Sevika in Arcane - Complete Character Summary and Discussion
In Arcane, Sevika was one of Vander’s collaborators in the violent Zaunite insurrection. When the insurrection failed, she continued to work with Vander for many years, during which she saw his attitude towards Piltover completely change.
Warning: This article contains significant spoilers about Sevika 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.
After Vander’s children triggered a conflict with Piltover, and the Enforcers returned to the Lanes to throw their weight around and humiliate the locals, Sevika was incensed. “We should fight back, we have the numbers!” she urged. Vander, however, counseled peace. Sevika, seeing Vander as a failed, weak leader, sought out a strong one: Silco. Silco still saw Piltover as the enemy, and by supporting him, Sevika could keep Zaun on the course for war. She defected to Silco and took many of Vander’s supporters with her.
Sevika became Silco’s right-hand woman (pun intended). When Vander was held captive by Silco, Sevika was there. When Vi fought to free him, Sevika was ready to attack the girl, only stopping when Silco gestured to her to allow Deckard to do it. Sevika’s presence there earned her Vi’s eternal enmity. The night ended with Powder detonating Silco’s warehouse. Sevika pushed Silco out of the way of the explosion, losing her left arm in the explosion.
Sevika, with the help of Silco and his pet scientist, Singed, replaced her arm with a mechanical, shimmer-powered one. This made her more formidable and gave her superhuman strength in short bursts.
The former Vander lieutenant went on to help Silco consolidate power in the Undercity, with the goal of using it to terrorize the Piltovers. Part of that was the Shimmer trade. Silco and his organization produced mass quantities of the addictive drug and sold it all over the world, including the Undercity. This resulted in a drastic loss of quality of life for Zaunites.
Sevika was forced to work alongside Jinx, whom she distrusted as a loose cannon. She tried to convince Silco to reign his adopted daughter in, but he would not hear a word against her. Jinx, on her own recognizance, made a move that both harmed and helped the Zaunite cause: stealing a Hex Gemstone from Piltover. On one hand, it might empower the Zaunites to fight Piltover more effectively. On the other hand, it triggered a tightening of the border between the two cities, and thus a lack of revenue for Silco’s organization.
Because of the economic disruption, Silco’s captains, the Chem Barons, became dissatisfied with his management. One such, Finn, came to Sevika to tempt her away. He tried to convince her that Silco had become weak and we were no longer worthy of leadership. However, when the moment of confrontation came, she sided with Silco. “Were you tempted?” Silco asked. “Not for a worm like him. But he won’t be the last.” Sevika answered. This indicated that Sevika did not see Finn as a worthy replacement for Silco. However, there might be a worthy replacement in the future, if Silco didn’t get his act together. Another reason she may not have sided with Finn—he and the other Chem Barons were less interested in fighting Piltover than Silco. They were more interested in making money, whether Zaun was independent or not.
When Vi returned to the Undercity to reclaim her sister, Sevika was not very helpful to Silco. In fact, she worked against his wishes to keep Jinx at his side. She told Jinx about Vi’s return, and hinted that Vi had replaced Jinx with another. She counseled Silco not to seek out Jinx for reconciliation. Sevika’s words fanned the flames of Jinx’s madness and isolation, driving a wedge between adoptive father and daughter.
Vi attacked Sevika several times after her return to the Undercity. Sevika always gave as good as she got, nearly killing her. Sevika did not seem to reciprocate Vi’s grudge quite as personally as Vi felt it, but she didn’t hesitate to hurt Vi. She seemed to enjoy fighting Vi, often smirking and mocking the younger woman.
In her final confrontation with Vi, Sevika lost her mechanical arm. She was last seen in Silco’s office, waiting for a leader who would not return.
Some plotlines in arcane are tragic ones and, typical of tragedies, the viewer gets a feeling that things are sliding inevitably in the wrong direction. It’s that feeling that makes you want to jump up and say “Oh, come on!” when Hamlet keeps stalling, or when Willy Loman refuses to take an L for once and walks away. Sevika takes an interesting role in tragedy’s machinery. When Sevika makes decisions, she’s usually doing so in a way that keeps the gears of fate moving. Unlike most characters, she does not want to change the course of events but fights to keep them the same.
For example, she wants to keep Zaun and Piltover on the course of the war. He decided to leave Vander and join Silco—even at the cost of her arm, even when tempted by Finn—to further this goal.
Sevika’s most notorious act is seen by fans as a betrayal. However, from Sevika’s point of view, she didn’t betray Vander; Vander betrayed her. “The Vander I knew, the Vander who built the Underground, wouldn’t be afraid to fight,” she told him. Even Vi was sympathetic to Sevika’s point of view in Act 1, when it became clear that Vander was collaborating with the enforcers. Sevika had been promised a strong leader of Zaun, someone who would fight for Zaunite interests. When it appeared Vander wouldn’t deliver, she defected to someone who would: Silco. In this way, her notorious betrayal can also be viewed as an act of loyalty, loyalty to Zaun. It is ironic that the most implacable enemy she would make is Vi, a girl quite similar to herself, who might have made the same choice if Vander wasn’t family. As Sevika told Vi during one of their many grudge matches, “Vander had his chance.”
Another instance of Sevika greasing the wheels of fate is her behavior around Jinx. Sevika sees that Jinx is disruptive to Silco’s operation. When she’s unable to have Jinx removed by reasoning with Silco, Sevika goes another route. She knows that Jinx is already going insane. She fans the flames by telling Jinx about Vi and suggesting that Vi has replaced her with Caitlyn. Further, she tells Silco not to pursue Jinx for a reconciliation. Sevika speeds up Jinx’s descent into madness, hoping that a disruptive person will write herself out of the story.
Sevika fits the trope of “The Creon.” This is a character who serves as an organization’s number two, and is not gunning o be number one. A Creon might be given opportunities to seize power for herself, but chooses not to do so. An example of this trope is Creon from Oedipus Rex, who never wants to bear the responsibilities that put a target on his leader’s back. Another example is the Bene Gesserit Order from Dune. Like Sevika, they are loyal to a goal and treat people as replaceable. While influential, they never have their heads directly under the crown.
Sevika’s fights with Vi are shot from a close angle, giving viewers an up-close and personal impression of her brutality.
Images Courtesy of Riot Games and Netflix.