Riverdale is currently in the middle of a month-long hiatus, meaning fans have to wait a while for more shocking plot twists, hookups, and maple syrup blood feuds.
With so much time until new episodes will air, we thought we'd look at something that has been a part of Riverdale almost since its inception: fan theories. The show's unique blend of Archie Comics canon, murder mysteries, and various off-the-wall genre elements has produced a wealth of fan speculation, with fans suggesting any way for a certain storyline to resolve itself.
Some theories have been proven wrong over the course of Riverdale (even as early as episode six of the first season), while others technically still have footing within the show's unique canon. Here's a collection of ten of our favorites.
Jughead is Secretly a Blossom
The topic of who is secretly related to each other is an almost never-ending well within Riverdale -- but this was among the most interesting ones.
This was a theory that we somewhat helped promote, after the events of "In a Lonely Place." When it was revealed that FP Jones was keeping Jason Blossom's letterman jacket in his trailer, we had to wonder if there was some sort of significance behind it. This culminated in the possibility that FP was secretly Cheryl and Jason's father, something that would have motivated Clifford Blossom to resent Jason, and later kill him.
Ultimately, this was essentially proven false in a sort of one-two punch that revealed that the Blossoms were actually related to the Coopers (albeit, in a different way). But between Betty and Jughead's rekindled relationship, the growing bond between FP and Alice, and the apparent connection between Hal and Penelope Blossom, it's safe to say that that whole family tree is complicated enough.
Jason and Cheryl Were in a Relationship
On that note, one of the first things Riverdale fans speculated about, almost from the minute the show's first trailer premiered, was the nature of Cheryl and Jason's relationship. While the pair clearly had a close bond, many wondered if it extended beyond that of siblings, and into what was referred to as "twincest."
While this theory was never fully debunked, a lot of fans basically let go of it following the previously-mentioned revelation about Polly and Jason. But according to Madelaine Petsch, who plays Cheryl, that sort of closeness between the twins did make sense within the narrative of the show.
“The word ‘twincest’ has been thrown around a lot,” Petsch said in an interview. “The way that I rationalized it was that it’s very clear that she grew up in a very, very dark family. The only light that she had was Jason, the only love that she ever felt was Jason. Her parents never really showed her love; they didn’t really care about her; she turned to Jason for everything. The loss of him hurt her so badly, he was her person.... There was no sexual connection. It was not romantic; it was that she never felt love from any other person on the planet, so the way she justified that was by making it her person.”
Betty and Polly are the Same Person
Another early Season One theory focused on another set of siblings: the Coopers.
Long before Chic Cooper sparked an avalanche of speculation, fans wondered about the arrival of Polly Cooper, who at the time was simply Betty's ominous older sibling and Jason's onetime love. As the first few episodes trucked on, some wondered if Polly wasn't actually a real person, and was just a name for Betty's "Dark Betty" persona.
The third episode of the season largely supported this theory, as Betty answered to Polly while going all Dark Betty on Chuck Clayton. But as Lili Reinhart explained shortly after the episode aired -- and as the show quickly proved, by bringing in Polly -- that wasn't the case.
“I know tonight’s episode may allude to that, but truly, it’s just a moment of mental break, which I think everyone can relate to,” Reinhart told ComicBook.com. “She doesn’t actually have a split personality, she’s not actually schizophrenic, which is something that people have thought after seeing episode 3. She cares about her sister so much, and the fact that something so terrible happened to her sister causes her to kind of break down and go into defense mode. Betty has a lot of built-up anxiety and anger and frustration. Tonight’s episode is kind of the boiling over point and that’s why you see her alter ego. I would say it’s more of an alter ego than a split personality. It’s her bad side coming out.”
Agent Adams Doesn't Really Exist
Speaking of people not existing, we're going to touch on a theory that was almost off-the-wall enough to make sense... until the final scene of the most recent episode.
Riverdale's midseason premiere offered an array of confusing developments, mainly in the random arrival of Agent Arthur Adams. Adams quickly roped Archie into his FBI probe, which was planning to unmask Hiram Lodge for his various crimes.
But throughout his appearances, something just felt... off about Adams. Details about him were unbelievably vague, and he only ever communicated with Archie. This led us to speculate if he was actually the real Chic Cooper, but another theory came about: that Adams didn't really exist.
The theory posited that Adams was essentially Archie's imaginary friend, something that did somewhat check out. The pair have somewhat similar facial features, their initials are the same, and both men's family consists of their father and a dog.
Joaquin Was Actually Chic Cooper
So, while Adams might not be the real Chic Cooper, a minor character from Riverdale's first season was also brought into the speculation about Chic's identity.
Towards the season's end, a pretty prominent fan theory was that we'd already met Chic Cooper, and it was none other than Joaquin, the Serpent boyfriend of Kevin Keller. The theory posited that Joaquin was the son of FP and Alice, who had kept his identity secret considering the nature of his birth.
While this theory was never fully debunked, Joaquin being sent away on a bus seemed to hint that he wouldn't be a part of the whole Chic storyline.
The Show Exists Within 'Black Mirror'
As Joaquin's departure basically debunked one theory, it brought on a whole other (slightly unconventional) one altogether.
The final destination of Joaquin's bus was pretty specific: San Junipero, a fictional town within an episode of Black Mirror. At the time, people took this Easter egg in a few different ways, either deciding that it meant that Joaquin was going to meet his happy queer ending, or that he was going to die.
But following the most recent season of Black Mirror, another possibility came about: that Riverdale is a sort of simulation, similar to the Star Trek-esque one seen in the episode "USS Callister."
Would this be a unique twist on Riverdale's unique blend of Archie Comics and dark elements? Yes. Would it somewhat make sense, considering the popularity the show has had on Netflix? Probably. Will it come true? There's no telling, at this point.
The Show Exists in H.P. Lovecraft's Fictional Universe
Sure, Riverdale might not exist within Black Mirror -- but there's another fictional world it also has some weird ties to.
In this season's "Tales From the Darkside", Archie and Jughead were tasked with delivering a mysterious crate for Penny Peabody. In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, the crate had something peculiar stamped on it "Miskatonic University, via H.P. Lovecraft. Polar Expedition Jan. 13, 1923."
This has made some began to speculate - does Riverdale exist in Lovecraft's fictional universe?
There is, oddly enough, a bit of comic precedent for this, with Cthulu appearing in an issue of the post-apocalyptic Archie Comics series Afterlife With Archie. In the process, this technically linked the world of Afterlife (which is written by Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa) into Lovecraftian lore.
Could Riverdale really be a construct of H.P Lovecraft? Could this provide an easy explanation for how Sabrina will enter the fold? Or could this just be Penny Peabody being really extra?
Penny Peabody is Related to the Coopers
On the topic of Penny Peabody, the Snake Charmer has been the focus of quite a few Riverdale theories, many of which seem to spawn from the possibility that she's somehow related to the Cooper family.
While some theories have posited that she's Alice's sister (something that, at this point, could still totally be plausible), another fan theory took Penny's potential ties to the Coopers in a whole other direction by suggesting that she's Betty's biological mother.
At this point, this theory feels pretty close to debunked, as it just feels like one familial revelation too many for the Cooper household. But it's safe to assume that Penny Peabody is going to continue to be up to no good within Riverdale either way.
Jughead Is the Black Hood
Turning to this season's current murder mystery, there are almost more theories about the Black Hood's real identity than can be counted. But as we posited during the show's last hiatus, there's a chance that one of the show's main characters could be involved with the crusade: Jughead.
The theory suggests that while Jughead might not be the masked vigilante who has actually been seen on Riverdale, he could be the one pulling the strings. Sure, it might sound a little outrageous, but it would somewhat justify Jughead's darker tendencies so far this season.
At the moment, this one hasn't been fully debunked, but it does feel like a long-shot at this point. If it did come true, it would bring an even darker twist to the world of Riverdale.
The Entire Show Is Just Jughead's Fiction
Which brings us to our final theory, which further argues that Jughead has something more up his sleeve. Literally from the opening moment of the show's first episode, fans have been treated to Jughead's narration, as he opens and closes each episode in a perfectly ominous praise.
Some have just interpreted that as a stylistic choice, one that further injects some noir elements into the show. But as some have speculated, there could be more behind that narration -- namely, that Jughead is an unreliable narrator, somehow fabricating the events of the show.
The show has some hints of Jughead's "skewed perspective", namely in the drastically different framing of the Serpents from season one to season two. But if this theory were to be true, it would completely turn the events of the show on its head.
Like the Black Mirror theory, this would justify some of Riverdale's more ridiculous aspects, and would make fans wonder exactly what the "real" version of Riverdale was like. But in a way, it almost would feel like a cop-out, especially for a show that has wholeheartedly embraced those ridiculous elements.0comments
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.