The Varangians (Old Norse: Væringjar, Greek: Varangoi) were guards stationed in Constantinople and Derinkuyu. They were the Byzantine equivalent of Italian Seekers, and fought with halberds and spears.
- Historically, the Varangians hailed from Scandinavia, parts of Medieval Russia, and England, and consisted primarily of Norse and Anglo-Saxon recruits. From the 9th to 14th century, they served as the personal guard of the Byzantine Emperor, functioning similarly to the personal guard of the Ottoman Sultan, the Janissaries.
- Their name comes from Old Norse compound væringi, from vár "pledge" and gengi "companion", i.e. "a sworn person" or "a foreigner who has taken service with a new lord by a treaty of fealty to him, or protégé."
- Historically the Varangians were famous for wielding axes, and actually more resemble the in-game Almogavars, and vice-versa.
- In the artbook of Assassin's Creed: Revelations, concept art of the Varangians showed that they were supposed to wield one-handed swords.
- Looting or stealing from Varangians would give Ezio smoke screen or smoke decoy bombs should his tactical or diversionary pouches be empty.
- Varangians wear szyszak style helmets, however, this is historically inappropriate as this type of helmet was used by the Polish winged hussars in the 17th century.
- Varangians wear lamellar armor which is appropriate for the Byzantine context.
- Historically, Varangian equipment would likely have been along the lines of their Scandinavian heritage - large round shields, axes, swords and the famous Daneaxe.