Galio’s backstory was published today on Universe, League’s lore website, as a part of his large-scale champion update, and it is quite the tragedy.
Galio is a skyscraper-sized stone golem that was created by Demacia, the proud militaristic nation of the League of Legends universe, to deal with those pesky sorcerers, mages, or any other magic-wielding baddies its armies come across in the field. The behemoth statue gets wheeled around by oxen alongside the Demacian forces, and when magic is present on a battlefield, the power of the nearby magic animates Galio temporarily until the magic-wielder is “dealt with” (murdered horrifically by a giant stone monster). Seems like a good idea, right?
Yes, of course it’s a good idea. Except for one tiny, little detail. Galio is sentient, and he keeps his sentience while he’s trapped in stasis. That means that Galio’s thoughts are free to roam while his body is rendered useless. He’s an intelligent being forced to watch his friends, those he was built to protect, and his nation fight and die around him as he is trapped inside the cage of his mind— able to do nothing. He longs and yearns constantly for magic to appear on the battlefield just so that he can live once again, even for a brief moment, to finally aid his allies.
As if that’s not bad enough, the story takes place 100 years after Galio was last able to move, meaning he has watched generations of comrades grow, march into battle, and die before his very eyes. In the battle in the story, the Freljordian barbarians that Demacia is marching against have with them a mage and a giant Gnar-like creature. While the mage is slinging a barrage of magic bolts at the Demacian forces, Galio is finally able to jump to the rescue. After a brief tussle with the monster, he lunges after the mage.
After defeating the mage, Galio’s limbs begin to stiffen yet again and his movement his restricted once more. His life is a constant, saddening cycle of waiting to see a mage capable of bringing large-scale destruction to his allies so that he may be brought to life to finally help, only to be frozen once more into his own mind-prison upon completing his mission.
So what happens when the world is rid of mages? What happens when Galio has hunted down every single last one? The completion of that task means surrendering himself to an eternity of stasis accompanied only by his thoughts, and that’s just too depressing to think about.