League of Legends

Gwen’s Design: Why It Works

LeagueofLegends11 - Gwen's Design: Why It Works

So, this is definitely a somewhat controversial topic, but I figured I'd give my thoughts on why I think Gwen's design is fantastic for what she is.

Why Isn't She Creepy?

Well, Gwen isn't really related to the Shadow Isles directly.

  • Her teaser video shows her stuck in a drawer, not going to the Blessed Isles.
  • She ended up underwater, but we don't know where or how. This isn't necessarily the Shadow Isles themselves.
  • She was given life by part of Isolde's soul, which appears free from corruption.
  • She is the Hallowed Seamstress, implying sanctification, purity, and holiness.

As such, it makes little sense for her to appear creepy, possessed, or monstrous. Since she was transformed by a pure magic (especially since her abilities and title suggest the magic of the Blessed Isles themselves), she should not be creepy or appear violent or antagonistic.

Why Isn't She More Doll-Like?

Being a doll was Gwen's origin, but it doesn't appear to be her story. She is The Hallowed Seamstress, not The Blessed Doll. Unlike Orianna, The Lady of Clockwork her status as a doll isn't critical to what she has become. Additionally, if we look at the trailer, she was transformed, not animated, so it's possible that whatever magic created her did away with much of her doll-like natural.

Even then, we have some subtle nods to her origins:

  • Her arm has a thin, spectral stitching line.
  • Her tights are a combination of patchwork-like fabrics, with horizontal elements representing seams.

So her design has nods to her origin that remind us she was a doll and was magically transformed to her current state, but gives more visual space to what she is now and what she will be going forward. Deemphasizing her origin in her design is an acknowledgement that while it's how she came to be, it is not what defines her. She's not a champion because she's a magic doll — she's a champion because of what she became, and how she defines herself in the future.

Why Is She Cute?

  • It helps to sell the wide-eyed, curious personality of an entity that never expected to be alive, and now is. From what little we have of her VO she seems joyful and excited to experience the world, and set on ensuring that it is not taken from her.
  • It's an interesting juxtaposition with her spectral weapon and ties to the horrors of the Shadow Isles.
  • It's not uncommon to imagine that if a child's toy were brought to life through magic, it would be appear as something cute and harmless rather than something ugly or creepy.
  • Yes, Riot does know that attractive/cute champions tend to be popular, but I consider this simply one of several considerations that justify this appearance.

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