- "If there is one message Gavin brings with him in his tour around the world, it is this: The Assassins are no longer alone."
- ―Eric Cooper, 2014.[src]
Gavin Banks is the former leader of the Assassin Brotherhood, stationed on a ship named the Altaïr II. He keeps in communication with Assassin teams operating around the globe and monitors their progress on a daily basis. Following the death of his son, the distraught William Miles went into hiding and entrusted Gavin with the leadership of the Brotherhood. Around 2015, following the return of Miles to active duty, Gavin once again surrendered the control of the Assassins to the old Mentor.
Gavin spent part of his childhood in Japan, training under the Mentor Kenichi Mochizuki. In his adulthood, Gavin and William Miles were close, regarding each other in a friendly manner and trusting each other with the heavily-guarded secrets of the Order.
Gavin intended to seize the Altaïr II as a mobile headquarters for the Brotherhood, despite not knowing how to pilot a ship. He encountered Susan Drayton, who wanted to steal the ship to fight Japanese whalers, and they agreed to work together. Gavin recruited Stephanie Chiu, Eric Cooper, Emmett Leary and Akaki and Nodar Ninidze, with Emmanuel Barraza rounding out the ship's crew.
Roaming the seas
On 10 September 2012, Gavin was contacted by an Assassin operative who called him from a public phone in Brisbane, Australia. The caller told Gavin that it had been three days since he had last heard from his team, and that they had failed to report back. As Gavin instructed the caller to quickly pull out of the area, the telephone signal was interrupted. Later, Gavin personally confirmed that the Brisbane team had been eliminated.
Two days later, Gavin received a call from an operative named Janice, who was part of the Assassin team in Whistler, Canada. She demanded that Gavin send additional reinforcements as she had only two operatives with her. He replied that he would see what he could do, only for Templars led by Daniel Cross to attack the Whistler team at that very moment.
Weeks later, on 5 October, Gavin called William Miles and updated him on the status of the Assassin teams in Brisbane, Osaka and Moscow. In turn, William, who was in Italy, briefly informed Gavin of the favorable progress the Assassins were seeing at his end.
Traveling in America
On 24 October, Gavin received a coded message from Adriano Maestranzi, who instructed him to head to New York and informed him that William should be making contact with the Order soon. Two days later, Gavin met with William's team at an airport in Syracuse, New York, where he provided them with fake documents that allowed them safe passage into the country.
Gavin then began traveling around the United States, attempting to draw the Templars' attention away from William's team. On 2 November, Gavin sent a text from Stillwater, Oklahoma, informing William that the effort had been successful. The next day, he sent another text from New Orleans, updating William on the destruction of the Florence Assassin team.
Back at sea
On 4 December at 6:09am, Gavin and his crew picked up William's team from Vitoria Bay, Brazil, after the group recovered a First Civilization artifact there. Two days later, Gavin received a text message from William thanking him for the ride, and confirming that the team had made it safely to the Grand Temple.
On 6 December, Gavin sent a text message to William informing him that the Templar responsible for the attack on the Florentine Assassins had been identified as Juhani Otso Berg, a mercenary and ex-special forces soldier from Finland. He remarked that Berg was a serious threat, but that Adriano had managed to scar him. William responded by thanking Gavin for the information and told him that they would be on the watch for Berg.
On 19 December, Gavin received a call from Harlan Cunningham, the only survivor of the Florentine Assassins. Gavin was relieved to learn Harlan had made it to a safe house in Vienna, Austria, and expressed his sympathy regarding Adriano's death. He also reassured Harlan that it was not his fault that the other Assassins had died, before instructing the Assassin to go to Rotterdam in the Netherlands and wait for further orders.
On 20 December, Gavin got a text from William that his team had found the Grand Temple Key and were heading back to the Temple to open it. Gavin congratulated him and said that he would pass the news onto the other Assassins.
Leading the Brotherhood
William and his team successfully opened the Grand Temple and prevented the Second Disaster, but at the cost of Desmond Miles' life. The team went silent for nearly six months, until 14 May 2013 when Gavin received a coded text from Shaun Hastings with instructions to pick them up in Peru. Gavin and his team sailed there, meeting with Shaun and Rebecca Crane on 21 May, and they gave Gavin a book and letter from William.
The letter informed Gavin that William was leaving the Order, and that he had written all his knowledge down in the book for Gavin so that he could lead and rebuild the Brotherhood. William apologized for dumping this burden on Gavin, but made it clear that his decision to leave the Order was final. On 24 May, Shaun asked Gavin what he was going to do about William, but Gavin felt there was nothing to do but wait and move on with their work in the meantime.
Over the next few days, Gavin and his crew made improvements to the Altaïr II while sailing north. On 29 May, they reached California, where Gavin asked Shaun and Rebecca to be his eyes and ears in America and keep him apprised of Templar activity. He received several updates from Rebecca over the next few months, and on 27 August, Rebecca e-mailed him saying that she and Shaun were going in search of Desmond's body. On 3 September, Gavin received another e-mail from Rebecca, who expressed concern over the amount of resources the Templars were putting into Abstergo Entertainment.
On 11 September, Gavin and his team stopped in Honolulu Harbor. Susan wondered why they were not in Osaka yet, and Gavin expressed concern over the fact that his former Mentor Kenichi Mochizuki, leader of the Osaka Brotherhood, had not contacted him. Eric Cooper noted that all of their communications had gone down in December, but Gavin informed them that he and Kenichi had their own way to communicate.
Susan was worried about sailing into a trap, but Gavin reassured her they would not fall into it. He then ordered Eric to set sail for the Philippines, saying they were going to go "shopping". By 1 October they had bought weapons from arms dealers there, which Emmanuel inspected.
On 11 October, Gavin read an article about Abstergo Entertainment's Montreal studio which included a statement from its Chief Creative Officer, Olivier Garneau. Gavin e-mailed Rebecca and questioned her on who Garneau was and what he might know. On 2 December, Rebecca e-mailed Gavin about the death of their Abstergo mole, John Standish, and told him she and Shaun planned to leave Montreal soon. He wished them luck, sent his greetings to William, and informed her that he would make another attempt at reaching Osaka.
Mission to Japan
Gavin's team arrived in Osaka on 4 December, and he took Emmanuel and Eric to the headquarters of the Osaka Brotherhood. They discovered the Assassin cell had been decimated, and Gavin used his Eagle Vision to determine that the yakuza, not Abstergo, had carried out the attack. He ordered his team to search the city for any Assassins that survived, along with the yakuza responsible.
The crew of the Altaïr II gathered much information over the next nine days. Emmett learned that a particularly ruthless branch of the yakuza known as the Onmoraki-Gumi had supposedly been wiped out recently in a violent gang war, but their business fronts were still operating. Emmanuel tracked a financial transaction to the Onmoraki-Gumi's new base, but no one on the team was able to learn the identity of its new leader. On 13 December, Gavin decided that they would confront the yakuza directly.
On 17 December at 9:47pm, Gavin took Emmanuel with him to the headquarters of the Onmoraki-Gumi to demand a meeting with their head. They were confronted by a guard who introduced himself as Kiyoshi Takakura and threatened to beat them if they did not leave. Gavin refused and insulted Kiyoshi's fashion sense, provoking Kiyoshi into attacking Gavin.
Gavin was vastly outmatched by Kiyoshi, and Emmanuel was unable to help as he reminded Gavin that he was a pacifist. Several other members of the Onmoraki-Gumi emerged to watch the beating, which allowed Emmanuel to overhear them discussing how "Grandma" would not be happy with this due to how hard she had worked to hide the Brotherhood. Gavin's life was then saved by Emmanuel, who stuck his hand in front of Kiyoshi's Hidden Blade and revealed that he and Gavin were Assassins.
At 1:03am the next day, Gavin and his crew were taken to meet Saeko Mochizuki, the Mentor of the Osaka Assassins and wife of Kenichi. Gavin learned that she had taken over the Osaka Brotherhood after Kenichi was killed, and had led the Assassins in destroying the Onmoraki-Gumi before taking on the syndicate's identity. Gavin was not pleased by this development, but kept his criticism to himself.
Over the next two days, Gavin exchanged information with Saeko. After learning that the Osaka Brotherhood was low on supplies due to their recent struggles, Gavin gave them the guns his cell had bought from the Philippines as well as the contact information for their supplier there. He was then gifted with a new type of Animus headset that Saeko's team had stolen from an Abstergo Industries facility; Saeko then warned Gavin that she feared the Templars were planning something big.
On 23 December, Gavin complained that Dr. Stephanie Chiu was fussing over Emmanuel's injury while his own wounds went unattended. Stephanie told him that he should not have picked a fight with a trained yakuza Assassin half his age, but Gavin angrily reminded her that he would not have had to do so if Emmanuel had done his job. He then declared that the team needed an enforcer.
On 31 December, Gavin and his crew traveled to Tokyo with Saeko and Kiyoshi to gather supplies for their next mission. As the rest of his team occupied themselves across the city, Gavin ran across the rooftops of Tokyo to deal with his stress, and watched as fireworks went off at midnight to celebrate the new year.
Gavin decided that with the Assassin presence in Japan secure, it was time for his crew to move on. The Altaïr II left Japan on 15 January 2014, and Gavin turned to a riddle in William's codex to determine their next destination. Emmett questioned why they did not simply contact William, who had since returned to the Assassin Order, but Gavin informed him that he was not aware where William was or how to get in contact with him. He added that this was their own mission to figure out, and that it would not be any fun to have all the answers from the start.
Mission to Russia
On 7 March, after deciphering the clues in William's codex, Gavin, Emmanuel and Emmett took the Trans-Siberian Railway to Moscow. Nine days later, they established contact with Galina Voronina, a Russian Assassin who requested their help in assassinating her mother. She explained that that the cell in Protvino had gone silent because her mother had built her own Animus and forced the other Assassins to use it, driving them insane from the Bleeding Effect. After further discussion on 18 March, Gavin agreed to aid Galina, hoping to resolve the issue without resorting to violence.
They assaulted the facility on 20 March, where they were confronted with the maddened remnants of the Russian Brotherhood. Gavin and his allies watched as Galina almost effortlessly eliminated their attackers, following which they broke into the laboratory itself. There, they found Galina's mother, who was swiftly put out of her misery by her daughter.
Afterwards, Gavin convinced Galina to join the Altaïr II's crew as his enforcer, taking her with him to Saint Petersburg, where the ship had docked. He also had the Ninidze brothers arrange for their contacts in Georgia to form a new Russian Brotherhood, with Saeko Mochizuki providing weapons from the Philippines.
Reunion in Norway
By 10 April, Gavin had grown increasingly frustrated with William's extended silence. Fed up, he ordered his crew to locate William, and they eventually found him in a bunker in Norway, arriving there on 1 May. Gavin returned William's book and vented his frustrations, accusing William of "playing" him after granting him leadership of the Brotherhood.
However, the two put their differences aside when Rebecca discovered a member of Gavin's crew had been sending spy reports to a group called the Initiates for at least two years. Gavin confined his crew, excluding Galina, while William interrogated each of them to determine who the spy was.
With the interviews complete, William and Gavin announced that the spy was Stephanie Chiu and ordered Galina to kill her. This provoked Eric to reveal that he was also an Initiate, and that he wrote the reports which were then uploaded by Stephanie. However, William and Gavin then called off the execution, explaining it was all a ruse, and that Rebecca's research indicated the Initiates were a "reasonable" group.
In October 2014, a team of Assassins including Gavin and Galina destroyed an Abstergo laboratory in Paris which housed the body of John Standish, in an attempt to thwart their endeavors for the Phoenix Project. The Assassins were pursued to La Rochelle by Sigma Team, where they managed to escape on the Altaïr II.
Following the message of Shay Cormac's life being broadcast by Abstergo, Gavin sent out a message worldwide to the active Assassin cells demanding that they hide for their own safety, in the panic that followed amongst the Order's fear of being found by the Templars once more in another Great Purge like the one in 2000.
In 2016, Banks was contacted by an Abstergo informant, codenamed Rothenburg, who revealed to him that, thanks to a group of teenagers, the Templars were about to find one of the prongs of the Trident of Eden. The Assassin leader then contacted Griffin, who already had rescued two of the teenagers, Owen Meyers and Javier Mondragón, to tell him about the artifact.
A few weeks later, Banks passed a warning from Rothenburg that a Templar strike team had found the storage unit Griffin and the two teens were using as a hideout, and ordered Griffin to meet with Rebecca Crane, who had set up an Animus to locate the second prong through Owen's Chinese ancestor. Unfortunately, Owen's genetic memories turned out to be a dead end, so Griffin contacted Gavin to inquire on any intel from Rothenburg, but the Assassin leader stated that his informant had been silent. This left Griffin no other recourse than to infiltrate the Aerie, where Natalya Aliyev, Sean Molloy, David and Grace Collins were being kept and rescue them, as one of them had the genetic memories that would lead to the prong. Owen and Javier joined Griffin on the raid, knowing their friends would not trust the Assassin.
Unfortunately, Griffin was only able to rescue Natalya and David, while Owen was left behind. Subsequently, Gavin was contacted by Rothenburg, who was displeased with the raid and threatened to cut off further contact but Gavin managed to talk them down. Rothenburg then informed him that the Templar Isaiah was planning an expedition to Mongolia, where the second prong was hidden. Gavin then relayed this information to Griffin, who then tried to convince Natalya, whose Mongolian ancestor knew the prong's hiding place, to help them find it. At Javier's suggestion, Natalya talked with Gavin directly, demanding that she and her friends accompany Griffin to Mongolia in exchange for her help. Gavin then contacted Yanmei and ordered her to rendezvous with Griffin and the three teens in China.
Personality and characteristics
While Gavin demonstrated the use of Eagle Vision to discover the fate of the Osaka Assassins, Eric Cooper noted that it didn't come naturally, and that he looked tired after using it. This suggests that Gavin may have gained the ability through training, or that he had an innate, but low aptitude for it.
He is also shown to be a capable freerunner, when he traversed the rooftops of Tokyo to deal with pent-up stress Gavin is also fluent in Japanese, as seen when he ordered Kiyoshi Takakura to take them to his leader.
Behind the scenes
Gavin's name is Welsh/Scottish in origin and means "white hawk" or "battle hawk".
- Assassin's Creed: Initiates (first appearance)
- Assassin's Creed: Rogue (mentioned only)
- Assassin's Creed: Last Descendants
- Assassin's Creed: Last Descendants – Tomb of the Khan
- Assassin's Creed: Gold