“Arcane,” Riot Games’ first original, animated Netflix series, has barely started — but it has already seen major success. And, while the company hasn’t announced an “Arcane” Season 2, it seems unlikely that Riot would let the momentum slip away.
At the same time, the three act structure of “Arcane” implies that the story of Jinx, Vi, Jayce and Viktor will be wrapped up by the end of Episode 9. With that in mind, and considering how much lore exists in League of Legends, “Arcane” lends itself exceedingly well to an anthology series that focuses on different, smaller stories across Runeterra.
So, what stories should Riot focus on for Season 2 of “Arcane?” The list is long, and it was hard to cut it down to five, but they’re all definitely exciting.
The Noxian invasion of Ionia
This war has come up often in League of Legends stories, but sometimes the obvious choice is still the best one. Many champions were forged in the fires of this conflict, meaning there are many different angles to explore and characters to involve.
However, since “Arcane” is already showing a political bent in its first season, the political machinations of Swain should be a natural fit. While his story extends beyond his role in Ionia, Swain’s failure there is what drove him to seize power in the first place. The hard part would be balancing a B plot against it, but you could always do Zed’s split with the Kinkou order and the creation of the Order of Shadows. Two stories about usurpers seizing power for different reasons could create some nice parallels.
The two don’t line up perfectly on the timeline, but League lore has always been fairly fluid. Additionally, juxtaposing the countries of Ionia and Noxus is compelling in the same way as Piltover and Zaun.
The Solari/Lunari conflict
Riot spent a lot of time denying the developer-intended relationship between Leona and Diana — the star crossed lovers from warring religions — before finally explicitly stating their feelings for each other. And what better way to make up for that than by putting them in the center of a love story that focuses on religious intolerance with a Mount Targon backdrop.
Just as we will get to see Vi and Jinx’s sisterly bond evolve as they grow from children to adults, the same could hold true for Leona and Diana. Watching the naïveté of childhood innocence fade into the begrudging acknowledgement of adult prejudices sounds like the set up for a painful tragedy. Plus, the writers can then tear down those characters propping up the hatred between groups in the final act to show that acceptance, love and tolerance win out in the end.
As for B plots, you could definitely mix in some Mount Targon aspect business, since that whole process is currently so mysterious. Diana and Leona are already two aspects, but we could expand the pantheon (small pun intended) to include Taric, Pantheon and even Zoe. Maybe Riot puts them in conflict with Aurelion Sol. Watching them fight a giant space dragon does sound pretty awesome.
Lux and Garen hunt for Sylas
The way Demacia treats mages has always been gross, which is sort of the point. And during Sylas’ release as a champion, Riot leaned into that characteristic pretty hard. However, getting to actually see the cruelty of his imprisonment, and his subsequent attempts to start a revolution after escaping, would make for good TV. Additionally, he would serve as a good foil for Lux, a Demacian mage in hiding born to a powerful family. There is already a comic that goes into this story somewhat, but it’s unlikely that many would complain about animating it.
At the same time, this would also give Garen a better chance to be more than a meat-headed do-gooder with a big sword. Because, honestly, as one of the major faces of League, he is incredibly generic on the surface.
Also, with Sylas running off to the Freljord, there’s room to explore the politics of what’s going on there. Perhaps Sylas jockeys to get support from Ashe’s Avarosans or Sejuani’s Winter’s Claw, putting himself in the middle of their constant conflict. Maybe it all comes to a head with Lissandra’s Frostguard attack, and Sylas, Garen and Lux must come to the Freljord’s defense. That sounds pretty lit for “Arcane” Season 2.
Sivir and the awakened Shurima
Who doesn’t love the tale of a salt of the earth mercenary with an ancient lineage who is dragged into a conflict much bigger than themselves? No one, that’s who. And that’s why the story of Sivir helping awaken Azir and dealing with the newly risen Shurima empire would be a great direction for “Arcane” Season 2.
The story can be grounded in the present, as Sivir deals with the new responsibility thrust upon her, while cutting back to ancient Shurima to show the conflict between Azir and Xerath. This also leaves room for all manner of great champions to show up; from Cassiopia and Ezrael (he’s always kicking around Shurima) in the present to any of the Ascendants in either timeline.
At its core, this story would focus on responsibility, duty and what it means to wield power. Would Sivir choose to take up her place alongside Azir or prevent her ancestor from rising up again? Would Xerath defeat his ancient enemy or become fully consumed by the power he stole? Who knows? But, hopefully Riot will let everyone find out.
Ryze and the Rune Wars
After making a cameo in “Arcane” Episode 2, there’s no way Riot can hold out on a story about Ryze forever. The mysterious mage is one of the last known witnesses of the Rune Wars, which ravaged the League of Legends world and created the magic-fearing foundation of its modern society. Ryze hunts for the very World Runes that played a key part in that conflict. And, since they’re spread all over Runeterra, it means he can interject into any region or conflict Riot wants. This makes his story extremely flexible.
Additionally, such a season could give glimpses of the past and even the fall of Ryze’s former apprentice Kegan Rodhe, who became the champion Brand. The two could fight throughout the ages, letting them interact with any character Riot wants to include.
Hell, Ryze could even serve as the sort of Nick Fury of the League of Legends animated world, rounding up a group of champions to stop some horrible threat posed by the World Runes and any villains necessary. It sure would be a way to cap off what will hopefully be a long string of seasons for “Arcane.”