Follow The Paw Prints Of The Fabled Poros in League of Legends
Poros love poro-snax
If you are a League of Legends player and often step on the Howling Abyss with your buddies for a quick game of All Random All Mid (ARAM) or two, then you must have come across some white ball of tufts running around on the map. These creatures called Porors are canon to League of Legends and were created by Justin “Earp” Albers, Alex “CaptainLx” Lehmann, and Oliver “RiotOTown” Chipping. Poros are mysterious, magical, and much-loved creatures that are seemingly abundant in Freljord. However, they have since spread across all of Runeterra, being present on every known continent, region, and nation. Poros were first introduced in League of Legends with the 2012 release of the official Howling Abyss ARAM map.
Poro: The Origin Story
Poros were originally designed to balance out the Howling Abyss’ cold and morose environment. It is a bridge without any fantasy elements and is detached from all things League! In a blogpost, the creators of poros said, “The whole team brainstormed about cute and fun things we could add that would remain true to League and not take away from the map's epicness. It was sort of tricky because whatever we added had to be noticeable without being too distracting--we didn't want players confusing our little critter for a minion or monster they should kill!”
The idea was to create something furry that looked like it could survive the harsh climatic conditions of Freljord. RiotEarp looked into mountain goats, reindeer, and polar bears for inspiration and sketched the initial concept art.
On a Freljord Ask-Me-Anything on Reddit, Rioter Devon “Runaan” Giehl , “Mysterious, ice-dwelling fuzz balls who have found a home near the Howling Abyss. They enjoy mocking and toying with those who cross the bridge. :P”
Howling Abyss is the coldest and harshest place in all of Runeterra, so you can think of poros as the manifestation of whatever warmth, happiness, and love that still exists."Riot Games
RiotOtown modeled and textured the very first poro, and then he and RiotCaptainLx added a super huge tongue to the creature since it reminded them of a puppy. “Then, during the animation phase, RiotCaptainLx took it a step further and had the poro lick its whole face in one shot! We totally agreed that poros should pant just like that--they radiate with love, so they're extremely hot despite the Abyss' bone-chilling temperatures!,” read the blogpost.
What does Poro mean and what are they?
Interestingly, Poro is Finnish for reindeer. The name, though it sounded cute, was supposed to be temporary, said the Riot Games’ developers. “We were stuck with it thanks to a small oversight on our part. Basically, a player posted online that he'd discovered the file name after pinging a poro in-game on the PBE. Players liked it, we liked it... so we kept it.”
According to Riot, Poros are equal parts truth, valor, and innocence. They are supposed to resemble the Freljordian snow and they have a heart-shaped underbelly since they are made of love. Poros’ horns perk up when excited and droop down when scared. The developers also point out that they paddle through the deep snow with their front paws. Thanks to Legends of Runeterra, we now know that a group of poros is called a fluft.
Poros feed on Poro-Snax
Poro-Snax are frosted with Freljordian ice crystals and Poros feast on them with utmost joy. Players can feed the poros in Howling Abyss with the two poro-snax that they can access in ARAM games.
This savory blend of free-range, grass-fed Avarosan game hens and organic, non-ZMO Freljordian herbs contains the essential nutrients necessary to keep your Poro purring with pleasure.”Riot Games via Fandom
In ARAM mode, players start with one poro-snax in their trinket slot. Additional snax cannot be purchased in the game but the first turret kill grants all team members an extra poro-snax. Poros will attempt to flee if the player does not have a poro-snax. To feed one, players need to activate the consumable item while near a poro. After being fed, Poros run around in a circle, produce hearts, and slightly grow in size. Additionally, when a Poro is fed with ten poro-snax, it will explode into eight small Poros.
Braum is a friend to the Poros
Braum is one of the most wholesome champions to ever grace the Summoner’s Rift. He is known for being a character that can mean no harm and as someone who is a cheerful protector. He is blessed with massive biceps and an even bigger heart. The Iceborn hero of Freljord has a special connection with the Poros. You can find little Poros around Braum wherever he makes an appearance. All of Braum’s skins and splash arts feature Poros. In Braum’s teaser which came out in 2014, he saves a Poro from the battle raging around him. He even gives the little creature a mustache to wear.
Poros with mustaches are an easter egg in ARAM games. When a Braum feeds a poro-snax, the Poro will sprout a colored mustache based on the Braum skin. Also, Braum is a friend of the Poros after he helped save one of their kind. Hence, while playing Braum, players start with two poro-snax on the Howling Abyss and gain a third one upon the first tower kill. Likewise, if a player chooses to play the Poro Rider Sejuani skin in ARAM, they too start with two poro-snax.
Poro appearances in League of Legends and its content
Now, it is pretty evident that Poros can be found in every nook and corner of Howling Abyss. If you are wondering where one can spot Poros on the Summoner’s Rift or any other cinematic for that matter, then this is for you.
Legend of the Poro King game mode
The Legend of the Poro King is a temporary, rotating game mode released by Riot Games for the Snowdown Showdown event in 2014. In this mode, players fight on the Howling Abyss bridge with the goal to destroy the enemy nexus and the fun part is that players can try and summon the Poro King to aid sieging. As a tanky siege minion, the Poro King gives impressive power boosts to whichever team summoned him first and can be dispelled. During the Snowdown Showdown event, even the Summoner’s Rift was covered in snow, during the Holidays, and was graced by flufts of Poros.
Poros in Arcane
A Poro was featured in Riot’s hit TV series Arcane which was released on Netflix. In this series, Professor Heimerdinger has a pet Poro that follows him around and rests in his chamber. When Jayce shows Heimerdinger some of the devices Viktor and he created, he unintentionally fires a laser at the Poro and mistakenly hurts him. In the following scenes, the Poro hides behind Heimerdinger while he talks to Viktor and Jayce and mirrors the same sentiments as his owner. The Poro can also be seen donning a bandage around his damaged horns.
Legends of Runeterra
Poros are also featured in Legends of Runeterra, a 2020 digital collectible card game developed and published by Riot. Ol’ Longhorn, Heart of the Fluft, and Plucky Poro are some of the collectible cards in the game.
Additionally, Fandom also pointed out that many unique Poros have been shown in various Riot Games media, especially cosmetics or jokes, dances, etc in League of Legends, with unique shapes, colors, and more. These are all things that are not considered automatically canon. Poros are featured in skins like Poro Rider Sejuani, Winter Wonder Lulu, and many other winter-related skins in the game.
Can Poros be consumed?
Even before Arcane went viral and people started the copy-pasta of “Poro meat” on Twitch, someone had asked the question - Do people eat Poros? – to Riot Games in an AMA. To this, a Rioter had replied that by eating Poro meat, one would be overwhelmed by different flavors and that the mind would be flooded with different colors. But, once consumed, the Poro would tear its way out of the gut and kill you.
All in all, Poros are dear to all League of Legends players. They are adored and the community outright cherishes these little cute creatures. Riot Games even sells Poro plushies to cater to its fans.