As many of you are no doubt aware Ubisoft has released a new trailer for the upcoming Assassin’s Creed Unity and this one has some fans in a bit of a frenzy, ‘why?’ I hear you ask, what could possibly have stirred up the AC fan base so much about Arno Dorian, the most recent Assassin in the series thus far?
The answer gave me pause too, the sight of an Assassin leaping tall rooftops and ruthlessly cutting down French soldiers in order to rescue… a Templar.
Yes you read that correctly. Now, perhaps surprise is not the right word for it, there is several precedents of Assassins and Templars… if not necessarily co-operating then at least operating in proximity without coming to blows throughout the myriad centuries in which the games have been set. In this article I’m going to be examining a few of these and hopefully giving fans a few ideas of what to expect.
So where to begin, the obvious place is at the beginning with Altair Ibn la Ahad, the original crusading badass with his haughty demeanor and eventual wisdom, for those of you who played the first game you may vaguely remember a certain young lady impersonating a templar commander whose life Altair spared, the first game didn’t really do justice to her character but it was expanded on heavily in AC: Bloodlines, where she played an integral role and eventually went on to renounce the Templar order and become an Assassin, she also went on to marry Altair which played an important role in the eventual conception of Desmond Miles in approximately nine hundred years time.
If Ubisoft is following the same pattern then it may be that this Femme Fatal is to Arno what Maria was to Altair, a lover and eventual convert to the Order, it would certainly be a sound choice in terms of plot, even with just the trailer there is the potential for some fairly explosive chemistry there, that said this is not the only example of Templar co-operation we have seen, and each time we have seen it, it’s taken a new and interesting form.
Another possibility is the Lucretzia Borgia theory. While a major antagonist for much of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Lucretzia did play an integral role in Ezio’s recovery of the Apple of Eden, even if it was simply to spite her psychotic brother and again when she told Ezio the location of a certain Da Vinci painting, admittedly the meeting ended with her being tied to a curtain and screaming for the guards. Although she remained a Templar throughout her life Ezio eventually forgave her involvement with them towards the end of his career [though he did send his successor to do away with her husband who was a genuine threat to the order.]
I personally hope that Ubisoft do not follow this pattern in the relationship between Arno and Elise, it would be, in my opinion, a waste of the potential they have established for this character and be a sizeable disappointment.
The most interesting Templar/Assassin relationship we’ve seen so far has to be the relationship between Rat… Raton… Connor and Haytham Kenway [apologies to those of you who can actually pronounce that name it’s a skill I never mastered.]
The dysfunctional father son relationship and clashing ideologies was one of the highlights of AC3 and served to engage fans and invest them more deeply in the game,
If Unity follows this vane it would admittedly be better to have a happy ending to the story this time but it is still one of the most memorable elements of Assassin’s Creed 3. It’s possible then that this Elise is a blood relative of Arno, an estranged sibling perhaps, it would explain her willingness to fight at Monsieur Dorian’s back on the scaffold and would make the character very interesting.
Lastly we have Edward Kenway, though in many respects not a Templar and in many others not strictly an Assassin Edward did briefly join the Templar order at the start of Black Flag in order to follow the old pirate maxim of ‘Take what you can, give nothing back,’ so it is possible that the character of Elise is in fact an Assassin double agent who has infiltrated the Templars, not especially original but still interesting.
There is another possibility however, one that I have left until now because it’s purely my own theory and not in any way provable at this point. The title of the game is Assassin’s Creed Unity, and the tagline of the game has been ‘Unite’ It could be possible therefore that there is going to be some form of collaboration between the Assassins and Templars, perhaps related to the reign of terror and Citizen Robespierre, he was, by all accounts a homicidally insane madman, one I don’t see being either an Assassin or a Templar, especially given the former’s focus on freedom and equality and the latter’s links to the aristocracy in Europe, perhaps therefore they chose to end his tyranny… if so I’m sure there will be double crosses and backstabs galore, so many possibilities so little time.