Elise has always been my second favorite champion and I love her lore however, my issue is that she is not really standing on her own. Everyone who has relations with the Black Rose, Elise and Vlad and other big figures, have always appeared quite dependant on the circle and that the Black Rose is their main focus when that does not seem to be true at all. We have also gotten the idea that LeBlanc is the ultimate "ruler" of the Black Rose when the truth is that she is constantly fighting for power... Elise has never given me the feeling that she is her own boss, she and others always seemed to stand below LeBlanc and I feel like the narrative needs to focus on making Vladimir, Cassio and Elise more in charge of themselves rather than having it look like LeBlanc is breathing down their neck. With that being said we will discuss Elise's lore along with her portrayal in Legends of Runeterra and Vilemaw. This thread is made to explore her character and to give ideas how Riot can help Elise stand on her own as she currently does not seem to have any ambitions or goals and generally I do not have an issue with that but someone as powerful as Elise should have an agenda, so besides her traveling to the Shadow Isles every few hundred years to restore her youth, there really does not seem to be a big plan she is striving to execute...
Elise's lore tells us that she is the widow of house Zavaan and she is also in charge of her own house Kythera, she rules both very powerful houses in Noxus. Her story started out with her beauty manipulating those around her for power, including her husband who then poisoned her, making her look disfigured. She is then approached by LeBlanc in promise of restoring her looks in exchange for an artifact in the lair of the Spider God. Elise travels to the Shadow Isles and in a fortunate twist of events both the dagger she is supposed to retrieve and Vilemaw's poison transform her into an arachnoid beauty. Elise returns to Noxus and gives LeBlanc the artifact from the Shadow Isles. Every few hundred years she returns for Vilemaw to restore her beauty. LeBlanc gives Elise victims for her to offer to Vilemaw and Elise does that, in return Vilemaw returns youth to Elise. Upon coming back to Noxus, Elise brings back artifacts to LeBlanc as a thank you for the victims she can offer Vilemaw. A symbiotic relatonship between the three is born.
So here is the first evidence of how Elise has been portrayed as too dependant on the Black Rose and Leblanc. LeBlanc is giving Elise low- level members of the BR for Elise to offer to Vilemaw. The Spider Queen does not really need LB to give her people she can offer because she is very able to do that herself. Her beauty is her weapon and she needs no help in gathering volunteers as offerings to the Spider God. In this relationship I see LeBlanc as being forced into something where she does not need to be and Elise clearly not profiting from it. Leblanc has been put in there for the sake of showing that Elise, as well as other members of the Black Rose, are dependant on her (which they are not and this is probably an unwanted effect that Riot caused). I wish for her stand on her own and instead of her endeavors taking second place, the Black Rose should take second place.
An aspect of Elise I would like explored is her relationship with her spiderlings. Just like we explored Zyra's relationship with her "children", the zychids, and their importance to her operations, I would love for us to see how Elise benefits from her spiders and in what way does she use them to gather levearage over others and knowledge over her enemies (if she does). This begs a question, does she have immediate control over all spiderlings or only those who are in her presence? Can she also appear in other places of the world like Zyra can through her zychids? I imagine she can in one way or the other. Personally I believe that her relationship with her spiderlings is really like a parent-child relationship and that has not been shown **enough** in conjunction with her utilizing them for leverage over her foes.
In some ways yes, Elise has been portrayed to care about her spiderlings, especially in the LoR interactions and art. She seems to quite literally be their mother. From some cards we can see that she does lay eggs herself. Here we can see that there is spider eggs laying around, granted it may not be hers but she is definitely able to influence spiders to lay eggs.
Here however we can definitely assume that she is able to lay eggs, she actually seems to lay eggs in human corpses among others! The prey is spun in a cocoon by her and her spiderlings, the insides are probably eaten and left hollow for the eggs to remain in a warm and protected environment. The description and order of the cards can make it more clear:
**Vile Feast** - Drain 1 to *summon* a spiderling
And with that we have a pretty creepy description for what happens to the victims after the feast or even while the victims are alive:
**Crawling Sensation** - *That creeping feeling on your skin isn't nearly as unsettling as the one **underneath** it.*
Exploring her further relationships we have to touch on Vilemaw and his *dead* situation (I see you narrative 0.0). Vilemaw is somewhat lore- dead. At this time he is still Elise's Spider God and we should not expect that to change, because it shouldn't. However, he himself has not yet been explored enough in my opinion because if he truly is a demi- god or a spirit- god or whatever powerful being that he is supposed to be, he should be given more acknowledgment. I personally think that Vilemaw is something like a spirit- god, much like Anivia or Volibear. He probably resided on the Blessed Isles but when the Ruination happened, we got his evil and twisted form. Maybe he is the result of what happens when the Ruination hits a spirit- god. It is not that far fetched. If we assume that he is some kind of a spirit entity that can still manifest in a material form, again much like the demi- gods, then he would be awarded the power of materializing across Runeterra just like other powerful entities of the Shadow Isles! And here we may have an example of that happening:
The scenary looks like Demacia or even one of the states/settlements between Demacia or Noxus and there is a quote that goes along with the art!
> "Who is your god? What can your god do? Will he let you wither and die defending him? Or will he give you life and vitality like no mortal has ever known? Why serve a god who won't serve you?" - Elise
Does this tell us that Vilemaw is able to manifest in other regions? Or is that random art showing us Vilemaw on the Blessed Isles? I for once think that Elise may be able to summon him through a ritual or so.. It would make sense for it to be Demacia, maybe far fetched, let me know! We have evidence of Demacia exploring the Shadow Isles and obviously fighting a lot of spirits there, including spider entitites. My theory is that the image above is either Elise using Vilemaw by summoning him in some way or that Vilemaw came back to attack the rural area of Demacia because they invaded his domain and potentially killed his subjects like the Arachnoid Horror.
Furthermore I found an artpiece that was cancelled and never became official but nonetheless it does spark interest as it could explain how the Spider God feeds off of souls on the Shadow Isles. The possibility of these spider ghosts absorbing minor spirits and then that sustaining Vilemaw is there.
*Nightmare exploration where the spiders are sucking life-force out of weak spirits and treasure hunters. Kind of like dementors.*
**Lastly some random topics** I thought about while making this thread! Would you say that Vladimir knows of Elise? I assume yes but this is another wish of mine, exploring not only Elise's relationship with her Spiderlings but also the relationship of the Black Rose members, especially Vladimir and her! Along with that I am curious to know if Elise is securing her survival and independence... If she is transporting artifacts from the Shadow Isles to Noxus, I think it is fair to assume that she also keeps some for herself. No doubt there is some objects that can aid in her power struggle against other Black Rose members. Thinking more into the future, if Morde does return, will she stand with LeBlanc? It would probably be the best for her to leave, she could make the kumungu jungle her new domain and kill the folk along the serpentine delta or even folk who live in the jungle and offer them to Vilemaw.
Overall I wish for the Black Rose members to be portrayed more independantly and I wish for Elise to have a true purpose, she is alive for hundreds of years but her lore does not reveal anything particular she strives to achieve, beside her hunger for youth and offering noxians to the Spider God..
Let me know about your thoughts!