Is Vander of Arcane really Warwick of League of Legends? Detailed analysis

Players wonder if Warwick was one of the heroes of the Arcane series in the past.

Last Sunday, the first episodes of the long-awaited Arcane series were broadcast. The production from Riot Games tells the fate of two sisters – Vi and Jinx, who grew up in the suburban district of Piltover – Zaun. Life in this place is not easy, and people are exposed to all kinds of dangers from an early age. Meanwhile, life is peaceful and normal in Piltover.

The first episodes turned out to be a huge success and to this day many fans analyze the individual scenes of the series. You can read a huge amount of reviews, comments, and theories on the Internet. Players wonder how the individual plots will be developed, who the unnamed characters were, how the relationship of the sisters will change when they grow up, and so on.

The last of the three episodes was incredibly emotional and touched many players. The ending, according to some, was so strong that it would be difficult to forget about it. It didn’t take long for the community to form fan theories about what could happen to some of the characters we saw on screen. One of the biggest and loudest theories concerns Vander, the guardian of Vi and Jinx, who was well known and respected in Zaun. Who has he become? Does his story end with Arcane Episode 3, or does Vander make an appearance on Summoner’s Rift a long time ago, albeit under a changed name?

The following article contains spoilers for the first three episodes of the Arcane animated series.

The fate of Vander from Arcane

Vander can be met during the first scene of the premiere episode, when he adopts little Vi and Jinx (then still called Powder) and from then on acts as their stepfather. Vander is a character with a really interesting past. It is true that the creators do not reveal everything at once, but the viewer quickly notices that this is a hero who has undergone a transformation. In the past, he used to solve everything by force, believing that violence could change a lot. His decisions caused more than one tragedy. At one point, the man changed, noting that not everything could by fighting. He took care of his people (including a group of children), whom he cared for, and did everything to make their lives as peaceful as possible.

Unfortunately, life in Zaun changed a lot due to an unfortunate event, and Vander had to face a choice – to betray his people or give himself to the authorities, thus protecting Powder and Vi.

First meeting with Vander

Vander falls into the hands of Silco and his gangs, including a boy who turned into a killing machine due to mysterious toxins. The children for whom Vander was like a father decide to save him. Vi and two of their friends sneak into their guardian’s place of detention and do whatever it takes to free him from there. Unfortunately, in the meantime Powder, despite his sister’s decision, goes to the same place to use a mysterious crystal stolen from Piltover (which she puts in a monkey-shaped toy). Due to the explosions caused by it, the entire rescue operation fails. The sisters’ friends die, and Vi barely escapes alive.

The very end of the episode shows Vander’s eyes fading away. Being battered, wounded, and mutated by the toxin, it is suspected that the hero is dying after rescuing Vi.

But is this really the end of his story? Gamers don’t think so. And there is a lot of evidence for that.

Vander after the explosion that Powder created.

Further fate – transformation into Warwick?

It is worth moving for a moment to the biography of Warwick, a hero known to practically every League of Legends fan. In the official history of the character, you can read that:

While many consider Warwick to be a wild beast, beneath his thick fur hides the mind of a criminal man who put down his gun and took a new name to live a better life. However, no matter how hard he tried to leave this life behind, he was never able to escape the sins of the past.

The very introduction of lore shows many similarities, it is impossible not to combine both of these characters together. The series show that Vander has abandoned his criminal attitude to live a better life and protect his loved ones. Although several years have passed since the tragic events, the man still struggled with the memories and consequences of his actions.

Warwick, before turning into a beast, was captured by Singed. A visit to the madman’s laboratory turned out to be a series of intense suffering. The scientist modified Warwick’s body in many brutal ways.

Singed wanted to reveal the true nature of his research subject – a murderous beast that lies deep within the “good man”.

At one point in the story, a little girl is mentioned.

Warwick couldn’t remember a single thing from his past … he saw only blood. However, at one point he heard a scream of a little girl. She was calling out for something he couldn’t understand. It sounded like a name.

As you know, the last person Vander heard before his death was Vi.

However, even though the beast was taking more and more control of him, glimpses from the past began to reach him. In the eyes of the beggar, whose throat he was tearing, he saw a bearded man. The other man looked somber but familiar. His hands were scarred. Sometimes, when he fed on criminals in dark alleys, the gleam of his knives reminded him of an old blade bathed in blood. Blood spilling from the blade onto his hand. And from hands to everything he touched. Sometimes he remembered the little girl again.

Coming back for a moment to Arcane – Vander in Zaun was called “The Hound of the Underworld”, which for many is a clear hint from the creators.

Warwick’s interactions in the game

According to some, the hero’s lore is not enough to confirm the aforementioned theory. Fans took it a step further and looked for references to the show in the game. It may seem strange, but it’s worth noting that the work on Arcane took many years, so the developers knew long before the premiere how they wanted it to be.

Some people probably know that during the Warwick or even Fiddlestick rework, there were some strange statements directed at Jinx.

At first, hardly anyone understood why some of the characters referred to Jinx this way. Today everything becomes clear after the airing of three episodes of Arcane.

Another clue that supports the theory is Warwick’s statements to Vi.

Even though Warwick lost most of his memories and Singed’s experiments turned him into a monster, he still remembers certain things from the past. Vi and Jinx were so important to Vander that it would not surprise anyone that he would not forget about them even after he turned into Warwick.

Finally, it is worth mentioning another little flavor. On August 1, 2019, the PROJECT: Warwick skin was released, revealing the human form of the protagonist. Some say the face is a bit like Vander.

As you can see, there is a lot of evidence supporting the theory. Thanks to the series, many of the characters’ statements made sense, and you now know what Fiddlesticks (Jinx, it’s your fault, your fault!) Or Swain (Faces dying in flames. It was all her fault) meant when they mentioned Jinx.

Developing Vander’s story by meeting Singed and turning into a monster would be really interesting. The character of Warwick would gain additional depth and his story would become much more tragic.