Okay, proclaiming my love for assassins might not be a normal thing to say. In all honesty, they could as easily destroy my favorite fictional characters as easily as they can destroy my non-favorites. And they’d do it because that is what they’re created to do. But not gonna lie. Some of them tend to be rather awesomely written. And there’s no denying they’re badass. Slightly psychotic and deranged and every bit suffering issues of abuse, familial absence, and political and emotional discord, but honestly, that’s why I love them.
Ten Reasons I Love Assassins (in Fiction)
1. Their legendary skills are only outmatched by their legendary names. Celaena Sardothien. Gaelan Starfire. Viridiana Sovari. Kvothe the Kingkiller. Corvo Attano. Szeth-son-son-Vallano, Truthless of Shinovar. I mean. Those are awesome assassin-ish names. Nobody would take them seriously if one of them had decided to adopt the moniker of “Princess Sparkles” or “The Butterfly” (though, to be honest, I’d probably rock “The Butterfly” as my assassin name…just saying). I mean, if Leliana can rock “Nightingale,” I totally can rock “Butterfly.”
2. Their sneaky, ninja reflexes. I mean, sometimes these assassins are Talents in and of themselves–and sometimes magic helps them blend into the shadows. But even without their brand of Skill, Grace, Talent, or Allomantic chicanery, there is still no denying the fact that they have trained for their roles. And often, not even the lack of superhuman strength or magic will be able to stop them from ending their deaders.
3. Their constant push to learn new things. An assassin who cannot learn from past mistakes is a dead assassin in my book. Whether this learning is a new fighting move, a more informative outlook on people and politics, or several new pages of herbal poisons, it’s a never-ending education. Heck, I would actually be more surprised if an assassin like Valek or Durzo wouldn’t be able to tell you the most obscure of poisons. It’s their damn business to know after all.
4. Their hardcore training regime. I swear, the best were trained from birth. Or, well, as close to birth as people can get them. For Fitz, that was around six or eight. For Arya, same deal (“A GIRL HAS NO NAME”). For Kylar and Celaena and definitely for Katsa, their time as children did not last very long, not when shit like stabbing and poisoning needed to get done.
5. They give almost zero fucks about the people they’re offing…until they do. Which pose moral problems when assassins have a conscience, but when they become the main characters of the story, they tend to possess some kind of code or creed. For the most part, though, they’re more concerned about getting things done. As quietly as possible.
6. Sometimes characters in a story just need to get dead. Having an assassin handy would really solve the problem. Alas, this is not always the case. It would be a nice notion, though.
7. They occasionally have cool assassin-ish sayings.
“Nothing is true, everything is permitted.”
“I am Sa’kage lord of shadows. I claim the shadows that the Shadow may not.”
8. They are often great planners, thinkers, and multitaskers. They memorize blueprints to get in and out of castles easily. They observe patterns and react upon them. When things go wrong, the best ones often adjust their already laid-out plans to work with what they have. And they do this all while playing a balancing game in front of the public.
9. Their arsenal. From the swords and daggers in their vaults to the poisons in their pockets, to even their hidden Shardblades. I’d kill for one of their weapons. I’d probably die in the process, but never mind.
10. They never cease to be interesting. Whether dead or alive, saving the world or sending it careening toward disaster, retired or at-work, betrayed or in love, evil or necessary, they often work with those elements. And the best often have a way of making their stories sing their names for as long as there are people populating the fantasy world.