'Riverdale': The Gargoyle King's Identity Revealed

After nearly half a season of wondering, the true identity of the Gargoyle King was revealed on tonight's episode of Riverdale -- but most fans aren't buying it.

The candidate is...surprising, to say the least, since it is a character most fans assumed to have died already.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for "Chapter Forty-Five: The Stranger," which airs tonight.

After weeks of being embedded with the Gargoyle Gang, Fangs Fogarty comes to Jughead with good news: he has earned an audience with the King.

The Serpents are given the information about the time and place of the meet-up, which will be a ceremonial affair in Fox Forest. There, the Gargoyle King appears in full dress and orders his gang to brand Fangs as part of his initiation.

Before they can do so, the Serpents broke up the meeting. The Gargoyle Gang scattered and fled after a brief squabble, and the King himself was taken prisoner and unmasked -- as Tall Boy.

...Wait, what? Wasn't that guy dead?!

Tall Boy, if you will remember, is a former Serpent who had problems with the way FP and Jughead were running things. He took a job from Hiram Lodge, decapitating the statue of General Pickens -- an act which pitted many on the North Side against the South Side. He framed Jughead for the crime, and when the truth came to light, Tall Boy was exiled.

Working for Lodge again, Tall Boy acted as the Black Hood, staging an attack on the Town Hall debate for mayor and attempting to kill Fred Andrews.

Shortly after after the original Black Hood was arrested, Sheriff Minetta confronted Tall Boy after an anonymous tip, which led to a firefight. During this showdown, Tall Boy was supposedly killed (almost certainly to cover Hiram's tracks, since Minetta worked for him), but the sheriff was able to confirm Tall Boy was the second Black Hood because of physical evidence he left behind.

It turns out he was actually not killed -- something we apparently never learned since Minetta was in turn murdered by agents of Hiram.

(Side note: was that Tall Boy, too?)

(Additional side note: Remember to pitch The CW on new series, Archie's Agents of HIRAM.)

You can't blame fans for being less than completely sold that the season-long mystery will end with the King being...Tall Boy, who wasn't even the real Black Hood when he was revealed as the Black Hood. The fact that he is pretty clearly subordinate to Hiram here, whereas the Gargoyle King appeared to be pulling Hiram's strings at the end of the midseason finale, raises some questions, too.

The idea that the Gargoyle King would just sit there talking about all the bad things he has done in plain language, if he was not trying desperately to prove that he was actually the one doing the killing.

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We'll learn more in the coming weeks, surely, especially now that Hal Cooper (the actual Black Hood) is getting himself involved in the investigation.

Riverdale airs on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.