Assassin’s Creed: Getting To Know The Off-Brand Assassins

Delving into the Assassin’s Creed expanded universe is a daunting, yet worthwhile endeavor for those who wish to explore the history of assassins. For those without the time or willpower to get to know them all personally, we’re introducing the most interesting Assassins from the expanded universe, and handing out special awards for those who go above and beyond the Creed.

WARNING: If you plan on delving into the universe yourself, beware: This contains spoilers galore.

Aguilar de Nerha
Appears in: Assassin’s Creed (2016 film)

Say what you will about the overall merit of the film, but Aguilar is a bona fide badass. Aguilar’s parents were killed by the Spanish Inquisition, thrusting him toward the Order at an early age. Eventually becoming a Master Assassin and Mentor of the Spanish Brotherhood, Aguilar is largely responsible for hiding the Apple of Eden from the reach of humanity for several centuries. Aguilar, who existed concurrently with Ezio Auditore (being born four years prior), was one of the final assassins to participate in the Levantine tradition of finger amputation upon induction to the Order. Interestingly, Aguilar was inducted in 1492 while Ezio, who was inducted in 1488, was told the amputation was unnecessary. Aguilar’s willing participation in a superfluous amputation definitely puts him above most in terms of commitment to the Creed. For this, I give him the “Overachiever” award and a high five four.

Giovanni Auditore da Firenze
Appears in: AC II, Lineage (film series) 

The OG Auditore. Ezio was proclaimed the number one Assassin’s Creed protagonist in our 2015 magazine ranking, and now we see where he gets it from in Lineage. The basic premise of Lineage involves Giovanni stealing a letter that he ends up delivering to its intended recipient anyway. While that sounds pretty lame, Giovanni manages to make being a glorified mailman as cool as possible. In addition to being a great Assassin, Giovanni fulfills the Creed’s fabled fourth tenant, “Be a good father,” and that’s worth more than the other three combined. I give Giovanni the “World’s Best Dad-ssassin” award.

Aquilus
Appears in: AC 1: Desmond (comic), AC 2: Aquilus (comic), AC 3: Accipiter (comic)

Aquilus perfectly embodies the revenge story. After his father is killed at the hands of a Roman senator, he mourns for exactly two panels before boneheadedly charging into the senator’s well-guarded abode. 

When the Roman guard comes to arrest Aquilus for murdering the senator, he exclaims, “If you want to arrest me, you’ll have to come and find me first!” and is then promptly knocked unconscious before he can make any move to escape. Here, he proves himself the king of epic one-liners and earns the “One and Done” award. Possibly more notable in death than in life, he receives a eulogy from his ancestor, Desmond: “He was killed without honor, on the edge of a country road, his hands tied together. They denied him the right to defend his life and die with dignity.” If Assassin’s Creed has taught me anything, it’s that this is generally more or less the way Assassins die. In an even more assassin-y fashion, he lies with a woman the night before his death, effectively continuing the Assassin ancestral tree. For this I re-award him the “One and Done” award. 

After experiencing Aquilus’s life through the Animus, Desmond is hit with the stunning revelation depicted below:

Like Ezio and Altair, Aquilus means eagle.

Jonathan Hawk
Appears in: AC 3: Accipiter, AC 4: Hawk (comic), AC 5: El Cakr (comic), AC 6: Leila (comic)

He wears sunglasses in the animus. He’s missing an eye from the time he slept with a Templar. He drives a cool black convertible and bears an uncanny resemblance to Tony Stark. Hawk easily gets the “Coolest Assassin” award, but probably doesn’t even care.

Unlike Ezio, Altair, and Aquilus, Hawk does not mean eagle. Hawk means hawk.

El Cakr (Numa Al’Khamsin)
Appears in: AC 4: Hawk, AC 5: El Cakr, AC 6: Leila

El Cakr, also known as Numa Al’Khamsin, often takes credit for the work done by his child sidekick, Ali. The pair had the potential for an Egyptian Batman/Robin situation, but El Cakr consistently disrespects Ali, even pushing him into the Nile river after Ali discovers a crucial clue to retrieving the Scepter of Aset. Ali later betrays El Cakr, and while Ali says he cracked while being tortured, I think we all know he was still bitter about the Nile bath. 

El Cakr is finally killed by the leader of the Templars, who is revealed to be Leila, a woman who had seduced him previously. El Cakr achieves revenge posthumously when Leila dies giving birth to his child. Despite Ali’s betrayal bringing an end to El Cakr, Ali was still loyal to the Brotherhood and hid the Scepter of Aset before he died of food poisoning. The only accomplishments from these three characters are purely incidental, so I’m going to give each of them 1/4 of the “Participation” award and keep the last quarter for myself.

Hawk’s two ancestors’ names, El Cakr and Accipiter, both mean hawk.

Nikolai Andreievich “Kolya” Orelov
Appears in: The Fall (comic), The Chain (comic), Project Legacy, Chronicles: Russia

Nikolai was raised into the Russian Brotherhood at a young age, befriending Aleksandr Ulyanov and his brother, Vladimir, who later became known as Vladimir Lenin, the communist revolutionary. Nikolai managed to survive the Borki train disaster, in which he dueled Tsar Alexander III after the train came careening off the tracks, as well as the Tunguska event which is said to have been caused by a Tesla coil explosion rather than a meteoroid strike. Nikolai was also responsible for the rescue of Princess Anastasia, protecting her from both the Templars and Assassins after she was imprinted by the memories of Shao Jun. Basically, Nikolai was the driving force behind every major event in Imperial Russia from 1880 until its transformation into the Soviet Union in 1922. For this he earns the title, “Helicopter Assassin.”

Shao Jun
Appears in: Embers (short film), Chronicles: China, Chronicles: Russia

Born into concubinage in the Forbidden City, Jun was inducted into the Brotherhood after being rescued from the royal palace by a group of Assassins. The Jiajing Emperor began a massive purge of Chinese Assassins, forcing Jun to abscond to Italy in order to seek assistance from retired Mentor Ezio, leading to the events of Assassin’s Creed: Embers. After a change in both animation style and medium, Jun returned to China to eliminate the Eight Tigers, who were at the head of the Templar movement. During her vengeance-fueled elimination of the Tigers, Jun’s Mentor was killed, making her the last living Chinese Assassin. For this, Shao Jun receives the “Last Man Standing” medal from Halo 3. 

Arbaaz Mir
Appears in: Brahman (comic), Underworld (novel), Chronicles: India

Arbaaz was born into a Muslim family in India, but after the Sikh Empire took control of his home region, Maharaja Ranjit Singh initiated a Muslim genocide which included Arbaaz’s family. Arbaaz is notable in his use of the traditional Indian throwing weapon called a chakram, which is essentially a sharpened Frisbee. Realizing his glorified Wham-O toy wouldn’t be enough to take down the Templars and Singh, he instead used his seduction powers that come standard within the Brotherhood to make Pyara Kaur, Singh’s granddaughter, fall in love with him and procreate. Ah yes, there’s no sweeter revenge than sleeping with your enemy’s family members. For this, Arbaaz is awarded “Best Grandson-In-Law.”

Charlotte de la Cruz
Appears in: Assassins (comic), Uprising (comic)

Charlotte grew up in the Bronx, which I assume is like preschool for modern-day Assassins. She deals largely with modern-day Assassin issues, which trade out things like family annihilation and cultural genocide for student debt and cyber-bullying. Charlotte never lets her Assassin duties get in the way of her relationship with her mother, and routinely calls her on a burner phone to let her know where she is and that she’ll be home before curfew, despite being on the run from Templars. I award Charlotte “Best Daughter in the Brotherhood.” Charlotte foregoes traditional assassination techniques in favor of autobiological warfare, such as when she kills an Abstergo employee with asthma by binding him so he can’t reach his inhaler. And for this I revoke Charlotte’s previous award and instead give her the “Most Cold-Blooded Killer” award.

Joseph Laurier
Appears in: Assassins

Joseph looks like the love child of Kratos and a roid-raging Paul Bunyan, so I’m just gonna give him the title, “Lumberjack of Sparta.” Congratulations, that was a very competitive award.

Galina Voronina
Appears in: Assassins, Syndicate

Galina was forced to kill her mother, twin sister, and other fellow Assassins after the Bleeding Effect drove them insane. Despite her success as a modern-day Assassin, notably one of the only to still wield two hidden blades, she clearly never got over her family’s death at her hands. She is caught talking to herself, and upon confrontation, explains that she is really talking to her deceased sister. An award about familicide would be in poor taste, so I’m going with the more wholesome “Most Fun Name to Say” award.

Jayadeep Mir (Sir Henry Green)
Appears in: Syndicate, Underworld, Locus (comic)

Jayadeep was the son of Arbaaz, and had exceptional potential from a young age to the point of being a prodigy Assassin. It was soon discovered, however, that Jayadeep lacked a killer instinct. He broke the Creed and shamed himself upon failing to assassinate a sleeping Templar. Although this might seem like a rectifiable error, Arbaaz was furious and sent him to The Darkness, a spooky-sounding Assassin prison, to await execution. Ethan Frye, father of Jacob and Evie and mentor to Jayadeep, organized his release and convinced Arbaaz to grant Jayadeep asylum in England. There, he took on the guise of Henry Green, inspired by the color of the hat he was wearing at the time. For this, I award Jayadeep “Henry Green Hat” Mir “Least Creative Assassin of All Time.”

Eddie Gorm
Appears in: Conspirations (comic)

The Assassin’s Creed series has tackled extensive amounts of history and integrated a significant number of historical figures. Eddie Gorm, a member of the British Brotherhood during WWII, may provide the link to one of the most infamous leaders in history. Gorm is the protagonist of the ongoing Assassin’s Creed: Conspirations series, and has so far interacted with WWII notables such as Josef Mengele and Werner Heisenberg. It is revealed that the Nazi’s Uranprojekt (German nuclear weapon project) was a cover for their real “Die Glocke” project, in which they are attempting to use the Apple of Eden and Tesla coils to construct the first Animus. We’ve all seen the liberties the Assassin’s Creed series takes when involving fictional assassins in real historical events, so I’m going to go ahead and give Eddie Gorm the final award: “Most Likely to Assassinate Hitler.”

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