Every member takes the Assassin’s Creed Oath admitted into the guild and it holds immense power and knowledge for every Assassin.
The oath also holds a deeper meaning that can only be understood by the purest members, and even I understood the hidden meaning of the Assassins Creed Oath only after I replayed the series.
Assassin’s Creed is one of Ubisoft’s most popular series that holds a high grossing sales record and has deep lore based around the many arcs of the game.
The hidden guild of the Assassin’s is one of them. The Creed laid its foundation somewhere around 38 BCE when founders of the Hidden Ones, a predecessor to the Creed, decided to enforce their Order with more scrutiny.
The Creed grew and followed the Assassin’s Order to restrict unnecessary slaughter and the preservation of peace.
The Assassin’s Creed Oath signifies that not everything which is perceived should be believed to be true and total control should be avoided to make way for freedom of thoughts and choices.
The oath is taken by every Assassin whenever they are initiated to the Creed. Still, the literal words have deeper meaning hidden behind them, and the lore behind the story digs deep to reveal how it all unites together.
1. The Assassin’s Creed Oath
Ezio gives the actual oath in the Assassin’s Initiation ceremony:
“Where other men blindly follow the truth, remember, Nothing is true.
Where other men are limited by morality or law, remember, Everything is permitted.
We work in the dark to serve the light. We are Assassins.”
The stone-cold words combined with the gameplay setting is enough for a hall of fame worthy moment. Ezio’s speech sends chills down the player’s spine, but once you grasp the actual meaning behind the words, it all suddenly makes sense.
2. The Hidden Meaning
The Assasin’s Oath is a tradition that predates even the creed, it began when it was first immortalised by Bayek of Siwa and Aya of Alexandria, founders of the Hidden Ones.
With the formation of the Brotherhood, the oath became an integral part of the initiation ceremony and in the titles, it is seen to be orated by Ezio himself.
The oath focuses on two elements, “Nothing is True” and “Everything is Permitted.” Both of these are like the sides of a coin, one ultimately leads to the other.
“Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted”
The world is not an absolute certainty, and we, as mortals, are not equipped to fully grasp the environment. We merely experience a smaller subset of a bigger overlay. This leads to views regarding the world as a whole being skewed from the start.
The absence of a constant reality leads to us picking away our own form. One subject can be perceived in many ways without it being right or wrong.
This subjective reality leads to you being responsible for your realities. You may not be dealt a hand you like, but you will have full control over it.
You can quit and walk away or see beyond the possibilities. Total freedom is awarded to you but be ready for the consequences of your actions too.
3. The Initiation
The oath is taken by new members at the initiation ceremony of the Assassin’s Order and was upheld for many years during its existence.
This rite of passage included the amputation of the ring finger during the olden times to facilitate the hidden blade’s installation. The hidden blade was then eventually modified to not require the amputation.
Initiations were performed by the mentors of the Brotherhood and included the participants standing around a lit centerpiece. Here the oath is recited by the initiate, and the finger is branded instead of the amputation of the older times.
Thus, traditions were transformed for more modern time and not lost. Similarly, in a Brotherhood where every element has a definitive meaning and history, the Creed also has a deeper meaning behind their namesake.
4. What Does Assassin’s Creed Mean?
It couldn’t have been saying better than Ezio when he replies to the same question,
“To say that Nothing is true, is to realize that the foundations of society are fragile, and that we must be the shepherds of our own civilization. To say that Everything is permitted, is to understand that we are the architects of our actions, and that we must live with their consequences, whether glorious or tragic.”
This quote was left open to interpretation by the writers so that the players could relate to the Creed on a deeper level, which is exactly what a well-designed game series aims to achieve.
The true meaning of the Assassin’s Creed dwells with humanity’s relationship with power and the way it is wielded according to their own singular, and often obtuse convictions.
5. The Three Tenets
The Order of the Assassin’s way of life, called the Creed, follows by the same way of life and consider their three tenets as most vital:
1. “Stay your blade from the flesh of an innocent”
The Assassins’ aim is to ensure peace in all things. Political assassinations and the death of corrupt people would bring the common people peace and security. Slaughtering innocent people and civilians would bring nothing but shame to the Brotherhood.
2. “Hide in plain sight, be one with the crowd”
The Creed dictates that the assassinations need to be carried out stealthily to avoid supernatural elements. Getting in and out of an assassination plot without anyone’s notice was a necessary skill for the Brotherhood members.
3. “Never compromise the Brotherhood”
The Brotherhood comes beyond the individual; even at the time of capture, the assassins were never to reveal any Creed information. Failing to do so is considered the most dishonourable act.
These tenets help the assassins fight to maintain peace with their ability to slay one life to save a thousand.
6. About Assassin’s Creed
Assassin’s Creed is the action-adventure series developed and published by Ubisoft that began with the release of Assassin’s Creed on November 13, 2007.
The initial release focused on Microsoft Windows, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360, but the titles since then have expanded their grasp onto current-gen as well as next-gen platforms and consoles.
Since then, Ubisoft has released 12 main titles in the series with the latest AC: Valhalla focussing on the nordic expansion into the European region.