Seraphine, League’s Mary Sue

Seraphine’s Twitter

She’s KD/A’s newest gem.

Yup, the link above goes to her Twitter. An imaginary champ for a game has a Twitter. Now, at a time where V-Tubers are growing in popularity this isn’t a bad thing, by itself. The problem many have broken down thus:

  • She is simply there for marketing.
    • Many do this. However, this is a blatant cash grab as the champ has a price tag of 3250 Riot Points or $25. Wowza.
    • If you want to know about the champ and why she is so pricey, the link is here.
  • Her lore, in regards to KD/A is extensive when you look at her Twitter, but her Runeterra lore strikes no chords. Many say it’s shoehorned or forced.

So, we’re looking at her Runeterra Lore.

As a child, Seraphine always loved music, especially her father’s lullabies. The songs were beautiful, but sad. He’d brought them up to Piltover as he and Seraphine’s mother—two lifelong Zaunites—sought a better life in the City of Progress.

League of Legends

This isn’t a bad start. Many small children who grow up in a home with music grow to have a love for it. The fact they moved from the seedy undercity of Zaun to Piltover isn’t special. Many parents will do what they can to give their child the best life they are able.

Leaning out the window of their hexcoustics workshop, where broken sound tech was made to play again, Seraphine sang along with the streets. The shanties of the Sun Gates, the whistling of apprentices, even the melody of conversation—in a bustling city like Piltover, she was never alone.

League of Legends
RUMOR: New League of Legends Character Seraphine Is An Aspiring Songwriter  | Music Times
from Music Times website

We get a glimpse of what her parents do, but not about how they got to the point where they now own a shop. “Sought a better life” would denote they were poor in Zaun. So, how did they get the funds to move to Piltover above? This would have been more interesting if fleshed out.
We get a hint of something she can do here. She can hear all voices across the large City of Progress. So, super hearing? I don’t think so. Let’s read a little more.

Over time, Seraphine realized she could sense songs too private, too personal, for any ordinary person to hear. And as she grew, so did the intensity of her gifts. She heard every person’s soul, loving or cruel—turning the streets she’d once loved into an overwhelming cacophony of conflicting desires. How could she make sense of the voices if none of them harmonized? Some days, she hid shivering in a corner, hands over her ears, unable to hear herself above the chaos.

League of Legends

“Over time…” This would mean she may be in her pre-teen or teens. “…too private, too personal, for any ordinary person to hear.” She can hear thoughts. She’s telepathic. We read on to see a possible struggle for our songstress as the voices she heard drove her to near-insanity. Near insanity.

Seraphine’s parents had left everything behind so she could be born in Piltover; they couldn’t bear seeing her struggle. Scraping together their savings to purchase a shard of a rare hextech crystal, they crafted a device that dampened her magical hearing. For the first time in years, there was silence.

Skarner OriginalLoading
“I miss your kind too, Skarner. Would you like to hear their song?

Before we get to why I have a picture of Skarner, let’s go over the looming plot hole at the start of this passage.
“…left everything behind…”
You see the problem? If you understand the lore of Piltover, you know you need someone to fund you and to whom you market your talents. So, if they didn’t have anyone helping them and they didn’t get the attention and funding of someone, how did they afford to move and open a shop?
Furthermore, how did they afford to pay for the crystal and not go bankrupt?

Isn’t this about Seraphine?

Yes, but in order to understand the next plot hole, you need to understand what Skarner is and who is ancestors were. You see, Skarner is Brackern. The Brackern are a race of hiveminded creatures that live peaceful and historically long lives in Shurima. They can live for up to a millennia, and are known to take long slumbers, only waking when disturbed by outside forces. The hextech crystals that Piltovans use are the namestones, or heart and soul, of the Brackern. Without the namestone, they can’t awaken.
It is one of these crystals that powers the dampener so the voices will not drive Seraphine to madness.
The Brackern can sense one another through the namestones over vast expanses. They went into hibernation at the start of the Rune Wars to wait out the conflict.
However, Shuriman and Piltovan thieves discovered the hibernation grounds and stole the namestones from Brackern bodies, effectively ending any chance of them awakening.

It is possible she didn’t know about the soul in the crystal, but then you have this part of her lore.

Within that quiet, though, Seraphine heard something—someone. The crystal had a consciousness, born of Brackern blood. The voice was kind. In a hymn of distant deserts and ancient conflicts of ancestors, a thousand years of history sang in unison.

League of Legends

Being of a hive mind, the namestone carried with it those who came before. When a Brackern passes away, its namestone is carried by another, and the memories and life of the one who is no more lives on in the Brackern who now carries the stone. It is this soul that called to Seraphine.
The fact that the voice “…sang in unison” means the namestone possibly had the life experiences of those before it as well as the one who spoke to Seraphine. For someone who had listened to chaos in the city before the voices were quieted, this would be like a welcome symphony.
“The voice was kind.”
This could depict the peaceful nature of the Brackern, and I could go with this, if it wasn’t for the countless years their stones have been pilfered for Hextech use. Yes, I know a peaceful soul would seek to help the person who could hear them, but would they not be the least bit inquisitive as to whom has their namestone?

Seraphine, awed, asked for guidance. Overwhelmed by the yearnings around her, she worried she may have no song of her own. What if she was merely the voices of others?
“We are all forged through others’ voices,” the presence sang back.

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Showing her naivete, Seraphine instantly asked it for help. Again, with the history of Zaun and Piltover and being able to hear the thoughts of others, you can’t tell me she instantly accepted the voice in the crystal as pure and innocent. This, to me, is an oversight in storytelling. With everything she heard before the dampener, you would think she would be guarded and get to know the voice’s intention first.
“…no song of her own” this is a common thing with any teen, trying to find out who they are and where they fit, but this is not a unique struggle.
So, far, the only thing we had, to this point, that would make her an interesting character was the cacophony of voices that threatened to drive her insane. With that tamed, she’s back to being a normal teenage girl who likes music.
The line of response is indicative of a hive mind mentality. Think of the Borg in Star Trek. All of one mind and thought working for one goal.

And slowly, she learned to manage the noise. The voice helped Seraphine understand how to resonate with a crowd, to sing with them, using her dampener less each day. 

League of Legends

Here we have the soul of the namestone teaching Seraphine how to resonate with a crowd, how to blend in with them, but not how to quiet the voices. When you sing with people, you still hear them. When you can hear the thoughts of others, that doesn’t mean they all get quiet because you can resonate with them. The noise is still there. Nothing about this passage tells us how the soul taught her to quiet the crowd noise in her head, but they leave it there and move onto her singing.

The first time she performed in front of an audience, testing her skills, she was nervous beyond words. But she kept singing, and the crowds swelled. Soon, the biggest venues in Piltover had Seraphine’s fans spilling into the streets.

League of Legends
Riot defends League of Legends' new champion and K/DA star, Seraphine | PC  Gamer
Seraphine performing

How did they hear her? How did she get noticed? You can’t tell me meager technicians who fixed sound equipment could afford to book a stage in Piltover for their daughter to perform? I can give a little here and say it was feasible for her parents to make her the equipment to help her and support her, but booking a stage? I can’t see that.
I can see her starting as a street performer to help her parents and gain a little notoriety. I can see her singing on street corners, in cafes that have open mic nights, and even a small venue that books indie talent, but not what they are describing in the passage above.
Where’s the hardship? Where’s the struggle? Where’s her climb in Piltover? They showed us her climb to KD/A on Twitter, but no rise to fame story for Runeterra.
She was just suddenly famous? I smell Mary Sue.

Still, something was missing—in the crowds, and in herself. She resolved to seek perspective in the city her parents had worked so hard to leave: Zaun.

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A journey of self discovery is started here. There are many tales in print and on the big screen of people feeling something missing from their lives, of a longing to go back to the beginning, to where their history lay.
So, here, I have no problem. She’s answering a nagging feeling to further find herself and who she may be.

The first time she rode the clanging lift down, Seraphine felt somehow at home but still a stranger. In Zaun, she heard refrains of resilience and ambition much like above, yet with a thrum of freedom that was all their own. But as she spent more time below, she also sensed pain. Fear of the chem-barons who controlled every opportunity. Hatred of the spoiled, arrogant Pilties above.

League of Legends

She feels split when she goes down to Zaun. She senses the pain, anguish, and resilience of a people who fight to survive everyday. She also senses prejudice and bigotry toward the Piltovans. This paints a drastically different picture from the world at the other end of the lift. This is a dark and dank world filled with hatred, fear, and suspicion, but also a world of freedom.

There was so much discord. She began to perform, and listened to these new crowds, their hearts singing their struggles. The two cities were divided by more than simple misunderstanding. She wanted to mend, to unite. But she kept hearing the same refrain: “It’s not that simple in Zaun.”

No one questioned who she was and why a Piltovan dared to venture down to Zaun alone? She just started singing for no reason and they listened? A city full of people who’s hatred of Piltover runs deep and she saw no resistance? No pushback? She felt no bigotry at all for being Piltovan?
Simply wanting to mend and unite is not enough to reach the hearts of a people who are kept in shadow by the shiny city above. Simply singing would not unite decades of conflict between Zaun and Piltover.
No, “It’s not that simple in Zaun.” indeed, not unless you’re a Mary Sue.

Eventually, Piltover started to feel less like home.
The voice of her hextech crystal had spoken of what hatred left unchecked could accomplish. Seraphine couldn’t let that happen to the cities she loved.

League of Legends

Okay. So, one concert and she feels more at home in a city that should shun her for being from Piltover than the city in which she was born.
The soul in the crystal told her of what could happen if hatred were left to run rampant, but this is Zaun. It’s already running amok. It’s already seeped into everyone in the musty city.
She couldn’t let what happen? Something that already did?
I think this is another oversight on the writer’s part. It shows a lack of understanding for the lore between the cities.

 Persuading her parents to help, she dismantled her dampener, and together, they repurposed the crystal to power its opposite—a platform that would amplify her gifts, not repress them, allowing her to hear others in all their complexity. 

League of Legends

So, now the namestone is placed in an amplifier. This is where her floating platform is born.
Hmmm, who else has something that floats?
It’s in front of them?
It’s a musical instrument?
Doesn’t matter.

She rode this platform down as a stage of sorts, stepping out onto the Entresol between Piltover and Zaun. As the crowds gathered and the lights dazzled, she heard citizens from both worlds, mingled together to hear her.
This was a new song. Not just understanding—unity.

League of Legends

Well, didn’t this just wrap up nicely? Zaun and Piltover unified through song.
(cue music: I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company.)

Somerset House - GOOD GRIEF, CHARLIE BROWN! Celebrate... | Facebook

So, she’s a helpless optimistic who believes everyone matters and she can heal through song. This reeks of Disney, fanfiction, and horrible character development.

Nice neat little bow…

In a nutshell, Seraphine is a pop star that had no struggles. What could have been a struggle was fixed with a gadget and namestone. No path to stardom. People just loved her. No resistance from Zaun. They loved her, too.
This is a League of Legends Mary Sue. Someone took a shoehorn and stuffed her into Runeterra. It’s a shame, too. Her story had so much potential.
I will be tackling that in the next post.

Stay Geeky,
Anissa “Maddy” Walker


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