Halo has always had what I like to call "background" parallels. Aspects and segments, characters and stories that often heavily relate to real world tales, many of which can be related to the bible. The Ark, a great haven for life in the galaxy after the firing of the Halo rings sweeps across the galaxy and cleanses a great evil. The entirety of Halo 2, and by extension, segements of Halo 3, bare many, almost uncanny resemblences to the passages of Daniel 11:21-45.
21 And in his place shall arise a vile person, to whom they will not give the honor of royalty; but he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue.
22 With the arms of a flood they shall be swept away from before him and be broken, and also the prince of the covenant.
23 And after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully, for he shall come up and become strong with a small number of people.
25 “He shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the South with a great army. And the king of the South shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand, for they shall devise plans against him.
28 While returning to his land with great riches, his heart shall be moved against the holy covenant; so he shall do damage and return to his own land.
29 “At the appointed time he shall return and go toward the south; but it shall not be like the former or the latter.
30 For ships from the west shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and return in rage against the holy covenant, and do damage.So he shall return and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant.
31 And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation.
32 Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.
33 And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering.
34 Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by intrigue.
35 And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.
36 “Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done.
37 He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all.
38 But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things.
39 Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain.
40 “At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through.
41 He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon.
42 He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
44 But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many.
45 And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.
These are but a few examples, but Halo has more than just deep roots in biblical tales. It also holds much in the way of philosophy. And today I'd like to discuss with you, the musings of a real world philosopher, known as John Locke. If you were astute, you might already have seen a connection. If not, fear not, as we will come to that later. I present to you, two special things from John Locke, that now hold much bearing in the Haloverse, for one who is old, and one who is new.
"Locke's theory of mind is often cited as the origin of modern conceptions of identity and the self."
"Locke maintained that we are born without innate ideas, and that knowledge is instead determined only by experience derived from sense perception."
Now, I want you to keep these two quotes in your head, and I'm going to show you one from an old friend of ours.
"To find him, you have to forget the stories. Forget the legends. You have to do more then walk in his footsteps. For he is more than the sum of his actions. I tell you this, not because I trust you, Agent Locke. But because all our lives are at stake. Because the seeds of our future, are sewn in his past."
So, without any more delay, lets get started.
Petty Officer, Master Chief, John 117, is something of a legend to both those he fights for, and those he has fought against. Many stories surround him and his monumental feats. But one thing has always remained constant. John 117 is a soldier, a machine of war that marches without end to stand as a guardian for Humanity, and a demon to his enemies. These are the conceptions and are by extension, the identity of John 117. But, not anymore. John has lost many through the years. Fellow Spartans, friends. And, lately, he's lost his shield. Cortana. But through her death, something was sparked. "Promise me, when this is all over, you'll figure out which one of us is the machine."
John it seems, is changing, both in regards to the past, and the present. I say past, because John is now part of something much larger than himself, more than just his actions alone. The philosopher John Locke postulated that, at birth, the mind was a blank slate or tabula rasa. And, this certainly holds true to Master Chief, especially after he became a Spartan. John, through the planning of a certain Forerunner, has stumbled into an ancient plan. This path, was created eons ago, by the Librarian. And finally, the right person to fit the bill for it, John 117, has been set in motion. John has been subjected to "gifts" from the Librarian. We know little of what they are, but we know that they have changed him. And so has Cortana's death. But her words planted a seed as well.
John, has the past clawing at his heels, and the future ahead of him, coming like a freight train. He is a guardian of Humanity, and now, thanks to the efforts of the Librarian, the guardian of all. But what about the man under the armour? Who is he? A good question indeed. Before ever meeting the Librarian, John was a machine of war, designed to fight, and nothing else. He was a Tabula Rasa. And now, John seeks answers, it seems, and is now struggling with who he as a person is. He has set off on a path to discover and break the conceptions of who he was, and come to grips with the identity of himself, man, or machine?
In the wake of the events of Halo 4, it seems that Master Chief has gone missing. But, he's left a paper trail across the galaxy in his wake, perhaps stopping by our old friend, Thel Vadaam. And in his wake, a man is following him. Agent Locke. But the question here is, why one Spartan? Who is Agent Locke? If you were searching for Master Chief, who would have the best chance of finding him? Certainly, it would be his old comrades, Linda, Kelly, and Fred. For they are the only other Humans alive who really know the Chief. But Locke just doesn't want to find Chief.
In the opening of Halo 4, it's been shown, that in the absence of the Chief, ONI was seeking out a way to try and replicate the man that Chief was. And, perhaps they succeeded. Perhaps not. But something is clear. Locke holds some concern for the Chief, and is after him for answers, as Thel specifically states, "I tell you this, not because I trust you, Agent Locke. But because all our lives are at stake."
If Locke is indeed the intended replacement for Chief, then these two statements hold much weight.
"You have to do more then walk in his footsteps. For he is more than the sum of his actions."
Once again, our philosopher John Locke surmised that, "Knowledge is instead determined only by experience derived from sense perception."
In essence, what both quotes mean is, is while Locke is potentially the replacement for the Chief, and may even seek him out for knowledge and training of sorts, Locke will never be able to replace the Chief. But, this doesn't mean, that through Locke's own experiences and perceptions, that he himself might come to help Chief define who he is. The only question now is, how Locke plays along. Is he ruthless and cold, befitting of most ONI operatives, the potential opposite to the Chief, or is he more Human, his views able to help Chief find a sense of perception of things?
I leave you all off with this, and hope that other Halo fans will do some digging of their own to see what they can come up with. But, in the meantime, I hope you enjoyed this little bit on things. The future of Halo will be interesting to say the least, and no doubt, in a big way. Thanks for your time.