5 Theories About What The Riverdale 'Rents Did

This article contains spoilers for Riverdale season three, episode three. Read at your own risk. 

Since the beginning of Riverdale, most of the show’s drama has been centered around the youth of the town. Archie’s love triangles, Jughead’s investigative reporting, everything with Veronica’s family, Dark Betty—the list goes on. But in this season of Riverdale, we are getting a whole new batch of drama and mystery courtesy of the parents of Riverdale aka the ‘Riverdale ‘Rents’ (as I like to refer to them). 

From a secretive meeting in Mayor McCoy’s office to FP Jones and Alice Cooper seeming awfully suspicious as they talk about the deaths of Ben and Dilton, it is clear that the ‘Rents know something about the mysterious events linked to the Griffins and Gargoyles role playing game. 

And while things are getting more tense by the minute (I mean Ethel was seeing some pretty creepy stuff in the final moments of last night’s episode), it’s time for dedicated Riverdale fans to put on their thinking caps and come up with the best explanations for what the Riverdale ‘Rents are up to. 

Here are five theories about what the Riverdale ‘Rents are hiding.


It was simply a game gone wrong. 

This seems like the most likely theory. The crazy antics of this season all started when Dilton, Ben and Ethel got involved with the role playing game, Griffins and Gargoyles. As they followed the rules laid out in a mysterious book, bad things happened (read: people died). And when FP and Alice found the rule book in Jughead’s things, they had what could safely be described as a strong reaction (they literally threw it into a fire). When you combine the anger towards the book with the ominous warning in episode two (“We can’t let it happen again”), it seems like the ‘Rents made a mistake in their youth, someone died and now they want to protect their children from making the same mistakes. 

The Riverdale ‘Rents are using scare tactics to keep their children in line. 

It goes without saying that Archie and the gang don’t always listen to their parents (they chase serial killers, go in to the woods unattended at night, have affairs with their teachers, experiment with jingle jangle, etc), and after years of this behavior, maybe Fred and the rest of the ‘Rents are just simply frustrated and tired of parenting teenagers. So, instead of once again warning their kids about the dangers of Riverdale, the parents have decided to scare their kids straight using some scary creature and role playing game. I’ll be honest, this seems like the least likely scenario, but it’s just ridiculous enough to fit with the Riverdale brand that even though it seems pretty lame, I’ll consider it. 

Riverdale is a town founded by a cult and the ‘Rents were part of the founding group. 

I can’t be the only one who is getting serious cult-like vibes from this ever present “Farm.” And while they were only mentioned in passing in prior seasons, their ideologies are slowly seeping into town this season (I mean, there is a Farm Support Group at the school now!!!). If all of the parents were involved in whatever happened in the past, chances are their involvement was due to them participating in an activity together. Maybe that activity was The Farm? If they were all participating members (or former members), one of the cult practices may have contributed to whatever happened 30+ years ago—and the reemergence of The Farm is responsible for whatever is happening now. 

In an occult ritual, the parents summoned a mythical and evil being. 

It’s hard to tell if this Gargoyle King is a hallucination seen by those under the influence of some substance, or if the Gargoyle King is a real being. But we’ve seen two ritual-like situations this season—the weird floating baby scene that preceded Betty’s seizure and Dilton’s death scene—which makes me think the Gargoyle King may be real after all. If the Griffins and Gargoyles rule book is a spellbook of sorts, perhaps in their youth, the Riverdale ‘Rents conjured some sort of being that has cursed the town and reappears after a certain period of time (kind of like Pennywise in Stephen King’s It). That could explain why all of these supernatural things are happening now, when the show has never before leaned in to the supernatural and occult. 

Hiram Lodge is up to something…

Hiram Lodge was one of the main villains of season two, but he has been oddly quiet in season three, mostly lurking in the shadows of speakeasies, prison yards and libraries. He’s obviously still a part of the show, and his cronies (Penny Peabody, Sheriff Manetta) are still showing up with regularity. Hiram Lodge was also present when all of the parents gathered for their mysterious meeting. I have a sneaking suspicion that all of this Gargoyle King madness is somehow connected to his evil plan to take over Riverdale. I just can’t figure out how yet. 

While any of these theories could be true, we will have to wait two whole weeks to find out what’s up (ugh! The agony!). In the next episode, we get to journey back to yesteryear to find out what the Riverdale ‘Rents know. 

Riverdale returns Wednesday, November 7 at 8 p.m. on The CW.