Smolder has officially hit the Rift in League of Legends – this moment has been a long time coming. The fiesty little firebreather was unveiled at the start of 2024 to mixed reactions, and has already been sent back to the drawing board (literally) when players criticized the fact his face looked more human than dragon. But, following his official release, eagle-eyed players have spotted yet another change to the fiery fledgling.
Cast your mind back to Smolder’s first release video (I know, my memory sucks, too). You’ll remember him recalling that the Camavorans – the nation that League of Legends‘ resident Ruined King, Viego, once ruled over – “knew how to treat dragons like royalty.”
This particular thread is explored in more detail as part of his official bio on the MOBA‘s website. It currently states that, when Viego asks the dragons to accompany him to the Blessed Isles to save the dying Isolde, the dragons “refuse, seeming to recognize his madness for what it was.” While they still succumb to the Ruination and their numbers dwindle as a result, they do not accompany Viego, Kalista, Ledros, and Hecarim to Helia.
However, that’s not how the original bio was released. As spotted by u/Boudynasr, the original bio states that the dragons did, indeed, accompany Viego to Helia as they “did not recognize his madness for what it was.” It goes on to state that “the few that remained in Camavor bore witness to seemingly endless neglect and conflict, roosting within the deteriorating place as the once-great kingdom fell to ruin around them.”
This is, of course, at odds with the Ruination novel. As someone who has read it once or twice, I can confirm that no dragons accompany Viego to Helia, meaning the original bio clashes entirely with the now-canon lore. Coming into League of Legends Season 14, Riot announced that it was committed to ensuring that the game’s lore remains on track and free of inconsistencies, so this feels a little confusing.
Following the bio’s release, League of Legends’ narrative director Laurie ‘Scathlocke’ Goulding was quick to clarify that “no dragons went WITH Viego to Helia.” She does, however, note that “That’s not to say that no Camavoran dragon EVER went there, though!
“I can well imagine at least one or two might have gone to see if they could find their lost mortal king… and maybe came to an equally grim end! But that’s not really relevant to Smolder’s origins, so we’ve adjusted for clarity.”
Sure, that kills my new excuse to go and reread Ruination for the third time (and, in turn, buy that absolutely stunning special edition), but I’m glad a fix has come through. Ruination, for me, is easily one of League’s best stories, and I’d hate to see it forgotten about.
I’d also hate to see the idea of a Ruination-corrupted dragon be forgotten too, though so c’mon Riot, tells us about the dragons who might have made it to The Shadow Isles, hint hint, wink wink, nudge nudge.
With Smolder out in the wild though, I’d suggest that you check out our LoL tier list to see where he fits in the current meta. Or, if you, like me, are looking to get competitive this season, we have a rundown of all the different LoL ranks.