It is, quite frankly, super goddamn messed up how the Arcane fandom looks at moments where Mel’s being traumatized or is hurt or sad, & distorts them into evil things she’s doing to men. Like:
• Mel’s nightmare: shows how Ambessa viewed her own daughter as a political pawn, the horror of Mel’s abusive childhood.
Fandom: Jayce fits maybe one of the descriptors Mel gave for a puppet ruler. Still pretty sure this scene is all about her manipulating him.
• Painting scene: Jayce affirms Mel’s worth & asks her to as well, Mel avoids this & turns the focus back on caring for others instead. Shows Mel’s insecurities & protective instincts.
Fandom: Soooo Mel doesn’t really love Jayce, right? She’s super not emotional here.
• Heimerdinger vote: Script outright states that Jayce pressures Mel to vote with him and that Mel is uneasy but does so because she sees he’s so nervous.
Fandom: Mel has never pushed Jayce to advance her personal interests like this. But pretty sure this scene means she was going to, & Jayce’s actions are her fault.
• Mel: is sad when she wakes up in bed & Jayce isn’t there. Given that her next scene she tells him abt being banished because she didn’t meet her family standards, pretty clear it’s her rejection issues.
Fandom: Lmaoo sad she couldn’t manipulate Jayce out of loving Viktor more
• And Bonus Inverse: Mel’s pleasure is the forefront of the sex scene. She’s intermixed w imagery of transcendence & enlightenment. The final shot is her looking at Jayce with a soft, loving expression as she holds him.
Fandom: WORST SEX SCENE EVER HYPERBOLIC DISGUST
Based on the show's characterization of Mel and Viktor, I've applied the magnet theory. Magnets of the same charge/poles always repel each other, though they are the same. It is magnets of the opposite charge/poles that attract.
We have seen the MelVik parallels, and they have the same ideologies, a somewhat similar exposure to death, their bodies appear to be augmented, there is the feeling of not being good enough (Viktor because he is ill, Mel because she has been kicked out of the Medarda family), and there is the fact that they are strangers in a strange land (Viktor is from the Undercity, Mel is from Noxus). They are parallel lines that run alongside one another but never intersect. Jayce is where they intersect.
(I like to think that Mel has always been aware of Viktor, as they probably attended the university at the same time, but in some ways, he reminds her too much of herself from moments of observation, and thus she pretends as though he does not exist to the best of her ability.)
Perhaps they are never meant to intersect outside of Jayce, but I have no doubt that if they did, they would be a force to be reckoned with. While Jayce is a dreamer, Mel and Viktor are pragmatic, brilliant individuals, and they will stop at nothing to protect their home. Piltover is the home Mel has chosen, and Zaun is the home Viktor was born to.
We all know that eventually, Viktor will return to the Undercity, but when he does, it won't really be Jayce vs Viktor. Jayce, for all intents and purposes, relies heavily on Mel as his sounding board, because he needs her wisdom. Thus, the conflict will be Mel's mind vs Viktor's.
is this not how that scene went
bonus bc i’m not even exaggerating:
Vi's expression is my expression
Art by @ribbedtank
No but Arcane has such a good range of female characters like everyone involved in these designs understood the assignment for real 😩🙏