So What Exactly was the Primordial?

Just finished Silentium, and loved it. It even somewhat redeemed Halo 4’s story for me, and by the end I was genuinely moved by the actions of the major characters.

But I have a nitpicky question about the supposed Primordial/Timeless One/Last Precursor, who was “killed” at the end of Primordium only to resurface in the Gravemind in this book. It’s said it was the last Precursor from when the Forerunners rose up, brought to our galaxy nine million years ago and kept in containment (though the reason for leaving it alive is unclear). The rest either went “dormant”, whatever that means, or became the flood powder.

But in Primordium, both Forthchencko and the Didact believe the Timeless One is actually a Gravemind, made up of many flood victims. How is this possible if he was imprisoned before the flood powder came floating into our galaxy? And on that note, what exactly was the Timeless One’s relationship with the Flood? Was he controlling them, communicating with them, etc.?

The flood and the precursors are likely not too different on their basic biology. The flood is a perversion of the precursors, not an entirely different lifeform.

Even the timeless one said that there “was no difference” between the flood and the precursors.

Its quite possibly the timeless one was made up of willing entities, while the flood’s are not.

I think that the Flood is the Precursers method to unify all life. The Mantle tanken to the extreme. Everything becomes one in which in somes way extremely poetic and beautiful. The theme of forced unification through the Flood could be very interesting to explore in Halo 5 with a split campaign between Master Chief and Iso-Didact. It could also tie in to an idea I had earlier. What if Forerunners and Humans were originally created by the Precursers as one species. The combined Forerunner Human species presented too much of a threat. Meaning the Precursors split the original species and devolved both. It will be a parallel to what the Forerunners did to Humans after the Human Forerunner war. It would also further explain why the Librarian wanted the Ur-Didact to have access to the domain during his imprisonment. Also this theory could explain what the Librarian did to Master Chief during Halo 4, she seeded Forerunner in John’s linage, and unlocked the genes on Requiem so he could be the reclaimer of the combined Forerunner Human species and stop the Precursors grand unification plan. It could also explain why the Forerunners rose up against the Precursors and took the mantle. The real reason for the Forerunner Precursor War was coverd up and lost to time. Which leads to the Liberian’s and Bornsteller’s views on humanity after they discover the truth. The Primordial tells this to a long forgotten Forerunner. The Janus Key shows the location of this Forerunner. This Forerunner is found along with the Iso-Didact and other Forerunners. The Iso-Didacts hunts down the Ur-Didact while Chief starts to the reclamation of the unified Human Forerunner species.

Both the Flood and the Primordial are Precursors. They are all the same.

Halo: Silentium Page 173

The one the Didact questioned on Charum Hakkor arrived on the margins of our galaxy nine million years before. That one was discovered by humans decades before the end of the war. We are the same.” - Gravemind

The Primordial was giving orders on the Halo Ring and Mendicant Bias answered to him directly.

He was a precursor as the flood didn’t manifest when he was imprisoned. I think the Didact even tells the interrogator that on the next page.

This really depends on several factors.

Halo Silentium Page 181/182

The story told by the walls and in my flesh was simple enough: Ten million years ago, Forerunners did indeed travel to Path Kethona. We came to finish what we had started in the home galaxy: the total destruction of the Precursors. They had judged us and found us wanting, they had chosen others in our stead. We were not in line to inherit the Mantle. Ans so we began our purge, and in Path Kethona, did our very best to finish it.
We were not then powerful enough to erase all evidence of the Precursors, to destroy their star roads and citadels and other artifacts. And so we left at least one Precursor behind, to live out dreams of vengeance and hatred, to lay down plans in cold and darkness at the heart of a lost asteroid - over millions of years.

This seems to imply that the Forerunner left the Primordial behind in Path Kethona. It’s possible she actually meant they left him on that planetoid where the Humans eventually found him, but this would contradict the Gravemind’s statement that the Primordial arrived in our galaxy “nine million years before.

To me it seems like ten million years ago the Forerunner defeated the Precursors at Path Kethona and buried the Primordial in an asteroid. Over the course of a million years that asteroid, or maybe just the capsule the Primordial was in, returned to the galaxy where it was eventually discovered by Humans.

We know more than just the Primordial survived as the others became the powder and that powder arrived in our galaxy an unknown number of years ago. If the Primordial did return to the galaxy from Path Kethona, perhaps that means they arrived at the same time as he did? This would mean they launched at the same time or around the same time and both arrived “nine million years before” like the Gravemind said.

Forthencho believed it was the Primordial who unleashed the Flood, however it was pointed out that the Flood had already attacked before his discovery. But all that means is they discovered and unleashed the Flood before they found him. He still could have been in contact with the unleashed Flood before his eventual discovery.

The Primordial itself was described as being more than one entity. He may have merged with other Precursors to form what was found in the Capsule. The first of the entities which would come to be called “Graveminds”.

The Didact before had said that the Gravemind he faced was new.

Halo Silentium Page 172

An awful, awesome mash-up of Forerunner and other creatures, gathered from across the ecumene, more confused and even more disgusting, if that was possible, in its somehow physically younger, but conveying all the ancient knowledge and power of the Primordial. This was new. This was still very, very old.

The Master Juridical thinks about this after hearing what the Gravemind had to say.

Halo Silentium Page 175/176

Intriguing! The Bornstellar Didact took vengeance upon a Primordial before Juridicals could investigate. We have no way to gather testimony from that remarkable being. But Catalog in the Burn has connected with a Gravemind, which, by its own admission, appears to be the nearest equivalent.

The way I see it, the Primordial was a creature which we dubbed “Gravemind” but a much much older form of Gravemind. The one that appears after the Primordial’s demise and the one we see in the games is like the “new model.” This is what is meant by “nearest equivalent.” He is new but he is just a newer form of the Primordial which preceded him. It formed from the powder which became the Flood and then carried out the Primordial’s vengeance with his complete knowledge and power.

A Gravemind and the Primordial are basically the same. Different yet similar forms of a Precursor.

The Primordial was the last of the form the Forerunners killed off. The Graveminds were Precursors created/regenerated through a defective powder.

When the Precursors discovered the Flood’s side effects, madness and suffering, they loved it. And so the Flood created a new plan.
All that is created will suffer, to ensure that no creation can ever rise against its creator again.

This plan appears to be tied into a concept of Unity as well, nothing can rise up if they are all the same. Suffering and misery until Unity is upon them. Unity to take the worthy, and destruction to the rest.

Thanks a lot everyone, it is much appreciated. It appears that Flood evolution is much more complicated than the games would suggest

I think that a lot I the confusion about the Flood, Precursers, and Foreruners comes from the different visions that Bungie and 343 have. Bungie left the Forerunners very mysterious while 343 has fleshed them out with 3 great hard sci fi novels and a new trilogy. Bungie made great games but do not have the same lore focus that 343 has.

I think the Primordial was a Precursor that willingly let himself become infected by the Flood.

> I think the Primordial was a Precursor that willingly let himself become infected by the Flood.

I though the Flood was a form of the Precursors?

> I though the Flood was a form of the Precursors?

The Flood is a form of Precursor, though it can be argued(though theres not much of an arguement, im sure someone might try) that it is a defective form. But they are, for all intents and purposes, one and the same.

The Timeless One, the one that the Ancient Humans encountered and the one that the Ur-Didact met at the end of hte Human-Forerunner war was the last true Precursor, the last of the ones that the Forerunners rose up against. It would seem that, not long after it was brought aboard the future Installation 07, it merged with the Flood, as is made evident when the IsoDidact encounters the Primordial in Primordium.

The Graveminds are another form of Precursors. They have lived and died and been reborn several times throughout the last several billion years.

The Primordial was the last form, and the powder that ended up being the Flood was meant to regenerate the lost Precursors. Now, it seems that new Graveminds/Precursors are created by unifying their old creations into one creature.

Before that happens, the subjects undergo misery and suffering so that they aren’t powerful enough to resist the Flood.

> The Timeless One, the one that the Ancient Humans encountered and the one that the Ur-Didact met at the end of hte Human-Forerunner war was the last true Precursor, the last of the ones that the Forerunners rose up against. It would seem that, not long after it was brought aboard the future Installation 07, it merged with the Flood, as is made evident when the IsoDidact encounters the Primordial in Primordium.

My issues with that is the fact that as a Flood form he wouldn’t need a large disc to get around when he could just create wings or gas sacs. You then have him producing the very powered that was described in all the novels not to mention having eyes and not being able to communicate with them until it heard them speak.

> > The Timeless One, the one that the Ancient Humans encountered and the one that the Ur-Didact met at the end of hte Human-Forerunner war was the last true Precursor, the last of the ones that the Forerunners rose up against. It would seem that, not long after it was brought aboard the future Installation 07, it merged with the Flood, as is made evident when the IsoDidact encounters the Primordial in Primordium.
>
> My issues with that is the fact that as a Flood form he wouldn’t need a large disc to get around when he could just create wings or gas sacs. You then have him producing the very powered that was described in all the novels not to mention having eyes and not being able to communicate with them until it heard them speak.

Good points. So was the Didact/Forthchencko just plain wrong when they said it was a mashup of Flood victims? I think the eyes may just be artistic license on Bear’s part - after all, the Gravemind in Silentium is described as a “mashup of human, forerunner, and other species” even though the one in the games didn’t look like that at all.

Also, no one’s really adressed whether the Primordial was controlling the Flood or not…

To my knowledge (I haven’t read the Forerunner Saga), the Flood is just a genetic mutation of the Precursors. So they’re the same, yet not the same.

> > The Timeless One, the one that the Ancient Humans encountered and the one that the Ur-Didact met at the end of hte Human-Forerunner war was the last true Precursor, the last of the ones that the Forerunners rose up against. It would seem that, not long after it was brought aboard the future Installation 07, it merged with the Flood, as is made evident when the IsoDidact encounters the Primordial in Primordium.
>
> My issues with that is the fact that as a Flood form he wouldn’t need a large disc to get around when he could just create wings or gas sacs. You then have him producing the very powered that was described in all the novels <mark>not to mention having eyes and not being able to communicate with them until it heard them speak.</mark>

I don’t recall this exactly, so I’ll have to re-read Primordium. However, the Primordial described in Cryptum is very different from the one in Primordium. The former only had 4 arms, while the latter had many. In addition, the Primordial was most definitely a Gravemind by the time it was met by the IsoDidact. At some point, it must have merged with the Flood.

> > > The Timeless One, the one that the Ancient Humans encountered and the one that the Ur-Didact met at the end of hte Human-Forerunner war was the last true Precursor, the last of the ones that the Forerunners rose up against. It would seem that, not long after it was brought aboard the future Installation 07, it merged with the Flood, as is made evident when the IsoDidact encounters the Primordial in Primordium.
> >
> > My issues with that is the fact that as a Flood form he wouldn’t need a large disc to get around when he could just create wings or gas sacs. You then have him producing the very powered that was described in all the novels <mark>not to mention having eyes and not being able to communicate with them until it heard them speak.</mark>
>
> I don’t recall this exactly, so I’ll have to re-read Primordium. However, the Primordial described in Cryptum is very different from the one in Primordium. The former only had 4 arms, while the latter had many. In addition, the Primordial was most definitely a Gravemind by the time it was met by the IsoDidact. At some point, it must have merged with the Flood.

When the Gravemind first spoke to the Ur-Didact he mistook it for the Primordial.

Halo Silentium Page 166

A voice came to me that I recognized immediately, despite the passage of over ten thousand years. An old acquaintances, you might say. Unmistakable. I had head it while tapping into the timelock on Charum Hakkor. The Primordial had no need to use any particular language. It knew me well. It simply vibrated parts of my brain, conveying its cordial message directly.

Besides their obvious appearance differences the Gravemind and Primordial are exactly the same. Same “voice”, same method of communication, same goals, etc.

You’re making quite the leap there. The Precursors are incredibly advanced. The Flood have their consciousness, memory and motivations, doesn’t mean they’re the same physically.

My impression from the book was the Precursors corrupted themselves and were so distraught and insane from the Forerunner war happening that they welcomed the Flood, pretty much dooming themselves. The Precursor in Primordial still spoke of the Mantle and testing humans. After he’s gone to control the Flood motivation, their goals in Silentium are only stated as consumption and stopping any species from rising up again in hatred.

The Primordial was the last Precursor. The Flood and the Primordial are not one and the same, but they maintain the Precursor consciousness (neural physics, -Yoink-). Albeit, more insane.