When it comes to the Halo TV show on Paramount Plus, some fans have been confounded by the existence of Charlie Murphy’s Makee, a human character who is part of the Covenant, the military alliance composed of extraterrestrials for the most part.
For casual fans of the Halo video games, what we remember most is basically a shoot ‘em up involving human soldiers fighting against an alien threat. So to hear about a human character fighting on the side of the aliens is a strange reversal of expectations. But is there any precedent from the games for Makee’s existence that a more hardcore fan might already know about?
Is Makee a character in the ‘Halo’ video games?
First of all, no, Makee is not a character in any of the Halo video games, but is instead an invention of the TV show, according to Screen Rant. According to the Halo Waypoint website, this can be explained by the fact that the series actually takes place in an alternative universe from the games, known as the Silver Timeline.
Frank O’Connor, Halo‘s franchise creative director, explained that the Silver Timeline idea surfaced in pre-production due to not wanting to “break” the original core canon, but still having the flexibility required to craft a filmed narrative.
“Basically, we want to use the existing Halo lore, history, canon, and characters wherever they make sense for a linear narrative, but also separate the two distinctly so that we don’t invalidate the core canon or do unnatural things to force a first-person video game into an ensemble TV show. The game canon and its extended lore in novels, comics, and other outlets is core, original, and will continue unbroken for as long as we make Halo games.”
O’Conner added that the Silver Timeline, while ultimately separate from the games, is still quite similar to its source material in many ways.
Who is Makee?
In the Halo video games, any human can use the Covenant-coveted Forerunner technology, but the aliens cannot. However, in the Silver Timeline of the Halo TV show, only a small minority of humans who possess the Forerunne gene — including Pablo Schrieber’s Master Chief and Makee — can use the Forerunner technology.
The aliens were evidently able to find a way to identify the small minority of people who possess the coveted Forerunner gene, one of whom was Makee. As such, she was evidently taken into the fold of the alien zealots, indoctrinated into their ways, and given the moniker of a Blessed One.
The reason the aliens want to unlock the Forerunner tech is in the hope it will lead them to the Halo Rings that they believe will allow them to rise up into a higher-level existence; unbeknownst to them, the powerful rings wield the ability to destroy all life around them. The aliens being willing to adopt a human into their coalition differs from the games, who in that timeline consider human beings’ very existence to be blasphemous.
However, there is some lore explained in one of the Halo novels that arguably points to a precedent of humans aligning with the Covenant, or at least the possibility, as another Screen Rant article points out. In Troy Denning’s book, Halo: Silent Storm, Master Chief confronts a group of human Insurrectionists who attempt to join the Covenant to survive, believing humanity is fated for oblivion. Since the Covenant subsequently found out they need humans to use the Forerunner technology, the aliens allowing humans into their fold, at some point, isn’t that much of a stretch to imagine.
Steven Kane, Halo‘s executive producer and showrunner, explained in a recent interview with Decider that the connection between Master Chief and Makee, such as the pair both having the Forerunner gene, is very much intentional.
“John is in many ways an alien or an orphan among his own people, because he’s different. He’s a Spartan, he’s trained to be a certain kind of way. And that’s what makes them effective as a soldier […] In many ways, he is similar to Makee, who is a stranger in a strange land living among the aliens. As the season goes on, you learn more about where she came from and learn more about where he came from.”
The latest episode of Halo finally sees Master Chief and Makee meet for the first time. If you want to read more about that, with full-blown spoilers and all, check out our recap right here.
Halo is now streaming on Paramount Plus.