The Assassin’s Creed Timeline, Explained

The Assassin’s Creed series has been ongoing since 2007, and one of the most impressive aspects about it is how the events told in each game all interweave into one singular timeline. The series has a massive number of entries, with a multitude of both mainline and spin-off releases, but all of these are canonical and fit into the timeline.


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It can be quite difficult to understand the timeline since the games were released out of order historically, but that makes how it all ends up fitting together even more satisfying. So, chronologically, what order do the Assassin’s Creed games take place in?


The Isu

The animated sequence of Loki inside an Isu memory on his knees and being hit by an unknown figure.

While most titles in the Assassin’s Creed series take place at a set time and have a basis in our version of history, its earliest events are where it gets closest to fantasy. We are introduced to a race called the Isu, although throughout later points in history they are called different names.

They are an ancient intelligent species that created humanity themselves to work for them and build their empire. As well as making humanity, they also made powerful artifacts that are called Pieces of Eden, and these end up showing up all throughout the timeline causing trouble in history. These artifacts can control humanity in different ways using neurotransmissions, but there are some people that are immune.

Some humans rebel (the first to fight back being called Adam and Eve) and this begins a conflict between the Isu and the race they created. The war ended with an apocalyptic event known as the Great Catastrophe, a massive solar flare that wiped out all the Isu and left only some humans alive. Some Isu did see this coming, namely Minerva, Jupiter, and Juno.

They used a device called the Eye which helped them see the event coming, but once they realized they would be unable to survive, they instead worked on warning humanity of the second solar flare, predicted to hit in 2012 AD.

Juno had malicious intent though and planned to use the Eye to rule the world, but she was found out but the others and imprisoned in it, but, before this, she tampered with it so when it is next activated she would be set free.

Before the end of the Isu era, it is worth noting that the Isu paved the way for many religions in the Assassin’s Creed timeline, notably Norse Gods included, with them all having been Isu that uploaded themselves into the Life Tree so they could be reborn as humans. Loki was supposed to be excluded from this, but ended up killing one of the others and taking their place.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Hekate and Kassandra in The Fate Of Atlantis Assassin's Creed Odyssey DLC

After the events of the Isu, the first events we play through chronologically is Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, which takes place between 452 and 422 BC.

However, throughout the game, we do learn of some events connecting the Isu era to Odyssey, most importantly, the formation of the Order of the Ancients. The Order was born around the 14th Century BC and was formed in Egypt by powerful figures that used Pieces of Eden to control the population and spread their understanding of Isu ideology. This group will eventually evolve to become the Templars, the rivals of the Assassins.

The first Hidden One, and user of a hidden blade was Darius, who assassinated a corrupt Persian King, but we do not know of the Hidden Ones by name until their official formation in Origins with Bayek and Aya. The canonical events of Odyssey follow the Eagle Bearer, Kassandra and her fight against the Cult of Kosmos who are manipulating the Peloponnesian War.

Notable events for the timeline include Kassandra meeting her estranged father Pythagoras in the hidden city of Atlantis, and inheriting his Staff of Hermes Trismegistus, an ancient Isu artifact that grants immortality to the holder (and happens to house the conscience of Loki’s wife Aletheia), as well as giving birth to Elpidios with Darius’ son.

Assassin’s Creed Origins

assassin's creed origins bayek on a horse looking at the pyramids

A few centuries later, we follow on with the events of Origins between 49 and 38 BC in Egypt, which let us play as Bayek, a descendent of Elpidios, and his wife Aya. The game shows the pair forming the Hidden Ones as part of their journey to avenge their son Khemu, who was killed by members of the Order of the Ancients who were forcing them to open an Isu temple.

The pair end up getting involved with Julius Caesar, a member of the Order, that they manage to assassinate, but ends up spreading the influence of the Order with his power and wealth. Bayek and Aya end up splitting paths after avenging their son, with Aya traveling to Rome to help spread the influence of the Hidden Ones, while Bayek remains in Eygpt.

Assassin’s Creed Mirage

A hooded assassin with a concealed blade being shown to the viewer. A promotional image for Assassin's Creed Mirage

Mirage skips forward to 852 AD and follows the story of Basim, and his journey to becoming a Hidden One in the city of Baghdad. Throughout his journey, tackling the influence of the Order in the city, Basim learns more about the spirit that has been tormenting him, and reconnects with his estranged childhood friend.

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Through his interactions with the Order and the Hidden Ones, Basim comes to the realization that he is the reincarnation of the Isu Loki, and both his childhood friend and the spirit were projections of this side of him, who he fuses with upon his realization. The game ends with him remembering his strained relationship with the other Gods, and looking forward to reuniting with them.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla

Assassin's Creed Valhalla Eivor

The events of Valhalla mostly take place in England between 872 and 889 AD and follow the viking Eivor and her journey alongside other Assassins like Hytham, and notably Basim.

On her journey, she gets visions of Ragnarok, with this actually being the events of the Great Catastrophe, and eventually track down Yggdrasil, the Life Tree supercomputer that the Norse Isu had uploaded themselves into to be reincarnated. She visits a simulation of Valhalla, but leave after a conflict with Basim, who had ended up taking on more of the role of Loki.

She manages to end the conflict by uploading him to Yggdrasil. Valhalla also displays the transition of the Order of the Ancients into the Templars through the actions of their leader at the time, King Alfred. Eivor’s story ends with her accepting her role as a reincarnation of Odin, as well as a DLC adventure in Scotland where the immortal Kassandra cameos.

Assassin’s Creed

Assassins Creed Original Altair

The first Assassin’s Creed game follows Altair, a reckless Assassin between 1191 and 1193 AD during the crusades in the Middle East, and his fight against the Templars, and the discovery of the conspiracy controlling his sect of the Assassin’s Brotherhood, the first appearance in the timeline of an official Brotherhood of Assassins.

By the end, Altair discover the Apple of Eden his former leader was using to control the other Assassins, and in his attempt to destroy it, instead activates it, giving him information about the Isu, and the location of other artifacts. In Revelations, we also learn more about the end of Altair’s life, notably how he set up the Brotherhood in Constantanople and died hiding his knowledge and an Apple of Eden in his hidden library.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Trilogy

ezio from assassin's creed leaping from above onto two guards

Onto arguably the most popular era of Assassin’s Creed, with the adventures of Ezio, following most of his life between the years of 1476 to 1512. His story begins with him watching his father Giovanni get killed by the Templars, and he soon discovers his father was an Assassin, and takes up his mantle.

Two Follows Ezio taking down the Templar conspiracy controlling the Italian upper class, and finding Rodrigo, the leader of the Templars at the time, using the Papal Staff, and Isu artifact to take control. By the end of Two Ezio has used an Apple of Eden to find a hidden vault under the Vatican that leads him to a hologram of Minerva warning of the second Great Catastrophe.

Assassin's Creed 2

Brotherhood shows Ezio soon regrets his decision to let Rodrigo live, as his son Cesare leads a group of Templars to kill most of Ezio’s group of Assassins, but over the course of Brotherhood, Ezio manages to get revenge on Cesare (who by this point has already killed his father) and restore the Apple of Eden his sect of the Templars were using.

Revelations, the final part of Ezio’s story, shows him searching for the knowledge needed to further the Brotherhood, and does this by searching for Altair’s hidden library.

He manages to eventually find it, and follows the now long-dead Altair’s advice to not follow his path and become obsessed with knowledge. Ezio also manages to activate Altair’s Apple of Eden, which contains a message from Jupiter about the second Catastrophe.

There is a short story called Assassin’s Creed Embers that shows the final moments of Ezio’s life in 1524, retired to his vineyard in Tuscany, not dying until he meets the traveling assassin Shao Jun who returns to China after meeting him.

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China

chronicles china shao junshao jun looking over landscape

The first chronological entry in the Chronicles subseries follows Shao Jun after her return to China and her battle with the local order of Templars; the Eight Tigers.

This group manage to take the mysterious box from Shao Jun that is an important item in the subseries, but throughout the course of the game she manages to assassinate all the members and rebuild the Brotherhood in China. Unfortunately, she was unable to recover the box in the process.

Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag And Freedom Cry

Assassins Creed 4 Black Flag Edward Kenway surveys land from the Jackdaw

Black Flag follows Edward Kenway between the years of 1712 and 1722. We see his journey to become an assassin and journey to find the Observatory before the Templars can. He ends up betrayed by his partner Bartholomew. Roberts, who was aiding the Templars.

He ends up returning to Wales once he learns his wife has died, which is also when we learn about the birth of his son; Haytham Kenway. Soon after Black Flag, the events of Freedom Cry take place, which follows Adewale, Edward’s quartermaster, between the years 1735 and 1737.

We follow his adventures as part of the West Indies Brotherhood, and his alliance with brothel owner Bastienne who, together with him helps disrupt the local slave trade. Adewale also recovers the mysterious box stolen from Shao Jun centuries earlier and trusts it with Bastienne.

Assassin’s Creed Rogue

Assassins Creed Rogue Shay Patrick Cormac Cover

Rogue stands out for following Shay Cormac between 1752 and 1760, an assassin who grows disillusioned with the Brotherhood, and ends up defecting to the Templars, but not before killing most of his sect, including Adewale.

He works alongside Edward’s son Haytham, who has also joined the Templars. The pair try and stop Achilles, the leader of the Brotherhood that Shay abandoned, to try and get him to stop tampering with Precursor sites.

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They are unable to stop him in time, and his whole group dies, with Achilles being the only survivor, who Shay lets survive. The game ends with Shay being shown assassinating Charles Dorian, a French Assassin, later in his life.

Assassin’s Creed 3 And Liberation

connor drawing a bow in a forest in assassins creed 3

Both Assassin’s Creed 3 and Liberation take place at the same time, but with different protagonists between 1760 and 1784 in North America. Three follows Ratonhnhake Ton, who is more commonly referred to as his adopted name of Connor, who joins the Colonial Brothehood under Achilles’ tutelage.

He joins the war against the British Empire, attacking the Templars in an effort to avenge his mother, and even ends up meeting his estranged father, Haytham Kenway, who by this point is the Arch Templar, who he ends up killing.

He ends up making an impact by killing Charles Lee, the new leader of the Templars as well, but regrets not being able to do more in his lifetime. Liberation follows Aveline growing up in the Louisiana Bayou. She lives with her wealthy father and stepmother after her real mother mysteriously disappeared. She also has a double life, living both as a socialite and an assassin.

She learns that her mother is actually alive, and the local Templars were controlling a dig site in an attempt to control the area. It is revealed that her stepmother is the leader of the local Templars, and has been grooming Aveline to take over as a Templar, but her plan doesn’t work out, and Aveline instead manages to assassinate her.

Assassin’s Creed Unity

Assassins Creed Unity Assassin Aerial Takedown On French Soldier

Unity takes place between 1776 and 1803 and follows Arno Dorian, son of Charles Dorian (Shay’s victim at the end of Rogue), throughout the French Revolution. As Arno starts to follow his father’s legacy as an assassin, the Templars are in-fighting, leading to the death of Arno’s adopted father, who happened to be the old leader of the French Templars.

Arno’s journey as an assassin begins with the storming of the Bastille and ends up getting him embroiled in the French Revolution, and the machinations of the French Templars under new leadership.

The journey concludes with Francois, the current leader of the Templars, killing both himself and Arno’s partner Elise while attempting to use the Sword of Eden.

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India

assassins creed chronicles india cover art

The second chapter in Chronicles follows Arbaaz Mir in 1841 who is working against the British Templars who are taking advantage of the Anglo-Sikh wars to increase their influence.

Sleeman, the leader of the sect of Templars Arbaaz is conflicting with, is after an artifact called the Koh-i-Noor diamond, and is using the same mysterious box owned previously by Bastienne and Shao Jun.

After escaping containment, Arbaaz manages to secure the Koh-i-noor Diamond and assassinate the Sleeman, but is unfortunately is unable to secure the mysterious box. The diamond does end up in the hands of Ethan Frye after Arbaaz gifts it to him.

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate

Assassins creed syndicate frye twins cover art

Syndicate takes place during the Industrial Revolution in Britain between 1868 and 1916 and follows the recently orphaned children of Ethan Frye, the twins Jacob and Evie Frye.

The pair rebel against Crawford Starrick, the leader of the Templars manipulating life in London and unite the criminal underbelly of London with a group called the Rooks. The pair team up with Henry Green, the son of Arbaaz, and work together to find the Shroud of Eden.

They manage to achieve this goal and end up knighted by Queen Victoria. In some sections of the game, we shift focus to Lydia Frye, Jacobs granddaughter, during World War One, who is working with Churchill to take down the Templar spies, and in doing so, runs into a sage who is the reincarnation of Juno’s husband Aita.

There is DLC expansion that takes place before this, though, following the original Frye twins that leads them into the path of Jack the Ripper, a former Assassin now out for revenge. Kidnapping Jacob, it’s Evie who finally puts him down.

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: Russia

Nikolai Orelov Assassins Creed Chronicles Russia is posed with a gun and Russian Palace backdrop

The final game before the modern era is Chronicles Russia that follows Nikolai Orelov on his final mission in 1918. The jaded assassin is tasked with finding the mysterious precursor box, which leads him to team up with Anastasia, a surviving member of the Romanov family, who has a connection to Shao Jun and the box itself.

With Anastasia lending Shao Jun’s abilities, her and Nikolai are able to defeat the Templars. Upon return to the Assassins who want to experiment on her due to her connection to Shao Jun, Nikolai ends up defecting and helping her escape the country.

Modern Era

Desmond Miles

Desmond Miles from Assassin's Creed with his hoodie hood up

The first chapter of the modern era follows Desmond Miles across a few months in 2012. He is a modern Assassin who is held captive by the modern front of the Templars, Abstergo, as they use the Animus to explore the memories of his descendents to find Isu artifacts.

He is eventually freed and teams up with other members of the Brotherhood; Lucy, Rebecca and Shaun, who have their own Animus that they can use to counter Abstergo.

On this journey, Desmond ends up possessed by Juno after activating an Apple of Eden, who uses him to kill Lucy. In shock, his comatose body is used to explore both Haytham and Connor’s memories to be able to enter an Isu temple to stop the upcoming solar flare.

But Juno’s efforts finally pay off, as to use the device Desmond must both simultaneously release Juno and sacrifice himself, but he makes the choice to save the world from the Catastrophe, unfortunately letting his body be obtained by Abstergo in the process.

Abstergo In Between

Abstergo Industries Logo

After Desmond’s passing, we follow certain Abstergo employees as they explore Desmond’s memories to play out the events of games like Black Flag, Unity, and Syndicate.

During these events, through the eyes of various Abstergo employees, we learn about how Juno’s conscience has become interwined with Abstergo’s systems, while also getting reintroduced to Desmond’s old friends Rebecca and Shaun, who are still working down to take Abstergo.

By the end of these events, Rebecca and Shaun manage to assassinate Isabelle, the current leader of the Templars, but it is then revealed that the Templars are now fully working alongside Juno.

Layla Hassan

Screenshot Assassin's Creed Origins Layla Hassan

Origins, Odyssey, and Valhalla follow Layla Hassan, who starts off as an Abstergo employee looking for the body of Bayek. She ends up defecting, and ends up being recruited by Rebecca and Shaun’s Assassin friend, William.

After reliving Kassandra’s memories, she ends up meeting her in the city of Atlantis, and inherits the Staff of Hermes, becoming immortal herself, and letting Kassandra finally pass. Layla also meets Aletheia, Loki’s partner who is awoken from the staff and helps Layla learn how to use it.

By 2020, the repercussions of Desmond’s sacrifice are causing anomalies and the Assassins receive an anonymous signal from the Animus to explore strange Viking ruins in North America, and explore Eivor’s memories.

Layla Hassan sits exhausted after coming out of the animus. Assassin's Creed Valhalla

This eventually leads them to Yggdrasil where Layla enters the computer, where it is revealed that Basim from inside sent the signal to the Animus. Basim and Layla end up switching places, with Loki reuniting with Aletheia still housed inside the Staff of Hermes.

Layla now lives on in the The Grey, a digital afterlife inside Yggdrasil, alongside Desmond, whose conscience was uploaded by Abstergo after they found him.

With Basim now present in the modern world, the remaining Assassins are of course, hesitant to trust him. This leads to him attempting to earn their trust by allowing them to relive his earlier memories during Mirage.

Next: The File Size Of Every Assassin’s Creed Game

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