The second one also makes sense, as it comes from the latest game available in the franchise. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s Eivor is joining the battle royale game, but it’s more than that—the proper Eivor Varinsdottir is joining the game. Just about everything from Assassin’s Creed Valhalla itself to recent post-launch marketing of the game has pushed the non-existent male “version” of Eivor on all fronts, leaving the proper Eivor aside—except for Fortnite.
Based on Valhalla’s marketing, most would be forgiven for not even realizing there was a female “version” of Eivor, but even that’s not right. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s main character is female, and there is an option to play as a male if anyone wishes, but that character is not clearly canon—despite other claims. Prior to launch, the first trailer or so only showed “male Eivor.” Eivor herself would not be shown for quite some time, and appeared via a leaked pin at first.
Male Eivor is on the front of the game’s cover, and most of the marketing follows him. The first real Eivor trailer was his, but with her model swapped in. Since its launch, things like Funko Pops have put out Eivor figurines—showing the “male Eivor.” Recently as last month, there was an Eivor figurine put out by a company that mentioned the character as “Eivor Varinsson,” which appears nowhere in the game. This is because the male character everyone sees is either A.) a non-canon option for those who want to play male, which is perfectly okay except for how often it is used to erase the real Eivor or B.) actually another character named Havi.
It's certainly a major plot twist, but what players should know is that “Let The Animus Decide” is considered the canon option. That does not equate to both “male Eivor” and Eivor being canon. In fact, players who choose the canon option will play the game, throughout 98%, as a woman—Eivor. Eivor is a woman. There is no male Eivor. In this mode, players will play through two of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s story arcs as Havi, who looks like Eivor but isn’t.
Ubisoft may understandably want to keep this major plot twist hidden, for those who haven’t played it. But there are clearly better ways to do this, such as naming the “male Eivor” anything other than Eivor, thus erasing her role. The game, even when playing as “male Eivor,” will name the character as Eivor Varinsdottir. Read HERE for an in-depth breakdown of Eivor's character and evaluation of her identity in Assassin's Creed Valhalla.
Eivor is a feminine name. Varinsdottir means daughter of Varin; there is no “Varinsson” in the game. And yet, despite this important distinction, most of the marketing focuses on a male version of Eivor that does not appear in a canon playthrough of the game. It’s as if
Canonicity does not necessarily define how one should play the game, and those who want to play through a male version of the character should feel welcome to. But when that male version erases the canon character, it doesn’t make sense. Canon characters are the ones fans will expect to see more often than not, as it is Kassandra who appears in Valhalla’s Crossover story DLC, but that’s not the case with Eivor.
Instead, her male counterpart—who can hardly be counted as a counterpart—soaks in all the marketing.
While one could describe Valhalla’s marketing as “beating around the bush” when it comes to the canon Eivor and non-canonical options, there is nothing indirect about Eivor joining Fortnite. The announcement on Epic Games’ website writes, "Making her Fortnite debut at the same time Ezio arrives in the Item Shop, Eivor Varinsdottir continues to weave her own destiny." She’s getting an alt Cloaked style, a shield for back bling, handaxes for a pickaxe, and a glider, but most importantly, she’s getting respect.
Not only does Epic Games name her—Eivor Varinsdottir, which appears in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla but not to where a causal player will see it—but the company properly uses she/her pronouns for Eivor. It recognizes Eivor Varinsdottir for Eivor Varinsdottir, a woman. What it doesn’t do, what so many have done, is to put Havi forward and call him Eivor, put a non-canon character’s face to her name and on her game, or avoid her entirely and favor her male option.
One of the biggest issues with the Havi-dominated post-launch marketing of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is that Havi appropriates her name, and yet she doesn’t even tend to appear at all. There was two “Eivor” Funko Pops first made, but they were both Havi. Some would later add Eivor as an option, but not leading with the canon character is mind-boggling.
To be Eivor herself front and center and to not have another male option is great, but had Fortnite decided to include the "male Eivor" option too (as it is a valid if non-canon OPTION for the character), at least it’s clear Eivor herself wasn’t going to get the short end of the stick…again.
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