The Downfall of Huck in Arcane and What it Signifies
Huck is an interesting character in Arcane that helps to convey the downfall of the Underworld society as a result of the Shimmer epidemic. While his time on screen is brief, his before-after transformation is clear and evocative.
Warning: This article contains significant spoilers about Huck and other characters in Arcane. If you have not already watched Arcane, a League of Legends story, you should definitely check it out on Netflix before continuing.
We first see Huck in Vander’s bar, The Last Drop. Huck is concluding some business deal, but his partners are raking him over the coals, using intimidation into accepting half of what he is owed. Huck seems stressed and afraid. Vander approaches the group and straightens things out in Huck’s favor, flexing his control over the community.
When we next see Huck, he is in the throes of a Shimmer addiction. He seems to help Vi, hearkening back to the time her father helped him. However, he quickly betrays Vi to Silco in exchange for Shimmer.
Huck serves as a means to help the audience understand the Shimmer epidemic from the addict’s side of things. When viewers see him after the timeskip, he is impoverished and badly deformed, apparently as the result of his addiction. Caitlyn asks him why he would do such a drug, when it has cost him so much. “I just wanted to feel what it was like to be somebody. To make other people afraid.”
One is reminded of his introduction, when his business partners made him afraid. Later, although it clearly pains him to do so, he betrays Vi in exchange for Shimmer. This is an accurate depiction of addict behavior—their substance is their top priority. Everything else, even dignity, becomes disposable to them.
Huck’s character arc, while short, reflects the arc of the Undercity as a whole. In Act 1 of Arcane, the Undercity is no paradise, but it’s a cooperative community where everyone, including Huck, has a role to play. In later acts, it has degenerated into a land of addicts and monster, where every each man is out for himself.
Images Courtesy of Riot Games and Netflix.