Ubisoft has said both male and female main character options in Assassin's Creed Valhalla will be canon - but the game's official prequel has picked to portray Eivor as a woman.
Dark Horse graphic novel series Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Song of Glory details Eivor's life prior to Ubisoft's video game. A blurb, which we'll post beneath a spoiler warning below, includes some new details about her family we didn't know before.
It comes just a week after allegedly leaked messages from Valhalla's now-departed creative director Ashraf Ismail claimed the game was originally planned to feature Eivor as a woman only (which is why she has a traditionally-female name). Valhalla narrative director Darby McDevitt stepped in to say the claim was not "wholly accurate" but "obviously there is more nuance to all this".
This situation - where the hardcore fan-preferred female character option is picked for the game's extended universe - has happened before. Ubisoft said Assassin's Creed Odyssey supported both the male Alexios and female Kassandra as twin protagonist choices - only for that game's novelisation to go with Kassandra to canonise.
And, of course, new light has been shed on all of this in a recent report which claimed Ubisoft top brass consistently sidelined and downgraded attempts by development teams for a female Assassin's Creed hero who wasn't a secondary character or optional. It claimed Kassandra was originally intended to be Odysey's sole star, while Origins' Aya and Syndicate's Evie Fry were intended to feature far more prominently.
Early details on the three-part Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Song of Glory were first released several weeks ago, but a listing for a Penguin Random House hardcover collection of all its issues - not due for publication until April 2021 - has now provided far more detail.
While Song of Glory's story takes place prior to Valhalla, its worth being wary of spoilers concerning Eivor's family in the description below.
THERE MAY BE SPOILERS AHEAD:
"Fearless Vikings confront their destiny in this glory-seeking prequel to Ubisoft's next hit video game, Assassin's Creed Valhalla.
"Tensions escalate when a village caught between two rival kingdoms is brutally raided. Eivor, warrior and daughter of wise King Styrbjorn, dispatches the raiders, rescues the villagers, and claims the settlement for her father. She also seizes a prisoner - a woman, Gull, left behind by the rivals - who declares she possesses the secrets of Asgard itself. But there is more to Gull than meets the eye, and her capture will bring death and destruction to Eivor's family. In disgrace and lured by the promise of treasures and glory, Eivor undergoes a dangerous quest to regain her honor, but what terror awaits in the forgotten temple of a powerful god? All the time, her brother Sigurd forges his own legend while searching for fortune in the lands of the East. Far from home, he finds new weapons and fresh plunder, making a discovery that will change his destiny forever..."
Eivor has a brother! And he'll travel to the East... It's already established that early Assassins were active there by that point - could they be the reason for his trip? And what became of him afterwards? Will he feature in Valhalla too?
Tucked away at the end of last week, Ubisoft released a chunk of the Assassin's Creed Valhalla soundtrack to stream or download. And with it, quietly, a new version of the game's initial reveal trailer - finally giving female Eivor a chance to shine:
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