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Characters In Halo That Are More Important Than You Think

While the "Halo" TV show received mostly positive or mixed reviews from critics, user scores on Rotten Tomatoes reflect that the massive departures to the traditional "Halo" canon were not universally well-received. Pablo Schreiber stars as the Xbox icon Master Chief, real name John, as he uncovers the truth about his past as a part of Catherine Halsey's (Natascha McElhone) Spartan program. 

Most of the action in "Halo" focuses on a handful of central characters, such as Makee (Charlie Murphy) and Cortana (Jen Taylor) while examining their relationship with Master Chief. In fact, the show's first season is dead set on keeping Master Chief's story at the center of the narrative. However, some characters, like Miranda Keyes (Olive Gray) and Spartan Kai-125 (Kate Kennedy), get a great deal of character development and screen time. 

Still, there are a lot of interesting characters in the show with major potential to become key movers and shakers. Whether they are characters that are more important in the games or new additions that have yet to live up to their full potential, these are the "Halo" characters who may end up being more important than you think. 

The Prophet of Mercy

One thing you might notice about "Halo" is that in its first season, there isn't really a main villain, per se. Fans of the video games will immediately eye the Covenant Prophet of Mercy (Julian Bleach) as an instant villain, but the Covenant doesn't play into the conflict as much as more morally ambiguous figures like Makee and Catherine Halsey do. Instead of exploring the conflict between the UNSC and Covenant forces, the show focuses more on the interpersonal relationships between Halsey and the Spartans. Mercy is there for the climactic battle between Covenant and Spartans in the season finale, but the focus is always on other characters. So, where does this leave the Prophet going into a second season? 

Nowhere, by the end of Season 1, but there's a high likelihood the Covenant prophet will return in "Halo" Season 2. While the show's timeline is already distinct from the canon of the Bungie "Halo" games, the ongoing Human-Covenant War is a huge factor in both. It is safe to assume that conflict will come to a head in future seasons and the Prophet of Mercy will be a high priority target for Master Chief and the UNSC to eliminate.  

Captain Jacob Keyes

One of the radical departures the "Halo" show makes from the story fans are used to is the characterization of Jacob Keyes, who is played by Danny Sapani. It's not easy to forget Pete Stacker's iconic voice as the confident captain of the Pillar of Autumn in the original "Halo: Combat Evolved." In the Paramount+ show, Captain Keyes is on the back burner after the first mission as the show primarily focuses on his daughter. He acts as support to Admiral Parangosky for a majority of the season, but still plays a pivotal role at the very end of the season. Hopefully, this is setting the character up for bigger and better things. 

In the season finale, Captain Keyes confirms what John is telling the rest of Silver Team when he decides to reveal that Halsey kidnapped them as children. Earlier, he admits his feeling of culpability for John and Kai's experiences during their childhoods. This act might be Keyes' way to repent, rounding out his emotional arc for the season. Going forward, we hope he lives up to his epic reputation as captain of the Pillar of Autumn. 


Riz (Natasha Culzac) is one of the four Spartans on Silver Team, along with Kai, Vannak (Bentley Kalu), and John. She is the comms specialist who keeps it professional and doesn't question her duties. However, at the end of Season 1, her beliefs are tested and she becomes a much more important character in the show. In Episode 8, "Allegiance," Riz, Vannak, and Kai are all ordered to take down a mission-threatening Master Chief, but, having removed her inhibitor chip, Kai refuses. Riz and Vannak apprehend the rogue Spartan and follow through on their attempt to capture Chief. In the process, though, Riz has her faith shaken by Kai's words. At the end of the episode, she has a clear shot on Chief but doesn't take it. 

At the very end of the season, Riz has suffered fatal wounds, and Master Chief, controlled by Cortana, revives her from the brink of death. How this near-death experience will shape her remains to be seen, but Riz will come out of the last two episodes of "Halo" a changed Spartan.


The final Spartan on Silver Team is Vannak. Of all the team members, Vannak is the one that remains the most resolute in his loyalty to Halsey and the Spartan program. A primary plotline in "Halo" concerns Chief and Kai questioning their pasts and humanity, which eventually leads to them learning the unsavory truth about their project's great leader.

In the last two episodes of the season, when John and Kai attempt to convince the other two of this truth, Vannak is the most in denial. We see Riz begin to have doubts or perhaps bring previously hidden doubts to the surface, but she continues to be shaky either way. Ultimately, when hearing the truth from Jacob Keyes, Vannak reluctantly joins the other three Spartans in their escape. Going into "Halo" Season 2, it remains unclear where Vannak's loyalties lie and how trustworthy he can be now that the Spartans and Halsey are opposing forces. 

Kwan Ha

Going into the debut season of the "Halo" show, fans were concerned about the addition of new characters to the canon, despite the series existing as its own separate timeline. One character that lived up to those concerns was Kwan Ha (Yerin Ha), a native of planet Madigral and a resistance fighter. The pilot episode of "Halo" set up Kwan to be Master Chief's sidekick and ward, "The Mandolorian" style, but instead, Chief sent her off on her own side plot with Soren. Her first season arc wrapped in "Inheritance," which IGN called the worst episode of the season.

It's hard to believe that after she liberates her home that Kwan will stop fighting or that she won't come across the Master Chief again. The series kicked off with her and focused so much on the character, which leads us to believe she will play a much more important role in future seasons. We are still very much hoping she and John will reunite to kick some Covenant butt. 


Like many of the other important characters on "Halo," the rogue Spartan Soren (Bokeem Woodbine) gets a promising start without a lot of development. Having escaped Halsey's program before becoming a genetically enhanced Spartan, Soren still receives top-of-the-line military training. By the end of the first season, though, he is there for the rebellion on Madigral and seemingly has nothing left to do with Kwan or the story of the show. 

Still, we know Soren will stick around not just because watching him in action is a special treat but because he plays an important role in the story of Master Chief. Not only does he set up just how harmful Halsey's indoctrination can be — a point that becomes a central theme — but Soren is a foil to Master Chief. John's arc in Season 1's is about his distrust. His distrust of Halsey and Cortana leads him to uncover disturbing truths that shake his world radically. But, at the end of the day, Chief is not in control of his life. The ending of the season suggests he might not even be in control of his body anymore. Soren escapes from Halsey's grasp and is allowed to have his own life. He has a wife and family and is ultimately driven by making money to support that lifestyle — a lifestyle that John was never allowed to have. 

Vinsher Grath

Some of the best acting in the "Halo" TV series has got to be the pitch-perfect performance seen from Burn Gorman, who plays Vinsher Grath. This character is more or less a glorified version of the face-melted Nazi from "Raiders of the Lost Ark," but Gorman is still a blast to watch as this slimy politician. The UNSC-backed governor is responsible for oppressing the insurrectionists and citizens of Madrigal and is at the top of Kwan's hit list. At least he was until Kwan and Soren finally teamed up to free Madrigal from his grasp and wiped the sleazebag off the face of the planet in the process. 

However, Grath is an important character when it comes to how the show depicts the UNSC and its cohorts. The "Halo" series can have more perspectives in showing the ramifications of the UNSC's war against the Covenant on everyday civilians. All ambiguity is tossed aside when we see the organization backing villainous opportunists like Grath and funding the work of child kidnapper Halsey. As a character, Grath allows the show to have a stronger moral and political point of view than its source material. 

Admiral Margaret Parangosky

Admiral Margaret Parangosky is a character from deep "Halo" lore who is frequently mentioned but never actually seen in the games. She is name-checked in "Halo 3: ODST," "Halo 4," and "Halo 5: Guardians," as well as in some of the novels based on the game franchise (per Win). Parangosky is the fearless leader of ONI, the intel branch of the UNSC, and her ferocity is brought to life for the first time by Indian actress Shabana Azmi. In the "Halo" lore, Parangosky is a highly respected and feared individual. 

In the show, she acts as the main foil and opposition to Dr. Halsey. Parangosky disapproves of Halsey's work with the Spartan program, AI, cloning, and, most importantly, the experiments she plans to do with the Artifact Master Chief is going after. The ONI chief ends up conspiring with Halsey's daughter Miranda to gather information on the woman she considered dangerous. As it turns out, Parangosky isn't wrong. In fact, she has the right idea the whole time. Eventually, she replaces Halsey with her daughter on all these projects, but it all comes a little too late.

Dr. Adun

It is truly a shame Kai had to do Dr. Adun like that. It's not just Ryan McParland's performance as Dr. Halsey's creepy assistant which makes the character a strangely compelling aspect of the show. It's also that the character has a lot more going on than it appears on the surface. Adun is firstly clearly infatuated with Halsey. In Episode 3, "Emergence," we see him trying to make a move on a restrained clone of his boss. That is some red flag-level stuff.

A large focus of "Halo" Season 1 is the characterization of Halsey and how she views humanity. However, on some level, this obsession with Halsey also validates her narcissistic personality. Having someone to back her up adds legitimacy to Halsey's ideas, even when Parangosky and Keyes oppose her. So it is a shame, then, that we won't get to what Adun would be like separated from Halsey.