|“||In unity, there is strength.||”|
|— Southside Serpents[src]|
Serpents Initiation is a ceremony, hosted by the Southside Serpents, marking the entrance of a new Serpent member. New Serpents have to pass all four tests given to them, in order for them to officially become a gang member.
The initiation ceremony is based on four tests; the first being, every Serpent must take care of Hot Dog. The second test, they must know all six laws of being a Serpent. The third being, they must retrieve a knife from a rattlesnake's cage, showing no fear. The final and most extreme test is to endure physical punishment, being beaten down by every present Serpent member, only to arise as one of them. The final test shows a great sign of respect to be initiated into the Serpents, as they had to prove themselves to be worthy and willing to take a beating for them and die for them, as they would for each other. The initiation for the girls is that they have to do the traditional Serpents dance on stage with a pole.
The Laws of the Serpents
|Editor's Note: The events that transpired in Silent Night, Deadly Night, where Sweet Pea states that the first law is "No Serpent stands alone", directly contradicts what was stated by Jughead in When a Stranger Calls; "A Serpent never shows cowardice." In addition to this, Penny stated that "Serpent law says you can't hurt one of your own." Whether this is the unknown 3rd law or a variation in the phrasing of the 5th law remains unclear. In The Blackboard Jungle Jughead recites "A Serpent never sheds its skin" to which FP confirms is one of the Serpent Laws, however, it is unclear if it's the unknown 3rd law or a variation of one of the others.|
1. A Serpent never shows cowardice. / No Serpent stands alone.
2. If a Serpent is killed or imprisoned, their family will be taken care of.
4. No Serpent is left for dead.
5. A Serpent never betrays his own.
6. In unity, there is strength.
A War on the Verge
With a war on the verge happening between the Northside and the Southside. Jughead had discovered that Sweet Pea and Fangs Fogarty were plotting revenge on the Northside by making a pipe bomb to get payback. As Sweet Pea informed Jughead, that the Northsiders got off the hook, while the Southsiders got hauled in for questioning after the Riverdale Rumble. The Serpents planned on using the bomb on The Register, to quiet Alice Cooper, down on talking smack on the Southsiders. Having Sweet Pea later questioning Jughead on which side he was on, telling Jughead that he couldn't be half a Serpent. As the Serpents later left Jughead and Toni behind, frustrated by the situation. In which Jughead commented to Toni that it appeared Archie started World War III, Toni later informed Jughead that the Northside has been treating the Southsiders like trash for years. Later telling Jughead, that his father, FP Jones, was the one who was keeping the peace, by avoiding bloodshed. Telling Jughead, now that his father was gone, idiots like Sweet Pea, only see one path in solving the problem, which was violence.
Trying to fix the situation before it goes anymore worst, Jughead decided to try on his Serpent Jacket once more, as he later headed down to Whyte Wyrm to join the rest of the Serpents. However, when he entered the bar, Sweet Pea makes a comment towards him, as he stated that he referred to Jughead as a Northsider instead of a Southsider, telling him that he thinks Jughead's lost. As Jughead continued to work his way into the bar towards the pool table, assuring Sweet Pea that he wasn't, telling him that he was over being half a Serpent. However, Sweet Pea didn't believe his reason for suddenly coming to the bar, as he walked towards Jughead, brushing him as a sign of disrespect towards him. Making another comment towards him, that he would do anything to protect his Northside buddies. As Toni and Fangs watched the two among the crowd to see how Jughead would later respond to Sweet Pea's disrespect towards him. Which Jughead later stated to Sweet Pea that his father was a Serpent, and that he wanted to stand with them. Though the crowd didn't take Jugheads words seriously, as Jughead informed them that Tall Boy was the one who has him his jacket, telling them it was about time he finally started wearing it. Which Tall Boy takes notice to Jughead's words, as he heard him mention his name. Later walking towards Jughead, questioning him that now all of the sudden he wanted to be a Serpent. As he informed Jughead they would have to see if he would survive the initiation first.
Surviving the Initiation
On that very same day, on that very late night, Sweet Pea along with a few other Serpents entered Jughead home, the Sunnyside Trailer Park, wearing Serpent masks, where they would bestow Jughead his first test, giving him Hot Dog to take care of for the night.
The next day, while leaving Southside High with Toni Topaz, she asks Jughead how did he handle his first test. Which he later responded saying that it was horrible, as he told Toni the dog had no boundaries. Toni later informed Jughead, that every new recruit had to take car of Hot Dog, as is it was a tradition. Later telling Jughead that this was there third Hot Dog. Which Jughead comment after hearing Toni tell him that the dog was named Hot Dog the third, making the comment that it was the most ridiculous thing he's heard. As Toni made a joke while comparing Hot Dogs name to being similar to Jughead name, "Forsythe Pendleton Jones III."
Later, back at the Sunnyside Trailer Park, Toni was testing Jughead on his memory of the rules of being a Serpent. Which were, a Serpent never shows cowardice, if a Serpent was killed or imprisoned then their family will be taken care of, as he tried to give his next response to Toni, he couldn't remember the answer. Which Toni tells him that he had to take the situation more seriously. Which Jughead assured that he was, while swearing to her that he was trying his best, even though he was frustrated by the situation. As he commented, first he had to deal with "the beast" and now the laws of being a Serpent. Toni later questioned Jughead as to why he had a sudden change of heart on being a Serpent, asking him why to go from conscientious objector to full-fleshed member. Which Jughead informed her it was because of what she said to him earlier, telling Toni that his father was the only person who kept people like Sweet Pea inline, telling Toni that someone needed to step up to prevent an all-out war from erupting. As Toni was pleased to hear those wise words come out of Jugheads mouth, while Jughead assured her once more, that he was taking the situation seriously. As she tried to review the rules with Jughead once more, to prepare him for his next test.
Meanwhile, back at the Whyte Wyrm bar, Jughead was being tested by Tall Boy on the six laws of being a Serpent. As Jughead listened all six of the laws to him. As they all repeated the final law once he was finished, chanting the words "in unity there is strength." Which Tall Boy informed Jughead that he knew the laws well, telling him it was time for him to take the next test. Which was, he had to retrieve the knife from the rattlesnake that was placed in the glass container. As he was unprepared to hear Tall Boys request, with a look of fear in his eyes as he looked at Toni. As she nodded towards him with a look on her face, telling Jughead that he had to go through with the test. As Jughead couldn't believe his next test that he had to take, however, he went through with it to prove his worthiness towards the Serpents. Later raping his palm with a band-aid, stating to Toni that the rattlesnake bit him. Which Toni later informed him that they had the snakes venom glands removed, telling him that the most important thing was that he showed no fear, he grabbed the knife and remembered all the laws. Telling Jughead that he was almost finished the test, and that pretty soon he would be a Serpent, calling him "Juggie" for the first time ever instead of calling him by his last name, "Jones", as she was impressed by Jugheads great efforts.
Later that night, back at the Sunnyside Trailer Park, Toni drops by to talk to Jughead, as she was worried and concerned for him, telling him that she came by to warn him. As she informed him if he was having any second thoughts, now would be the time to back out. Telling Jughead, that the final trail was on a whole other level, as Jughead later tells her that he doesn't mind, as he looked at it as to being whatever. However, Toni informed Jughead that it wasn't "just whatever", as she tells him that he had to be willing to die for them because they would for him. As she continued to tell him that his Northside friends and his girlfriend, Betty, he would eventually have to look up one day, and they'd all be gone. Telling Jughead, that's what happens when you join a gang, that the Serpents were no exception. Which Jughead later responded to her, telling her to consider him warned, later thanking her for informing him before he went through with the final stage of becoming a Serpent.
The next day, back at the Sunnyside Trailer Park, Archie dropped by to break the bad news to Jughead, informing him that Betty was breaking up with him. As Jughead was heartbroken after receiving the news from Archie, while he couldn't believe the words that came out of Archie's mouth, as the rest of the Serpents watched Archie and Jughead's argument.
Later, that following night, as the Serpents stood on both sides next to Jughead in two perfectly straight lines, as he stood in the center of both of them, preparing for his last and final test. As he began to work his way center downwards, while the gang members beat him, throwing intense punches toward his way, as he was not allowed to fight back, having to take the beating that was bestowed upon him. As they continued to hit him, while he worked his way towards the near end, where Sweet Pea was the last member to hit him. While Jughead looked him straight in the eye, asking him if it was all he got, as Sweet Pea stood there looking back at him, while wearing a brass knuckle ring on his right hand, later clinching his fist, as he swung, aiming to hit Jugheads face, knocking Jughead towards the ground.
After Jughead was beaten towards the ground by Sweet Pea, he later noticed that they stopped hitting him, as they waiting for him to get up from the ground, which he did, as he looked at Sweet Pea once more in the face, as he extended his hand to shake Jugheads hand, as a sign of great respect on passing the final test. As the Serpents all later gathered around him, to officially welcome Jughead into their gang, as an official Serpent member. Which they were impressed with Jugheads great efforts on going through with all of the tests given to him, which he passed. As Toni bestowed to him his Serpent Jacket.
Back at the Sunnyside Trailer Park, where Toni later congratulated Jughead by officially welcoming him into the Serpents, as he held an ice pack against his face, as a double-headed Serpent Tattoo was shown, where at some point after Jughead passed his test, he got. Which Toni later commented on his tattoo, telling him that he was going to have a hard time hiding it from Betty. Which Jughead later informed Toni that it would no longer be an issue now, since Betty broke up with him. Toni later looks directly into Jugheads eyes, as he did with her, as Toni later go up from her chair as she reached to give him a kiss on the lips.
- "Chapter Eighteen: When a Stranger Calls"
- "Chapter Twenty-One: House of the Devil" (mentioned)
- "Chapter Twenty-Five: The Wicked and The Divine" (mentioned)