Comprehensive Endless Theory (SPOILERS FOR H:I CAMPAIGN)

Forgive the novel, but there’s a lot here to unpack. Here’s what I think is going on.

The things we know:

100,000 years ago, when the Primordial convinced Mendicant Bias to work with him against the Forerunners, they hijacked Zeta Halo and vanished for 43 years. We know they were cooperatively working on…something…using the “palaces of pain” (which are the Spires in Halo Infinite) to develop…something.

The evidence HEAVILY supports the idea that the Primordial was a Precursor. Lord of Admirals Forthchenko also suspected that the Primordial was the one responsible for signaling the original Flood-bearing ships to enter the Milky Way. This would imply that, rather than being some kind of mistake or corruption, the Flood was exactly what it was intended to be - a weapon of revenge for the Precursor genocide.

Both Mendicant Bias and the Primordial were defeated, and the Primordial uploaded his consciousness into the flood, becoming the Gravemind. Mendicant was disassembled, with his core being kept on Zeta.

That’s what we know. Here’s how I think it ties in to Halo Infinite.

The project that Mendicant and the Primordial were working on for 43 years was the Xalanyn/Endless. A genetically altered variant of the Precursors that was unaffected by the technology of the Rings. They were on a Ring, with access to exactly how it worked and what it did, and they experimented on everyone that was on the Ring, until they found a way to mutate Precursors into being unaffected. I believe that the Primordial used HIMSELF as the basis for this, as we already know that he survived the test-firing of the Ring that Faber did…it destroyed everything in range…but left him unharmed, which is how they found him in the first place. The Primordial almost HAS to be the genetic basis for the Endless.

The Primordial did this because he knew that victory was not yet certain, and that the Rings, if fired, WOULD defeat the Flood, and thus the Precursors. The Endless were the backup plan. After it was clear the Flood would fail, he basically tricked the Forerunners into killing themselves, while ensuring the Precursors would survive and re-inherit the galaxy.

There are even elements of the Forerunners that roughly match the description of the Primordial. They have vaguely insectoid faces, with mandibles. The males (skimmers) have multiple legs. It looks to me like they’re a mutant form of Precursor.

Additionally, the Harbinger DIRECTLY quotes the Gravemind, implying that she had some kind of contact with it…but since the Gravemind IS the Primordial, I suspect she had direct contact with HIM prior to him becoming the Gravemind, and he’d used that quote multiple times - she picked it up.

This is why the surviving Forerunners, with the help of Offensive Bias, were horrified by the Endless, and imprisoned them. It matches the quote from the end of the game where the Grand Edict is talking about “our truth.” He’s referring back to the Precursor genocide and how they need to cover it up. There’s no such thing as “our truth,” only THE truth, and the Forerunners were ashamed. It’s not how they wanted to be remembered.

Jump forward 100,000 years to the events of Halo Infinite.

How did Atriox survive when Cortana blew the section of the ring he was on? Well, he’d already been digging around the secrets of Zeta Halo by the time that happened…we can see in the ending cutscene that he APPEARS to be in possession of Mendicant Bias’s core. The Harbinger sent the cylix unlock codes to what Weapon described as an extremely old signal, which I believe was Mendicant, working with Atriox.

Atriox likely survived Cortana’s detonation of a section of ring by being teleported at the last second by Mendicant. It’s a mirror of how MC survived at the end - a portal opened…an unusually powerful one that apparently warped space-time and caused him to lose 3 days. Weapon stated that “something” was helping her…I believe it was Offensive Bias. We know from the Legendary ending that Offensive Bias IS active on Zeta Halo.

So we have Mendicant continuing to work towards the Primordial’s plan for the Endless…with Offensive continuing to work to directly countermand everything Mendicant does. Mendicant is using Atriox as his avatar, while Offensive is using MC as his.

Thoughts?

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I heard a lot of theory and this is the first I find totally logical, I hope you’re wrong, otherwise I won’t be surprise when this would arrive in the game !

The last time we see Mendicant Bias was on the Ark, in the key ship, so he would be able to active a portal to bring the banished to him. That would explain how the Banished are so powerfull

MC and the Weapon against Atriox and Mendicant Bias ! What a fight !

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Sad, that such a Thread got lost without comment for 11 days :sweat_smile:

My main question would be:
Why is Mendicant Bias an antagonist now?
I thought, in the end, he regretted his actions (“what I have done can not be forgiven”). All his thoughts were circling around atonement, when he was buried on the Ark. And helping Chief was some kind of amends.
So basically, this would all be fake…?

Why would Cortana want to free them?
(Seems to be her Motivation in Infinite)

Why were the remaining Foreunners pretending to help them?
(“They believe we are here to help”)
Aka, why did they need Help and why were they foolish enough to believe the Foreunners intentions actually were to help?

How do the artifacts in Zeta fit into this?
They are older than even the Foreunners and contain the writings “Evil within”.

And lastly, from a story-writer’s perspective:
What would be the moral behind all this?
You can always argue about whether previous Halo stories were good or bad, but in general, there should always be a meta message. So, what could 343 be trying to tell with all this?

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Maybe Atriox captured him and forced him to do what he want

This would elevate Atriox above Gravemind-level :sweat_smile:

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Mitty_Oo:

Glad people finally found my thread haha.

You raise good points. I have a few theories about that stuff as well. Theories only…I’m just trying to puzzle out the direction this will all take.

The possibility that I favor for Mendicant is that Mendicant Bias’ statement at the end of his trial, where he accepted his punishment…has been misinterpreted. He said "I am penitent. I know that what I have done can not be forgiven. I will accept my stasis with grace, and await a time where I might redeem myself. " What if…from his point of view…what he DID was lose against the Forerunners and fail the Primordial? His quote would take on a very different meaning then.

If that is not the case, then it’s important to remember that towards the end of the Covenant/Human war, Mendicant successfully re-absorbed another part of his personality index - the one that was located on the Ark. He also began fighting Cortana at that time. If he had been telling the truth about being penitent…re-absorbing lost parts of his fragmented personality index could have re-infected him with the logic plague.

Regarding helping MC - Lets not forget how deceitful Mendicant, and other AIs, have been in the past. The Gravemind/Primordial did the exact same thing too, claiming to help MC. Mendicant Bias (and Offensive) were the most intelligent beings in the known universe, other than the Primordial/Gravemind…and essentially immortal. I don’t see why it would ever be safe to assume they were telling the full truth. The Forerunners definitely bit off more than they could chew by creating them.

As for Cortana wanting to free the Endless…I think there are two possibilities.

One - Cortana was infected with the Logic Plague by the Gravemind when he held her captive, and her fragment in Halo 5 and Infinite was being influenced by that…leading her, possibly without knowing it, to release the Endless and complete the Primordial’s plan.

Second option I can see…she may not have wanted to release them at all. I think she certainly wanted to know everything she could about what had come before…including how completely the Forerunners had failed to uphold the Mantle, which she’s now taken as her own. Learning from their mistakes so-to-speak.

The apparently Precursor artifacts on Zeta Halo - I have a theory. At the end of the game, MC is teleported to the other side of the ring and loses a few days of time…most likely by Offensive Bias, to save him. He reappears right in the midst of a large collection of those artifacts. This implies the artifacts themselves may be part of some larger teleportation network.

I believe they’re a surviving part of the Precursor Star Roads. We know the Precursors used them extensively, and we know that the Primordial and Mendicant eventually weaponized them as a key part of their final offensive against the Forerunners. With the Star Roads and the Mantle making use of neural physics and essentially being alive…they would be full of all sorts of extremely old signals and data…and likely rage from the dead Precursors.

As for the moral…well…that’s super subjective. The original trilogy was clearly a moral about religious extremism and the destructiveness of that. Not hard to imagine why that was the message, given what was playing out in the real world during the time.

What’s the meta-message of the new trilogy? I’m not sure. MC’s growth as a person and his relationships are clearly a major focus…cortana’s actions make me think that forgiveness is also a major underlying theme. As for the mess with the Precursors and Forerunners becoming the main driving plot point…and MC doing his thing like always, just trying to solve the problem: Maybe it’s a message about how we don’t get to pick our origins/parents, and that they’re never perfect, but we’re still responsible for making our way and correcting mistakes, rather than giving up.

This does sound like the most feasible connection ive heard to the precursors. I dig it.

@RamboBambiBambo what’re your thoughts on this theory? I know you love diving into the lore and such.

It is a compelling theory… but there is a few holes I can see. I might poke around a bit.

But isn’t this the same theory of Hidden Experia?

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSh-0TUvz-E

Aren’t the primordial gravemind and the halo 3 gravemind different ones?

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Please do! I know I’m missing some key things…I haven’t re-read the forerunner trilogy in a few years. More eyes = better.

The most difficult thing about all of this is that…well, some things that are canon do get thrown out…they’ve gotten better at this since the original trilogy because I think they realized exactly what they have in terms of IP…but in the original trilogy, humans were forerunners. So…that complicates matters. It’s always possible that subtle changes will be made that can be somehow justified later…to keep the fandom on their toes and to make good stories.

Different incarnations of the same “mind” according to the lore.

MrRuSs3LL:

As far as I can tell, technically not. The Flood Hive-mind is shared and stored. I’m not entirely sure how that works, but I suspect it’s via the Mantle’s stored memories. As soon as the Primordial uploaded himself to the Flood, he became it…the driving force.

It’s no accident that his final taunt to the Librarian was that the Rings would destroy the mantle. He literally got her to rebuild it…guaranteeing his continued existence. Every time the flood reaches a critical mass and forms a Gravemind…they have access to the Mantle. And the Primordial gets re-downloaded.

That’s my read.

kinda like a…spiritual sort of possession in the fabric of the universe itself, if one were speaking in lovecraftian terms.

Once a gravemind is being made, it can manifest itself within what is effectively a biological computer.

According to the terminals of Halo 3, Medicant Bias sent half of the Forward Unto Dawn to Requiem in the hopes of awakening The Didact.

This was not done out of malice, but out of a means of showing that he had changed after his eons of meditation. And if he can be changed, so can The Didact.
However, he was wrong and The Didact was stubborn and released.

What was supposed to be an act of kindness turned into Halo 4’s conflict.

Yes, 100%.

The Precursors were operating at a totally different level…what we do with computer viruses, they could do biologically, to the same effect. That’s basically exactly what the flood is. An organic virus with a central intelligence.

I wonder if the didact wasn’t put on ice in the spinoffs, that this would have actually come to pass?

Because they became the flood, yes.

while the Xalanyn as you say could be “Devolved precursors”, planted by the primordial and Bias, is that correct? their legacy so to speak to outgrow the forerunners once they wipe out all life?

I am suspicious of this. Mendicant spent significant amounts of time with the Primordial. And so did the urDidact. What if, using his penance as cover, mendicant intentionally re-activated the urDidact as a sleeper agent? We know that’s exactly what the Gravemind intended to use him as.

Nice thanks! 20 characters