Riverdale may be touted primarily as a steamy teen soap, but the adults in town have no shortage of drama. As Betty, Jughead, and their friends race to unmask Jason's killer, their parents must wade through their own treacherous waters, from fending off gang threats to confronting their own tangled, small-town pasts. Perhaps most ensnared in Riverdale's dark side is Veronica's mom, Hermione Lodge, who's forced to tend to her husband Hiram's criminal affairs while he serves time. Actor Marisol Nichols plays Hermione on Riverdale and tells Bustle that viewers will "really feel and see Hiram" in the next several episodes. And yes, Veronica's father will show up on Riverdale.
Nichols promises that Hiram Lodge will make a physical appearance on the show eventually, though she can't reveal when. But whether Hermione's husband arrives this season or next isn't really the point. For now, it's still Hermione's show, even if Hiram is the one technically in charge. "A lot of the decisions that [Hermione] makes that people are like, 'What?!' come from Hiram and his presence that’s being felt in the town as he starts reaching out from prison," Nichols says.
The actor also teases more character development for Hermione, as the season continues. "We’re going to see what she’s like and how she had to survive to be Hiram’s wife, and who she actually is," Nichols says. "There’s a reason that she was married to Hiram and stayed married to Hiram, even if it was that, in the beginning, she thought she loved him and then realized it was a life of crime. Whatever it was, she made her bed, and now she knows how to make the bed."
It's exactly that strength that drew Nichols to the role in the first place. She'd never played a character that came from money before — mostly hard-nosed cops and intrepid agents. But beneath Hermione's high-class front, she has a lot of grit to her, too.
"Her struggle to me is — not to be like 'oh, the struggle is real!' — but her struggle is real," Nichols says. "With what’s happening with Hiram in prison and trying to keep her family together and work out things with Veronica and just trying her best to make it right. I liked that fight that she had in her."
Though they've been at odds recently, many of Hermione's most prominent characteristics are ones she shares with Veronica, Riverdale High's resident brunette bombshell. The mother and daughter are both fearless, fiery women. And though their similarities often give way to heated face-offs, they also allow the women to stand on their own. Hermione and Veronica are a team, not a hierarchy, and that lets them spar — whether that's with each other or against a common enemy.
Their relatively equal relationship sets the Lodge women apart from some other families in Riverdale. "Hermione includes Veronica in more. She doesn’t hide things from her. [Whereas Betty] has to sort of dig to find out any kind of truth, Hermione will just come clean and be like, ‘Look, here’s the deal," Nichols says. "One of my favorite things about their relationship is that when they argue, it’s more of a chess game, and then a compromise. It's very sophisticated."
As Riverdale continues to air on The CW on Thursday nights at 9 p.m. ET, Marisol Nichols says that fans will also get to know Hermione on her own terms — not just as a mother or a wife, but as a person.