Assassin’s Creed Valhalla – The History Behind the Viking Legend
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla takes place toward the end of the ninth century, a time when Norse tribes were leaving their homes in Scandinavia and sailing to the collection of fractured kingdoms known as Anglo-Saxon England. It’s here, during this age of transition, that you’ll take on the role of Eivor and lead your people to a new land in the search for a new home. As you embark on Valhalla’s epic Viking journey, you’ll lead deadly raiding parties, fight in massive battles, and build up a prosperous settlement, all within the historical backdrop of ninth century England.
When we use the word “Vikings,” who are the exact people we’re referring to?
When we say “Vikings” it’s kind of used as a generic word. The term “Vikings” actually refers to an elite class of the Norse society. They were a certain group of people in Norse culture that were traders, explorers, excellent seafarers, settlers, and, yes, sometimes invaders and plunderers.
The game begins with Eivor’s clan leaving their home in Norway. Why are they leaving? What’s happening in that part of the world at this time? We’re talking endless wars and conflict and a lack of resources and land. They left because they wanted to discover a new land and find resources. In the ninth century, the people of Scandinavia had recently discovered the use of sails and absolutely mastered them. At the end of the Roman period, the world was fragmented, and the Vikings played a very important role in reconnecting it, because they went nearly everywhere.
Assassin’s Creed games typically take place during well-documented historical epochs. Valhalla takes place during the Dark Ages, a time many people don’t know much about. Why is this period a good setting for Assassin’s Creed?
It may be dark, but it’s also a period of transition and transformation. It’s a really interesting period of rebuilding the western world, rebuilding values, rebuilding states and nations, and mixing cultures that were isolated before. It’s not only a period of conflict; it’s a period of intensive cultural exchange between people, and Vikings played an essential role in that rebuilding of the world through exchanges.
What kind of world is Eivor traveling to? What’s the state of England in the ninth century?
It was dominated by the Anglo-Saxons, but there were also Britons, descendants of Ancient Rome, and many others. It was a wealthy land, but it was a divided land, especially between rival Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. This was all very appealing for the Vikings, who took advantage of the situation of a divided England.
We see the king of one of those Kingdoms, Aelfred, in the new trailer. Who exactly is King Aelfred?
TN: King Aelfred is a very important character in England’s history. When the Vikings started to invade and settle England, all the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms fell, one after another. It not only survived, but he managed to repel the Viking invasion, and even managed to rebuild modern England.
It sounds like a time of frequent conflict, and of course, combat plays a huge role in Assassin’s Creed and in the trailer. How has your research informed the changes made to combat in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla?
It was really harsh; our research taught us that Vikings were very versatile fighters. They knew how to use a wide variety of weapons; and managed to dual-wield any kind of weapons they could get their hands on. There was so much variety in Viking combat, and that’s what we wanted to make available to the player as well. Research also taught us that Vikings had many different battle tactics, and that’s where the raids come from.
May 01, 2020 at 15:07