Lorecraft Episode 7: Sona, Character Design, and preparing for the Shadow Isles.

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3 years ago#1
What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Sona? - Results (101 votes)
She's a support champion based around stance changing.
24.75% (25 votes)
Her color scheme is mostly greens and blues with a bit of yellow.
7.92% (8 votes)
Her sound design is based around string instruments.
7.92% (8 votes)
Her visual design is equal parts traditional values and modernization.
2.97% (3 votes)
She is disabled and unable to speak, despite being based around sound and music.
10.89% (11 votes)
45.54% (46 votes)
This poll is now closed.
This won't come as a surprise to most of you, but I really like Sona. Although not my favorite champion (see sig) and not even my favorite Support (Taric too stronk atm), Sona is easily one of my favorite characters and I would consider her in the top three for best characters Riot has made for their game. So I'm quite interested in talking about her.

Her lore doesn't really cover much about her. We know that she was an orphan from Ionia with a magic instrument that never left her side, she eventually was adopted by a Demacian Musician named Lestara Buvelle, and that Sona performed for several concerts before discovering that she could produce tangible musical effects with her instrument (aka she could cut things with sound). She practiced this in secret and then joined the League to showcase her talent.

Which isn't exactly a unique background, there are quite a few champions that join the league in pursuit of mastering their skills (Wukong, Heimerdinger, etc). What makes Sona so interesting is the layers that encompass her story.

Let's start off with our timeline. Where was Sona during the Ionian war? We know that she was adopted when she was in her teen years after being dropped off at the orphanage as an infant, which would be anywhere from newborn to about 3. So we can say with some confidence that she was at the orphanage for about 14 years, which neatly coincides with the entirety of the war. The good news about this revelation is that we learn Sona's parents did not abandon her because they didn't love her. They most likely abandoned her because they were killed by Noxians. Which still sucks, but isn't quite as heart breaking. We can also speculate that Sona's inability to speak is built upon whatever tragic circumstances took her parents from her. It was a war after all, who is to say that Singed didn't bomb her village with some horrific chemical?

But for now we will assume that it is not Singed's fault but rather that her disability is magical in nature. The other thing we know about Sona is that in addition to not being adopted for a decade and a half she had a magical instrument. The orphanage tried to sell it several times in order to save up some money in anticipation of her becoming an adult and leaving the orphanage, but for a variety of circumstances it always came back. We could make all sorts of fun conjectures about this, amusing ourselves with the thoughts of the orphanage being kept afloat financially because they had Sona's instrument to sell over and over again, but that doesn't really affect her Lore at all.

Lestara learned about Sona because she heard rumors about the instrument. She originally visited the Orphanage to buy it, and upon examining it began searching the house for something, stopping at Sona's room. Lestara then instructed Sona in how to use it. We don't know if Lestara had anything to do with Sona discovering the other applications of her song. We can assume that she knows now (Champions are fairly well known to the public) but with Sona practicing in private we're left to speculate that she did not.

Next, let's talk Sona's visual design, because it's intimately related to her lore. I have no way to tell at the time of writing this, but I'm pretty sure most people will say that Sona's physical appearance is what they think of first about her. Although she wears a traditional style opera dress with a shawl, the color scheme, exposed shoulders, and dyed hair all serve to draw attention to her.

Remember that Sona is a war orphan. Most humans learn the fine art of communicating by practicing with our peers as we grow up. Sona wouldn't have experienced this. Most of her peers would be adopted and replaced with other orphans who wouldn't know her. Combined with her inability to speak, and Sona most likely has a poor foundation for communicating with other people.
I'm actually incredibly overly passionate and...whats the word...viscous? - EltoniaX
3 years ago#2
So, how does a young teenager who doesn't understand how to communicate with people go about trying? Well, the first step is to get people to notice her. Hence her outfit being specifically designed to attract attention. Once she has done that, she can attempt to convey her feelings through her music and facial expressions.

You could loosely generalize Riot’s champion visual design into 3 categories. You have the designs that work, like Irelia. She a woman in oriental armor, so it's easy to connect that with her lore of being the Captain of the Guard for Ionian. You have visual design that conflicts with character design, such as Vayne. Vayne is supposed to be a no-nonsense hunter of evil, and yet she risks breaking her neck every time she tumbles because she's wearing high heels for no discernible reason. Her visual design goes against what we are led to understand about the champion. And then you have design like Sona's that reinforces what we know about the character. She's a lonely musician with poor communication skills who relies on her physical appearance to make her presence known in any situation where she cannot use her music.

Furthermore, her animations, her sound design, the way her music filters in and out of the audio as if it were an ethereal aura around her, the chaotic nature of her hair and shawl juxtaposed against the order of her silhouette... I could go on and on about the genius behind her visual design, but the point is that it's well and beyond what most other champions achieve. As I mentioned, there are a couple other champions who meet this same level of excellence and I'm super excited to talk about them when they get their turn, but that probably won't be for a while >__>''

Alright, so all of this buildup was so that we could talk about Sona's Judgment, the examination of her mind before she officially joined the League. If you haven't read it before, you can find it here:

We learn (well, confirm since I covered some of it) a lot about Sona in her judgement. About her loneliness growing up, about her desire to be noticed, about her desire to defy her fate, her love of her adopted mother, and so on.

We also learn quite a bit we didn't know. For one, her instrument is both a tool and a guardian. It seeks to protect her, almost as if it has a mind of it's own. Furthermore, Sona wasn't always... Sona. Pay special attention to this line:

Opening her mouth, she began to speak for the first time in her life. Her breath caught in her throat, short of uttering her first sound, when a booming voice from the recesses of her dim memory resounded in her mind.

This instrument will be the key to unlocking the world. It will speak for you more truly than a voice ever could. Nothing else – not us, them, or any magic in this world will ever own you again.

Almost of its own accord, her hand flung outwards and slammed down on the ethwahl next to her. Dissonance erupted, deafeningly loud, drowning out any sounds that might have spilled forth from her lips. As the tones faded away, so did the foreign tingling in her throat. The enchantment was gone, never to return.

From this, we can determine that at some point Sona was controlled by something else. Something that at the very least still had control over parts of her body, though it claims that it shall never own her again. And her Ethawl is not only a guardian, it's also a key that can unlock the world.

So basically Sona is a mute orphan hero that uses an instrument to invoke magical effects and is also a key to unlocking her world. She's basically a combination between Hatsune Miku, Link from Ocarina of Time, a Keyblade user from Kingdom Hearts, and Little Orphan Annie. I'm on board with this.
I'm actually incredibly overly passionate and...whats the word...viscous? - EltoniaX
3 years ago#3
Gotta get that candy corn.
3 years ago#4
Alright, so not only is Sona really well put together, she's also pretty significant in the Lore. Not in the Ionian War; Sona joined the League shortly before Lee Sin's protest, but she didn't have a role in the rematch. No, Sona's major lore contribution comes from Pentakill.

Most champion skins are non-canon. We assume that they exist outside of the Lore unless we are told otherwise. So Riven never dressed up as a Bunny Waitress in order to attack Swain, Cho'Gath doesn't have a top hat, and Nami doesn't have a sister named Koi-Nami. However, some of the skins showed up in news articles, which makes them canon. Shen and Akali performed at the celebration after the Ionian Rematch in their Blood Moon Skins. Ashe and Tryndamere actually got married in their King/Queen skins. The ninja trio are all certified doctors who helped apply immunizations to champions during a viral outbreak at the League. And far more interestingly, Mordekaiser and Sona gave an interview about their newly formed heavy metal band, Pentakill.

Actually, to be accurate Morde responded to the interview, Sona mostly nodded at appropriate points.

Pentakill being canon presents an interesting challenge. Sona doesn't really have a lot in common with Mordekaiser, Olaf, Yorick, or Karthus. Or really much of anything in common at all. But it has to exist for a reason, or it wouldn't exist at all. And that reason will give us a nice transition into the Shadow Isles.

The Shadow Isles are kind of a huge Lore problem. There's a lot that we don't know about it, but the recent Twisted Treeline update does answer a for questions. At some point in time, the Isle was united under a rule that currently does not exist. The island appears fractured, which obvious points of tension between Mordekaiser and Hecarim. This is all gleamed from the Souls in the capture points of TT, who will talk to Shadow Isle champs that capture them. If you want to check out those messages, I recommend this Youtube video.

Knowing that Hecarim and Morde oppose one another, we can assume that the members of Pentakill align behind Morde (since they work together and all), which leaves Elise, Evelynn and Thresh behind Hecarim (a 5v4? How unfair!). It is unclear whether or not Maokai or Nocturne have any allegiance in this matter; they were created within the Isles, but otherwise don't seem connected. Yet.

For the most part, Champions that are convicted threats to society are imprisoned within the League. brand, Nocturne, and Fiddles have all killed tons of dudes. And while there are other evil champions, they either haven't done anything evil yet (Syndra, Veigar) or are protected by a nation that endorses them (Singed, Swain). Which makes it's own perfect bit of sense, up until Hecarim leads a bloody charge across half of Demacia, slaughtering tons of innocent people and leaving desolate, lifeless ground in his wake. he then marches to the League of Legends and demands entry, at which point he was promptly imprisoned for killing all those people and awaits interrogation before being locked awa- Oh wait, no, none of that happened at all. He was allowed access to the League where to this day he amasses Influence in preparation of his war.

This is another one of those things that doesn't make sense. Hecarim isn't exactly subtle. Neither is Thresh for that matter. At least Elise and Evelyn have some discretion about their murders, with some appropriate amount of cleanup. And their victims are practically asking for it by the end of the process. But the only way to justify The League not acting on this issue is to assume that something or someone is.

Which is where Karthus comes in, but not until next episode.
I'm actually incredibly overly passionate and...whats the word...viscous? - EltoniaX
3 years ago#5
ElderPredator12 posted...
[ Aphoristic (360/Steam/League) | Aphoristic92 (PS3) ]
[ 'Look at that dang-ass dang!' - Arin Hansen ]
3 years ago#6
The things is we don't know where she comes from.

Yes she was found at the orphanage. Key word is found, not born.

Now with all the mystery around her and her instrument, I always believe that she not from a magical, but rather Celestial background.

Anyway, her outfit and eyes are the first things that come to mind for me.
My favorite League of Legend Champion: http://i.imgur.com/xx0hSNV.png
3 years ago#7
Off Topic, but what do you know about Mordekaiser?
GT: Chauvanistic - Only good player on gamefaqs - UMvC3 - Wesker - Doom - Strider - P4A - Teddie- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZP7-8Q2kTe4 - 2:50
3 years ago#8
From: matrix0523 | #007
Off Topic, but what do you know about Mordekaiser?

A bunch of stuff that you'll find out next episode :P
I'm actually incredibly overly passionate and...whats the word...viscous? - EltoniaX
3 years ago#9
From: Suffer_Not | #008
From: matrix0523 | #007
Off Topic, but what do you know about Mordekaiser?

A bunch of stuff that you'll find out next episode :P

You'll be hearing from me if you don't deliver! Lol.
GT: Chauvanistic - Only good player on gamefaqs - UMvC3 - Wesker - Doom - Strider - P4A - Teddie- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZP7-8Q2kTe4 - 2:50
3 years ago#10
Where's the option that says "She's very lovely and is the best poster on the League of Legends GameFAQs board?"
Don't worry Summoner. Sona_Buvelle will protect you.
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