Hi, ya'll - Doom back with another Aatrox thread. This one relatively smaller than my previous and more likely to get buried, but still something I wanted to share.
Going through my rounds of looking through all the Aatrox content we have again I noticed something neat: Aatrox has a preference for traveling/appearing in low light.
Both in his splash art and in Aatrox: World Ender (which may or may not be the same scene) the sky is filled with smoke, the scenes are dark, and the main source of light comes from Aatrox himself and his sword.
In _The Cage _ it's raining:
> It was raining when we fought.
>I can see the falling rain.
Usually when it rains it relatively dark out unless its a sun shower.
And then in Tryndamere's bio we get this:
>...but it wasn’t until a particularly cruel midwinter **night** that his strength was truly tested. An unusual storm swept in from the east, bringing with it an icy **darkness**, and a towering, horned figure silhouetted against the full moon.
He appears there at night.
Now this could just be for the aesthetics of it all, having Aatrox appear in broad daylight might make him seem less menacing somehow. A monster cloaked in darkness whom we can only see the silhouette of is far scarier than one we see just... out and about.
His constant state of being in darkness also has metaphorical implications regarding his fall. He once had glittering wings that were like "the golden light of dawn", he was once a soldier of the Shuriman empire which is pretty heavy on the Sun based imagery and thematics - now he speaks of the eternal darkness of his cage, the darkness of his heart, etc. Pretty straight forward stuff. Definitely some "Satan falling from the light of heaven to the darkness of hell" vibes, but that's something I covered more in a previous thread.
Aesthetics and metaphor aside from a lore perspective I believe there is a reason for Aatrox traveling by darkness. The reason is... he doesn't want to see himself in clear lighting. Aatrox does not like his current form by any means, he considers it a crude mockery of his former glory, he loathes it. It makes sense that he would want to avoid seeing himself as much as possible. I know in real life people with Body Dysmorphic Disorder (a mental illness characterized by the inability to stop thinking about perceived defects of your own body) will go so far as to shower with the lights off to avoid seeing themselves. I believe Aatrox is not so different in that regard. He does not want to see himself and would likely prefer not to be seen.
This is just my personal headcanon/explanation, if you have a different idea feel free to share it below!
~~Anyway I'm probably definitely over analyzing this, but I had fun doing it so *shrug* : ' D ~~