The Mantle Hypocrisy

New to posting in the forum, not new to reading. I feel I know enough about the Halo Universe to hold my own and make intelligent contributions and speculations. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the Halo canon as it has a realistic element of potential truth behind it.

The one statement I keep seeing repeatedly is that the Mantle was given (or taken) from the Precursors by the Forerunner. The Mantle demonstrates that life in the galaxy and universe should be valued and this is evidenced by the Forerunner collecting all DNA samples to the sentient beings of the galaxy so they can reseed the home worlds after the firing of the Halo array. In general, upholding the mantle is against destroying life. It also appears that this is why the Didact has such a hard time debating against the arrays construction with the Master Builder Faber and is sentenced to exile. There was a split in the Forerunner ecumene as to whether the array itself violated the Mantle they were sworn to protect.

The Forerunner may also believe it is the humans place to take the Mantle after they disappear following the firing of the array. This is why the humans are considered “Reclaimers” and can activate Forerunner tech.

The flip side to this is that nobody is the true inheriters of the Mantle because the Precursors are “testing” races to see who is worthy. The Forerunnebrsupposedly failed this test. This test comes in the form of Flood infestation sent by the Precursor from outside the galaxy (allegedly).

The Primordial has stated that the Human’s test will be upon them (even though ancient human defeated the flood by sacrificing themselves) in the modern era that we are experiencing in the Halo games - approx 100,000 years after the firing of the array.

Which leads me to my question, and I have not seen this discussed anywhere.

Wouldn’t the testing of sentient species “worthiness” to inherit the protectorship of the Mantle by mass extinction via Flood infestation be against everything The Mantle is about? Would not this make Precursors in violation of the Mantle themselves? What is the point of finding a worthy species to inherit the Mantle if you violate everything the MNtle is in the process. This would make Precursors the biggest hypocrites in the Local Cluster of galaxies.

What say the community?

Thanks for reading and contributing. I look forward to more exciting conversation while we wait to find out what is next for MC and the Milky Way.

The precursor mantle and the forerunner one aren’t exactly the same, same for the covenant mantle and the forerunner mantle.

Yeah, that’s one thing I’ve questioned too. Even if species give themselves to the Flood and become part of the single-raced Flood, the individuality of everything is lost. What’s the point of finding a worthy species to take on the Mantle, if when that species submits to the Flood, they are essentially eradicated and vanish within the Flood mass?

To piggy back off that thought, as the Flood absorb more hosts their bodies are used as drones to be used in the ever-ongoing expansion of the Flood. But what happens to that being’s pre-Flood essence? Their knowledge is kept and used to progress the Gravemind, but their essence is gone. I agree that the Mantle’s goal of preserving life is in direct conflict with becoming a part of the Flood since both the original life and that being’s mind are destroyed.

And yes, in theory there would be no more internal conflict (ie - Human vs Human war, Human vs Covenant war, etc), but the Flood, by its very nature, expands and comes into conflict with new races as it expands…thus spawning more war and death.

The Precursors fall into the same trap most mythological deities fall into, hypocrisy. You make excellent points, yet I have a feeling the Mantle isn’t really meant for one group. To me, I think the Precursors are seeing if everybody can unify against a common cause despite their differences. You could argue the Flood does this, but I think they want to give us a choice in the matter first.

Thank you for jumping in guys.

No doubt the Mantle has had different interpretations by those different races. But the only two species that have an idea of whatever the true Mantle is supposed to be are Forerunner and Precursor due to the age of their intelligences. For all we know the Forerunner were created by The Precursors, the only Tier-0 race in known history anywhere in the universe.

The forerunner were similar to the flood in that the essence or knowledge of the deceased forerunner was saved with a half life of over a million years and in theory their knowledge added to the Domain or passed down to others in the form of Geas.

I am just finding it hard to wrap my around the Precursors unleashing the Flood on random populations of sentients if the Mantle is what we have been led to believe. It seems like a direct contradiction.

Perhaps the Precursors did not willfully create and unleash the Flood after all but were defeated and absorbed by them during the Precursor Forerunner Wars (unbeknownst to the Forerunners).

I am having a really hard time waiting for more of the canon of the Universe to be unveiled and developed!

> Thank you for jumping in guys.
>
> No doubt the Mantle has had different interpretations by those different races. But the only two species that have an idea of whatever the true Mantle is supposed to be are Forerunner and Precursor due to the age of their intelligences. <mark>For all we know the Forerunner were created by The Precursors, the only Tier-0 race in known history anywhere in the universe.</mark>

They were. As were humans.

I believe that the Precursors are nothing more than egostical, genocidal, god-complex monsters with delusions of grandeur with advanced technology. I think the flood is simplly their form of revenge against the Forerunners and all life for being overthrown and kicked out of the galaxy by said forerunners.

The mantleis just a way of enslaving races to their will and the flood as means for securing dominance. I.e they are villians with advanced technology who believe they are god’s or god-like. I mean in terms of their ‘trancesendence’

I agree with the OP. The precursors are hypocrites who will get their -Yoinks!- handed to them by the Master Chief in the new trilogy. On a more serious note: I think that in regards to Greg Bears forerunner saga that the Mantle is not some kind of galactic code like the Prime Directive from Star Trek.

I think it’s more about owenership and taking responsibility. In this case owning and taking responsibility of an entire galaxy for it’s every need for example the evolution of life and protection from outside threats (the Flood). The Forerunners failed because they missed interpreted the meaning of the Mantle as such they eventually became a hinder for sentient life and also they didn’t take the Flood seriously thus nelegecting their inherited duties.

Precursors involved themselves in the situation by sending the flood and testing the other galactic powers beside the forerunners to see if they were more appropiate I.e Ancient human empire and the San’Shyumm.Evidently they were impressed by the shared efforts of Humanity and San’Shyuum. The second invasion of the Flood was a final test and warning for the Forerunners that not only are the Precurors alive but are watching them.

The Forerunners respond to the threat in the worst way possible. Apathy and Arrogance (believing the threat to be of no real importance). Disunity and further Disrespect to sentient life( Enslavement of and forced de-evolution of the human race. ( The banishment of the San’Shyumm) (the Didact being forced into a Cryptum). Finally the genocide of all life in the galaxy including themselves (the firing of the Halo array).

My point is that the Precursors want the galaxy to be well looked after hence the Mantle. The Forerunners are bad caretakers, they are removed. The Precursors test youngers races (Humanity) sees their CV notes being able to defeat Flood. Concludes worthy successors.

Apoint them as Reclaimers and send further tests to see demonstrations of our abilities i.e Another Flood invasion.

This is my opinion and I am very sorry for straying so far from the topic. Very good question OP.

Also all we know of the Precursors comes from a Gravemind (Timeless One) and the Didact. What they say may very well be untrue or simply their opinions. We know nothing of them as a race and people. Only their supposed actions.

> > Thank you for jumping in guys.
> >
> > No doubt the Mantle has had different interpretations by those different races. But the only two species that have an idea of whatever the true Mantle is supposed to be are Forerunner and Precursor due to the age of their intelligences. <mark>For all we know the Forerunner were created by The Precursors, the only Tier-0 race in known history anywhere in the universe.</mark>
>
> They were. As were humans.

I thought that was an assumption not proved to be fact (yet) by any source.

I’d like to know why the Precursors think that anyone is obligated to follow their Mantle. Seems so arbitrary and trivial.

I’d tell them were to stick it if they forced it on me. It’s essentially moral absolutism, and isn’t going to make any sense whatsoever to races like the Sangheili who have built their culture on warfare, or the Lekgolo who probably don’t think like us at all. It is naturally divisive as well, in the way that it appeals to one species sense of egotism. Let’s face it, Humanity is probably going to be the worst caretakers of the galaxy thus far, (Bye-bye Sanghelios) and it will only be the Precursors and their Mantle to blame for Humanity’s ego getting so big in the first place; just like the Forerunners before.

> <mark>The precursor mantle and the forerunner one aren’t exactly the same,</mark> same for the covenant mantle and the forerunner mantle.

Why?

@ HardlineCanine8: excellent points and all right on topic IMO. Thanks. I wish we had more data on the Precursor Forerunner War to help us understand.

ONI needs to access The Domain and pass the info on to 343i and the public! That or I’d like to do lunch with Guilty Spark!

You have some great lines there. And welcome to Waypoint!

I’ve thought about this, too. To me, I’ve always seen it as either the Forerunners or Precursors just turning a blind eye to the subject. They know what they are doing is technically against the Mantle, but to achieve the true meaning of the Mantle, they have to pretty much be hypocrites. Sort of an “End justifies the means” philosophy.

I am glad somebody else got so upset about it and elaborated. I seriously wrote pages about this and nobody had anything to say; nice post op.

It probably should be noted that the Precursors view the Flood in an entirely different manner then we do. Also it’s directly stated that with their “Neural physics” they view the universe in an entirely distinct manner.

What you may see as a violation of the mantle might not be from their point of view.

> It probably should be noted that the Precursors view the Flood in an entirely different manner then we do. Also it’s directly stated that with their “Neural physics” they view the universe in an entirely distinct manner.
>
> What you may see as a violation of the mantle might not be from their point of view.

I agree with this. But if that were the case, then the Precursor should also appreciate the defense that ancient human and Forerunner used against the flood. Why would the actions of the ancient human sacrificing 2/3 of their population to wage biological warfare on the flood or the building and firing of the halo array be against the Mantle by those very standards?

I am just happy to see there is a small community of Halo universe fans who are thinking along the same lines as me. I appreciate the great dialogue from everybody!

> > It probably should be noted that the Precursors view the Flood in an entirely different manner then we do. Also it’s directly stated that with their “Neural physics” they view the universe in an entirely distinct manner.
> >
> > What you may see as a violation of the mantle might not be from their point of view.
>
> I agree with this. But if that were the case, then the Precursor should also appreciate the defense that ancient human and Forerunner used against the flood. Why would the actions of the ancient human sacrificing 2/3 of their population to wage biological warfare on the flood or the building and firing of the halo array be against the Mantle by those very standards?

It’s quite likely that the Precursors might not actually see see turning the Flood loose on people to be the same as killing them. The Flood seems to retain quite a lot from the individuals it absorbs and from the Flood’s perspective itself it is simply bringing unity and peace of a sort.

The Halo arrays just kill things.

If the Precursors are more in line with the Flood’s perspective on the whole situation they wouldn’t even perceive its actions as producing any real loss of life.

I believe in the Halo Canon, that the books said the Precursors created the Forerunners and the Humans, that is why they look so similar.

> > > It probably should be noted that the Precursors view the Flood in an entirely different manner then we do. Also it’s directly stated that with their “Neural physics” they view the universe in an entirely distinct manner.
> > >
> > > What you may see as a violation of the mantle might not be from their point of view.
> >
> > I agree with this. But if that were the case, then the Precursor should also appreciate the defense that ancient human and Forerunner used against the flood. Why would the actions of the ancient human sacrificing 2/3 of their population to wage biological warfare on the flood or the building and firing of the halo array be against the Mantle by those very standards?
>
> It’s quite likely that the Precursors might not actually see see turning the Flood loose on people to be the same as killing them. The Flood seems to retain quite a lot from the individuals it absorbs and from the Flood’s perspective itself it is simply bringing unity and peace of a sort.
>
> The Halo arrays just kill things.
>
> If the Precursors are more in line with the Flood’s perspective on the whole situation they wouldn’t even perceive its actions as producing any real loss of life.

Solid theory but it leads to new questions.

How would an inheritor species be ale to conquer the flood and become the protectors of the galaxy without the loss of life? The only method that fits the description of the Mantle would be to allow all to succumb to the Flood’s assimilation.

This would make the Flood, as the vassal of the Precursors, even potentially more powerful than themselves and they would have had no choice but to be assimilated also. Perhaps this is why the Primordial resembles a gravemind?

I have thought about this many times. If the Precursors want to do good, then why does this sound evil? I doesn’t make sense for them to do this, but the third Forerunner novel, which the working title is Halo: Silentium, might clear things up, since Greg Bear said here that there will be more on the Precursors. But I think I have a theory that might be on the right track.

The Precursors were good, but one Precursor (the Primordial) that was apart of the Precursor’s council wanted the species he/it created (the Flood) to be the inheritor of the Mantle, but the council denied it in favor of one of the other species they created. The Primordial became jealous, or envy, of this, and tried to promote the Flood to others in the wrong way; that it was the prefect life form and that it was salvation.

Some Precursors believed the Primordial. He also believed that the races the Precursors created should be tested to see if they were worthy of the Mantle. So he/it convinced half of the council on this, while becoming apart of the Flood with his/it’s followers and the other half of the council, becoming Graveminds, believing him all the way. The rest of the council disagreed with this, and because of this, they were killed by the Primordial in a cover up and conspiracy.

With the new Precursor council believing him/it, they went ahead with this plan, and if all the races were killed by the Flood, then the Flood would assume the Mantle and would then have the entire universe, except the Primordial knew that the Flood would defeat all of the races for the Flood was too powerful. The council then requested that all Precursors become apart of the Flood by force, but while many of them did this, some Precursors saw that corruption in the council, and started a rebellion. One by one, the races created by the Precursors were killed by the Flood, thus failing the test.

When the Forerunners were next, the Precursor rebellion contacted them and gave them a heads up on this, thus going to war with the Flood Precursors before they sent the Flood to test them. But the Precursor rebels didn’t realize that they would be attacked by the Forerunners while fighting their Flood infected brethren.

The Primordial wanted to send automated ships full of Flood spores to every star system in the galaxy, but the rebels sent them to the Magellanic Clouds, and then arrested the Primordial and had him/it imprisoned in a stasis capsule.

In the end, all Flood Precursors were killed leaving the Primordial to be the last of the Graveminds, the Flood on the planets of the fallen races eliminated by the rebel Precursors, who only a few of survived and escaped the galaxy to a new one to start a new empire, with the Forerunners believing that they wiped out the Precursor race completely, who’s old empire was now gone and lost in time, but would be renewed in a new galaxy.

Now like I said this is just a theory I came up with that does show the evil in this Mantle Hypocrisy. In Primordium, it’s stated that early Forerunners may possibly have imprisoned the Primordial, but why would they kill what they believed was all the rest and leave one? And how could they activate the stasis capsule? I also want to note a quote that is said in the Halo: Evolutions short-story, Human Weakness.

“She (Cortana) could have sworn she detected a little sadness in him (the Gravemind), perhaps even some envy. It was just a speck overshadowed by his relentless hunger.” - Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, page 398

I feel that the Primordial is the same Gravemind that is in Halo 2 and Halo 3, just resurrected and reborn in another body because that, in my theory, since he/it created the Flood, his/it’s consciousness lives though the Flood. This envy would be the jealousy for the Flood not being chosen for inheritance of the Mantle. As for the sadness, I think that those close to the Primordial’s, like family or love interest, did not like what he/it was doing and refused to join him, thus making him/it feel betrayed. Also, the Flood wants to consume all life in the entire universe not just test the races created by the Precursors. Now doesn’t that sound a little suspicious? One last thing, in Cryptum, the Primordial has two legs, but in Primordium, he/it has more than that and they are like spider leges, or bigger versions of the Flood Infection Form’s legs, meaning he/it must of gotten some more bodies of sentient life (perhaps the humans that were on Installation 07?) while on the ring.

That all I have on this theory and on this matter. :slight_smile:

The Precursor Mantle is definitely odd in that Hypocritical sort of way. They have this, “we need a successor to protect and watch over the Galaxy but if they’re not worthy we will destroy them” mentality going on. Yes, live is sacred yet you will destroy that life which you deem unworthy? Crazy.

> The Precursors fall into the same trap most mythological deities fall into, hypocrisy. You make excellent points, yet I have a feeling the Mantle isn’t really meant for one group. To me, I think the Precursors are seeing if everybody can unify against a common cause despite their differences. You could argue the Flood does this, but I think they want to give us a choice in the matter first.

This actually makes a lot of sense. The Flood was a dangerous threat which was supposed to convince the species of the Galaxy to unite against them. Instead the Humans selfishly invaded the Forerunner and started a War with them. So either they unite to stop it or they become one with the Flood. But what happens if they defeat the Flood and still end up fighting each other? Perhaps that’s what Halo 4 is about?