Part One of Arcane has brought the stories of League of Legends to life in vibrant animation. Telling the story of sisters Jinx and Vi, Arcane promises to delve into the lore of the 12-year-old game like none of its events or short films have yet. Part One has begun to examine some fan-favorite characters, including Vi and Ekko, in their early years, but it’s also changed some details about the previously established stories. Here’s everything you need to know about how Arcane changed League of Legends' lore.
The History of Hextech
Hextech, a form of technology powered by crystals called hexcores, is central to the identity of Piltover, the City of Progress. Hextech has also proved to be an important facet of Arcane’s first part, set in Piltover and its sister city Zaun, but the show has drastically changed the history of how they were discovered.
In Arcane, the discovery of hextech is one of the climactic events, with the secret powers of hexcores uncovered by the young scientists Jayce and Viktor. In the established lore, however, the discovery of hexcores and the development of hextech would have occurred well before Jayce got into the famous Academy of Piltover. Hexcores were first discovered by Clan Ferros, whose discovery and ruthless business sense made them one of Piltover’s wealthiest and most influential families. The discovery of the hexcores didn’t come without a cost, however. They were harvested in the Shuramian desert from a type of crystalline creature known as a brakern. Clan Ferros was effectively ripping out the hearts of the brakern, which led to one of them, Skarner, awaking and seeking revenge for his mutilated brethren. The source of Jayce’s crystals hasn't been revealed, so they could still be related to the brakern, but making hextech his discovery also changes Clan Ferros’s role in the story and that of another champion, Camille.
Camille was the protector of Clan Ferros, a brilliant young woman as dangerous as she was elegant. Born several generations after the family discovered hexcores, Camille grew up believing in her family and their position in society. To better protect them, she underwent a series of operations that slowly replaced her body with hextech until little of her biological body was left, becoming an ageless assassin who lurked in the shadows, always protecting Clan Ferros by any means necessary.
Now that Jayce has developed hextech, however, Camille and her family essentially don’t exist in the world of Arcane, at least not as they’re presented in the lore thus far. To introduce Camille would require an almost complete reworking of her background and story, which makes this one of the largest changes to League’s established lore Arcane has made.
In League of Legends, the young girl Powder will grow up to become one of League’s most iconic champions, Jinx. A maniacal resident of Zaun, Jinx is known for wreaking havoc across Piltover with her creative weaponry and disregard for others. Arcane has provided answers to some parts of Jinx’s lore that were previously left to be mysteries, namely how she became the way she did and why she’s obsessed with Vi.
Arcane reveals that Jinx and Vi are sisters and that a young Jinx was seemingly adopted by a villain named Silco, whose desire is very clearly to make the citizens of Piltover respect Zaun through brute, bloody force. This gives extra context to Jinx’s personality, making it feel less like she was randomly given personality traits and making her unstable mentality the result of personal trauma. Tying her obsession with Vi to them being sisters rather than a mystery as it had been in the previously established lore also gives Jinx far more room to grow as a character.
The revelation of Jinx and Vi being sisters changes both stories, but Vi's story also undergoes another change, namely in the fate of her gang and the introduction of Vander. In the original lore, Vi was the head of a small gang that partnered with another of Zaun’s gangs, the Factorywood Fiends, to pull off a daring heist. But the job went horribly wrong when Vi’s partners betrayed her and endangered the lives of innocent people and her gang. After dishing out a beating that became infamous on Zaun’s streets to the Factorywood Fiends, Vi vanished for several years until resurfacing as one of Piltover’s Enforcers.
Arcane changes almost all of this backstory. Vander, a kind man who shelters Vi and her gang after they lose their parents in a battle between Piltover and Zaun, is the catalyst of these changes, primarily as his inclusion changes the context of the showdown for Vi and her gang. Instead of a simple street heist, the sequence becomes a desperate rescue mission to save Vander from Silco, though the ending is no less tragic. After the mission goes south, when Powder tries to help and sets off a magical bomb, all of Vi’s gang, including Vander, meet bloody ends. Ultimately, this change is a boon to Vi’s backstory, adding more nuance and character than a regular street heist would have.
The sisterly feud is about to begin.
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