Who is Vi in Arcane?

Learn more about Vi, the Zaunite with a personality that packs a punch!

Video game adaptations have a reputation for being underwhelming — and in some cases, nightmare-inducing (ahem, the OG Sonic movie design). But Riot Games broke the mold with Arcane. The show is an absolute masterpiece and can be enjoyed by practically anyone, even those who haven’t once stepped foot in the Summoner’s Rift.

While there’s plenty to love about Arcane, like the motion-packed fight scenes and killer music, the main reason why the show was so successful was because of its well-crafted, lovable characters — and Vi is by far the most popular protagonist in the show. 

Below, I’ll explain who Vi is, her role in the show, and what makes her such a fan favorite. 

Obviously, major spoilers ahead, so be warned!

Who Is Vi in Arcane?

Vi, or “Violet,” is a Zaunite orphan who was adopted by Vander, alongside her little sister Powder (later known as Jinx). In the show, Vi is first introduced as a fearless, hot-headed leader whom Powder and the other adopted siblings — Mylo and Claggor — look up to. 

But despite her fist-punchin’ attitude to the world (aka Piltover) and tough exterior, Vi is extremely compassionate, caring, and protective over those she cares about. This is especially the case for Powder. In the first act, it’s clear that Vi will shield Powder from harm’s way and defend her no matter what, regardless of whether she’s actually at fault.

“Mylo’s wrong, Powder. You’re stronger than you think. And one day… This city’s gonna respect us.”

Vi, Arcane S1, episode 1
Vi holding Jinx
Riot Games, Arcane

What Is Vi’s Role in Arcane?

Vi may not go through a significant transformation like many other characters in the show, but that’s not to say she doesn’t have an important role in Arcane. In fact, she probably has the biggest role of all: her actions tragically lead to the downfall of Powder, the one person she wanted more than anything to protect and keep safe, and the creation of “Jinx.”

“Wanna know a secret? Silco thinks he made Jinx, with all his rants and his hard-won lessons. […] But he didn’t make Jinx. You did.”

Jinx, Arcane S1, episode 9
jinx and vi table scene
Riot Games, Arcane

So, how exactly did Vi create Jinx? Well, I’ll kick things off with the one moment that scarred practically every fan of the show: yup, the Vander “rescue” scene.

The plan to rescue Vander was not successful, to say the least. Powder’s attempt to help her family, and prove to her siblings that she isn’t a liability, unfortunately backfires in the most harrowing way possible. Her makeshift monkey bomb detonates…. And takes her whole family with it.

But while this in itself was deeply traumatizing for Powder — and we see that she’s now constantly haunted by the sneering faces of Mylo and Claggor — that isn’t the moment that created Jinx. It’s the words that Vi, in her grief, pain, and (understandable) rage, utters to her afterward:

“Because you’re a Jinx. Do you hear me? Mylo was right.”

Vi, Arcane, S1, episode 3
vi and jinx episode 3
Riot Games, Arcane

Those few words inadvertently sealed Powder’s fate. While as viewers we can appreciate that Vi didn’t really mean those words, and was simply overwhelmed by grief, Powder was too young (and broken) to understand this. 

To her, those words simply confirm everything she thought about herself, and everything Vi had previously tried to reassure her she wasn’t: a Jinx who ruins everything.  

And when Vi in her grief storms off and leaves Jinx’s side? Powder, still in total despair, believes she has been “abandoned” because of how much of a “Jinx” she is, and she spirals right into Silco’s arms, who tries to repair her trauma with the only means he knows how: teaching her how to become a monster. It’s tragic stuff.

silco holding jinx
Riot Games, Arcane

What Makes Vi a Beloved Protagonist?

Vi is probably the most beloved protagonist in the show — and it’s not just because she’s a determined badass with a “fight-or-fight” response to any threat in her (or her loved ones) way. It’s because she isn’t your typical one-dimensional MC; she’s complex, with realistic flaws, unique quirks, and a captivating (albeit harrowing) backstory. 

It’s also extremely hard not to empathize with her struggles throughout the show. She’s continuously trying her absolute hardest to make amends with Powder and save those around her, but time and time again she fails, whether due to her own shortcomings or events outside of her control. 

There’s something so human and relatable about it, and it’s refreshing to see a protagonist who, while determined with a good heart, isn’t perfect and won’t always manage to save the day.

When Will Arcane Season 2 Drop?

Well, it’s good news for fans! Arcane season 2 is set to drop later this year in November. Just like before, it’ll be available on the streaming platform Netflix.

After many painstaking years of waiting, Riot also just released the first teaser for season 2 on January 5, where we got a close look at Singed working on something pretty sinister. Definitely check it out if you haven’t done so already!

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