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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 are responsible for transforming Freljord native beings into Iceborn, who would later rebel against The Watchers' rule. In the mostly forgotten myth, the Howling Abyss was built to contain The Watchers by Ornn Ornn at the request of the Three Iceborn Sisters.

Lore

Other Related Champions

  • Bel'Veth Bel'Veth is a Voidborn created from the raw material of an entire devoured city and created by the Watchers, she understands the Watchers' motives, but has a low opinion of her creators for failing to understand the potential she saw. The Watchers' goals to destroy creation collide with Bel'Veth's desire to remake it, so she defies them and is even willing to make deals with humanity to stop them.
  • 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 existence is a mystery, even to themselves. Until 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 the physical universe, existed in the vast blackness of nothing. In their curious and spiteful intent of understanding the material universe, they reached out to mortals, looking for a chance to invade the material realm, to destroy it, to silence the intolerable pulsing of reality beyond the Void. The Watchers were immensely powerful, and transformed living beings of the Freljord into the Iceborn. The first Iceborn were given great gifts, magic and potentially even some degree of immortality in return for their loyalty. They conquered for the Watchers and built for themselves a great civilization.

Fall of the Watchers

Avarosa and Serylda, believing that their servitude to The Watchers was no different to being their slaves, led the Iceborn in rebellion against the Watchers. During the final confrontation of the Three Sisters, the Watchers breached through a rift. The boldest of them tore open the veil and hurled themselves upward, only to be horribly disoriented by the sudden shift between the abyss and the corporeal, linear nature of reality. In an instant, they experienced time, and heat, and pain. Realizing their true nature, Lissandra weaved a spell to sacrifice armies of Iceborn, including her sisters, to entomb the Watchers in a glacial prison of True Ice underneath the bridge. 

The Aftermath

A Watcher observing an Iceborn.

While many believed The Watchers were dead, they were merely put in a magical stasis by True Ice under the Howling Abyss. This took the lives of many Iceborn, possibly 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 of the nine runic seals that holds their prison slowly fading away.

Knowing their deal with Lissandra had gone wrong, the Watchers adapted. They took from the crude matter that comprised it, shaping, corrupting and imbuing it with consciousness. These constructs were the first of the Voidborn, and would be their masters' eyes and ears, sent forth into the nightmare of existence to watch, listen, and learn.

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 may vary based on their surroundings. As described in Legend of the Frozen Watchers, during its first physical contact with Runeterra, a Watcher sprouted horns, and patches of fur, and its colossal tentacular limbs grew into jointed humanoid arms with fingers that clawed the bare rock of the mountainsides. In their physical forms, the Watchers are bound by the rules of Runeterra, which allowed Lissandra to temporarily imprison some of them in True Ice.

As seen by Lissandra, the dreams of the Watchers consist of utter nothingness.

Trivia

  • With LoR Champion Indicator.png3Lissandra's introduction to Legends of Runeterra icon.png Legends of Runeterra, the first official, canonical visual appearance of a Watcher was shown, though it is possible that no Watcher to enter Runeterra Crest icon.png Runeterra would look the same, considering the description of one Watcher taking form as it entered the world in Legend of the Frozen Watchers.
  • Cyclopean statues litter the bridge crossing the Howling Abyss. The monsters carved into the rock look like nothing that the world has ever seen.[1]
    • It is possible that the statues are based on Balestriders. Riot used the Watcher concepts for these creatures. The ancient Freljordians may have seen the creatures as Watchers, so they built the statues based on them.
  • The Balestriders' designs are based on the Watchers.
    • It is possible that this is due to the Balestriders having been affected by the power of the Watchers.
  • Gnar Gnar was attacked by a creature resembling the Watchers in ancient times.[2]
  • Bard's Bard's promotional story, 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 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 Void's 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 and Lissandra's lore update it is implied that the Watchers first arrived in 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 arrival to Runeterra, and the reign of the Three Sisters (Avarosa, Lissandra and Serylda). 
    • Additionally, the creation of the prototype models of the modern Voidborns was in response to Lissandra imprisoning the Watchers, so they could gather information and terraform Runeterra safely.
    • It is possible that most of the Watchers' reign over the 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.
    • It remains unknown precisely in which moment of the timeline the Watchers became conscious.
  • The appearance of the Constellation of the Frozen Watchers, in the Northern Hemisphere of Runeterra, signals 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 Watchers, or their minions, of the Freljord share some similarities with Poros and Yetis, in terms of their appearance.[citation needed]
  • It was stated by RiotJaredan that the Watchers may return during Braum's Braum's lifetime.[3]

Media

References

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