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How Sabrina’s Riverdale Appearance Fits Into Chilling Adventures’ Timeline

Kiernan Shipka is back as Sabrina Spellman for Riverdale Season 6, though her appearance in the teaser trailer doesn’t suggest she’s actually back.

Kiernan Shipka is back to cast more spells as Sabrina Spellman in Riverdale Season 6 as confirmed by the recent trailer. Judging by her brief appearance, however, it doesn’t seem as though Sabrina is actually back from the dead following the events of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Season 4. The fact that Sabrina is sporting slightly longer blond hair in the trailer seems to suggest her Riverdale guest appearance takes place sometime before her dark baptism in Season 1 of her Netflix series.

When fans first met Sabrina in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Season 1, she was already a somewhat experienced teenaged witch. She was also already in a relationship with her iconic love interest, Harvey Kinkle, though he didn’t know her secret. Neither did her friends Rosalind and Theo, as she never told them her family history, let alone her family’s traditions.

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When the night of her 16th birthday started drawing near, Sabrina decided to tell Harvey she was a witch. She felt the timing was right, plus she needed to explain the reason she couldn’t celebrate her birthday with him: she had to prepare for her dark baptism, which was essentially her coming-of-age ceremony as a witch. Harvey, of course, did not respond well to the news, so Sabrina erased this knowledge from his memory with a spell.


Throughout Season 1, Sabrina had reservations about her dark baptism and what her life would entail once she embraced her spiritual path as a witch — a Satanic witch to be exact. One of the details she wasn’t comfortable with was the idea of fully committing herself to the Dark Lord, whom she thought of as an embodiment of patriarchy. This went against her feminist values, as Sabrina saw herself as a fully autonomous human being and wasn’t going to relinquish her agency that easily. She was also unaware at the time that the Dark Lord happened to be her father.

The other reason Sabrina was reluctant to go through with her dark baptism was the fact that she had to give up her mortal life in the process. She embraced all aspects of herself and didn’t want to give up her humanity in exchange for becoming a full-time witch. She similarly didn’t want to give up her relationship with Harvey nor her friends as a condition for being accepted into The Academy of Unseen Arts.

RELATED: Riverdale Confirms Sabrina Spellman’s Arrival with a Chilling Set Photo

This internal conflict of needing to fully commit to one path in life was what drove Sabrina’s storyline for all of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Season 1. It proved to be such a problem for the Dark Lord, he sent his right-hand woman, Lilith, to get Sabrina to a place where she could be forced to sign her name in his book, the Book of the Beast. To accomplish this task, Lilith as Madam Satan murdered Sabrina’s favorite teacher, Ms. Wardwell, and took on her appearance. By posing as an adult Sabrina fully trusted, Madam Satan could easily manipulate her into performing the necessary actions to not only sever Sabrina’s relationships with both Harvey and her friends but leave her emotionally vulnerable as well.

Madam Satan succeeded in her task when she “guided” Sabrina’s attempt to resurrect Harvey’s older brother after the latter was killed in a mining disaster caused by the Weird Sisters. When the resurrection went awry, Madam Satan purposely got Sabrina to fail in her task to retrieve the brother’s soul so she had to tell Harvey the truth about his brother’s botched resurrection. She was once again forced to reveal she was a witch, which made Harvey break up with her. She was also forced to tell Rosalind and Theo the truth when they confronted her about it.

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The final straw for Sabrina came when Madam Satan temporarily resurrected the 13 witches who were hanged following a witch trial in the 17th century. Driven by a desire to protect her friends from harm, Madam Satan was finally able to persuade Sabrina to sign her name in the Book of the Beast to obtain the power needed to defeat the 13 witches. It was only after she finally signed the book and fully embraced her power as a witch that Sabrina acquired her iconic white hair that she had ever since.

Given that Sabrina is back to sporting blond hair for her Riverdale appearance, it’s probably safe to assume Sabrina is 15 years old in Season 6 and probably doesn’t have her full witch powers yet, which her white hair symbolizes. Additionally, she seems a lot more confident in the trailer and lacks the emotional scars she acquired after fully unlocking her powers.

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