Ahri – Kitsune
Ahri, the nine-tailed fox is a pretty apt representation of the Japanese yokai, Kitsune.
Kitsune are a common concept in Japan and can be found all throughout it’s history.
Most commonly appearing outside of temples nowadays as statues. You’ll most likely see them carrying a scroll or a jewel in their mouth, as they are said to be messengers to the Shinto God Inari.
Wukong – Sun Wukong, the monkey king
This popular Monkey from the League of Legends universe is taken from Chinese legends.
Sun Wukong is the lead character in the 16th century novel, Journey to the west, in which he is a monkey born of a stone, who obtains powers through practicing Taoism.
The inspiration is clear to see here, the characters are almost a one for one of each-other.
The monkey king even carries a pole as his weapon!
Some things that didn’t make it into the League of Legends character however, are the ability to transform into various animals and objects, the fact that each of his hairs possess power and can be transformed into clones of himself (what.), and the ability to control the elements.
I really like this one, I think I’ll have to give the actual book a read now.
Alistar – The minotaur
The mighty minotaur, said to dwell at the centre of the labyrinth, is a Greek myth portrayed with the head of a bull and the body of a man.
A mighty beast whom many tried and failed to fell. It was Theseus, the king and founder of Athens, who eventually defeated the creature.
Warwick – Werewolf
Here’s a common one! The werewolf, everyone’s favourite old-English tale. Belief in werewolves developed in the medieval period, and continues in some (slightly eccentric) cases, even today. The idea being that a human who falls under a curse, or is inflicted with a disease, or is even bitten by another werewolf, will “turn” on the night of a full moon, becoming the terrifying legend.
Warwick seems to undoubtedly get his name from the English town of Warwickshire, too. Fitting, really!
Nunu – The yeti
Another fairly common one is Nunu’s origins; the yeti, or “abominable snowman”. A well-known myth worldwide, but is strongly believed to be true by many. Especially those living in close-quarters to areas where sightings have been made.
Standing just taller than the average human, the yeti is an ape-like creature said to live in the Himalayan areas of Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet.
We’ll leave it at that for now, but there are plenty more where that came from! Riot are relentless with basing their characters on real-world mythology, and I’m a real sucker for that sort of stuff.
If there are any you’d like to know about or if I’ve made any errors in my research, leave a comment below and let’s get a discussion going.