For almost 20 years, Halo’s famously helmeted Master Chief has guided humanity through multiple games, comics, books, and spin-offs. Every time a new game has seen the light of day, the rumour mill surrounding Master Chief’s fate has simply gone into overdrive — especially after the trailer for 2021’s Halo: Infinite was released. To say fans have a special connection to the Halo franchise’s hero would be an understatement — which is why so many questions were raised when Paramount+’s Halo TV series was announced late last year.
Questions of whether he’d finally be unmasked, whether he’d die in the series permeated the internet shortly after the announcement — and as of last week, fans have finally started to get a few answers after the show’s premiere. These decisions were all huge to make for 343 Studios during the game’s production, as they wanted to honour the fanbases’ connection to the character.
“For some people, it’s been a moment 20 years in the making, and for other people, it is something that feels very hard to imagine,” said 343’s studio head of transmedia, Kiki Wolfkill.
“We absolutely respect both sides of that fence, those who really want to see Chief’s face and those who really don’t. But for the nature of this story, it felt really important to connect with the Master Chief in a different way, and that meant showing the face.”
Pablo Schreiber, who has previously appeared in shows like Orange Is The New Black, The Wire and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, plays Master Chief in Paramount+’s Halo, and so far, fans have praised his performance.
#HaloTheSeries Season 1 Episode 1 Contact Review: The opening action sequence of this episode is phenomenal! It’s gory, emotional & so badass! Pablo Schreiber is incredible as Master Chief! Yerin Ha is fantastic as Kwan Ha! Natasha Mcelhone is great as Dr. Halsey! Im sold! 10/10! pic.twitter.com/7YWL63jMAM— Josh ❤️ Moon Knight & Halo #BlackLivesMatter (@supermangeek101) March 24, 2022
Not only did it exceed all my expectations but I’m so hyped for the rest of the season! OHHHH and the casting is perfect all around but @schreiber_pablo absolutely kills it as Master Chief 👏🏻 #HaloTheSeries pic.twitter.com/fehM7Yf08x— Jorje Revolorio (@RevolorioJorje) March 24, 2022
Given Master Chief’s clout amongst the Halo fan community, here’s a look into three theories that have popped up about the character recently that are worth looking into (there may be potential spoilers ahead).
It’s also worth noting that we don’t know whether these theories could be answered or addressed by the TV show — after all, the show is set in a ‘Silver Timeline’, which the creators said is used as a way for the show to evolve beyond the lore of the Halo games and books.
‘Master Chief and Cortana only spent 49 days together’
Reddit user u/CHead2000 posted this only six days ago and has since sparked plenty of discussion on the HaloStory Reddit board.
“I decided to do some math to figure out exactly how much time Chief and Cortana actually spent together,” explains CHead200. The user calculates the exact dates and times Master Chief and Cortana are in contact — from when they first meet on August 29, 2552, to July 24, 2557, when Cortana dies.
“So, by my calculations, Master Chief, John-117 and Cortana spent a total of 49 days together (prior to Halo 5: Guardians). That’s less than two months,” they conclude. The user ponders whether John is overly-attached to Cortana and theorists as to whether Chief is closer to Cortana or Blue Team.
‘Chief is not just a lucky Spartan’
This theory was posted by Reddit user u/Pearse_Borty just over three months ago, just after the release of Halo: Infinite.
“Chief is not just a lucky Spartan. Cortana has made Master Chief functionally immortal without him knowing. It’s a time loop that never ends until John truly and definitely Finishes the Fight he was predetermined to complete. This is the real Great Journey,” ponders the user.
Throughout the thread, fans discuss the potential use of time travel in future games and whether they’re for (or against), it potentially being included.
‘The world beyond Master Chief’
While it’s not so much a theory and more of a discussion starter, fans have taken to Reddit to ponder whether Master Chief will have a permanent place in the Halo future.
“Was just starting to think about this. Like Chief is awesome, but I can’t help myself think, “What if they actually kill him off. Like, for good?” What would it be like if someone picked up the mantle. Maybe a newly made Spartan 4 who somehow defies that odds and such,” said u/TheLoneStoic.
While Master Chief is the centre point of the game, there are endless possibilities as to what could actually happen next with the character — which is one of the most exciting (and nerve-wracking) things about being a fan.