- "They say genius and madness are so finely balanced in his personality that no one can tell the difference."
- —Farley Havelock
Anton Sokolov is the Head of the Academy of Natural Philosophy and Royal Physician to the Empress and then the Lord Regent. In addition to being a highly prized painter, he is a prolific inventor and is the primary source of Dunwall's militarized technology encountered throughout Dishonored. He also created Sokolov's Elixir, which restores health and staves off the dangerous effects of the rat plague.
An immigrant from the nation of Tyvia, Sokolov established himself as a painter and sculptor to the aristocracy of Dunwall at an early age: Vera Moray claims that he painted her portrait when he was "just barely a man, so young", and that he was already "painting all the best people across the land". It became fashionable for members of the aristocracy to pay exorbitant amounts of coin to have their portrait painted by him; Sokolov continued to deliver, despite his contempt for them.
Sokolov thereafter began to establish himself as a master of many disciplines; by the beginning of Dishonored, he is a widely-known painter, sculptor, scientist (with specialties in vivisection and cosmology), inventor, writer, world traveler, and philosopher. Deemed a flatterer by some, he rose through the ranks to become the Head of the Academy of Natural Philosophy and Royal Physician to the Kaldwins in 1822. Two years prior to receiving his position, following the discovery of the potential of whale oil as an energy source, Sokolov partnered with Esmond Roseburrow to create new technical marvels, acting as a key player in Dunwall's industrial revolution.
In the interceding years, Sokolov waged an intense rivalry with Piero Joplin, going so far as to get Piero removed from the Academy. He also took on Delilah Copperspoon – a part-time painter herself – as his apprentice in 1828. Little is known about their relationship, and Delilah abandoned his mentorship prior to the events of Dishonored.
Sokolov maintained a longer-lasting relationship with Jessamine Kaldwin, whom he admired despite his aversion to the aristocracy. Jessamine was greatly influenced by Sokolov, according to the Heart, and allowed him a great degree of social freedom under her rule. It was during this time that Sokolov invented the wall of light and the arc pylon for the City Watch in 1833 and tallboys in 1836. These technologies were not used widely until 1837, after the Empress' assassination.
Following Jessamine's assassination and Hiram Burrows' ascent into the position of Lord Regent, Sokolov continued to enjoy the privileges of his position, as his inventions were very useful in the following time of chaos and strife. Sokolov enjoyed a close relationship with slaughterhouse owner Bundry Rothwild, inventing the arc mine and designing an interrogation chair that administers electric shocks to its victim, both of which were to be used against striking workers at the Rothwild Slaughterhouse. Sokolov was given free roam of the slaughterhouse in exchange for access to the whales, which acted as excellent vivisection subjects, and also in the hopes that he would continue to make improvements to the machinery, and indeed, the natural philosopher installed an electrical system used to quickly kill a dying whale, and designs were made solely from Sokolov's "mere utterances [...] as he commented sourly on the lesser devices used in previous years" to construct new buzz-saws for the Butchers.
In his spare time, Sokolov is a drunkard and womanizer, as well as a wishful practitioner of black magic. He is obsessed with the Outsider, so much so that he attempts rituals and sacrifices in order to summon him, but to no avail; the Outsider does not find him "interesting enough" to be worth meeting.
- "My time is greatly in demand, I assure you. The work is constant, lecturing at the Academy, painting portraits of the gentry, or supervising the installation of a new security system somewhere in the city. So if I spend a night or two at my home on Kaldwin's Bridge, pursuing my own pleasures, you'll have to forgive me. Or don't. It matters nothing to me."
- —Royal Physician Anton Sokolov, Academy of Natural Philosophy
Following the assassination of the Empress, Sokolov retains his position as Royal Physician under Hiram Burrows, who commissions him to create weaponry for the purposes of social control. He also continues research on a cure for the rat plague derived from his health elixir. With little consideration for ethics, he intentionally infects healthy civilians to research the plague; one of them can be found imprisoned in his greenhouse, along with an audiograph containing his observations in regard to her.
Sokolov is kept under close observation by Burrows, due to his critical scientific work and strategic value. Nevertheless, by the order of Farley Havelock, Corvo abducts Sokolov from his safehouse on Kaldwin's Bridge for interrogation at The Hound Pits Pub on the identity of Burrows' mistress.
Following his confession, he is kept in the kennels at the Hound Pits Pub. Later events lead Sokolov and Piero to reconcile their differences, with Piero noting that "it's refreshing to converse with someone on my own level", and Sokolov conceding that, "[Piero's] expulsion from the Academy was a crime against natural philosophy itself".
A decade after the Lord Regent's insurrection, Sokolov has relocated to Karnaca, in an attempt to renounce ties to Dunwall, where he resides on Meagan Foster's Dreadful Wale for a time. At an indeterminate point, the city begins to fall victim to civil unrest, with an outbreak of assassinations and disorder. He in time uncovers a ploy to depose Empress Emily – which he deduces is being headed by Duke Luca Abele – and resolves to inform the royal family of the impending coup.
Sometime following this discovery, however, Sokolov is kidnapped by the Crown Killer and imprisoned by Kirin Jindosh, confined to the Assessment Chamber of the Clockwork Mansion. While in captivity, he is asked to aid Jindosh in devising a means to mass produce Clockwork Soldiers, but rejects the request. In retaliation, Jindosh forces Sokolov to undergo electrotherapy, in hopes of nullifying the man's free will and independence while keeping his knowledge and creative genius intact.
Sokolov is eventually rescued by either Corvo or Emily, and brought to the Dreadful Wale to recuperate, where he assists and advises the protagonist – directing them to Breanna Ashworth and providing valuable intel regarding Aramis Stilton's manor. When Delilah and her allies are dealt with, Sokolov's tale concludes in two possible ways, depending on the protagonist's chaos level: With low chaos, he revels in the good brought about by his technology, and returns to Tyvia a man satisfied with his achievements in life. With high chaos, Sokolov enters depression upon witnessing the misuse of his creations, and returns to his home country a broken man.
- Sokolov is voiced by Roger L. Jackson.
- For creating Sokolov, the developers took inspiration from several important historical figures, including Leonardo da Vinci, Grigori Rasputin and Nikola Tesla.
- Several of Sokolov's paintings can be found in Dishonored and are among the most important items for which to search. Every painting is worth three hundred coins; furthermore, the game counts "Sokolov Paintings Found" as a separate point at the end of each mission. It is therefore recommended that the paintings be obtained for the sake of completion, as well as for bonus cash.
- Sokolov is fond of King Street Brandy, an expensive liquor containing a "blend of rare Pandyssian spices and a drop of whale oil", along with essence of Morley orchid, which Piero describes as "revolting". Corvo can bribe Sokolov with a bottle to give up information on Lady Boyle.
- It is mentioned by Treavor Pendleton that Sokolov was never that fond of the Lord Regent, and suspected that Burrows was the "source of their trouble". This is later confirmed by Sokolov himself.
- Doctor Galvani greatly admires Sokolov, claiming in his journal that the day he met Anton Sokolov was the most important day of his life.
- Despite his obsession with the Outsider, Sokolov does not appear to immediately recognize the Mark on Corvo's hand, simply stating that it looks familiar.
- If Corvo talks to him after eliminating Hiram Burrows, Sokolov will talk about his usefulness and will comment more on Corvo's mark.
- Sokolov is the only target whose survival is mandatory.
- According to Harvey Smith, after Dishonored, "Sokolov probably eventually returned to court for some years, then slipped away into retirement, painting and travelling."
- A portrait of Sokolov can be seen on the wall behind Kirin Jindosh in the Dishonored 2 reveal trailer. While many of the precise details in the trailer changed before the game was released, the painting can be found there in mission The Clockwork Mansion.
- Sokolov also invented the refraction lens used by the Lord Regent in Dunwall Tower to communicate through video feed. This anomalous system was deemed unviable and could not capture images like Jindosh's silvergraphs, invented a decade later.
- One of Sokolov's apprentices, Doctor Toksvig, replaced him as Royal Physician when he retired.
- According to Sokolov, he has "eight or nine children running around the Isles".
- Sokolov never forgot the names or faces of any of the people he experimented on to help cure the rat plague.
- Although unseen in Dishonored, Sokolov taught lessons to Emily during their time at the Hound Pits Pub, as told by her in a narrative before the mission The Royal Conservatory.
- Sokolov can be killed at the begining of the mission Death to the Empress. Showing the corpse to Meagan Foster will make her horrified and will fill her with hate.
- Developer Commentary – Dishonored ages masterpost
- Dishonored: The Dunwall Archives
- Factory Management In Our Times
- The Journal of Granny Rags
- The Brigmore Witches (Note)
- Anton Sokolov's Lab Journal
- The Hungry Cosmos
- Anton Sokolov: Authored Pieces
- Travel to Pandyssia
- "The city owes much to this great mind. Let him drink and find company where he can."
- Arc Mine Shipment
- Sokolov Complains About the Cold
- Electrocuting a Whale
- "...if he really wants to meet me, he could start by being a bit more interesting."
- Dishonored Game Manual, p.11
- Developer Commentary on Sokolov inspirations
- Developer Commentary – Sokolov after Dishonored
- Dishonored 2 Announce Trailer
- Developer Commentary – Refraction Lens
- Developer Commentary – Unviable System
- Dishonored: The Corroded Man
- "In his dreams, he sees the names and faces of every subject he experimented on in the name of progress."
Characters in Dishonored
|Minor Characters (Male)||
Alec • Blake • Boo • Bunting • Byron Alderdice • Captain Ren • Craxton • Crowley • Dunstan • Earl • General Tobias • Grayson • Hackworth • Harold • Jeffrey • Jelly • Lord Brisby • Lord Shaw • Mace Brimsley • Mad Survivor • Magnus • Overseer Archer • Overseer Berthold • Overseer Franklin • Overseer Gerard • Overseer Jasper • Overseer Sturgess • Pratchett • Ramsey • Rodney • Sergeant Heyburn • Stu • Tom • Watch Officer Thorpe
|Minor Characters (Female)|
Characters in Dishonored 2
|Minor Characters (Male)||
Amadeo Monte • Armando • Corporal Dial • Cyrille • Bartholomeus Vasco • Hadros • Ichabod Boyle • Joe Hamilton • Karl • Lento • Luciano • Stanislaw Shepherd • Ramos • Rapollo • Overseer Abello • Overseer Fitz • Overseer Ogburn • Yul Khulan
|Minor Characters (Female)|