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Diana Penelope Burnwood is one of the "handlers" at the International Contract Agency (also known as the Agency), providing Agent 47 with clients, targets, and information. She has, since Hitman's inception, been a prominent part of every story and proved a valuable asset to Agent 47 for the most part.
She has a composed English accent and a business-like demeanor. For the vast majority of the series, Agent 47 never sees Diana or her face, recognizing her only by voice. She is not supposed to meet 47 in person, nor develop a personal friendship with him, but does so anyway (meeting him in person after his near death experience and again just before his funeral to use the "fake-death serum" to maintain her cover as Alexander Leland Cayne's nurse, to dodge death herself).
Diana was born to Sir Peter Lloyd Burnwood, 5th Baronet, and his wife Lady Nancy Burnwood (nee Summers). She grew up wealthy and had her primary education at High March School, Beaconsfield, Bucks, 1975–1984. As a student, Diana was mostly conscientious and attentive. She showed great potential in oral and written communication, and was above average in maths and science.
She began her secondary education at the Institut Le Rosey in Rolle, Switzerland. She attended this prestigious school between the years 1984–1985, but for unknown reasons, she left to begin her education back home in England. While at Le Rosey, Diana was noted as achieving consistently high grades.
Diana later attended the Wycombe Abbey School in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England, starting in 1985. Around the same time, a facility in Surrey owned by Blue Seed Pharmaceuticals leaked dangerous chemicals into the water throughout the Surrey/Buckinghamshire region. The resulting damage lead to 80 people dying of illness, including Diana's younger brother James Oliver Burnwood (1980-1989). During or shortly after James' funeral, Diana's parents died in a car bombing on the orders of Blue Seed executives and their connections at the secret society Providence, it is hinted at the end of HITMAN 2 that 47 was the operative hired by Providence to kill Diana’s parents and that 47 personally triggered the car bomb.
As a teenager, she fell in with a female arms dealer and gang boss named Savi, who helped her exact revenge on Blue Seed executives (as seen in the comic book series Birth of a Hitman). The first time Diana confronted one of the executives alone in his office, she hesitated to pull the trigger and the executive was killed by one of Savi's snipers. Police soon showed up to investigate the gunshots, and Diana had to flee the police. Offended that Savi would put her in such a dangerous position, she hired away Savi's best men and overthrew her.
Diana's family losses and secret life with Savi did little to trouble her at school, where she was relatively popular and kept good grades.
While attending University of Oxford, majoring in psychology and/or computer science, Diana uses some of Savi's old underworld connections to maintain a small murder-for-hire business of her own, most of her clients being abused women and other everyday people under difficult circumstances. During the mid-1990s she also instructed them to kill two more Blue Seed executives, Richard Torres (staged as a car crash) and Andrew Rhoades (staged as a home burglary gone bad). She graduated with a Bachelors from Oxford, followed by a 1-year Masters degree abroad, possibly at Yale. In 1996 she arranged for a fourth Blue Seed executive to be killed (Phil Lee, who had moved six times between five different countries before Diana's mercenaries killed him in Tokyo).
By 1998, Diana found a day job as a counselor at Vincent DePaul Mental Healthcare Associates in Dublin, Ireland. That year, Diana's men had apprehended Blue Seed executive Cheryl Franklin, the final name on Diana's hit list. Diana instructed them to keep Cheryl hostage until she could confront her herself, but mere minutes later, rival mercenaries rescued Cheryl by force and rammed a car into Diana's office. She fled to the United States and was nearly killed trying to assassinate Cheryl at her home, when Erich Soders (a good friend of Diana's parents) rescued her. Soders offered her a job at the ICA, on the condition that she give up her vendetta against Cheryl Franklin and the rest of Blue Seed Pharmaceuticals.
Diana apprenticed under ICA handler Robyn Gore, who had an office disguised as an accounting firm and the fake surname Smythe. In late 1999, they jointly oversaw a contract out on Bricolage Technology founder Franklin Marchand - publicly known as a producer of satellite technology, he had a side business producing chemical weapons in Afghanistan, and a leak at one of his secret plants killed at least 500 people in the immediate area. He was set to make a rare public appearance at Place de la Concorde in Paris to announce a relief fund for impoverished people in Afghanistan. The ICA sent a four-member team to shoot Marchand, but a separate client ordered a hit on Marchand and insisted it look like an accident - 47 subdued the ICA team in rapid succession, then held a cab driver at gun point to make him run down Marchand with his car. Afterwards, Diana met with 47 in a bar and delivered ICA's offer to audition him, and strongly recommended to the ICA that they hire him.
In the prologue of the 2016 game HITMAN, Diana welcomes a young 47 into the ICA facility, introducing herself as his handler. She's under the leadership of Erich Soders, the training chief of the ICA. After a couple of simulated assassination exercises, she learns that Soders sees 47 as a threat due of his mysterious past, his uncanny skills and his lack of leverage so he planned to make his final test, a simulation of Soder's legendary mission in Cuba, fail augmenting the difficulty of it. Diana supports 47 through the test and finally awarding them field operation clearance.
Hitman: Codename 47
In Hitman: Codename 47, Diana was only a minor character, as this was her first assignment as a handler as well as being a newly-appointed handler of an agent known only as 47, who up until that point was relatively unknown himself. As Agent 47's handler, her duties were to send him briefings and mission details before the start of a mission. However, she only communicated via texts, and never spoke to Agent 47 in person. It was during this time that Diana was given the entry-level rank NOV within the ICA.
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin
In Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Diana speaks to Agent 47 through an Agency communication line and details his mission briefings in voice messages. This added layers of personality to Diana, and her role was gradually expanded in subsequent games. It was during this time that Diana was promoted to the rank PLUS within the ICA.
Hitman: Enemy Within
Her character was further explored in the tie-in novel Hitman: Enemy Within. Her face was described as having a high forehead and somewhat small eyes, but still having a straight nose, high cheekbones, and sensual lips. She was also revealed to own a 250 ft. salvage-tug-turned-yacht named Jean Danjou, on which she stays while communicating with 47. It doubles as a carrier for armored and weapon-equipped vehicles for ICA agents to use. In the novel, Diana is framed by the Agency's rival agency Puissance Treize as its inside source to cover for the actual informant, ICA board member Aristotle Thorakis. It's unknown what happened to her after 47 exonerated her, but it can be presumed that she was reinstated as his handler. It's mentioned that the unknown head of the Agency "has a soft spot" for Diana for unknown reasons
Just like the previous game, Diana narrated mission briefings. However, since the majority of the game depicted Agent 47's memories of previous missions, her role was not as major as in Hitman 2: Silent Assassin.
Diana was briefly shown at the end of the game. It was during this time that she was promoted to the rank ALPHA within the ICA.
Hitman: Blood Money
In Hitman: Blood Money, Diana was a double agent,and she faked Agent 47's death, saving the Agency from liquidation, and dodging death herself. In the end, her efforts paid off when the Agency was brought back online. It was even implied that Diana was promoted to a higher position, despite the fact that she had apparently lost contact with Agent 47.
In the opening movie of the mission Requiem in Hitman: Blood Money, her hair was of a brunette color. Her face was shown at the end of the game, when her reflection was barely visible in a window. While for the rest of the game, her face is unseen. It was during this time that Diana was promoted to the rank GAMMA within the ICA.
Termination from the ICA
After nearly two decades of loyal and dedicated service to the ICA charter, vision and organization, and despite her multiple unsanctioned connections with the operative Agent 47, she was promoted from the rank GAMMA, a rank she obtained in November 2007 and also being the youngest operative to acquire this rank at that time, to TETRA (conditionally) in June 2009. However, during the later events and with the aid of her new clearance level, Diana found out that Travis' division was running a genetic engineering project held secret from the Agency management, the product of which was a girl named Victoria.
When Travis learned that Diana knew about the project, he tried to have her eliminated, but she escaped. After saving Victoria from the Agency's labs, she exposed the Agency to the rest of the world, decimating it in the process, and went into hiding.
In Hitman: Absolution, Agent 47 is sent to eliminate Diana, who has been tracked down to a mansion outside Chicago, Illinois. 47 begins by going to her last known location, which was "565 W Quincy Street, Chicago" (approximately 0.91 miles from the Harold Washington Library and one mile from the Terminus Hotel).
Diana's face is shown clearly for the first time in the mission A Personal Contract. 47 shoots her while she's in the shower, injuring her. As he was about to finish her off, 47 relented. Diana asked him to keep Victoria safe to keep her from becoming like him. 47 then leaves Diana, leaving it uncertain whether or not she died. After finding Victoria, he severed communication with the Agency and brought her to the Rosewood Orphanage, a church-run orphanage in Chicago.
In the final mission of the game, Benjamin Travis and Jade Nguyen have set up shop in a cemetery and are trying to locate the Burnwood family grave site in Cornwall. Listening to the dialogue between Travis and Jade via walkie-talkie would hint that Diana might still be alive, as Travis states that she's good at faking her death. Later, in the final cutscene of the mission, as Travis lays dying, he asks 47 if he really killed Diana, with 47 responding, "You will never know."
It is revealed in the final cutscene of the game that 47 knew all along he hit Diana with a nonlethal shot and she survived her gunshot wound and faked her death. She is now looking after Victoria in her secluded mansion, as seen in the first mission. The last words heard in the game (before the pre-credits cutscene) is Diana saying, "Excellent work, 47. The money has been wired to your account. Welcome back... and thank you."
Return to the ICA
HITMAN™ First Season
A mature Diana has her return in the 2016 game HITMAN™, appearing once again working as 47's handler.
After completing previous missions, including the assassination of Marco Abiatti, a corrupt Italian candidate, a series of contracts starting in a Paris fashion show and culminating with the assassination of an indie rock star and his family lawyer, Diana realized the contracts were a set of movements done by a shadow client, calling for the ICA white hat hackers to track down the client's whereabouts, leading to a farm in Colorado.
In Colorado, it is revealed by evidence that the shadow client was targeting a mysterious organization called Providence, linked with all the targets in the past contracts and that Erich Soders sold out the ICA to Providence for an organ transplant. Diana dispatches 47 to Hokkaido's GAMA facility to eliminate Soders and Providence lawyer Yuki Yamazaki.
After the contract, Diana is approached by an agent of Providence, claiming they understood the message from the hit in Japan and that the ICA and Providence should join forces to eliminate their bigger threat. The agent leaves Diana with a photo of presumably a young 47.
HITMANTM Second Season
Diana returns with ICA having accepted Providence’s contract to send 47 to eliminate multiple militia operatives, including two Providence defectors (Robert and Sierra Knox of Kronstadt Industries), and discover the identity of the Shadow Client.
During the investigation, Diana sends 47 to Romania to try to find the Shadow Client. This eventually results in Diana and 47 allying themselves with the Shadow Client, Lucas Grey, and the militia after discovering that Providence is behind 47’s childhood. ICA is unaware of this until the final mission, The Ark Society.
Agent 47 is then sent to eliminate the first constant (closest member to the board of Providence), Janus, to discover where they can find the current constant. They also eliminate him and his bodyguard Nolan Cassidy in order to frame them for running the militia and clear Grey’s name.
Diana and Grey then send 47 to the Isle of Sgàil to eliminate two Ark Society members, allowing them to kidnap The Constant. Diana then assists Grey and 47 to interrogate the Constant and learn the identities of the Providence board members. Diana and 47 are presumed to be terminated (for the second time in Diana’s case) for breaking the terms of the contract, along with several of ICA’s rules.
2007 Movie Adaptation
Diana played a much smaller role in the movie adaptation of the series. She initially gave 47 information about his missions and was quick to warn him when he was set up by the Agency. However, she never appeared on-screen and was never mentioned again in the film. Her voice was also disguised when she was speaking to 47 via laptop.
2015 Movie Adaptation
- Main article(s): Hitman: Agent 47
Shown only briefly at the end of the movie, Diana can be seen talking to Agent 47 on a mobile device, only afterwards to send a No. 48 clone after him for disobeying orders. Afterwards, both Katia van Dees and Agent 47 kill at the end of the movie.
From an early age, Diana was observed as being socially fluid. This meant that she exhibited an understanding that the world around her is not a representative sample of the world as it is. However, she maintained the tact and poise to keep this awareness largely sublimated. This meant that she was more aware of what was happening around her than others, and definitely more than she let on. During her initial recruitment phase, Diana showed to be of superior intelligence, scoring well above the 90% rate of the ICA's specialized BHL/A tests. In fact, her score was 97%, which greatly impressed her superiors. It was noted though that, like many people who fall under this "above average" category, she suffered from sporadic bouts of self-doubt.
According to her handler and mentor, Benjamin Travis, she was brought up as a typical patrician and Baronetess of the Beaconsfield Estate in Buckinghamshire, England. This upbringing led to the development of personality traits such as the habits, tastes, and prejudices of someone of her class. Her mentor described this as a "first-class mind in an upper-class skull."
Diana's appearance had remained largely unknown throughout the series. She had been noted as being of a slim build and having black hair. However, because of her training with the ICA, she had mastered the art of disguises, and this is most notable in the changes in her hair color throughout the various games. More recent intel showed her as 175 cm tall, with red hair, brown eyes, and a slim, athletic build. Her face was described as having a high forehead and somewhat small eyes, but still having a straight nose, high cheekbones, and sensual lips. A hazy reflection of her face was visible at the end of Hitman: Blood Money, and viewers were finally given a clear image of her face in the trailers leading up to Hitman: Absolution. Players also got another clear shot of Diana multiple times in HITMAN™, showing that she has blue eyes, instead of brown, also sporting now a shorter hairstyle and a more refined demeanor.
- In the "ICA File: Diana Burnwood" trailer for Hitman: Absolution, Diana's back story was slightly different - her father Peter died on July 15, 1987, while her mother Nancy (nee Summers) remarried to become Mrs. Nancy Berman and was still alive as of 2013. Her brother James Oliver Burnwood was older (born 1973) and his whereabouts were unknown to the ICA. Diana also had a younger sister, Emma Lucille Burnwood, who was born 1975 and died in 2002. She also had a slightly different career path - while the ICA was still observing her since before her father's death, they instead recruited her 8-9 years earlier (in 1990) and helped her graduate from Oxford and Yale.
- Though a British national, she holds multiple citizenship, such as Swiss, British, and American passports.
- She speaks 6 languages.
- Early reports gave her date of birth as the 12th of December 1972, though this has been confirmed to be incorrect.
- Her Agent Number is: ICA-PF-54718/BURNWOOD
- Some of the guards at her Chicago mansion have a crush on her, as one guard can be heard telling to another guard that if they could sneak into her bathroom under the cover of "suspicious noises coming from the bathroom."
- Her right rib was broken at some point before Hitman: Absolution.
- A special review board made up of high-ranking members of the ICA convened in June 2009 to decide on her promotion. This committee consisted of D. Bacons, G. Andrews, C. Levin, S. King, and H. Jackson. Ironically, this same committee convened months later to decide on her termination from the ICA.
- Diana has been voiced by Vivienne McKee in all of the past Hitman' games; however, in Hitman: Absolution, she is voiced by Marsha Thomason. In HITMAN™ and HITMAN™ 2 she is voiced by Jane Perry.
- Though not always in person, she appears in every game in the Hitman series along with Agent 47.
- The player can see a glimpse of her face for the first time in a reflection in the ending of Hitman: Blood Money.
- Although her file says her eyes are brown, they are shown to be green when a close up of her face is shown in Hitman: Absolution.
- She is the one of two of Agent 47’s targets to survive his hit (with Mark Faba being the other).