- "You'd have to be lucky to escape Coldridge. And a complete madman. You'd have to be Corvo, in other words."
- —Two guards discussing Corvo's escape from Coldridge Prison
Corvo Attano is the protagonist of Dishonored and one of the two playable protagonists of Dishonored 2. Previously the Royal Protector and secret paramour to Empress Jessamine Kaldwin, Corvo is framed for the Empress's assassination, stripped of his title and imprisoned by the usurper to the throne of the Empire, Lord Regent Hiram Burrows. Corvo escapes and becomes a vigilante assassin for the Loyalist Conspiracy, using the powers granted to him by the Outsider to eliminate Burrows' confederates, clear his name, avenge the Empress' death and restore their abducted daughter Emily to the throne.
In Dishonored 2, he serves as Empress Emily's Royal Protector and Spymaster. During his daughter's reign, he once again finds himself against a usurper in Delilah Copperspoon. Either Corvo or Emily sets out to confront Delilah and her cohorts in order to reclaim the throne.
As a child, Corvo used to live happily, often wandering through the more rural parts of the city until his father, a lumber worker, was tragically killed in a workplace accident. He then grew up alongside his elder sister Beatrici, fighting in the streets, until she moved to Morley and the family subsequently lost all contact with her.
At the age of 16, Corvo won the Blade Verbena, an annual sword duel festival, which earned him a junior officer ranking in the Grand Serkonan Guard. During his time as a soldier, Corvo was involved in conflicts against several organized crime groups including rogue city states and pirate bands on the island chain east from Serkonos.
Eventually, after two years of service, Theodanis Abele, the Duke of Serkonos, became highly impressed by his skill, and on the 28th day of the Month of Rain, Corvo was sent to Dunwall to serve the Emperor Euhorn Kaldwin as a diplomatic gift. On his last night in Karnaca, he danced and drank until dawn, celebrating his new position and his skill as a swordsman that had given it to him. A few months after his departure to Dunwall, Corvo learned about the passing of his mother Paloma, a few weeks after he had left Karnaca.
A year later, Corvo was chosen to serve as Royal Protector to the Emperor's daughter, Jessamine Kaldwin, which in the process gave him a higher social status. Corvo since loyally served Jessamine as her personal bodyguard, courier, and spy.
Corvo and Jessamine secretly became lovers in 1823. However, their lasting closeness did not go unnoticed by the general public, and rumors to that effect circulated throughout Dunwall. While several people (including Lydia Brooklaine, Treavor Pendleton, and Anton Sokolov) mention the affair to Corvo, it was never publicly acknowledged.
Four years later, Emily was born from their relationship, though her paternal parentage was initially kept secret. Despite this situation, Corvo maintained a strong bond with his daughter and often publicly interacted with her in a familiar and affectionate manner. Corvo secretly began training her swordfighting with wooden sticks. 
Corvo is described as being mysterious and quiet, with Wallace Higgins and Treavor Pendleton claiming that despite his high social standing, those of the court know little about him. He is also mocked for his origins, although his skills are renowned throughout the City Watch.
Two years into the Rat Plague afflicting Dunwall, Corvo is sent on a journey across the Isles by the Empress to find a cure, on the recommendation of the Royal Spymaster Hiram Burrows. On the 18th Day of the Month of Earth, he returns to Dunwall Tower two days early, bringing bad news and the intention of the other nations to blockade the capital while the plague is still spreading. His reunion with the Empress and her daughter is cut short when a group of assassins swarms them. Although initially able to fend said assassins off, Corvo is eventually forced to watch as Daud murders Jessamine and kidnaps Emily. In her last moments, Jessamine begs Corvo to find their daughter and protect her. Before Corvo regains his senses, the Spymaster and High Overseer Thaddeus Campbell arrive on the scene and arrest him on the grounds of regicide and abducting the royal heir.
Corvo spends six months in Coldridge Prison tortured by his accusers, the true culprits behind the Empress' assassination. Burrows, who was elected Lord Regent by the Parliament, decides to execute Corvo, despite not forcing a false confession out of the latter. On the eve of the execution, Corvo escapes Coldridge with the help of the Loyalists, a group claiming to be faithful to the Empress. They bring him to their hideout at the Hound Pits Pub and reveal their plans: to destabilize the new regime by striking at the Lord Regent and his allies, find Emily, and restore her to the throne of the Empire. He is also given tools and a mask crafted by Piero Joplin to assist him in his missions while concealing his identity. On the night of his arrival, Corvo is visited by the Outsider in a dream, granted his Mark and gifted with supernatural abilities.
Corvo becomes a valuable tool to the Loyalists in removing Burrows' religious, political and financial allies. He even abducts Royal Physician Anton Sokolov to discover the identity of the Lord Regent's mistress, who finances the City Watch. Finally, he strikes at Burrows himself in Dunwall Tower, but his victory is short-lived, as the Loyalists betray him to cover their participation in the conspiracy. He is left for dead in the Flooded District, where he encounters Daud and his men once again.
After another visit from the Outsider, Corvo escapes the assassins and returns to the Hound Pits. He finds it swarmed by forces of the City Watch looking for survivors Anton Sokolov and Piero Joplin, and most of his former allies dead. Corvo finds there a clue on Emily's whereabouts. He then ventures to Kingsparrow Island in order to confront his betrayers and rescue his daughter once and for all. Whether he succeeds in saving Dunwall and restoring Emily to the throne is dependent on his amassed chaos.
Canonically, Corvo successfully saves Emily and restores her to the throne as Empress.
Fifteen years after rescuing Emily and bringing an end to the Lord Regent's insurrection, Corvo has been cleared of the charges against him and continues to serve the new Empress as her Royal Protector and Spymaster. However, a new threat arises with the elimination of Emily's political enemies by an assassin coined "the Crown Killer". This brews suspicion amongst the citizens of Dunwall as to whether Corvo or Emily are directly responsible for the murders themselves.
On the anniversary of Jessamine's death, Duke Luca Abele formally introduces "Delilah Kaldwin", elder sister of Jessamine, as the true Empress. Delilah then brands Corvo and Emily traitors for their supposed political assassinations and seizes the throne for herself. Corvo fights their forces, using his Bend Time ability and his sword to take out three guards and stab Delilah. The sword, though driven through her heart, does nothing due to her split soul, which grants her immortality. She pulls it out without a second thought and then proceeds to ensnare Corvo and magically peel the Mark of the Outsider from his hand. She then proceeds to petrify either Corvo or Emily and arresting the other. If Corvo is chosen, he will return to his home country in Serkonos in the capital of Karnaca to restore Emily to the throne. Canonically, it was Corvo who was placed into stone by Delilah and later saved by Emily, thus permanently losing the Mark.
Known for his air of mystery, Corvo is a distant and reserved man, showing his emotions only to his closest companions. He is noticeably pragmatic, willing and able to exact whatever means necessary to achieve a desired end. Though he bears a title of utmost honor, he isn't opposed to wet work, conversely being completely apathetic to the spilling of blood, though this is mostly if Chaos is High. His willpower is unshakable and his conviction absolute; even with his name slandered twice, in both cases, he seeks primarily the restoration of the Kaldwin lineage to the throne.
Despite his reserved, calm demeanor, he cares deeply for his daughter, Emily, embracing her many times in Dishonored and stating that he misses his daughter and wants to get her back in his notes in Dishonored 2 (if he was selected as the main character). He also harbored a deep love and care towards Empress Jessamine, his secret lover and mother of his child, a sentiment maintained even after her death.
Skills and Abilities
Corvo is legendary for his efficient combat skills and stealth capabilities, his aptitude revered by City Watch guards and citizens alike. Since a young age, Corvo grew up fighting in the streets, where he gradually grew into a capable combatant. Later, he served as a soldier in the Grand Serkonan Guard, his skills increasing significantly during his tenure. Guards in the Dunwall Sewers can be overheard discussing his formidable skills, with a senior guard recounting an instance where he "…saw [Corvo] fight three to one in the practice yard". Havelock also considers the possibility that Corvo's talents might make him dangerous to even the Conspiracy.
Highly proficient in stealth, he is able to silently infiltrate heavily guarded locations, utilizing various hiding spots including corners, tables, or rooftops. From a far distance, he is even able to utilize the shadows in order to avoid detection. He is also adept in eavesdropping and pickpocketing.
As an accomplished swordsman, Corvo is masterful in the use of swords, and thus is capable of engaging multiple enemies simultaneously in open combat, able to eliminate them with noteworthy brutality and efficiency. He is also a skilled marksman, wielding with great precision and accuracy several firearms, most notably pistols, as well as a personal crossbow.
A talented freerunner, Corvo is able to traverse the obstacles of urban terrain with relative ease, his agility, speed, and athleticism aiding him greatly in reaching high-scale areas and destinations. He has also proven to be an experienced swimmer, capable of swimming great distances and holding his breath underwater for a considerable period of time.
Corvo is equipped with a vast array of gadgetry, ranging from grenades and spring razors to rewire tools for deactivating alarms, arc pylons and walls of light. The majority of his equipment has been handcrafted by Piero Joplin, most notably his mask, which possesses an embedded telescopic optical lens, allowing Corvo to gain a clearer view of his surroundings.
Upon receiving the Outsider's Mark, Corvo is bestowed supernatural abilities, which augment his already impressive skills, allowing him to jump higher, move faster and farther, utilize additional stealth and offensive techniques, and so on. Additionally, he is gifted the Heart, a supernatural artifact responsible for locating items of interest and granting Corvo worldly information.
- While being a silent protagonist in Dishonored, in Dishonored 2 Corvo is voiced by Stephen Russell, who is most well known for his role of Garrett from the original Thief franchise.
- "Corvo" means "crow" or "raven" in both Italian and Portuguese, deriving from the Latin word for raven, "corvus".
- Corvo's skin tone was based off of that of Raphael Colantonio.
- Corvo is the first Royal Protector to be born outside of Gristol.
- Corvo's true identity is largely unknown outside the Loyalist Conspiracy. The authorities do not realize that Corvo and the Masked Felon are the same man. However, Slackjaw hints that Corvo's true identity is known among the lower classes, stating that, "Word is all over the street," when he is encountered in Granny Rags's lair. He confirms this suspicion later in the same conversation when he calls Corvo by name.
- The Heart also confirms that Griff knows who Corvo is.
- After escaping from Coldridge Prison, wanted posters for Corvo's capture or death can be found all around Dunwall, with a reward of 30,000 coin. Others will appear after completing specific missions and killing the targets, but will only designate his masked identity. If Corvo caused low chaos, they will simply depict an unknown assailant, however in high chaos they will depict Corvo as "The Masked Felon", with his hood and mask.
- Another poster for Corvo's capture can be found during the mission Eminent Domain of the downloadable content The Knife of Dunwall, where the prize for his capture was increased to 50,000 coins. It does not reappear in the next mission and DLC, The Brigmore Witches, as opposed to the first version with the 30,000 coins reward seen during The Dead Eels.
- Corvo and the Empress occasionally enjoyed whiskey and cigars together privately.
- Corvo enjoys grilled Blood Oxen.
- Corvo was meant to receive an Official Naval Commendation for his efforts in seeking aid for the plague crisis, but it was confiscated after his arrest. It can be stolen and sold by Daud in The Brigmore Witches.
- Corvo's birth home can be located during the Dust District mission, where his Blade Verbena trophy can be found, alongside his mother's personal diary. A commemorative plaque has been erected outside the house.
- After the mission The Royal Physician in low chaos, Emily gives Corvo a drawing of him without his mask, with the word "Daddy" in large letters above it.
- In the Dishonored trailer, Corvo is shown being marked by the Outsider before his escape from Coldridge Prison.
- In medium chaos, Corvo is sometimes referred to as the "Dunwall Butcher" among plague survivors.
- Choosing to spare Daud in the mission The Flooded District was one of the hardest things Corvo had ever done, taking all of his willpower not to kill Daud outright but to banish him instead. Corvo was never sure he made the correct decision, but thinks that Daud living in fear is perhaps worse off than just being dead.
- According to Gameinformer, Corvo stands at 6'4" (1.93 meters) tall. 
- This has not been confirmed by Arkane Studios as being canonical.
- Corvo’s agile depiction was likely influenced by the popular folkloric character known as Spring-Heeled Jack prevalent during the Victorian Era. In an interview with a developer it is said that the date for Dishonored's setting (1837) was chosen since the first rumored sightings of him were circulating at that time.
The Wyrmwood Deceit
The Peeress and the Price
Concept Art and Renders
- Developer Commentary – Dishonored ages masterpost
- Dishonored: The Corroded Man, p. 88
- Developer Commentary – Corvo and the Grand Guard
- Corvo Attano, The Royal Protector In Our Times, Part 01
- Developer Commentary – Corvo's Youth
- Timeline in Dishonored: The Dunwall Archives
- Edge of the World
- Developer Commentary – Royal Protector
- Corvo Attano, The Royal Protector In Our Times, Part 02
- Field Survey Notes: the Royal Spy
- Havelock's Log: Entry Three
- Game Informer - Dishonored 2 Taps Vocal Talent From Game Of Thrones, Daredevil, And The Wire
- The Royal Protector
- Developer Commentary – Whiskey and Cigars
- Developer Commentary – Royal Protector's Naval Commendation
- Dishonored Cinematic Trailer
- Dishonored: The Corroded Man, p. 62
- Gameinformer.com - Get reacquainted with Corvo Attano from Dishonored 2
- Gameinformer - Dishonored 2's Harvey Smith Answers Your Questions
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 The Brigmore Witches
Annabelle • Arnold Timsh • Corporal Hamrick • Corvo Attano • Evie • Lucas Penroe • Maggot Montaine • Melina • Naria • Overseer Pradclif • Private Morris • Skinflint • The Dressmaker • Tilda • Watch Officer Thorpe
Characters in Dishonored: The Wyrmwood Deceit
Characters in Dishonored 2
Corvo Attano • Emily Kaldwin
|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)|