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The Biggest ‘Riverdale’ Character Deaths: Fred Andrews, Jason Blossom and More

Warning: Spoilers ahead. Saying goodbye. Riverdale has killed off a few major characters since it premiered in January 2017, and has even tricked fans into thinking that a few main characters had met their untimely demise.

Archie Andrews (KJ Apa), for one, appeared to be killed off during the first five episodes of season 6, which premiered in November 2021. Taking place in “Rivervale” the Riverdale special episodes transported fans into a parallel universe of sorts in which Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) was a witch. As a way to save the town, she sacrificed Archie.

“At the end of 6×01, Archie is dead,” showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa said during an interview with Decider following the premiere. “It’s taken five and a half years, or over five years to finally kill Archie, but it has happened.”

The red-headed star of the show was noticeably absent for the rest of the “Rivervale” special episode arc, but made his return when they returned from the other universe and back to the town of Riverdale — confusing, we know — that fans all know and love.

A few seasons prior, Archie’s BFF Jughead Jones (Cole Sprouse) also appeared to be dead. In the season 3 finale, Archie, Veronica Lodge (Camila Mendes) and Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) were seen ominously burning Jughead’s clothes with the character nowhere in sight. Throughout the entirety of season 4, fans speculated about his fate. While Jughead was missing for a few episodes, his death was ultimately faked after it was revealed that the principal at the Stonewall Prep school actually wanted the teen dead.

“We did a terrible job of keeping it under wraps, I think,” KJ said of the story line while appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in March 2020. “He was meant to be dead, but clearly he wasn’t dead — he was on set every day with us.”

While these main characters didn’t actually die on screen, fans did share their condolences — both real and fake — after Fred Andrews (Luke Perry) died in a hit-and-run accident during the October 2019 season 4 premiere. Archie’s father’s onscreen passing came after the actor had died in real life in March 2019 at age 52 following a stroke.

“Everything in that first episode is so authentic and so real that it didn’t really feel like shooting an episode of our show. … It was obviously really emotional. It’s a beautiful episode. I’m super excited for people to see it,” KJ shared while speaking with Extra in August 2019. “It’s a tough one, because you have to go back a bit and access that emotion — that is not something that everyone feels comfortable doing.”

Scroll through our gallery to see which other characters have died on Riverdale over the years.