‘Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag’ – Who is ‘Edward Kenway’?

Published 2 years ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2013 at 12:00 pm,

Assassins Creed 4 Black Flag Logo

[Update: be sure to check out the official announcement trailer of Black Flag here!]

It was clear that Assassin’s Creed 3 wouldn’t be slowing the momentum of the series, and now the next release, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag has been leaked and officially confirmed by Ubisoft. We still await official details from the studio, but from what’s been leaked thus far, Black Flag will be set in the Caribbean Sea circa 1715, with a brand new ‘part-time pirate’ protagonist.

Since the brand new protagonist fans were promised is a maritime Assassin living just decades before the events of AC3, reports have surfaced claiming that the new lead is in fact Edward Kenway, grandfather of Assassin Connor Kenway (and father of Templar Haytham Kenway). But what’s in a name? We’re taking a closer look at Edward Kenway, and the mysteries of his life that the game will be likely to explore (assuming he is, in fact, the new hero).

The Kenway name may have been irrevocably damaged due to Haytham Kenway’s treacherous betrayal, abandoning his Assassin upbringing to act as the first Grand Master of the Templar order in America. But long before Haytham even came into the world, his father Edward had established himself as a capable member of the Assassin Order.

Assassins Creed 4 Trailer - Edward Kenway


As an English privateer apparently working along the Florida coast and Caribbean at the time, the exact distinction between privateering and piracy is, for our intents, fairly murky. After all, a privateer was essentially a private citizen authorized by a government to act as a pirate against its enemies. Besides Kenway’s presumed licenses attained from Britain, little is known about his younger years.

Most of what is actually known about Edward Kenway comes courtesy of “Assassin’s Creed: Forsaken” by Oliver Bowden, a novelized account of Haytham Kenway’s life preceding and during the events of Assassin’s Creed 3. Haytham reveals what he knows of his father, mainly that he married a woman by the name of Caroline Scott, with whom he had a daughter, Jenny Kenway.

Exactly how Scott and Kenway met, married, and had a child is unknown. What is known is that the marriage ended, leaving Kenway to return to London, marry Tessa Stephenson-Oakley and father Haytham in 1725. His birth year is unknown, but it’s clear that in the year in which Black Flag is set, Edward would be almost the same age as Connor or Ezio Auditore when their time as an Assassin began.

Assassins Creed 3 Naval Warfare Trailer

Obviously, several questions are raised: was Edward an Assassin before becoming an English privateer, or did his travels brings him face-to-face with the Order? If the Templar and Assassin presence in the New World was much smaller at that time, where will the intrigue and action take place? Clearly, the early years of Edward Kenway’s life is where the greatest mystery – and therefore, chances for Ubisoft to tell an untethered story – lie.

Since almost nothing is known of Caroline Scott, and given the presence of romantic subplots throughout the Creed series, there’s a good chance players will witness the budding relationship between the two. The lack of a real romantic figure in Assassin’s Creed 3 didn’t help Connor develop beyond a man seeking vengeance, so we’re optimistic about the possibilities of a Kenway-Scott affair (especially if it gives players a reason to not spend hours upon hours sailing the high seas directionless).

What transpires during Edward’s years abroad will likely make up the heart of Black Flag, but whatever he found in the Americas, it followed him to England. “Forsaken” tells us that some time after 1733, Edward’s close friend Reginald Birch (1705-1757) used Haytham to reveal the whereabouts of his father’s “most prized possessions,” triggering an argument when Edward realized his deception. Not long after, a group of masked men invaded the Kenway home, kidnapping Jenny (in whom Reginald had shown romantic interest) and killing Edward.

Assassins Creed 3 Reginald Birch

As it happens, Reginald Birch was actually working for the Templars, and following the incident, took the young Haytham (trained as an Assassin to that point by his father) under his wing, and ushered him into the Templars. Birch ultimately paid for his deceit in the extended fiction, but was seen in the opening act of AC3 giving Kenway his mission in America.

The mystery obviously lies in what Edward had found and kept hidden, apparently an ancient book containing secrets of the First Civilization. If we were prone to predictions (which we are), we’d expect the discovery of that information to lay the foundations for both Haytham and Connor’s missions decades later. Ubisoft had explained that AC3 would be “planting seeds” for future games, and revealing the first chapter in a story players didn’t know they were bringing to a close is certainly one way to do so.

What Edward Kenway was sent to do in America, what his role was within the Assassin Order, and how he came upon the ancient book (among other possible information and relics) remains to be seen. We know how his story will end, but how it begins could very well be the story Ubisoft wishes to tell.

If that’s the case, how do you feel about the relatively small shift in time frame and environments? Much of the game will still take place on the mainland, but where do you see the best parts of the story possibly taking place? Leave us your thoughts, and any theories you might have, in the comments.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is expected to hit all platforms this fall.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce for all your AC updates.

TAGS: Assassin's Creed, Assassin's Creed 3, Assassin's Creed 4, PC, PS3, Ubisoft, Wii U, Xbox 360

  • COREY_1993

    PLEASE! be a more entertaining character. Connor was boring. hell, make him a copy of ezio for all i care.

    i dont like the trees, or at least how they did it in AC3. it was fun but you would find yourself running around which was a huge problem. even in the street i would find myself running around. i dont really know how they screwed that up because in every other game they were perfect.

    • Brent

      not to mention lack of safe landing in the wilderness. I found multiple points where I pretty much had to die after syncing at a wilderness viewpoint because not all of them had safe drop points. And climbing down is very finicky.

      Conner was just a kid out for revenge. Becoming an assassin just made it convenient. I don’t think they actually mentioned the creed once the entire game

      • Jean-Pierre

        Connor never joined the assassin order…

        • Malin Sandberg

          Go back and play the game again….

        • aidshpido

          did u even play the game? Get your facts straight before insulting someone

      • nope

        Connor wasn’t all about revenge. He believed eliminating the templars would in turn keep his people safe. All of his motives through out the story were to KEEP HIS PEOPLE SAFE. Also through out the entire game he did mention the creed. Although he didn’t say the exact words ‘Nothing is true everything is permitted.” he did mention the assassin’s struggle for peace and freedom and their war against the templars.

      • Joseph

        there are stack of leaves at all those points use hunter mode to find they appear all like smokey and stuff

      • Ralph

        Whoever says Connor was just out for revenge is oversimplifying it, and ignoring the fact that revenge was the whole plot of Assassin’s Creed 2.

        The only person he wanted revenge on was Charles Lee, the man who attacked him as a child and burned his village and killed his mother.
        For the most part, he repeatedly states that he all he wants is to protect his people, and keep America free from oppression.

        Connor was an awesome, idealistic character and a breath of fresh air from the recycled gritty characters found in most games today.

        Also, tree climbing was the shit.

    • aidshpido

      Are you kidding me? Connor was the best assassin because he could actually keep his dick in his pants. Just because a person doesn’t get all the ladies doesn’t necessarily make him a better character. You should judge them based on their personality, not by how many times he gets laid.Ezio is stupid at ACR he dragged the woman he loved in to the middle of this war and the result is that they almost murdered her. He became an assassins without training and was only seeking revenge, he discovered in the end that revenge was not the answer and let the enemy live, which is way they destroyed all the villa, even if wasn´t for revenge he should have killed him, he became a master assassin by doing the worst mistakes, which he hardly learned by them and in the end he never understood the true reason why the fight for and always getting distracted.
      But Connor was a angry and lonely boy who had his objectives straight to one direction to bring justice to his people and protect them and not vengeance, he never let any distraction get in his way, his life was devoted to his people, the only mistake he did to his people was to believe in George Washington and his father Haytham Kenway.
      He was naive, angry and impatient but he still trying to save his people, his main fight and objective was for freedom and not against the templars and he knew that he couldn´t have the luxury to raise a family until his work is finished.

      • Anonymous

        What you just listed was called character development, and it’s necessary to the story. When people say Connor wasn’t much of a character, they mean he didn’t go through any real development throughout the series.

        Ezio went from a relatively immature character driven by revenge and family loyalty to a character that, while an assassin, has a certain respect for the life he takes, becomes more mature throughout the game, and seems to accept that he is not infallible. I can’t account for Brotherhood and Revelations, but at least that’s what I get from 2.

        By comparison, Connor starts as a pretty unselfish character who believes in integrity and protecting his people. Throughout the entire storyline, the only thing that particularly changes is the scope of the people he feels he needs to protect. In terms of storytelling, it’s particularly boring and unforgivable.

      • Carter

        Yes that is true. Take for example the time when Haythom read the letter George Washington was reading. Haythom told Conner that George sent messengers to kill Conners people. Bla bla a little bit later Conner said “my people come first, choose to follow me or oppose me and I will kill you”. So yes his people First.

  • Ezio


    • DarthMalnu

      haven’t you heard? He’s off being suddenly a mean, cliche villain for no justifiable purpose.

  • Boo Boo Beans

    No. Find a better setting. Connor’s origin story was Ezio’s done poorly. Furthermore, Haytham the Templar was more interesting than Haytham the Pseudo-Assassin but only because of how jarring his assholish nature was. Just move the game into the future already. I’m more interested in what happened with the resurrected “goddess” than I am with history buff porn.

    I get it. Ubisoft likes throwing historical figures out there and giving them personalities. They like it so much they think it’s the only way people will buy this game. Unfortunately, like part three, this will be a rent or pass. The historical stuff feels tacked on now.

    • T_RoC333

      Look it seems like you are all pretty ignorant to the fact that this game is fiction but is trying to get Americans into the thought of their past heritage. The fact is you are ignorant to history because inherently history is boring!!! I wouldn’t bet two buckets of horse piss that many people criticizing a pretty well rounded story line that continues to link history together in an interesting manner is quite amazing. Many critics are a bunch of Doritos munching, Mountain Dew drinking inexperienced adults whom may or may not have practical knowledge of what makes the world work. No offense to the highly intelligent word of actual computer nerds but just because you can memorize some standardized computer language makes you nothing more than a person who knows more about speaking to a machine than to real people. Don’t get it twisted machines are great but until they build themselves without your awesome touch of computer coding humans are still the device that makes the world go around. Have some respect for all the people who have come before the sorry pimple ridden carcasses of today’s childhood meeks. Give something more to the world than just your stats on a video game. Make a video game yourself that even compares to any of the Assassin’s Creeds and then you have the right to say something about them. I don’t care if you can write stupid flash games on newgrounds.com you are the bottom of the barrel if you insult anyone. So I am taking up for all the creators of these games to tell you if you don’t like it don’t talk about it unless you are an expert because you suck. Take a lesson from the game itself, “the templars wanted to control everyone because of sorry people that do things without knowledge. They felt that you needed structure to be worth something to the world…they were right!!! If there were more motivated people in the world the Templars would have never existed.” Touch these nuts…I’m out. Peace to everyone and stop fighting!!!

      • Sid

        Couldn’t have imagined saying it better myself, thank you Sir. I personally love every AC game ever made and so far Ezio in AC2 and Edward in AC3 are my favorite characters in any game ever made. If you knew even a fraction of the history behind the stories Ubisoft masterfully weaves, you’d understand how amazing their work is. They take seemingly unimportant people, throw in historical figures, places, and events, then make it a video game. I’d love to see you even attempt to code Edward flipping you off for three seconds. Seriously, get a life. Ubisoft works their asses off just to make theses games, even if you hate them, show some respect for the hard work and man hours it took to make this record breaking series.

  • Tolfdir

    Reminds me of me days as a scally wag, but this game looks good

  • http://www.behance.net/therustedpixel pauly

    Looks as dull as AC3…from now til Christmas it will be plastered all over gaming magazines how great it will be and how much better it is than AC3. Avoiding this like the plague!

  • Mr. Talldude

    What is this “Assassin’s Creed: Forsaken” jouranl/documentary/book -thing that you mentioned, Andrew?? When did it come out? Never heard of it before.

    • Pam Zaragoza

      Assassin’s Creed: Forsaken is a book by Oliver Bowden. Forsaken is just one of the books that he wrote that was based on all of the AC games.

  • http://www.google.com tomm

    Well im glad i read the book because u just spoiled the ending lol. I loved Connor in ac3 and i dont really like the hate he gets but whtever. They do need to fix a ton of crap in the next game like make the missions less scripted, fix the glitchs , ditch the scyfy. Personally the history side of the ac games is much better than the desmond story which got lost around brotherhood. Ac3 was a awsome game but they should quit the yearly sequels

    • Ralph

      He gets hate because he’s not Ezio. That’s really about it.

  • Jasca Ducato

    His name isn’t ‘Connor Kenway’ and the fact that people, including reputable news sites, are still using it, is starting to piss me off…. It’s Ratonhnhaké:ton or just Cnnor, that’s it.

    • Drezakk

      your right to a point. in his tribe when he was with his mother, whom the tribe didn’t know his father, used his native name. But, when he met achilles, and gave him the name connor, and with a first name there will always be a last name given by, from the father in this case Kenway. So yes it is Connor Kenway, the game doesn’t use it, because Haytham Kenway disgraced the kenway name by becoming a templar after his father was an exhalted and honorable assassin.

  • Ed

    Any news on who we play as in our modern day sections? Will we be having animus-ception, or is Desmond Resurrected?

    • Dovahkiin

      Well, it could be like liberation and you purchased your animus for ‘entertainment,’ could provide some cool story later for you to exit, live your life thinking it was a fictional story element abstergo added (They have been known to change the way events really happened in the animus) and to suddenly be kidnapped by the templars, re-kidnapped from the templars by the assassins and put into another big game-spanning story. Thats what i would do if i were Ubisoft. It makes room for either some really long games, or another 5-6 part series. id also like to see a big story set up like that possibly from liberation. Have a real world female protagionist that was playing aveline (SP?).

  • Cole

    I think it is cool that there doing it on conners grandfather if you can still run on roof tops an ride horses I will be happy

  • Xhris

    it is Connor Kenway. Idioto.

  • Nik

    I think playing as Edward Kenway will be way more fun as long as you can rebuild a village like on assassins creed 3 and instead of a bow you can use a muskets also you your outfit like on assassins creed 3 can change

  • Joseph

    I wonder if Achilles Davenport ties into the story, maybe this will explane what happen to his family.

  • Jon

    I am an avid fan of the series. When I saw that they had continued the story beyond the logical finale and only to see that they had taken the most boring tagged on part of the last game and turned it into a game by itself. Trying to make us believe that an assassin, who traditionally works alone and out of the public eye has now been made as part of the crew of a pirate ship. Of course as you know pirates hate the lime light and were hardly seen in their day. Lets just say the choice has bastardised and cheapened the entire ideology of assassins creed. It made me sick and frustrated to know that this slapped together piece if crap would bare the name of assassins creed. Who ever came up with the idea sounds like he was the work experience kid that was one of three people on the planet that thought “oww yeah, sailing around in the vast nothing with no where to hide for an assassin and no targets to kill for hundreds of miles sounds perfect for a sneaking assassin.” If the game was released with no tie to assassins creed I would have probably bought it and enjoyed it. They are using the name to sell this, nothing more.

    • Sid


      Really, once you play, you realize Edward isn’t an assassin, but works with them in order to grow wealthy. He’s a greedy selfish ass, then again, that’s what I like about him. Edward starts as a pirate who runs into an assassin and kills him for money and a nice outfit. After that he meets up with the Templars to do their bidding, it isn’t even until you’re nearly 25% of the way through the game do you actually meet an assassin. Edward is considered forgiven for his previous mistakes and dishonor to the brotherhood; however not really ever excepted as an Assassin until much, much later in the game.

  • http://assassinscreed.com Ira

    Why does edward die can’t u make it were haythem thought he was dead but stayed away from haytham and birch then Edward sneaks up on birch and cuts his throt and takes him to the jackdaw and stabs him over an over to be sure he’s dead and Edward lives like ezio and die old

    • Gary

      *SPOILER*(sort of)edward lives a happy life(well in the end anyway) play and see

  • Francisco

    Idk about all you guys and why you are hating this is by far my most fav game besides brotherhood i actualy sold returnd me gta v for this game but i like the history and that is the only reason i buy ot if you dont kno what happen how will you kno how to handle the things that seem to repeat it self amd i always wanted to play a game where you could be a pirate but i think there should.have been some ladys in it amd all sisnce that was all they did idk where they will go from here i jus hope they dont jump to far i mean they have thousands of years they can choice from like those.pics during the game roman ww2 Egypt you.never kno

  • Gary

    The name actually isnt connor kenway at least not to me id like to think that connor took achilles last name since he was really the only father figure in his life…also i play 4 and being a pirate is awesome (my opinion)… and if you dont think you’ll like the game why comment on it…just saying

  • CJay

    Yea i liked connors story he was a boy that looked for revenge on the guy who attacked and burned his village that guy was charles lee then he joined the assassin order and helped free america cause he believed everyone should be free well then he kills a few templars and soon finds out that charles lee didnt kill his mom george washington did yet still killed his dad and charles lee (yet he regrets killing haytham) so everyone who says that he was all about revenge is wrong and ezio story is different from connors cause ezio never killed the templar that killed most his family ( rodrigo borgia ) he just beat him up a few times then tryes to save his life so yea plus the sync points landing zones werent that hard to get to you just had to find them and how come connor can climb rocks and trees but haytham cant but edward can climb trees but not rocks its weird and to all that havent played black flag its pretty fun i recomed getting it

    • Sid

      Actually he can climb. Most rock, just not sheer cliffs. The game is free-roam, but if you could climb every cliff face, Ubisoft would have had to put twice as much work into it just to add even more places. The map of the game is humongous. They had no reason to add more, by allowing you to climb cliffs and free-roam even more. As it is, they had to use the de-syncing walls just to enclose most of the sea and bays. Not to harp on the idea, I just wanted to clarify why the did it that way.

      As a side-note, Edward can climb trees because he has lived a life full of privateering and running through ancient jungles, Mayan and Aztec ruins, and obviously rigging sails on a ship. Haythem didn’t have this kind of life, as he was kidnapped and trained as a Templar. He was never in the need to know how to be that agile or how to climb and balance in a tree. Connor, however hunted and lived in a small village in the forest, so he had to learn to be agile and know how to tear his way through the trees in-order to hunt his prey more easily. This is why all of this is the way that it is.

      As for Connor climbing rocks, the map is much smaller and enclosed compared to AC4. He could climb the cliffs because it was a much smaller world and therefore, it added to the map, by letting you climb them. However, many of the cliffs were still not capable of being scaled (I.e. No hand grips, gaps, etc.) to close-in the rest of the map and keep in neat, but large.

  • Luna

    Edward kenway isn’t English he is welsh (British would also be accurate)