Despite not having a playable counterpart in League of Legends or being a part of the previously standing lore, Silco has become one of the most memorable characters from Arcane. Riot Games’ animated series sent shock waves around the world, becoming one of the most-viewed shows in countless countries.
Jason Spisak gave his insights into the motivations and relationships of the Zaunite industrialist in an interview with Upcomer, going into detail about the character’s gray areas—from the near paternalistic treatment with Jinx to his less-than-legal dealings in Zaun.
Silco—Villain or hero?
Silco is a morally dubious character. The underworld boss has notoriously pumped the addictive purple elixir, Shimmer, throughout the undercity. Though exploiting the downtrodden of the undercity, Silco similarly seeks to tackle the vast wealth gap between Piltover and Zaun and pave the way for a new nation for his people.
When on the topic of Silco’s morality, Spisak said Silco is “just the hero of a different story told from a different perspective.” Likening the characters of Arcane to famous protagonists and antagonists of the past, Spisak mentioned Shakespeare as an example of moral gray areas in fiction. “You’ll quickly learn that many of Shakespeare’s characters are not one thing or the other,” he said, “and they’re not one thing or the other with a given character on screen.”
Even Silco’s foil, the paternalist Vander, is far from perfect. The brotherly figure to Silco notably betrayed his counterpart during their first revolution attempt, then worked with Piltover to maintain the status quo. Though both characters ultimately work to improve their city, the two radically different approaches emphasize the moral complexity of this world.
“Don’t cry, you’re perfect.”
Silco’s relationship with Jinx is just as contentious for fans as his intentions for the nation of Zaun. Though clearly acting as a father figure for the maniacal tinkerer, many also hold that Silco manipulated Jinx to be a tool of his devices. Though the class divide between Piltover and Zaun claimed the childhood of many characters, Silco’s influence likely expedited the process for Powder, since he encouraged her transition to the notorious Jinx.
Even though Silco is “the puppet master in the shadows,” as Spisak put it in an interview with ScreenRant, he genuinely cares for Jinx. She is “the perfect embodiment of what Zaun is” in the eyes of Silco, according to Spisak—perhaps why audiences begin to see Silco’s more human and relatable side when paired with Jinx. This creates a strong duality for the character. Fans can interpret his morals in different manners, and Spisak doesn’t seem to have a preference.
“I don’t get mad at people who see Silco one way or the other,” he said. “I’m overjoyed that they see him at all; that’s my job.”