Marie Anne Adelaide Lenormand (1772 – 1843) was a French fortune-teller of considerable fame during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era, as well as an acquaintance of the Assassin Arno Dorian.
Born in Alençon, Normandy, Lenormand received a conventional education from the local convent school, being taught by Benedictine nuns. It was there that she discovered her psychic abilities, leading her to pursue the practice of divination. Prior to the French Revolution, Lenormand moved to Paris, where she set up a fortune-telling enterprise.
This venture gained her powerful friends, leading some people to believe that Lenormand influenced them in their decisions. Having seen the harm they wished to do upon her in a premonition, she asked Arno, who had happened upon her residence on the Pont Saint-Michel, for help. Together, the pair set off through Paris, with Lenormand pointing out her would-be murderers, whom Arno then assassinated.
Later, Lenormand would call on Arno again, having deduced from her cards that an order of monks had acquired part of a mechanism that would allow them entrance into the long-lost laboratory of Nicolas Flamel. Once Arno had stolen it and returned to Lenormand, she informed him that Denis Molinier likely possessed the second part of the mechanism.
With both of the mechanism's pieces in his possession, Arno spoke with Lenormand once more and was commended for his courage. However, her psychic powers were unable to locate Flamel's laboratory, leaving Arno to find it on his own. He later returned to her residence and gave her the fabled elixir he had found, for which Lenormand thanked him.
Reportedly, Lenormand met three key figures of the French Revolution, namely Jean-Paul Marat, Maximilien de Robespierre and Louis Antoine de Saint-Just, for all of whom she predicted a violent death. The Committee of Public Safety eventually grew suspicious of her activities and had her sent to prison in 1794, where she met and befriended Joséphine de Beauharnais.
Lenormand nevertheless managed to escape the guillotine and later set up a new necromancy establishment in the faubourg Saint-Germain, where the elite made haste to hear her predictions. She was even said to have met Napoleon Bonaparte, which did not stop him from having her arrested in 1803, and again in 1809. Lenormand reportedly believed herself to be nearly immortal and predicted a very long life for herself. Nevertheless, she died in 1843.
Behind the scenes
- If the memory "Tall, Dark Strangers" was played after Assassin's Creed: Unity's main storyline had been completed, Lenormand would offer her condolences to Arno for the loss of Élise de la Serre.
- Lenormand is one of the few people to pronounce Arno's name in a French manner, putting the accent on the second syllable.
- In one of the missions when you kill one of the targets, she says they have joined the choir invisible, this is a reference to the Dead Parrot sketch in Monty Python's Flying Circus.