Arcane Theory: What is Shimmer?

Spoiler Alert: If you're reading this article, it's best you watch Arcane first. Today we're going to be looking at all the theories behind the suspicious substance shimmer – where it comes from, what it is and much more!
A moment of clarity before you go insane thanks to Shimmer. | © Netflix

Okay guys, sit down, take a sip of your drink and enjoy the ride that is the Arcane universe. We're going to take a deep dive into the world of Runeterra that the Netflix series has offered us – and by deep dive I mean we watched each episode 7000 times frame-by-frame, so we don't miss a single detail.

So now that we've put on our thinking caps, let's start looking at the more convincing theories surrounding this hit show. Before we get a season 2, it's important we clear up some mysteries from the first installment of the show. Let's jump right into the theories!

Who is Rio in Arcane?

It's pretty much confirmed that Shimmer is made from the flowers which Singed fed to his mutation. That's where we get that nasty purple juice from, but how do the flowers turn into mush? Well, that's where Rio comes into play.

During Act II the mutation is still pretty cute and adorable – almost like a pet – but come episode 6 and we get a whole new picture of the creature. This image shows the dark side of it all with tubes sticking in and out of its body.

Rio 3
Rio before he was ruined by Singed... | © Netflix

But the burning question we all had after seeing the scene is whether Shimmer is being pumped into Rio's body or out of his body. There is one thing most fans agree on, and that is that Shimmer comes from the flowers which Singed feeds to Rio, which in turn get somehow transformed into the chemicals we see... but that's just a theory. An Arcane theory.

What is Shimmer in Arcane?

Okay, but there is one more insane theory that we must share with you guys: Shimmer is the door for the demons of the Void. Whenever Shimmer is shown on screen, the Void theme plays. Guys, that's where Cho'Gath and other creatures come from! Imagine the inclusion of the Void in Arcane season 2!

In one episode in Act I, Heimerdinger also states that the hexcore is a seed to which whole nations have fallen victim. Let's also not forget how all the color accents at the end of season 1 surrounding Shimmer just remind us of the Void.

Also, whenever anyone is seen taking Shimmer, they first pause, look into the void before they become the aggressive monsters we see them as. Coincidence? Hardly!