How Halo humanized the Master Chief through his relationships and backstory

Max Yurva

It was obvious from the beginning, halo The TV series on Paramount+ will be different from the video game it’s based on. It has to be; making a serialized narrative for TV is very different from the interactive process of a video game. But the main difference is how the show approaches its protagonist John-117 (Pablo Schreiber), better known as the “Master Chief”. In the first three episodes of the show, the Master Chief gradually escapes the procedures imposed on him by the United Nations Space Command after discovering a mysterious object on the planet Madrigal, gaining humanity in the process.

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When the Master Chief first appeared in the pilot episode “Contact,” its sequences felt like they were ripped straight from a video game. He and his fellow Spartan super-soldiers set out to destroy the Covenant with brutal efficiency – the Chief even picked up a revolver gun and used it to destroy the Covenant. However, when the battle was over, he noticed Guan Hebu (Your place) managed to hide when the rest of Madrigal (including her father) were being slaughtered; he paused briefly before admitting that she was the only survivor. It’s a small but significant moment that hints at the depths of the chief’s armor.

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Image via Paramount+

The sheikh eventually took Guanha back to the UN Security Council’s Reach base and was ordered to execute her soon after she refused to cooperate with the military operation. Knowing this, Guan He picked up the chief’s rifle and was unwilling to surrender without a fight. What follows is probably the most important moment in the series so far; the Chief takes off his helmet, shows Kwan Ha his face – and tells her “If you want me to die, you need to aim here.” The spark of defiance Shows that despite his mission and/or programming, there is still a touch of humanity within the Super Soldier – a spark that turns into a blazing hell once he chooses to abscond with Guan Ha from the Reach.


The second episode, “Unfettered,” delves into the Chief’s past and what kind of life he could have had if he were freed from the UNSC’s shackles entirely. Chief and Kwan Ha head to Rubble, an underground base in the asteroid belt. There, they meet another Spartan super soldier, Sauron (Bokeem Woodbine). Sauron had previously left the UN Security Council and found a new life as a rebel, even starting a new family in the process. Years ago, when Sauron fled the UN Security Council, the chief confronted Sauron – and told him to leave. Soren eventually agrees to take care of Kwan Ha for the chief as he has his own super soldier companion for his life. Not only that, but he was someone the Chief could truly call a friend.


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Image via Paramount+

Finally, there is the mysterious Makee (Charlie Murphy), a “blessed one”, part of the covenant – and their only human member. Makee is known as the “Blesser” because of her ability to activate mythic technology; when he discovers an ancient artifact in Madrigal, the chieftain learns that he can do the same. Makee grew up as part of the Covenant and truly believed in their mission as the Chiefs once believed in the UNSC. Like Soren and Kwan Ha, she has no love for the UNSC, as the third episode of “Emergence” revealed that her home planet of Auburn was razed to the ground by UNSC forces. It’s clear that Makee and Chief are both in the process of conflict and have an as-yet-unrevealed connection; but whether Makee will leave the Covenant is another matter entirely.


Since Chief was exposed to the artifact on Madrigal, he has been reminiscing about his mysterious life; contrary to what the UNSC told him, he actually had a family and memories of the artifact, and a larger device as its twin.’s fans halo Video games immediately relegated it to the Halo Array, a powerful superweapon. The Chief learns that he grew up on the planet Eridanus II and travels there with Dr. Katherine Halsey (Natasha McElhone) to learn more about his life. Upcoming episodes will no doubt continue to strip away aspects of the Chief’s life, while also strengthening his connection to humanity.


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