As discussed in the past, cosmic horror is what makes Lovecraftian fiction shine. Authors like Lovecraft, Ligotti and Junji Ito make readers feel their own insignificance in the face of a malevolent cosmic force dictating humanity’s doom. When executed well, this horror works because it banks almost entirely on the fear of the unknown, yet ends up chillingy believable due to its philosophical, speculative nature.
I want to analyze League's Watchers because I think the allegory behind them is too obvious to be a pure coincidence.
##I think the Watchers/the Void are an allegory for the Great Filter in the context of the Fermi paradox.
In short, many of you have probably heard about the Fermi Paradox. It says that if the Universe has existed for billions of years and there are so many stars with Earth-like planets, then how come we've encountered no evidence of alien life, or even alien life capable of interstellar travel and expansion? Also known as Fermi's famous “Where is everybody?” this paradox has several proposed solutions, one of which is the Great Filter.
Essentially some scientist think **there exists a cosmic principle that makes alien civilisations unlikely to survive until they become technologically advanced**. This can be anything, from the fact that once a species discovers nukes or fossil fuels or nanotech it inevitably makes its planet uninhabitable, to a literal malevolent alien patrol dedicated to wiping out life as soon as it is born. Here a video I like:
I think the really clever bit about the Void in League is a metaphor for all of the above, and maybe more:
* In McNeill's [Icathia](https://universe.leagueoflegends.com/en_US/story/where-icathia-once-stood/) we see the self-destructive impulse of an enslaved nation as they invoke the Void to destroy both their enemies and themselves. Here, I think, opening a Void rift shares many characteristics with nuclear warfare.
* In Reynolds’ [Eye in the Abyss](https://universe.leagueoflegends.com/en_AU/story/the-eye-in-the-abyss/) we see the malevolent cosmic patrol bit of it, and we follow the Frostguard on a tense and futile battle to hold the end of the world at bay. There's something quintessentially lovecraftian in the cold, hard intelligence of the beings that will inevitably bring about the end of Runeterra.
The Void is both of the above, the absence of things, annihilation one way or another. It's also endlessly poetic how, just like us, Runeterrans both fight their own destruction and subconsciously desire it.
##Finally, it’s scary because it’s real, a concept that to this day terrifies scientists and philosophers alike.
So, if this is an intentional allegory, well done lore team. I've not really talked to Rioters about the Void, so this is just speculation. But if it's correct, then it raises another question:
Are the Watchers the reason Runeterra is the only living world in the League universe, solving League's own Fermi Paradox?