Fans of the Netflix series Arcane are speculating what Season 2 has in store for us. According to some, season 1 sets up the arrival of the werewolf Warwick.
After a successful first season, Esoteric Season 2 could include several dramatic plot developments, including Vander’s transformation into Warwick. One of the most controversial fan theories is that Esoteric Season 2 will introduce Warwick, a mutant wolf who was once an ordinary man. Some viewers believe that former revolutionary Vander is actually the Wolf Man before his transformation, as his story parallels Warwick’s origin. The theory is unconfirmed but the undeniable similarities between the two characters are impossible to ignore.
Esoteric is an action-fantasy anime series based on the popular video game League of Legends, depicting the ongoing conflict between two neighboring towns: the opulent metropolis Piltover and the heavily polluted district of Zaun. When the two cities develop technology that emulates magic, the power struggle between them escalates into an all-out war for supremacy. Praised for its stunning animation and gripping story, the series brings to life the lore behind many League of Legends characters, including the unhinged gunslinger Jinx, the headstrong brawler Vi, and the time-manipulating inventor Ekko.
Although Warwick has not been confirmed for Esoteric season 2, the similarities between Warwick and Vander are too strong to be mere coincidence. The show offers subtle references to Zaun’s resident werewolf, such as Vander’s allies calling him the “subway dogor the inclusion of Warwick’s theme in the soundtrack. But the strongest bond between them is the similarity of their stories. Prior to his transformation, Warwick was a Zaunian mobster who gave up his life of crime to become a better man before being kidnapped and experimented on by a mad chemist called Singed. Esoteric shows Vander following a similar path, leaving behind his criminal past, finding a more peaceful life as a bartender, and eventually being taken prisoner by Singed’s leader, crime lord Silco.
Assuming the theory is correct, Vander’s shapeshifting could be the result of his exposure to Shimmer, a liquid with extraordinary but deadly transformative properties. Invented by Singed as a means of harnessing magical energy, Shimmer greatly increases users’ physical abilities but gradually degrades their physical and mental health when abused. Along with increasing his strength, this volatile potion makes Vander aggressive and violent, only regaining his composure in brief temporary intervals. Warwick’s wild nature directly reflects the effects of employing Shimmer, as he is able to speak human, but his sound judgment is often negated by his predatory instincts.
The most striking clue to Warwick’s theory appears in Esoteric the Season 1 finale, which reveals that Singed is keeping a human test subject in his lab, whose figure strongly resembles Vander. The series made it clear that the twisted chemist cares little for the welfare of others, only using them to achieve his goals. Singed’s main motive is the perfection and preservation of the Shimmer-induced mutation, which raises the possibility that he can further augment Vander to resist the most harmful side effects. It’s conceivable that the prolonged exposure to Shimmer is what fractures Vander’s psyche and warps him into a cold-hearted monster.
Esoteric displays plenty of evidence to support Warwick’s theory and the implications of Vander becoming Warwick are chilling. Vander was all about building a future in which his people could live in peace, but Warwick embodies the opposite of that notion, viciously attacking anyone who gets in his way. Whether Vander remains the protector of the Underground or becomes its destroyer in Esoteric season 2 will depend on how much of his humanity Singed steals.
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