As he so succinctly puts in in one of his voice lines, the one that can be found on each of his skins, even the honorable Justicar Aatrox one, he is not an enemy. Aatrox is The Enemy.
Joining the mid-lane prophet, Malzahar, and his army of minions that can be found in all other roles in the game, Aatrox is trying to undo the world. As we will explain here, though, his motivations are a bit different.
Who is Aatrox in League of Legends lore?
Aatrox is one of the most epic looking, and badbutt top lane champions in League of Legends, with his voice lines sending chills down our spines. But what is his lore, exactly?
Well, Aatrox is one of the five Darkin champions in the world of League of Legends. More specifically, he is the Darkin Blade, one which will be The World Ender given enough time.
His existence is confined to his sword, and Aatrox can only move when he is being wielded by mortals when he damages their souls and takes over their bodies.
Before his corruption, Aatrox was once one of the Shuriman Ascended, much like Nasus and Renekton still are.
As he was one of the first Shurimans to be granted the opportunity to Ascend, he was also one of the most respected and was considered an honorable defender of the civilized world. After the death of Azir though, this all changes for the worse.
What are League of Legends’ Darkin?
Prior to the release of Rakan into the game, and his champion teaser, it was believed that the Darkin, Aatrox chief among them, are demons.
However, in Rakan’s champion teaser it was discovered and later confirmed by Riot via lore, that neither Aatrox nor the other Darkin in League of Legends are Demons.
Instead, Darkin in League of Legends are the fallen Shuriman Ascended. Currently, there are three Darkin champions in League of Legends, with four, actual, Shuriman Ascended still alive. Shuriman Ascended are, in a sense, similar to the Aspects of Targon.
Their Ascension imbues them with the power of the stars and the sun, allowing them to transcend mortal limits. This proves incredibly dangerous once they start abusing this power, which was Aatrox’s undoing.
Is Aatrox Still Alive?
According to League of Legends lore, and himself, Aatrox is neither alive nor dead. Instead, he exists on borrowed time whenever he manages to take possession of a host body, until it, inevitably, gets destroyed by not being able to contain Aatrox’s power.
This kind of existence is precisely why Aatrox is seeking to be the world’s end. As he cannot find death for himself, perhaps, if the entire world gets destroyed, then so will he.
Why did Aatrox Become Evil?
As we, previously said, Aatrox used to be an honorable guard of the civilized Shuriman empire. He was one of its Ascended, Shurima’s God-warriors.
What changed everything was the rebellion of Icathia. Once a province of the Shuriman Empire, they rebelled and summoned Void beasts into the world, such as the ADC champion Kog’Maw.
Aatrox, alongside his brethren, answered the call to arms. The bloodshed and the horrors of the Void they witnessed that day damaged their very essence and psyche.
After the death of Shurima’s emperor, Azir, and the fall of the empire, the mentally scarred Ascended fell to in-fighting. During this time, Aatrox lost all sense of purpose and corrupted himself, from the beacon of honor he once was, to the Darkin we know today.
How was Aatrox Trapped?
The might of the Darkin was not something that the mortals of Runeterra could contest with Not even the Targonian Aspects could take them on in direct combat, with Aatrox killing the Aspect of War, Pantheon, in a one on one duel. Instead, the Aspect of Twilight, what Zoe is today, taught them how to trap the Darkin inside their own weapons.
Aatrox, as the most powerful Darkin, was the first to be trapped. The spell was not perfected, however, and it is believed it has damaged him somehow.
Nevertheless, the once-proud God-warriors are now reduced to mere cursed weapons, having to live their lives in complete sensory deprivation, a fate worse than death. As such, Aatrox’s sword, The Darkin Blade, has no name. Instead, Aatrox is the sword himself and shares his old titles with it.
While today Aatrox is one of League of Legends’ antagonists, his story cannot make you hate him. After all, his evil nature stems from the traumatic experiences he has been forced to live through, and all he wants is the end to his suffering.
Hopefully, it will come at the hands of Illaoi’s deity, which is said to be able to completely kill the Darkin, instead of having the world itself end. In any case, before that time comes, all we can do is have some fun playing the game.