Fans of LoL and brand-new inductees were treated to an exceptional story when Netflix adapted the videogame. Filled with complex people within a morally grey environment, our list of the best Arcane characters proves the strength of the show.
From Powder’s descent into Jinx to the beginnings of Viktor’s glorious Hex Core evolution, each Arcane character transforms throughout one of the best Netflix series — this makes picking favorites hard. But below is a list of those who left the biggest impression on us ahead of Arcane season 2.
Heimerdinger is put through the heimer-wringer in season 1. The wise but in some ways ignorant (failure to recognize what the Council’s inaction would lead to was a mistake, he’ll admit) scientist is a respected Piltover figurehead. Or, he was.
Mel and Jayce convince the other members of the council to vote Heimerdinger out after he pleads to put the brakes on Hex Tech weaponization.
A future-thinker, Heimerdinger’s caution and the lack of progress with Zaun allowed the others to paint him as past his ‘best by’ date. He’s not perfect but we love the little guy, and his wish to put things right is admirable.
Sevika might be a surprise addition to most. However, her unflinching determination and desire to fight for Zaun make her a badass, and that’s before we consider her fighting prowess and chops as a mechanic.
Although Sevika appears to be Silco’s lackey, they share a more complex relationship, with Silco even taking her advice regarding Jinx. Sevika’s autonomy is also displayed when she kills Finn — something Silco clearly wasn’t 100% sure would happen. This was an unmistakable message that Sevika wouldn’t hesitate to turn her blade should his leadership wane.
The scene cemented Sevika as powerful beyond her brawn, showing once and for all that she isn’t loyal to individuals but to the greater cause.
Vander may have only had a limited amount of screen time during Season 1, but his major impact on its course and his unorthodox dad energy earned him a place on our list.
Although he hung up his gauntlets, Vander never stopped fighting for Zaun and found a new way to do it by working above board with Grayson. Not only did he deftly juggle keeping the peace with Piltover and keeping the peace in his own backyard, but he did so while raising Powder, Vi, Claggor, and Mylo, who we all know were prone to finding trouble on a regular basis.
Some fans think he may return, but we’re not sure. More on that in our Arcane season 2 League of Legends characters wishlist!
Jayce discards his innocence, transforming from a budding scientist chasing his boyhood dream into a statesman thrown into the middle of a bitter political struggle. Though Jayce enters the ring as a confused cub, by the Season 1 finale he has grown into a fierce lion who’s finally able to make his own decisions.
Whether he is raising a hammer to help build Piltover’s future or to strike down its enemies, Jayce will always take what he believes to be the correct course of action, even if that belief is at times easily swayed.
We had a love/hate relationship with Jayce throughout season 1, but in the end, our golden retriever boy redeemed himself. He’s one of the most human of Arcane’s extraordinary characters, making mistakes over and over, yet persevering and learning from them at every step.
7. Caitlyn Kiramman
How can you not love Caitlyn? She may come from one of the wealthiest families in Piltover, but she isn’t just some snooty rich kid. Though she at times wields her privilege, she never does so for her own personal gain. And despite her purity, she’s never afraid to get her hands dirty, which is only amplified by her relationship with Vi.
Caitlyn’s Sherlock-esque detective skills are matched only by the fact that she is one hell of a shot. Being able to line them up alongside the sharpest of shooters like Grayson and Jinx is no small feat. Queen shit.
Caitlyn is a vehicle for much of the class war in Arcane, and we enjoy her softness and blunders because they make her more real.
Silco is a prime example of a layered character who we see stripped away piece by piece. Initially emerging as your typical mastermind with a Piltover-sized bee in his bonnet, we gradually see Silco’s mask slip as he builds his version of Zaun.
Throughout the first season, we expected him to betray Jinx at any moment; however, he remained steadfast and loyal, both to his ambitions for a united Zaun and those he held close to him, surprising us in the process.
Though he served as the first season’s primary antagonist, by the time he met his end at the hands of the monster he helped create, we found it difficult to see him as just an evil villain. Although, it’s clear he had to go for any kind of peace to be reached.
Arcane is a show about various opposing forces trapped in a brutal tug of war, and Jinx symbolizes the outcome of this struggle when she is psychologically split in two. Forever trying to bring good to those around her as Powder, the young Zaunite, unfortunately, does anything but in the show’s pivotal moments.
Under Silco’s guidance, Powder sheds her name and embraces the chaos that shrouds her, now identifying as Jinx. Though she spends the remainder of the first season fighting her inner demons, we can’t help but root for her to overcome them.
Arcane cast member Ella Purnell absolutely killed it, and the battle for Jinx’s far-gone soul is the heart of the story.
Hailee Steinfeld’s Vi is how Vander might have been in his youth. Even as a kid, she lived up to her in-game line, “Punch first, ask questions while punching.”
However, Vi’s confidence in her ability to throw a good punch is betrayed by her stunted emotional growth (years in the slammer and plenty of childhood trauma will do that), and she is ultimately unable to assuage Jinx’s anxieties in season 1.
Despite having the weight of Vander’s promise to look after her last remaining family member on her shoulders, Vi remains cooler than cool. Needless to say, Caitlyn isn’t the only person she made swoon.
Ekko has seen some shit, and it shows when we are reintroduced to him as the hardened leader of the Firelights. The cheeky young kid that we first meet is entirely unrecognizable, as he appears to have sacrificed his own cheerful innocence for the prospect of building a brighter future for Zaun.
As the leader of this resistance to Silco’s murky vision for Zaun, Ekko’s vigilante actions have earned him a spot in the hearts of not only the citizens he fights for but in ours too.
A boy genius and cunning businessman, we can’t wait to see how Ekko develops when season 2 rolls around, especially with the forcibly retired Heimerdinger by his side.
Viktor‘s story is beyond heartbreaking. Despite all he has endured, the ailing scientist wishes only to use the power of science for the betterment of others. Tragically, his fears of dying without a legacy set him on a path that quickly spiraled out of control.
Viktor epitomizes the mantra that hard work and determination can take you far. However, it’s the golden boy Jayce who takes all the plaudits, despite his growing distance from the Hextech project.
With his health rapidly declining, Viktor throws himself into his work, and while the man we know in League of Legends is a twisted individual, we can only hope that he treads a better path in Arcane. Viktor deserves the world.
Mel is a wicked politician, which we see as she progressively builds soft power throughout the show. However, while she meticulously develops her hold over Piltover, it later becomes apparent that she is a small fish in a much bloodier pond.
Mel’s attempts to distance herself from traditional Noxian ways of state-craft are admirable, even if the specter of the clan that disowned her continues to loom over the former Merdarda heir.
With unpredictable chess moves, complex relationships with other characters, and a unique intellect, Mel is Arcane’s most captivating original character.
If you want more details on the series, check out our breakdown of each song in the Arcane soundtrack and how old is Jinx in Arcane. And if you haven’t watched the Arcane documentary Bridging the Rift, we highly recommend it for mega-fans — Henry Cavill is one.
We’ve also got guides to is Arcane canon in League of Legends and can you watch Arcane without playing League of Legends.