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General

  • Varus means "bent outwards, bow-legged" in Latin, in contrast with valgus "bent inwards, knock-kneed";[1]
    • Ancient Romans used this adjective as a cognomen to describe persons with the anatomical deformity that bent their legs outwards like bows.
    • Humorously, the fact that his name is the term for a knee deformity and the fact that Varus is an archer could be a reference to the famous "Arrow to the Knee" meme of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
  • Varus was the first champion to be released in Season Two with only one alternative skin, with subsequent champions following this pattern.
  • The Pallas temple references the epithet Παλλάς, meaning "youth, girl", of Pre-Greek goddess Athena.[2]
    • Later Greek writers re-identified Pallas as a Titan killed by Athena, interpreting Pallas as "brandisher", from πάλλω pállō.
  • Varus is, along with Blitzcrank OriginalSquare Blitzcrank, Caitlyn OriginalSquare Caitlyn, Lissandra OriginalSquare Lissandra, Rumble OriginalSquare Rumble, Sion OriginalSquare Sion, Vi OriginalSquare Vi, Xerath OriginalSquare Xerath, and Ziggs OriginalSquare Ziggs, one of the few champions that can apply crowd control on themselves.
  • Varus' body style is similar to the one of Solus, the T'Lan leader from the game Breakdown.
  • Varus is the first of three dark-themed champions with a light-themed skin, the second being Syndra OriginalSquare Syndra and the third being Aatrox OriginalSquare Aatrox.
    • Of these three, Varus' skin is the only one not of the Justicar theme.
  • Varus (along with Aatrox OriginalSquare Aatrox, Anivia OriginalSquare Anivia, Aurelion Sol OriginalSquare Aurelion Sol, Evelynn OriginalSquare Evelynn, Kindred OriginalSquare Kindred, Urgot OriginalSquare Urgot, Zyra OriginalSquare Zyra, and all Void profileicon Voidborn champions) is technically nude. The "pants" that he is wearing are actually the manifestation of the corruption.
  • Varus is implied to be ambidextrous, as evidenced by having two skin arts that have him holding his bow in his left hand and the other two having it in his right.
    • However, Varus is most likely right eye dominant, since archers traditionally wield their bow according to their eye-dominance rather than their hand-dominance, due to the fact that he only holds his bow in his left hand in-game.

Lore

Varus OriginalSquare Varus, The Arrow of Retribution

  • Varus is around 3496 years old as he Ascended during the Icathian rebellion against Shurima.
  • He is currently on the quest to find other remaining Darkins in Shurima [1]
Varus OriginalSquare old Varus, The Arrow of Retribution
  • His namesake might be the infamous Roman general Publius Quinctilius Varus, who foolishly led three Roman legions to their demise during the Battle of Teutoburg Forest. While League of Legends' Varus defends his charge but loses everything to the Noxian invaders, to which he vows revenge.
  • Varus is in a state of transformation. He made a decision to sacrifice his humanity (in fact his very self) to gain the means to achieve revenge. The pants are the manifestation of the corruption overtaking him. He only has so much time before it will overtake him.[3]
  • His pale appearance is of a man whose life is slipping away or being drained. As far as his face, you could find people with many different appearances in all the respective regions of Valoran.[4]
  • The Owl insignia on his chest has been passed down through generations of "watchers".[5]
  • Varus' title "The Arrow of Retribution" strongly resembles Kalista OriginalSquare Kalista's title "The Spear of Vengeance".
  • His lore bears some similarities with the blighted Archers from Samurai Jack.
  • The Talisman he has on his chest is a memento from his family.
  • His headdress is an ornament of his office.
  • Varus would be considered Lawful Neutral, or Lawful Anti-Noxian Invader.[6]

Development

  • He is voiced by Gavin Hammon, who also voices Pantheon OriginalSquare old2 Original Pantheon and Vladimir BloodLordCircle Blood Lord Vladimir.
  • During development he was called Jubei.
  • Varus' Piercing Arrow Piercing Arrow is a rework of Tristana OriginalSquare Tristana's old Draw a Bead Draw a Bead ability which (while active) would reduce her movement speed to increase range.
  • The League of Legends art team worked with Gabe and Tycho from Penny Arcade to make a "special edition" champion sneak peek for Varus.[7]
  • Riot wanted to deliver some of the creepy, fluid feeling of the corruption, it was important to give Varus a forceful, solid, strong weapon that you could identify him with instead of feeling like (as you do for instance with the T1000 from Terminator 2) the bow was just one piece of a big bag of tricks. Also, the visual impact of his animations with a sturdy bow was extremely satisfying.[8]
  • The visual effects designer for Varus' log-in screen was Anthony Possobon.

Quotes

  •  
    Varus.move10
    "I do what I must." is similar to 
    Lee Sin.move8
    Lee Sin OriginalCircle "We do what we must."
  •  
    Varus.move1
    "Beware a man with nothing to lose." is based on an Italian proverb "Beware of one who has nothing to lose".
  •  
    Varus.attack3
    "No turning back." is similar to 
    EzrealPulsefire.move01
    Ezreal PulsefireCircle "No turning back now." and 
    Irelia.attack1
    Irelia OriginalCircle old2 "There's no turning back."

Skins

Varus OriginalCircle Original Varus
    • His look and ability animations were inspired by the anime movie, Princess Mononoke.
    Varus BlightCrystalCircle Blight Crystal Varus
    • He might be a reference to the MMORPG World of Warcraft, where the undead would use Blight Crystals alike to the ones in the splash art to corrupt other creatures.
      •  
        Varus.move6
        "I am forsaken." is also spoken by the undead from the same MMORPG.
    Varus ArclightCircle Arclight Varus
    • This skin maybe a nod towards Varus OriginalSquare Varus' previous Ascended form.
    • It is the second light-themed skin for dark Ionian Champions, the first being Syndra JusticarCircle Justicar Syndra.
    • Varus' bow in this skin is similar to the Bow of Light from The Legend of Zelda game series.
    • The arc on his back resembles the arc of The Savior from Devil May Cry 4.
    Varus ArcticOpsCircle Arctic Ops Varus
    • He has a similar design to soldiers in the Battlefield series of video games.
    Varus HeartseekerCircle Heartseeker Varus
    Varus VarusSwiftboltCircle Varus Swiftbolt
    Varus DarkStarCircle Dark Star Varus
    Varus ConquerorCircle Conqueror Varus
    Chromaskins Chromas: Golden
    Varus InfernalCircle Infernal Varus
    Chromaskins Chromas: Catseye, Pearl, Peridot, Rose Quartz, Ruby

    Relations

    • It is hinted in his lore that Varus may have been imprisoned in his bow, by a possible previous avatar of the Leona OriginalSquare Aspect of the Sun.
      • This warrior-queen used him to destroy the gateway to the Darkin World, and later sealed the bow in the land that would later be known as Ionia Crest icon Ionia.
    • Varus was released from his prison by two Ionian beast hunters, Valmar OriginalSquare Valmar and Kai OriginalSquare Kai.
      • Valmar had hoped that the well imprisoning Varus would heal Kai. It did but it released Varus as well as fused their bodies together.
    • Irelia OriginalSquare Irelia's deceased younger brother shares the same name with Kai, however neither are the same person; as Kai is a very common Navorian name.

    References

    1. DeVaan, M. Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic languages, p. 652, 655
    2. Beekes, R.S.P. Etymological Dictionary of Greek, pp. 29, 167, 1147
    3. Varus dev blog 2
    4. Varus dev blog 3
    5. Varus dev blog 4
    6. Varus dev blog 5
    7. Varus' Penny Arcade Sneak Peek
    8. Varus dev blog 1
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