Finished Forsaken, questions and thoughts about Haytham. (Spoilers)

#1SymphonicRainPosted 1/23/2013 11:26:34 PM
First I'd like to ask, are the books considered canon? While I like the AC games, I'm not really involved in the community/fandom but I know every series has some other side material that people like to shoot down or confirm as canon. If the books are not canon then my thread will be irrelevant I guess.

Not even sure if the board is active enough that anyone will join in anyway. I'll use spoiler tags where possibly applicable in case you have any interest in reading the book or are reading it but have not yet finished, I just found that it answered a couple of the more common questions and complaints about Haytham.

About the whole Assassin/Templar thing, Haytham's dad was an Assassin and raised Haytham to think like an assassin. But Reginald Birch, his father's accountant, was a Templar. Birch had betrayed Edward although Haytham would not find out until his adult life. Birch took over raising Haytham with Templar ideals, and while Haytham was not forced, he does openly admit that looking back, he preferred the Templar way than what his father was teaching him. But as his father was killed while he was still young, he never officially became an assassin.

As to how he got the Hidden Blade, the man he kills in The Beggar's Opera is an assassin he met while on a mission in Corsica to bring back this boy named Lucio, as Birch had the boy's mother captive who said she would not translate the book Birch stole from the Kenways that had to do with 'Those who came before' unless she was reunited with her son.

Lucio had a bodyguard, Miko the assassin. After Haytham took Lucio, Miko pursued and they had a fight in a cave where Haytham lost his keepsake sword, a gift from his father.
Haytham threw Miko out of the cave but in one of those typical movie scenes, Miko pulled him out and he held on the edge, unclipping Miko's hidden blade and sending him falling.

Miko had grabbed onto the rope Haytham planned to use for his escape, but Haytham began cutting at it and warned Miko to descend, lest he be killed from falling at this height. He didn't seem to want Miko to die, but assured him that next time they met, one of them would die.


This is partly where I wonder if the books are canon, because looking at Miko in the first mission, he doesn't really look like a fearsome assassin, even less so than people thought about Haytham. And his taking the hidden blade was only a year prior, which still means that Miko was pretty old. Not at all how he was described in the book.

People also make comments about Haytham's relationship with Charles Lee, which the book shows was not as it appeared in game. Once Lee was brought into the Order, he began to question Haytham's dedication quite often, particularly critical of Haytham's relations with Ziio.
He comments that his feelings towards George Washington after being chosen as commander-in-chief festered like an open wound, and made note that he could see why Washington was chosen, because of Charles' English elitism. Charles was too British to lead the patriots.

As for why Haytham seemingly gave his life so that Lee could escape, it wasn't so much that, as he was done with Templars and Assassins alike. He planned to die to Connor. His loyalties were pretty much in limbo after learning of Reginald's betrayal, because it was like his entire life was a lie and he began to see Connor as the man he should have been.

That also accounts for how angry people were at Haytham being careless and getting jabbed in the neck when he'd shown capabilities far beyond such a stupid mistake.
Though in the book, instead of Haytham strangling Connor and Connor stabbing him in the neck, Haytham was not strangling him. Connor simply ran at him and caught him in the chest with the blade. (continued)
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"invade some poor sap and jihad bomb him" - LazyKenny
#2SymphonicRain(Topic Creator)Posted 1/23/2013 11:43:21 PM
After Haytham's death, (I should've started that the book is written in the format of a journal kept by Haytham) Connor adds a few entries of his own, recounting the fight with Haytham and noting that Haytham could've killed him, particularly when two guards showed up and Haytham had them lower their guns. He said that was all that kept him alive and wondered why, until he'd read his journal.

Haytham had a pretty crappy life overall, everything he knew was forged from treachery and lies, which he makes note of when he kills the 3 guards that he and Connor were interrogating. This is another turning point for Haytham's character that fans often spoke out against, because at first he seemed very noble but then killed guards who didn't have to die without a thought.

He knew he had become corrupt. He struggled with his loyalties to the Order and personal feelings for Ziio and Connor. Another example of this was Connor's execution.
Haytham, even though he had given Charles Lee the go-ahead, had hooded up and attended the execution with the intent to rescue Connor. He saw Achilles there, although the book doesn't address how Haytham knows Achilles, but I suppose with Assassins being Templar's enemies, they might know some of the notable Assassins.
Haytham has a hand in rescuing Connor and escapes, which obviously none of this is mentioned in the game.


Another thing that has no mention in the game is Jim Holden, which is quite sad because he was a valuable part of Haytham's life. He assisted Haytham a lot, and it was Holden who tracked down Jenny, Haytham's sister and the only living person who knew of Birch's betrayal. Haytham left America some time after Connor's birth to try to rescue Jenny who was being kept as a concubine, and later a slave to other concubines when her looks faded.

They had hoped to get out unnoticed but it turned into a heated battle, Haytham was reluctant to leave Holden but Holden forced him to, staying behind to hold off the eunuch guards that were a lot stronger than either of them had thought.

Just a brief note about the eunuchs, obviously the Sultan didn't want men helping themselves to the women, so the guards were all Eunuchs who had their bits removed and were burried up to the neck in sand and left for days. Only the strongest survived the torture and these were the ones chosen to guard.

Instead of killing Holden, they had subjected him to the treatment they gave the eunuchs. Haytham rescued him but was horrified to find the state he was in. It took Holden a long time to recover, and he was never the same after it.

After Haytham, Jenny and Holden deal with
Reginald Birch they free Lucio and his mother and Lucio stabs Haytham.
Holden stays with Haytham, who gets a fever, during his very long recovery. But pretty much as soon as Haytham recovers, Holden hangs himself which devastates Haytham.
He notes that the more numb and muted the response, the longer you take to grieve the loss. He also admits that Holden meant way more to him than any of his Templar brothers.


So yeah, his life was far from ideal. It was a great read and if you happen to have any interest in his character, I'd definitely recommend it. It was the first AC book I read, I wanted to pick it up because I knew it was primarily about Haytham, who I found to be one of the most appealing characters of the series. After reading the book, I grew fonder of him.

I simply wonder about whether or not the books are considered canon because if they are, it answers a lot of questions although Miko still seems kind of retconned, like how he happened to also be at the Beggar's Opera, how he looks to be in his late 50s etc..

Cool story bro.
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"invade some poor sap and jihad bomb him" - LazyKenny
#3MrHobagsPosted 1/24/2013 12:38:52 AM
I doubt it. I know that the comics featuring Nikolai Orelov are canon since Daniel Cross, a character that made his first appearance in the comics, was featured as an antagonist in AC3. Nikolai was featured a while ago in a promotional picture depicting all the Assassins on their official FB a while back too. Also, the comics are featured on Ubisoft's official online store. Forsaken by Oliver Bowden, is not. I should mention that two of his novels, Renaissance and Brotherhood are featured in the shop though, but these are just novelizations of their respective games and not original stories like Forsaken, which runs parallel to AC3.

I would like the book to be canon though since it would certainly clear up a lot of plot holes and serve to flesh out one of my favorite characters in the series. But at the same time, I'd rather Ubisoft work on an original story for Haytham to use in a possible side-game...
#4SymphonicRain(Topic Creator)Posted 1/24/2013 1:11:41 AM
MrHobags posted...
I doubt it. I know that the comics featuring Nikolai Orelov are canon since Daniel Cross, a character that made his first appearance in the comics, was featured as an antagonist in AC3. Nikolai was featured a while ago in a promotional picture depicting all the Assassins on their official FB a while back too. Also, the comics are featured on Ubisoft's official online store. Forsaken by Oliver Bowden, is not. I should mention that two of his novels, Renaissance and Brotherhood are featured in the shop though, but these are just novelizations of their respective games and not original stories like Forsaken, which runs parallel to AC3.

I would like the book to be canon though since it would certainly clear up a lot of plot holes and serve to flesh out one of my favorite characters in the series. But at the same time, I'd rather Ubisoft work on an original story for Haytham to use in a possible side-game...


Ah that's a shame, though I hadn't considered Ubisoft doing anything further with Haytham's character, I figured they were done with him entirely.
Did you read the other books? My enjoyment of Forsaken has me considering getting them, though I felt satisfied enough by the past games to not really continue thinking about them.
But I liked Haytham to the point that I wished the full game was about him, so I was eager to snatch up Forsaken and dive right in.
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"invade some poor sap and jihad bomb him" - LazyKenny
#5MrHobagsPosted 1/24/2013 2:12:53 AM
No, all the other books are just novelizations. And I don't typically enjoy those. If you want to relive the events of the past four games in written form, then by all means.

I felt like they could have done so much more with Haytham. And all the characters really. I was just left with a big "That's it?" when I beat the game. The scenes with Connor and Haytham were the most engaging for me, and he seems to be more popular with the fan base than Connor so I wouldn't be surprised if they chose to center a game around him. Though I'd prefer they further the story and revisit Connor again, but they already said they weren't interested in doing with Connor what they did with Ezio so...
#6CharpandaV1Posted 1/24/2013 2:13:18 AM
The books are all cannon, Rain.

Now as for Miko, do remember that both Altair (around 90) and Ezio (50's) were Assassins until old age. Heck, even William is still an assassin at 60 years of age, even if he doesn't appear to work on the field much.
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"...Pretty much boosting your boosting"-- DeliciousJello
Official Daniel Cross of the ACIII boards
#7SymphonicRain(Topic Creator)Posted 1/24/2013 4:33:37 AM
CharpandaV1 posted...
The books are all cannon, Rain.

Now as for Miko, do remember that both Altair (around 90) and Ezio (50's) were Assassins until old age. Heck, even William is still an assassin at 60 years of age, even if he doesn't appear to work on the field much.


It's less the fact that he is affiliated with assassins and more of what he can do as an assassin. Haytham gives Connor a run for his money and Connor writes that if this is what he can do at his age, he would have hated to face him at his prime. Yet if it hadn't been for the cave, who knows what would've happened with Haytham vs Miko, since Miko had him disarmed. Haytham confesses to getting away due to dumb luck.

Yet one year later, the guy in the opera house does not seem the type that is described. I know looks can be deceiving, but yeah.
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"invade some poor sap and jihad bomb him" - LazyKenny