1. #1

    The Shaft- A Deeper Look into Arno Dorian

    A lot of people call Arno a nobody. Just some random Assassin, nothing, or in a humorous note, a French Ezio Clone.
    As for me, he is someone much more interesting than what some people are let on to believe, in fact I feel that he is falling into the same category as Connor did during the early days of AC3 of 2012.

    Basicly, Arno suffered due to weak story writing.

    So I was trying to write up a way to explain my thoughts on how Arno is actually deeper then one might think, however then I came across an analysis that was much stronger than I can ever write. It captured my thoughts and formed it into something strong, which I will share with you here. This analysis was created by tumblr member, Sanctuary of Assassins, and I wanted to share her analysis here, so read on!

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    Arno Dorian (1768 - ?) is a protagonist who I feel very closely connected to, as our personalities are very similar and I sense that if he was real we would be very good friends, which is rare for me as friendships do not come easily for someone like myself. So naturally I have tendency to relate to him more than some of the other characters. His story, brilliantly written in my opinion, is marred and overshadowed by the excessive glitches and technical issues that plagued AC Unity. I was lucky enough to have next to no bugs in my copy of the game, and so I was able to see and experience the game that Ubisoft actually intended for us. It was one of the best games in the series.Arno’s tragedy began very early on in his life, much like Connor. Despite the wealth and privilege he received due to his noble heritage, his mother soon abandoned the family when he was still a child, due to her discovery of her husband’s ties to the Assassins. Even though Arno was a completely innocent child, that link to the Brotherhood still contributed to a cause of tragedy in his life - the lack of a caring mother to help raise him during his childhood. It is not the direct fault of the Assassins, but is the nature of their war that causes these things to happen, whether they are responsible or not. Fairness and innocence have no say in the conflict between the Assassins and Templars.Charles was a loving father to Arno, he cared deeply about his son, and on that visit to Versailles promised to take him to see the fireworks after he returned from a trip into the palace. He indicates the time he will be back on his pocket watch, which he hands to Arno before heading off. An object that will soon became the only physical memory Arno has of his biological father.

    It is at this point that Arno meets the person who will become the single most significant figure in his life: Elise de la Serre. Captivated by her smile, he disobeys his father’s wishes and the two go chasing through the palace in search of adventure. But Arno’s joyous freedom is cut short by the shocking sight of his father dead on the floor of the palace, an event that would scar him for life. The traumatising sight of seeing their only parent lie dead before them, too young to fully understand what has happened, but the inability to process such grief at such a young age would undoubtedly lead to a deeply affected adulthood.

    Arno’s grief also stems from his own belief that he failed his father, by leaving the hall when he was told to stay, and I wonder if Arno had still been there when his father returned they might have left together before Shay had a chance to kill Charles. And if they hadn’t I also wonder whether Shay would have had it in him to kill a man in front of his son. It is something I wonder about in regards to the human qualities within each of the Assassins or Templars, like Otso Berg who has been responsible for murders of multiple Assassins yet the fact that he has a young daughter I believe would place doubt in the minds of any Assassin tasked with ending his life.

    Arno’s adoption by Francois de la Serre is important as it showed the good heart within the Templar Grand Master to take an abandoned orphan under his wing and raise him as part of the family. This is part of the reason Arno was willing to seek unity with the Templars later on in his life, because he had seen the good they were capable of doing. Because of Francois, Arno had a very privileged and carefree upbringing, made all the more special by the childhood he shared with Elise. Once they reached adolescence, she departed for a private boarding school in Paris whereas Arno remained at Versailles. It’s clear that he missed her dearly, because of the excitement he shows when Francois informs him of her visit to the palace for a private soirée. And again, his love for her pulled him away from his duty, his responsibilities, and Arno neglected to bring a warning of the impending death of Francois to the Templar Grand Master and so his stepfather was murdered in the courtyard of the palace. Found at the scene by the guards, he was framed for the murder and imprisoned in the Bastille.

    Francois’ death was a significant moment of tragedy in Arno’s life and delivered a severely painful sense of regret and grief to Arno not simply because he mourned the loss of the man who had been his father figure, but because to Arno, he had failed in the eyes of Elise and lost the trust of the entire de la Serre family. And so Arno was now alone in an increasingly violent and unstable France as the level of protection and security provided by Francois was gone, and there was no one left to guard Arno against the dangers of the world. He was on his own now.

    This is when Arno meets the Assassins, through Pierre Bellec, and he discovers his father’s true identity. After escaping from the Bastille with Bellec, Arno attempts to reconcile with Elise, but it is short-lived as she reveals the extent of his failure. Despair-ridden, but determined to redeem himself in the eyes of himself and most importantly Elise, Arno accepts Bellec’s offer to become an Assassin like his father, perhaps not so much because he believes strongly in their cause but as a means of achieving his sense of redemption. This is why Arno specifically targets those linked to Francois’ death instead of carrying out routine missions handed down to him from the council (such as pursuing and assassinating Lafrenière without their sanction).

    Eventually he discovers the threat posed by Germain and that Elise’s safety is now in jeopardy. And here is where the two begin to build a sense of unity between the two sides of their orders, the closest two people have ever come to joining the two sides together. Sadly, we know that it fails because of extremism, and instead of two entire orders being unified under one purpose, in the end, only two people were.

    Mirabeau’s death was a tragedy for Arno to behold because it shatters his hope of unity but even more so because it severs the bond he had with Bellec, creating a rift between the two that ends with Arno being forced to take his mentor’s life to preserve the relationship he has with Elise. Truly, it was a tragic way for Bellec’s life to end and an awful act for which Arno was forced to commit. And yet what is even more tragic is the repercussions of Arno’s sacrifice - banishment. Arno had delivered justice to the man who murdered the mentor of the Assassin Brotherhood, but the council saw his actions as impulsive and reckless, and I suspect that some of them might have even agreed more with Bellec’s views that Mirabeau’s. Arno was stripped of his rank, expelled from the Assassins (who had become his only family) and left to fend for himself. Now it was just Arno and Elise, alone but together.

    One of the things I think Arno struggled with was whether to help Elise achieve her goals (finding and killing Germain and his extremist allies), which would redeem himself in her eyes but also place her in danger, and that’s what he was afraid of. The other option for Arno is to try and protect her, but as we see during the failed attempt to kill Germain at King Louis’ execution, Elise isn’t interested so much in her own safety and is furious at Arno for letting that opportunity slip through their fingers. So here Arno is torn between helping the woman he loves and so redeem himself in her eyes, and trying to protect her and lose her faith and support as a result.

    It’s quite sad to think about how hard Arno fought and still receive the kind of fate that he did. Dejected, and sunk into despair, he retreats to Versailles and into the bottle. Only Elise pulls him from his hole of misery and compels him to push on, because she knows what he feels. To be betrayed by her own, exiled from her order, and left to pursue her own path as a lone Templar. Arno was now beside her, a lone Assassin left to pursue his own path. They had finally achieved unity, and yet no-one was there to see it.But it did not last long. For the single most tragic event in Arno’s life was about to unfold. One of the things I learnt from the Unity novelisation was Arno’s realisation of a change in Elise on that final day. When you have a look at the expression on her face as she is joined by Arno on the rooftop opposite the Temple, you can tell that she has only one goal in mind: kill Germain or die trying. There is no alternative. When Arno noticed that, I think it sent a bit of chill down his spine. Elise is not going to back down or change her mind. For her, this is it.

    A lot of people hated Unity’s ending, especially the decision that Elise made to leave Arno and go after Germain. But what they don’t realise is that Elise is staying true to her ideals until the very end. If you truly understand the depth of the personalities within Arno and Elise, you will see how tragic their ending really was. Arno was so committed to helping and protecting her, that even though he tried so hard to keep her alive, her drive for justice and revenge was too much and she sacrificed herself to kill Germain, not just to avenge her father, but destroy the extremism within her own order.

    Of course Elise loves Arno, but she knows that he is going to survive and the fact that Germain was escaping meant that she was not going to lose another opportunity, their final opportunity, to bring him down. It’s clear that Arno loved Elise more than he wanted to kill Germain, but I wonder if Arno asked himself the same question of her. That kind of doubt would have plagued Arno for years after as he felt the pain of her death every day. But as she says to him in that final letter, her decision to eliminate Germain was hers and hers only, it was a fate she chose for herself and she was prepared to do that. What’s tragic for Arno is that it came down to Elise having to make that choice, just like he had to make that choice with Bellec. Luckily for him, he was able to defeat Bellec and keep his life, but Elise was unable to save hers, even though Arno desperately wanted to.

    I don’t think many people realise how much she truly meant to him. Elise’s death shook Arno to his core and crushed him beyond belief. She had been such a huge part of his life and when she died it was like a part of Arno had died along with her, leaving him a broken man that could never fully heal. He would never completely recover from such an event, and Arno would mourn her death for the rest of his life. I hope he finds peace one day.



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    I don't know about you guys, but this truly clears up a lot of things that was indeed a mess in Unity. In fact, there was pages within the Abstergo Handbook that had tasty chunks of Arno's person, that should have been added to Unity for those who still had a hard time to understand him: http://assassinscreed.wikia.com/wiki...'s_letters

    I don't know about you, but this greatly conveys more of what Arno truly is, and makes me even want to see a conclusion to his story, like closure of his father's death with Shay, even more.

    Here is the link that not only had Arno's analysis, but also on other Assassins as well: http://sanctuary-of-the-assassins.tu...iumph-still-we
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  2. #2
    LieutenantRex's Avatar Member
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    Something as essential as Arno's personality shouldn't be detached from the frontlines of the game.
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  3. #3
    Originally Posted by LieutenantRex Go to original post
    Something as essential as Arno's personality shouldn't be detached from the frontlines of the game.
    I feel like it was there all along, just that it required more attention, and the fact that a portion of it was in other media, it needed more work. But he is there.
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  4. #4
    Originally Posted by Mr.Black24 Go to original post
    A lot of people call Arno a nobody. Just some random Assassin, nothing, or in a humorous note, a French Ezio Clone.
    Nothing humorous about it, he is an Ezio clone. No ifs or buts about it. His entire look, his face, that black-vest and white-shirt combo at the start of Unity is Ezio in Next-Gen. Denying this is pointless.

    As for me, he is someone much more interesting than what some people are let on to believe, in fact I feel that he is falling into the same category as Connor did during the early days of AC3 of 2012.
    Nice try, but no. Arno has no edge to him at all, no shades of gray. With Connor, there is this debate about whether he did the right thing, or if he could have done something differently. That simply isn't there with a Dudley Do-Righter like Arno who voices unearned wisdom right through the game. With Connor, there is also the sense that he could have joined Haytham and become a Templar when you play AC3 for the first time, you think that this guy could have done it, but Arno despite having a more logical and understandable motivations to do so, never gives the impression that he'll do anything the script does not tell him to do.

    Basicly, Arno suffered due to weak story writing.
    Connor suffered from weak story writing because he was an attempt to do a different kind of character, largely because his creators were trying to put through a point of view completely different from their experience and culture, and given the medium, the franchise and the kind of story they are telling, they would inevitably run into difficulties and so they kind of settled for Daddy's Issues and shoehorned Haytham there as a foil. Arno on the other hand is the writers not trying at all. Arno cannot suffer from weak story writing, Arno's very existence is weak story writing, right from his name, it sounds French but not too French, has the same name as the river of Florence and same number of letters, and syllables, as Ezio. He just smacks of cowardice and laziness.

    So I was trying to write up a way to explain my thoughts on how Arno is actually deeper then one might think, however then I came across an analysis that was much stronger than I can ever write.
    That analysis proves the point of why Arno sucks. Arno's entire story comes from the Assassin-Templar conflict, he's not really a product of his culture and environment. Ezio is a spoiled Renaissance nobleman who lives the "Good life" with his brother Frederico. Connor is a Native American fearing encroachments on tribal land, and Edward is a poor Welsh sailor in a class-driven society who is forced to become an outlaw against a corrupt Empire and navy. Arno is the son of an Assassin, raised by a Templar, in love with Templar Girl but rescued by Assassin Dad's friends and then fights Even Worse Templars. Its essentially Romeo and Juliet, and not even as good as West-Side Story. After all, Arno and Elise are of the same class and ethnicity. Its not like Arno was middle-class or a working class dude. The story essentially amounts to "if it weren't for those filthy evil poor morons who asked for rights that did not belong to them than the hero and heroine could have lived happily ever after".
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  5. #5
    Altair1789's Avatar Senior Member
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    I think they tried to make a spin-off Ezio clone. I'm guessing he was meant to be charismatic and look like Ezio, but slightly different in personality. He did look like Ezio though, with the black jacket and white under shirt and all. Overall I liked Arno's personality, he had a good voice actor, and an interesting setting, but the writing was just really bad, and the length of the story was very short
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  6. #6
    GunnerGalactico's Avatar Senior Member
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    A lot of people hated Unity’s ending, especially the decision that Elise made to leave Arno and go after Germain. But what they don’t realise is that Elise is staying true to her ideals until the very end. If you truly understand the depth of the personalities within Arno and Elise, you will see how tragic their ending really was. Arno was so committed to helping and protecting her, that even though he tried so hard to keep her alive, her drive for justice and revenge was too much and she sacrificed herself to kill Germain, not just to avenge her father, but destroy the extremism within her own order.
    That bit I understand. What really got me annoyed is that months before Unity's release, we've already been informed about Elise's death. We all played the game knowingly that she was going to die. It would've made a slight difference if we were kept in the dark about that. But then again, they've always had a knack of killing off the important female characters ie Mary Read, Maria Thorpe, Ziio etc
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  7. #7
    Originally Posted by GunnerGalactico Go to original post
    That bit I understand. What really got me annoyed is that months before Unity's release, we've already been informed about Elise's death. We all played the game knowingly that she was going to die. It would've made a slight difference if we were kept in the dark about that. But then again, they've always had a knack of killing off the important female characters ie Mary Read, Maria Thorpe, Ziio etc
    Well Mary Read they didn't have a choice since she really did die in that point in history. Killing Caroline was more gratuitous, there was no reason why they couldn't change Forsaken and retcon Kenway Wife 2 and make Caroline Haytham's mother as well. Ziio I can understand, sort-of. But you know in AC2, Ezio's mom and sister, Maria and Claudia live so that's something to their credit.
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  8. #8
    GunnerGalactico's Avatar Senior Member
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    Originally Posted by VestigialLlama4 Go to original post
    Well Mary Read they didn't have a choice since she really did die in that point in history. Killing Caroline was more gratuitous, there was no reason why they couldn't change Forsaken and retcon Kenway Wife 2 and make Caroline Haytham's mother as well. Ziio I can understand, sort-of. But you know in AC2, Ezio's mom and sister, Maria and Claudia live so that's something to their credit.
    I do know that she really did die in real life, I was hoping that we wouldn't get to see her die on-screen. Not sure about Caroline, though. We didn't really get to see much of her in the game, except in Edward's flashbacks. Her death didn't do much for me.
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  9. #9
    Originally Posted by GunnerGalactico Go to original post
    I do know that she really did die in real life, I was hoping that we wouldn't get to see her die on-screen.
    She's a supremely important character in the narrative. It was highly important that we see her death and Edward be there. Its like Giovanni Auditore and Mario Auditore dying offscreen or us not seeing Yusuf Tazim's body. Mary Read was the most important woman in Edward's life. He didn't change when Caroline abandon him, he changed because of her, and its rare to see that level of respect without any romantic love behind it.
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  10. #10
    GunnerGalactico's Avatar Senior Member
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    Originally Posted by VestigialLlama4 Go to original post
    She's a supremely important character in the narrative. It was highly important that we see her death and Edward be there. Its like Giovanni Auditore and Mario Auditore dying offscreen or us not seeing Yusuf Tazim's body. Mary Read was the most important woman in Edward's life. He didn't change when Caroline abandon him, he changed because of her, and its rare to see that level of respect without any romantic love behind it.
    I will admit, I am little biased. She is one of my favourite characters and it was kinda sad to see her die and it was necessary because her death provided a catalyst for Edward to give up his life of piracy and change his ways.
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