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”Wars will rage. Kingdoms will fall. This is the age of the Vikings."

They are heartless, godless barbarians. They murder and kill blindly. They scar the lands of England. Lands they will never defend, never love. The time has come to speak to them in a language they will understand.
King Aelfred the Great
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Assassin's Creed: Valhalla is a historical open-world Action RPG, the twelfth main entry in the Assassin's Creed series, and the first to be released on PlayStation 5 and the fourth generation Xbox consoles. It released on November 10, 2020 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Google Stadia, and PC, with a PlayStation 5 coming on that console's launch on the 12th/19th. Jesper Kyd, the first composer of the franchise, returned for the soundtrack nine years after leaving the series with Assassin's Creed: Revelations. Also collaborating to the soundtrack are Einar Selvik of Wardruna fame, and Sarah Schachner.

The story is set in the Viking Age and centers on a Norwegian Viking named Eivor (whose gender can be determined by the player) as they lead raids against the kingdom of King Aelfred the Great in the 9th century. It features the return of a usable hidden blade after it was mostly absent from Assassin's Creed: Odyssey.

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A spin-off book titled Assassin's Creed: Valhalla - Geirmund's Saga is set to be written by Matthew J. Kirby, who also wrote the young adult Assassin’s Creed: Last Descendants trilogy of novels, the third of which followed Vikings in Scandinavia during the 10th century.

Previews: World Premiere trailer, First Look Gameplay trailer, Gameplay Overview trailer, Eivor's Fate trailer


Tropes

  • Absurdly High Level Cap: Eivor's power level caps out at 400, but they can continue to level up beyond that to gain Mastery Levels that give minor stat boosts across the board. Even without Mastery, level 400 is on par with the strongest Bonus Boss in the game and far above what the most difficult regions recommend.
  • Action Girl: While the World Premiere trailer only shows off the male version, the player can choose for Eivor to be a woman, and the Gameplay Overview Trailer centers around the female Eivor instead. The World Premiere trailer also shows off a young girl play-fighting with a wooden sword, and a few female Vikings participate in Eivor's raid. While the development team have noted in interviews that the historical existence of shield-maidens is disputed, they chose to include them anyway since female warriors played a major role in Norse culture.
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  • Adaptational Heroism: The Vikings often were the brutes that King Alfred the Great's narration painted them as. Eivor's action of sparing a woman during a village raid was more the exception than the rule.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: There's no negotiating with bandits or the Picts - if they spot you, they attack no matter the circumstances.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Almost any melee deathblow on a non-boss enemy results in dismemberment, and it's even more common for finishers. Squeamish players can disable the gore fest in the options menu.
  • An Axe to Grind: Fitting for a game with a Viking protagonist, Eivor is shown dual-wielding battle-axes on the cover, and both the Vikings and every other faction in England makes liberal use of one-handed, two-handed, and throwing axes.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Everywhere. If you come across a destroyed or abandoned dwelling (using the world loosely), expect there to be skeletons or corpses, animal carcasses in case of farms and at least one note to explain how this ruin came to be.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The AI has no concept of a blast radius, resulting in enemies with AoE attacks merrily blanketing the battlefield in arrow barrages or fire regardless of who gets caught in the blast, including themselves.
  • Artistic License – Geography: Somewhat inevitable in trying to condense most of England to an easily navigable open world, but even then, some of the game's choices are more than a little egregious. Treating the country's myriad rivers as a series of connected waterways is just the tip of the iceberg; somehow Gloucester has made its way inland and avoided the Severn entirely, instead sitting on the River Avon.
  • Artistic License – History:
    • Several of the details in the World Premiere trailer owe more to modern pop culture depictions than to actual historical evidence, such as the Vikings having Pict-ish warpaint, wearing leather armor with furs, and having metal-rimmed shields with arm-buckles. Additionally, the Anglo-Saxons' elite soldier with a Roman-style helmet wields an anachronistic two-handed sword that would be more fitting in the 15th century. In the Assassin's Creed: Valhalla Official Trailer #2, one of the enemies has a windlass crossbow on his back — a weapon not invented until the 15th century.
    • Upgrading Eivor's equipment level requires nickel, titanium, and tungsten. The peoples of that era were barely able to smelt and forge iron. While nickel and titanium have melting points in roughly the same bracket as iron, working tungsten with its 3400°C melting point would've been impossible back then.
    • Flails are an obtainable weapon despite not being attested to in this period.
    • Instead of what is now Eastern Canada, as it's generally accepted to be, the Vinland map appears to be depicting the area in and around what is now New England, as the geographic features include the Hudson River, Long Island Sound, and Cape Cod, though Long Island is depicted as a peninsula instead of an island. The people there are speaking Mohawk instead of any of the Algonquian languages, though that's most likely because the village is implied to be a great deal inland as it's relatively close to the Grand Temple, which is located in what is now upstate New York in Mohawk territory.
    • Stave churches can be found in Norse-controlled areas, even in Asgard, for presumably aesthetic reasons despite the fact that the game takes place 200 years before Norway was Christianized.
  • Attack Its Weakpoint: When using the bow Eivor can target glowing parts of their opponent's bodies in order to open them up for stun attacks.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Thor's Armor is this game's ultimate armor set. It looks awesome and offers great protection, but it's also the heaviest armor in the game, which makes dealing with hostile Unblockable Attacks more difficult due to the increased stamina consumption, and its Set Bonus is less useful than what some of the normal armor sets provide.
  • Batman Gambit: As it turns out, the events in Origins, Odyssey, and Valhalla are all part of a plot cooked up by Alethia and Basim so that Layla would bring the Staff of Hermes to the temple Basim is imprisoned in. Basim steals the Staff from Layla, reversing his millenia of aging.
  • Battle Rapping: Eivor can get into flyting duels, which were a Nordic precursor to rap battles.
  • Bears Are Bad News:
    • Both England and Norway are home to various species of bears, all of which are dangerous opponents that should never be underestimated.
    • Two of the legendary animals Eivor has to face are the Bear of the Blue Waters and the Beast of the Hills, massive polar and brown bears respectively.
    • Vinland has hostile black bears.
    • Eivor can also throw down with Steinbjornn, a bear-shaped monster from Norse mythology that's made of ice and rock. At power level 400, it's the highest-leveled enemy in the game, though thankfully it's a Bonus Boss.
  • Beef Gate: World regions have level recommendations that you shouldn't undercut too much if you don't want to get bogged down by normal enemies killing Eivor in one or two hits. Also, keep in mind that these recommendations are for the main quest only. Any Bonus Boss you encounter there has a level completely independent from the region they inhabit, with some outranking their home by 200 levels or more. For instance, Jotunheim, with a recommended level of 190, is home to level 400 Steinbjornn, and you can enter his stomping ground as soon as you arrive in the area. This often results in some very nasty surprises for adventuring players.
  • The Berserker: There are literal mooks called Berserkers that dual-wield axes and fight with extreme speed and ferocity, but without any sense of self-preservation. Certain quests and conversations reveal that they're shot up with a potentially lethal drug cocktail that sends them into a battle frenzy.
  • BFG: Many strongholds are equipped with mounted springalds, basically the .50cal machine guns of their time. With their huge range, pinpoint accuracy, good rate of fire, and bolts that can't be evaded and deal very high damage, bolting for cover is the only sensible thing to do when you come under fire from one of these things.
  • BFS: All player-usable swords in the game are massive two-handed blades almost as long as Eivor is tall. With the right skill unlocked, Eivor can wield them one-handed, and even two at a time.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The Native Americans encountered in Vinland by Eivor, while friendly, speak in completely untranslated Mohawk, so they're forced to use sign language to communicate with them for trading purposes.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • The Normal Ending. The Order's operations in England are dismantled and Basim is thwarted, but Sigurd, ashamed of his actions and unwilling to follow Eivor due to their various dishonorable actions throughout the story, chooses to remain in Norway Walking the Earth rather than return to Ravensthrope, which pains Eivor greatly.
    • The Alliance Plot. Aelfred is deposed and Raven Clan has successfully pacified England, but Ubba, Soma, Hunwald, and Hjorr all lie dead, and unlike all the other battles, the feeling is overall more sobering than celebratory.
      • Plus, if you consider the real history, the victory is only temporary: the attack on Chippenham happened in January 878, and by May Aelfred had managed to levy fyrds from areas west of Hamtunscire and defeat the Dane army at Edington. Guthrum and other high-ranking leaders were forced to convert to Christianity and pull back to Mercia.
    • The modern day segment also ends this way regardless of the main ending. Like Desmond before her, Layla ends up sacrificing her life to end the global magnetic crisis, but she lives in a way as a being of pure energy, and resolves to work alongside the Reader to study and prevent any future catastrophes. However, Layla's sacrifice inadvertently restores Basim to life, and he clearly has his own agenda at work.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: The Hidden Blade makes a return, with Eivor using it to stab a soldier equipped with heavy armor through the eye in the World Premiere trailer.
  • Blade on a Stick:
    • Spears are among the available weapon types. Enemy pikemen make great use of them, too.
    • The most elite type of Jotun warriors in the Asgard arc wields a giant halberd about twice as long as Eivor is tall.
  • Bling of War: Upgrading equipment to mythical level usually adds lots and lots of gold to it. Metallic surfaces often gain a Damascene texture, and most fabric pieces switch color to royal blue or red for that extra bit of classiness, not to mention all the extremely elaborate engravings and embroidery.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: This is, by a wide margin, the most visceral Assassin’s Creed game to date. While the franchise is no stranger to decapitation and dismemberment (Unity was set during the The French Revolution, and four of the main titles use real-life wars as their main backdrop), the other games relegated the gorier bits to cutscenes. This time around, NPC’s have their heads and limbs lopped off pretty regularly during gameplay, and there’s a new form of 'X-ray Assassination' that looks like it’s ripped straight out of Mortal Kombat 11.
  • Bond Creatures: Unlike the eagles that the main characters of Origins and Odyssey had, a raven named Sýnin accompanies Eivor. Its appearance can be customized with a variety of skins.
  • Bonus Boss: The three Daughters of Lerion, the Lost Drengr, the various legendary animals, Steinbjornn... take your pick. Some must be defeated if you're after certain legendary weapons and armor, but none of them figure into the main story in any way.
  • Boring, but Practical: The ability "Feign Death" allows Eivor to play dead; this simple concept has a multitude of uses, as it can be used to end an alarm, escape combat, and/or to avoid fights with high-level Zealots you stumble upon. At level 2 you can even assassinate people from the position, which is useful on it's own but also refunds the adrealine the move uses.
  • Braids, Beads and Buckskins: Eivor can acquire a Native American outfit that checks all the boxes during their sojourn to Vinland. Sadly, you can't keep it despite (or possibly because) of its surprisingly good stats, as it disappears from your inventory upon your return to England.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Barring a few exceptions, almost all children in the game treat Eivor as their personal servant and doormat, though Eivor doesn't take this personally.
  • The Bus Came Back: After their last onscreen appearance in Syndicate, Shaun and Rebecca make a return as Layla's Mission Control.
  • Catch and Return: After purchasing the skill "Missile Reversal", if you time your parry right, you can take any projectile thrown at you and turn it back on the attacker for a One-Hit Kill. The time frame to pull it off is fairly generous, making this an extremely useful skill to have, especially since many of the most resilient Elite Mooks and even some bosses can be taken down this way quickly and efficiently.
  • Call-Forward:
    • An audio recording between Desmond and Rebecca that Layla can listen to has him mentioning a Bleeding Effect moment where he ended up on a beach in the Caribbean with a bunch of pirates, which is implied to be a memory of Edward Kenway.
    • The medallions that Eivor takes off the bodies of felled members of the Order of the Ancients that serve as the symbol for their order are of the exact same design as the one worn on Templar Shay Cormac's belt.
    • It's implied that the Piece of Eden Eivor gives the Iroquois for safekeeping after killing Gorm is the exact same one belonging to Kanatahséton that Connor will use around 900 years later.
    • After Odin speaks with Gunlodr about her attempts to communicate with the future and they leave, Ezio's voice can be heard coming out of the mirror from the moment he met Minerva in the Vault beneath the Vatican.
  • Canis Major:
    • One of the legendary animals is a gigantic wolf called the "Cricket-Wolf of the Pit".
    • The Eald-Wulf is at least twice the size of a man.
    • Two of the three Corpse Feeder wolves are about as tall as Eivor.
    • With the Berserker Pack installed, Eivor can turn their horse into a horse-sized white wolf. Sadly, it still behaves like a normal horse.
  • Cats Are Mean: One of the animals Eivor can encounter in Vinland are cougars that attack them on sight. England gets in on the fun with hyper-aggressive lynxes that are somehow even worse than the cougars, mostly because they attack in packs.
  • Character Customization: Eivor's face and body shape are fixed, but you can customize their haircut, hair color and the tattoos on their arms, chest, back and face anytime you like and as often as you want. Some side activities only exist to unlock more tattoo schematics for them.
  • Circle of Standing Stones: Common landmarks in England, and always tied to a mystery that consists of looking at a hidden runic symbol at just the right angle to channel the place's ancient power and gain a single power point. Stonehenge is just one of many standing stone circles dotted across the land.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Each of the warring factions has different colors for their soldiers:
    • Norse: Blue (Friendly), Red (Hostile)
    • Britons: Green
    • Saxons: Dark yellow
  • Color Motif: The green color is very prominent in the game's promotional material (including the many displays of an aurora borealis in it) as well as in its title.
  • Cool Boat: Eivor and their fellow Vikings ride around in a Viking longboat that can travel up rivers due to its shallow hull. It's their primary means of raiding the juiciest of targets: monasteries.
  • Cool Helmet: The elite soldier shown in the World Premier trailer is wearing a helmet that blends Anglo-Saxon and Greco-Roman aesthetics — sporting a distinctive red fur crest on top.
  • Cool Sword: Eivor can acquire Excalibur in the form of a Sword of Eden. The Carolingian Greatsword is also a pretty neat piece of gear, especially once fully upgraded.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The infamous Blood eagle ritual makes an appearance, and although most of it isn't shown, the sounds alone aren't for the faint of heart. Even Eivor is visibly uncomfortable during the process, but that might be more about the perpetrator's insane glee about the agony he's inflicting on a helpless victim who really didn't deserve such a gruesome fate.
  • Cruel Mercy: The Official Gameplay Trailer shows sparing Rued is this, since dying in glorious combat to enter Valhalla is Norse tradition and he was denied an honorable death.
  • Culture Clash: 9th century England was a chaotic place populated by continually feuding Christian Saxons kingdoms, Celtic Briton tribes, and vestiges of the Roman Empire even before the Germanic Norse arrived. King Aelfred's xenophobic speech in the World Premier trailer particularly emphasizes the prejudices involved between these rival cultures; and the First Look Gameplay trailer further emphasizes the divide with contrasting shots of each culture's holy sites: a church for the Saxons, a rune-engraved stone for the Norse, and Stonehenge for the Celts.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: In the modern day section, reading the file on the Staff of Hermes Trismegistus shows that Kassandra is indeed the canon Eagle Bearer who handed the staff to Layla before dying.
  • Death Seeker: Eivor can come across a number of remnants of Ragnar Lothbrok's personal bodyguards, the so-called Lost Drengr. Each of them wishes to die in a glorious duel against a worthy opponent so they can reunite with Ragnar in Odin's hall in Valhalla. You can indulge them, but be warned, they're very powerful warriors that can flatten Eivor in no time flat if you're ill-prepared.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Varin sacrificing his life so that Kjotve doesn't murder his clan, rather than being seen as a noble sacrifice (even if it turns out to be senseless because Kjotve just orders them massacred anyway), is seen by the Vikings as cowardly because he died on his knees rather than in combat.
  • Description Cut: Played for Drama in the World Premiere trailer to illustrate King Aelfred's preconceived notions about Viking culture. He describes the Vikings as godless, murderous, destructive barbarians, and each matching scene in the trailer immediately contradicts him by showing Eivor's clan performing pre-raid rituals, sparing women and children while attacking, and sensibly colonising their conquered lands.
  • Drop the Hammer: Hammers are commonly wielded by friends and foe alike. The most outstanding example is of course Mjölnir, Thor's personal weapon and a Piece of Eden that Eivor can find.
  • Dual Wielding: Any combination of two weapons are possible, including fighting with a pair of shields. An upgrade in the skill tree even allows for Eivor to dual-wield two-handed weapons. To illustrate this, the cover art shows Eivor wielding a pair of axes.
  • The Dung Ages: While parts of the world can be beautiful, most of the man-made areas, especially in England, are wretched at best, as it is war-torn, disorganized, muddy, and full of ruins of the once-great empire of Rome.
  • Dungeon Bypass: A lot of collectible puzzles are built around walled-up doorways and the explosive barrels required to open them, which usually require some searching and freerunning to get where they're needed. All of this can be avoided comfortably by just shooting an Incendiary Powder Trap arrow at the door.
  • Elite Mooks: Anyone with a title above their health and stamina bars hits harder and has better defenses than a common soldier.
  • Epic Flail: Flails are one of the obtainable weapons in the game, notable for their long sustained combo attacks once the wielder starts flailing them around. Flail-wielding enemies are the most likely to break through Eivor's guard due to how often they can strike in succession.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Pict warriors only wear light leather armor, with the men frequently being Walking Shirtless Scenes, despite operating in the snow-covered north of England. You can make Eivor get in on it as well by turning their armor pieces invisible via the inventory menu.
  • Eye Scream:
    • In the World Premiere trailer, Eivor is seconds away from having his throat slit by a brute wearing heavy armor before he jams his hidden blade into the brute’s eye. We’re treated to a lovely shot of the eye’s gloppy remains as Eivor pulls the blade out.
    • Played for laughs near the end of the game while in Valhalla Eivor gets an arrow to the eye near the end of the third iteration of the "Groundhog Day" Loop, this being Valhalla it doesn't really hurt them and will get reset anyway but Eivor is clearly annoyed.
    • In the Odin visions, Odin pulls out his own eye in order to gain access to the magical mead that will guarantee he will resurrect as a human after Ragnarok.
  • Face Death with Dignity: When Ragnarok, or rather the Great Collapse comes, the Norse pantheon walks to their destiny with their weapons drawn.
  • Fan Disservice: Two of the three Daughters of Lerion run around with one of their ample breasts exposed, but with the rest of them clad in sinister shamanistic outfits made of bones and their being bat-shit insane mass murderers, it's hardly titillating.
  • Fed to Pigs: While Eivor is interrogating Lady Aethelswith, Ivar the Boneless comes in and throws some severed heads for the pigs to devour right in front of her as an intimidation tactic, and Eivor has the choice to either use it or tell him to leave, but the pigs continue eating regardless.
  • Finishing Move: Quite possibly the biggest new addition to the series' combat system is a wide variety of cinematic moves to finish off defeated opponents, most of them spectacularly gory and involving anything from a brutal No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to decapitation to multi-dismemberment. There's also a set of special animations that play when Eivor assassinates an Order member, which always involves an X-ray-style shot of the target's inner organs being pierced by the Hidden Blade.
  • Finishing Stomp:
    • An actual skill Eivor can learn to quickly finish off stunned enemies. It's moderately helpful against early-game Mooks, but Elite Mooks are too difficult to stun most of the time, and late-game cannon fodder tends to die so quickly that they rarely get a chance to get stunned.
    • Several Finishing Moves end with Eivor stomping the victim's head into the ground.
  • Fishing Minigame: Building the fishing hut in Raventhorpe automatically gives Eivor access to a fishing line they can use to, well, go fishing in the world's rivers and lakes. Caught fish can be traded for certain items at the fishing hut, or sold for silver at the general trader. Some are also required at sacrificial altars. A similar mechanic exists for land animals, but in their case no special equipment is required.
  • Flunky Boss: The majority of (bonus) bosses have backup when they're fought, including several of the legendary animals. One that stands out is Gemad-Wulf, a giant striped hyena that calls in packs of wolves as reinforcements... however that's supposed to work.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When Coelbert lays dying, he tries saying Ivarr's name repeteadly before passing. While it seems like he's just asking for a loved one, Ivarr's admittance that he killed him means that it was most likely Ceolbert trying to tell everyone who killed him before passing.
    • The first hint that the Asgard/Jotunheim dreams have a grain of truth to them is that most of the "magic" seen in them - such as forcefields and teleporters - look just like Isu technology from past games. Why would Eivor, a person whose culture believes in natural magic, and who has never seen such technology, imagine them in such a specific way?
    • During Fulke's White Room scene, Odin prevents Eivor from attacking her by pulling them backwards by their axe. His entire Boss Battle near the end of the game is built around this trick, with the battle being less about defeating Odin and more about finding a way around this specific ability.
    • Following Aelfred's deposing, Eivor and Guthrum have a talk in a church where the latter asks Eivor if the Christian afterlife sounds appealing. This foreshadows how historically following Guthrum's defeat at the Battle of Eddison in 878 at Aelfred's hands, he will end up converting to Christianity.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: The visions of Valhalla that Eivor sees are implied to be the story of the Great Collapse from the perspective of the Norse Pantheon, but related in a way a 9th Century Viking would understand using the story of Ragnarok. It's confirmed when the secret memory of the last Valhalla vision is shown after completing all 10 Animus anomalies, showing the same memory and a bit afterwards but without the mystical trappings of the visions. For instance, instead of furs and cloth the Norse Isu are wearing metallic body suits, and instead of an actual tree Yggdrasil is a metallic, tree-like contraption with what appears to be fetuses on top.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In the last Asgard memory when the main Aesir drink of the mead of immortality at Yggdrasil before facing their fate in Ragnarok, one of the faces briefly shifts to what appears to be a fetus in a sac. This foreshadows that the whole Asgard sequence is actually telling the tale of the Great Catastrophe that rendered the Isu functionally extinct.
  • From the Mouths of Babes: One side quest is about helping a young boy woo his crush (King Aelfred's daughter) by presenting her with a rose, upon which his friends declare that he's now betrothed. One of the kids immediately opines that there's more to a betrothal than that, like holding hands and especially a lot of praying, because she always hears these people scream "Oh God! Oh God!".
  • Full-Boar Action: One hostile animal species are wild boars that will attack Eivor on sight.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • Some localizations require downloading the English language pack for the game, otherwise there will be no captions and no voice acting. Also, in the Polish localization, flyting doesn't work correctly due to sloppy translation of the dialogue options.
    • Starting the game before downloading the Day One Title Update (v. 1.0.2) can prevent the game from triggering the main story mission A Seer’s Solace. It’s recommended that players download the latest patch before playing for the first time.
    • The PC version has a problem with Eivor being unable to shoot arrows backwards while on horseback. They can aim and draw their bow but won't release the string. Needless to say that this makes getting rid of pursuing enemy cavalry and especially predators a whole lot more annoying.
    • The Animus Anomalies sometimes don't let you interact with beam emitters or the data packet at the top, forcing you to reload and restart. If you're lucky, getting Layla desynchronized is enough to fix it, but don't rely on it. The anomaly in Norway in particular has proven impossible to complete for some PC players thanks to this.
    • Many players have reported their legendary animal trophies randomly disappearing from Raventhorpe's longhouse, or never showing up in the first place.
    • Anything that requires cooperation with an NPC, like forcing doors or the lid of large treasure chests, is prone to not working as it should. Always save before raiding a monastery because if running away and trying again a minute later doesn't fix it, only reloading a save will.
    • There's an offering altar in Eurvicscire that demands five pieces of fabric. The problem is that fabric can only be looted from chests for as long as you haven't fully upgraded Eivor's arrow quiver and ration bag. If you already have by the time you reach the altar, you can't complete the event because the required resource simply doesn't spawn anymore in the world.
  • Gender Is No Object:
    • The Norse and Saxon bandits have women amongst their Faceless Mooks, which goes without commentary. As a result you might not realize there are women there save for their cries when hit in battle.
    • All Romance Sidequests are available to Eivor of either gender.
  • Giant Mook: A large number of Elite Mooks tower head and shoulders over the normal infantry, but what takes the cake are the aptly named Goliaths and their variants. These guys are as wide as they're tall, yet surprisingly fast regardless and (unsurprisingly) immensely strong melee fighters. And how resilient are they, you ask? They're the only enemy type that Eivor can only finish off by snapping their neck with quite some effort involved, as opposed to the usual dismemberment anyone else is subjected to.
  • Girl in the Tower: One sidequest involves Eivor rescuing a lady from a tower guarded by a knight, after beating up the knight it turns out they're a couple engaging in sexual roleplay and the woman is now interested in Eivor much to their annoyance.
  • A Glitch in the Matrix: Anomalies are a callback to the Truth and Rift Puzzles from AC2 and Brotherhood, you have to climb platforms to reach an animus datafile and see hidden information.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: In order to fight Aelfred near the end of the game, Eivor finally calls upon all the alliances they've made during the game in order to defeat Wessex.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The Roman-era Hidden Ones in Brittania spent their time trying to balance the scales between the Romans and the native tribes by killing those in the way of freedom, only to be forced to evacuate themselves when the Romans abandoned Brittania because the native tribes also viewed them as an enemy. As one Hidden One put it in a letter, they spent so much time damaging the pillars of Roman imperialism that they weren't prepared to deal with the result once they'd succeeded.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: The conflict that takes place in Valhalla follows in the footsteps of Assassin's Creed III, Rogue, and Unity when it comes to who's more in the right and who's more in the wrong. No matter how honorable, reasonable, and inspiring the Vikings can be, the Saxon Kingdoms are still completely in their right to defend their lands and people from foreign invaders. By the same token, while the Danes are seeking to conquer all of England, the various petty kings and rulers of the land are, while not as bad about conquest, still often hated by their own people to various degrees for other horrible actions.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: When Eivor and his brother visit the Isu Valhalla simulation near the end of the game the whole "dead people coming back to life the next day" works like this. Wake up, fight/die, wake up again, ad infinium.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Some of the requirements for the best ending aren't quite so clear cut, particularly for whether Sigurd returns to Ravensthorpe with Eivor or not. There are five critical choices throughout the game, of which you need to choose correctly for at least three of those decisions. However, there's nothing to set these important decisions apart from others, and it can be very easy for somebody to pick all the "wrong" choices in a blind playthrough without even realizing it.
    • Collecting the game's ultimate armor set is fairly straightforward, assuming you complete all Mysteries on the map. Acquiring the three legendary weapons, however, is the complete opposite. There are no hints that they even exist (aside from Thor and Odin wielding theirs in the Asgard arcs), let alone what you need to do to get your hands on them. Even if you do know that they're tied to certain collectibles, figuring out what to do with them once you've found them all is another matter entirely.
    • The lack of side quest tracking means that numerous world events and mysteries can be tough to complete without a guide. Many don't even tell you clearly what you're supposed to do, let alone how and where. Others require the application of some serious Insane Troll Logic to proceed.
  • A Handful for an Eye: Some enemies have a nasty habit of chucking an entire man-sized cloud of dirt at Eivor to blind them. Even if they're standing on ice.
  • He Knows Too Much: Implied to have happened to Alcuin of York when he learned about the Order and tried warning Charlemagne about it, as the letter he was supposed to have sent ended up in the possession of Aethelwulf of Northumbria before passing down to Aelfred. Aelfred himself notes in his writings that his father would never say how exactly he got that letter, implying some sort of involvement in his assassination.
  • Heal Thyself: With active healing abilities no longer existing, restoring health in combat is tied to consuming one of your limited amount of rations or performing finishing moves on stunned enemies. A specific skill allows Eivor to regain the green part of their health bar by dealing damage to enemies, and there exists a shield as well as a mythical weapon rune that restores a lot of health simply by parrying an incoming attack.
  • Heinous Hyena: Despite its name the legendary animal boss known as the Gemad-Wulf is actually a striped hyena, albeit much larger than normal.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Layla manages to slow the machine down, preventing it from spewing a dangerous magnetic field, but thanks to the failsafe implemented in the Isu machine, she is automatically forced to drop the staff and dies from radiation exposure. As a result, she joins or becomes one with The Reader (heavily implied to be Desmond Miles), to try to find a timeline to prevent any more dangerous world catastrophes from occurring.
  • Hiding in Plain Sight: Eivor isn't welcome in English towns, and thus needs to blend in crowds and/or pretend they belong there by interacting with their surroundings while wearing a cloak.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: The game tends to present a very favorable view of the Vikings, despite the fact that they had been violently raiding and pillaging England for centuries and are forcibly colonizing parts of it and displacing, ruling, or outright massacring the Saxons and native Britons in the process.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: King Aelfred the Great is one of Britain's most venerated ancient rulers (hence "The Great"), though here the dev team have noted his portrayal as an Anti-Villain and he's seemingly one of the main antagonists. The World Premiere trailer frames him as a xenophobic ruler fighting to protect his kingdom from those he sees as ruthless foreign invaders. The actual game depicts him as more of an Anti-Villain forced to work with the Order in order to save his lands from the invading Vikings.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: Almost literally in some cases, many Finishing Moves revolve around Eivor killing the enemy with their own weapon. If an enemy carries more than one weapon, there's at least one finisher for each of them.
  • Horny Vikings: While most of the helmets are historically accurate, a Norwegian shaman is shown wearing a horned headdress in the World Premiere trailer. In general, the Vikings are portrayed more like they are in pop culture rather than how they were in history.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Eivor can heal back from near death in seconds just by munching on a handful of raspberries, scarfing down a bowl of soup or consuming a ration in combat.
  • Interface Screw:
    • Some bandit types can throw sand in Eivor's eyes, which obscures most of the on-screen action and prevents the player from blocking or parrying even if they can make out what's happening.
    • Consuming alcohol makes Eivor's view go all wobbly. Finishing a drinking duel makes it so bad that players have reported getting motion sickness from the effect. Fortunately, Eivor is badass enough that even being utterly smashed doesn't keep them from fighting at peak capacity if need be.
    • The battle against Odin is actually unwinnable, and you actually need to escape him in order to win. However, every time you try to run, he will prevent you by pulling you back via the axe you're holding. The way to thwart Odin is to manually unequip the axe from your inventory.
    • When Odin is under the influence of a truth serum concocted by Angrboda, while interrogated about Asgard's defenses, no matter what choices you make Odin will say the opposite because the serum is preventing him from lying.
  • Interface Spoiler: Unrevealed Order members are cast in deep shadows in the menu, but it isn't quite enough to hide what they look like.
  • Irony: As in the real world, Christianity eventually spreads around the world... yet in the AC universe, it's the pagan gods who keep coming back from death.
  • The Juggernaut: In the World Premiere trailer the Vikings are ridiculously strong, chopping off heads and sending people flying with spears, they mow through the Saxons and each Viking shown falling in the actual fighting requires multiple enemy attackers.
  • Kill It with Fire: Once again an Assassin's Creed protagonist can set their melee weapons and arrows on fire, though unlike in Odyssey, fire kills almost any enemy in seconds, plus it prevents them from fighting back while they're running around screaming in agony. Conversely, the bandit faction has two special enemy types that deploy a variety of powerful fire attacks that can kill Eivor just as quickly... or themselves and their buddies, because their AI has no concept of "blast radius".
  • Large and in Charge: Many Elite Mooks are significantly taller than their lower peers, with some of the largest (often a Goliath-type enemy) usually serving as the commanders of larger strongholds.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • When Eivor meets Reda in Ravensthorpe, one of the questions Eivor can ask is if they've met them before because they feel familiar.
    • When Layla approaches the 7th Animus Anomaly and Rebecca tells her that there're ten in total, Layla jokingly asks if the Animus hands out achievements for completing them all. Rebecca doesn't get it, so Layla just drops the topic.
  • Legendary Weapon: Eivor can find and wield Excalibur, probably the most famous sword in Western mythology, as well as Mjölnir and Gungnir, the personal weapons of Norse gods Thor and Odin, respectively. All three are, unsurprisingly, Isu weapons.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: This is ultimately what the Yggdrassil Temple's Valhalla simulation is.
  • Made of Iron: The heavy soldier in the World Premiere trailer withstands the majority of Eivor's attacks and is unfazed by being stabbed through the leg with a sword, with most of Eivor's attacks bouncing off his armor. Just before he slits Eivor's throat, Eivor exploits the soldier's one weak spot by stabbing a hidden blade into his helmet's eye socket.
  • Made of Plasticine: Many of Eivor's gruesome melee finishers only work because of the Rule of Cool. Real human bodies would make them impossible to pull off in the way they're shown, like ripping someone's entire head off at the neck by ramming a sword in their back and pulling the full blade upwards. That last part alone would be quite a feat in real life, considering all the bones in the way.
  • The Marvelous Deer: Two legendary animals Eivor can face are the Elk of Bloody Peaks, and O Yan Do' Ne, a moose with blood-red antlers named after the personification of the east wind in Iroquois mythology, which takes the form of a moose.
  • Misplaced Wildlife:
    • The Gemad-Wulf is a striped hyena, which only existed in Europe during the Pleistocene.
    • The Elk of Bloody Peaks that Eivor can fight in Norway is an American elk as opposed to a moose, which is what "elk" normally describes in Scandanavia. (Moose comes from Algonquin and is used to differentiate moose from the American elk in the United States and Canada) While in the past the American elk ranged as far west as France during the Pleistocene, the last relict populations in southern Sweden and the Alps died out during the early Holocene.
    • You can encounter lynxes in Britain, even though they went extinct around AD 400, almost 500 years before the game takes place.
    • Snakes can be found absolutely everywhere, even in freezing biomes where cold-blooded reptiles can't survive. Or in pots without any water or food to sustain them in underground ruins that haven't been visited in a long while.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: The game reintroduces the "social stealth" aspect of gameplay, coupled with Distrust areasnote  where Eivor should go hooded to avoid drawing the guards' attention. However, there's no drawback to just killing all the guards to explore the area undisturbed.
  • Mushroom Samba: Eivor can indulge in hallucinogenics in order to have bizarre visions ranging from seals popping up in dry land up to portals to other realms.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Nerf:
    • Equipment perks have been severely nerfed from their Odyssey performance. Most only provide minor stat boosts that become obsolete once you've leveled up Eivor and their gear a bit. By the time you hit the midgame, your choice of armor and weapons mostly boils down to visual preference. Only a small handful of weapons have noticeably powerful perks, like one shield that heals about a third of Eivor's health every time you parry an attack.
    • Abilities were hit just as hard. Between the reduced number of adrenaline pointsnote , being tied to a rare type of collectible to even unlock, many non-Ability actions also consuming adrenaline if the pip isn't completely filled, and Eivor's extreme combat prowess with weapons alone, one can comfortably play through the entire game without ever using a single Ability.
    • The "spy through your bird's eyes" feature has been weakened considerably, with Eivor's raven being unable to spot and mark enemies and treasure. If you want to know what awaits you, you'll have to get close and see for yourself.
  • Nipple and Dimed:
    • Played straight for humans, averted for female Jotun whose nipples can be seen through their tops.
    • Averted in one specific instance during the Essex arc: when you go to retrieve Rollo from a bawdy house the prostitute who is whipping him is only wearing a helmet above the waist. Played straight with the other prostitutes in the room, who are stuck in permanent underwear.
  • No-Gear Level: The Vinland arc starts you off with nothing but Eivor's Hidden Blade - no weapons, no armor, no rations, no resources at all. The few equipment pieces you can purchase from local traders require resources you can only find in enemy camps. You do the math. Weirdly, even if you do go to the trouble of acquiring all that gear, it won't change much as the local enemies stay much more powerful than you regardless of the potentially vast level discrepancy and your gear's great stats. Therefore the whole arc provides the game's only area where stealth is actually useful.
  • No-Sell: In the World Premiere trailer, Eivor's attacks simply bounce off heavy soldier's scale armor. Stabbing the soldier through the leg with a sword only serves as an annoyance.
  • Non-Indicative Name:
    • As Eivor puts it to Ceolbert when he notices that Eivor and Sigurd sound different from Ubba and Ivarr, not all "Danes" are literal Danes from Denmark, as Vikings hail from all over Scandanavia proper and even beyond, such as Eivor and Sigurd coming from Norway and Jarl Soma from Finland.
    • The Gemad-"Wulf" is actually a striped hyena.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Certain NPCs (particularly children) speak with a North American accent that's quite noticeable when everyone else speaks with either a British or a Danish accent. A notable case is Otta Sluggason, played by Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger using his normal voice and accent.
  • Not So Different:
    • Eivor notes to Hytham that as a conquering force the Norsemen aren't really that different from the Order of the Ancients, which Hytham forcefully denies.
    • The Saxons themselves, while victims of Norse predations, are noted to have themselves originally come from elsewhere and colonized the region like the Norse are doing during the time of the game. Historically they even ended up getting Christianized like the Norse did afterwards.
  • Off with His Head!: Decapitation is a frequent result of melee finishers and often even normal deathblows.
  • Oh, Crap!: In the World Premiere trailer, King Aelfred's second-in-command has a strong reaction when his armored brute is killed by Eivor mere moments away from executing the latter. While it's clear he's surprised at this turn of events, if his king is associated with the Order of the Ancients then he's realizing the implications of the Hidden Blade's presence.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: To use Thor's Hammer you have to prove yourself by collecting all the pieces of his armor first, which can't be done until after the main quest is complete. Same goes for Excalibur.
  • Palette Swap: Bandits and Jotun field exactly the same troop types that use exactly the same tactics and animations, only with different skins - humans for the former, blue-skinned ice giants for the latter.
  • Player Headquarters: Eivor's village of Ravensthorpe serves as this. By investing in it, you expand the village over time so that it grows into a proper community where you can upgrade your equipment, take missions, and customize your character.
  • Politically Correct History: The game glosses over the more unpalatable aspects of raiding (like killing civilians and taking thralls) and the Pagan Norse religion (blood sacrifices), presumably to avoid having the player character seem like too much of a Villain Protagonist. Discussed in detail by Bret Deveraux here.
  • Power-Up Letdown: The game in general is fairly stingy with its rewards.
    • Leveling up only gives a choice of some minor stat improvements instead of abilities.
    • The nerfed equipment system means that completing a new armor set rarely results in a noticeable increase in Eivor's combat effectiveness, and it never influences the player's play style as heavily as it did in Odyssey, if at all. Weapons are a bit better about this, but only a few provide notably powerful perks.
    • The reward for collecting every single wealth item in Asgard and Jotunheim, respectively, which can take up multiple hours in total, is a measly five skill points each.
    • The reward for beating Steinbjornn, the game's most powerful Bonus Boss, is... absolutely nothing. Not even an achievement or some other form of recognition.
    • The game's ultimate armor and weapons are barely any better stat-wise than the non-Isu gear, and their perks are nothing to write home about, either.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: When you raid, you're more interested in stuff you can use (to build up your settlement) than pure money or frivolous things like gems. The giant chests you force open are gilded as a gameplay affectation, but inside you can clearly see that they're full of tools and building materials.
  • Pre-Rendered Graphics: The "First Look Gameplay Trailer" is, in fact, just a montage of pre-rendered cutscenes that have been misleadingly advertised as gameplay.
  • Rain of Arrows:
    • Remember the ability of that very name from Odyssey? Where you shot some arrows skywards that would then blanket a large area with Death from Above? Well, it's back... but only enemy elite archers can use it. Which they do. With pleasure. And it hurts. A lot.
    • Fortresses under assault occasionally launch massive volleys of Arrows on Fire at the invaders, which invariably includes you.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Well, fortunately not so much raping, but the game makes no bones about you doing a lot of pillaging, since you are settling in England without anyone's permission and need a lot of material goods to build up your settlement. In the first chapter of the game, you've got some settlements in Norway to raid, but Harald Haradra uniting all the fiefdoms under his rule means raiding each other is a no-no, so off to England you go. And as far as burning goes, during a raid your fellow vikings will usually torch a building after you've gotten all the goods from it (or sometimes before).
  • Rare Candy:
    • The ingots you need to upgrade your equipment level can be purchased in small amounts from traders, but for the most part their prohibitive price tags still restrict your supply to the ones you find in treasure chests in heavily guarded areas.
    • The materials required to upgrade Eivor's settlement can only be looted from monasteries, and sometimes gained from completing main quests.
  • Religious Bruiser: The World Premiere trailer shows Eivor and his clan conducting rituals to gain Odin's favor before going on raids, and Eivor has a vision of Odin mid-battle that spurs him on in combat.
  • Resurrective Immortality: The Isu of Asgard survived the Cataclysm by using the same method Juno used on Aita, with Eivor's ability to see visions of Valhalla is a side effect of this. Also, Basim's motivation for turning on Eivor turns out to be revenge for Eivor's past self killing the son of Basim's past self.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Layla's brother asks in an e-mail if the reason she's disappearing for a while is because she's socially distancing due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, when the reality is that she's looking through Eivor's memories with the help of Shaun and Rebecca.
  • Romance Sidequest: Eivor can enter into romantic relationships with various citizens of Raventhorpe, usually after completing a quest or two for/with them. All romances are always available regardless of Eivor's gender, but unlike in Odyssey you can only commit to one at a time.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: The World Premiere trailer presents King Aelfred the Great as being on a campaign to eliminate the Vikings in order to put a stop to their vicious raids in 9th century England.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The last shot of the game shows the Reader and Layla, now a being of light like him, looking for a solution to the cycle of catastrophes in the bundle of all possible timelines. Said bundle looks like a tree of light, under which a man and a woman stand.
  • Sequence Breaking: While the various alliance quests have a set level that suggests the intented order, a well-equipped player can take on things earlier than intented. For examples, Eivor can start the Winchester arc before dealing with Fulke, yet her death is discussed in the intro to the story arc.
    • Once you return the final batch of order medallions to Hytham, Eivor mentions the one belonging to "The Father" is among them, after which the two openly discuss his identity and motivations; the problem being that there are more medallions than is needed for the sidequest (Zealots drop them as well), making it possible to collect the final batch before Eivor or the player learns who "The Father" even is.
  • Sequel Hook: Layla and a being implied to be Desmond Miles start reviewing every possible future timeline together in a Isu Lotus-Eater Machine, while Loki is reunited with his wife in the modern times and promises to find their children and reunite the family.
  • Set Bonus: Every armor set provides two perks. One activates when two or more set pieces are equipped, the second once the whole set is worn.
  • Shield Bash: Eivor can not only use their shield the traditional way, but can use their shield to beat opponents, crush their enemies' skulls with devastating finishers, and even grab the enemy's shield and slam it over their heads to kill them.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The three Daughters of Lerion are Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia, each named after the three daughters of King Lear.
    • The Achievement/Trophy list has these shoutouts.
    • Ubisoft Connect also has the challenge named "The Definition of Insanity."
    • The "Twit Saga" quest chain features two idiot Vikings Eivor nicknames Dull and Duller.
    • One mission is called Alisa in Wunderlandscire.
    • One World Event deals with a bald warrior in yellow who can take Eivor down in a single "wallop" and laments how his power has cursed him.
    • After Eivor-as-Odin talks to Odin's dwarven smith in Valhalla the first time, said smith rattles off a bunch of names of famous dwarves that partook in an epic adventure to reclaim lost treasure. The list includes, among others, names like Thorin, Gloin, and Gandalf.
    • One of the Order members' White Room scenes ends with him being riddled with about two dozen arrows from the front, all while remaining standing upright, followed by one last arrow to the forehead that finally knocks him over. This mirrors an (in)famous scene in American Gods where something very similar happens to the first unfortunate Viking to set foot on North American soil.
    • More than one to Harry Potter:
      • There's an offering altar that demands some pieces of fabric. It's named Dobby's Altar.
      • A house in Lundun is guarded by a single snake and, aside from a minor loot chest, contains a note called "Strange List". It reads: "1. Diary; 2. Ring; 3. Locket; 4. Cup; 5. Diadem; 6. Snake; 7. ???"
    • One side quest giver promises Eivor cake if they solve three of his riddles, but when you do so it turns out that the cake was a lie.
    • After assassinating "The Quill" Eivor can find some children at the Wincestre Seminary. One child mentions how he admires Eivor for being an a great warrior who has fought many battle, unlike his father who took an arrow to the knee.
  • So Much for Stealth: One ability you can gain is the ability to use a heavy attack as a sneak attack on an enemy instead of the quieter Hidden Blade. This will have Eivor messily dismember the foe in a loud and attention-getting way, with the benefit of filling up all your adrenaline slots so you can then take on the other alterted enemies with ease.
  • Spotting the Thread: The biggest failure of Yggdrasil and Sigurd in convincing Eivor that the Valhalla simulation is real is the presence of Eivor's father. Eivor knows for a fact that there's no possible way for Varin to be in Valhalla due to him dying a "coward", which is their first clue that they are trapped in a simulation.
  • Storming the Castle: Most story arcs culminate in a large-scale assault on the regional fortress or castle. They're always messy, chaotic affairs where you have to fend off countless enemies while bashing down gates with siege rams, taking out defensive weapon emplacements, lowering drawbridges and, usually, defeat the Arc Villain at the very end.
  • Super Strength: The Grendel, despite being nothing more than an exceptionally large human has no problem throwing a dead cow on the roof of a shack.
  • Sheathe Your Sword: Near the end of the game Eivor has to battle Odin to escape the Valhalla simulation, Odin is invincible and when an exit from the combat arena appears he uses his powers to pull Eivor's axe toward himself with Eivor still holding it if Eivor tries to run away. To win you have to unequip your weapons then run for the exit.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • The runic inscriptions seen in the game were done with input from Old Norse specialist Dr Jackson Crawford, who also worked on Frozen. Here's his video on the subject.
    • Ljufvina Bjarmarsdotter, wife of Hjorr Halfsson, is depicted as more Asian-looking in comparison to the white Norse, which is because she's believed to be a Mongolian princess hailing from what is now Siberia, though Bjarmaland itself is believed to primarily describe the area of around what is now the southern shore of the White Sea, home to a people believed to be related to the Saami, and only sometimes the shore of the Barents Sea where the westernmost group of the Samoyedic peoples, the Nenets, have as their traditional home.
    • The Norse had some of the most extensive trade routes of the Middle Ages, stretching from Scandanavia itself to the Caspian Sea, and having connections to the Silk Road, hence the presence of Yanli from Tang China, Basim and Hytham from the Abbasid Caliphate through the Hidden One Bureau in Constantinople, and Reda from Egypt.
    • Lynxes could be found in Britain prior to being extirpated, though by Valhalla's time they would've been critically endangered if not outright extinct.
    • The main reason the Norse targeted monasteries is because compared to other areas they made relatively easier targets.
    • It was indeed believed by European royals that narwhal horns could protect against poisoning, as Halfdan tells Eivor when giving them a drinking horn made from a "sea unicorn" when trying to see if Faravid is disloyal.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Once an aggressive animal has aggro'd on you, it will only stop in its pursuit once you've put quite some distance between it and you. If that animal is fast enough to keep up with a horse, prepare to be chased to the end of the world unless you dismount and kill it. Lynxes in particular are virtually impossible to shake once they've singled you out as their next meal.
  • Take a Third Option: Leveling up Eivor's charisma by winning flyting duels occasionally opens up special dialogue options. They're not always beneficial, but most of the time they result in better outcomes than the regular choices, like avoiding a fight or saving you some bribe money.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: Eivor's "dreams" of Asgard and Jotunheim appear to be a blend of reality and myth - on one hand there's all kinds of fantastical elements such as dwarves, giant wolves and deer, and talking animals, yet much of what's seen has some basis on the series' lore as ancient technology and the "magic" is clearly technology.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works:
    • Well, Throwing Other People's Swords Always Works, actually, but close enough. With the appropriate skill unlocked, Eivor can pick up any melee weapon dropped by a dead enemy and hurl it at the closest living enemy, which deals heavy damage at the very least but usually results in a One-Hit Kill.
    • Another skill allows Eivor to hurl their axe at a nearby enemy after successfully assassinating another, also for an instant kill - two dead guards for the price of one assassination. Since guards are very often encountered in pairs, this is more useful than it sounds at first.
  • Tragic Monster: Grendel and his mother, in the legend the Grendel is an evil giant and his mother is a witch, here we see the events that inspired the legend, Grendel was an exceptionally large and strong but mentally handicapped man who accidentally slew some livestock and bandits while trying to play with them and didn't even understand why Eivor was trying to kill him, his mother turns out to be an old woman Eivor met earlier trying to protect her son by pinning the blame on the bandits, Eivor ends up accidentally murdering her due to the spores in her lair causing hallucinations of her being an actual Wicked Witch and trying to avenge her son.
  • Tron Lines: Excalibur has them. Being an Isu weapon, it's hardly surprising.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: The only thing you can do with enemy weapons is throw discarded ones at other enemies, provided you have the required skill. Outside of that there's no way to make use of enemy equipment at all even when it would be really helpful, like during the Vinland arc.
  • Useless Useful Stealth: Stealth is more of a gimmick than a central gameplay element.
    • No mission or task ever requires you to stay undetected, and Eivor quickly becomes such an unstoppable combat monster that charging in and killing every enemy in sight is almost always the simplest, quickest and most entertaining solution to any problem. The one exception is the Vinland arc due to being a No-Gear Level where enemies are actually dangerous.
    • This also extends to Distrust areas where the game's "social stealth" aspect should come to the fore. Sure, you can go hooded and try to avoid the few guards on patrol, but there're no penalties to being detected, and it's actually beneficial to just kill every enemy you encounter because then you can explore the area at your leisure.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: The Pict warriors wear nothing above their waists but fur capes draping their shoulders.
  • Wham Episode: The ending to the game's modern day section. Layla, Shaun and Rebecca discover a way to prevent the apocalypse, but the cave Layla needs to enter is too irradiated for a human to survive... without the staff from Odyssey. Layla makes her way to the machine, but using it causes her to lose consciusness, and to drop the staff. She's then tricked by Basim/Loki to take his place, after which Layla finds her only companion in the void - though faceless, he is voiced by Nolan North, who also voiced Desmond Miles. He tells her she'll die in under two minutes, which she accepts, and joins him in his calculations. Meanwhile, Basim is dropped from the machine, and holds onto the staff to revitalize his body... before telling the Isu within - his wife - that they succeeded. Basim then heads back to Shaun and Rebecca, manages to convince them to let him use the animus and to meet with William Miles; and after they leave, Basim aknowledges that he's now free to learn everything about Eivor's life, and promises his wife that he'll find their children and reunite.
  • Wham Line: When Ivarr reveals that he was Ceolbert's true killer, having framed Rhodri to spark war once more for revenge.
    Ivarr: Poor Ceolbert. He barely said a word.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: The playable area includes southwestern Norway, England, and part of what is now New York and New England in the form of Vinland.
  • Wolfpack Boss: A literal example in the case of the three wolves Hwit-Wulf, Eald-Wulf, and Niht-Wulf, legendary animals who Eivor fights at once.
  • Worst Aid: When Eivor finds Coelbert stabbed in the side but still alive in a wolf's den, they pull the dagger out before carrying him out. While Eivor notes that he's pretty close to death anyway, the dagger being removed likely kills him faster.
  • Villain Protagonist: You play as one of the Vikings invading and colonizing England. Even though the Raven Clan are nowhere near as bad as some other clans, they still fully intend to conquer all of England, albeit mostly through alliances as opposed to direct warfare. Eivor even compares their quest to the Order of the Ancients when first learning about them. Furthermore, even the leader of the Order is only keeping them running to protect England and her people from the Dane invaders.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: One of the available abilities, "Feign Death", simply involves Eivor falling over and staying there until the player does something. That said, enemies seem to check their vital signs, suggesting he's doing more than lying still. The ability's upgrade is also an example, as it gives Eivor the ability to assassinate from a prone position.
  • Young Future Famous People: Aelfred's daughter Æthelflæd shows up as a child in a World Event where Eivor gets a flower for a boy trying to woo her. Years later, she will be responsible for kicking the Danes out of England.

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