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The Watchers, also known as the Frozen Watchers or the Pierce-Eyes, are ancient beings of The Void who are the masters above all living Voidborns, and creators of the prototype models of the modern ones. They also once presided in the Freljord, being responsible for transforming Freljord native humans in to a new race known as the Iceborn, who would later rebel against The Watcher's rule. The Howling Abyss was built for The Watchers by the Iceborn, in addition to many structures across the Freljord, which now lie in ruins. 

Lore

Other Related Champions

  • Lissandra Lissandra was one of the individuals who conspired with them to bring about the end of all life. She later betrayed them and became their jailer, imprisoning them in a glacial barrier of ice.
  • Vel'Koz Vel'Koz is the oldest surviving Voidborn prototype created by the Watchers, tasked by them to collect knowledge.

History

Towering Watcher Statues, Howling Abyss, Freljord.

Towering Watcher Statues, Howling Abyss, Freljord.

Origins of The Watchers

The Watchers originated from The Void, a vast canvas of nothingness, in which the concept of its existence is a mystery, even to themselves. From the time the bravest among them first entered Runeterra, The Watchers did not possess material form, nor were they even aware of their own sentience. The Watchers did not know why they or the Void existed, only that it perturbed them that something, that something being our universe, existed in the vast blackness of nothing. In their curious and spiteful intent of understanding the material universe, they reshaped matter within it into conscious extentions of themselves tasked to collect information and knowledge in their behalf, becoming the prototype of the current and modern Voidborns. The Watchers were immensely powerful, and transformed humans of the Freljord into the immortal Iceborn. The Iceborn were given great gifts, magic and immortality in return for their eternal loyalty. They conquered for The Watchers and built them a great civilisation, including the bridge and fortress looming over the Howling Abyss, which eventually amassed in to an enormous empire, all in preparation for the inevitable destruction of all existence. 

Fall of the Watchers

Avarosa, believing that their servitude to The Watchers was no different to being their slaves, led the Iceborn in rebellion against the Watchers. This culminated in to a long bloody battle across the bridge known as the Howling Abyss. Countless Iceborn were killed, but they eventually won the battle, with Avarosa's sister, Lissandra, weaving a spell to sacrifice armies of Iceborn, possibly including her sisters, to entomb the Watchers in a glacial prison of True Ice underneath the bridge. 

Erased From History

While many believed The Watchers were dead, they were merely imprisoned in a magical statsis of True Ice under the Howling Abyss. This took the lives of many Iceborn, possibily Avarosa and Serylda, themselves. To cover up her past mistakes in pledging allegiance to The Watchers, Lissandra rewrote the history of the Freljord, turning the tales of the Watchers into that of myths and songs. She now fears the day they return, with each nine runic seal that holds their prison slowly fading away.

Physiology

While in the Void, the Watchers are formless beings, reflecting the nothingness of the Void. In the material world, the physical appearance of the Watchers is seen in the short story, The Eye in the Abyss, where they appear to possess unearthly "tentacled limbs" surrounding a great, lidless eye. According to Missing Link, they may also possess horns of some sort. 

In the dreams of the Watchers, there is nothing. And more nothing. And more nothing. A horizon of nothing, framed by mountains of nothing. Above all that nothing? A sky of nothing, with dense clouds of nothing.


Trivia

  • Cyclopean, statues litter the bridge crossing the Howling Abyss. The monsters carved into the rock look like nothing that the world has seen.[1]
    • It is possible that the statues are based on Balestrider. Riot used the Watcher concepts for these creatures. The ancient Frejlordian may have seen the creatures as Watchers, so they build the statues based on them.
  • Balestrider designs were originally concepted to be used for the Watchers. This concept was later altered and used for this new race and introduced in the Legends of Runeterra icon.png Legends of Runeterra card game.
    • It is possible that many intepretation of the Watchers was based on the visible Balestrider. Ancient Frejlordian may have seen the creatures as Watchers, so they build the statues based on them.
  • Gnar Gnar was attacked by a creature resembling the Watchers in ancient times.[2]
  • Bard's Bard's promo, The Wonder from Above, was the first proper depiction of a Watcher shown as a constellation in the night sky.
  • Prior to the reveal of Vel'Koz's Vel'Koz's lore and his Q&A, there was a popular theory that Vel'Koz was one of the Frozen Watchers - due to visual similarities and a literal interpretation of Lissandra's quote, "The Watchers were sent howling into the abyss." It was confirmed that Vel'Koz specifically is not one of Lissandra's Watchers, although a connection between the Watchers and the Void was left up-in-the-air.
    • Their true origins was finally revealed with The Voids lore update, where the Watchers became the masters of all the Voidborn that also work to usher in total oblivion across Runeterra.
  • In Vel'Koz's Vel'Koz's lore update it is implied that the Watchers first arrived to Runeterra between the reign of the Firstborn (Anivia Anivia, Ornn Ornn and Volibear Volibear), likely during the formation of the first modern humans and Gnar's Gnar's arrival to Runeterra, and the reign of the Three Sisters (Avarosa, Lissandra Lissandra and Serylda). 
    • Additionally, the creation of the prototype models of the modern Voidborns was done in response to Lissandra Lissandra imprisoning the Watchers, so they could gather information and terraform Runeterra safely.
    • Is possible that most of the Watcher's reign over Freljord happened while still within the Void, reigning through the Three Sisters while these and the rest of the Iceborn were still their servants, and physically manifested only to face the Iceborn's insurrection.
    • Remains unknown precisely in which moment of the timeline were the Watcher's born.
    • Remains unexplained how the Great Void War happened, as it was prior to both the Watcher's arrival to Runeterra and the conception of the Voidborns they created.
  • The Constellation of the Frozen Watchers, in the Northern hemisphere of Runeterra, signalizes the end of the autumn harvest and the beginning of winter.
  • The Eye of the Watchers Eye of the Watchers was created in the image of the Frozen Watchers, and most likely dates back to the time of their reign.
  • The Watcher, or their minions, of the Freljord share some similarities with Poro Poro and Yeti Yeti, in terms of their appearance.
  • It was stated by RiotJaredan that the Watchers may return during Braum's Braum's lifetime.[3]

Media

References

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