Arcane: Did Vander become Warwick in Season 1?

Riot Games
Riot Games /

Arcane’s Season 1 finale has been out for over a month now on Netflix and now that I’ve seen the series, you know we’re out of spoiler territory. But in the event you haven’t yet watched Riot Games’ hit animated series, consider this your spoiler warning — even though what I’m going to be talking about is a spoiler from the end of the first Act.

So if you’ve watched Episode 3 of Arcane, you’ve witnessed the heart-wrenching death of Vander, the adoptive father of Vi and Powder (aka Jinx). Despite only getting to know him for three episodes, Vander quickly became a fan-favorite, and it crushed me to lose him so early on in the series.

But in saying goodbye to one beloved character, we might have said hello to another, more recognizable one for League of Legends fans. There’s speculation that Vander didn’t die, but instead became Warwick, the Uncaged Wrath of Zaun.

There’s quite a bit of evidence that Vander is now Warwick and not all of it stems from the show. Warwick’s bio from the official Universe site has quite a few interesting bits of detail that could link him to Arcane.

Warwick is described as a “monster” who was transformed “by agonizing experiments, his body is fused with an intricate system of chambers and pumps, machinery filling his veins with alchemical rage.” He “hunts the gray alleys of Zaun”preying upon criminals who terrorize the city’s depths.

But here’s where the connection really starts to be made.

"Though many think of Warwick as no more than a beast, buried beneath the fury lies the mind of a man—a gangster who put down his blade and took up a new name to live a better life. But no matter how hard he tried to move on, he could never escape the sins of his past."

That pretty much aligns with Vander in Arcane. He raise da rebellion in the undercity of Zaun, only to be brutally forced back by the Enforcers. The bloody battle changed him forever as he struck up a truce with the Wardens of Piltover to avoid more bloodshed. As the adoptive father of Vi and Powder, Vander attempted to live a more peaceful life, keeping his family and the undercity as safe as possible. As we learned throughout those first three episodes, he never could quite escape his violent past.

The bio also mentions Warwick is a creation of Singed, the Zaunite scientist working for Silco. It mentions how Singed “patiently carved into him, installing pumps and hoses to inject chemicals into his veins, seeking what an alchemist always seeks: transmutation.”

Although we don’t see this process unfold directly in Arcane, Singed is present at Vander’s death. Later on in the series, we do get a glimpse of what appears to be Warwick hanging in Singed’s lab, although it’s never actually confirmed.

There are other subtle nods to Vander being Warwick teased throughout the series. Towards the end of the series, when Vi urges Jinx to remember who she is and remember loved ones from their past, she envisions Vander and her mind scribbles the overlay of wolf-like characteristics.

Beyond the series and bio, League of Legends may also provide some clues. Warwick has special interactions with Vi and Jinx. He taunts Vi, “Who taught you how to punch?” Of course, we all know it was Vander who taught her. He tells Jinx, “You were there,” which she was at the time of his death (although she was Powder at the time).

Riot has already announced a second season for Arcane is in production, so it’s very possible Warwick could make an appearance. The only question now is if Warwick is actually Vander.