Arcane: Is Vander Warwick? Act l Theories and Speculation

is vander warwick featured

Last Updated on: 8th November 2021, 04:40 am

The first act for the League of Legends animated series Arcane is up, and it was a huge blast! Those first three episodes answered some questions about Vi and Jinx’s past but also brought many others to the table. Among them, one deserves the spotlight: Is Vander going to become Warwick?

Feared around the slumbers, the Uncaged Wrath of Zaun is a perfect figure to illustrate all of the despair and dread people live in the “lower side” of Piltover.

Given the tenebrous atmosphere of the series, Warwick would be a great fit. But how could he enter the story?

This is what we’re discussing today! Obviously, there’s a lot of spoilers if you haven’t watched Arcane until Episode 3 yet, so beware.

Who is Vander in Arcane?

Vander is a big figure in the underworld. He’s the owner of The Last Drop bar, and he’s the last parental figure to Vi and Powder after they lose their parents in a conflict with the forces of Piltover. He takes care of the girls and other orphan kids in the slums.

After that conflict, Vander understood that violence wouldn’t be the answer to the underworld’s problems, and dreamt about an ideal society for the minorities, under the name of Zaun. Together with Silco, who he considered a brother, he strived to achieve that future.

is vander warwick 1
Credit: Netflix

But their ideals were, ultimately, opposites. Silco desired to end the conflict through more conflict, while Vander pursued peace. After a final argument, Vander tries to finish off his old partner for good by drowning him. But he’s not successful, and Silco starts to plot his revenge. 

An interesting note here is that the Silco – Vander relationship is being, in a certain way, mirrored through Viktor and Jayce.

The series showed us how their friendship began in their academy years, and how much they cared and respected each other, while we know that in the future, they are destined to be enemies.

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What happened to Vander in the end?

As we’ve seen in the final episode, Vander resorted to the augmentation drugs as a last resort in order to fight Deckard and protect Vi and the kids. Fuelled with an unending rage, he easily overpowered the mutated boy and started to march towards his final target: Silco.

But he gives up in the end and goes to protect Vi. And that’s when everything goes to the ground, literally. Powder finally makes one of her bombs work, but that couldn’t happen in a worse time. 

The explosion takes the lives of both Mylo and Claggor and leaves Vi and Vander extremely injured. Vander was already on borrowed time from the drugs, and while he can safely take Vi out of the debris, and seemingly, he meets his fate in the slums. It is not clear if he’s dead or not, but it seems that he’s gone.

So how could Vander be Warwick?

If Vander is dead, he couldn’t possibly become Warwick. Or could he? One of the things Arcane does best is sneaking some neat references from all of Riot’s games and League of Legends’ lore.

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Credit: Riot Games

Some examples go from the Rabadon’s Deathcap, an item from League of Legends, sitting on Benzo’s store or Teemo appearing in the arcade game Powder plays during the first episode.

Vander already was very suspicious from the moment he was announced as a character in the first Act. Why would a seemingly random character get such a big spotlight? 

While his role is important enough for itself, there’s a lot more involved. Let’s just start with the fact that Vander’s nickname is “The Hound of the Underworld”.

Also remember that after taking the drugs, Vander started to growl in an extremely similar fashion to Warwick.

Now, let’s go back to Warwick lore. After his big rework back in 2017, Warwick received updated lore, erasing his old background of being a man obsessed with taking Soraka’s heart to complete his feral transformation.

Now, he’s the product of many experiments the mad scientist Singed did to him. He was changed, modified, augmented, and turned into something else. Something created to kill.

is vander warwick singed
Credit: Netflix

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During the whole process, his brain was severely damaged. As a result, Warwick has little to no memories of who he was back then. But sometimes he still recalls some moments from his past. Quoting his lore:

Yet, even as he surrendered to the beast, glimpses of his past began to haunt him. He saw a bearded man reflected in the eyes of a beggar as he tore out his throat. The other man looked somber, somehow familiar; there were scars on his arms. Sometimes, as he fed in dark alleys on stray gangers, the flash of knives would remind him of an old blade covered in blood. Blood passing from the blade to his hands. From his hands, to everything he touched. Sometimes, he remembered the girl again. 

Vander matches the description of the “bearded man” Warwick saw in his victim’s eyes. The scars were made by Silco himself while he fought for his life before being drowned, and Vander went for his throat when trying to kill him.

The “girl” Warwick remembers is, obviously, either Powder or Vi, both of Vander’s protectees. The last time we see Vander’s body, Powder is crying in front of him, before Silco comes to take the girl to his care. This may be the specific memory Warwick remembers.

Back in 2017, when Arcane wasn’t even revealed, theories about Warwick being related to Vi and Jinx already existed, as he now had special interactions with both of the girls.

When he taunts Jinx, his voice lines are “You were there… ”  and “Let me forget… “. For Vi, he says: “The fear in your eyes. I’ve seen it before.”, “Zaun needed you!” and “Who taught you how to punch?”

During the episodes, we see that Vi always had a liking for punching stuff. More importantly, we see that Vander used to have his own punching gauntlets. Vi uses them in order to save him when he falls for Silco’s trap. So maybe, in the last voice line, he was referring to himself? 

Still, how could he become the monster?

One thing we must know is that League of Legends’ lore is very inconsistent. While some base concepts still exist, retcons are very common, especially when we’re talking about old champions.

Vi, for example, originally didn’t even remember her parents or her own name, but that was not considered in Arcane.

In his lore, Warwick is stated to be alive through the whole experiments Singed done to him. His life only fades away after they are complete, and his death was the final piece needed in order to awaken the beast within.

Also, Silco was never mentioned, and he’s the one in charge of the experiments. Singed is his assistant, but Vander doesn’t even know him. But there are a lot of ways to solve those inconsistencies, and Warwick and Vander have so much in common in their stories that it’s impossible not to make a connection.

Credit: Netflix

Let’s say that, even if Vander’s dead, his body was taken to be experimented on. Reanimation doesn’t seem to be impossible, from what we’ve seen until here. From there, Vander would start to receive all of his modifications, slowly turning into something else.

It wouldn’t be hard to think that Singed would be involved in this process, or that he simply took the place of Silco by disposing of him somehow.

Even more, Vander could simply have mixed his own memories and started to think that Singed was always responsible for all that, and not Silco.

This would still allow for him to be modified to the limit, and after meeting his end a second time, he returns once more, now as Warwick. Or they may simply retcon it to the point that Vander was experimented on while dead, and was reanimated at some other point after it was all done.

But this is all speculation. While there are many other small nods alluding to Vander becoming Warwick, we can’t be sure it’ll happen until it happens. But it’ll probably happen, and we’re excited about that.

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Arcane is currently airing on Netflix and receives a new Act every week, each one containing 3 new episodes. It features the story of Vi and Jinx, while also showing the origins of other characters like Jayce, Viktor, and Caitlyn. 

The series is produced by Riot Games, responsible for many titles like League of Legends, Valorant, Teamfight Tactics, and Legends of Runeterra.