Eight years after the Get Jinxed release, the video that announced Jinx, we had the first three Arcane episodes yesterday.
In the launching event, we had almost two million people watching live, in one of the biggest League of Legends events.
The first three episodes are full of references to other stories set in the Runeterra universe, plenty of easter eggs and also a few foreshadowings (indicators of what we are yet to see). And, as it all points to, some characters' stories are being changed.
In this article I'll talk a little about the clues we have now, so if you want to move on, beware that this article CONTAINS SPOILERS from the first three Arcane episodes. I won't include a summary of the episodes, but I will give context to some of the things that appear.
1st Episode - Welcome to the Playground
The first episode already starts quite tragically, showing how Vi and Jinx, at the time called Powder, became orphans. All clues point that residents of Zaun, enraged with the city's situation, started to rebel against Piltover and everything ended in a battle on this bridge in Zaun. Powder is singing a song about the differences between Piltover and Zaun:
"Dear friend across the river
My hands are cold and bare
Dear friend across the river
I’ll take what you can spare
I ask of you a penny
My fortune it will be
I ask you without envy"
The characters' parents die in the battle and they are adopted by Vander, who was wearing his gloves, but, seeing all the death, abandons them to take care of the children. We can assume Mylo and Cleggor, the other boys, were also orphaned in this battle.
Some years into the future, Vi's gang is doing a heist in Piltover and we have the first clue that this will involve Caitlyn: the cupcakes. In League of Legends, the traps that Caitlyn sets are Yordle Snap Trap and she uses cupcakes as bait. Besides, the nickname Vi has for her is Cupcakes.
In the workshop the gang breaks in, among other projects, Powder finds a couple of sandwiches on top of what must be the most recent project: a hammer. With that, we can also predict that this is Jayce's Workshop. Inside the condo, she also finds a couple of crystals. Originally in Runeterra's story, these are Brackern crystals, the crystal scorpions. But it might be that this story is changing, as the responsible ones for these crystals are the Ferros Family, and they are already quite known before they get to Jayce's hands.
When there's an accident in the heist and the kids need to run, they go through a square full of people. In the center of this square there is a spherical statue. This statue is the Runeterra Incognium, an invention from a scientist called Zindelo. This machine would be able to find any person in Runeterra, but as its creator disappeared, it wasn't finished and nowadays is decour. Ironically, the first act of Arcane is about finding the kids.
Afterwards, when the kids are returning to Zaun after Jinx lost the stolen equipment, Mylo says she "jinxes every job", an indicator of the source of the nickname she will use in the future.
After the gang goes down in the Hexdraulic Conveyor, we have the first vision of Zaun showing a lot of people and places in the city. Even though it is considered decadent by Piltover, Zaun is quite alive, and has lots of people, culture and movement. In this scene, the biggest highlight, however, goes to the caged Krug. Krugs are small stone elementals, as the ones we have in Legends of Runeterra. They are part of the League of Legends' jungle. Right beside them, the same merchant has a couple of Poisoned Mushrooms that Teemo collects.
In a short scene where Vander is going to Benzo's shop, we see Powder looking for parts in the garbage. At this time, she finds a small bear trap which is what she uses to make the mouths of the Flame Chompers in the future.
At Benzo's shop, we have a couple of easter eggs on the walls. At the back of the store it is possible to see a frowning hat, the famous Rabaddon's Deathcap. And right above the door we have a helmet very much like the one Tryndamere wears. Right outside the store, leaning against the wall is the vehicle we see Ekko use in the video for Enemy.
Next, the Enforcers get to Benzo's shop and we can see that when they're in Zaun, they use gas masks. This happens because the air in Zaun is toxic, it is called Zaun's Gray and is one of the reasons behind the population's low life expectancy.
The enforcer, Glayson, says the Workshop hit is from the Kinnamar Family, Caitlyn's family. When Ekko goes on top of the shop to spy we can see among his things he has a clock, a reference to his future chronological powers. Besides, when we see his camera in the shop, it is inside a mask that recalls a little of Liandry's Torment mask, with the blood tear detail. It is quite possible that these masks are from Kinkou, since the shop sells a lot of collectible items.
The next scene shows Powder showing her little things and we can see among others, the pillows in the couch in The Last Drop's basement, Vander's bar. This pillow is very much like Jinx's rocket launcher: Fishbones.
At the end of the episode, in the scene where Silco shows up, we have a nameless chemist with whom he argues about his project. There were plenty of theories about Singed's presence in the series and as it all points out, he is this scientist. The character matches the champion a lot, being a chemist that experiments with human enhancements. This is confirmed in the second episode, when the Closed Captions subtitle reveal that this character's name is Singed.
2nd Episode - Some Mysteries Are Better Left Unsolved
Right at the beginning of the episode we have a very impactful character showing up. When Jayce is freezing with his mother someplace quite cold, possibly Freljord, he is rescued by a mage. From the teleport this mage does and from the runes he creates, it is possible this mage is Ryze, though he doesn't have the blue skin.
This might be Riot changing the champion's design, but Ryze is quite careful with his magic, so he might not give a rune to a boy. Another curiosity with this scene is that it shows that the Runeterra planet is a sphere, as is Earth. Might seem obvious, but not always in fantasy worlds the worlds are spherical, as is the case with Lord of The Rings, where Middle Earth was flat for a while.
In the prison scene, we have Heimerdinger saying he is 307 years old, which is quite young for a Yordle, but it also reveals that it seems as if Riot is abandoning the idea of glamour to Yordles. According to the old stories, the Yordles were hunted in some places such as Piltover, and that's why they disguise themselves. But as he comments liberally about his immortality, it doesn't seem to be a secret that he is a Yordle. But what he says next, about the dangers of magic, doesn't match his age very well, since all the apocalyptic events of Runeterra happened at least a thousand years ago.
Right afterwards, we have Vi and Powder spending some time in their hideout, where we can see a couple of important clues. One curiosity is the scoreboard. The people in Runeterra use alphabets and numbers different from ours, and have various languages, but for us to understand the series we see stylized letters this way, showing different letters. Besides, here we can see plenty of highlights that Powder really likes neon paintings.
Inside the hideout we can see a couple of statues showing serpent women, but still this isn't a reference specifically to Cassiopeia, it is quite the opposite, in fact: Cassiopeia is a reference to this type of statue. Piltover and Zaun are of Shuriman descent, so it is quite possible that these statues are cultural references or even ancient artifacts. Another easter egg from this scenario is the game that Powder plays, which has Teemo.
Afterwards we have a couple of mentions of Piltover's important houses. First we have Ferro, Camille's house, being mentioned by Mel, which in turn mentions she is a Medarda, house of the famous explorer Jae Medarda. Both are quite powerful, which justifies her presence in the council. Besides, Mel's assistant also comments that Jayce's family is known for the collapsible pocket wrench, a reference to his family and his hammer, as his family is known for multifunctional tools.
In the council scene we have plenty of references, but some remain mysterious. When Jayce mentions magic to the council, one of the characters mentions his race was almost destroyed by magic. We don't know yet which race he is, since he is quite robotic or wears a mask, but Riot will probably give more clues about this.
The council also comments on Piltover being created to protect people from magic, which is Demacia's story, but if they are talking about the Runic Wars, Piltover would be much more recent than Shurima, since they happened a thousand years ago.
When Vander takes Vi to talk, he takes her to the fateful bridge where they fought against the enforcers of the past. There we can see that there is a small sanctuary in homage to the battle's victims. In the Announcement Trailer of Ekko we could already see that zaunites do these kinds of homages to their friends and family.
3rd Episode - The Base Violence Necessary for Change
The third episode has less information because it is more focused on the first series arc's climax, but still we have a couple of things. The episode starts quite violent, with a couple of deaths and the capture of Vander. When they are alone, Silco talks with him about "The nation of Zaun", which shows something quite interesting about the relation between Piltover and Zaun: besides everything, they still consider to be the same city. In no point of the series the zaunites used the word piltovians or another like it, just the High Lane. The same happened with Piltover's side, which never called zaunites "zaunites".
When Powder is crying because Vi left to rescue Vander, we can see in the little boxes of things the name Violet on a piece of paper, which is Vi's full name. And, besides that, in the back, the reference for Star Guardian Jinx, which has the two mascots Shiro and Kuro, which mean white and black, respectively.
In the moment that Jayce and Viktor are able to use the crystal's energy and begin to float, Jayce throws a gear to his partner which accelerates rapidly when it reaches the singularity they have created. This is a reference to one of his abilities: The Acceleration Gate, which, as it all points to, will be part of his kit in Legends of Runeterra.
With the crystals explosion that Powder sets off, the subaquatic laboratory is ignited when the purple roots are caught in the explosion. This provokes an explosion that should have killed the chemist, but being Singed, we know that this will probably only harm him gravely, maybe even infuse him with shimmer (the purple substance) and must be the reason he wears the bandages.
Another scene from the explosion shows why it was more devastating to Vi and her friends: When the Get Excited!'s monkey sets off the bomb, one of the crystals bounces to the door, causing extra damage to the room where they were. At this moment, Clangor is hit by debris and dies, and we have a scene focusing on his glasses, which afterwards will be used by Vi in her uniform.
When Vander dies and Powder shows up to celebrate that her bomb worked, Vi shouts at her, and in the most traumatic moment of Powder's life, calls her Jinx, as Mylo had done before, probably solidifying her name. It is at this time that we see her call Vi Violet and confirm that this is her name, which indicates that Powder must also be a nickname.
At the end, when Silco hugs Powder, we have a scene which highlights the character's eyes. At this moment, with fire around her, her eye is pink, not grey, as it was before. This is an indicator of the character's change, since Jinx as she is now has pink eyes, probably because of shimmer use or other substances.
What to expect from the next episodes?
Now that we had the first act, we will have the second one on November 13th. We already have plenty of clues to what we will see on this time jump.
Vander has shown to be one of the most charismatic characters in the series, a man of high value that wants to protect his people. Unfortunately, he died at the hands of Silco. But did he? It is quite likely that he will return, but in another form. Knowing that Singed is around and that Silco has Vander's body with him, what we should see is the character becoming Warwick, The Uncaged Wrath of Zaun.
We already saw that Vander had a certain rage inside himself, that he was only able to leave behind when he saw that his actions were responsible for killing many of his friends in a battle against the High Lane. And Warwick, with his new lore, is a bounty hunter, that is, he hunts people who are dangerous to the zaunites. Maybe this only happens in the third series' act, but it is quite likely that Singed has done these experiments without Jinx knowing, at Silco's orders. And it is also quite possible that the girls find out Vander's new identity if they find out that Warwick has, for instance, a scar in his arm.
The Battle on the Bridge
Probably we are yet to see the best of Vander's story and passed between the two cities. But another important thing that might be revealed is that maybe Silco is responsible for the battle's turning point. Silco must have taken some extreme measure and provoked one of the groups, causing the fight, and that is why Vander tried to kill him.
Jayce and Viktor
The new partners probably will be now working together, already developing plenty of Hextech research. But, unfortunately, their friendship isn't forever. In the near future, both will fight and Jayce will have Viktor expelled from the Academy. That is their actual lore, but we might see a couple of changes that justify this expulsion better. This will lead the two of them to a fight. Probably already in the second arc we will see Viktor be expelled and starting his Glorious Evolution, and in the third we will see the climax of their story.
Vi and Caitlyn
Caitlyn had a short appearance this season, which makes sense, since her story isn't focused on her childhood. But from the trailers we know that in the second act she is already acting as a police officer tracking down Jinx's crimes, and she will go after Vi, who is in jail.
We will also be able to see how their relationship will flourish. Another possibility also is that we can see Caitlyn telling Vi why she became an officer, as it looks like we will not see her whole story animated.
Our little chronomancer is now completely alone: his friends are dead, arrested or missing and Benzo, his mentor, is dead. It is now that we will see Ekko becoming the inventor that he is, forming his own gang and making new friendships. Unfortunately, he will also suffer more losses, for example, his dearest Sumpsnipe Scavenger
When Vi is leaving to rescue Vander, she leaves with Powder a signalizer so that they can meet always. This is a foreshadowing to how we will see their meeting and possibly the last one in the series and the most emotional. Get your tissues ready.
And with that, we finish the curiosities regarding the first three episodes from the series. There are a lot of interesting things happening and contextualizing the Runeterra World and in the next episodes we will have plenty more still, so I'll be writing more articles like this one.
So? What did you think? Did you see another curiosity yourself?