Where Escharum's character might be headed

This is, admittedly, a complete guess based on nothing but three words, but whatever, not like I’ve got anything better to do.

There’s an odd moment in the gameplay trailer where Escharum says without challenge he grows “weary, lost, alone”. “Lost”, perhaps, but “weary” and especially “alone” seem like strange words for a soldier lamenting a lack of action. “restless” and “bored” sound much more fitting for me. He also looks noticeably melancholy when he says this; he breaks off eye-contact and looks off into the distance and all the anger goes from his voice. Even other Brute characters, violent though they are, don’t seem THIS dependent on fighting; they respect martial prowess, of course, but seem more hedonistic and impulsive than strictly addicts to the act of killing.

He also makes it pretty clear that he just wants to die and that “this is his last battle”; his thoughts are more about being a martyr of sorts and his legacy than any immediate concerns about his own life.

And on a more general level, I think 343 are going in the direction of a more humanized villain; even at face value, Escharum at least seems to have vague notions of honour and respect for John which is probably more than any other brute we’ve seen before.

So, with all that taken onboard, here’s my stab at what his character’s about. Escharum is, as he states, fundamentally weary, lost, and alone. He’s able to identify these feelings, but can’t even begin to try fixing them; so, as he says, he fills the hole with killing, mayhem, and warfare. It’s like stress eating, just…gorier. But it’s only ever a distraction and is short-term at best. So he focuses on “martyring” himself and building a “legacy” of killing Chief, which he thinks will somehow fix himself; he’ll be happy and content once he finally kills the legendary demon, right? And if he dies in the attempt…well, so what? On at least a subconscious level, Escharus doesn’t care about himself in the slightest, and probably outright hates himself for being so emotionally vulnerable. Better to die than to be so weak.

And I don’t really have any evidence for this at all, but I can see Atroix actually being LESS sympathetic in Infinite; as this charismatic leech who latches onto those will low self-esteem and makes them die and fight for him. You can make clear parallels to cult leaders and radicalization if you want to go all English lit on us. Maybe as the game develops we’ll see Escharum’s facade crack more and more. I don’t expect a full heel-face turn- I think he’s too far gone for that- but I think as he’s dying we’ll feel nothing but pity for him, and perhaps a note or two of redemption.

Any of this true? Probably not, he’ll just be a brute desperate to fight John and that’ll be the extent of his entire character, but whatever, it’s fun to speculate.

I kinda like the idea that he’s just bored and the challenge of fighting John excites him. I think his seeking of satisfaction, glory, and longevity to his legacy after achieving total victory is relatable in a way.

You know if what you say comes to surpass, it’ll probably be some of the deepest writing 343 has come up with since Halo 4. But not only that, but it makes a villain relatable to the player and that way although they’re the villain, you as the player don’t necessarily hate them and so you tend to like the character. Last time we’ve seen a villain we truly like in the games was HW2, but other than that I’m drawing up a blank. I kinda went of on a tangent, but I hope my point was made clear that antagonists don’t always need to be hated.

It sounds like he’s just super bummed that Atriox isn’t around. Either because he’s still trapped on the Ark or has been killed off-screen. Like he’s been left in charge of the Banished but doesn’t have a clear enemy/goal until Chief rounds the corner.

If any of you have seen the new gameplay trailer, you’ll know that the Banished view the UNSC and Master Chief as prey; this means that Escharum was setup as the leader of the Banished in the event that Atriox and his closest subordinates couldn’t be reached. With that in mind, I think that its safe to say he took control of the Banished forces under his control and defeated the UNSC forces that faced him and now the Master Chief has to rally the survivors and defeat this guy; keep in mind that the UNSC wasn’t at full strength when they fought the Banished, had they been at that state they probably would’ve beat the Banished easily.