One of the first and most popular fan theories to come out of “Arcane” has been with us since the premiere of Act 1. When Silco killed Vander, his so-called brother, at the end of Episode 3, we immediately noticed several connections between Vander’s character arc and the lore of popular League of Legends champion, Warwick. While we didn’t see Vander return as Warwick in Season 1, we did get a very interesting look into Singed’s lab that may set up a major story for Season 2.
Why we believe Vander will return as Warwick in ‘Arcane’
As we covered extensively in a previous article, Vander’s character shared many similarities to League of Legends champion Warwick based on the game’s lore. You can read our original breakdown for a more detailed look, but it came down to a few big things. Firstly, Vander carries the nickname “Hound of the Underground” in the series. He ingested one of the first versions of Shimmer concocted by Singed, which gave him superhuman size and strength. We also knew from the lore that the man behind Warwick, like Vander, had memories of being a reformed gangster, a bearded man and he even had memories of a little girl. Finally, Warwick died in the middle of his transformation from man to beast. All of these points were consistent with Vander’s character to this point.
The biggest difference between Vander’s story in “Arcane” and Warwick’s in the League of Legends lore was the association with being transformed first-hand by Singed. At the time, we assumed the series had retconned that part of the lore. That simply drinking Singed’s Shimmer would do the trick for Vander. But even that question has now been put to rest. Among the final frames of “Arcane’s” first season, we saw the body of a hirsute beast hanging in Singed’s lab. Why was this notable? The scene looked like a direct reference to art that already exists in one of Singed’s lore pages.
Warwick in Singed’s lab
That lore image depicts the mad scientist Singed looking back at a creature hanging in his lab. The subject looks to be mid-transformation between man and beast. We already knew from the many references to Singed in the relevant lore that this is most likely Warwick. Now, we have a direct call out to that image in the series itself.
What does this mean for Season 2?
As we covered earlier today, Riot Games has already confirmed that “Arcane” will have future seasons. What the scene in Singed’s lab tells us is that Warwick/Vander will likely be a big part of that story.
Vander was already one of the most featured characters when he was around. He was seen as a pivotal influence for Vi and Powder and we even saw him appear in a crucial Act 3 flashback as inspiration for Vi to bounce back in her fight with Sevika. Vander still clearly means a lot to some of our most central characters. It stands to reason that a feral, out-of-control resurrection of the character will receive his fair share of screentime in future episodes.