Assassin's Creed Valhalla: the analysis of the ending

Assassin's Creed Valhalla: the analysis of the ending
Assassin's Creed Valhalla took us on a very long journey through England in the late 9th century, playing the role of Norse Eivor while nowadays Layla Hassan is still looking for answers and above all how to prevent yet another worldwide catastrophe since the time of Desmond Miles . After ninety hours spent in their company, it is time to sum up through an analysis on the finale going to explain the still obscure points, even in the face of the completion of some secondary stories necessary for a greater understanding.

Clearly this is an article containing massive spoilers, so stay away if you have not completed the game not only in its main story but also regarding the Order of the Ancients, the anomalies of the Animus scattered around England and the missions of Valka to your settlement. Before going into detail, a premise: Valhalla has a good and a bad ending but, in fact, they are no different except for a specific event at the time of Eivor. The real distinction to have a minimum understanding of the facts narrated is to resolve the anomalies and thus assist in the secret ending.



The Eivor ending

For convenience, we will divide the ending into their respective clips: from the past to the present up to an even more remote time as regards the aforementioned secret movie. Starting from Eivor, his plot has very little continuity as regards what should be the main strand of the Assassin's Creed narrative, or the fight between Assassins and Templars: we know that the protagonist is tormented by prophetic visions (or at least we come from if we have a chat with Valka) and between alliance missions, the times we reunite in Sigurd we slowly become aware of the fact that he seems to be some sort of elect. Or, at least, a person out of the ordinary - both Basim, the killer he met in Constantinople, and Fulke, one of the rare Ancients involved in the main plot, tell him. After saving Sigurd following some events that we are not going to examine, the last mission of the game involving him will see us return to Norway to look for a specific place he saw in different visions: we will thus discover one of the many temples erected by the Isu in the past but above all that Yggdrasil exists and is not a tree at all, but a construction of the Isu themselves.

Sigurd, thanks to the mysterious power that flows in his veins, activates the supercomputer and invites Eivor to join him: both are transported to Valhalla, where they indefatigably engage in banquets and battles as in the Norse tradition, until Eivor senses something wrong with it and intends to free himself from the yoke, something that Odin - who had remained in his subconscious until that moment, does not intend to accept . Thus begins a fight between the two, during which Eivor tries to return to the people who are waiting for him in the real world: successful in the enterprise, he wakes up in the temple and sees Basim threaten Sigurd with a knife to the throat. For an unknown reason, the murderer is furious with Eivor and accuses him of having taken away that son he mentions during one of the alliance missions: how and when, however, is not disclosed and Eivor has not no choice but to face him in a fight to the death that ends with the defeat of Basim and his imprisonment inside the Isu machinery. Instead of killing him, in fact, the two brothers work together to lock him up forever within the simulation of Yggdrasil. Once this is done, based on your choices in the course of the game you can go home with or without Sigurd: here you will become the new jarl and proceed with the epilogue of the story, concluding the alliances to discover the identity of the Father - the person in charge of the whole Order of the Ancients. For Eivor's skeleton to be in North America, so what drove it there, will most likely be DLC material.

Layla's ending

Ending the part with Eivor, first to regain his control we will return to the present one last time to take on the role of Layla: thus we learn that the catastrophe stopped by Desmond in 2012 can be blocked again by interacting with Yggdrasil. He therefore leaves for Norway, with the recommendation to bring the Staff of Hermes Trismegistus with him to protect it: once the point where the activation mechanism is located, Layla is hooked to the supercomputer and enters its simulation, however losing the stick in the process. Inside, she finds Basim, who explains that he was the one who sent her the message with the coordinates on where to find Eivor's body so that everything could proceed as planned - that is, that Layla would reach Yggdrasil. When he touches an Apple of Eden, Basim disappears and with him the Norns who until then had continued tirelessly weaving a mysterious destiny. It means that their task has somehow ended with Layla's arrival in the desolate simulation of Yggdrasil.

Soon after we witness a meeting between her and the so-called Interpreter, with whom Basim said he had collaborated for all the time spent in the simulation: from the English dubbing (as we played it) it is impossible not to recognize the voice of Nolan North, aka Desmond Miles. This does not necessarily mean that he is the Interpreter, however by talking to us he reveals that he is there to prevent the end of the world with an almost infinite series of calculations that take into account as many possible timelines, in the hope of finding a solution. Layla then suggests that he try to consider 2012 as if Desmond's sacrifice had never happened, that is, assuming that the catastrophe has struck and humanity has found a way to start over: thanking her for a possibility that she had not considered. until then, the Interpreter reveals to her however that, having lost the staff, her mortal body will die in little more than a minute. Layla decides to stay in the simulation to help him figure a possible future for the human race, using the simulation of Yggdrasil to send a message to Rebecca and Shaun (left behind) and explain to them what happened. This closes the narrative cycle of the Heir of Memories and the umpteenth attempt to save the Earth from a seemingly inevitable end. At least until the new Assassin's Creed. What about Basim instead?

Who Basim really is

Our good master assassin simply came out of the simulation, aged but alive and well although it is not clear how Yggdrasil kept him alive for over a millennium: free, he takes possession of the stick dropped by Lyla and regains his youthful appearance, then returns to Rebecca and Shaun explaining the situation to them. First, however, we see him interacting with the cane and talking to Aletheia, within which she is enclosed, in loving terms: it becomes even more evident that Basim is more than just a human being. In fact, he is none other than the Isu Loki and the same voice that, during the resolution of the Animus anomalies scattered in the game, we were able to hear. So we have a vengeful Isu on the loose for Earth, in a young and strong body, in possession of a relic of considerable power. What could possibly go wrong? This we will find out in the next chapter of the saga, in fact the role of Basim himself is quite obscure at the moment. Confused? We were too, and in part we still are, but to better understand all the talk related to Basim / Loki it is necessary to take a leap elsewhere, to another time and place to experience one of the best known epic sagas of Norse mythology: it's time to go to Asgard.



The advent of Ragnarǫk

In theory it would be better to face the Asgard saga before finishing the game, just to try understand the events better, but nothing prevents you from doing it later and putting the pieces together calmly. Speaking with Valka after welcoming her to your settlement, you will initiate the narrative cycle of Asgard in the course of which you will retrace the steps that will lead the gods to Ragnarǫk: in the role of Havi (Odin) while maintaining the aspect of Eivor, you will take part in the fight against the jötunn, you will go to Jǫtunheimr, you will first capture and then face Fenrir, in short, everything that is a prelude to the end of the world - which instead you will witness via cutscene. As Assassin's Creed has shown in a rather nebulous way, the gods as the various civilizations have understood them have never existed: they are always the Isu, to whom humans have given connotations of divinity by embroidering stories around them.

This means that Ragnarǫk himself, as told by Norse mythology, does not exist: however, the figures who took part in it are true, so there are Loki, Thor, Odin, Freya, Tyr and all the others but they are Isu, while the Medieval-looking Asgard is none other than one of their technologically advanced cities. This leads us to a question: did Ragnarǫk exist? Yes, it is the Toba Catastrophe, the one that almost completely decimated Isu and humans after causing a solar explosion powerful enough to destroy the Earth's magnetic defenses. By itself, the Asgardian cycle puts the flea in the ear that the whole thing was nothing more than a reflection of the lost Isu civilization but the only useful clue to the story is to see eight of the mead stolen by Havi from the jötunn Suttungr, so that they could reincarnate in spite of the disaster they would face. To give a definitive meaning to this scene, it is necessary to find and solve the ten anomalies of the Animus lost in the game.



The secret ending

Collecting the data obtained from the anomalies , a film is created that represents the facts as they went at the time of the Toba Catastrophe - that is, those you witnessed in Asgardian form. Knowing that they could no longer face the cataclysm, despite previous unsuccessful attempts, eight Isu including Odin, Thor, Freya, Tyr and Heimdall did not drink mead as legend has it but sat around Yggdrasil (the supercomputer of which we have already mentioned) and taking advantage of its advanced technology have loaded their own consciousness into it, so as to preserve it and transmit it in the future. The video also shows as many fetuses, which assumes they were the first containers of the consciousness of these Isu. Once the process is completed, while everything around them collapses, seven of them get up and go to meet their destiny. Only one lingers, most likely Heimdall, but is killed by Loki who takes his place to insert his conscience in Yggdrasil: this makes Basim the first known reincarnation of Loki, starting the events of Assassin's Creed Valhalla.

Time to sum up

It is not easy to deal with this set of fragmentary information, especially considering that they are going to dig up elements from the past to insert and expand them in a rather forced way in this now concluded narrative cycle. Is this the first time there is talk of reincarnation in Assassin's Creed? No, because in some previous chapters we have met several Sages, that is the human reincarnation of Aita, husband of Juno: in short, in the umpteenth attempt to prevent the Toba Catastrophe, the Isu Aita offers to transfer his conscience into a synthetic body much more resistant with the help of his wife, the scientist Juno who attempts to replicate the work done by Conso - an Isu introduced with the Facebook game Project Legacy and developed mainly offscreen, in games it is only mentioned. The experiment fails, Aita loses her life but Juno, before being imprisoned, manages to manipulate the human genetic code by implanting a trigger that would have accidentally changed the appearance and consciousness of some individuals, replacing their consciousness with that of Aita. Some examples are Bartholomew Roberts (Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag), the Grand Master of the Templars Jacques de Molay and François-Thomas Germain (Assassin's Creed: Unity). Without going into biological, biogenetic and so on, reincarnation had already existed before Assassin's Creed Valhalla but was limited to a single individual and, all in all, reasonably plausibly motivated - enough to manipulate an entire genetic code. it's no small feat but, after all, humans are Isu creations so it almost makes sense to be able to act in such a radical way. There are also questions and perplexities here, however we would spend more time listing them than trying to answer them.

In Valhalla this concept is taken and needlessly expanded by shifting the focus again from the eternal struggle between Assassins and Templars , diverting it even more towards the Isu, towards the science fiction, and bringing more confusion in a macro series of events that are already difficult to keep track of due to the transmedia of the saga: if on the one hand we had the genetic manipulation of Juno that gives life to the future Sages, very stretched and yet in its own justifiable way, here we have a supercomputer (Yggdrasil) whose computing and processing power is such as to, in completely unexplained ways, reincarnate anyone who has in memory in human beings around the world. How does it happen? It is not known. It is not an element linked to what Juno did for Aita and, indeed, it almost seems to overwrite this operation because if Yggdrasil really existed at the time of the Toba Catastrophe, why was it not used by Aita and Juno? It is difficult to think that, despite some enmities, the Isu did not communicate with each other to seek solutions to safeguard their race. After all, Loki, a "Norse", fell in love with Aletheia, an "Atlantean": therefore, even assuming different nuclei of Isu, as many as there are pantheons created later by the human race, there was contact between them. Yet in over ten years of the saga there has never been mention of an incredible technology like Yggdrasil - not very credible in terms of potential, okay, but we are always in the field of deep science fiction.

Similarly, com 'is it possible that in all the chapters of Assassin's Creed and in the epochs touched, there has never been a reincarnation of Loki, Odin and the others? Ubisoft has undeniably created a series of loopholes to try to justify any more or less explosive idea that the authors can think of, unraveling more and more a narrative thread that would have at its center the prevention of a catastrophe destined to repeat itself. Or even, the solar explosion seems to be from time to time justifies it to the narrative cycles put into play, around which it is then possible to develop any type of story because, basically, the Isu can. We find it increasingly difficult to find a continuous logic in what happens and Assassin's Creed Valhalla in particular, with its confusing plot, sometimes even irrelevant to the topic in question, does not help in this sense, closing a cycle with more questions than answers and opening yet another where the questions are, if possible, even more.





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