|“||After you banished me from Thornhill, I traveled the world searching for sanctuary and eventually found myself in the Himalayas. At the original convent of the Sisters of Quiet Mercy. [...] I presented myself on their doorstep with nothing but the clothes on my back. And now the sisters have decided that I can pledge myself fully to Christ.||”|
Penelope Blossom is a recurring character on The CW's Riverdale and the hidden main antagonist of the second and third seasons, being the mastermind behind the Black Hood and the Gargoyle King. She is portrayed by Nathalie Boltt.
Penelope suffered severe third-degree burns when running back into Thornhill to save the family portrait after Cheryl set fire to the house in an effort to "start over" with a clean slate. This gave Cheryl the opportunity to control her mother the same way she controlled and abused Cheryl.
She is also a serial killer, who poisons men who she claims are the real "poison," having taken the lives of her late husband Clifford Blossom, his brother Claudius, Darryl Doiley, Felix Featherhead, and Hal Cooper. Wanted by the police for her heinous crimes, Penelope took refuge within the walls of Thistlehouse, where she psychologically terrorized Cheryl; gaslighting her into believing that she was going crazy. After being confronted by Cheryl, Penelope was briefly locked in the underground bunker before taking up permeant residences at Five Seasons, where Cheryl and Veronica had turned her brothel into a social club offering high end maple-centric liquor.
Penelope was born an orphan and grew up at the Sisters of Quiet Mercy until she was eight years old and adopted by the Blossom family due to her red hair. The Blossoms raised her in Riverdale to one day become her adoptive brother, Clifford's, wife. Penelope attended the local high school, where she was a "teacher's pet" and was frequently at odds with Alice Smith and Hermione Gomez, often leading the girls to physical altercations. Penelope would forge a rivalry with Hermione and to this day, the two ladies are still bitter rivals. During Penelope's junior year, she, Hermione, Alice, Fred Andrews, FP Jones, Sierra Samuels, Hiram Lodge, Tom Keller, Darryl Doiley, and Marty Mantle played Gryphons and Gargoyles. Penelope later sends everyone invitations for ascension night, and while everyone was high on Fizzle Rocks, Penelope disguised herself as the Gargoyle King and poisoned Felix Featherhead.
In adulthood, Penelope and Clifford had a set of twins named Cheryl and Jason. Throughout the young years of Cheryl and Jason's lives, Penelope sought to protect her children from her husband's illegal business, specifically supplying drugs. She did this by turning an all-too-real monster into a bedtime story, a child's Bogeyman, and sent them to their rooms whenever "The Sugarman", Clifford's drug associate, came to Thornhill. She would later come to learn of Clifford's plans for Jason, to groom him to take his place after him. Despite her efforts, Clifford's actions set in motion the events that ultimately lead to Jason's death as well as Clifford's.
Penelope is a middle-aged woman with tan skin, red hair, and light brown eyes. She is of medium height and a thin build. With the Blossoms being the most wealthy family in Riverdale, it should be a surprise to no one that she dresses very classy and has expensive taste. She suffered severe third-degree burns after Cheryl burned down the Thornhill and she ran back in to save the family portrait. After she was released from the hospital, for a period of time, she wore a black, arm-length glove on her left arm to hide her burn scars. She has since healed and her burn scars are practically unnoticable.
Penelope is cunning, cold-hearted, calculating, manipulative, and vicious. Despite her apparent love for her son, Jason, and her husband, Clifford, Penelope seems to despise Cheryl, constantly treating her terribly, in a very unmotherly manner. Verbal abuse is a common theme in reference to Penelope's treatment of her own daughter. She's also been shown to be manipulative towards Cheryl, as well as others, such as Archie Andrews, who she bribed into escorting Cheryl to their family's tree tapping. Penelope is shown to have a highly homophobic attitude towards Cheryl's sexuality, as shown when she had her taken to the Sisters of Quiet Mercy for conversion therapy. Much like her deceased husband, she is a murderous psychopath and a serial killer, who murders men in cold blood by poisoning them, showing her to be an extremely sinister woman who is willing to resort to diabolical methods to achieve her immoral aims.
In spite of all this, Penelope has a softer side, generally displayed whenever Jason is involved. She cried many of times following his death, as the passing of her son was too much to bear, leaving her deeply saddened. Penelope finally opened up to her daughter after Cheryl approached her with the memory of the Sugarman, which was a real-life drug dealer that Penelope turned into a concocted story in order to combat an all-too-real monster. Penelope revealed that she protected both Cheryl and Jason from the grasp of the Sugarman, who would occasionally visit Thornhill.
- Main article: Cheryl and Penelope
For many years, Penelope has been rather detached and distant from Cheryl. It's this distancing that caused Cheryl to feel as if she never truly experience any form of true love or bond. Their relationship became more volatile after Jason's death, which Penelope blamed Cheryl for as she aided and abetted his attempt to flee Riverdale, a plan that ultimately ended with his demise. It was clear to Cheryl earlier on in life that Jason was loved by their parents far more than she was, so when he died, Penelope became far more abusive towards her. Penelope and Cheryl's relationship devolved further after learning that Jason was killed by their father, and Cheryl decided to burn down Thornhill due to it bearing too many bad memories. After Penelope discovered that Cheryl had feelings for Toni, she committed Cheryl into Sisters of Quiet Mercy for conversion therapy, which Cheryl later escaped from with help from Toni and Veronica. The hostile nature of their relationship remains, though Cheryl has demonstrated that she's more than capable of protecting herself from her mother.
The relationship between Penelope and her husband, Clifford, was easily defined as an unhappy marriage, although they were often seen together. After Jason's death, their relationship became even more strained, but they continued to stand by each other, more so during the investigation, even working together to compile their own list of suspects. However, after it was revealed that Clifford was actually the one responsible for the death of their son and that he had merely framed FP, she killed him in revenge with pufferish venom and hanged his body in the farm to stage it as suicide.
The relationship between Penelope and her son, Jason, is mostly shrouded in mystery. It is currently unclear exactly how close they were before his death, but Penelope was devastated to learn of her son's murder. Notably, Jason was the family heir, who according to Cheryl was the golden-boy. Judging by Penelope reaction to her son's death, she looked looked favorably on him. Although, approaching Jason's death, their relationship seemed to have soured, as Jason was set to leave town, going so far as to fake his own death in order to be rid of his parents.
Penelope and Alice both grew up in Riverdale and became rivals, dating at least as far back to their days as students at Riverdale High School, during which time they were consistently at each other's throats. Their interactions have been known to turn physical, proven when Penelope slapped Alice at the Taste of Riverdale for her hand in publishing Jason's autopsy. Their hate is also tied to each other's family history, as the Coopers and the Blossoms despise one another. After discovering Polly and Jason's relationship, this made matters worse for both families, as they tried to break the couple up, but they failed to do so as it was later revealed that Polly was pregnant. Little did Alice know that when she was marrying into the Cooper family, she was marrying into the Blossom family as well, as they are one bloodline that separated many years ago after one Blossom brother killed another.
Penelope and Hermione were both raised in Riverdale, and they've been rivals since the two of them were students at Riverdale High School, which is a rivalry that carries on to this very day. The two rarely cross paths with each other, but when they do, the result is hardly ever pleasant. However, they do have one thing in common: they are both a part of two of the wealthiest families in Riverdale. Their two families even engaged in a past business deal, which resulted in monthly payments dating back 75 years from Blossom Maple Farms to Lodge Industries, that is up until Hiram Lodge's arrest.
- Darryl Doiley - Penelope poisoned Darryl with oleander and staged his death as a suicide through carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Felix Featherhead - In 1992, Penelope poisoned Featherhead with cyanide and stuffed his body in a supply closet.
- Clifford Blossom - After learning that he killed Jason, Penelope poisoned Clifford with pufferfish venom and staged his death as a suicide via hanging.
- Claudius Blossom - Much like with his brother, Penelope killed Claudius with poison and staged his death as a suicide.
- Hal Cooper - Penelope shot Hal in the head.
- Blossom Board of Trustees - Penelope poisoned the board after they attempt to prevent Cheryl from reanimating the family maple business.
- See also: Category:Images of Penelope Blossom