Forerunner Lore In ‘Halo’ Explained: What Is Blessed Ones And Forerunners’ Connection?

As far as conventional cosmic sci-fi gaming franchises go, the world of Halo remains unique as it provides a rich, archetypal backdrop by admixing theological intrigue with large-scale human-alien conflict. The core storyline of the game series, which acts as the source for Paramount+’s TV series of the same name, spans through millenia as layers of intricate world-building have expanded the scope of the overarching story itself. Although the TV series has barely scratched the surface of the expansive lore through two seasons, depicting the ongoing conflict between humans and the religious fanatic alien congregation, the Covenant’s forces during the middle phase of the 24th century—the second season has provided ample hints to the seemingly forgotten past, which is instrumental in appreciating the series’ true potential. In fact, now that the second season of the TV series has ended with teasing the existence of Forerunners, the third season is gearing up to delve into the actual, most pivotal story arc of the Halo game universe.

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With anticipation of a third season already making series fans excited, we think a brief discussion about the Forerunner lore will help viewers get an idea of what to expect from the upcoming seasons. It also goes beyond saying that major spoilers will be discussed during the explanation, which will detail events from the past and future of the core storyline.

Spoilers Ahead

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Who Are The Forerunners? 

In layman’s terms, the Forerunners were a highly intelligent species of technologically advanced aliens who preceded the existence of humans and the Covenant by several millennia. Their technology was so mind-bogglingly advanced that it bordered on magic or divine powers, leading the Covenant forces to worship their technological inventions as holy relics long after the extinction of the Forerunners. An example of their vastly superior technological advancements was Halo Ringworld, which is shown to be the perfect assimilation of science and nature. 

The Forerunners themselves were created by the most ancient, even more superior, Lovecraftian-inspired alien race known as the Precursors, whose intelligence and abilities allowed them to create life forms across the galaxy, populating entire star systems with civilizations of new species in the process. So in a way, it can be stated that in the Halo universe, technology has kind of degraded over time as the most ancient species turn out to be the most advanced ones. Anyway, a philosophy known as the Mantle of Responsibility, which dictated the moral liability of the most advanced beings to protect all living beings, originated from the Forerunners’ beliefs—those who deemed themselves worthy of being the successors to the Precursors in upholding the Mantle in the future. However, by this time, the Precursors had created humans, whom they wanted to be their successors—much to the dismay of the Forerunners. The Forerunners revolted against their makers and presumably erased the existence of the Precursors. Humans evolved fast and spread across the galaxy as a strong spacefaring species, and forerunners, who didn’t trust their intentions, decided to put a hold on their rise by defeating and de-evolving them back to caveman status. So essentially, in Halo lore, the modern period of human space colonization spearheaded by UNSC is the second time humanity ventured into depths of space—only they had no recollection of the first time due to Forerunner manipulation. 

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However, before long, the Forerunners themselves would cease to exist due to the all-consuming horror of the vicious, mutating Flood parasite (more on them in a separate article), and in the final moments of their species’ extinction, they ordained humanity as their worthy successors—probably a way to make amends for their past actions, albeit posthumously. This decision deemed humanity Reclaimers of the Mantle, which is the reason why humans can access Forerunner tech in later periods of time, and as a result, the Covenant considers them enemies. In their last ditch attempt to stop the Flood from infecting all creation, the Forerunners created the Halo array—megastructures that can purge all life across galaxies and start the cycle of creation anew. In the present timeline, conflict between the Covenant forces and humanity forces a struggle regarding the possession of the Halo, although neither of the two parties is properly aware of the utilization and potential of the structure.


What Is The Connection Between Forerunners And ‘Blessed Ones’?

A number of alterations were made to the Halo TV series’ storyline over the course of two seasons, as compared to the original saga, and one of the crucial ones was the series’ way of approaching humanity as Reclaimers aspect. Instead of all of humanity being worthy of the Mantle and therefore being able to access the Forerunner tech, only certain individuals, like Master Chief, Kwan, and Makee, who are designated as ‘Blessed Ones’ by the Covenant religious belief, are able to interact with the Forerunner artifacts. As seen in both seasons, Chief and Makee are able to activate the Keystones, which transported them to Halo Ringworld and also provided them with the star-map location of Halo as well. Kwan was able to open the gateway to the Forerunner library in an instant, whereas Miranda and Halsey failed to do so despite spending substantial time to figure out the complex mathematical and linguistic cipher guarding it. This exclusivity actually defeats the purpose of the noble potential of the mantle bearers, but there is no way of undoing that now. 

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In the penultimate episode of the second season, Halsey reveals the probable way Forerunners created the ‘Blessed’Ones’—through genetically experimenting with their DNA and combining it with that of ancient ‘humans’—thereby making a selected bunch of humans mutate in a way that they were able to interact with Forerunner creations. This momentous discovery had prompted Halsey to begin the Spartan program, which she envisioned as the next step in humanity’s progression as a species, and she sought out individuals for the program who had the genetic markers. By the end of the second season, both Makee and Master Chief have entered the Halo activation gateway and have been introduced to the Forerunner AI Guilty-Spark 343 separately. Which means, as the third season begins, we will get a much more detailed overview of the series’ version of Forerunner lore and the possible revelation of many more secrets that the ancient sects of aliens tried to guard humanity from. 


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Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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