Ravensthorpe is one of the many brilliant bits of Assassin's Creed Valhalla. It's your new Viking settlement, RPG hub, and home to a growing cast of characters who come and live along beside you.
Valhalla features plenty of real-world locations in their Viking-era forms, such as London (Lunden), York (Jorvik) and good old Norwic (Norwich).
Ravensthorpe, too, is a real place which can be found on any modern day map of England. Eurogamer editor Oli Welsh tells me he actually grew up just down the road from there, so already knew the name well.
But here's the thing (and with apologies to Oli) - it's all a complete coincidence. Despite having the same name and being in the right place, Valhalla's Ravensthorpe was designed to be entirely fictional.
Here's Valhalla narrative director and Assassin's Creed lore master Darby McDevitt to explain:
"We chose the name Ravensthorpe because Eivor's clan was the Raven clan, and Thorpe means 'farmland'... and we set the settlement in the middle of Mercia so it was centrally located on the map.
"We had NO idea that there was a real Ravensthorpe in exactly this location in real life, until a few months ago. Granted there is no river running by the real Ravensthorpe, but a lot can happen in 1000 years. Rivers change courses.
"A sign from Odin, I think."
McDevitt broke the news via reddit to a user who similarly lives close to the real Ravensthorpe, excited by seeing their local village getting global representation (Oli, was this you?!) You really couldn't make it up... except Ubisoft did just that.
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