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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 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, from 1985–1989. She was noted to have exemplary grades in all her subjects, with only a minor disruption during the period of her father’s death. After graduating in 1989 from Wycombe Abbey School, she attended Yale University, where she studied for a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. However, after being recruited into the ICA, she transferred to Oxford University, where she graduated with first class honours in computer science.
Initially, Diana came to the attention of the ICA in May 1985 due to her excellent parentage and academic performance. The ICA continued to observe her potential from June 1985 to October 1989.
Diana was first approached by the ICA in December 1990, upon which she was accepted as a candidate for their operative/handler program. She commenced intensive training immediately at the ICA’s Field Office 3 facilities in the summer of 1991. During this training, she was noted to have scored well above average in areas of covert operations (COVOPS). After this training, she was transferred from the ICA’s Field Office 3 facilities to another facility for specialized covert operations training. To maintain her anonymity, the ICA arranged for this to look like a simple transfer from Yale University to the University of Oxford.
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.
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, being 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.
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.
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."
2007 Movie Adaptation
- Main article(s): Hitman (movie)
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.
- Her father passed away on the 15th of July 1987.
- Her mother remarried and is now known as Mrs. Nancy Berman.
- 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 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™ 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 only of Agent 47's targets to still be alive.