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Arcane: Romanticising Silco

Arcane has blown up for a lot of reasons, and I am a fan of the series. The production is incredible, and the story was unpredictable enough for me to enjoy it. Naturally one of the best parts about Arcane was that it was a story for all to enjoy, and not just for people familiar with the lore. The fandom has, since its release, celebrated Arcane with some incredible fan art, a lot of memes, some amazing cosplay and a whole lot of comics.

Much Needed Disclaimer

One area of Arcane that I feel compelled to talk about today, is Silco, our antagonist. I’ve seen some incredible art of Silco as well; however, there’s one perspective on our villain which I’d like to discuss today. It might be a rather controversial one because I’ve seen so much of the fandom celebrate it instead, but I’m hoping to address it in a way where I can make myself clear. It is, after all, an opinion piece, but I hope you can divulge your thoughts on the subject so we can have a proper discussion. My comments section and mind are open.

Today’s Perspective

I’ve never found Silco to be a complicated villain. He is a villain and he’s got his story right. However, there’s a lot about him that has been overshadowed or ignored by the fandom due to the relationship he shares with Jinx. The relationship with Jinx that is so fervently celebrated by the fandom is a mere illusion of a wholesome sense of fatherhood. I don’t mean to say he didn’t care about her, or her well-being. But there are so many instances that show what a harmful person he ended up being, to the very people he wanted to fight for, and to her, which the fandom conveniently glosses over.

Let’s take a look at Silco for he was.

Pride. Not prejudice.

Silco’s leaning down to Vander, possibly the last attempt at convincing him that the fight he’s leading was for the respect that the nation of Zaun deserved.

This might give you the impression that he genuinely cared about the people representing the very Zaun he sought to create, but we couldn’t be more wrong. This fight was about Silco’s pride. It may have stemmed from a much more noble goal, but with Vander’s betrayal, he became a changed man. On a quest for power and control after Vander’s demise, he gave the Lanes an unending supply of Shimmer; further deteriorating an already crumbling community.

He doesn’t care about the people he’s supposedly fighting for. It’s turned into a fight to prove who was right in their approach to freedom.

Always Looking Back

Betrayal is a painful experience. It’s only natural to be traumatised by it. It’s the kind of event that has the power to change your beliefs and understanding. But to subject other people to this new perspective you religiously believe, should be unacceptable.

Powder and Vi were broken apart by Vander’s death and the misunderstanding that followed it. Silco and Vander’s problem was a far bigger and deeper issue, something that wasn’t very likely to be resolved at all. And for him to see himself in Powder at all is incredibly far fetched. This is just the first layer, the beginning of what would be perceived as a justification for their relationship. Whether this projection of him and his past is conscious or subconscious we can’t be sure of.

The Master Manipulator

Perhaps it is loneliness that drove Silco to do whatever it took to keep ‘Jinx’ by his side. He needed someone to understand, sympathise and validate the motivations for his decisions. So he lied, time and again to someone he supposedly cared about. Silco is the parent that lies to their child under the pretence of their welfare.

Silco drills in Jinx that he’s the only one she’s got, and that he needs her. And yes, it is true. He does need her. However, it becomes evident throughout the show that he most needed her to fuel his motivations and agenda. He reminds her of everything he’s done for her as if to imply that it’s her turn to show some gratitude, and do what he says in return.

His behaviour is generally identified as emotional abuse, which is a serious issue, and yet there’s hardly any talk about this.

Even if Jinx could tell what was being done to her, even if she called him out on his lies, her reaction to his death speaks volumes of the hold he had on her. I’m not denying that he never cared for her. He was dependent on her in his way. Was she like a daughter to him? Of course!

But parents aren’t saints.

Now that we’ve established Silco’s personality, it’s time to look into the motivation of this topic.

The Problem

As mentioned, people aren’t talking enough about Silco and what he’s subjected Jinx to. He’s done some serious damage, and what I see the fandom focusing on is the perceived wholesomeness of their relationship. There are many comics online celebrating what a “father” Silco turned out to be. While it is fun, and well within a fan’s right to make; I feel the very obvious is being ignored. Their dynamic is viewed through rose-tinted glasses and does not send a very good message. This is a cause for concern. Yes, they cared about each other, but ignoring Silco’s actions doesn’t seem like a good way to go. Fans especially might think they have a lot more in common due to the circumstances in which they met; but he approached her, a little girl that was crying her heart out, with a knife in his hand which he hid.

The Bigger Picture

My frustration stems from having seen many peers not taking others seriously when they face issues with their parents. They might have manipulative or abusive. It’s always been a hard topic for anyone to hear. People would rather believe parents are not capable of doing bad things. As a result, they get brushed aside. We are taught to be grateful to our parents. Taught to never speak ill of them. We are taught to respect, possibly fear them. The act of not believing someone when they talk about an issue regarding their parents can be disheartening. You could argue that this point, in particular, might be a little far-fetched in the context of Silco and Jinx, and you might be right. But the point is that we can open discussions up being so that it isn’t such a taboo to call your parents out on abuse.

And that’s all for today.


Read my first impressions of Arcane!

Check out the Season 2 Announcement!

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