WARNING: This articles contains spoilers for the first season of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Proceed at your own risk, witches.
Cheryl Blossom is many things: complex, low-key goth, a queen, and a queer icon. Since the very first season of Riverdale, Cheryl’s consistently shown some of the most growth and depth of any character on the show. She’s had to deal with death, extreme family drama, opening up about her sexual identity, and joining the Serpents — all while still maintaining her Cheryl Bombshell status amongst the Riverdale Vixens. But there’s been another theory floating around about Cheryl for a while: On top of everything else, she might also be a witch.
Sabrina and Cheryl Are Both Red Queens
Cheryl’s always had a creepy, kinda otherworldly quality. From gliding around Thornhill to giving Fred Andrews the “kiss of life” after he was shot, there’s just something mysterious and (sometimes) sinister about Cheryl. And now, thanks to some costuming details in Riverdale’s new Netflix sister show, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, we might have a couple more clues about Cheryl’s secret witchy identity.
From her cherry phosphates to her rouged lips, to know Cheryl is to know that her signature color is red. She’s rarely, if ever, seen without at least a splash of red in her costuming. And guess who else has recently taken joint custody of Cheryl’s signature color? That’s right: Sabrina Spellman, Greendale‘s favorite teen witch on Chilling Adventures.
Lisa Soper, the Chilling Adventures production designer, is a practicing pagan and decided on Sabrina’s signature color through a tarot reading — she did one for every character on the show to help guide the color design, and drew the red-cloaked Magician for Sabrina. Soper insists that the teens’ shared color doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re both magical — but she doesn’t flat-out deny the theory either.
“The connection to Riverdale was — and this was our mandate, as much as we love it — we didn’t want to start by referencing something else,” Soper explained during a set visit in September. “Everything I do, I never start with [projects] that have been done and are made. We have nods for the fans and easter eggs, but when it comes down what we’re building from, I always want to build from reality.”
Pay Attention to the Spiders
Even if Cheryl and Sabrina’s shared color doesn’t mean they’re going to form a coven together, there’s another costuming detail in Cheryl’s wardrobe that might have some hidden meaning. In Chilling Adventures, all witches have familiars — supernatural entities who take animal form and serve as witches’ companions — and Aunt Hilda’s familiars are spiders.
The spiders actually play an important role in the first season. Sabrina uses them to terrify Principal Hawthorne into taking some time off so she can establish her WICCA Club at school in his absence, and later in the season, Sabrina uses the spiders to help entrap and defeat the sleep demon Batibat.
Why are spiders important? Because they’re also Cheryl Blossom’s signature creature. Cheryl’s rarely seen without some kind of spider accessory, whether it’s one of her few spider brooches or her killer pair of red ruby spider earrings.
There are lots of theories surrounding the spider’s significance in Cheryl’s wardorbe: It’s a symbol of power, of distrust, of death. But it might also be a visual clue for eagle-eyed fans. Because guess who else has a spider brooch? That’s right, Aunt Hilda.
Waiting for the Magical Crossover
Sure, the brooch connection might be a stretch. Maybe Cheryl just likes goth jewelry; maybe Hilda’s just paying tribute to her familiars. Who knows for sure? But there’s very little doubt that Riverdale and Chilling Adventures will do a crossover event at some point in the near future. Greendale is just across Sweetwater River from their peppy neighboring town of Riverdale, and both shows make multiple (and super obvious) references to each other. There’s even a Jughead easter egg in Chilling Adventures. A crossover isn’t a matter of “if,” it’s a matter of “how.”
What event will bring the two towns together? Will Penny and the Ghoulies force Jughead to return to Greendale and deliver more “pancake mix” like last season? Will a supernatural event force Sabrina and the Weird Sisters to cross Sweetwater River? (A zombie apocalypse, perhaps?) Or maybe, just maybe, Hilda and Zelda will decide to pay a visit to their (surprise!) long ex-communicated sister, Penelope Blossom. It’s just a theory, but how sweet would it be for Cheryl to discover that she has family members who might not try to murder her in her sleep? And how fun would it be to watch her slowly discover how to use the magical powers she never knew she had (with her cousin Sabrina’s guidance, of course)?
Maybe it’s just a brooch. But hopefully it’s much more.