Did the Halo on the ark fire?

I thought it did since it seemed like we killed the gravemind. But the flood presence in Halo Wars 2; as well as animals in the Novel after three make me wonder if it just shook apart and destroyed itself before firing? Would this mean the gravemind is still alive?

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It did not. The Halo’s weapon was still a few days away from being ready to fire, and consequently when it was activated it shook itself apart, causing it to explode, causing serious damage to the Ark, but not actually emitting the pulse that would have killed everything in the radius.

All Graveminds are merely vessels for the same consciousness which occupies each of them, going back to the first Gravemind, the Primordial. Even if that physical form were destroyed, all the Flood needs is some biomass to give the Primordial a new body to manifest in.

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Retcon’d from Halo 3s ending (based on Cortana’s statement in the Epilogue, anyway)? I can never keep track of that.

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Yes and no. Yes in the sense that the ring was fired which destroyed itself, killed the Flood who were on it, and did damage to the Ark’s surface, which is the real reason Guilty Spark turned on Johnson and Chief because if the Ark is damaged and irreparable, which Spark thought would happen, then it wouldn’t be able to create another Installation to replace the one they were on, however we know that the Ark’s damage was not that extensive as we seen another Halo at the end of HW2, but we’re getting sidetracked.

The reason I also said no is the fact that it did not emanate the pulse that targets the nervous system of anything capable of being a Flood host. This is why we see Flood in HW2 AtN. I did have to mention however, the blast did close the Portal to the Ark interestingly. A topic for another time perhaps

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I feel like I might be about to open up a rabbit hole, but I do often wonder about character motivations towards the end of Halo 3.

Chief sees the Halo, and Spark asked what he intends to do; “Light it”.

So did Chief, in that moment, expect the Halo to work as intended, because it’s current location is far enough outside the galaxy to be ‘fine’? In CE he learnt that the ring doesn’t kill Flood, just the food, so is his intention to simply have any left over Covenant killed, and let the Flood starve on the Ark?

Only later does Spark inform Johnson that the premature firing would destroy the Ark and his Ring, and Johnson says “deal with it”.
But Spark says it in a way that makes it seem like he was informing them of this for the first time, and that they were unaware of the risks.
Spark was also unaware that they intended to light the ring ASAP, which means they hadn’t discussed that with him prior. Remember how he flew off at the end of The Covenant before anyone could hear him mention the ring not being ready.

And Johnson’s response is just as confusing. If his intention is to have the Halo work as intended, why is he not concerned about a premature firing? What if it’s incapable of firing while incomplete.
Cortana herself comments on not knowing what will happen when they fire it, yet later she tells Chief that the ring and the Flood are finished, so…

Maybe I’m missing something that makes all of this fit together nicely, but as it stands, it’s all very confusing, haha!

Its important to remember that Chief and Cortana thought destroying 04 was enough to stop the flood and the threat of Halo. Remember Chief didn’t have to clean up after 04’s destruction the Arbiter did, his first encounter with the flood in Halo 2 was the Gravemind on Delta Halo which the quick and accurate assumption would be there was more flood stored on Delta. Whether the replacement ring was ready or not Chief didn’t care because he truly believed a ring’s destruction was enough to stop the flood.

But Chief and Cortana didn’t know that firing the ring would destroy it until Spark told them so in the Control Room, right?

So when Chief first sees the ring while in the Citadel, he assumes that it will fire as intended.

There was uncertainties due to the state of the replacement yes but to them it didn’t matter because either result is something the Gravemind vehemently did not want as the Gravemind was also busy reconstructing himself on the new ring as well. All that mattered to them was that they get to safety after activating the ring. The only person who was concerned about the state of the ring was Spark as you recalled.

That’s true.

I guess from Chief’s perspective, a traditional firing left the Flood starving outside the galaxy, while a faulty explody ring would outright obliterate them.
Both achieve the same goal of stopping the Flood.

I suppose from a narrative perspective, it would have been nice to have the characters acknowledge the change in plans.

The explosion didn’t close the portal - that was Mendicant Bias, who also re-routed Chief to Requiem.

Oh yeah, actually you’re right. I forgot about that little lore tidbit, my bad.

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Wasn’t it also Mendicant Bias who brought the Spirit of Fire to the Ark? Or is that just a commonly accepted fan theory?

In honesty, I’m not sure. The problem I have with that is the Mendicant Has been MIA since the end of H3 and if ai remember rightly, the messages read as if it knew it wouldn’t survive.

I’m pretty sure its technically fan theory still.

Thanks for all the replies and helping me refresh my memory!