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"Family. Justice. Honor. These are the values guiding my blade. This truth is written in blood, and the shadows are where I strike. I am Giovanni Auditore, and like my ancestors before me, I am an Assassin."
―Giovanni Auditore, 1476.[src]

Giovanni Auditore da Firenze (1436 – 1476) was a Florentine nobleman and banker, the head of the Auditore family in Florence, and a member of the Italian Brotherhood of Assassins. He is an ancestor of Desmond Miles through the paternal line,[1]

Raised and trained along with his brother Mario from birth to be an Assassin, Giovanni had been aware of the Templar Order for almost all of his life. After leaving his hometown of Monteriggioni at a young age, he founded the Auditore International Bank in Florence, where he quickly became a close friend and ally of the Medici family, primarily Lorenzo de' Medici.

Giovanni opted to keep his true nature as an Assassin secret, with only his closest confidants being aware of it. These included Lorenzo, his wife Maria Auditore and eldest son Federico. His remaining children— Ezio, Claudia and Petruccio—were kept in the dark regarding his true affiliations, although by 1476, he was preparing to start training Ezio in the Assassins' ways as well.

After uncovering a Templar conspiracy to take over Florence, Giovanni sought to prevent it. However, he was betrayed by his ally, Uberto Alberti, who had been secretly turned to the Templar cause and arrested Giovanni, Federico and Petruccio on false charges of treason. Giovanni only had enough time to direct Ezio to his secret chamber in their family home, thus setting his son on the path to become an Assassin, before he was executed alongside his other two sons.

Biography[]

Early years[]

"Tu sei un Auditore. Sei un combattente. Perciò combatti!
(You are an Auditore. You are a fighter. So fight!)"
―Giovanni speaking to Ezio at his birth, 1459.[src]-[m]

The grandson of Renato Auditore, Giovanni was born in Monteriggioni in 1436, two years after his elder brother Mario. From an early age, both Giovanni and his brother were taught the ways of the Assassins, although Giovanni was also tutored in banking and other subjects as well.[2] At some point in his younger life in Monteriggioni, Giovanni also explored the Auditore Family Crypt.[3]

In time, Giovanni left the family villa and joined his relative Ilario Auditore in Florence, who served as Gonfaloniere to Cosimo de' Medici. In 1452, Giovanni met and married Maria de' Mozzi, to whom he revealed himself to be an Assassin. After four years, their first son Federico was born, followed by Ezio in 1459, Claudia in 1461, and Petruccio in 1463.[4]

In 1454, Giovanni aided the members of his Brotherhood in dealing with a Shroud of Eden. After Mario had uncovered the artifact underneath Monteriggioni, he summoned his brother to bring it out of the city, and into the protection of the Order.[3]

In 1455, Giovanni first encountered a young Lorenzo de' Medici, grandson to Cosimo. Lorenzo had fallen into the Arno river, and would have drowed had Giovanni not jumped in and rescued him. As a result of this event, Lorenzo later became Giovanni's close friend and patron; forging the ties between their families.[5]

Around 1456, Giovanni represented Paola in court after the latter had killed a guard who had attacked her, managing to win the case on a self-defense plea.[6] Afterwards, Paola joined the Assassins,[7] and her sister Annetta became a servant for the Auditores.[8]

Giovanni also eventually revealed his true nature as an Assassin to Federico, whom he subsequently trained in the Brotherhood's ways, and to Lorenzo, for whom he undertook several missions behind the backs of most of his family.[5]

Pursuing Rodrigo Borgia[]

In 1476, Giovanni tracked down Rodrigo Borgia, Grand Master of the Italian Templars, in a Florentine alleyway. Although Giovanni managed to eliminate two of his bodyguards and incapacitate the third, Rodrigo escaped. The Assassin then handed the third guard over to Uberto Alberti, the current Gonfaloniere of Florence, for questioning.[9]

Through torture, the guard revealed that Galeazzo Maria Sforza, the Duke of Milan and a powerful ally of Lorenzo's, was to be assassinated by the Templars, of which Giovanni was quickly sent to prevent it. Though he unfortunately arrived too late to save the Duke, Giovanni was able to eliminate some of his murderers, while the Duke's bodyguards killed the rest.[9]

With all of the Duke's killers dead, Giovanni searched the corpse of one of the assassins, Giovanni Andrea Lampugnani, and found a pouch of coins stamped with the winged lion of Venice. Recognizing the seal, he immediately set off for the city.[9]

Arriving in Venice, Giovanni infiltrated the Basilica di San Marco and eavesdropped on a group of men conversing in a nearby room. The two men, Marco and Silvio Barbarigo, then dispatched a courier, with a message for their master in Rome.[9]

Giovanni chose to pursue the courier, before finally confronting him in a secluded area. After a lengthy battle, he overpowered and pinned down the courier, with his Hidden Blade held to the man's throat. However, refusing to answer his questions, the courier impaled himself on the blade, leaving Giovanni frustrated, albeit with a letter sealed with the crest of the House of Barbarigo. From there, Giovanni returned to Florence and presented the letter to Lorenzo, although they found that it was encoded.[9]

Screen shot 2

Giovanni speaking with Lorenzo before leaving for Rome

That night, Giovanni was summoned to meet with Lorenzo and Uberto. Before leaving, Maria reminded her husband that their son, Ezio, who was watching them from behind a nearby haystack, was becoming suspicious of his banker father having to leave their home at night so often. Giovanni promised that he would speak with him soon, and left.[9]

Arriving at the meeting, Uberto falsely claimed that Father Antonio Maffei had been unable to decrypt the letter, and that the only course of action was for Giovanni to deliver the letter himself. To this, Giovanni agreed, and headed for Rome with a copy of the letter in hand.[9]

Giovanni's fight

Giovanni defending himself from the ambush

In Rome, Giovanni delivered the letter, and followed it until it reached the hands of Rodrigo Borgia. He then followed Rodrigo into St. Peter's Basilica, where the two finally exchanged words. Rodrigo remarked his respect for the Assassin's skills, and offered him the chance to join the Templar Order, so that he could live to see the "new world." Giovanni refused, and was subsequently attacked by Rodrigo's henchmen. Despite being heavily outnumbered, he prevailed, although a knife thrown by Rodrigo wounded him gravely, and allowed the Templar the opportunity to escape.[9]

Giovanni returned home, where his wife tended to his wound. During this time, he confessed to her that he feared the assassination of the Duke of Milan had only been the beginning of a much wider conspiracy. Before he could go on however, the two were interrupted by their son Federico, who warned him that Father Maffei had arrived with armed guards. Asking his son to provide him cover, Giovanni slipped out of the palazzo through a secret passage within the fireplace.[9]

Betrayal and execution[]

"You are the traitor, Uberto – and one of them! You may take our lives this day, but we will have yours in return, I swear! We will–"
―Giovanni's final words, 1476[src]-[m]
Intro Uberto v

Giovanni introducing Uberto to Ezio on the day of the betrayal

Around this time, Giovanni found evidence suggesting Francesco de' Pazzi had committed murder, and so he had Uberto Alberti arrest him.[10] As a result, Francesco's son Vieri developed an intense rivalry with Ezio.[11]

Following a brawl between Ezio and Vieri on the Ponte Vecchio, Giovanni scolded his son for his behavior upon his return home, although he noted that it reminded him of himself when he was younger. He then tasked Ezio with delivering a letter to Lorenzo, but was surprised to learn that Lorenzo had left the city for a short while. Undeterred, Giovanni had Ezio deliver several more letters, and pick up another from a pigeon coop.[10]

While Ezio was away, armed guards sent by Uberto suddenly invaded the Palazzo Auditore. As a result, Giovanni and his two other sons were arrested, and taken to be imprisoned in the tower of the Piazza della Signoria.[12]

Before long, Ezio had managed to climb the clock tower, where Giovanni told him to retrieve the contents stored within his chest in the room behind the fireplace, and deliver the evidence exonerating him and his family to Uberto.[12] Ezio did so, donning his father's Assassin robes and equipment before going to Uberto's home to give him the evidence.[13]

LMS 1 v

Giovanni and his sons at the execution

The next day, however, Giovanni was shocked to find Uberto and Rodrigo Borgia together, with Uberto denying ever receiving any evidence. Following this, Giovanni and his sons were sentenced to death on the grounds of treason, though not before a furious Giovanni declared that Uberto would pay for his betrayal with his life, as would his new Templar benefactors. A horrified Ezio, who witnessed the ordeal from below, cried out that Uberto was lying, but was ultimately unable to prevent his father and brothers' hanging.[14]

Hours later, Giovanni, Federico and Petruccio's bodies were to be disposed of in the Arno, though Ezio was able to retrieve them with the assistance of Cristina Vespucci. He then gave his late family members a proper funeral by floating them out on the river in pyre ships.[15]

Legacy[]

"My dear sons, dark skies are rising over Florence and time is running low. The enemy is closer than I thought. Now, the final battle is about to unfold. Every man is mortal, every life bounds to an end but certain things will never change. Federico and Ezio, my sons, always remember: we are the Auditore da Firenze and we are Assassins."
―Giovanni Auditore.[src]
Heirloom 2 v

Ezio retrieving Giovanni's Assassin equipment

Despite his untimely death, Giovanni's actions would have lasting consequences for his surviving family members, particularly for his son, Ezio.[2]

Having prepared for a turn of events such as those what ultimately happened, Giovanni had arranged for his live-in servant Annetta to take his wife and daughter to her sister's establishment, where they would be safe. There, Annetta's sister Paola, a courtesan that Giovanni had previously represented in court and had introduced into the Assassin Order, provided Ezio with some basic training in blending, and gave him the skills necessary to execute his revenge on Uberto Alberti before he left the city.[2]

When Ezio arrived in Monteriggioni, his uncle Mario was shocked to discover that his brother had never told Ezio of his Assassin heritage, or that Giovanni himself had indeed been an Assassin. Despite this, Ezio soon vowed to take up his father's work, which included locating what remained of the Codex, and to avenge his death with the blood of Rodrigo Borgia and his Templar allies.[2]

In August 1503, Giovanni's other surviving child, Claudia, was initiated into the Assassin Order, while Ezio was promoted to Mentor and leader of the Italian Assassins.[16]

In 1510, Ezio discovered a letter written by Giovanni in 1458,[17] referencing the library of Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, which set in motion Ezio's search for knowledge, and his eventual journey to Masyaf.[18]

Personality and traits[]

"There will come a day in which men no longer cheat each other. And on that day we will see what mankind is truly capable of."
―Giovanni Auditore.[src]-[m]
ACPL mario giovanni

Giovanni departing Monteriggioni

Giovanni was trained from birth in the Assassin ways, alongside his brother Mario. Despite this mutual upbringing, the two parted ways later on, due to a philosophical divide over how to live their lives.[2]

Giovanni, who had been tutored in banking, preferred to live a calmer life, whereas Mario wished for more action.[2] This difference eventually led to the two brothers losing touch with one another to such a degree that upon his arrival in Monteriggioni in 1476, Ezio Auditore was unaware who exactly his uncle was.[19]

The divide also affected how Giovanni brought up his children, with only his eldest son, Federico, knowing of their heritage; however, although his other children were unaware of his true nature, Giovanni did allow others to know of it, trusting in their secrecy. Among these were many of Giovanni's contacts within the mercenaries, courtesans, and thieves guilds, who knew the Assassin by name, suggesting a certain degree of mutual trust between them.[7]

Screen shot 3

Giovanni instructing Federico to protect the family

Despite never telling his younger children of their heritage, Giovanni did work to prepare them for life as an Assassin. By the time of his death, he had already begun training Federico and was preparing to begin training Ezio as well. A strict father, Giovanni nonetheless showed great affection for his children, and saw a younger version of himself in their antics at times.[10]

Skills and equipment[]

Customarily armed with his Hidden Blade, sword, short blade and at least two throwing knives, Giovanni was a skilled warrior, who proved himself able to hold his own against multiple opponents in combat. He was also a competent free-runner, much like his sons, and would often use the skill when shadowing a target.[9]

Trivia[]

  • "Giovanni" is an Italian variation of the Hebrew name Yohanan meaning "God is gracious". The English equivalant is John. The name "Auditore" is the Italian word for "auditor."
  • In the Bible, Evangelist John's (in Italian "Giovanni") symbol is an eagle, which keeps with the tradition of Assassin's names being connected to this bird.
  • Giovanni knew about Ezio's Eagle Vision, although it is unknown if he too possessed the skill.
  • Giovanni left his Assassin outfit behind for Ezio to find; however, in Assassin's Creed: Lineage, it lacked the characteristic eagle's beak on the hood, as well as several other details.
  • The sword that Giovanni stored for Ezio was the common sword, but in the cutscene where Giovanni was killed, it was replaced by an old Syrian sword.
  • Giovanni died at the age of forty, the same age which Ezio was when he confronted Rodrigo Borgia in Rome.
  • In Assassin's Creed: Renaissance, Giovanni was the last member of the Auditore family to be hanged. During this, he called Uberto a traitor and that the deaths of his family would be avenged, among other things, before walking towards the gallows and meeting his fate. In Assassin's Creed II, the Auditore were hanged simultaneously, and Giovanni was killed before he could finish speaking.
  • In the novel, Mario told Ezio that Giovanni’s Hidden Blade was a family heirloom, passed down from father to son, and that it "was broken in a...confrontation (Giovanni) was involved in many years ago, but he could never find a craftsman skilled or trustworthy enough to restore it." However, Lineage contradicts this, instead showing that the blade was broken mere days before the beginning of the game.
  • The Hidden Blade bracer that Giovanni used and passed on to Ezio was replaced in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood after the Fall of Monteriggioni, and was not seen subsequently. However, many years later, Desmond Miles received a bracer identical to it in modern times, though this is most likely non-canon, as the bracer's appearance was changed in Brotherhood and Assassin's Creed III to a more modern-looking blade.

Gallery[]

Appearances[]

References[]

  1. Assassin's Creed IV: Black FlagNoob's personal files: "CONFIDENTIAL - Subject - RE: Potential time periods?"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Assassin's Creed IIPractice Makes Perfect
  3. 3.0 3.1 Assassin's Creed: Project LegacyItalian Wars: Chapter 3 – Mario Auditore
  4. Assassin's Creed II
  5. 5.0 5.1 Assassin's Creed IIFour to the Floor
  6. Assassin's Creed IIDatabase: Paola
  7. 7.0 7.1 Assassin's Creed IIPlay Along
  8. Assassin's Creed IIJailbird
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 9.9 Assassin's Creed: Lineage
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Assassin's Creed IIPaperboy
  11. Assassin's Creed IIBoys Will Be Boys
  12. 12.0 12.1 Assassin's Creed IIJailbird
  13. Assassin's Creed IIFamily Heirloom
  14. Assassin's Creed IILast Man Standing
  15. Assassin's Creed: BrotherhoodLast Rites
  16. Assassin's Creed: BrotherhoodAscension
  17. Assassin's Creed: Revelations novel – Chapter 2
  18. Assassin's Creed: Revelations
  19. Assassin's Creed IIRoadside Assistance

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