle King by locking the patients in a room with a statue of the monster.
And this is when Betty discovers the heartbreaking origin story of Gryphons & Gargoyles. While trapped in the room with the statue, one of the Sister's patients — scared out of their mind, apparently — crafted an elaborate roleplaying game as a way to cope. Since the game seemed to keep the patient complaint, the Sisters encouraged it. Thus, the sinister G&G was born.
Now, there are certainly things we don't know about G&G — like how Hiram fits into this whole thing. Is he, much like the Sisters, just using the game as a way to distract the Riverdale residents from his big plans to bulldoze the town for cheap land? Does Hiram actually believe in the game, which Jughead believes is essentially a big metaphor for everything happening in Riverdale? Most importantly: If Hiram isn't the one dressed up like the Gargoyle King... who is?
The Gargoyle King may be just a person, but this agent of chaos is not playing any games with Riverdale. Be careful, ya'll.