In cooperation with Netflix, Riot launched the first League of Legends animated series on the streaming platform in November. Of course, we are talking about "Arcane". There's no need to double-check whether the entire project was a success. After all, the series won the hearts of all viewers after the first three episodes alone and swept other movies and series from the top spot across countries. Now all the episodes are out and the finale came as a bombshell. The nine episodes are packed with all sorts of Easter eggs and surprises, leaving plenty of room for fan theories. And who would have guessed: Season 2 was confirmed promptly. That is why we have compiled the most important information for you and provide a small preview of possible storylines in the second season. Needless to say, there is a huge threat of spoilers for all episodes! If you want to watch the series first, you should marathon it now and then come back here as soon as you are done.
Summary Season 1
If you haven't watched the series yet, no worries. We will briefly explain what "Arcane" is all about. In the progressive city of Piltover there are two facets: the shining upper city, where science rules and masterminds like the founder Heimerdinger live, and the lower city of Zaun, in which a spark of light barely reaches the impoverished alleys, and where the siblings Vi and Powder are raised by the former radical Vander. While the latter grow up in poverty, the inventors Jayce and Viktor reside in the upper city. With the help of magic stones, they developed a new technology, the so-called hextech. However, the two worlds collide when Vander is murdered by his former friend Silco. The latter floods the streets of Zaun using the mysterious drug Shimmer, and thus comes to power after Vander's death. Both sisters are separated by the calamity, and while one attempts to prevent an outright battle between the Upper and Lower Cities, the other, consumed by her losses, works straight toward it.
In order to avert disaster after all, one sister receives support from the enforcer Catelyn and Ekko, with whom she grew up in the slums of Zaun. Yet Jayce, Viktor and their hextech will influence the future of the city in various ways as well, without them knowing it. This is all we are willing to reveal here, so you will have to watch the series for yourselves. You can believe us when we say that it is worth it.
Why We All Love This Series
How does "Arcane" manage to excite the viewers that much? The first thing to mention is the animation style, which has rarely been seen before. The setting looks perfected in every detail, and the stylistic differences between the two districts are spot-on. While Piltover sparkles in flashing steampunk fashion, everything in Zaun is greenish brown and musty. Equally differently animated are the cities' people. While the gangsters and sly characters of Zaun look rather gruff and marked with thick lines, the elite from the upper city can hardly be surpassed in terms of subtlety and filigree.
This is animation and design at its best. Precisely this kind of art is also reflected in the plot. It quickly becomes clear that "Arcane" is not for children. The gloomy approach of the series and the development of the characters have no equal. The disintegration of the personality of individual characters almost brings tears to your eyes, and you can't help but root for them. Particularly well done here is the split into three episodes each. One could almost think there were three small seasons that were released in a single month. Each block contains a completed storyline and a new plot. However, something that probably amazed most of the gamers is that you really don't need any prior League of Legends knowledge to love and understand the series. Each character starts from scratch, and despite a mere six hours of running time, the development of each character occurs at just the right pace.
Best Easter Eggs and Theories
Vander Becomes Warwick
First, we will discuss the biggest and actually already proven theory, which is that Vander will become Warwick in the future. This is already hinted at in the first episodes. Vander is referred to as "The Hound of the Underground", which is a reference to Warwick, who will be roaming the streets of Zaun. Actually, the best way to prove this theory is with the Champion Lore. As most players know, Warwick was created by the chemtech scientist Singed, who is Silco's doctor. This can be seen in Part 2 at the latest, when the accident with the shimmer makes him bandage his face, just like the champion from League of Legends. At the end of the last part, a brief shot shows Warwick hanging from the ceiling of Singed's lab before his completion. If you refuse to believe that was Warwick, there is even official artwork from Riot that looks just like this scene. Further evidence: In League of Legends, there are certain voice lines when champions meet in the Rift. When Warwick and Vi do so, the wolf says "Who taught you how to punch?" which is a genius reference, considering he himself taught it to her as a child. If you still doubt the brilliance of the series creators, then brace yourself; because when Silco tells Vander in episode two, "I'll show you what you really are," Warwick's music is playing in the background.
Mel Medarda: A Member of the Black Rose
Let us move on to the second theory: The fact that Mel has her origins in Noxus cannot only be seen in the last episodes, but already in Act Two, when she draws a picture of the Immortal Bastion, the capital of Noxus. Right after that, there were first posts on Reddit stating that Mel belongs to the notorious Black Rose, a secret society in Runeterra that tries to infiltrate all governments and pull the strings on the entire planet. The head of this organization is Leblanc. Now, in the last episodes, we learn a bit more about Mel's past and from the way she is presented, the theory seems rather unlikely, but not inconceivable.
As we discover, Medarda is one of the ruling houses of Noxus. The events therefore occur before the unification of Noxus by Darius and Swain. Thus, Mel could have been taken in and supported by the Black Rose as an exile of her family in order to climb up the ladder of Piltover quickly. However, there are further Easter eggs and theories about Mel: For instance, just before Jinx's Super Mega Death Rocket smashes into Piltover's council chamber, you can see her armor light up, and that despite the fact that she has no significant abilities. This may also have teased her as the new champion for the computer game. At the start of episode 8, where she has to decide whether the girl shall live or die, a realm is introduced as well, which we might get to see in Season 2. Namely, that of Ionia. We can tell this from the girl's clothes, as well as from her necklace.
One of the nicest Easter eggs for fans are certainly the various abilities that we get to see at the end. For example, when Vi and Jayce rush into the shimmer factory, we see his Shock Blast, his Hyper Shield and his Thundering Blow. But we also get to see Vi's Passive, her Blast Shield as she fights Sevika Silco's No. 2. Whether the blows she deals are meant to represent the Relentless Force we can only guess, but not really tell. Because let's face it, ALL of her punches were fierce. But the greatest of all Easter eggs in this regard was probably the last scene, though, when Jinx completes her Fishbone with the Arcane Crystal and sends her Ultimate at Piltover's council with the Super Mega Death Rocket. Thus, she really was the very first to figuratively reach Level Six.
Heimerdinger is Older than Thought
The first time Heimerdinger sees Jayce and Victor's hex crystal, he seems to remember a terrible event: a great calamity and, in the center, a person being burned alive. This might be an allusion to the rune wars that plagued Runeterra more than 900 years ago, and through which the planet and the realms were formed. There, the world runes were used to wage a global war. As a result, the planet was almost wiped out, had the Celestials and Ryze not intervened.
Yordles were also around at that time, we know about Poppy for example. Also, there are rumors that in Bandle City, the home of the Yordles, time passes differently than in the rest of the world. So Heimerdinger could be much older than his 307 years in the first act of the series.
The Origins of Twitch
Only a few will have noticed it, but there were already clear indications in the first act that Twitch was already born. Meant is the rat, which was presented to Silco by Singed for experimental purposes and was given shimmer. After that it mutated, killing the cat in its cage in the most brutal way. What makes us think that this is Twitch? Well, once you take a closer look at Twitch's splash art, you can see the same pink glow in his eyes as caused by the shimmer. Besides, that's also the best explanation as to how he managed to mutate. In addition, we know by now that Singed doesn't give up on any of his test objects, but artificially keeps them alive in order to learn from them. The same is already done with the dragon-like creature in episode six. Which, by the way, is nothing more than a full-grown form of Riu, a little Legend from Team Fight Tactics. We can generally assume that Singed will play an increasingly important role in the rest of the story.
We could fill at least another 10 episodes just with Easter eggs and theories. In Benzo's store in episode one alone, we already spot a Ruby and Sapphire Crystal outside the door. In the room is Tryndamere's helmet, a Rabandon's Deathcap and, many may not know it anymore, but in his hand he holds a Heart of Gold. The support item used to bring five gold every 10 seconds in Season 3.
Outlook Season 2
Finally, we would like to focus on something really important, namely how the series might progress. After all, we know one thing for sure: it will definitely continue, as Riot told us in a teaser shortly after the season finale.
Plot Season 2
First and foremost, it will be interesting to see who actually survived Jinx's Super Mega Death Rocket, there are not going to be many. We are pretty sure about Jayce, but not about anyone else. So we can assume that in any case there will be a civil war between Piltover and Zaun, which will end in Zaun's independence. It will also be exciting to observe the influence that Noxus will have due to the presence of Mel's mother in Piltover. She has already willingly indicated her support for the city of progress. Likewise interesting will be Viktor's development, who for the most part still possesses his human body and is thus close to death. Ekko is also only at the beginning of his journey. With the support of Heimerdinger he could manage to use the hextech for his technique to get closer to his ultimate ability, which is the manipulation of time. Again, a time jump would be conceivable: In lore, Caitlyn and Vi are both already trained enforcers, with Cait even being the sheriff of Piltover. So Vander's transformation to Warwick could also be accomplished and the two would have to hunt down Vi's actual foster father. Something we can also very well imagine is that there will be more locations, that is, Noxus and Ionia. Indeed, this was hinted at in the beginning of episode six, and Mel's mother also spoke of a powerful enemy in Noxus. So perhaps we could see the beginnings of the invasion of Noxus on the peaceful land and thus the first champions of the empire.
Champions in Season 2
In addition to the champions already introduced in Season 1, it is very likely that we will finally get to see Warwick in Season 2 as mentioned before. Oriana was teased as well. In case you didn't notice, she was the woman on Singed's pocket watch in the season finale. If we assume that Viktor completes his transformation, this also opens up space for many more heroes like Blitzcrank, Dr. Mundo, and Zac. Also a possible candidate would be Camille. The enforcer could battle alongside Caitlyn for the spot as sheriff and try to fill the power vacuum at the top.
Runeterra Cinematic Universe
However, the plan is not to continue with "Arcane" only. As already communicated in an interview in the LA Times, Riot aims high. And when they say "aiming high", they are not talking about another series, but about Hollywood. The MCU serves as a great model for this. In other words, they want a Runeterra Cinematic Universe, and let's face it, this is not unthinkable. If we shift the setting to Ionia and Noxus, then we cannot help but call Demacia into play at some point, and by then, the whole concept will have reached a magnitude of possible storylines that could fill a vast number of series and films. Basically, "Arcane" has shown anew what made Riot great. They did not reinvent the wheel, rather they analyzed the best features of the opposition and combined them into one product. For that reason alone, we have high hopes for their work and are already looking forward to what is to come in the future. However, for the time being, the second season of "Arcane" won't be available on Netflix until 2023. This is of course hard to accept, but good things come to those who wait.