The hit animated series Arcane took the world by surprise. The spin-off show, based on the popular Riot PC game League of Legends, had the potential to be as big a flop as the film Warcraft (based on the also popular game World of Warcraft). However, unlike Warcraft, with its Rotten Tomatoes rating of 28%, Arcane has soared. It has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a massive 9 Annie nominations for 2022, and has spent weeks at the top of Netflix’s most-watched English-language series list, animated or otherwise.
This success can be attributed to fresh-faced writers Christian Linke and Alex Lee (both members of the Riot creative team), whose love of the characters and years working in the background of the game brought the stories of sisters and League champions Vi and Jinx to life. Not only this but they employed the services of Studio Fortiche, known for being founded and owned by artists who don’t let pressure get in the way of quality work. Their oil-painting-like style pushed the boundaries of 2D and 3D animation and created the moving art piece, Arcane. Throw in a kick-ass theme song by Imagine Dragons and you have one of the most successful shows of 2021. Unsurprisingly the evening the Season 1 ended, Riot confirmed there would be Season 2. So… what can we expect next? Warning: spoilers ahead.
What Happened in Arcane Season 1?
Arcane is a tale of two cities; the wealthy, utopian Piltover, and the poisoned, seedy undercity of Zaun. Separated by the River Pilt, joined only by bridges, the two cities clash repeatedly as the Zaunites struggle in their everyday lives to survive while the wealthy Piltover citizens focus their efforts on innovation, led by Councilor Mel Medarda. Enter elder sister Vi (Played by Hailee Steinfield) and younger sister Powder (Ella Purnell), whose parents were killed by the Piltover Police during a riot, and taken in by the kindly, burly boxing barkeep – Vander.
When Vander is captured by a Zaunite crime lord Silco, an ill-fated mission sees a young Powder accidentally kill Vander and two of her friends when she tries to help with the rescue mission. This separates the sisters for years and sets them on very different paths. Powder joins Silco as a daughter figure and takes on the pseudonym ‘Jinx’ as her actions mentally disfigure her. Vi forms an unlikely alliance with a member of the Piltover police, Caitlyn (Katie Leung), and whilst all of this is going on, a young innovator named Jayce (Kevin Alejandro) is making a name for himself in politics and the dangerous art of merging magic and technology.
When is Arcane Season 2 Set to be Released?
Arcane Season 2 will stream on Netflix. However, we know it isn’t coming anytime soon. The first season took six years to make, and we know from the Arcane official Twitter account that Season 2 has only definitely been “in production” since November 2021. We now know that the series will be making its long-awaited return at the end of 2024.
Don’t get too down though. Riot’s global president of entertainment, Shauna Spenley has revealed that Arcane isn’t the only story that Riot plans on pursuing with Studio Fortiche. This isn’t too surprising; there are 158 champions in League of Legends and counting, many of whom also have overlapping storylines. She also teased the potential of live-action projects. So whatever they come out with next, you know it’s going to be big, bold, and awesome.
Who is on Arcane Season 2’s Cast List?
We can expect the core cast of Arcane’s Season 1 to return for Season 2, though whether Jason Spisak will reprise his role of Silco in any way is yet to be seen. The final scene of Season 1 definitely suggests there will be room for some new characters to enter the fray, but we can be fairly certain we will see Hailee Steinfeld as Vi, Ella Purnell as Powder/Jinx, Kevin Alejandro as Jayce Talis, Katie Leung as Caitlyn Kiramman, Harry Lloyd as Viktor, Toks Olagundoye as Mel Medarda, Reed Shannon as Ekko, and Mick Wingert as Heimerdinger.
We can also hopefully welcome Brett Tucker officially as Singed, given he was never formally named in Season 1.
What Can We Expect from Arcane Season 2?
Arcane ended in a striking shot of an emotionally broken Jinx firing a rocket towards the council room, housing the brightest and most powerful minds in Piltover (bar our favorite furry friend – Heimerdinger) including Councilor Medarda. We can only assume, given the first season pulled no punches, that we will see some deaths here. Our money is on Mel biting the bullet over Jayce, since he definitely has more of a story left in him. And his lover dying? That sounds like it could get spicy.
We know Vi and Caitlyn are alive and together. We can only imagine where their relationship will go, both as a very likely coupling (even if oil and water don’t mix) and how that will go down with Jinx, who was less than pleased to be replaced in Season 1.
Some fans may expect to see Urgot in the new season with the 2020 League of Legends champion cinematic, which was set to the theme of Imagine Dragons song “Warriors”, and saw the original Vi/Caitlyn team up against him in a place that looked very familiar.
Viktor has gone back to his undercity roots and found himself with the mad scientist Singed, who we can assume will get more of a spotlight in the coming season. Anyone familiar with game lore knows Viktor is only set to become more powerful, now imbued with the arcane. We can only wait (impatiently) to see how the writers set up the rest of his story.
Ekko and Heimerdinger have paired off, and we are bound to see some more action from Ekko’s crew of vigilantes, potentially aided by the councilor himself.
Now onto fan-favorite theories: Though we only have a teaser trailer so far, eager-eared fans are convinced that Warwick’s heartbeat can be heard in the background. Warwick is one of Singed’s creations, a humanoid-wolf, and many fans are convinced, given his already proven resurrection skills, that Singed will be using Vander as his base for the creature. How this might tie in with Vi and Jinx’s stories, we can only imagine.
Some fans also may have noted Singed looking at a picture of a young girl who bears a resemblance to Piltover game character Orianna, a clockwork woman in League of Legends. However, this would require some fiddling on Riot’s part with the expansive game lore (but they have done it before).
Riot has also just released Zeri as a champion in the game, who is a fellow Zaunite and potential ally of Ekko who, like Ekko, possesses innate magical abilities which the show might (and that’s a big might) explore.
Do You Need to Play League of Legends to Watch Arcane?
No! Despite writer Christian Linke describing the show as a “love letter” to the League community (and we are truly bowled over), Arcane is an amazing series entirely removed from the League of Legends franchise. There is absolutely no prior knowledge you need to enjoy it just as much as a League of Legends player. In fact, allowing the development of the characters to take you by surprise as much as possible might even give you a better experience of the show as a whole.