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Halo Infinite Legendary Ending Theories - Spoilers

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Halo Infinite Legendary ending

 

Xalanyn/Harbinger 


 
Chief jumps through the mysterious portal and arrives, safe, three days later amidst some of the 'old' ring like artifacts the Banished have been so interested in.
We learn Atriox is alive (wow, who'd a thunk it).
He approaches and unlocks a room full of Cylix (the name for the cryopods/cryptum/prisons we have seen). These Cylix are different though, as they have a different symbol on them, different even to the Harbinger's Cylix.

In the Legendary ending we also get a VO between a Forerunner and Despondent Pyre dated 99928 years before the events of Halo Infinite. They talk about the Endless/Xalanyn (the race Harbinger is). They have implied they are going to 'help' the Xalanyn, but instead have sent Offensive Bias/Forerunner fleet to destroy/trap the Xalanyn, presumably to be sent to the Silent Auditorium to be trapped into their Cylixs. They also mention in regards to the Xalanyn, "time become a construct that they could control.", implying they have some technology to alter time.

Now, through out the game and Audio logs, we have heard how the 'dangerous' the Xalanyn are, and how the Forerunners feared them, Cortana even says "Worse things here than the Flood", implying that to the Forerunners at least the Xalanyn are a grave threat.

In the past the Halo rings activated, but inexplicably the Xalanyn survived. Not only survived, they were and advanced technological civilization that seemingly appeared out of nowhere, as the Forerunners had complete dominion over the Milky way (our galaxy).

Understandably this confused and most probably concerned the remaining Forerunners. It is said the Forerunners feared the most "masters turned slave", they feared losing their power, and in the Xalanyn they must of seen a threat in this regard.

Now onto speculation/theories.

The Xalanyn have the ability to manipulate time. Not complete manipulation, but have at least some ability. Fighting the Harbinger, she 'teleports' around, but more than likely this is her time travel ability, she is pausing and moving, at least locally. I think she even says something like "to you, armor is just a weapon" as one of her lines, maybe she is implying her suit serves a bigger purpose, time manipulation?

So, in the past the rings activate and wipe everything out, and then as the Forerunners are re-seeding they run into the Xalanyn. Where did they inexplicably come from? A whole Homeworld (Despondent Pyre is instructed to covertly move her ring into range, "just in case"). It/they mysteriously appeared. As I said, the Forerunners at this point had had full dominion over the Milky Way, and so for a race to mysteriously appear is very unlikely. Not only did they appear, and survive the Rings firing, but they even survived the Flood.

Time Manipulation. At some point in the very distant past, pre-Foreunner (dominion at least) the Xalanyn developed Time Manipulation technology. Through possible accident or intention they move their entire planet forward in time. This would explain:
A) how they appeared,
B) how they survived the Halos and the Flood,
C) Why the forerunners would think they were so dangerous,
D) the time manipulation statements peppered through out the game.

Now I would suppose they only had limited ability, which is why I am calling it Time Manipulation, rather than Time Control (which would imply full mastery), and probably are unlikely to be able to go back in time. I think this as a race that had full control would be literally unbeatable, the ol' Chicken and the kill baby Hitler dilemma.

So, the Forerunners find them. The Xalanyn, fresh from their time experiment appear in a brand new time (they had been gone a long time) and don't know much about what has gone on. They would be disorientated to say the least. The Forerunners learn of their technology and get very afraid. If they are allowed to gain complete mastery, they could do anything, they could become the new masters. They go to the Xalanyn and offer help, offer a "parley" (as the audio log puts it). This is really a ruse to catch the Xalanyn off guard. Obviously a civilization with Time Manipulation would be very difficult to beat. Their only chance to overcome them is to do a massive strike and overwhelm them, before any of them can jump further forward in-time, to plot revenge and finish their technology.

During the meetings, the Forerunners send Offensive Bias/Forerunner fleet for their sneaky attack. It succeeds. In typical Forerunner hubris, they catalogue and trap the surviving Xalanyn so they can pretend they are still following the Mantle of Responsibility they are so fond of.

Same deal as humanity, some Forerunners like WTF, that wasn't very paragon of us. They move some random Xalanyn artifacts and things onto Zeta Halo as a form of confession and grave/monument to the Xalanyn, whom they just stabbed in the back. That is why people keep saying the are 'older' than the ring, 'older' than even the Foreunners. They are literally older, ancient.

Chief time jumps into a group of these rings at the end of the game, three days into the future. This adds to the theory that Xalanyn can manipulate time in some way, as the ancient rings are actually ancient Xalanyn artifacts.

Now, why was Atriox so interested and trusting of the Harbinger. Well, some little old purple lady destroyed his entire Homeworld (Doisac) to punish him specifically, which was a pretty renegade move when you consider Atriox had no position of power of the Jiralhanae/Brute society. He was basically a pirate warlord. It'd be like destroying Britain to punish Black Beard. Billions of bystanders, killed.

We are getting a little of track, all that to say Atriox was more than a little pissed. So he plots revenge, formulates a plan, hunts down Cortana only to find her on Zeta Halo. That's fine, kill Cortana and get a Halo. Win/win. But then he discovers the Xalanyn, or at least starts to suspect. He formulates a new plan, release and help the Xalanyn/Harbinger, and in return they can do some time travel high-jinx and restore Doisac.

So, TLDR:
Xalanyn are ancient species that have time manipulation
Forerunners scared of time technology
Atriox wants the technology for Doisac/himself.

Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

Edited by Sikslik7
Moved part of title into post to hide spoilers. Added Spoiler.

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