ORIGINALLY POSTED ON MY TUMBLR, MAY 2015
Reposted without edits, save navigational issues.
Partner piece to Ghosts of Onyx review and analysis.
Companion piece to my reading journals of the Halo novels.
Here we have another outright mention of Thel in Ghosts of Onyx, a comparison to Xytan ‘Jar Wattinree and an example of the treachery of the Prophets. We also get a subtle glimpse of just how much Thel impacted humanity as a whole.
“The Imperial Admiral’s only flaw was that he had been so revered, some said even more so than any Prophet. For the sin he had been exiled to the fringe worlds of the vast Covenant Empire.
This had happened before: the former Supreme Commander of the Fleet of Particular Justice never returned from the ‘glorious mission’ the Prophets had sent him on.” (Onyx, pp 239).
Right there we have our mention of Thel ‘Vadamee. Interestingly enough is that Voro appears to have left the conflict over Delta Halo before the rumors of Thel’s survival started circulating as we see in Broken Circle. Furthermore, in this passage we get a glimpse of the Covenant method of removing dissenters and influential Sangheili that is later explored in the Halo 2 Anniversary Terminals.
Guilty Spark is the first to piece together the relationship between the Arbiters – Sangheili warriors suddenly charged with heresy – and the continual reign of the Prophets. Warriors like Thel ‘Vadamee and Xytan ‘Jar Wattinree are removed from influence, and their honor besmirched. It makes one wonder why Xytan was not reduced to the Arbiter rank.
I’ve compared Xytan and Thel before, but it never really hit me exactly how much of a powerful individual Thel ‘Vadamee was in the Covenant. Sesa ‘Refumee notes that by the discovery of Alpha Halo, Thel had already grown in political and societal power, that “his influence within the fleet grew with every one of his victories over the humans.” And here, Voro places Thel on the same level as Xytan, who Voro is struggling not to revere as a god.
Thel’s influence is so great that the UNSC is forced to take note. Due to his relentless and effective campaign, Locke determines that Thel has to be removed from the playing field if the UNSC is to be even capable of surviving the war. This fear of survival is also repeated in Ghosts of Onyx, though with less focus on an individual within the Covenant.
“Her conclusion was irrefutable.
The UNSC, her Spartans, all the people she admired, would struggle against the inevitable. It was human instinct. But it was wrong. They could never win this war. They could only survive it. And then, only if they were very lucky.” (Onyx, pp 151).
Halsey runs to Onyx and finds a way to save a select few Spartans because she believes that humanity is doomed. Survival is a “might-be.” It’s very similar to Locke’s fear of Thel ‘Vadamee.
“If humanity wants to survive this war, we cannot do it with ‘Vadamee on the field.” (H2A Terminal 3)
And this is where the irony comes in.
We know for a fact that humanity is currently surviving and thriving in the galaxy because of Thel ‘Vadam. He was the one who stepped in to convince Ship Master ‘Vadum to spare Earth. He, according to Thomas Lasky in Escalation #1, kept the other Covenant races from launching assaults on the weakened UNSC. Granted, there was a great deal of change that Thel had to go through before he became the greatest ally to mankind, but I find it absolutely fascinating that the greatest threat to humanity became one of their greatest hopes.