Arcane season 2: key information
– Won’t be released before 2023
– Three key cast members will return
– Story will pick up straight after season 1 finale
– Creators tease character arcs for season 2
– Fans will be “on the edge of their seats”
– Season 1 earned multiple gongs on the 2022 awards circuit
– Riot Games invests in Arcane’s animation studio
– Fans concerned that season 2 could end Vi and Jinx’s story
It’s all quiet on the Arcane season 2 front – and, in some ways, that’s a good thing.
How so? Because it means the cast and crew are hard at work delivering a sequel befitting one of the best Netflix shows of all-time. Arcane’s second season can’t just be a “by the numbers” follow-up; it has to build on and be better than its predecessor. If that means Riot Games, Fortiche, and company taking all the time they need to make it as good as possible, we’re happy for them to do so.
Despite how busy everyone is, we have received a small update on Arcane season 2 – concerning character arcs – from its creators recently. You’ll have to read on to find out what they say, though, and what those teases mean for the animated Netflix series.
Below, you’ll also find more details about Arcane’s next entry. That includes speculation on its launch date, returning cast members, plot threads that need addressing, the show’s future, whether Vi and Jinx’s story will end with season 2, and more.
Full spoilers follow for Arcane season 1. You have been warned.
Arcane season 2 release date: what we know
Arcane season 2 doesn’t have a release date, but we know it’s on the way. The show’s return was announced following the season 1 finale:
Ready yourselves, friends. Season 2 of Arcane is now in production. Where’s a Hexgate when you need one? pic.twitter.com/3aUeWuQ5UuNovember 21, 2021
The above teaser doesn’t give much away, apart from revealing that Arcane season 2 is in production and that three season 1 characters will return (more on this later). Still, we’re delighted that Arcane is getting a second outing. Just don’t expect it to arrive before 2023, however, with Riot Games CEO Nicolo Laurent stating as much in November 2021:
So yeah, we are working on #arcane season 2. The good news: you won’t have to wait for 6 years (the time it took us to making season 1)The bad news: it’s not coming in 2022 😢 https://t.co/IQoPyLnw1JNovember 21, 2021
Given that Fortiche Productions posted a job advert for new FX3D artists for season 2 (thanks for the heads up, Reddit (opens in new tab)!) in January, it’s full steam ahead, production wise, by this point. That’s certainly the case, too, with Bridging the Rift episode 5 revealing that the creative team are deep into writing season 2’s storylines and character arcs.
Don’t expect Riot Games’ acquisition of a non-controlling stake in Fortiche (opens in new tab) to move things along at a quicker pace, either. While the move allowed the two companies to work closer “during the early ideation and storyboard development of Arcane and has been a key partner throughout the development of the show”, they still need to take their time to ensure every inch of production is as good as it can be.
Arcane season 2 plot
Full spoilers follow for Arcane season 1.
If you’ve watched Arcane’s first nine episodes, you’ll know that some characters may not be back for its next season. That’s because, during the season 1 finale, Jinx fired an arcane crystal rocket at Piltover’s council chamber with many main and supporting characters trapped inside. Those present in the chamber when the rocket exploded included Jayce, Mel, Viktor, Cassandra, Hoskel, Bolbok, Shoola and Salo.
We don’t expect all of those individuals to survive. If we had to guess, Mel and Cassandra, at the very least, are likely to have perished or been severely injured. On Reddit (opens in new tab), fans think that’ll be the case, with some suggesting that a frame of animation from season 2 – glimpsed in Bridging the Rift episode 3 – migh have revealed that Cassandra died in the attack. It would be odd for Riot and Fortiche to ruin this ahead of time, but maybe it was intentional to see if anyone picked up on it. It doesn’t look like a scene from season 1 so, unless it’s a deleted scene, this may be our first look at Arcane season 2.
If Mel and Cassandra die in the explosion, it would give Jayce and Caitlyn a major incentive to pursue Jinx, as they’re Jayce’s partner and Caitlyn’s mother, respectively. Subsequently, we could see Jayce walk back on his promise to give Zaun its independence from Piltover, especially now that Jinx – a Zaun citizen – carried out a terrorist attack on the latter’s council.
Honored doesn’t even begin to describe how we feel about winning the #Emmy for 𝑶𝒖𝒕𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝑨𝒏𝒊𝒎𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝑷𝒓𝒐𝒈𝒓𝒂𝒎.Thank you to our incredible team at @RiotGames and Fortiche, the @TelevisionAcad, and the greatest fans (yes, you) for making this possible. pic.twitter.com/xFNWt4eNc7September 4, 2022
Additionally, Caitlyn could be out for revenge if her mother was hurt or killed, which would put her at odds with Vi, whom Caitlyn had become close with. The latter is Jinx’s sister, so Vi will likely be caught in a difficult situation: help Caitlyn and Jayce to bring her sister to justice, or try to ‘save’ Jinx from herself, which would put her in opposition with Caitlyn and Jayce.
That isn’t the only thing that may drive a wedge between Caitlyn and Vi, either. Responding to a fan on Twitter about whether Caitlyn knows that it was Vi and her gang who blew up Jayce’s lab at the start of season 1, Arcane writer Amanda Overton revealed that wasn’t the case. Will Caitlyn learn the truth in the show’s second season?
It sounds like we’ll explore Caitlyn and Vi’s relationship further in season 2, too. Speaking during the BAFTAs (as reported by The Digital Fix (opens in new tab)), showrunners Alex Yee said fans “will be happy” with the progression of their relationship, adding: “The way in which we wanted to roll that story out has always been sort of determined. What you will see in season 2 will be part of the big picture that we’ve had all along.”
Expect the brewing war between Piltover and Zaun to take center stage in Arcane season 2 as well. Tensions were already simmering between the two nations in season 1, and we wouldn’t be surprised if a full-blown conflict begins as a result of Jinx’s attack on Piltover’s council. Speaking to Netflix Queue (opens in new tab), Yee teased how the battle lines have been drawn heading into the show’s next chapter, saying: “We ended season 1 by really pushing a lot of the characters in the show as far as we could from each other. Figuring out how to deal with this puzzle, where all the pieces have now been split up and tossed to the four winds, is going to be the main thrust of season 2.”
As for other story threads that Arcane season 2 will need to deal with, we’re expecting to see Heimerdinger and Ekko continue to work together to help the undercity. With the former voted off Piltover’s council in season 1 episode 7, he bumped into an injured Ekko on the streets of Zaun in episode 8. The pair bond over their shared love of technology and, after Heimerdinger helps Ekko to return home, the duo decide to collaborate and try to ease Zaun’s suffering.
The full animation test for Arcane from 2015.“Are we going to do this or not?”#BridgingTheRift pic.twitter.com/pty1QaDPHfAugust 10, 2022
We’ll also need to see whether Viktor will lose himself completely to his Hextech research. He’s already inadvertently murdered his childhood friend Sky as a result of his Hexcore studies, and it appears that he’ll walk a darker path in season 2. If we know anything about LoL lore, there’s every chance that we could see Viktor use Hextech to cybernetically enhance his body further and become the champion that diehard LoL fans know him to be.
Elaborating on what we can expect from various characters’ journeys next time out, co-creator Christian Linke told the Academy of Interactive Arts and Science’s YouTube channel (opens in new tab): “Season 2 was always this thing that made us think ‘let’s take them further and explore the corner of their pysche and identities we haven’t seen’. The challenge was to go to places where they’ve never been to. I’m excited about what we’re doing in that regard. I also hope it makes every League [of Legends] player proud and every animation or fantasy nerd excited about our characters.”
All in all, expect a, well, riotous season 2. According to Kevin Alejandro, who plays Jayce in Arcane, fans will be “on the edge of their seats” (per Buzzfeed (opens in new tab)), adding: “You’re going to be conflicted in such a way that I don’t know if it’s good or bad. Like, your emotions will be pulled out of you and you’ll be like ‘Oh my god!’ That’s how you’re going to end [season 2]. It’s so good!”
Arcane season 2 might spell the end of our exploration of this area of Runeterra – the world in which Arcane is set – though. In Bridging the Rift episode 5, Riot Games co-founder Brandon Beck confirmed that the show’s creative team would look to explore more of Runeterra’s regions and introduce new League of Legends (LoL) heroes in subsequent seasons. Many fans took this to mean that Vi and Jinx’s story, in particular, will end when the curtain falls on the show’s second season. Without clarification from Riot, that rumor will run for a while yet.
Arcane season 2 cast
So far, only three female characters have been confirmed for Arcane season 2:
- Hailee Steinfeld as Vi
- Ella Purnell as Jinx
- Katie Leung as Caitlyn
If you’ve watched the season 2 announcement video, you’ll have heard the trio’s voices. Given that they watched on during that explosive season 1 finale, they’re safe from harm and will return.
So who else may be back? That’ll depend on who survives the Piltover council chamber attack. As we said earlier, we think that Mel and/or Cassandra could be casualties of Jinx’s strike, while any of the other council members may die or be injured, too. We would expect Jayce to survive, though. He has a bigger role to play, in our view, and he’ll no doubt want to bring Jinx to justice for her crimes.
Additionally, Ekko and Heimerdinger should be back. The duo weren’t part of the council chamber attack, so they should return and we’ll see how their character arcs progress in Arcane’s second season. Viktor, too, should return, even though he was in the council chamber at the time of Jinx’s attack.
There are likely to be new faces introduced in Arcane season 2 as well. There were plenty of deaths in Arcane’s first outing – Silco, Vander and Marcus to name three – so there’s a need for new supporting characters. We have no idea who might show up, but there are lots of LoL heroes and villains that Riot, Netflix and Fortiche Productions can pull from the game franchise’s universe and use for the animated series.
Arcane season 2: Bridging the Rift YouTube series
To tide fans over until Arcane season 2, Riot Games released a YouTube series – Bridging the Rift – that details the first season’s complicated, six-year development:
Arcane season 2 trailer: is there one?
No, and it’ll be a while before we see one. Once one is released, we’ll update this section.
Will Arcane season 2 be the last entry in the series?
No. In Bridging the Rift episode 2, Riot CEO Nicolo Laurent revealed he’s told co-showrunner Christian Linke that Riot’s executive team had signed off on “multiple seasons”. Laurent had previously suggested this in a Riot Games blog post (opens in new tab), writing “there will be Arcane season 2 (+?)”.
Of course, multiple seasons could theoretically mean Arcane seasons 1 and 2. However, it would be odd to use the word “multiple” to describe two seasons when “a couple” would’ve sufficed instead. So we’re pretty confident that Arcane will get more than two seasons, although how many remains to be seen.
Given its popularity, it’s easy to see why it’s getting more entries. Arcane season 1 holds a 100% ‘fresh’ rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes (opens in new tab) among critics, while it also has a 96% ‘fresh’ rating based on over 5,000 audience reviews.
Moreover, there’s plenty of story left to tell, character arcs to tie up, and new individuals and champions to introduce, so Arcane will never be out of ideas from plot or character development perspectives. We’re also big fans of Fortiche’s visuals for the animated series, too, so we’d be happy to see many more installments.