What is a Yordle? Explaining LoL’s cutest cryptids

Nicholas James • October 22, 2021 5:59 pm

Yordles have long been a fixture of League of Legends’ lore, debuting with the game’s release. These short and often fuzzy, creatures are the second biggest race of playable characters, falling behind the ever-popular human. But, what are Yordles? Are they just cute fuzzy characters to sell skins to younger audiences, or is there something more mysterious beneath the surface?

Yordles aren’t the creatures they appear to be, quite literally. The Yordle is an overarching name for a race of natural spirits that generally take the shape of short, furry bipeds.

Not everyone is fluffy, however, with Fizz being a notably different aquatic variation of the Yordle. Some of League of Legends’ most iconic characters are Yordles, from Veigar to Tristana to the newly introduced Vex. They are rumored to have been present on Runeterra since prehistoric times, given the existence of Gnar, who was frozen when Lissandra resealed The Watchers in the ice of Howling Abyss.

A cave drawing depicting prehistoric Yordles doing battle with The Watchers

Most of them come from a secret settlement known as Bandle City, a pocket space in the spirit realm into which Yordles can slip through hidden paths throughout the World. Only the most perceptive and knowledgable human inhabitants of Runeterra can discern these hidden entrances and follow them. Yordles are spirits that come to reflect aspects of the world around them through interacting with them.

The Yordle’s role in Runeterra was very unclear in League’s early days and Riot Games has done a lot to unify the aesthetic and theme of Yordles to make them more cohesive. There are plenty of short stories and lore snippets about Yordles to dig into if you’re interested.

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