April 22, 2009


> — Vociferous @ 12:59 am

Regarding Thel ‘Vadam…



  1. I was one of the few who loved the inclusion of The Arbiter in Halo 2. I’d avoided all previews and videos of the game and instead let my imagination flow. My main wish was we get to see things from the Covenant point of view…

    I was excited upon seeing the first few cut-scenes with the Arbiter, but when I took control of him I had to stop playing due to realization of my wish coming true before my eyes.

    Kudos to Bungie.

    Comment by D — April 23, 2009 @ 5:16 am

  2. Hey man I could be wrong about this but didn’t u forget to add the part where master cheif takes over a covenant ship in first strike and fights the arbiter in hand to hand. Then he lauched outside which is the reason tarturus says if the arbiter is looking for some pay back in halo 2. I could be wrong.

    Comment by Blake — April 23, 2009 @ 2:46 pm

  3. First Post! Thank you for putting this together, it was a nice read.

    Comment by Yay295 — April 23, 2009 @ 3:53 pm

  4. great work. the arbiter has allways been my favorite charecter. its great to know more about hiim. keep it up!

    Comment by they got leader — April 23, 2009 @ 5:15 pm

  5. Excellent as always. Reading your articles always brings a little extra knowledge of the halo story I hadn’t noticed the first time around. And it is framed with your amazing skill with words.

    Comment by Monochron — April 23, 2009 @ 5:16 pm

  6. Are the Arbiter and Rtas Vadum related? Their last names are so similar, except if they’re related why the difference in spelling? Anybody got any canon info on that?

    Comment by JD — April 23, 2009 @ 10:29 pm

  7. JD, I imagine they are from adjacent kaidon-ship-doms. The same region on Sanghelios.

    Just a guess, I don’t know of any canon that addresses this issue… and I’ve read all the books. (not the comics)

    Comment by Reclaiming Dawn — April 24, 2009 @ 12:56 am

  8. Are the Arbiter and Rtas Vadum related? Their last names are so similar, except if they’re related why the difference in spelling? Anybody got any canon info on that?

    Comment by JD — April 23, 2009 @ 10:29 pm


    McCloud and McCain are similar names too. It’s just a coincidence.

    Comment by EldritchWarlord — April 24, 2009 @ 12:21 pm

  9. Hey man I could be wrong about this but didn’t u forget to add the part where master cheif takes over a covenant ship in first strike and fights the arbiter in hand to hand. Then he lauched outside which is the reason tarturus says if the arbiter is looking for some pay back in halo 2. I could be wrong.

    Comment by Blake — April 23, 2009 @ 2:46 pm


    It’s never been confirmed that that was Thel. In fact, chances are that Thel was, at that point, being brought to High Charity to answer for his heresy.

    Comment by Sangheilioz — April 24, 2009 @ 12:28 pm

  10. Maybe because he survived his suicide mission, Thel would be known as a “disgraced” Arbiter.

    Comment by Christian Bethel — April 24, 2009 @ 3:07 pm

  11. Incredible article, a very good summary of the Arbiter’s legacy. Though, I think I can shed some clarity on this point:

    “…Thel made a brash decision to board the human vessel rather than immediately obliterate it. It is not known why he chose to invade and secure the human craft instead of the ring, but logically speaking, his motives likely revolved around his protracted quest for the location of the human homeworld…”

    I believe it is mentioned in either First Strike or The Flood novels, or perhaps others, that Thel chose not to attack the Pillar of Autumn with conventional plasma weaponry because he didn’t want to risk damaging the Sacred Ring if he missed, or if the ship exploded too close. I can’t cite it directly, it’s based off memory.

    Comment by RisingTempest — April 24, 2009 @ 7:58 pm

  12. Long time reader first time poster Just saying something it says in “The Flood” ( the book of Halo 1) that a minor phrofet told Thel to board the ship and take AI among other things love the article anyway

    Comment by Andrew Lebens — April 24, 2009 @ 9:32 pm

  13. “Long time reader first time poster Just saying something it says in “The Flood” ( the book of Halo 1) that a minor phrofet told Thel to board the ship and take AI among other things love the article anyway”


    The minor Prophet told ‘Orna ‘Fulsumee’ not to fire on the ship, not Thel, in ‘The Flood'(Thel wasn’t mentioned at all in that book, as Surpreme Commander or anything). Though it stands to reason that the resident minor Prophet on Thel’s command ship told him the same thing.

    Comment by Slaskia — April 25, 2009 @ 12:38 pm

  14. It’s funny, before checking the site, I remember thinking that AJ should write an article about the Arbiter.

    Great read as always. Thel is my favorite Halo character followed by Rtas and it’s good to see he gets some attention he deserved.

    Comment by MC Warhammer — April 27, 2009 @ 4:07 pm

  15. @ comment #9 by Sangheilioz: If my memory serves me well, Thel arrived at Reach in the ship MC later boards but transfered to another ship once at the Halo ring. It’s possible I’ve mixed up some ships or there’s a continuity hiccup with the names, but I’m confident this is the case. As you said, it is also likely he’d already left the fleet to answer for his failure, but either way it doesn’t seem likely to me that the Elite thrown into the escpae pod (or was it an airlock? I can’t remember.) was of particulalry high rank, since he was mentioned only as an Elite, with no outstanding armor or adornments- again, if my memory serves well. Someone with more dedication than me might want to check, ’cause I’m just too lazy to bother anytime soon.

    Comment by TheAsterisk! — April 28, 2009 @ 3:13 am

  16. Containing lines of fourteener couplets (how Gravemind speaks), The Book of Thel was written by William Blake in 1790. An obvious name to a number (7) reference.
    (Just throwing that out there)

    Comment by AThoth — May 20, 2009 @ 2:02 am

  17. Very good. But, one problem is that Thel didn’t open fire on the Pillar of Autumn is he feared hitting the “Sacred Ring”.

    Comment by halo 0 1 — November 3, 2009 @ 10:38 am

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