Discussion Board

Topic: Silentium, the Ur-Didact, Requiem and Halo 4

From: DecepticnCobra
Location: California
Date: 08/02/2012

Dear Mr. Bear

I am a big fan of your Halo series of novels and love what you have contributed to the Halo universe. The Forerunners, Precursors, ancient humanity, all of it has made me rethink everything I thought I knew about Halo. Now I don't know how much YOU personally know about Halo 4, but according to 343i your novel Silentium contains spoilers for it.

After reading the summary for Silentium on Amazon and seeing seeing that the Ur-Didact was abandoned on a Flood-infected system I've come to the conclusion that Requiem has to be some sort of prison for the Ur-Didact. I'll give evidence point by point and then tie them all together in a final point.

The Didact and his "Unbound" State

unīžˇbound (n-bound)
v. Past tense and past participle of unbind.

adj.1. Not bound: unbound manuscripts; an unbound book.
2. Freed from bonds or restraints; released:

According to the dictionary, this is the definition of unbound. The unbound idea came from Frank O'Conner on NeoGaf regarding someone with the avatar of the Didact's symbol. So the Didact is free from bondage? We can see that he is in a Cryptum in the E3 2012 trailer. Though Cryptums aren't necessarily prisons themselves, they are used by Warrior-Servants as punishment with self-imposed exile. Yet could it be retrofitted as a sort of containment?

The Ur-Didact in Silentium

According to Amazon, the Ur-Didact was "treacherously abandoned in a Flood-infested system" by the Master Builder. Could there be a chance he was compromised by Flood infection in his time there. Amazon also says that: "one of them must now commit the greatest atrocity of all timeto prevent an insane evil from dominating the entire universe."

This is an obvious reference to the Halos being fired and we know the Didact is responsible for that in the Halo 3 terminals. This could partly be a reason he goes inside a Cryptum. Yet could possible Flood infection be another reason? I will explore this in the next section.

The Prometheans and the Composer

So as we see in the Halo 4 trailer, the Promethean Knights are nothing like the Promethean Warriors we are told about in the novels. However after over 300 years of war against the Flood, I can easily see how much their ranks would diminish. It's like zombies, every person they kill fills their ranks and lessens your own manpower.

Yet we are also introduced to the Composer, a being/machine/thing that can convert flesh and blood organisms into a ancilla. It is was saved Chakas and Genemeder Folder of Fortune in Primordium. Thus far we've only seen beings turned into imprints and Monitors. Yet what is stopping them from being turned into the Knights? The Knights could serve as timeless guards on Requiem.

Requiems name and it's use as a Shield World.

A Requiem mass is a celebration or repose of the dead. Could Requiem serve as a place for those Flood-infected individuals to live for all time and not be a harm to the galaxy in general? Another curious aspect seems to be the lack of ships. If the Didact is a true danger to the galaxy, then why would he not use the ships that have thus far been seen on all the Shield Worlds we have encountered?

The Mendicant Bias-Cortana connection

Again, I don't know if you've viewed Halo Legends, yet in the episode Origins I, we see the Iris symbol on it's representation of Mendicant Bias. In Origins II, the Iris symbol is seen in Cortana's eye.

Now though Mendicant Bias himself may be dead as he claims in the Halo 3 terminals, is it possible his programming lives on? He was originally made to organize Forerunner protection against the Flood after all. This could lend credence to Cortana's now infamous "I will not allow you to leave this planet!" line from the E3 trailer to my all connecting point.

Final Thought

Alright, here it goes. I believe that the Ur-Didact is infected by the Flood. He fires the Halos to stop the Flood from spreading then imprisons himself in a Crpytum on Requiem for his "crime" in firing the Halos and to contain himself from the galaxy. Requiem also serves as a world to house those infected by the Flood and turned by the Composer, enter the Promethean Knights. The Knights could be there to serve as guards to ensure the Ur-Didact does not leave.

Yet something must've happened. Why would Mendicant Bias send Master Chief to Requiem with the idea that it is a prison to contain the Ur-Didact and Flood-infected Forerunners turned Promethean Knights? Remember Bias' original programming? Though he may have perished, Bias could've uploaded his directives to Cortana to make sure the Ur-Didact is not freed, hence her insistence that the UNSC does not leave Requiem due to the danger the Ur-Didact possess if he escapes.

What about the Knights? Well, if the Ur-Didact has gone insane due to Flood infection, it is possible they may have as well. Thus far we've seen two types of Knight, orange and blue. Could this be significant in the notion that the orange Knights are under the Ur-Didact's control while the blue Knights are still independent thinkers?

And so that concludes my theory. I apologize for it's length and I don't know how much of the Halo lore you know or kept up with or what you can divulge. However, am I close to figuring anything out?

Either way, I cannot wait for Silentium.

Best wishes.

Re: Silentium, the Ur-Didact, Requiem and Halo 4

From: Greg Bear
Date: 08/25/2012

Wow, Tor has spilled the beans on Amazon! Cool reasoning, DC--but there will be many more revelations in SILENTIUM, and a number of full-circle developments that have taken even me by surprise.

Respond to this discussion

May we post your correspondence on this site?
IMPORTANT: For form verification, type the following number in the box below: 75

See Also...

Archives: [Oct-Dec 2004] [Jan-June 2005] [July-Dec 2005] [Jan-June 2006] [July 2006] [Aug-Dec 2006] [2007] [2008] [2009] [2010] [2011] [2012] [2013] [2014] [2015] [Current] [Search Blog Archives]