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"The people never have the power. Only the illusion of it. And here's the real secret: they don't want it. The responsibility is too great to bear. It's why they're so quick to fall in line as soon as someone takes charge. They want to be told what to do. They yearn for it."
―Haytham Kenway, 1781.[src]-[m]

Haytham E. Kenway (1725 – 1781) was a member of the British Rite of the Templar Order, and the founder and first Grand Master of the Colonial Rite, reigning from 1754 until his death. He was also the father of the Assassin Ratonhnhaké:ton and an ancestor of Victor Flores Castillo[3] and Desmond Miles, the latter through the paternal line.[4]

Son of the pirate and Master Assassin Edward Kenway, Haytham was converted to the Templar cause at a young age by Reginald Birch, following his father's death in 1735. When not focusing on his Templar duties, much of Haytham's early life was spent trying to track down his father's killers, as well as locate his sister Jennifer, who had been abducted on the night of their father's murder.

After being sent by Birch to the British colonies in America in 1754 to locate a suspected Isu storehouse, Haytham remained and established a permanent organized Templar presence in the colonies. He briefly returned to Europe in 1757 to resume his search for Jennifer, eventually finding and rescuing her in Damascus. Upon being informed by Jennifer that Birch was responsible for their family's demise, the siblings led an assault on his home in France and killed him in revenge.

Following his return to America, Haytham resumed his role as Grand Master. Under his leadership, the Colonial Rite grew exponentially, almost completely destroying their Assassin counterparts, and manipulating the colonial governments at every level.

When the American Revolution broke out, Haytham and his fellow Templars tried to influence its outcome to their benefit, hoping to create a new, independent state where Templar ideals of a New World Order would become law. However, their plans were thwarted by Haytham's son Ratonhnhaké:ton, who had become an Assassin under Achilles Davenport's tutelage and whose existence Haytham had previously been unaware of.

Seeing an opportunity to unite the Templars and Assassins and bring a permanent end to their war, Haytham later struck an alliance with his son and worked alongside him to further the Revolution. However, after their partnership inevitably fell through, Haytham admitted that his dream of conciliating the two orders was unachievable, and resolved to protect what was left of the Colonial Rite from Ratonhnhaké:ton, ultimately dying by his son's blade in 1781.

Biography[]

Early life[]

"I was one of the lucky ones, you see, who had a mother to kiss me good night, and a father who did, too; who loved me and my half sister, Jenny, who told me about rich and poor, who instilled in me my good fortune and urged me always to think of others."
―Haytham reflecting on his childhood, 1735.[src]
The Young Eagle

Haytham moments after birth

Haytham was born in London, England on 4 December 1725. During his youth, he lived in his family's mansion in Queen Anne's Square, alongside his parents Edward and Tessa Kenway and older half-sister, Jennifer Scott. Unbeknownst to him, Haytham was trained to become an Assassin by his father from an early age, and was tutored on how to use a sword, despite barely being six years old. A lonely child, Haytham was home-schooled by "Old" Mr. Fayling, and was not allowed to talk to the children who lived next door, although he did once manage to speak to a neighbor his age, Tom Barrett.[1]

On his eighth birthday in 1733, Haytham's family was walking home from a trip to White's Chocolate House on Chesterfield Street, when the group were attacked by a mugger trying to steal Tessa's necklace. Reginald Birch, one of Edward's senior property managers who was also with them, threatened to kill the man but was dissuaded by Edward, who was infuriated at Birch's harsh vigilantism.[1]

When Haytham returned home that day, Edward asked his son whether he thought the thief should have been allowed to go free. Haytham replied that he initially held feelings to enact revenge but would have offered the man clemency. Satisfied with the answer, Edward then presented his son with a steel short sword, before putting it away in a secret compartment in the games room, as it was only to be used with his permission.[1]

Losing his father[]

"I was on the floor, dazed, sprawled opposite Father, who lay on his side with the sword handle still protruding from his chest. There was life in his eyes still, just a spark, and his eyelids fluttered momentarily, as if he were focusing, taking me in. For a moment or so we lay opposite one another, two wounded men."
―Haytham describing his father's final moments in his journal, 1735.[src]
Friend of the Family

Reginald Birch watching Haytham's sword training

Haytham continued his training, where Edward encouraged his son to think for himself and dispute others' opinions. During this time, Birch became a regular visitor to the Kenways, as he was courting Jennifer. Shortly before Haytham turned ten, Birch approached him and expressed interest in his training; Haytham mentioned to him that his steel sword was kept hidden in the games room.[1]

Not long afterwards, Haytham overheard an argument between his father and Birch in the former's office, though he could not make out what the two men were saying. As Birch was about to leave, he briefly turned to Haytham and told him that he had tried to warn his father. Subsequently, Edward hired two British soldiers to guard the house.[1]

On 3 December 1735, the night before Haytham's tenth birthday, five mercenaries attacked the Kenway household. Edward managed to dispatch one, but was killed when another attacker plunged a sword through his chest. During this event, Haytham took his first life by grabbing the first man's sword and stabbing his mother's attacker in the eye. Soon after, Edward's murderer knocked Haytham over, but was prevented from killing him too when Birch arrived and slew the mercenary. Regardless, they were unable to prevent the fourth and fifth men from kidnapping Jennifer and setting the mansion on fire.[1]

Becoming a Templar[]

"It is a requirement when you are raised in the manner that I was. Perception is fundamental to the Order. It guides the feet when running and climbing. Informs the hands when striking and fighting. But most important, it transforms the senses. And we begin to know the world in a different way."
―Haytham discussing his training with Charles Lee, 1754.[src]-[m]

After successive funerals for those killed during the attack, including Tom and Haytham's nursemaid Edith, Birch approached Haytham with the boy's sword, which he had recovered from the rubble of the house. Birch revealed that having been appointed by Tessa as the family councilor and guardian, he was going to search for Jennifer in Europe, and was going to take Haytham with him. He revealed that his source for her location were his Templar contacts.[1]

Haytham was enthralled by the notion of working with a Knight, but wanted to stay and look after his mother, who had been too ill to attend the funerals. Birch noted Haytham had not actually seen her since the attack, and added that she had been traumatized by seeing her son kill a man. After finally speaking to his mother, whose cold attitude confirmed Birch's observation, Haytham decided to leave London for Europe.[1]

Meeting the Bulldog

Haytham meeting Edward Braddock

The night before his departure, Emily, the chambermaid, informed Haytham that her sister Violet, a servant for the Barrett family, had overheard Jennifer screaming about a traitor as she was dragged into the mercenaries' carriage. The following day, a man with a West Country accent had threatened her into keeping quiet. Emily suggested Birch could be the traitor, which Haytham dismissed, but he then realized Jack Digweed, Edward's personal valet, had been away during the attack. After Birch introduced him to Edward Braddock, a fellow Templar in the army who was to conduct the search for Jennifer, Haytham told him of his suspicions. Birch and Braddock soon discovered Digweed was missing, but vowed to find him.[1]

For the next five years, Birch and Haytham searched for Jennifer, who had been sold to Turkish slavers, until the outbreak of the War of the Austrian Succession in 1740 forced them to curtail their efforts. The two bought a chateau near Troyes, France, where Birch continued to instruct Haytham in the ways of the Templars. Haytham found solace in the Templar ethos, which he felt to be a comfortable match to his father's philosophy of questioning, although he was skeptical of Birch's beliefs about the Isu.[1]

In 1744, Haytham was inducted into the Order and performed his first assassination on a greedy merchant in Liverpool, followed later by killing an Austrian prince. These actions soon gave Haytham the reputation of an efficient killer.[1]

Finding his father's killers[]

Hunting Digweed[]

"You think you’ve made a name for yourself, Haytham Kenway. The killer. The Templar blademan. Because you’ve killed a couple of fat merchants? But to me you’re a boy. You’re a boy because a man faces his targets, man to man, he doesn’t steal up behind them in the dead of night, like a snake... like an Assassin."
―Digweed's torturer confronting Haytham, 1747.[src]
Juan's Journal

Haytham reading the journal

In 1747, Haytham travelled to Spain and assassinated the Templar traitor, then retrieved a journal containing largely coded research on the Isu for Birch. On meeting Birch in Prague, Haytham was informed that his mother had passed away after suffering a fall. While returning to London, Haytham reread his childhood diary and realized that Betty, one of the nursemaids, had been in a relationship with Digweed. After Tessa's memorial, he tracked Betty to her current place of employment and interrogated her. She revealed Digweed had been blackmailed by a man with a West Country accent, who threatened his children.[1]

Betty pretended to not know where Digweed was, but Haytham shortly intercepted a letter from her addressed to Digweed's location in southwest Germany. Haytham and Birch arrived there two weeks later, and questioned a shopkeeper. When the shopkeeper appeared reluctant, Haytham threatened his son Christophe, forcing him to recount that he had already informed two British soldiers of Digweed's location, and that they had blackmailed him into keeping quiet. Learning Digweed lived in a cabin fifteen miles north, Haytham and Birch immediately rode out.[1]

Digweed's Fate

Haytham and Birch pursuing "Pointy Ears"

On the way, Haytham spotted one of the soldiers riding back, and noticed he had pointed ears like the man who had kidnapped Jennifer. Soon after, they found Digweed being tortured by the remaining soldier, and Haytham pursued the man into the forest, where he caught up and pinned him down by stabbing his kidney. The soldier, who turned out to be the man with the West Country accent, revealed that Edward had been an Assassin and had been killed for something in his possession, but died before he could say anything more.[1]

Subsequently, Haytham found papers revealing that the man served under Braddock's regiment in the Dutch Republic, and returned to the cabin to inform Birch. There, learning that Digweed had died of his injuries, Haytham resolved to pursue the pointy-eared man into the Dutch Republic.[1]

Working with Braddock[]

"He killed and killed. Enemy or ally. Civilian or soldier. Guilty or innocent. It mattered not... If he perceived one to be an obstacle, they died. He maintained that violence was a more efficient solution. It became his mantra... and it broke my heart."
―Haytham lamenting on Braddock's cruelty, 1754.[src]
The Black Forest

Haytham and Tom Smith arrested by British troops

After a day of riding, Haytham caught up with the kidnapper and fought him, until British troops arrived and knocked the pair out. Haytham awoke to find himself with a rope around his neck, and that he had been mistaken for the pointy-eared man's fellow deserter. Haytham managed to break free, but was too late to prevent the mercenary's execution.[1]

Braddock soon informed Haytham that the man's name was Tom Smith, like many other men who had joined under a placeholder name, and expressed indifference to one of Jennifer's kidnappers having been under his command all along. He then gave Haytham permission to conduct his investigation among his troops, but also requested his fellow Templar to serve with him during the war against the French.[1]

Haytham aided the British as a member of Braddock's Coldstream Guards during their retreat from the Siege of Bergen op Zoom.[5] As they departed on the ships, a man asked if his family could come on board. Haytham obliged him as there was room, but Braddock refused. The man responded by calling him craven, so Braddock angrily ordered his executioner Slater to kill them all; even the infants were not spared.[1]

Haytham witnessed more acts of cruelty and violence from Braddock as they served together and realized that Braddock was turning away from the Order's wider goals. In the meantime, he befriended Private Jim Holden, who had been forthcoming with information about Smith. He revealed he had been a member of Braddock's inner circle of mercenaries, which worried Haytham. He eventually asked Holden to leave the army and become his gentleman's gentleman, primarily acting as his carriage driver.[1]

Searching for the storehouse[]

Retrieving a codebreaker[]

Miko: "You have my blade."
Haytham: "To the victor the spoils."
Miko: "Perhaps we will meet again... and I can reclaim it."
—Miko and Haytham after their fight, 1753.[src]

In 1753, Haytham was ordered to kidnap a young rebel named Lucio Albertine in Corsica, who was being protected by the Assassin Miko. On being ambushed by the Assassin, Haytham lost his treasured short sword, though the fight ended when Haytham pulled Miko into a crevasse, but was subsequently dragged in along with him. Miko grabbed hold of a rope and Haytham's arm to prevent himself from falling into a steep drop, though Haytham loosened Miko's Hidden Blade from his arm and bit his hand, causing Miko to fall.[1]

While this did not finish off his adversary, upon Haytham's suggestion, Miko fled to fight another day. Afterwards, having the Assassin's Hidden Blade to compensate for his lost sword, Haytham brought Lucio to Birch so that the Templar Grand Master could blackmail Lucio's mother Monica into decoding the journal that Haytham had retrieved from Juan Vedomir.[1]

Stealing the Grand Temple Key[]

Birch: "Have you seen it before?"
Haytham: "Once. My father brought me here as a child, though I remember little of it. And I don't suppose tonight will afford me the luxury of a proper viewing either."
—Haytham reflecting on his first play he attended with his father, 1754.[src]-[m]
A Deadly Performance 2

Haytham with Birch in the Theatre Royal

On 18 April 1754,[1] Haytham and Birch attended the musical The Beggar's Opera by John Gay, in the Theatre Royal in London. Although lamenting the fact that he did not remember much of the play from when his father had brought him to see it as a child, Haytham's true purpose there was to obtain an Isu artifact from an attending patron, who happened to be Miko.[6]

After discreetly climbing up to the Assassin's booth, Haytham assassinated Miko following a brief exchange and stole his amulet. He then fled the opera house, eluding the security personnel that had been alerted to the murder, and met once more with his co-conspirators. At the meeting, Birch explained to all the Templars present that, from his research, he had learned the amulet was a "key" which opened an Isu storehouse located somewhere in the New World.[6]

Haytham was subsequently tasked by Birch with finding the storehouse and, simultaneously, expanding the Order's influence in the British colonies. The Templars had chartered Haytham passage aboard a merchant ship called the Providence, which would sail from London to Boston. Before leaving, Haytham was given a list of five names, all of whom were individuals symphatetic to the Templar cause who might prove useful in his quest for the storehouse.[6]

Aboard the Providence[]

"But let me be clear, should you ever dare to insult or threaten me again, I'll not hesitate to cut off your head myself. Are we understood?"
―Haytham threatening Samuel Smythe, 1754.[src]-[m]
Journey to the New World 8

Samuel Smythe talking with Haytham

On the second day of his journey aboard the Providence, Haytham engaged in a fight with some of the ship's crew, Hector Graves being the main assailant. After defeating him and another sailor, Quill, he was taken to the captain's quarters to speak with Samuel Smythe. There, the captain informed him that some of the crew members were potentially planning a mutiny. Smythe reminded Haytham that such a revolt would rule out him ever reaching the Colonies, so he agreed to investigate.[7]

Haytham passed the time by reading the decoded copy of Juan Vedomir's journal, and began to lose his skepticism about the Isu, becoming as fascinated as Birch.[1] On the twenty-eighth day of his journey, Haytham sped up his investigation by request of the increasingly worried captain. After asking the cook and doctor about information regarding peculiar actions, he was referred to a man named James Fairweather. James told him that crew members had been gathering above deck and quietly conversing about things that he believed "boded ill". From there, after a splashing sound was heard, Haytham went below deck and discovered that painted barrels had been thrown overboard.[7]

Journey to the New World 18

Haytham dueling Louis Mills

Five days later, Haytham spoke with Smythe about the marked barrels being thrown overboard on a daily basis, determining that they were a marker to leave a trail for another ship. Seconds later, a vessel was sighted, which began to attack the Providence. Haytham wished to help, but as there was nothing he could do, Smythe sent him below deck, where he was confronted by Louis Mills. Mills revealed that he had been the one throwing the marked barrels overboard and that he was in fact an Assassin who had pursued Haytham to exact retribution for Miko's murder. On agreeing to settle the matter with a sword duel, the two engaged in combat and Haytham killed Mills.[7]

The Templar returned above deck and forced Smythe to lead his ship into an approaching storm to lose the pursuing vessel. During the storm, Haytham helped to secure the ship's rigging before flying the foremast to quicken the Providence. After lightning snapped the main mast and left James hanging from a rope, Haytham quickly saved the man. Just then, the attacking ship was seen appearing to sink, having also been struck by lightning.[7]

Journey to the New World 27

The Providence arriving in America

After being at sea for 72 days, the Providence reached Boston. Upon disembarking, Haytham was immediately greeted by Charles Lee, a British soldier and associate of the Templars who was the first name on Birch's list Birch. Lee offered to give Haytham a short tour of the city, during which they met Benjamin Franklin and learned thieves had stolen pages[8] from a newly-printed first volume that collected some of the 1733 writings in his annual Poor Richard's Almanack;[9] Haytham agreed to recover the pages and deliver them to Franklin if he happened upon any.[8] Eventually, Haytham found all of the missing pages, earning him Franklin's gratitude and £500.[10]

Gathering the Colonial Templars[]

"Upon this paper are the names of five men sympathetic to our cause. Each is also uniquely suited to aid you in your endeavor. With them at your side, you will want nothing."
―Birch giving Haytham the names of the Templars in the colonies, 1754.[src]-[m]

Arriving at the Green Dragon Tavern, from where he was to conduct his investigation, Haytham met the second of his Templar recruits: William Johnson. Now effectively the Grand Master of the Templar Order in the Colonies, Haytham's first objective was to unite all the men on his list so that they could locate the Isu storehouse together.[11]

ACIII-Surgeon 1

Haytham discussing his next move with Johnson and Hickey

After speaking with Johnson, Haytham and Lee learned that some of his research had been stolen and decided to find those responsible with the help of Johnson's assistant, the soldier Thomas Hickey, whose name was also on Haytham's list. Meeting with Hickey, who had managed to track the stolen research to a fort, Haytham devised a plan to infiltrate the fort with Lee and Hickey's assistance.[11]

Ambushing the mercenaries who had stolen Johnson's work, the trio successfully killed all of them before Lee grabbed the chest containing the research and carried it back to the Green Dragon Tavern while Haytham and Hickey protected him.[11] With his work recovered, Johnson attempted to narrow down the location of the storehouse while Haytham and Lee decided to search for their next recruit: the surgeon Benjamin Church.[12]

After finding Church's home ransacked, Haytham concluded that he had been kidnapped and resolved to conduct an investigation with Lee. Eavesdropping on a conversation between Church's neighbors, he learned that the surgeon had been taken somewhere in north-eastern Boston. Following this, he climbed to the top of the New South Meeting House to view the rest of the city for other prospects.[12]

ACIII-Surgeon 8

Haytham and Charles rescuing Benjamin Church

The second eavesdrop gave Haytham relatively nothing and was a conversation between two British Regulars. The third—also a conversation between two Regulars—notified Haytham that Church was in debt to someone and that a man named "Cutter" planned to torture the kidnapped surgeon. The final conversation, between two civilians, revealed that Church had been taken to the top of a hill, at a fort which had a doctor.[12]

After obtaining this information, Haytham met with Lee, who had conducted his own investigation, to determine where Church was located. Piecing together that the surgeon had been taken to the water-front besides the fort, the pair slipped by undetected to a locked door at the edge. Silently, Haytham stole a key from one of the nearby guards and opened the door to the building.[12]

Entering the warehouse with Lee, Haytham found Church tied to a chair, surrounded by a few British Regulars and being interrogated by a man named Silas Thatcher, who was in charge of Southgate Fort. After Silas left, Lee and Haytham silently killed the soldiers and Cutter before freeing Church and taking him back to the Green Dragon Tavern.[12]

ACIII-Soldier 5

Haytham confronting Edward Braddock

For the final name on his list, Haytham traveled to the Copp's Hill Battery to retrieve John Pitcairn, who was a soldier serving under his old acquaintance, Edward Braddock, by now a general. After gaining access to the camp with Lee's help, Haytham located Pitcairn and Braddock near the end of the battery. As Braddock confronted Pitcairn over his unauthorized presence in Boston and planned to have him arrested for desertion and treason, Haytham intervened and explained that Pitcairn was in the city on Templar business.[13]

Braddock, already annoyed by his superiors' orders to allow Lee to assist Haytham, refused to release Pitcairn from his command and ordered his men to escort Haytham and Lee out of the battery. Uneager to submit to Braddock's orders, Haytham later had Lee trick the general and his men into chasing him to a back alley, where the Templars ambushed them.[13]

ACIII-Soldier 14

Haytham threatening Braddock

After killing Braddock's troops with Lee and Pitcairn's help, Haytham threatened the general and claimed that he was only sparing his life because they had been "brothers" once. However, he warned Braddock that, if they crossed paths again, he would not be as merciful. With that, Haytham left alongside Lee and Pitcairn and returned to the Green Dragon Tavern.[13] Around the same time, Haytham encountered Slater in a secluded spot relieving himself, and opted to kill him, avenging the Dutch family he had murdered on Braddock's behalf seven years prior.[1]

After gathering all his co-conspirators, Haytham planned an infiltration of Southgate Fort, so that he could free the Kanien'kehá:ka slaves held there in the hopes they would help the Templars find the Isu storehouse. Locating a convoy headed to the fort, Haytham and the others ambushed it, killing all of the Regular guards and dressing in their garb.[14]

ACIII-InfiltratingSouthgate 6

Haytham meeting Kaniehtí:io

While his co-conspirators followed the convoy on foot, Haytham took the reins of the carriage transporting the slaves and tried to engage in conversation with one of them, Kaniehtí:io. Haytham explained that the Templars were going to set her people free, but only after they had completed their mission, as they could not risk something going wrong in case of an inspection. However, Kaniehtí:io remained distrustful of him and, once the convoy had made it into the fort, she ran away from the carriage.[14]

Despite this setback, Haytham and the others were able to free all the slaves inside the fort, instigating a riot against Silas and his men. Amidst the chaos, Haytham confronted Silas and defeated him in combat before Church arrived and shot the slaver as revenge for the torture inflicted upon him. Once Silas' men surrendered, the Templars kept their word and released all the Kanien'kehá:ka slaves. As she was being escorted out of the fort, Kaniehtí:io caught a glimpse of Haytham and the two smiled at each other.[14]

Alliance with Kaniehtí:io[]

"I saved your people. Does this mean nothing to you? Look. I am not the enemy."
―Haytham trying to gain Kaniehtí:io's trust, 1754.[src]-[m]
ACIII-Unconvinced 4

Haytham showing the amulet to Kaniehtí:io

Four months after the death of Silas, Haytham's fellow Templars had successfully tracked down Kaniehtí:io, who the Grand Master suspected could prove useful in their quest for the Isu storehouse. Near Lexington, he located her by following tracks that she had left behind and chased her through the Frontier on the ground while she ran through the trees.[15]

When he finally caught up to her, Kaniehtí:io formally introduced herself to Haytham and they spoke about the amulet in his possession. Kaniehtí:io appeared to recognize the markings on the amulet, but refused to tell Haytham about their meaning as she was still distrustful of him. However, she gave the Templar a chance to prove himself and told him to meet her on a hill near Concord.[15]

When Haytham met Kaniehtí:io at the hilltop, she told him about soldiers in the nearby tavern that wished to drive her people away. After she revealed that these soldiers served under Edward Braddock, the "Bulldog" as he was known among his men, Haytham suggested that they eliminate Braddock to put an end to his men's attacks against the natives.[15]

ACIII-Unconvinced 7

Haytham and Kaniehtí:io entering the tavern

Entering the tavern with Kaniehtí:io, Haytham eavesdropped on some Regulars, learning about Braddock's plans to go on an 'expedition'. The second group of Regulars he listened to informed him that Braddock was already at the 'advanced' camp, preparing to fight French soldiers.[15]

Just as he attempted to leave the tavern, Haytham was insulted by a group of Regulars, leading to a bar-fight in which he made short work of the soldiers despite suffering a minor face injury. Kaniehtí:io quickly cleaned it for him, then left, telling Haytham to meet her at the camp.[15]

Haytham quickly followed, meeting Kaniehtí:io outside the British campsite of Fort St-Mathieu while deep in the blizzard. Sneaking into a supply cart, he hid until entering the walls of the fort. From there, he silently explored the area, sabotaging two of the stronghold's cannons and eavsdropping on a conversation between two soldiers, George Washington and John Fraser.[16]

ACIII-Execution 6

Haytham and Kaniehtí:io looking at the map

From the conversation, Haytham learned that Braddock refused a truce to end the Seven Years' War and was rallying troops to take the French-occupied Fort Duquesne. He also learned that a copy of the expedition's plans was located inside of the command tent, and proceeded to steal it. After escaping the fort, Haytham regrouped with Kaniehtí:io and the two analyzed the plans, deciding to organize an ambush of Braddock's expedition near the Monongahela River.[16]

The Braddock Expedition[]

"All those innocents slaughtered, and for what? It does not engender peace to cut your way to resolution!"
―Haytham to Braddock after mortally wounding him, 1755.[src]-[m]

Eight months later, Haytham rallied his fellow Templars to meet with Kaniehtí:io near the edge of the river. After speaking with her, they waited in the planned hiding point for Braddock and his men to pass by. Creating a quick plan of deception, Haytham went and assassinated one of the Regulars, before taking the man's uniform and disguising himself, allowing him to sneak up to Braddock's side.[17]

AC3 Braddock Assassination

Haytham killing Braddock

After witnessing Braddock kill one of his men for showing uncertainty about the expedition, Haytham waited a moment before riding closer to the general. Following a failed attack from a French soldier, Braddock rode off and Haytham was forced to chase after him. When a tree fell before Braddock, the general fell back, allowing Haytham to catch up with him.[17]

Despite this, Haytham failed to kill Braddock due to Washington shooting the horse beneath him. To save him, Kaniehtí:io tackled Washington from his own horse and pinned him to the ground, giving Haytham a chance to pursue Braddock and finally stab him with his Hidden Blade. After giving his former Templar brother his last rites, Haytham took the Templar ring from his finger and went to meet with Kaniehtí:io.[17]

ACIII-BraddockExpedition 15

Haytham standing by the entrance to the Grand Temple

As Haytham had seemingly eliminated Braddock, Kaniehtí:io upheld her end of their bargain and took the Templar to the entrance of the Isu storehouse. When Haytham tried to open the door with his amulet, however, he discovered that he was unable to because he required another Piece of Eden. As Kaniehtí:io consoled Haytham, the two kissed and shared an intimate moment.[17]

Four days later, Haytham returned to the Green Dragon Tavern to inform his fellow Templars of his failure to access the storehouse. He then suggested that they focus on more practical pursuits to secure the Order's future in the Colonies, beginning with Lee's induction into the Order. All the Templars agreed and Haytham bestowed upon Lee the ring he had taken from Braddock, welcoming him into the Order.[17]

For the next few weeks, Haytham spent most of his time with Kaniehtí:io, camping in the woods together. Their bliss came to an end, however, when Lee gave Haytham a letter from Jim Holden and informed him that Braddock had died from his wounds. Listening in on the conversation, Kaniehtí:io realized that Haytham had lied about ensuring Braddock was actually dead and, believing she had been manipulated, ordered him to leave. Unbeknownst to Haytham at the time, Kaniehtí:io was secretly pregnant with their son.[1]

Finding Jennifer[]

In the Ottoman Empire[]

Jennifer: "Haytham... you've come for me."
Haytham: "Yes, Jenny, yes."
Jennifer: "I knew you'd come... I knew you'd come."
—Haytham and Jennifer's reunion, 1757.[src]

The letter from Holden revealed that he had found Jennifer, prompting Haytham to travel back to Europe to resume his search for his long-lost sister. Upon arrival, he reunited with Brich and returned the journal to him. However, as their relationship had become strained, he opted to lie that the Templars in America were working on finding the storehouse, and that he had been given a clue to a new Isu site in the Middle East.[1]

For the next two years, Haytham and Holden tracked Jennifer's location to Topkapı Palace in Constantinople, where she had been a concubine, and then to Qasr al-Azm, the governor's palace in Damascus, where she was an attendant in the harem. Disguising themselves as eunuchs, Haytham approached Jennifer and got her to leave, but not without alerted the guards. Holden stayed behind to fend them off, while the Kenways escaped.[1]

Holden was subsequently taken to the Abou Gerbe monastery on Mount Ghebel Eter, Egypt, where he forcefully underwent castration to become a eunuch. Haytham found him after four days and rescued him, but was distraught to learn what had happened to his friend. He then decided to take revenge by setting the monastery ablaze and killing all the priests present.[1]

Avenging his father[]

"What you did is a corruption of everything I believe, and do you know why? You did it not with the application of our ideals but with deceit. How can we inspire belief when what we have in our heart is lies?"
―Haytham confronting Birch, 1757.[src]

While Holden recovered in a cottage, Jennifer revealed to Haytham that Birch had ordered the attack on their home, because she had discovered he was a Templar and informed Edward. She then described a journal in Edward's possession, which Haytham realized was the one Vedomir had been decoding, and explained he had unintentionally tipped Birch to its location when he told him where his sword was kept. Furthermore, Haytham realized Birch had used Braddock's mercenaries to ensure he would not see the Templar insignia on the attackers' rings, and that he had killed Digweed to silence him.[1]

Once Holden's condition had improved, the trio traveled to Birch's chateau, attacking at nightfall. Haytham and Holden took out all the guards and Haytham's former associates, including John Harrison. As Haytham went into Birch's office to confront him, he forced his sword through the door and the guard waiting behind to pounce him. Left alone with Birch, Haytham accused him of turning him into a Templar through lies and deceit, but the Grand Master justified his actions as being in service of the greater good.[1]

While Holden went to the basement to free Lucio and Monica, Jennifer arrived in the office attacked Birch, but he caught her and placed a knife to her throat. She continued to struggle, and eventually pushed him onto the sword in the door, killing him. Subsequently, Haytham gave Lucio and Monica food supplies, horses to travel, and his own sword for their safety, though Lucio swiftly stabbed Haytham in his chest with the weapon for his previous crimes. This injury kept Haytham in bed for four months, during which he was taken care of by Jennifer and Holden.[1]

When he finally recovered in January 1758, Haytham found that Holden had committed suicide, as he had little reason to continue living with his injury. After Holden's burial, Jennifer returned to live in Queen Anne's Square, while Haytham traveled back to America. The two continued to write to each other, but very rarely, as they had little in common other than their harrowing experiences which they had little reason to reminisce about.[1]

Search for Precursor sites[]

Haytham: "Colonel Monro spoke highly of you, Shay. He was convinced you could become the best among us. I expect you will not disappoint."
Shay: "I don't plan to, sir."
—Haytham speaking with Shay Cormac, 1758.[src]-[m]
Men o' War 1

Haytham telling Shay about his own Precursor research

Haytham returned to the colonies in mid-1758 and bought a plot of land in Virginia, building up the Order's presence in America.[1] Later, he traveled to New York to oversee the induction of the former Assassin, Shay Cormac, into the Templar Order, following the death of Colonel George Monro.[18] Prior to his death, Monro had recommended Shay to Haytham, claiming he had the potential to become a valuable asset to the Order.[19]

Shay informed Haytham of the Seismic Temples, Isu sites containing artifacts which, if disturbed, could trigger massive earthquakes capable of destroying entire cities. Shay believed that the Colonial Assassins would recklessly endanger innocents during their pursuit of the temples, which convinced Haytham to task Shay with tracking down and eliminating the Assassins involved in the search, and recovering the Voynich manuscript and the Precursor box, which were in the Brotherhood's possession.[19]

Battle of Louisbourg[]

"Gentlemen, the Battle of Louisbourg could very well be the turning point which will finally bring this war to a close."
―Haytham prior to the Battle of Louisbourg, 1758.[src]-[m]
Men o' War 5

Haytham and the others meeting with James Cook

In June 1758, Haytham requested the services of Royal Navy captain and explorer James Cook, to provide aid for Shay before the Battle of Louisbourg against the French Navy, which could potentially be a turning point for the war against the French, who were allied with the Assassins.[19]

During the battle, Haytham accompanied Cook, Shay and the latter's first mate Christopher Gist aboard the HMS Pembroke, and witnessed the Assassin Adéwalé, an old friend and former quartermaster of his father Edward, come to the French's aid with his brig, the Experto Crede. When Adéwalé led several fireships towards the British fleet, Shay followed Gist's advice to focus fire on them, allowing the Experto Crede to slip away, just as British reinforcements arrived to defeat the French forces.[19]

Hunting Adéwalé[]

Adéwalé: "Where is your hunting dog, Grand Master Templar? I must have caused quite a ruckus for both of you to be chasing me."
Haytham: "Indeed, you have been a thorn in our side for far too long!"
—Haytham and Adéwalé exchanging words during their fight, 1758.[src]-[m]
Bravado 1

Haytham and the others meeting with Cook to track down Adéwalé

Adéwalé's status as an Assassin legend made him a high priority target of the Templars, who, with the aid of James Cook, tracked him down to a French fort. While Adéwalé was able to escape from the Templars on his ship, he was relentlessly pursued by Shay on his own flagship, the Morrigan. Eventually, the Morrigan's attack forced Adéwalé to beach his ship at Vieille Carrière, where he would make his last stand.[20]

Haytham personally accompanied Shay as they continued to track Adéwalé's movements, with Haytham deciding to provide a distraction for Shay to get close. Adéwalé and Haytham confronted each other from a distance, and had a brief exchange over Haytham's father Edward, whom Adéwalé had fought beside as a pirate many years ago. While the Assassin claimed that Edward would be ashamed of seeing his son take the path of a Templar, the Grand Master jokingly claimed that he was not aware that his father had had a sense of shame, and commented that he had chosen his own path.[20]

This exchange of words between the two bought Shay the time he needed to reach his target as Haytham intended. Shay then managed to get in range of Adéwalé and fatally wounded him in combat. Before succumbing to his wounds, Adéwalé mentioned that his death would not stop the Colonial Assassins in their search for the temples.[20]

Fall of the Colonial Brotherhood[]

Haytham: "Never forget what has happened here."
Achilles: "I won't... But the world will."
—Haytham after shooting Achilles Davenport, 1760.[src]-[m]
The Heist 3

Shay relaying information to Haytham and Weeks

A year later, Shay met with Haytham in New York and informed him that the Assassins were preparing an expedition to locate another Seismic Temple. Jack Weeks suggested that they target the Assassin Hope Jensen, who was attempting to activate the manuscript and the box, and Haytham agreed.[21]

While Shay and Weeks impersonated Hope's criminals in order to turn the New York's military against the gangs,[21] Haytham tracked down and interrogated one of Hope's men to ascertain her location. Upon doing so, Shay tracked down and assassinated Hope,[22] and later eliminated the Assassin Louis-Joseph Gaultier, Chevalier de la Vérendrye in 1760.[23]

Upon discovering the location of a Seismic Temple in the Arctic, Haytham accompanied Shay into the temple to confront the Mentor Achilles Davenport and Liam O'Brien, who were the last remaining members of the Colonial Brotherhood. To his dismay, Achilles discovered that Shay was right about the temples and, while attempting to stop Liam from shooting Shay, he disturbed the artifact at the temple's center and caused an earthquake. During the chaos, the two Assassins split up, forcing Haytham and Shay to pursue them separately. While Shay pursued and eventually killed Liam, Haytham chased after Achilles and dueled him.[24]

Non Nobis Domine 16

Shay convincing Haytham to spare Achilles' life

With Liam dead, Shay arrived to stop Haytham from killing Achilles, stating that he was no threat without his Assassins and that the Templars needed to show mercy to create a better world. In addition, they needed Achilles to live in order to warn other Assassins about the danger of the Seismic Temple.[24]

Haytham agreed with Shay's points and spared Achilles, but not before shooting him in the shin as a reminder of his defeat. With the battle won, Haytham ordered Shay to recover the Precursor box, which de la Vérendrye had sent away to the Assassins in Europe before his death.[24]

For the next three years, Haytham and the Templars hunted down and eliminated any remaining allies of the Colonial Brotherhood, culminating in an attack on the Davenport Homestead in 1763 that destroyed the Brotherhood, leaving Achilles and Robert Faulkner as the only survivors and the Templars in control of the Colonies.[25]

The American Revolution[]

Due to the war debts acquired by the British government as a result of the Seven Years' War, the Colonies were taxed heavily by King George III. Many colonists became disillusioned with the monarchy as a result, especially since they had no representation in Parliament. Haytham decided to take advantage of the colonists' frustrations and formulated a plan to expel the British from the American Colonies and allow the Templars to create their own country where their ideals would become law.[26]

The Boston Massacre[]

Connor: "Is that my father...?"
Achilles: "Yes. Which means trouble is sure to follow. I need you to tail his accomplice. This crowd is a powder keg – we can't allow him to light the fuse."
—Achilles Davenport speaking to Connor about Haytham's presence in Boston, 1770.[src]-[m]
ACIII-TriptoBoston 15

Haytham pointing towards Connor

On 5 March 1770, Haytham was present in Boston with a Templar agent, where they watched as the civilians began to revolt against the British soldiers due to the various taxes that the British Crown had put into motion. As tensions began to flare, Haytham sent his agent to the rooftops to fire a shot into the crowd and provoke the troops to open fire, unaware that his agent was being followed by his own son, Connor, who had begun training as an Assassin under Achilles Davenport's tutelage.[27]

When Connor killed the agent, Charles Lee shot his pistol into the air as a back-up plan and prompted the soldiers to open fire on the civilians. Following this, Haytham pointed out Connor to be the one responsible. As Boston was put on high alert to apprehend Connor, Haytham and Lee quickly departed the city.[27]

In January 1774, Haytham reunited with his fellow Colonial Templars for the first time in almost two decades. Meeting at the Restless Ghost tavern, the Templars discussed how to best take advantage of the nascent American Revolution. During the meeting, Lee informed Haytham that Kaniehtí:io had died fourteen years prior during an attack on her village ordered by George Washington. He then admitted that he and the others knew of this because, beforehand, they had gone to the forest and threatened a Native boy into telling them of his village's location.[1]

Benjamin Church later said that, while in Martha's Vineyard four years ago, presumably the same boy came to him asking for Lee's whereabouts, and that William Johnson had seen him again at the Boston Tea Party, now wearing the Assassin robes. After the Templars mentioned the boy's necklace, which resembled the one worn by Kaniehtí:io, Haytham began to suspect that the Assassin may be his son; a thought which equally intrigued and terrified him.[1]

Assassination attempt on George Washington[]

"There can be no further mistakes, Thomas. Am I understood?"
―Haytham reprimanding Thomas Hickey, 1776.[src]-[m]
Bridewell Prison 4

Haytham ordering Lee to deal with Connor

After both William Johnson and John Pitcairn were assassinated by Connor, Haytham instructed Thomas Hickey to kill George Washington, to allow Lee to replace him as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army. However, Hickey's plan was almost foiled by Connor, who exposed him to the authorities for running a counterfeiting ring in New York; despite Connor's claims of innocence, both men were captured and thrown into Bridewell Prison.[28]

In response, Haytham accompanied Lee to the prison, where Hickey was released from a cell next to his son, only to be moved to a different part of Bridewell due to investigations made by Benjamin Tallmadge against Hickey. Haytham reprimanded Hickey and told Lee to handle things from there as he left the prison.[28] While in the prison, Haytham got to glance at Connor, whose similar facial features confirmed for him that he was indeed his son.[1]

During the time of Connor and Hickey's imprisonment, Haytham and Lee managed to convince the judge to execute Connor rather than put him on trial.[26] However, Haytham had a change of heart at the last minute and, on the day of the execution, rushed to save his son from the fate he had indirectly sentenced him to. When Connor's Assassin apprentices attempted but failed to cut the rope holding up his noose, Haytham threw a knife from amongst the crowd, severing the rope and saving Connor,[1] which allowed him to prevent Washington's assassination and kill Hickey.[26]

Reunion with Connor[]

"Look – much as I'd love to spar with you, Benjamin Church's mouth is as big as his ego. You clearly want the supplies he's stolen, I want him punished. Our interests are aligned."
―Haytham proposing a truce to Connor, 1778.[src]-[m]
Missing Supplies 3

Father and son forming an alliance

In the winter of 1778, Haytham was in search of Benjamin Church, who had betrayed both the Templars and the Continental Army by stealing supplies intended for the Patriots who had taken refuge at Valley Forge. Tracking the traitor to a small church in the Frontier, Haytham found the place abandoned and determined that he arrived too late, as Church had already fled with the supplies.[1]

Nevertheless, Haytham decided to stay and wait in case one of Church's men returned, so that he could ambush and interrogate him.[1] To his surprise, this proved to be fruitful, though rather than one of Church's men, it was Connor who arrived. Undeterred, Haytham leapt from the rafters in a surprise attack against his son.[29]

After a slight brawl with Connor, Haytham learned that he too was looking for Church and suggested a truce given that their goals were aligned. He also claimed that he hoped to teach Connor about the Templars' true goals so that he could be "saved" from his ignorance. The Assassin reluctantly accepted the truce and the pair departed the building.[29]

Missing Supplies 8

"Rotting Teeth" interrogating Haytham

Not long later, Connor began to track the location of Church's mercenaries through the snow while Haytham followed closely behind. When the two had found one of Church's men by a broken cart of supplies, Connor scared the mercenary away, but quickly captured him after a chase. A short interrogation followed, which ended with Haytham shooting the man after he revealed everything he knew, much to the dismay of his son.[29]

Having learned the location of the mercenaries' camp, Haytham ordered Connor to infiltrate it while he sneaked in from a different route, which ultimately led to his capture.[29] As he was being interrogated by one of Church's men, "Rotting Teeth",[1] Connor came to his rescue, but after helping his son kill some of the mercenaries, Haytham left him to deal with the remaining ones by himself, telling Connor to meet him in New York.[29]

ACIII-Fatherandson 2

Haytham and Connor atop the rooftops

One month later, when Connor had finally made his way to the city, Haytham led them atop the rooftops to where Church's location had been stated to be. As they came to a stop, Connor decided to ask his father why he had spared him and what the Templars' true motives were.[30]

After several moments of consideration, Haytham responded that he had spared Connor out of 'curiosity' and that the Templars and Assassins' goals were not so different, as both groups strived for order, purpose and direction. The difference was in the Assassins' pursuit of freedom, which Haytham saw as an 'invitation to chaos', but Connor disagreed, believing that America had the potential to be different from other nations in the world.[30]

Upon reaching the gate to Church's hideout in the abandoned Smith and Company Brewery, Haytham decided that he would head in alone, but Connor insisted that they work together and went to retrieve a guard's disguise. Despite the disguise, one of Church's men was still suspicious of Connor, so Haytham explained that he was his son, much to the Assassin's surprise. Ultimately, both Haytham and Connor were allowed entry into the brewery and attempted to locate Church.[30]

ACIII-Foamandflames 3

Haytham and Connor confronting the imposter

As they arrived at a locked door, Haytham and Connor engaged in a conversation about Kaniehtí:io while the former picked the lock. When Connor brought up his mother's death,[31] Haytham feigned surprise, as he intended to use the circumstances surrounding her death to ruin Connor's faith in George Washington and hopefully sway his son to the Templar cause.[1] However, Connor remained convinced that it was Charles Lee who had ordered the attack on his village, despite Haytham's insistence otherwise.[31]

Upon accessing the brewery's main warehouse, Haytham found who he believed to be Church and sentenced him to death for his betrayal of the Templar Order, only to be surprised when the man turned around and was revealed to be a decoy. Although Haytham and Connor were quickly ambushed by mercenaries, they made short work of them, and the former proceeded to interrogate the decoy for Church's location.[31]

The mercenary revealed that the rogue Templar was on his way to Martinique with the stolen supplies and asked for mercy. Although Connor was more than willing to let him go, Haytham killed the mercenary once the interrogation was over, eliciting another angry glare from his son. Following this, a second ambush began, where the militia began to shoot at gunpowder barrels within the warehouse, setting the building on fire.[31]

ACIII-Foamandflames 14

Haytham and Connor escaping the warehouse

As Haytham led the way, he and Connor narrowly escaped the treacherous brewery by breaking through a locked door on the higher levels, crashing into the water below. From there, the two climbed onto the docks, where they quickly formulated a plan to use Connor's ship, the Aquila, to catch up with Church, who was just over a day ahead of them.[31]

Chasing Benjamin Church[]

"So here we are, face to face at last, my friend. It's been quite an adventure – let me tell you – working my way through your nasty little tricks and traps. Clever. Some of them, anyway. I'll give you credit for that. And for the quietude with which you pulled it off. We had a dream, Benjamin! A dream you sought to destroy! And for that, my fallen friend, you will be made to pay."
―Haytham beating up Benjamin Church, 1778.[src]-[m]

Meeting Connor at a New York pier, in the far-eastern section of the city, Haytham boarded the Aquila for the journey to catch Church. After two months, they finally caught up with him somewhere along the Caribbean Sea, despite Haytham's remarks that they were probably days behind because of the route choice.[32]

ACIII-Bitterend 8

Haytham taking control of the Aquila

After a narrow crossing though sea rocks, they approached the Welcome, Church's initial escape ship, which was already abandoned. Following a quick examination, a smaller ship was noticed in the distance, sailing away and firing shots at the Aquila.[32]

Quickly pursuing the vessel, Haytham and Connor's crew went through the rocky passage, while the former repetitively heckled his son over imperfections he observed in his navigation skills. After the smaller ship passed through a narrow cliff-side area, the Aquila was forced to maneuver around the rocks and was greeted on the other side by a British Man O' War and a few smaller vessels firing at them with full force.[32]

Making short work of the smaller boats, Connor and Haytham had the crew fire chain-shot at the Man O' War, breaking the masts before they boarded the enemy ship. Just as they were about to meet at the side, Haytham stole the wheel and rammed the Aquila into the opposing ship, followed by a mighty leap to the other side as he fought his way to Church below deck.[32]

ACIII-Bitterend 10

Haytham beating up Church

Quickly, Connor leapt to the ship himself, bringing his crew with him to fight the mercenaries aboard. After killing the three officers on the upper deck, the Assassin made his way to the position of Haytham and Church. The Grand Master, speaking briefly to his former co-conspirator, continued to violently beat Church, almost to death. Connor proceeded to end the man's suffering after discovering the location of the stolen supplies, which lay on a nearby island awaiting pickup.[32]

Final cooperation with Connor[]

"You oppose tyranny. Injustice. These are just symptoms. Their true cause is human weakness. Why do you think I keep on trying to show you the error of your way?"
―Haytham's last attempt at converting his son to his cause, 1778.[src]-[m]

After cooperating with his son to kill Church, an uncertain alliance formed between Haytham and Connor. In an effort for the American colonies to secure independence from Great Britain, Haytham began working with his son to deliver the final blows. He also attempted to dissuade his son from believing the Templar cause was biased against the rebelling colonists.[33]

When the pair met up near Bowling Green in June of 1778, they began a mission to discover the Loyalists' plans, striking to interrogate the officers around the ruins from New York's Great Fire. Climbing through the destroyed buildings, they made their way atop the ruins of Trinity Church above the higher ranking soldiers.[33]

ACIII-Alternatemethods 5

Haytham and Connor with the captured officers

Determining after useless eavesdropping that a different attempt to gather information was necessary, Haytham leaped down and proceeded to start a fight with the British Regulars. Connor, forced to help, went along to fight as well. Making relatively short work of the soldiers, the two quickly caught the officers against the wall, except one that had managed to run off. After ordering his son to chase the fleeing officer, Haytham took the others to his quarters in Fort George, interrogating them and eventually killing them one by one.[33]

When Connor returned with the final officer, a final interrogation occurred, followed by another execution at Haytham's hands, which the Templar justified by claiming the officer would have warned the Loyalists if he was allowed to leave; despite this, the act still garnered Connor's scorn.[33]

Following their subsequent argument, Haytham made his way to the Continental fort in Valley Forge, intending to inform Charles Lee of what he had learned: that the British planned to withdraw from Philadelphia and proceed to New York within the next two days.[33] Connor followed him and argued that the information should be given to George Washington instead, due to his personal distrust of Lee. After a short argument over what his son favored, Haytham ultimately relented and the two met up with the Commander-in-Chief.[34]

ACIII-Brokentrust 1

Haytham revealing Washington's intentions to Connor

As Connor warned Washington of the British's plans, Haytham snuck behind the two and discovered a letter ordering an attack on Connor's village, Kanatahséton. Haytham then proceeded to educate his son on the Commander's plan, along with dispensing the information that Washington was the one responsible for his mother's death through a similar order, causing the Assassin to cut ties with both of them.[34]

In his anger, Connor claimed that his father had known Washington was responsible for Kaniehtí:io's death all along, yet kept the information to himself until it suited the Templars' aims, making him equally as despicable as Washington.[34] After Connor's departure, Haytham was left alone with Washington and considered killing the man for his role in Kaniehtí:io's's death. Ultimately, he elected not to, believing that Connor may have been right about Washington's abilities as a leader due to his success in the war.[1]

Death[]

"Don't think I have any intention of caressing your cheek and saying I was wrong. I will not weep and wonder what might have been. I'm sure you understand. Still, I'm proud of you in a way. You have shown great conviction. Strength. Courage. All noble qualities. I should have killed you long ago."
―Haytham's final words to his son, 1781.[src]-[m]

After his falling out with Connor, Haytham continued to work on his plans with Charles Lee at their quarters in Fort George. By September 1781, both Templars were expecting Connor to strike at any moment and so Haytham, fearing for his co-conspirator's life, decided to send Lee away with his amulet in the hopes that he would continue the Order's work.[1]

In the process, Haytham revealed to Lee that Connor was his son, leading to an argument between the two in which they both accused each other of creating the Assassin. Lee also accused Haytham of being responsible for the Order's downfall through his reluctance to take action against Connor, to which Haytham expressed his doubt about the Templar cause in his old age and asked Lee if he thought he would have been a better Grand Master. In the end, Lee admitted to his wrongdoings and apologized to Haytham for making him doubt himself, and the Grand Master in turn apologized for giving Lee a reason to do so.[1]

ACIII-Laststand 14

Haytham confronting Connor

Shortly after Lee's departure, Fort George came under attack by a fleet of French ships, as Connor had convinced Admiral François-Joseph Paul de Grasse to shell New York in exchange for his assistance at the Battle of the Chesapeake. The attack was part of Connor's plan to infiltrate the fort and assassinate Lee, though while the resulting chaos had the desired effect of facilitating Connor's infiltration, it also led to him being gravely injured when he was hit by a cannonball.[2]

Nevertheless, Connor was able to make his way to the fort's main courtyard, though instead of Lee, he found Haytham waiting for him. The Templar immediately attacked his son, and though he initially had the upper hand thanks to Connor's injury, the Assassin was able to even the odds by stabbing him in the arm. Eventually, a cannonball knocked both of them to the ground but they quickly recovered and resumed their duel.[2]

As they continued to fight, Haytham belittled both the Assassin Order and his son for placing his faith in it, while also furiously denying allegations of Templar involvement in the slaughter of his people. After a fierce battle, Haytham managed to pin Connor to the ground and declared that the Templar Order would inevitably rise again, to which Connor fatally stabbed his father in the neck with his Hidden Blade.[2]

ACIII-Laststand 18

Connor assassinating Haytham

In his final moments, Haytham noted that despite everything that had happened between himself and Connor, he felt a certain sense of content and pride with his son's noble qualities. He also stated that he should have killed Connor long ago, before finally succumbing to his injuries.[2] With his death, the title of Grand Master of the Colonial Templars was passed down to Lee.[35]

Alternate timeline[]

In an alternate reality shown by an Apple of Eden, Haytham had died long before Connor was an adult. Kaniehtí:io, who was still alive in this reality, kept his Hidden Blades and gave one to her son when George Washington attacked their village after having crowned himself King of the United States using the Apple.[36] Later, while attempting to escape this reality, Connor found a Lucid Memory Fragment depicting Haytham's death in the primary timeline next to an identical hat and cloak at Fort George.[37]

Legacy[]

"I never knew him. Not really. I thought I had, but it wasn't until I read his journal that I realized I hadn't really known him at all. And it's too late now. Too late to tell him I misjudged him. Too late to tell him I'm sorry."
―Connor's thoughts on his father, after reading his journal.[src]
Journey to the New World 2

Haytham writing in his journal

Haytham was the founder of the Colonial Rite, the first permanent, organized Templar presence in Colonial America.[38] Although Connor destroyed the Rite during the American Revolutionary War, it rebuilt itself into the American Rite by the time of the French Revolution. Despite Haytham's role as its founder, however, the American Rite did not seem to share his ideals, only offering their sympathies to the French Rite's de la Serre family after François-Thomas Germain overthrew them.[39]

Though his dream to pacify Assassins and Templars failed, Haytham wrote about it in his letters to his sister, Jennifer Scott. These letters inspired Élise de la Serre—who received them from Jennifer—to try to put an end to the Assassin-Templar War, with the help of Arno Dorian. On the other hand, the influential Carroll family of the British Rite considered Haytham's beliefs of unity to be heretical and treasonous, and as such they wanted to destroy his letters. They used their influence to slander and alienate Élise from the rest of the Order, while also spitefully ordering the deaths of her allies Frederick Weatherall and Hélène.[39] Despite this, Jennifer would occasionally propose later in life that the Assassins and Templars should reconcile.[40]

A Deadly Performance 10

The Grand Temple Key

Moreover, Haytham brought the Grand Temple Key to the Americas, allowing his and Connor's descendant Desmond Miles to retrieve it in 2012, access the Grand Temple's inner chamber, and stop the impending solar flare. Around the same year, Desmond relived part of Haytham's genetic memories through the Animus, which greatly challenged his Assassin beliefs as he learned that one of his ancestors had been a Templar.[41]

In the 21st century, the Templars' front company Abstergo Industries commissioned a series of portraits of their most respected leaders, entitled "Great Minds of History" and included Haytham among them,[42] for the modern Templars regarded him as one of their greatest Grand Masters.[43] Haytham's actions also served as a source of inspiration for the Master Templar Juhani Otso Berg, though he noted that the Grand Master's love for his son Connor and keeping some of his Assassin heritage prevented him from living up to his full potential and eventually led to his death.[44]

In 2014, Abstergo Entertainment created The Lone Eagle, a game for their Helix software featuring Haytham as the main character.[45] The following year, the Templar Isabelle Ardant included Haytham's name on a list of known British Templars. The Assassins Rebecca Crane and Shaun Hastings later uncoverd it when they infiltrated Ardant's office to plant a bug.[46]

In 2016, another of Haytham's descendants through Connor, Victor Flores Castillo, operated in London as a member of the Assassin team called The Descendants.[3]

In 2020, Shaun Hastings wrote a note detailing that Haytham may have been named after Hytham, one of the first Assassins in England, since Shaun believed that Edward may have possibly read about the British Brotherhood's origins.[47]

Personality and traits[]

Lee: "Doubt hardly befits a Templar Grand Master, don't you think?"
Haytham: "Perhaps. Or perhaps I've learnt that only fools and children lack it."
—Haytham defending his decisions, 1781.[src]
ACIII-JohnsonsErrand 3

Haytham with Charles Lee and Thomas Hickey

Beginning as a vengeful young man, Haytham was molded by his mentor Reginald Birch into a killer with a code. He initially tried to reconcile his Templar beliefs with his Assassin heritage, and hoped to unite the two Orders, but would eventually abandon these ideals and become a devout believer in the Templar ideology, eventually ascending to the position of Grand Master. However, Haytham did not consider himself above actual field work, and was not hesitant to leap into action when the situation called for it.[1]

Haytham, as a man who lived in service to his ideals and in humanity, was fully convinced that bringing order, purpose, and direction would benefit mankind in the long run, and tirelessly endeavored to fulfill the Templar's vision of a New World Order. Charismatic, erudite, and level-headed, Haytham acted with authority and was a natural leader. Under his direction, the Colonial Rite flourished, eventually purging North America of most Assassin presence.[26]

The only time Haytham had a visible outburst of anger was when he confronted Benjamin Church over his betrayal of the Templar cause. Even then, his anger was not expressed on his own behalf, but on that of the Templar Order itself. However, Haytham's upper-class upbringing engendered a sort of arrogance, as was evident by his attitude toward lower class civilians. Haytham also had a stern pride in his skills, and was partially embarrassed when he admitted to Connor that he didn't know Benjamin Church's location. But when in the company of people closer to what he believed to be his level of intelligence or class, he was quite kind and well-mannered.[26]

In all instances, Haytham was distinguished from both his father and his son by having a natural aristocratic bearing, speaking in an elegant London accent different from that of his compatriots, and from his father and son respectively. His disregard for those underneath his standards contrasted with his respect for the Native Americans, whom many considered to be savages. He saved them from slavery at the hands of Silas Thatcher, and admonished Charles Lee's negativity toward them.[26]

Haytham was also, at least initially, reasonably good-natured. He did not kill Duncan Little at the opera house after he witnessed Haytham assassinate his uncle Miko, and readily agreed to help Benjamin Franklin find his almanac pages if he saw any.[26]

Missing Supplies 6

Haytham callously killing a cart driver

But after Haytham discovered that every word uttered by his mentor Birch had been a lie, he became a devious, impulsive, and fanatical individual who was more than willing to kill innocents in the service of his ideals. However, he was secretly shocked by his own malice, as revealed in his journal. Haytham even considered killing his own son Connor on numerous occasions, but his secret, newfound sense of parental love and responsibility along with nostalgia for a better life for his son prevented him from doing so.[1]

In the company of his son, his hardened demeanor softened somewhat, although he was no less determined to intimidate him due to his Assassin affiliations. Haytham was visibly distraught when Connor cut ties with him after his face off with George Washington, and only relented when Connor threatened to kill him. Despite his love for his son, his belief in the Templar cause prevailed, and so he ultimately attempted to physically outmatch Connor with all-out efforts in order to protect it.[26]

However, Haytham left behind his journal for Connor, in an attempt to have his son understand his life's journey and perhaps get him to forgive his actions, as Haytham did not expect himself to survive his final match against Connor, implying that he decided to let his son kill him. After his death, Connor agreed to compromise with his father by acknowledging his belief that humanity was flawed, but retained hope that it would improve.[1]

Skills and equipment[]

"I am an expert swordsman. And I am skilled in the business of death. I take no pleasure in my skill. Simply, I am good at it."
―Haytham, describing his lethal prowess.[src]
ACIII-Surgeon 9

Haytham eavesdropping on a conversation between two British regulars

From an early age, Haytham was trained by his father in swordsmanship and unarmed combat, as well as being tutored in the use of a bow for a time.[1] Upon joining the Templar Order and being mentored by Reginald Birch, Haytham's skills increased significantly and he became renowned for his talent as an efficient killer. He was trained in the methods of social stealth, eavesdropping, pickpocketing, and lockpicking. Additionally, he was a skilled strategist, planning a successful infiltration of Southgate Fort and aiding Kaniehtí:io in defeating Braddock's expeditionary force. He was also a charismatic speaker and grew to become a master of both deception and stealth, navigating the Theatre Royal and Fort St-Mathieu without being detected.[6][16][17][26]

Through his training, Haytham became a capable freerunner, able to stealthily climb the insides of an opera house, the buildings of Colonial America, as well as natural obstacles such as cliffs and glaciers with little effort,[26][24] but unlike his father and son, Haytham was unable to climb trees. Additionally, he proved to be a capable swimmer.[26]

Haytham was a master swordsman, utilizing an elegant fighting style which differed from his son's more feral combat techniques. His fighting style closely resembled that of classical fencing, combining slashing and thrusting.[26] In addition to regular soldiers, Haytham's swordsmanship skills allowed him to defeat the Colonial Brotherhood's leader Achilles Davenport.[24] In his final duel with Connor, he proved capable of holding his own against his son when they were both gravely injured by cannon fire, and very nearly defeated him, only losing when his son unexpectedly stabbed him with his Hidden Blade as Haytham was strangling him. In addition to swords, he was also trained in the use of firearms like pistols and muskets.[26]

Journey to the New World 19

Haytham's left Hidden Blade, taken from Miko

Haytham possessed great physical strength which allowed him to break locks with a single punch and enhanced his proficiency in unarmed combat. He could engage multiple opponents at once, fighting 8 Redcoats in the Wright Tavern while utilizing surrounding objects such as chairs and tables to cripple his opponents when given the opportunity.[14][15] Additionally, when travelling through the Frontier, he was capable of defeating wild animals such as wolves, bobcats, elk, and bears in melee combat using his Hidden Blades though this was not a typical activity of his. [26] Furthermore, he was not afraid to use whatever was available to get the upper hand, such as strangling an executioner's assistant with his feet and throwing him into an enemy during the Siege of Bergen op Zoom.[1]

In terms of equipment, Haytham wielded dual Hidden Blades[33]—one of which was a Pivot Blade he wore on his left arm after taking it from the Assassin Miko during their duel in 1753[1]—as well as a sword, smoke bombs, and a flintlock pistol. Additionally, Haytham possessed the rare ability of Eagle Vision, being one of the few known Templars to be born with it.[26]

Romantic life[]

"I'm actually curious to know what your mother might have said about me. I always wondered what life might have been like had she and I stayed together."
―Haytham speaking to Connor about Kaniehtí:io, 1778.[src]-[m]

As a child, Haytham attracted a few interests from girls he grew up around in Queen Anne's Square, though his father's prior work as a pirate caused his family to be alienated by the people. During his years traveling with Reginald Birch and working as a Templar, Haytham experienced few romantic encounters, always feeling his dedication to the Order was more important than pursuing a family.[1]

ACIII-Unconvinced 11

Ziio treating Haytham's injury

The most serious romantic relationship that Haytham shared with was Kaniehtí:io, a member of the Kanien'kehá:ka nation. They met when Haytham saved her from British slavers working for Silas Thatcher, and after breaking into Southgate Fort, he released her from captivity. Following Silas' death, she escorted her people who were freed by Haytham out of the fortress, disappearing from Haytham's notice.[26]

In the winter of 1755, Haytham officially met Kaniehtí:io after chasing her around the forest outside of Lexington in an attempt to show her the emblems on the Grand Temple Key. As Haytham struggled to pronounce her name upon hearing it, Kaniehtí:io told him to simply call her "Ziio".[26]

Following this, the two worked together to take down General Edward Braddock, who was occupying the lands of Ziio's people. Initially, she distrusted Haytham, but she soon warmed up to him after a bar fight in Concord, as she applied alcohol on a cloth to a wound he received on his face. Eight months later, Ziio met with Haytham, his associates and allied Native American chieftains in their aim to bring down Braddock. During this encounter, she saved Haytham's life when he was nearly killed by George Washington.[26]

ACIII-BraddockExpedition 16

Haytham and Ziio sharing an intimate moment

After Braddock was defeated, Ziio took Haytham to the Precursor site where she had seen the symbols on the Grand Temple Key. After Haytham failed to open the door because he lacked another piece, Ziio comforted him and the couple kissed. Later on, they shared another moment together which led to the conception of their son,[26] though not long after this, Ziio discovered Haytham's Templar affiliations and asked him to leave, fearing that a man like him might be a negative influence on her son. Haytham respected her wishes and never saw Ziio again.[1]

In 1774, Haytham was informed by his fellow Templars during a meeting that Ziio had been killed in an attack on her village fourteen years prior. The news left Haytham shocked and he mourned her death in silence, before contemplating the possibility that the young Kanien'kehá:ka boy encountered by the Templars before the attack could be his and Ziio's son. While he found the idea absurd, a small part of him hoped that it was true, as this boy could be the last thing connecting him to the woman he had loved.[1]

After meeting Connor a few years later and confirming that he was his son, Haytham briefly spoke to him about Ziio, saying that he had always wondered what life might have been like if he and Ziio had stayed together.[26] When Connor told him how his mother had perished, Haytham acted surprised, as he hoped to use George Washington's role in Ziio's death to sway his son to the Templar cause. After this plan ultimately failed, Haytham briefly contemplated kililng Washington to avenge Ziio, but decided against it.[1]

Trivia[]

  • "Haytham" is a transliteration of the Arabic name هيثم, meaning "young eagle". As such, his name continues the eagle motif set by Aquilus, Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad, Ezio Auditore, and Nikolai Orelov. "Kenway" comes from an Old English name, either Cynewig or Cenwig, composed of the words cyne ("royal") or cen ("keen, bold") and wig ("war").
  • Haytham possessed an eagle symbol on his jacket's left cuff, and what appeared to be a broken, rusted Assassin insignia on his right bracer. His cloak was also adorned by a Templar cross near the top, the Eye of Providence near the middle, and the Freemasons' Square and Compass just beneath it.
  • Haytham is the first playable Templar in the Assassin's Creed series' single player mode, and the first chronological playable ancestor who wore a hat instead of the symbolic hood of the Assassins, the second being Aveline de Grandpré.
  • Haytham is the first known Templar capable of using Eagle Vision, the second being Shay Cormac. He is also the second known ancestor of Desmond to be a Templar, after Maria Thorpe.
  • Haytham's left Hidden Blade, which he had taken from Miko, was unlike those of previous ancestors, being shorter and closer to his wrist.
  • Haytham's model in Assassin's Creed: Syndicate appears to be missing his cape.
  • Haytham mentioned that he had cut ties with Edward Braddock for the man's ruthlessness and slaughter of innocents, which Haytham himself showed signs of committing towards the latter half of his life, by killing prisoners of war with little hesitation.
  • Prior to his meeting with Connor, Haytham appeared to have suffered three scars on his face. He had one across his forehead, a second above his right eyebrow, and a third across his chin.
  • Haytham's voice actor Adrian Hough received a BAFTA nomination as part of the 66th British Academy Film Awards for his performance in Assassin's Creed III.[48]
  • In Assassin's Creed: Origins, an Order of the Ancients recruiter recites Haytham's words "The Order is born out of a realization. We require no creed. No indoctrination. All we need is that the world be as it is." as an indication that the two Orders are related to each other.

Appearances[]

References[]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41 1.42 1.43 1.44 1.45 1.46 1.47 1.48 1.49 1.50 1.51 1.52 1.53 1.54 Assassin's Creed: Forsaken
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Assassin's Creed IIILee's Last Stand
  3. 3.0 3.1 Assassin's Creed Roleplaying Game – Animus Training Program Quickstart: Character File Folios
  4. Assassin's Creed IV: Black FlagNoob's personal files – Abstergo Entertainment: "CONFIDENTIAL - Subject - RE: Potential time periods?"
  5. Assassin's Creed: RogueDatabase: Haytham Kenway
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Assassin's Creed IIIA Deadly Performance
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Assassin's Creed IIIJourney to the New World
  8. 8.0 8.1 Assassin's Creed IIIWelcome to Boston
  9. Assassin's Creed IIIDatabase: Poor Richard's Almanack - 1733 (Vol.1)
  10. Assassin's Creed IIIFloating conversations: "Benjamin Franklin"
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Assassin's Creed IIIJohnson's Errand
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Assassin's Creed IIIThe Surgeon
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Assassin's Creed IIIThe Soldier
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Assassin's Creed IIIInfiltrating Southgate
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 Assassin's Creed IIIUnconvinced
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Assassin's Creed IIIExecution is Everything
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 Assassin's Creed IIIThe Braddock Expedition
  18. Assassin's Creed: RogueScars
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Assassin's Creed: RogueMen o' War
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Assassin's Creed: RogueBravado
  21. 21.0 21.1 Assassin's Creed: RogueThe Heist
  22. Assassin's Creed: RogueCaress of Steel
  23. Assassin's Creed: RogueCold Fire
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 Assassin's Creed: RogueNon Nobis Domine
  25. Assassin's Creed IIIDatabase: Davenport Homestead
  26. 26.00 26.01 26.02 26.03 26.04 26.05 26.06 26.07 26.08 26.09 26.10 26.11 26.12 26.13 26.14 26.15 26.16 26.17 26.18 26.19 Assassin's Creed III
  27. 27.0 27.1 Assassin's Creed IIIA Trip to Boston
  28. 28.0 28.1 Assassin's Creed IIIBridewell Prison
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 29.4 Assassin's Creed IIIMissing Supplies
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 Assassin's Creed IIIFather and Son
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.3 31.4 Assassin's Creed IIIThe Foam and the Flames
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 32.4 Assassin's Creed IIIA Bitter End
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 33.4 33.5 Assassin's Creed IIIAlternate Methods
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 Assassin's Creed IIIBroken Trust
  35. Assassin's Creed IIILaid to Rest
  36. Assassin's Creed IIIThe Tyranny of King Washington: The InfamyWarn the Village
  37. Assassin's Creed IIIThe Tyranny of King Washington: The Redemption
  38. Assassin's Creed: The Essential Guide
  39. 39.0 39.1 Assassin's Creed: Unity novel
  40. Assassin's Creed: SyndicateDatabase: Kenway Mansion
  41. Assassin's Creed IIIModern day
  42. Assassin's Creed IV: Black FlagNoob's personal files
  43. Assassin's Creed: Reflections [citation needed]
  44. Assassin's Creed: RogueModern day
  45. Assassin's Creed: UnityModern day
  46. Assassin's Creed: SyndicateModern day
  47. Assassin's Creed: ValhallaLayla Hassan's personal files: "The Hidden Ones"
  48. British Academy of Film and Television Arts (10 February 2013). Games in 2013. British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Archived from the original on 15 February 2013. Retrieved on 7 September 2013.

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