Why the number 47?

Hey guys,

Lately I’ve been wondering why IOI chose the number ‘47’ for their protagonist (and not ‘57’ or ‘42’ or something). Did they randomly pick a number when they created the Hitman series or does ‘47’ have a special meaning?

Is there anyone who knows the answer to this?

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47 are the last two digits of his barcode. They indicate his chromosome count.

In reality, since most humans have 46 chromosomes an extra one would mean he’d likely have down syndrome.


Oh yeah, you’re right. I completely forgot about that. But is there a reason why 47 has one extra chromosome?

Also interesting: 47 is the number for silver in the periodic table. 47 main handguns are the Silverballers and Agent 47 can be shortened like Ag47, or Argentum, wich is silver’s “classic” name.


Holy crap. Never knew that. Did they really put THAT much thought into creating this character?

Since he’s a genetically engineered clone the extra chromosome was supposedly added to enhance his abilities and skills. Make him the ‘perfect’ specimen, so to speak.


Wasn’t the 47th chromosome just a coincidence with his number though? Because all of the clones in his series were created that way and he was just the 47th one?

Or do you mean that was the thinking behind IO’s decision to call him 47?

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I also always thought it was because he was number 47 in his series of clones.


How many series of clones were there though? It’s possible some numbers were skipped over and we got to 47 because of the chromosone count.

In Ortmeyer’s diary, 47 is described as a “Series 4” clone.

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I always wondered if the number was a reference to the well-known Japanese legend of the 47 Ronin, a band of samurai warriors who got revenge for their master’s death with an assassination plot that took more than a year. I remember reading that the original design of the character was influenced by Hong Kong movies and comic books, so it’s not too far-fetched to think they may have chosen that number for a character who’s essentially a modern-day masterless samurai.


I’d love more info on that too. All we know for sure is that there was also number 17, and the 48s. The 48s were the next series after 47, so it’s very possible that 17 was a lower series than 47, though I always assumed he was part of series 4 as well.

The novels give a little more info, but I don’t trust them as canon as IO have never confirmed them as such.

Based on canon, there must have been five series, as 47 was a part of series 4, and Ort-Meyer made the 48s directly after him which would make them series 5. We can assume that most of the earlier series of clones were harvested for their organs due to the information in C47.

Where have you gotten that from?

47 is the order in which he was cloned. 47 also stands for what version number he is.

Yeah but we’re wondering why IO chose the number 47.

I also love how his AMT Hardballer he uses, (the Silverballers) is actually a “clone” gun of the original 1911.


47 as a number came from order in which 47 has been created is a myth.

What’s so nazi about it?

We know that Ort-Meyer “discovered the power” of the 47th chromosome, but it was never stated that’s why he called 47, 47.

He is the 47th clone, Ort-Meyer didn’t call the 48s 48 because of their chromosome count (or 17, 17). His notes don’t suggest this was the reasoning either. Unless you have additional info?

And now we return to question: are Ort-Meyer’s notes canon?

As they were released by IO for Silent Assassin, I would say yes. Surely anything produced by IO is canon?

Christmas adventure too? :wink:

Hahahahaha fair point

I would LOVE more info on this, and the asylum in general, to be honest. I remember IO said they had planned to put in far more info about this into Absolution, including flashbacks to the asylum’s training barracks and 47 as a boy, but it was all cut because mixing children and violence in a video game is a “no no”.