Riverdale: 20 most important characters on the show

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Riverdale — “Chapter Forty-Four: No Exit” — Image Number: RVD309a_0168.jpg — Pictured: Camila Mendes as Veronica — Photo: Shane Harvey/The CW — © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

4. Veronica Lodge

From one iconic queen to the next, Riverdale simply wouldn’t exist as it is without Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge. In a series brimming with fresh talent, Mendes stands out from the crowd as a nuanced performer in a role that’s super specific and a tough tightrope to walk.

Veronica dusts off her conscience when she arrives in the town with pep in Season 1, but she’s still a Lodge. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree — even if it’s a different flavor.

Veronica quickly pairs off with Archie, but she’s the friend you want in your corner. She’ll go above and beyond to help the people she loves out of a jam, even the ones who don’t deserve her kindness like Hiram.

Speaking of, she inherited his evil genius trait, though she uses her powers, connections and privilege for good (most of the time, at least). We can joke that Penelope Blossom runs a business, but Ronnie opened a successful speakeasy, and she hasn’t even gotten her diploma.

Even when Veronica’s involvement in the overarching narrative consists of little more than a sidekick or an easy target for her father and/or Gladys, she’s a crucial part to getting the job done.

She might have hung up her signature pearls, but when Ronnie throws on her glasses, you know the wheels are spinning on a plan for world domination a.k.a. the latest Hiram take-down attempt. Don’t underestimate Veronica Lodge or her ability to bounce and bite back.