WARNING: UNMARKED SPOILERS BELOW. CONTINUE?
ENCRYPTION CODE: [CLASSIFIED]
SUBJECT: COVENANT CORE SPECIES - SANGHEILI
- Main index
- UNSC (Miscellaneous Personnel)
- The Covenant
- UEG Civilians
- Other Factions
The Sangheili (Elites) (Macto Cognatusnote )
The second founding race of the Covenant, the Sangheili are a Proud Warrior Race in charge of everything military within the Covenant, and are the most variable enemy in the games. Tall, bipedal saurians, the Sangheili's lives revolve around honor and combat, and social standing is reliant on one's acquisition and skills in both. Prior to the Human-Covenant War, they were the right-hand of the Prophets, upholding their will and crushing all opposition. The events of Halo 2, however, saw their fall from grace in the eyes of the Covenant due to the machinations of the current High Prophets, leading to an Enemy Mine with humanity in pursuit of vengeance. Following the war, they traveled back to their homeworlds, where they realized that the thousands of years spent as a race of warriors had dulled their skills in every other aspect, particularly with regards to social organization and science. To top it off, their internal ideological and pragmatic differences have lead to civil war even as various factions continue their fight against the Brutes and/or humanity.
- Arch-Enemy: The humans and the Brutes are their main ones, depending on the faction and/or individual. By the end of the war, there's also understandably not much love for the Prophets or Flood.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: It wouldn't come as a surprise. After all...
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Their hierarchy is based on who's a better warrior.
- Badass Army: More than any other in the Covenant.
- Best Her to Bed Her: Sangheili history is full of orphaned kaidon daughters who fought back against powerful suitors seeking to gain their inheritances, with some holding out for years or even decades.
- Big Fancy Castle: Elite clans live in keeps, which function as both fortresses and assembly houses for the clans.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: The Type-1 Energy Weapon/Sword is this, effectively being an over-sized katar. These are normally seen on upper-ranked Elites, like Special Operations, and Zealots.
- The Elites in Halo: Reach are fond of wrist-mounted energy daggers.
- Bling of War: In the later games, Elite armor becomes increasingly elaborate as they advance in rank. Just compare a Minor◊ with a General◊.
- In particular, it's stated in an artbook that field/fleet commanders generally wear gold armor; namely, the Zealots in the first two games and the Generals in Halo: Reach. Additionally, maroon armor seems to be worn by the very highest ranks, if the Zealots of Reach and the 343 games are any indication.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: As noted in Genius Bruiser, they are stronger than humans and arguably smarter, having achieved FTL travel long before humanity did. The problem is that they tend to focus more on their martial culture more than peaceful endeavours.
- Civil War: In the post-war era, Sanghelios in particular has suffered badly from this; its population has dropped from over 8 billion to less than 4 billion, with much of the loss due to mass migration to other worlds (particularly Sanghelios's two moons).
- The Clan: Each Sangheili state is basically a collection of allied clans gathered under the banner of their leading keep.
- Death Equals Redemption: The purpose of the Arbiter at the time of the game: die as the will of the Prophets and you will reclaim your honor in death. The Irony of the last Arbiter the Hierarchs chose leading the rebellion against the San'Shyuum is lost on no one.
- The Halo 2: Anniversary terminals hint that the Prophets used the appointment as a cover for eliminating particularly capable and politically dangerous Sangheili, while at the same time using their talents to help preserve the Covenant's power structure.
- Defector from Decadence: Being lied to repeatedly by the Prophets eventually drives them away from the Covenant. With the Covenant having fed their Proud Warrior Race tendencies to the point of atrophying all their other skills, rebelling against the Prophets turns out to be the best thing for the Sangheili's long-term interests.
- Elective Monarchy: A Sangheili state's leader, known as the kaidon, is selected by a council of elders representing all of the state's clans.
- Elite Mooks: The species as a whole have this role in the Covenant and many of its successors (hence the Reporting Name of "Elites"), but the higher ranking Elites are this compared to the rest of their brethren, most noticeably Ultras, Generals, Warriors, and Zealots.
- Enemy Mine: The vast majority with the humans during the last year of the war, though pro-Covenant splinter factions grew prominent afterwards.
- Family Honor: Upholding clan honor is a top priority for most Sangheili, since their actions and deeds affect not only their own individual prestige, but that of their entire clan. Particularly shameful behavior might even result in one's entire family being executed.
- Fantastic Caste System: Notably, there are many Sangheili who are not warriors, but they generally do not leave their homeworlds. Their warrior families form the ruling caste, and all non-warrior Sangheili are beneath them both in esteem and in authority (with the possible exception of Oracle Masters). Social mobility is valued, however, and even Sangheili serfs can ascend to a position of authority within their keeps, particularly if they undergo military service. Additionally, the post-war Sangheili have grown to better appreciate the value of their civilian kin.
- Fantastic Naming Convention: Sangheili are born with both a given name and a surname indicating their clan, with the latter prefixed by an apostrophe. As they accrue honors, they'll usually append a suffix to their surname denoting status, with some also gaining status-based middle names, so an Avu 'Telcam may eventually become an Avu Med 'Telcamee. In general, Sangheili consider all names meaningful, with the more names you have meaning the more important you are; they actually forbid the Grunts and Jackals from having surnames, and are disgusted by humanity's cavalier approach to naming things. A few more details on Sangheili naming conventions:
- During the Covenant's heyday, Sangheili who served in the Covenant military would usually add an "ee" to their surname.
- Those who are Master Swordsmen are allowed to add "ai" to the end of their surname instead.
- Additionally, an Elite who becomes the elder of a client keep will replace their original surname with the name of their state.
- Fantastic Racism: Traditionally, the Sangheili have tended at best to look down upon any Covenant species that isn't themselves, the Lekgolo, or the San'Shyuum; in fact, this was a major contributor to the enmity between them and the Jiralhanae. Post-war, a growing number of Elites are starting to move away from this tendency towards speciesism.
- Feudal Future: How their society is organized; each of their worlds is divided into a number of independent states, each ruled by (and named after) its most prominent keep (itself ruled by the kaidon), which in turn controls any number of client keeps (themselves ruled by clan elders).
- Forgiven, but Not Forgotten: Averted utterly; it's made crystal clear at several points that even though (mostly) everyone is willing to move past the war forward to the future, humanity at large has not forgiven nor forgotten what the Sangheili did to them, and that the relationship between the two species will be rocky for some time into the future. Forgiveness aside, both species just decide to kind of move on for the time being since there are way more pressing concerns to deal with in the post-war galaxy.
- Genius Bruiser: Significantly stronger than an average human and arguably smarter, given that they managed to achieve FTL space travel at least 3,000 years before humanity did.
- Heavyworlder: Sanghelios has a gravity of 1.375 times Earth's.
- HeelRace Turn: For many of them, after the Brutes attempted to genocide the Elites on Truth's orders, and after Thel 'Vadam told them the truth about the Halo Rings.
- Heel Realization: For many, the truth that they had been genociding humanity, their gods' chosen successors, under the orders of Prophets desperate to maintain their social and political power under the guise of a holy war really hit them hard. Some, however, continue to hate humanity for more personal reasons.
- Heir Club for Men: Only the male children can inherit the title of kaidon (feudal lord) of their clan. Females technically serve as advisors or rule the keep as scions, not the clan, and on the occasions where all her brothers are dead she is expected to marry another male, be they a lesser kaidon or one of their sons. That said, being a Sangheili, it isn't uncommon for scions to refuse and fight for the right to rule alongside loyal vassals, and some have even managed to rule this way for their entire lives.
- Honor Before Reason: Traditionally, they would rather die than use a human weapon because it would be "heresy". They dump this rule once they start to fight against the Covenant.
- In fact, they value honor over reason for just about everything, something which the UNSC and Brutes fully exploit. More and more Elites themselves are recognizing the limitations of their honor system, and seek to educate their kin on the value of pragmatism.
- Honorary Uncle: To ensure that they rise on their own merits, Elites do not know the identity of their biological father, and are instead raised by their mothers and maternal uncles. However, the previous generations often lie to the younger ones as to who their uncles are, to the point that every male Elite at a keep is regarded as an uncle. Jul 'Mdama's own sons Dural and Asum believe that he is their uncle, and Usze 'Taham was also told that his biological father, Toha 'Sumai, was his uncle.
- However, Sangheili from smaller colony worlds often directly raise their offspring.
- Interservice Rivalry: With the Brutes.
- Invisible Monsters: Some Elites come with Active Camouflage, which turns them fully invisible. (But only lore-wise; gameplay-wise, the player can still see a vague Elite-shaped distortion.)
- Klingon Promotion: Assassination is considered a perfectly acceptable way of getting rid of a kaidon, the reasoning being that if he let himself be killed, then he wasn't strong enough to rule anyways. Of course, if the kaidon survives the attempt, the life of the assassin(s) (and whomever may have sent them) becomes completely forfeit.
- Klingon Scientists Get No Respect: Elites despise doctors, because they cause their patients to bleed and the species views blood as sacred, demanding it should only be shed in battle. Halo 5: Guardians indicates that a small but growing number of Elites, including the Arbiter, are starting to rebel against this rather unreasonable worldview.
- Large Ham: Just about every single one of them.
- World of Ham: Sanghelios, their homeworld.
- Laser Blade: Energy swords, which are just as much symbols of rank as they are weapons.
- Laser-Guided Karma: The Sangheili were for the most part more than happy to prosecute the war which would lead to the near-annihilation of the human species. Then their beloved prophets turn on them and try to have the Brutes and the rest of the Covenant do more or less the exact same thing to them. Even worse when they realize Truth is in fact an Omnicidal Maniac psychopath with a god-complex and are forced to team up with humanity, the very race they've spent decades trying to wipe out, to stop him from firing off the halo array and killing off everyone.
- Legacy Character: The title of Arbiter, which dates all the way back to the Sangheili's pre-industrial days.
- Lightning Bruiser: They're just as agile and fast as they are strong and smart. For comparison, the standard Elite is the physical equal of a Spartan-II.
- Lonely at the Top: A side effect of the No Blood Ties below. In Halo: Glasslands Jul 'Mdama notes that it can be rather lonely being a Sangheili male, as he has been able to rise to the post of Elder of Bekan keep and the rank of Shipmaster, but his life with his wife is in private, and he must never show his biological sons favor over the other children at the keep.
- Long-Lived: Implied, given that 80 year old Elites are still fully capable of frontline combat, with 64 considered young for a clan elder.
- Meaningful Rename: All Sangheili who served in the Covenant military were allowed to add "ee" to the end of their surname as a sign of their service. When the Great Schism occurs, almost all of them drop the "ee" from their surnames to signify that they no longer serve the Prophets.
- Monstrous Mandibles: They have four teeth-filled mandibles in place of a lower jaw.
- Named After Their Planet: "Sangheili" from the planet "Sanghelios". They're the only core Covenant race to play this trope straight.
- No Fathers Allowed: Elite males are not allowed to know the identity of their father, so that they can be judged on their own merits rather than the merits of their father. Sangheili on more developed worlds are raised by maternal uncles instead of their actual fathers. However, smaller colony worlds often ignore this custom.
- Not So Different: With the humans, which many on both sides notice. This is probably why the alliance between the Swords of Sanghelios and the UNSC has mostly been working better than the Elites' previous 3,400 years of alliance with the Prophets as the Covenant.
- Planet of Hats: They all love combat, discipline, and honor. And as noted above, they are all Large Hams.
- Gets deconstructed after the Human/Covenant war is over. They return to their homeworld and realize that three and a half millenia of service in the militaristic, caste-based, and innovation-averse Covenant has left them with a LOT of catching up to do in the areas of medicine, science, and basically everything that doesn't revolve around shooting/stabbing your enemy in the face.
- Supplementary information has indicated that in the rough half-decade since then, the Elites have managed to successfully recover a lot of their lost non-combat skills; the Sangheili-manufactured vehicles in Halo 5: Guardians are even stated to be superior to their Covenant-era counterparts.
- Halo: Broken Circle subverts this by giving us both cowardly Sangheili, and scientifically-inclined ones.
- Gets deconstructed after the Human/Covenant war is over. They return to their homeworld and realize that three and a half millenia of service in the militaristic, caste-based, and innovation-averse Covenant has left them with a LOT of catching up to do in the areas of medicine, science, and basically everything that doesn't revolve around shooting/stabbing your enemy in the face.
- Power Armor: Standard issue; it comes with energy shielding and, like MJOLNIR, boosts the wearer's strength and speed.
- Predator Pastiche: Their segmented mandibles, honor-based culture, blades, and cloaking devices give them this vibe.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Taken to wall-banger levels, though later works have showed them becoming far more sensible about this.
- Religious Bruiser: Even before the formation of the Covenant, they were already worshiping the Forerunners.
- The Reptilians: They basically resemble humanoid theropods with segmented mandibles.
- Space Romans: Think Imperial Japan IN SPACE! This is especially apparent in The Duel, where their outfits and buildings give a strong Jidaigeki vibe.
- Additionally, Tobias Bucknell (who has written several novels and stories for the franchise) has stated that substantial parts of their culture were based on Norse society.
- Super Strength: Enough to match Spartans.
- Undying Loyalty: Most of them were fiercely loyal to the Covenant...until they found out about the Awful Truth behind the Halos.
- Warrior Monk: As the name indicates, Elite Zealots are among the most faithful followers of the Covenant religion. This particularly applies to those serving under the Ministry of Fervent Intercession, which is even described as being "semi-monastic".
- Worthy Opponent: Some of them, particularly among the youth, came to consider humanity as this towards the end of the war. One even vocally wonders why the Prophets are bent on wiping them out, when they could be very useful additions to the Covenant.
- The Elites seem to be particularly impressed with how willing the outnumbered and technologically inferior humans are to give up their own lives in order to delay the Covenant onslaught or simply deny them victory.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Yay! The Swords of Sanghelios faction led by The Arbiter kicked the Covenant faction off Sanghelios! And here comes one of the Guardians to shut down the planet as part of Cortana's Zeroth Law Rebellion.
Swords of Sanghelios Elites
Arbiter Thel 'Vadam
One of the Covenant's most renowned military leaders, Thel was the former Supreme Commander of the Fleet of Particular Justice and kaidon of the State of Vadam on Sanghelios, but fell into disgrace after a serious failure. Given one last chance to redeem himself (or die trying) by stepping into the armor of the Arbiter, he becomes the second main Player Character in Halo 2 and Halo 3, eventually spearheading a diplomatic and military effort to rebel against the Covenant and seek alliance with humanity. After the end of the Human-Covenant War, he is regarded by most as the formal, interim leader of the Sangheili, and is seeking to end his people's civil conflicts, with those following his banner known as the Swords of Sanghelios.
During the events of Halo 5: Guardians, he is contacted by SPARTAN-IV Jameson Locke to help him track down the AWOL Master Chief.
- Adaptational Wimp: A minor example. In the original ending of Quarantine Zone, the Arbiter has full control over his battle with Johnson and Miranda, easily dispatching the former with a headbutt and remaining calm even when Miranda depletes his shields. In the remastered cutscenes of Halo 2, the Arbiter has a tougher time against Johnson and Miranda, with the former blocking and landing several blows on the Elite and Thel audibly panicking under the latter's fire, and fighting with less overall finesse. That said, he did seem to be clearly wounded after both versions of the fight.
- Ambadassador: Becomes an advocate for peace after the war, but is still a born combatant; in Halo: Escalation, when his peace conference with Lydus's Brutes comes under attack from a Covenant remnant group, both he and Lydus are more than ready to jump into the fight themselves.
- Assassin Outclassin': In Halo: The Cole Protocol, Thel spends the night of the day he is elected to position of kaidon of his keep waiting in his room for any assassins sent by the elders to test him. Sure enough, they show up and he kills them easily before his guards can break down his locked door, showing off to them and to the elders he didn't even get marked.
- The Atoner: Until he is betrayed and promptly learns that he really didn't have much to atone for in the first place. Plays this straight in that he seems to feel some remorse for formerly aiding the war against humanity.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Was a Supreme Commander and kaidon of his own state on Sanghelios before being "Shamed", and is probably the best soldier in the original trilogy next to the Chief, with The Cole Protocol showing him capable of fighting a Spartan-II to a stalemate in a one-on-one encounter. And considering how the Sangheili promotion system works...
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Bungie noted before Halo 2 that an Elite who had a rank equivalent to an admiral would have killed over a thousand individuals in personal combat to earn that kind of merit. Given that Thel was the Supreme Commander of an enormous Covenant armada, well... (what makes it even more exceptional is that Thel is one of the youngest to ever achieve his rank).
- Back-to-Back Badasses: With the Master Chief in Halo 3, when the Gravemind betrays them and sics his Flood on them.
- Badass Baritone: Given who voices him, this should be obvious.
- Badass Boast: Most people would panic upon the Flood getting back up after killing them. The Arbiter's response?Thel: Rise up and I will kill you! Again and again!
Thel: If they came to hear me beg, they will be disappointed.
- After Tartarus mocks him by pointing out how many people have come to seen his public torture session:
- Badass Cape:
- While a Supreme Commander in the Halo Graphic Novel and the Halo 2: Anniversary terminals.
- He dons one again after retaking his mantle as kaidon, as shown in Halo: Escalation.
- Badass Normal: While he is a member of a species with particularly powerful physical capabilities, he's otherwise physically a completely normal member of said species, unlike the Master Chief, who's a heavily augmented cyborg in Powered Armor. The Gravemind even notes that the Arbiter is merely "flesh and faith". And yet, through skill and determination alone he's proven himself to be one of the galaxy's greatest warriors.
- Benevolent Boss: Becomes something this after the war, to the point where he actually shows mercy even to those who oppose him, to the chagrin of some of his subordinates.
- Not ''too'' merciful though. One of the audio logs in Halo 5 notes that he had a cousin executed for trying to betray the Swords of Sanghelios to Jul's Covenant. The log's narrator chuckles at the idea that the traitor perhaps thought being of the same blood as the Arbiter would save him from death.
- Big Good: Becomes this for the Swords of Sanghelios after the war.
- Blue Blood: Born to Vadam's most prominent family.
- Body Paint: Has two white Vs and splotches of red painted on his uncovered arm in Halo 5.
- Character Development: Goes from being a brash and racist Jerkass in The Cole Protocol to a thoughtful and merciful progressive by the end of the original game trilogy. He also becomes increasingly willing to shed the ridiculous parts of the Sangheili honor code, like their taboo against medical treatment.
- Combat Pragmatist: Notably, considering how honor-bound the Sangheili usually are, Thel is not above flouting convention to complete a mission. He is willing to use human weapons to combat the Flood, and though one Halo 2 Anniversary terminal shows him allowing a barracks of unarmed UNSC Marines to arm themselves first, Thel and his Elites then proceed to activate their active camouflage, making it nearly impossible for the humans to put up a decent fight.
- Cool Sword: His personal energy sword, "Prophets' Bane", which is usable in Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer, giving the wielder increased running speed and lunge range. It also generates active camouflage that doesn't wear off until the sword runs out of power.
- Crisis of Faith: Goes through this in The Cole Protocol when he all but realizes that the High Prophets are merely fallible politicians, despite killing his best friend Zhar when the latter tries to murder them. He continues to serve them loyally, but no longer fully trusts them, which explains his relatively quick HeelFace Turn when he finds out the truth about the Covenant religion.
- Death Seeker: At the beginning of Halo 2, since an Arbiter is supposed to take on dangerous assignments until they die. Once he realizes that the "Great Journey" is a sham, he snaps out of it to lead the Elites in rebellion.
- Determinator: Nothing can deter him from pursuing his goals. Imprisoned by Jackals? Escape and capture their leader. Prophet misappropriating military forces? Relive him of command by taking over his ship. Heretic locking himself in tight? Cut the cable keeping his facility in the air, then chase him down through a Flood infestation.
- Deuteragonist: In Halo 2 and (arguably) Halo 3. In fact, he's the one who saves the galaxy in the former, not Chief.
- The Dreaded: Responsible for over one billion human casualties, he was so feared by the UNSC for his ability to curbstomp UNSC forces, due to his sheer flexibility and unpredictability in battle, that prior to his HeelFace Turn, Jameson Locke considered him the Covenant's most dangerous commander, and top priority for assassination.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: His new armor◊ in the post-war era leaves his left arm bare.
- Fantastic Racism: The Cole Protocol shows that he was utterly dismissive of other species in his pre-Supreme Commander years; however, he outgrows this by the time we see him in the games.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With the Chief during Halo 3.Locke: May I ask you something? Your people used to call him demon. Was that an insult or a compliment?Thel 'Vadam: An insult to be sure, but one with a modicum of respect. He was indeed my enemy, but in time I named him ally, even friend. The events that forged this bond were... complicated.
- Four-Star Badass: First as a Supreme Commander, then as the Arbiter.
- Frontline General: Locke notes in the H2A terminals that during his time as Supreme Commander, the frequency of his personal participation in ground assaults was exceptional even for a high-ranking Elite.
- Good Is Not Soft: Just because he's a Benevolent Boss willing to make positive changes in Sangheili society, it doesn't mean he won't kick your ass if needed. He's even willing to go as far as to execute his own cousin for siding against the Swords of Sangheilios.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Of Halo: Combat Evolved and the second half of Halo: Reach, as the leader of the Covenant fleet in both games. It's more of a background detail, though, and Halo 2 remains his first direct appearance.
- Guest Fighter: Sort of. An Arbiter appears as a playable character in Killer Instinct: Season 3. While this is not the first time the Halo series has been involved a fighting game crossover (that would be Dead or Alive 4), this is the first time a Halo character has been in a 2D fighting game. However, while the KI Arbiter is heavily based on Thel 'Vadam, Word of God says the character is meant to be an amalgam of multiple Arbiters, leaving his place in the canon uncertain (much like his predecessor Spartan Nicole-458 from DOA4).
- Headbutting Heroes: The Halo 5 audio logs indicate that he and Dr. Halsey do not get along at all.
- HeelFace Turn: His arc in Halo 2 is about his.
- Hero of Another Story: Even after the Chief retook the spotlight after Halo 2, the Arbiter has continued to play a key role in the events of the series, as the leader of the Swords of Sangheilios. Lasky even credits him in Escalation to be the main reason why humanity has been able to survive in the post-war era.
- Hidden Depths: His portrayal in The Cole Protocol, which takes place before he becomes Supreme Commander, is mostly that of a typical arrogant honor-obsessed Elite (to the point where one non-Sangheili character sees him as insane), but there are several glimpses of the cunning and flexible leader he'd become later in life; he shows a surprising capacity for manipulating others despite his disdain towards politics and intrigue, and in the final battle, he even swallows his pride to work with the Jackal leader Reth despite their previous violent disagreements.
- Honor Before Reason: Was a firm adherent of the Sangheili honor code in his pre-Supreme Commander days, but starts outgrowing this after becoming Supreme Commander. Nonetheless, he still has his moments; during his assault on Camber, UNSC forces were caught so off-guard by his fleet's arrival that he deliberately halted his forces and allowed the 3rd Battalion Reserves' Marines to gear up before attacking them. He's noted to be the first recorded Elite to show honor to human opponents.
- Iconic Sequel Character: He doesn't appear in the franchise until Halo 2, and Thel has been a major figure in the series ever since.
- Invisibility Cloak: In Halo 2 it only last for 5 seconds. Come Halo 3 and it lasts as long as he wants... as an NPC.
- Irony: The Elite who would grow disillusioned with the Prophet's lies and eventually kill the Prophet of Truth with a Laser Blade actually saved his life from being slain by an energy-blade wielding Elite (who was his friend to boot) who grew disillusioned with the Prophet's lies as revealed in The Cole Protocol. Thel even tells himself in an inner monologue that to strike the Prophets was beyond madness. One wonders if he flashbacked to that day when he prepared the killing blow.
- The Juggernaut: In his pre-Arbiter days; according to the first three Halo 2: Anniversary terminals, he was the single most dangerous Covenant commander out there, managing to destroy at least seven planets and inflicting over one billion human casualties. Locke makes it clear that Thel would have played a key role in the complete annihilation of the human race if the Prophets didn't force him to pull a HeelFace Turn.
- Large Ham: Becomes a bit of one in Halo 3. Not as over the top as the rest of his people, though.
- The Lancer: During Halo 3.
- Laser Blade: Scarcely seen without his energy sword.
- Legacy Character: The rank of Arbiter dates to long before the formation of the Covenant, with him being the current one.
- Mark of Shame: In the opening of Halo 2, he is branded with this for failing to stop the destruction of Installation 04. When the Covenant try to exterminate the Elites, it becomes a mark of pride among them. Go figure.
- Master Swordsman: To the point where he can single-handedly defeat multiple skilled assassins at once.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Thel and his followers play a key role in preventing humanity from going extinct, and ONI repays them by trying to cause division among their people so that "they'll never pose a threat to humanity ever again".
- Not So Different: To John-117 / The Master Chief. In both of their respective armies, they're famed as highly dangerous and practically unstoppable One Man Armies. The Covenant feared Chief AKA The Demon for single handily wiping out scores their forces and holy relics, while the UNSC feared Thel for his unstoppable, planet destroying crusade and unpredictable Navy.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: He feels this way about Truth, insisting that he, not the Flood, be the one to kill him. When he finally gets to Truth and sees that he has already been infected, he even tells the Gravemind to back off: "I will have my revenge, on a Prophet not a plague".
- One-Man Army: When Fireteam Osiris are sent to rescue him from the Covenant remnant on Sanghelios, it turns out the rescue part of the mission wasn't entirely necessary: Thel was easily holding off his attackers alone.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "And so... you must be silenced."
- Reasonable Authority Figure: After he becomes the formal leader of the Elites, he tries to establish peace with the humans, despite the protests of many of his own people.
- Escalation shows that he's even willing to try for peace with the Brutes.
- The Rival: To Tartarus. They were both highly powerful and influential leaders of their respective species while under the Covenant, and Tartarus plainly enjoys seeing Thel brought low.
- Shameful Strip: Has his armor torn off before a large audience and is branded with the Mark of Shame, as part of his punishment for losing Alpha Halo.
- The Strategist: One of the few advantages that Humanity had over the Covenant was how the latter stubbornly refused to use innovative tactics against the former. Thel 'Vadam completely subverted this handicap by being so unpredictable that the even the most experienced and educated strategists of the UNSC couldn't counter his strategies. What makes this all the more remarkable is that Thel 'Vadam came from a culture that ostracized traits such as innovation and creativity, yet he somehow managed to develop these qualities independently.
- Supporting Leader: To Fireteam Osiris during the Sanghelios levels in Halo 5: Guardians.
- Villain Protagonist: Until his HeelFace Turn.
- Warrior Monk: A former Zealot.
- Weapon of Choice: If the Assault Rifle is the Master Chief's, the Energy Sword is his. By Halo 5 he's upgraded to a personal custom sword, the "Prophets' Bane".
- Worthy Opponent: Viewed Master Chief as this before they became Fire-Forged Friends.
Shipmaster Rtas "Half-Jaw" 'Vadum
Originally Spec-Ops Commander of the Fleet of Particular Justice, Rtas accompanied the Arbiter on several missions in Halo 2, then left to reclaim a Covenant vessel from Brutes after the Great Schism. He returns in Halo 3 as Shipmaster of the Shadow of Intent (and Fleetmaster of the Fleet of Retribution), and allies with humanity to combat the Flood and the Prophet of Truth. After the events of Halo 3, he continues to serve as one of the Arbiter's most trusted commanders.
- A Father to His Men: He even treats the Grunts with respect.
- Badass Boast: He gets a big one just before fighting Truth's fleet above the Ark.Elite Major: Ship-Master, they outnumber us, three to one!Rtas: Then it is an even fight. All cruisers fire at will! Burn their mongrel hides!
- Combat Pragmatist: How he beats his sub-commander Bero 'Kusovai in both of their duels during the events of The Last Voyage of the Infinite Succor, despite 'Kusovai being superior in swordsmanship to him.
- Cool Starship: His assault carrier flagship, the Shadow of Intent.
- Deus Exit Machina: Because as an NPC he's invincible, he has a tendency to just randomly leave you to take care of some offscreen task just before the hardest portions of Halo 2. A Diabolus ex Machina also disables his ship before a critical moment in Halo 3.
- Enemy Mine: His feelings towards the humans are far less amicable than the Arbiter's come Halo 3. He softens by the end, though.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Thel 'Vadam, to whom he regains his respect for through the course of Halo 2 and 3.
- Four-Star Badass: Of a sort. In the end, Rtas wasn't a Special Operations Commander for nothing.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Will not hesitate to take extreme measures to stop the Flood, as evidenced on multiple occasions:
- In Halo 3 after Hood reprimands him for glassing a good chunk of Africa, Rtas retorts that one spore left could doom an entire species and that the Arbiter actually talked him down from glassing the whole planet.
- He was also the one who gave the order to quarantine and sterilize High Charity after it had fallen to the Flood, despite all the people still trapped there. He clearly wishes he didn't have to, but still feels it was necessary.
- In-Series Nickname: Half-Jaw, due to the fact that he lost his two left mandibles in a fight against his Flood-infected sub-commander during the events of Halo 1.
- Large Ham: Very.
- Master Swordsman: Capable of holding his own in a duel against Bero 'Kusovai; as the suffix indicates, 'Kusovai is a master sword fighter himself.
- The Men First: As shown in the profile quote.
- My Greatest Failure: Despite knowing it was necessary, he clearly regrets having given the order for his ships to fire on High Charity to sterilize the Flood before being able to rescue more of the inhabitants.
- No Name Given: He's only ever referred to by name in the expanded universe.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Halo: Shadow of Intent reveals him to be fairly progressive for an Elite, having approved of both Stolt's initial transfer to an all-Elite Ranger unit despite him being a Grunt, and Tul 'Juran joining his crew despite her being female.
- Rugged Scar: As mentioned above, his missing left mandibles. Undoubtedly, Rtas could get a prosthetic replacement, but the wound serves as a reminder of the dangers of the Flood.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Not the type to blindly adhere to convention. Even during the events of Halo: CE, he openly disobeys the Infinite Succor's Prophet in order to stop the Flood aboard from leaving the system (and punctuating his intent by slamming the bastard into the floor).
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Is one of the few survivors of the Battle of Installation 04 where the Flood was first encountered, and as such was not shy about what measures he could use to defeat them next time.
- Shadow of Intent reveals that he's grown weary of the ceaseless fighting he's been engaged in; it's only the opportunity to potentially make peace with his former foes that prevents him from accepting the Arbiter's offer of retirement at the end.
- At the end of Halo 3, Rtas expresses a desire to see his old home again. The Arbiter reassures him that it's safe, and Rtas helped make it safe.
- Sole Survivor: Of the Spec-Ops team sent aboard the Infinite Succor.
- Supporting Leader: In Halo 3.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Was willing to (and almost did) sacrifice humanity to protect the galaxy from the Flood, even after he had entered an alliance with them.
Commander N'tho 'Sraom
The third player character in Halo 3's co-op mode, N'tho was the youngest member of his Special Operations unit near the end of the Human-Covenant War, joining the Fleet of Retribution after the outset of the Great Schism. After the war, he becomes an adjunct to the Arbiter.
- Ascended Extra: Goes from being a silent bit character in Halo 3 to part of the main cast in Halo: Hunters in the Dark.
- All There in the Manual: Until the release of Hunters in the Dark, his entire backstory came from this Bungie news bulletin.
- The Captain: Commands his own ship, the Mayhem, after the war.
- Custom Uniform: Wears the blue of a Minor in Halo 3 despite being in Special Operations; it could well be that he was only promoted to the position during the Schism, and never had a chance to change his armor. His getup by the time of Hunters in the Dark is the crimson and ivory typical of those aligned with the Swords of Sanghelios.
- Deadpan Snarker: So dry that he really verges on being The Comically Serious.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Comes to a mutual understanding with Spartan-IV Frank Kodiak, who had hated N'tho for cutting off his right arm during the war, after the events of Operation: FAR STORM, even personally inviting him to visit Sanghelios one day.
- Master Swordsman: Can more than hold his own in a sword duel against a top-notch Spartan-IV.
- Nerves of Steel: Always maintains a collected demeanor, even when he's at the mercy of an opponent or ordering his ship to ram a Retriever Sentinel.
- Patriotic Fervor: A romantic nationalist, he deeply resents the Sangheili politicians who stood by as the Prophets sidelined his people in favor of the Brutes. He also has nothing but disdain for any fellow Sangheili who continue to carry the banner of the Covenant.
- Rank Up: From a regular Spec-Ops Elite in Halo 3 to a highly-regarded Commander in Hunters in the Dark.
- The Smart Guy: Gave the UNSC intelligence information on Covenant weaponry, such as the mechanics of the Brute Chopper.
- The Stoic: If Hunters in the Dark is any indication, N'tho's default demeanor is cool and calm.
- Unscrupulous Hero: When ONI decides to postpone the (second) mission to the Ark to stop the Halos from firing, N'tho takes things into his own hands by sending his own ship through the portal, despite the potential risks to the entire population of Earth, kidnapping several humans already on-board and violating major treaties between the UNSC and the Swords of Sanghelios by doing so. He even admits that he's ready to kill who anyone tries to stop him, though he's happy he didn't have to.
- The Voiceless: Until Hunters in the Dark.
- Worthy Opponent: One of a growing number of human sympathizers among Sangheili youth, he has a healthy respect for humanity's audacity and resolve, which might be one of the main reasons why he was apparently his fleet's former liaison with the UNSC.
- Young and in Charge: Despite his youth, he rose quite quickly through the ranks due to his talent for leadership and strategy, becoming a trusted sword of the Arbiter.
Special Operations Commando Usze 'Taham
A top graduate from the most famed war college in Sangheili space, Usze is a distinguished Special Warfare Group veteran who has evaded countless punitive actions and at least two assassination attempts. He is the fourth player character in Halo 3's co-op mode, as a member of the Fleet of Retribution's security force.
- Ambadassador: Becomes a liason to the UNSC after the war. Additionally, his position in the Ascetic guard has him often acting as an intermediary between various feuding Sangheili factions and keeps.
- Ascended Extra: Goes from being a silent bit character in Halo 3 to part of the main cast in Halo: Hunters in the Dark.
- All There in the Manual: Like with N'tho, his entire backstory before the release of Hunters in the Dark came from this Bungie news bulletin.
- Blue Blood: Born into a respected merchant family.
- Custom Uniform: It's claret in Halo 3, a color no other pre-Halo 4 Elite wears, nor is it selectable in multiplayer. After the war, he wears the crimson and ivory typical of the Swords of Sanghelios.
- The Faceless: In Halo 3.
- Heroic Bastard: The son of the famed swordsman Toha 'Sumai, and given that swordsmen aren't allowed to marry...
- That said, Toha did train him in combat while masquerading as his uncle.
- Heroic Lineage: His true father Toha 'Sumai was considered one of the greatest swordfighters in all of Sanghelios.
- Interspecies Friendship: With fellow Ambadassador Olympia Vale during Operation: FAR STORM.
- Master Swordsman: One of the Arbiter's best; he's even capable of deflecting lightrifle fire with his energy sword.
- Military Maverick: To the point where his old superiors warned him that his behavior could be "misinterpreted" as apostasy.
- Nice Guy: The most friendly of the Mayhem's Elites, comforting both Luther Mann after Henry Lamb's death and Vale about her regrets regarding her part in Operation: FAR STORM.
- One-Man Army: During his second trip to the Ark, he and one other Elite are at one point ambushed by dozens of Forerunner armigers; they not only survive, but destroy every single one of their foes.
- Praetorian Guard: Was offered a place on the Honor Guard twice; he declined both times. Though he originally claimed it was because he felt he was unworthy for the position, it was really because he saw them as a largely ceremonial unit that would keep him from his true calling as a warrior.
- Religious Bruiser: Despite his seemingly irrelevant attitude towards his superiors, the fact that the Ascetics eventually picked him to become one of their liasons would suggest this.
- Undying Loyalty: To the Arbiter.
- The Voiceless: Until the release of Hunters in the Dark.
Shipmistress Mahkee 'Chava
A female Sangheili Shipmistress who aids Fireteam Osiris during the events of Halo 5: Guardians by piloting a Phantom.
- Gunship Rescue: Helps Osiris rescue the Arbiter from a Covenant ambush during their first mission on Sanghelios.
- Mission Control: One of the characters providing mission guidance to Osiris during their time on Sanghelios.
- The Squadette: The only female Sangheili soldier we see in the games; Vale even lampshades this by noting that Elites like her are a rare sight, with her presence in the Swords' military being a sign of the Arbiter's relative social progressiveness.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: She plays a similar role to Foehammer from Halo: Combat Evolved, as she is a female pilot who ferries the player around and gives occasional advice without being visually depicted onscreen.
- The Voice: Makes no direct physical appearance.
Arbiter Ripa 'Moramee
Originally a prominent warrior who participated in numerous important campaigns against rebellious Unggoy and Kig-Yar, Ripa was imprisoned following an attempted coup of his clan. Picked to become Arbiter by the Prophet of Regret, he was given command of the Fleet of Glorious Interdiction and charged with spearheading humanity's destruction, being the Dragon-in-Chief of Halo Wars. Notable for deviating from Elite's Honor Before Reason mentality: he just wants to kill things.
- Ambition Is Evil: After he got too powerful, he attempted to overthrow his clan's leaders, but got locked up. When he became the Arbiter, he gave this trope a new ugly face.
- The Atoner: Subverted. The Arbiter rank is supposed to be this, but 'Moramee clearly doesn't care. He's just in it for the bloodshed.
- Ax-Crazy: Or Plasma Sword Crazy. He's little more than a vicious killer, albeit a genuinely religious one, and this even ties into his gameplay as a hero unit.
- Bad Boss: Not the best Elite to work for, with his abuses including strapping remote-controlled bombs onto his Grunts and striking down a subordinate Sangheili commander for simply giving him bad news.
- Base-Breaking Character: In Universe Example. His appointment to Arbiter was highly controversial among the Sangheli.
- Big Bad: Of Halo Wars; while subordinate to Regret, he serves as the main antagonist since Regret has very little interaction with the plot and is Put on a Bus shortly into the game.
- Blood Knight: Lives for the slaughter.
- The Berserker: It's even incorporated into gameplay, where he can go into "rage" modes that buff his damage and resistance for a short time.
- The Brute: Unlike some other wiser Arbiters, it's pretty clear he was chosen primarily to serve as Regret's muscle. Ironic, considering his species; this goes into straight into Personality Swap Territory when you read the backstory of Thrallslayer, the multiplayer-only Brute Army Commander.
- Death by Irony: Neck Lifts Forge, so that his face will be the last thing the sergeant ever sees. Then Forge stabs him in the head.
- The Dragon: To the Prophet of Regret, much to the Covenant warriors' grief.
- Dual Wielding: He dual-wields two energy swords, and was one of the first Elites shown doing so.
- Evil Counterpart:
- To Thrallslayer, the Brute Army Commander, surprisingly.
- And to the current Arbiter, who's far calmer than him.
- Evil Is Petty: Ordered his rival Thrallslayer off the Shield World with Regret to solely deprive him of the war-glory.
- Expy: Of Darth Vader, as a Laser Blade Bad Boss clad in special armour, albeit not as special as Vader's. The developers specifically described him as "Darth Vader times ten". He is not a Darth Vader Clone however.
- Fantastic Racism: Ripa holds a very low opinion on humans, and takes the time to insult humanity as a whole after defeating Forge in combat. The Arbiter's opinion is undermined, however, by the interluding shots of SPARTAN-II Red Team dominating a horde of Sangheili elite guards.
- Foil: To Thrallslayer, the Brute Army Commander. At their core, they are Stereotype Flips of their species; the normally honorable Elite is actually an Ax-Crazy Combat Pragmatist with a severe case of Fantastic Racism towards humanity, and is so large that he dwarfs even a Brute. Thrallslayer is noted to be short for his species, and a Genius Bruiser who sees humanity as a Worthy Opponent. As such, they are rivals.
- Gonk: He's one of the ugliest, if not the ugliest Elites in the franchise, with drooping, skinny mandibles that make his mouth gape like a fish's.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Oh yeah. Just giving him bad news is enough to provoke him to violence.
- Hero's Evil Predecessor: To Thel 'Vadam, as the last known holder of the title of Arbiter before Thel. Whereas Thel was a noble if misguided warrior and commander who genuinely wanted to be The Atoner and ultimately chose to rebel against the Covenant and ally with humanity to make things right, Ripa was a Psycho for Hire who abused his own and could care nothing for "atoning" for any of his crimes.
- Hidden Weapons: His sword hilts seem to integrate with his Arbiter gauntlets. During one cutscene he flicks his wrists to draw his swords.
- Hot-Blooded: More then the rest of the Elites, but it comes more likely from his psychopathic disorder rather from religious fanaticism.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Killed by Forge with his own plasma sword, after being stabbed in the neck.
- Insane Admiral: Supplemental information mentions that he's viewed as unsuitable for command by many in the Covenant.
- Invisibility Cloak: Has one built into his armor. With upgrades it can be made to last permanently with the cost of resources.
- Large and in Charge: Huge, even for an Elite. His arms alone are nearly as big around as a human marine.
- Laser-Guided Karma: He ordered Thrallslayer, the Brute Army Commander, off the Shield World with Regret to rob him of the war-glory of the battle. In summation, he ensured the survival of his rival when his forces were defeated and he himself was killed.
- Legacy Character: Not the first nor the last Arbiter, though certainly one of the most psychotic ones.
- One-Man Army: Can be this in multiplayer. In-universe, he once put down an entire Grunt rebellion all by himself.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Does Ripa 'Moramee sound nice to you?
- Neck Lift: Seems fond of them. It helps that his hands are about twice as big as his victims' entire head and neck.
- Psycho for Hire: The Arbiter is supposed to be The Atoner for past misdeeds. About the only thing Ripa seems to regret is the fact he hasn't killed more people.
- Recruiting the Criminal: How Regret appoints him, to the consternation of many in the Covenant.
- The Rival: Forge of course, but his primary rival was Thrallslayer, the Brute Army Commander.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: While talking to Regret, he briefly brandishes his energy swords, before putting them away without using them. This is in direct violation of Covenant law (drawing a weapon in the presence of a High Prophet) and Sangheili tradition (a drawn weapon must spill blood before being put away). His rank and the fact he wouldn't hesitate to use those swords on them are likely the only reasons the Honor Guards didn't kill him on the spot.
- Smug Snake: Tends to underestimate his foes tremendously, which leads to his death. That said, he's more than capable of backing up his threats physically.
- The Starscream: Before he was Arbiter, he attempted a coup on his clan's leader, but the coup failed and he was exiled.
- State Sec: Ironically enough (considering what he did to land himself in jail), he used to be an agent for the Ministry of Preservation, the Covenant organization responsible for quelling internal dissent.
- The Unfettered: His savagery makes him far more ruthless than most Elites and several times he commits acts considered blasphemous by them, such as drawing his weapons in the presence of a Prophet, or brandishing a weapon without any intention of using it.
- Villain Teleportation: Has a habit of appearing out of nowhere thanks to his cloaking.
- We Have Reserves: Ripa clearly has little regard for how many of his men he has to sacrifice as long as he can achieve his goals. This is most evident in the cutscene in which he's introduced when the Covenant excavate a Forerunner relic on Harvest.
The Field Marshal
An elusive and mysterious character who appears several times in Halo: Reach. Little is known about him other than that he was a high-ranking member of the Devoted Sentries, a hand-picked unit of Zealot artifact hunters attached to the Fleet of Valiant Prudence.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: An artifact hunter who also happens to be a Four-Star Badass.
- Arc Villain: He's the closest thing Reach has to a visible Big Bad, given that none of his superiors make a direct appearance in that game.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Implied to be one of the highest-ranking Covenant ground officers on Reach, subordinate only to Supreme Commanders Rho 'Barutamee and (later) Thel 'Vadamee. In-game he has very powerful shields, which combined with his Fuel Rod Gun, makes him pretty challenging to face.
- BFG: He wields a Fuel Rod Gun in addition to his plasma sword.
- Cold Sniper: His shooting of Kat with a Needle Rifle was certainly cold.
- Dirty Coward: When he's first encountered in the Visegrad Relay station, he spends just a few seconds fighting NOBLE Team before fleeing the heck out of there, leaving his other two Zealots to fight for him (and be killed).
- The Dragon: He's possibly this to Valiant Prudence's Supreme Commander Rho 'Barutamee, depending on whether there were any other Field Marshals in the Devoted Sentries.
- Final Boss: In Halo: Reach, though Six still has a couple more battles to fight after defeating him.
- Flunky Boss: In the final battle against him, he's accompanied by a trio of Elite Zealots, a small squad of Spec-Ops Grunts, and an Engineer which grants him and his minions stronger shields.
- Hero Killer: Apart from shooting Kat, he's also indirectly responsible for the death of Noble Six; the only reason Noble Six had to stay to man the Onager as opposed to a generic Marine was because the Field Marshal and his cronies were standing in between Six and the gun. His warriors also killed Emile, who was formerly manning the gun.
- It's Personal: That he happens to encounter Noble Team three times over the course of the game could be chalked up to this. Perhaps he recognized that Noble Team's presence indicated important human assets.
- King Mook: Gameplay-wise he has similar stats and tactics as an Elite General, though with slightly more health and a backup energy sword he'll pull out if you get too close to him.
- Horns of Villainy: His armor sports horns.
- Laser Blade: Pulls out an energy sword if you get too close to him.
- No Name Given
- Recurring Boss: While he isn't fought multiple times, he shows up several times in the story. First on the level "Winter Contingency", where he gets into a fight with Noble Team before fleeing and letting his Zealots finish the job (they fail). The second is when he snipes Kat with a Needle Rifle. His third and last appearance is where he and Six finally throw down, resulting in his death.
- Warrior Monk: All Field Marshals are also Zealots.
- Wolfpack Boss: His Zealot minions are almost as powerful as he is.
Supreme Commander Rho 'Barutamee
An agent of the Ministry of Fervent Intercession, Rho 'Barutamee led the Fleet of Valiant Prudence, an archaeological research and retrieval group tasked with the security and stewardship of Forerunner artifacts. During his search for the fabled Capital of the Forerunners, his fleet inadvertently stumbled upon the location of Reach, thus starting one of the largest battles of the Human-Covenant War.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: His main job, though he's illegally secreted away a large hoard of Forerunner artifacts for his own purposes.
- All There in the Manual: Virtually everything we know about him, including his appearance and name, come from ancillary materials, mostly the Halo: Fleet Battles rulebook and campaign guide.
- Badass Cape: A big purple one, as seems to be the standard for Supreme Commanders.
- Cool Ship: His flagship, the 29-km (18-mile) long CSO-class supercarrier Long Night of Solace.
- Disc-One Final Boss: Indirectly serves as this for Halo: Reach, since his fleet is the one fought in the first part of the game, with the other Covenant fleets arriving only after he and his flagship are destroyed by a slipspace "bomb" that the player helped deliver.
- Dragon with an Agenda: His personal goal of finding the Capital is unknown even to his superiors; in fact, the reason his fleet attacked Reach on its own was so that he could have a chance to secret away both relics and information about the Capital's location from the rest of the Covenant, to the point where he felt nothing but dismay when he got the news about another Covenant fleet coming in to reinforce him.
- Manipulative Bastard: Is said to have achieved his rank largely by exploiting the greed, zealotry, and ignorance of his comrades and superiors.
- Punch-Clock Villain: Sort of. Unlike most of his peers, he has no real interest in fighting against humanity. That said, he still has no problems with killing them if they get in the way of his search for Forerunner artifacts.
- The Unfought: Noble Team never directly meets him even once in Reach, though they still get to kill him by destroying his flagship.
- Warrior Monk: A Zealot, though he's noted as being surprisingly reserved and thoughtful for one.
Arbiter Fal 'Chavamee
A prominent Sangheili leader from about four centuries before the events of the original trilogy, who got into trouble with the Hierarchs for his lack of belief in "the Great Journey".
- Ascended Extra: Makes an appearance in three of the Halo 2 Anniversary terminals, and is even mentioned by name in one of them.
- Badass in Charge: Head of his clan, and its mightiest warrior.
- Crusading Widower: Goes to confront his wife's killer right after he discovers her body, despite knowing that he's almost certainly going to his death.
- Happily Married: Is in a very loving relationship with his wife Han.
- Heart Broken Badass: After his wife is killed as punishment for his heresy.
- Honor Before Reason: Turns against the Covenant because he can no longer bear the shame of following the Prophets' lies, and later goes off to duel his kinsman Haka for killing his wife despite being warned that it's a trap.
- Legacy Character: He's the reason why the rank of Arbiter becomes a mark of disgrace for future generations of Covenant.
- Master Swordsman: Probably the best example seen in the franchise so far, being capable of taking on an entire army with just a couple of energy blades.
- Mutual Kill: He and Haka end up killing each other in a Single Stroke Duel.
- One-Man Army: He wouldn't have reached Arbiter without being one, and he slaughters an entire Covenant army single-handedly in The Duel.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: When he finds his wife dead, he immediately sets off to confront Haka and his cronies.
Fal 'Chavamee's wife. She's notable as the first female Sangheili to be depicted onscreen in Halo media.
- Happily Married: Is in a very loving relationship with Fal.
- Non-Standard Character Design: Her face looks much more human-like than those of other Sangheili depicted before or after, and she also has hair. Elite females are described in other Halo media as being much closer in appearance to the males than Han is; the creators of The Duel admitted that they took some Artistic License with her appearance to make her more sympathetic.
- Stuffed in the Fridge: Her brutal death at the hands of Haka primarily serves to motivate Fal into confronting her killer.
- Undying Loyalty: Refuses to leave Fal's side despite his rejection of the Covenant.
Major Thel 'Lodamee
A Sangheili Major in the Third Fleet of Glorious Consequence who lost his entire battalion at Miridem.
- Hero Killer: Personally killed Sheila-065 during the Battle of Miridem.
- Hot-Blooded: According to Halo: The Fall of Reach, his bloodthirstiness worries his commander.
- Honor Before Reason: When he finds the Master Chief out of ammo, he tosses an extra energy sword to him so they could duel it out.
- Large Ham: "I had him! Commander, you fool! A THOUSAND HELLS AWAIT YOU!"
- Majorly Awesome: One of the few characters in the Haloverse capable of matching a SPARTAN-II in one-on-one combat; in fact, he's the one who killed Sheila-065.
- Master Swordsman: Beats the Master Chief in a one-on-one duel, and would have killed him if not for Thel's commander suddenly carrying his subordinate away via gravity lift while under the false impression that he was "saving" him.
- Mythology Gag / Discontinuity Nod: His commander says that all that awaits the Major is "death, or Arbiter". This line would have alluded to his later role, but retroactively became a Discontinuity Nod, see Retcon below.
- One Steve Limit: Shares his first name with the future Arbiter. In fact...
- Retcon: His entire existence is one: the Elite Major in The Package was supposed to be Thel 'Vadamee (the Arbiter of the Halo trilogy), but this was changed in the 2010 rerelease of Halo: The Fall of Reach. Long story short, 'Vadamee's appearance would have added an extra layer of Irony to the later games where he team-ups with John, but The Cole Protocol showed that he was already a Zealot when he fought his first Spartan, not a lowly Major. Thus the change.
- Sole Survivor: 'Lodamee's entire battalion was killed with only him surviving. His Fleet Master calls him out for this, saying Thel must have lacked the heart to die with honor.
Special Operations Officer Zuka 'Zamamee
A member of the Fleet of Particular Justice's Spec-Ops division who develops an obsession with killing the Master Chief during the events of Halo: Combat Evolved.
- Adaptation Expansion: Originally, he was just a nameless Elite Mook who arrives alongside the rest of his squad on the elevator near the end of Combat Evolved's last level. It was the novelization Halo: The Flood that gave him a name and backstory, and detailed what he was doing off-screen.
- Alliterative Name
- Cassandra Truth: He knows from the very start that the Master Chief is the greatest threat to his fleet, but none of his superiors takes his concerns seriously until the Chief spearheads a devastating assault against the Truth and Reconciliation.
- Combat Pragmatist: Has no compunctions about using trickery against the humans.
- Composite Character: At the end of the actual game, among the final enemies faced by the Chief are a Spec Ops Elite leading a squad of Grunts on an elevator, and a Spec Ops Elite in a Shade turret in the final Warthog escape sequence. The book combines these two enemies to form the final encounter with Zuka.
- Continuity Snarl: His battles against the Chief in The Flood play out very different in the actual game; in the latter, he's not actually even present in most of said battles.
- Dead Person Impersonation: Assumes the identity of Huki 'Umamee to avoid being executed for his repeated failures.
- Egocentrically Religious: His personal journal in the 2010 rerelease of The Flood shows him developing signs of this, as he increasingly sees everything that happens to him as a sign that he's passing his gods' tests.
- Glory Hound/Glory Seeker: Part of his reason for going after the Chief, though most of the glory he seeks is from his gods.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: It's not hard to almost feel sorry for him after a while.
- Knight Templar: His personal journal shows that he believes anything he does is justified as long as it leads to the Chief's death, even if it means violating the Sangheili honor code.
- The Neidermeyer: His Unggoy assistant Yayap views him as this, and it's clear Zuka cares little for the Grunts under his command.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: He may be almost completely ineffectual against the Chief, but his team does kill a lot of humans during the assault on Alpha Base.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: While he doesn't actually do anything to help the Chief, his personal journal shows that he fervently believes it's his Forerunner-given destiny to kill John.
- Post-Final Boss: He shows up out of nowhere with a Spectre turret and tries to kill the Chief after the Chief's "final confrontation" with 343 Guilty Spark in the Pillar of Autumn's engine room.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Given his pragmatic tendencies, he's a relatively rare example of the "Proud Soldier" variant among the Elites.
- Religious Bruiser: His journal reveals that he was not particularly devout until he had a born-again experience after he barely survived his first encounter with the Chief; he now sees every setback as merely his gods testing him to make sure he doesn't waver in his faith again.
- Smug Snake: Has a highly arrogant demeanor, and is always certain that his next crazy plan to kill the Chief is the one that'll work. Even after he's forced to go into hiding for fear of being executed, he still retains some of his high-and-mighty airs. Heck, Zuka continues to treat Yayap like a servant even after the latter shows himself capable of successfully threatening the former.
- Stalker Without a Crush: Towards the Master Chief.
- Unknown Rival: The Chief is completely unaware that it's the same Elite trying to kill him again and again. This actually works out in Zuka's favor, as he completely catches the Chief by surprise in their final encounter.
Fleetmaster Voro Nar 'Mantakree
The former second-officer aboard the Incorruptible, Voro executed his mentor and shipmaster Tano 'Inanraree during the beginning of the Great Schism after the latter tried to fly the ship onto Halo to allow its crew to be infected by the Flood. Taking over as Shipmaster, Voro quickly distinguished himself through quick thinking and rationality, stopping the Flood from spreading off Halo and High Charity. He was granted the rank of Fleetmaster and sent to investigate the world of Onyx, where an intercepted human transmission had revealed it contained a Forerunner ruin which was guarded by Spartans.
- Arc Villain: Along with the Sentinels, he's the main antagonist of Ghost of Onyx's final arc.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Distinguished himself by his actions in the opening salvos of the Great Schism.
- Combat Pragmatist: A notable exception to the Elites' usual Honor Before Reason tendencies (though he's not completely devoid of it himself). One example is during the battle around High Charity; when the Incorruptible's engines are still recharging, Voro fakes out an approaching Brute frigate by depressurizing a launch bay to turn his ship and venting excess plasma into the cannons to fool the enemy's heat sensors. Later, during the battle on Onyx, he forces his Elite troops to use Jackal shields in addition to their own.
- Enemy Mine: Manages to convince both sides of the Schism to call a temporary truce in order to deal with the Flood.
- Four-Star Badass: A highly capable tactician who's certainly not afraid to mix it up in the frontlines, whether in space or on foot.
- Klingon Promotion: A relatively heroic variation; while Voro does take command of the Incorruptible by killing its previous shipmaster, he did it solely because said shipmaster was a Governor of Contrition who was about to force his men to let the Flood aboard their ship. Heck, even Tano's personal bodyguards acknowledge that Voro did the right thing.
- Kicked Upstairs: After being given a fleet to investigate isolated Onyx by Imperial Admiral Xytan 'Jar Wattinree, Voro wonders if he was assigned to do so because his new status as a hero and outspoken nature was viewed as a threat by Xytan. He vows that it will not work, but Kurt kills him and his entire army, making it a moot point.
- Nay-Theist: Shows signs of becoming the Covenant equivalent of one after the Schism; while he still seems to recognize the Forerunners as being divine, he quickly comes to the conclusion that they're not going to be of any help in securing the Sangheili's future, and emphasizes to his troops that they'll have to shed their religious beliefs if they're going to thrive in a post-Covenant galaxy.Voro's thoughts: [Qunu] had demonstrated for them all that the old ways of devout placation had no place in this new Age. The Sangheili would forge their own way, with their own blood, if need be.
- Only Sane Man: A downplayed example; in Ghosts of Onyx, he's always the one who has to point out to his fellow Elites that the Flood is their main threat, not the humans or the Brutes. While his advice is taken at least somewhat seriously, it's still probably not as much as he would have liked.
- Small Role, Big Impact: In a sense. While Voro is overall a very minor character in the franchise, to the point where he's never even been mentioned outside of Ghosts of Onyx, he's likely a major reason why the Flood wasn't able to spread across the Milky Way after the Gravemind escaped Delta Halo.
- We Have Reserves: Like most Elite commanders, he regards his Grunts as expendable cannon fodder.
Ranger Vil 'Kthamee
A young Ranger who served with the Covenant during its early years, Vil is more imaginative than most of his kind.
- Conflicting Loyalty: He's ultimately loyal to the Covenant, but he sometimes wonders if he's dishonoring the memories of those who fought against the San'Shyuum.
- Interspecies Friendship: Has a close bond with the Huragok Floats Near Ceiling, to the point where Vil finds its presence comforting.
- Famed in Story: It's hinted that he's the reason why future generations of Sangheili would add an "ee" to their surname after joining the Covenant military.
- The Smart Guy: Shows himself to be quite resourceful for a young Sangheili, enough to convince Mken to make him his bodyguard.
- Translator Buddy: Has served as Floats Near Ceiling's translator many times.
Commander G'torik 'Klemmee
The nephew of High Councilor Torg 'Gransamee, G'torik is a dear friend of Zo Resken.
- Interspecies Friendship: Is very close to Zo Resken and regards him very highly, even personally saving his life during the Great Schism.
- Master Swordsman: Is quite adept with the energy sword, being capable of holding his own against Tartarus's second-in-command Melchus in close combat.
- Nephewism: Was raised by Torg in accordance with Sangheili tradition, though Zo suspects that the Councilor is actually his father.
An engineering officer, Tul finds himself part of a small group attempting to escape High Charity during the outbreak of the Great Schism.
- Badass Bookworm: Despite not being a warrior, he's still capable of handling himself in a firefight.
- Shorter Means Smarter: Is relatively small for a male Sangheili, but is more technologically adept than the other Sangheili in his group.
- Translator Buddy: Has worked with Sluggish Drifter many times, and is capable of translating its signs for others.
Shipmaster D'ero 'S'bud
Shipmaster of the supply ship Journey's Sustenance, D'ero was stationed at High Charity during the outbreak of the Great Schism.
- Defector from Decadence: He leaves the Covenant because of their massacre of the Sangheili High Councilors, but is implied to resent his own defection; he still regards Zo Resken as an authority, and even continues to call him "Prophet".
- Perpetual Frowner: Is virtually always scowling; even during one of his rare good moods, he's described as only looking "almost cheerful".
- Sour Supporter: Is very much on the side of Zo and his companions, but that doesn't stop him from being perpetually irritable.
Shipmaster Thon 'Talamee
One of the last two survivors of the Talam lineage, Thon spent his entire life looking after his weaker brother Reff. By mid-2552, he had become Shipmaster of the assault carrier Clarity of Faith, but would find himself and his crew trapped on a mysterious world after their ship was shot down by Forerunner Line Installation 1-4.
- Cain and Abel: When Reff decides that he wants to take over the Covenant himself, and plans to use Installation 1-4 against incoming Covenant reinforcements, Thon realizes that Reff has to die. Played with in that from the UNSC's perspective, Reff is the slightly better of the two, since he at least plans to halt the genocide against humanity.
- Big Brother Bully: Thon rarely hesitates to hurt and threaten Reff whenever the latter annoys him.
- Big Brother Instinct: That said, Thon still genuinely loves Reff, having spent his youth fighting off anyone else who would dare harm him.
- Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them: Thon hates Reff's constant ranting about the Forerunners, but clearly still loves him, falling into a depression when he thinks Reff is already dead.
- Enemy Mine: His forces team up with Black Team in order to rescue his brother and Black-One from 686 Ebullient Prism. That said, he turns on them the moment his brother is safe.
- Family Honor: Takes his role as one of the last Talam very seriously, to the point where he decides to kill his beloved brother Reff rather than let him stain the family name.
- Honor Before Reason: Is very much a typical Sangheili in this regard.
- I Gave My Word: Steadfastly refuses to turn on Black Team as long (and only as long) as the terms of their agreement are still in play.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: He dies when Reff steals his energy sword and stabs him with it.
- Not So Different: Comes to realize that Black Team has a bond with each other similar to the one he has with his brother, which is why he lets Black-Three try to talk down Black-Four instead of simply killing him. That said, it's not enough to stop him from turning on them the moment Reff is free.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Reff's Red, being the more professional and rational of the two.
- Religious Bruiser: Played with. Thon is completely loyal to Covenant dogma, but is otherwise rather unreflective about his faith, preferring to think about more practical matters.
- Stronger Sibling: To Reff.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Clearly hates having to work with Black Team in order to save his brother.
Major Reff 'Talamee
One of only two surviving Talam, Reff was born weaker than most Sangheili males, but his vision convinced his brother Thon to look after him his entire life. By mid-2552, he had become the fervently religious second-in-command of his brother's assault carrier Clarity of Faith, but would find himself trapped alongside the rest of the crew on a Forerunner world after their ship was shot down by Line Installation 1-4.
- Cain and Abel: When Reff decides to use Installation 1-4 on incoming Covenant reinforcements as part of his plan to become the Covenants new ruler, Thon is forced to try and kill him. Played with in that from the UNSCs perspective, Reff would have been A Lighter Shade of Black, since he would have halted the genocide against humanity.
- Belief Makes You Stupid: His obsession with the Forerunners tends to blind him towards more rational explanations and methods.
- Big Bad Wannabe: He takes his adventures on Installation 1-4 as a sign that he should be the one leading the Covenant. Ebullient Prism quickly puts a stop to that by killing him.
- Constantly Curious: Much to his brother's grief.
- The Dog Bites Back: When Thon tries to kill him for plotting "sacrilege", Reff steals his sword and kills him instead.Reff: Brother, you have condescended to me for the last time.
- Distressed Dude: Gets captured by monitor 686 Ebullient Prisms forces while on Installation 1-4.
- Enemy Mine: Teams up with Black-One to escape from Ebullient Prism. Unlike Thon, he actually gets upset when their forces turn on Black Team.
- Large Ham: Considers himself something of a lay preacher, and always has a fancy speech to give.
- Number Two: To his brother aboard Clarity of Faith.
- Not Enough to Bury: Only his feet are left after Ebullient Prism completely vaporizes the rest of him.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to Thon's Blue, being much more passionate and less professional than his brother.
- Religious Bruiser: Though he's far less adherent to Covenant dogma than his brother, his actual love for the Forerunners is more much heartfelt and genuine.
- Token Good Teammate: Sort of. Reff has no real ill will towards humans, and is among those who believe they could earn a place on the Great Journey. That said, he also ends up developing megalomaniacal delusions of his own.
Special Operations Sub-Commander Bero 'Kusovai
A high-ranking commander of the Fleet of Particular Justice's Special Operations unit in late 2552, 'Kusovai is renowned as its best swordsman.
- All There in the Manual: His given name is never mentioned in The Last Voyage of the Infinite Succor; it was only revealed in the Halo Encylopedia.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: Falls victim to the Flood while escorting the Legate aboard the Infinite Succor.
- Blood Knight: Eager to get into the fray against the humans and their "Demon".
- Fatal Flaw: A minor one; Rtas implies that 'Kusovai's superior skill can blind him to trickery used by a less skilled opponent, particularly one not afraid of pulling a Mutual Kill. While it doesn't come into play while 'Kusovai is still alive, it's what allows Rtas to defeat the Flood-infected version.
- Master Swordsman: As indicated by the "-ai" suffix to his surname; he's superior to even Commander Rtas 'Vadumee in skill. Even after being infected by the Flood, he retains his swordsmanship.
- Number Two: Implied to be one of Rtas's top subordinates, and is second-in-command during the mission aboard Infinite Succor.
Covenant Remnant Elites
Supreme Commander Jul 'Mdama
The elder of Bekan Keep in Mdama, Jul is a former Shipmaster who hates humans and refuses to accept Arbiter Thel 'Vadam's plans to make peace with them, and allies with the Servants of the Abiding Truth to assassinate him. He is captured by ONI team Kilo-Five and studied by ONI scientists in a Forerunner shield world, but manages to escape through a portal and ally with a group of ultra-religious Sangheili after providing them with the location of the Didact, whom he hopes to use to gain revenge upon humanity. He eventually becomes the leader of a Covenant remnant hoping to gain entrance to Requiem.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: When the other shipmasters who are conspiring against the Arbiter discover he commanded a cruiser while they just commanded frigates, they acknowledge his authority over theirs even though the ship they plan on taking is one of theirs. Additionally, he's capable of kicking quite a fair amount of Spartan ass whenever he appears on the Warzone map "Attack on Sanctum".
- Big Bad Wannabe: He was set up to be a major antagonist in Spartan Ops and Escalation, but is killed off unceremoniously in the first level of Halo 5: Guardians, with his forces on the verge of defeat and his Promethean allies no longer obeying him.
- The Captain: Still often referred to by his old title of "Shipmaster".
- Cool Ship: Commanded the ORS-class heavy cruiser Blight of the Profane during the Human-Covenant War, and upgraded to the CAS-class assault carrier Song of Retribution after forming his remnant faction.
- Crusading Widower: His wife is killed when fleeing Sangheilos along with the rest of the rebels who fought against the Arbiter. When Jul learns of this, he swears that every human and the Arbiter and his allies will die.
- The Chessmaster: In Spartan Ops it's revealed that he was feeding Halsey information about the Prometheans and the Librarian via the artifact retrieved in Episode 1; suggesting that Crimson capturing the artifact from Spartan Ops was all a part of his plan. The artifact ends up teleporting a scientist and Spartan to him, and also teleports Prometheans aboard the Infinity. Those Prometheans capture Halsey, and all for his plan to free the Librarian.
- Custom Uniform: His armor resembles that of a Zealot. However, it is colored blue instead of maroon, has a unique glowing symbol on the top of the helmet, features multiple white handprints with the Didact's symbol on the palms, and the under-armor bodysuit leaves the neck and the arms uncovered.
- Cutscene Boss: At the end of the very first level of Halo 5: Guardians.
- Dark Messiah: Is regarded as a prophet by his followers, and even the UNSC considers his faction to be more of a cult than a proper imperial remnant.
- The Dragon: Effectively this to the Ur-Didact in Halo 4's main campaign (despite not directly appearing at all, apart from a single word uttered from offscreen), hence his title "Didact's Hand".
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: He's the (off-screen) Dragon for Halo 4's main campaign, and the Big Bad of Spartan Ops and much of Escalation, but by the time Halo 5 rolls around, his Covenant has fractured multiple times, and the Prometheans have entered into open rebellion. 'Mdama himself is killed very unceremoniously by Spartan Locke after Halsey intentionally sets him up, and his death is barely acknowledged by the UNSC, who have bigger things to worry about.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He may be a bigoted and ruthless warlord, but it's clear that his family is dear to him.
- The Faceless: Only his eyes are exposed, and even those tend to be shadowed out more often than not.
- Fantastic Racism: He considers humans to be little better than the Flood, parasites who colonize hundreds of worlds and will never stop expanding. ONI's actions show that Jul has a point about humanity being a potentially existential threat to his people.
- Honor Before Reason: Averted for the most part: Jul is very pragmatic about bending the Sangheili honor code, but he still has a few lines he will not cross.
- Spartan Ops shows that he has no problem ordering his forces to use human weaponry or blowing up Forerunner installations. In fact, after he destroys Requiem and teams up with Dr. Halsey, some of his more fundamentalist followers attempt to rebel against him for being, in their eyes, a false prophet.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: When being held at ONI Research Facility Trevelyan, in order to make his watchers let their guard down.
- Orcus on His Throne: Even though his high rank as Supreme Commander means he should be a powerful combatant, he's not really the type to be a Frontline General. We finally get to see him fight in Halo 5: Guardians, but he's barely able to activate his sword before Locke easily kills him with just a knife. However, he can be fought on the Warzone map "Attack on Suban", which shows him to actually be a pretty powerful fighter compared to an average Spartan-IV.
- Opportunistic Bastard: A less self-centered variation; he's good at making plans, but a lot of his successes have come from him simply taking advantage of unexpected circumstances; his entire faction only came into being because he was good at bullshitting on the spot.
- Revenge Before Reason: He is willing to look for a being every sign and sane person has been warning him to stay the heck away from in his willingness to find an ally to avenge his wife's death.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After escaping and getting word that his wife and best friend died after humans interfered in the assault on Vadam, he takes control of the zealous Elites of Hesduros, resolves to find the Didact to help in his campaign against humanity, and forms the Covenant remnant which appears in Halo 4.
- Heck, even his personal flagship is named Song of Retribution.
- Stop, or I Shoot Myself!: How he manages get Prone to Drift to help him escape Trevelyan, by threatening to activate his explosive harness and potentially damage Forerunner relics.
- Straw Hypocrite: Downplayed; while he only pretends to believe in the divinity of the Forerunners (having concluded long ago that the Forerunners were fallible mortals who never intended to ever be worshiped), his hatred of humanity and his concern for his own species are quite sincere.
- Sympathetic P.O.V.: In Halo: Glasslands and Halo: The Thursday War. Doesn't make him any less of a villain though.
- Villain Has a Point: In light of ONI's atrocities done to him as well as Admiral Parangosky's contingency plan to eradicate the Sanghelli race and colonize their homeworld if the Civil War plan failed, it's not hard to see why he hates humanity and why he compares them to the Flood. His point is mitigated, however, by the fact that it was his people's genocidal actions towards humans as part of the Covenant that prompted ONI to ensure that the Sangheili could never threaten humanity's existence again.
- Worthy Opponent: Despite his hatred of humans, he also grudgingly admits that they are a very capable and able species, who are not good at any particular skill, but are good enough at everything to survive.
Commander Gek 'Lhar
A field commander of Jul 'Mdama's Covenant remnant.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Can hold his own against a Spartan-IV in a fight; in fact, he's already killed several, and Thorne would have been next on the list had it not been for the timely arrival of the rest of Fireteam Majestic.
- Battle Trophy: Has a rather large cluster of UNSC dog tags fixed to his left shoulder, with several belonging to Spartans.
- Character Death: Courtesy of DeMarco shooting him in the back.
- The Dragon: Seems to be second-in-command to Jul 'Mdama during the Requiem campaign.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He mourns the death of the "brother" Elites that he accidentally killed by detonating Glassman's bomb harness.
- Fantastic Racism: Like most of his comrades, he absolutely despises humans.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has one going down his left eye, courtesy of Rion Forge shooting him point-blank in the face.
- Great Escape: Was detained at ONI's Midnight Facility for a terrorist attack on Earth, but managed to escape right before the events of Spartan Ops, killing several personnel in the process.
- Handicapped Badass: Said scar is the result of a wound that left only his right eye working.
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Does not wear a helmet.
- Large and in Charge: Is noted as being bigger than his subordinates in Halo Smoke And Shadow.
- Only One Name: In Spartan Ops, his surname is never mentioned, but it was later provided by the Halo 4 visual guide.
- Religious Bruiser: Unlike his boss, he's a devout believer in the Forerunners.
- Space Pirates: As shown in Smoke and Shadow, one of his assignments was leading a band of marauders who targeted salvage crews and anyone else with valuable weapons, ships, or other technologies.
Warrior Parg Vol
A former Field Master who ended up joining Jul 'Mdama's Covenant remnant.
- Arc Villain: Of Spartan Ops Episode 3.
- Character Death: Courtesy of Crimson.
- Cowardly Boss: Runs away from the first encounter with Crimson.
- The Dragon: For Merg Vol's faction on Draetheus V.
- Fantastic Racism: Joined 'Mdama for the sole purpose of killing humans, as opposed to any sense of religious sincerity.
- Large and in Charge: Downplayed. He's a high-ranking commander who's nearly 8'3'', making him even taller than Ripa 'Moramee (though he's the same height as any other Elite in-game).
- Mook Lieutenant: A commander of Jul 'Mdama's faction who's considered important enough to have an entire Spartan fireteam sent to assassinate him.
- Recruiting the Criminal: Became an arms dealer and hitman after the war until he signed up with the Remnant.
- The Unfought: In Halo: Spartan Assault, despite Palmer stealing his personal Phantom.
- Starter Villain: The first named antagonist fought in Spartan Ops.
Zealot Merg Vol
A Covenant cult leader who led an assault on the human colony of Draetheus V.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Thanks in large part to the Forerunner technology he unearths.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: He is an Elite, after all.
- Big Bad: Of Halo: Spartan Assault.
- Character Death: Courtesy of Palmer, who finishes him off with a pistol shot to the back of the head.
- Custom Uniform: Wears a special set of Zealot armor similar to Jul's, except that it has a somewhat golden tint and comes with glowing blue armbands.
- Dual Wielding: Pulls out two energy swords during his second phase.
- Final Boss: Of the original campaign of Spartan Assault; in fact, he's the first "proper" boss fight in the series since Halo 2.
- Flunky Boss: Has Forerunner turrets and some Jackals backing him up.
- Hard Light Hologram: Sends out three of them as decoys whenever he needs to buy time to recharge his shields.
- Invisibility Cloak: Activates it during his second phase.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Pulls out an Hardlight shield during his third phase.
- Sequential Boss: Switches up his weapons and tools each time you take out his shields.
- Warrior Monk: Sincerely believes the Forerunners have blessed him and his followers.
Field Master Avu Med 'Telcam
A former Field Master and translator for the Covenant military, 'Telcam is the leader of the Servants of the Abiding Truth, an ultra-religious sect that still believes the Forerunners to be gods after the Great Schism, and plans on overthrowing Arbiter Thel 'Vadam due to his denouncement of the Forerunners and their technology. He secures support from ONI, who wish to weaken the Elites military power via a civil war, on the condition that 'Telcam not continue the war against humanity.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Unlike his subordinates, he actually puts up a bit of a fight against SPARTAN-G059 before she finally defeats him.
- Combat Pragmatist: Surprisingly so for a fanatical Elite; he's even ready to arm his forces with human weaponry if need be.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He's disgusted when the Brutes on Sanghelios begin their rebellion by planting bombs in Ontom, saying that there is a thin line between a surprise attack and not having the courage to face the enemy yourself, which he refuses to cross.
- Fantastic Racism: Detests non-Sangheili, but he's still perfectly capable of working with and employing them if he deems it necessary.
- Four-Star Badass: He's a Field Master, which is the Covenant equivalent of a General.
- The Fundamentalist: Even more so given that since the Abiding Truth follows a pre-Covenant form of Forerunner worship, he's not too shaken by the revelation of the Prophets' lies.
- Honor Before Reason: Despite his relative pragmatism, Kilo-Five still has to literally kidnap him in order to force him to retreat when his initial attempt to overthrow the Arbiter fails.
- Knight Templar: Among other things, his followers murdered two Sangheili brothers for demolishing a Forerunner monument on their farm.
- Omniglot: He is fluent in several human languages, which are very difficult for Sangheli to pronounce.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Initially has no intention of directly attacking the Arbiter, as 'Telcam knows killing him would just create a martyr, so he decides to try and discredit Thel and his ideas before killing him. However, events force 'Telcam to begin his assault on Vadam long before this part of his plan can get underway.
- Unwitting Pawn: ONI has no intention of letting him actually win his war against Thel. Or letting him live, period.
- Warrior Monk: About as close to this as one can be without being a Zealot.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: ONI eventually realizes that supporting him is more trouble than it's worth, and has him assassinated by a Spartan-III.
Zealot Sali 'Nyon
A former member of Jul 'Mdama's remnant faction who, disillusioned by what he sees as 'Mdama's increasingly heretical actions, declares himself to be the true "Hand of the Didact" and forms his own splinter faction.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Considers himself the true "Didact's Hand". Jul quickly teaches him a lesson about who's the more capable one.
- Fantastic Racism: One of his reasons for rebelling? Jul actually choosing to ally with Dr. Halsey, a mere human.
- The Fundamentalist: Far more so than Jul, who himself acknowledges that 'Nyon's faith in the Forerunners is sincere. After all, 'Mdama's destruction of Requiem is one of the main reasons why Sali turned against him.
- General Failure: Jul claims that he was an inept commander, and Sali indeed has no real plan for victory after openly declaring rebellion against 'Mdama; one of his own disillusioned subordinates ends up defecting back to Jul's side, bringing 'Nyon's just-acquired half of the Janus Key with him.
- Knight Templar: No matter what reality might otherwise indicate, HE'S the "one true prophet", not Jul; when one of his subordinates questions him about their losses to 'Mdama and the fact that the Promethean Knights continue to remain loyal to Jul, Sali's reply basically boils down to "The Forerunners work In Mysterious Ways."
- Large Ham: Can get into this when he's in a preachy mood.
- Smug Snake: For all of Sali's grand rhetoric about having his name being "spoken all across this universe", Jul considers him nothing more than "a delusional pig possessed by demons" who is utterly unexceptional in every aspect. Subsequent events bear this out, as 'Mdama easily defeats and captures him. Even his successes in the final arc of Halo: Escalation owe far more to Ayit 'Sevi than himself.
- Spanner in the Works: Nearly derails Jul 'Mdama and Halsey's plan to capture the UNSC's half of the Janus Key by taking it for himself. Things all work out for Jul in the end, though.
- Plays this straight in the final arc of Escalation; Ayit frees him to lead another rebellion and distract Jul's forces while UNSC forces are sneaking among them, and 'Nyon's own forces end up successfully escaping with not just the Assault Carrier Breath of Annihilation in tow, but most of the Forerunner artifacts recovered from Requiem.
- The Starscream: To Jul.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: The last issue of Escalation actually has him and his forces successfully accomplishing their plans and escaping from Jul's wrath.
- Unwitting Pawn: Is this to the ONI-employed Ayit 'Sevi in Escalation's final arc, though both parties ultimately benefit from the arrangement.
- Warrior Monk: As indicated by his rank of Zealot.
- See "Ussans" in the Halo: Other page.
Once a proud Fleetmaster of the Covenant, Rojka found himself demoted in the wake of the ascension of the Brutes to the dominant military power and found himself forced to watch over a fleet derelict warships around Sanghelios, where he was unable to do much to aid his brethren in the Great Schism to follow. When his homeworld of Glyke was mysteriously destroyed days after the end of the Human-Covenant War, Rokja took his fleet and the survivors of the destruction to the abandoned Outer Colony of Carrow, where they settled and named Rakoi in an attempt to make a new life for themselves with himself as kaidon. When the former human colonists returned to Carrow to resettle, Rojka allows them to claim half the planet for themselves, not wishing to spark another war, but in his heart he still desires vengeance on the ones he knows were responsible for the destruction of his old home: The SPARTAN-IIs known as Gray Team.
- Ambadassador: At the end of the novel, Rojka is ultimately demoted from kaidon, but allowed to take up the role of envoy to the humans, both the population of Carrow and the UNSC as a whole. Rojka, who believes he can do more to foster better relationships with humanity this way, agrees.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: He was once a Fleetmaster and now kaidon of the Carrow Sangheili, and proves himself the single most dangerous Elite in the entire book, taking on traitorous Elites, Brutes, and even the Sharquoi before emerging victorious.
- Determinator: It doesn't matter who or what stands in his way, be they traitorous kinsmen, the Brutes, the desert, the Sharquoi, or his own grievous injuries. He will complete his mission even if it just means he needs to change priorities.
- HeelFace Turn: Well, he was always an Anti-Villain, but he's convinced to Enemy Mine with Gray Team to stop Hekabe and his Sharquoi army, and eventually he decides to abandon his vengeance altogether.
- It's Personal:
- Towards Gray Team, who he blames for Glyke's destruction (he's right) and he's even willing to forgo an honorable death in combat to go after them. His character arc is all about finally letting go of that hatred and working to a better future.
- Towards his treacherous cousin Thars, who he hates not only for betraying him, but for throwing away all he had worked to achieve in ensuring their people would have a secure future on Carrow/Rakoi. He's willing to try and make a deal with Thars to stop Hekabe, even spare his life when he has him dead to rights, but when the Sharquoi take control Thars' remaining ships and attack the Sangheili keeps with them, Rojka decides any reason to keep the traitor alive is gone and promptly beheads him.
- Nerves of Steel: It takes a certain amount of nerve to stay calm and level-headed when your already derelict ship has been scuttled by plasma fire and is on a crash-course for the planet, after all.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: His hatred for Gray Team aside, Rojka proves to be very much in favor of human-Sangheili coexistence, and not even in simply the "we aren't strong enough to deal with them for now" manner. He outright states that going to war with the humans will cause nothing but bloodshed that will end in all of them wiped out.
Shipmaster Vata 'Gajat
A former member of Jul 'Mdama's remnant faction who left and formed his own mercenary faction. He's the leader of the Covenant forces that attacked the peace delegation on Ealen IV.
- Death by Materialism: When the system defense platform he's on is about to get boarded by Spartan-IVs, he refuses to help his Insurrectionist employers fight them off, deciding instead to go out in his ship to finish off the already-crippled Infinity in the hopes of both bolstering his reputation and cashing in on any possible bounties. This ends with the Spartans capturing the station and using its glassing cannon to instantly kill him and his entire crew.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: Has an uncovered left arm.
- The Faceless: Wears a mostly face-concealing helmet.
- Former Regime Personnel: A veteran of the old Covenant military.
- Know When To Fold Them: Despite owning a fleet that contains multiple battlecruisers and assault carriers, he flees the instant the UNSC Infinity, Thel's fleet, and Lydus's fleet rally against his forces.
- Only in It for the Money: His decision-making is based solely on what will get him the most money, and what will allow him to survive to enjoy spending it. If it means working with Brutes and humans, it doesn't bother him at all.
- Private Military Contractors: What his faction basically is, with his current employers being the Insurrectionists of the New Colonial Alliance.
See the Halo: Other page for more details.
Shipmaster Let 'Volir
See the Halo: Other page for more details.
See the Halo: UNSC Office of Naval Intelligence page for more details.