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Professor Simon Hathaway is a British Templar historian and, as of October 2016, the head of Abstergo Industries' Historical Research Division and member of the Inner Sanctum of the Templar Order.

Biography

Early life

As a descendant of a Templar ancestral line, Simon followed the footsteps of those before him as he pursued on his career as a historian. He attended Cambridge and afterwards worked in Abstergo Industries' Historical Division under his fellow Cantabrigian Isabelle Ardant. He also had a romantic relationship with his fellow Templar Anaya Chodary, who was a field agent at the time. However, their work and devotion to the Order eventually kept the two apart and ended their relationship.

Later, Ardant became impressed by his work and mentioned him several times in her files, catching the attention of the CEO and Grand Master Alan Rikkin. This served crucial during the Inner Sanctum's hunt for Ardant's replacement.

Induction to the Inner Sanctum

"I have learned that genuine knowledge only comes to those who truly hunger for it. I have learned that power must be wielded by those above the fray, for only they can see the interweaving of the pattern. And I have learned that wisdom is the execution of power guided by knowledge and understanding."
―Hathaway's answer to the Induction's question of what he had learned as a Templar[src]

Hathaway was inducted to the sanctum sometime in 2016. Upon taking his position in the Inner Sanctum, Hathaway gave a presentation to its other members in which he put forward his belief that the Animus was not being used to its full potential in their search for Pieces of Eden and Assassins. Seeing the methods such as those by Abstergo Entertainment–which utilized people largely ignorant of the significance of what they witnessed in the past–as more data gathering rather than application of knowledge, Hathaway argued that greater work could be done in less time by sending a Templar like himself into the past who could appreciate the greater context of what they saw and therefore discover clues that others simply didn't know to look out for.

To that end, he put forth a theory that the Sword of Eden which had become damaged as it was passed down through history from Grand Masters Jacques de Molay and François-Thomas Germain to the Assassin Arno Dorian and eventually into the office of Alan Rikkin himself was the very same weapon wielded by Jeanne d'Arc during the Hundred Years' War. It was Hathaway's belief that by exploring the memories of his ancestor Gabriel Laxart, who fought besides Jeanne d'Arc, he would be able to observe the sword's abilities firsthand and thereby have the opportunity to reactivate them in the present day.

Rikkin gave Hathaway a deliberately tight one-week schedule to test this new direction that the professor wanted the Historical Research Division to take and assigned Victoria Bibeau to assist him, a move which immediately reduced the timeline to six days as Bibeau needed to fly in to London from The Aerie. He was officially introduced to her during their meeting in Simon's favorite restaurant, Tempest in the Teapot, where they discussed the Bleeding Effect. He also had to summarize the Hundred Years' War and Joan of Arc's involvement to the uninformed Bibeau, much to his annoyance.

During their ride to the Historical Research division, the pair encountered Anaya Chodary, who was now Abstergo's ethical hacker, in the lift. Initially shocked, the two later shared a friendly conversation and parted ways. This was commented upon by Bibeau, who Simon learned shared the same views on romance as him. They continued on to the technician Amanda Sekibo to strap him in the Animus.

Reliving Laxart's memories

With his first attempt in the Animus, he violently desynchronized during Gabriel's first meeting with Joan. Bibeau later realized, from the chemicals released from Hathaway's brain, that the cause was not Simon himself, but the teenage romantic attraction of his ancestor to the maiden. After more observations, he realized that Gabriel and Joan had extraordinary amounts of Precursor DNA and that their ally, Jean de Metz, was an Assassin. Aware of the growing potential of his project to both the history of the Assassin-Templar War and DNA tracking, Simon became more confident that Rikkin would start having interests.

Personality and traits

"With information, we know what — enough to identify the specific artifact — and where. But with knowledge, we’ll know what it does, how it was used, and... how to fix it."
Simon Hathaway explaining his approaches with the Animus Technology to the Inner Sanctum[src]

As a scholar and historian, Hathaway was very eager to witness Joan of Arc's battles in his ancestor's eyes. Despite his excitement, he kept an objective and third-person viewpoint, almost giving him immunity from the Bleeding Effect. This also enables him to desynchronize on purpose.

Simon always valued authenticity. During his initiation into the Inner Sanctum of the Templar Order, he noted that the ritual garb had been made by hand and not machines. This caught his admiration, as he loved that the Templars genuinely put in effort to replicate the ancient traditions. He still uses a whiteboard to present his points, something which, as noted by David Kilkerman, most people today do not do.

He also valued knowledge over information. He stated that while information tells where to find Pieces of Eden, knowledge will allow them to understand its workings and designs. He also believed that knowledge will give them a better advantage over the Assassins rather than just data collection.

Trivia

  • While not clearly confirmed, Assassin's Creed: Heresy hint that Simon is a descendant of Jeanne d'Arc, as after her faked execution the maid shared her life with Simon's known ancestor, Gabriel Laxart, who fathered children during that time.
  • Hathaway adored tea and considered coffee as a "demon".
  • In addition to English, Simon is also fluent in Russian, Spanish and Arabic.

Appearances

Reference