Volibear, the Thunder's Roar, is a response to the ongoing joke on the League of Legends forums regarding armored bears.
The champion led to the creation of pro-armored bear and anti-armored bear factions, with leaders being the designers of the Riot Team, which eventually escalated to the Riot Wars.
His name is derived from Travis 'Volibar' George, the Riot producer who first put forth the idea of an armored bear champion.
Volibear was the first champion to be released in Season Two.
Volibear is possibly inspired from the armored bears (most prominently Iorek Byrnison) that appear throughout Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, known as Panserbjørne (lit. 'armored bears', Danish/Norwegian origin).
When there is an enemy Zilean present in game, Volibear will gain the Chronokeeper Hater icon with the text: "Not even Zilean could keep an armored bear out of the League of Legends".
The enemy Zilean also gains the Armored Bear Hater icon with the text: "In my day, we would never have allowed an armored bear into the League of Legends." The allied Zilean is unaffected.
In Volibear's Champion Spotlight, his skin names were on the opposite skins. The name "Thunder Lord" was on the Northern Storm skin and vice versa.
Volibear's skill Rolling Thunder is the same name as Henry Fillmore's famous band piece, Rolling Thunder, featuring the low brass.
Volibear's Rolling Thunder could also be named after 'Operation Rolling Thunder', the sustained bombing of North Vietman by the US air force during the Vietman War.
Volibear has special quotes when slaying Zilean. Whenever Volibear slays Zilean, he will remark: "Your time has run out, Chronokeeper" or "I got a special claw for you, Zilean."
This is the first time a champion kill triggers a quote.
Volibear's quote "A fool and his head are easily parted." Is most likely a reference to the Klingon Proverb "A fool and his head are soon parted.", which was first used in the 1984 novel "The Final Reflection". It is also a reference to "A fool and his money are easily parted"
Due to the fact that the Riot design director, Zileas, was adamantly against the implementation of armored bears, Volibear and Zilean dislike each other. In addition to that, Zilean's fatalistic attitude towards the end of things vs Volibear's defiance against Lissandra and the Watchers serves another legitimate reason.