No, not Taric and Ezreal. League of Legends' recent Mount Targon lore update brings a tweaked story to all three of its mountain-dwelling champions, including Diana and Leona — two characters that the fanbase have often speculated have something more going on than just their infamous rivalry. Some of the most notable changes to the lore, however, have some suggesting that Riot might be moving to make this fan-built romance canon.
Mount Targon is a vaguely analogous Mount Olympus, home to Pantheon along with aforementioned champions Leona and Diana. The new Mount Targon splash page also features two empty slots for other characters, one of which will supposedly be Taric and the other a new Mount Targon-aligned champion. However it's not just the characters that are being expanded upon, but the lore of the mountain itself, being given an even more fantastical, magical vibe that is essentially transforming its characters into demi-gods.
Previously, Targon was more of a classist society than anything too mythical, with the order of the Solari claiming the mountain's peak for their temple, boasting a 'higher' calling than the Rakkor tribe on the slopes below. Both of them have now been shifted further down on the mountain, with the peak reserved for higher, mythical powers — a place that travellers and pilgrims rarely reach, and even more rarely return to.
With this, the Mount Targon lore has introduced the idea of 'Aspects' to tie all of its characters together — chosen travellers who reach the peak, and are then imbued with the powers of certain celestial bodies. Pantheon, for example, is now the Aspect of War, named after a constellation called the Pantheon.
Of course Leona and Diana were always the chosen of the Sun and of the Moon respectively, the big difference here being that they have been more obviously and directly imbued with divine knowledge and power. Diana's story has changed the most of the two, with her awakening as the Aspect of the Moon coming with the revelation that the sun and moon must work together in tandem — an idea that is blasphemous to the sun-worshipping Solari. While previously her character and motivations were pretty one-dimensional, essentially wanting to destroy anyone who didn't revere the moon, she is now on a quest to reunite the Solari and the dying Lunari:
Diana has only one truth to cling to — that the Lunari and the Solari need not be foes, that there is a greater destiny for her than that of a simple warrior. What her destiny might be is unknown, but Diana will find it, whatever the cost.
While Leona's story and motivations haven't changed as much (aside from the whole ascension thing), this line at the end of her new lore hints at a relationship that is more about kinship than the fierce rivalry the old lore embodied:
It gifted her with incredible powers and awful knowledge that haunted her eyes and weighed heavily upon her soul; knowledge she could only ever share with one person. Now, more than ever, Leona knew she had to find Diana.
The original character artist for both champions, IronStylus, has long been a supporter of a relationship between Leona and Diana that is more than just platonic, though he has said that if they were to explore that notion it would be an important part of the story, rather than just for its own sake. This seems like the perfect set-up for such an event happening. Even as far back as 2012 when Diana was first released, IronStylus was in the League community forums giving a bit of insight into how a relationship between the two celestial warriors might happen:
Diana and Leona share something, probably at multiple levels. Whether it’s simply the supernatural attraction of their respective powers that draws them near or something that transcends occasional passing friendship. They are drawn together, possibly to a level that goes beyond platonic.
While League has previously dabbled in canon relationships between their champions — such as the fling between Evelyn and Twisted fate — it has never confirmed an LGBT character, despite plenty of fan speculation.
The game's recent Bilgewater event — the previous step in a much-needed, ongoing rework of old lore — included the unprecedented move of killing off a champion, which even included disabling him in all game modes. Who's to say that any potential event to go with the new lore won't make the arguably less risky move of exploring an LGBT relationship that has been hinted at in subtext and behind the scenes for years?
For now, however, Riot seems to be focussing on those empty character slots on the Mount Targon page, recently releasing a teaser for a character who is somehow related to Pantheon and Mount Targon:
With a Taric rework scheduled and a new character reveal anticipated, Leona and Diana's potential romance may have to wait a little longer. However it's still heartening seeing effort going into the lore side of Riot's epic MOBA again after languishing for so long — especially for two of its more interesting characters. Wait, what do you mean you don't play League for the story?