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This article is about a species. For the music track, see Brutes (music).
(Servus ferox)
Brute Army Commander.jpg



Avg. height:

8'5" (259 cm)–9'2" (280 cm)[1][2]

Avg. weight:

1,125 pounds (510 kg)–1,500 pounds (680 kg)[2]


Ape-like body structure; a large and strong species

Technology level:

Native Tier 4/Adopted Tier 2[1]

Notable groups:

Merg Vol's Covenant faction
Vata 'Gajat's mercenary group

Notable individuals:

Also known as:

  • Brute
  • Ape/Gorilla/Monkey
  • Baby Kong/BK (phonetic: Bravo Kilo)
  • Bobo[3]
  • Jir'a'ul (by Sangheili: a play on the word Jiralhanae and the Sangheili word for a lump of wood: a'ul)
"They are beasts, in essence and action."
—The Minister of Discovery remarking on the savage nature of the Jiralhanae[4]

The Jiralhanae (Latin, Servus ferox, translated to "wild slave"[5]), known by humans as Brutes, are a carnivorous, pseudo-ursine, sentient species of mammals.[1][2] Originating from the planet Doisac, the Jiralhanae were the most recent addition to the Covenant hegemony. They have a profound hatred of the Sangheili, unmatched by any other feud within the Covenant, fueled by the Jiralhanae's naturally aggressive demeanor and the Sangheili's natural sense of superiority.[6]

Exceedingly strong and surpassing the strength of both SPARTAN-IIs and Sangheili, the Jiralhanae place a greater emphasis on brutality than wisdom and are on the whole a savage species. Preferring this potential for blind obedience, the High Prophet of Truth began plans to replace the Sangheili with Jiralhanae, slowly placing them in higher positions and giving them greater allowances than Sangheili troops would receive.[7] Finally, on Truth's orders, the Jiralhanae began a galaxy-wide purge of Sangheili High Councilors and commanders, kicking off a cataclysmic civil war known as the Great Schism that tore apart the Covenant. This civil war would continue even after the Human-Covenant War.[8]


The Ark and reseeding[edit]

Ancient Jiralhanae on Doisac.

The Jiralhanae were one of the many species of predators that originated on Doisac, evolving from temperamental, tree-dwelling mammals due to Doisac's challenging and diversifying environment.[2] The Jiralhanae were one of many sentient species indexed by the Librarian for preservation aboard Installation 00. After the Halo Array was fired, the Jiralhanae were returned to Doisac to begin re-building their culture.[9]

The Covenant[edit]

Despite their savagery, Jiralhanae proved intelligent enough to achieve spaceflight and space-faring status. However, their warlike nature inevitably led them into conflict, and eventually the various Jiralhanae master-packs—belonging into either of the Jiralhanae's two main social divisions or skeins—fell into a massive war known as the First Immolation.[2] This mechanized war of attrition lasted for a decade and eventually led to the use of nuclear weapons that devastated Doisac.[10] The First Immolation and the nuclear holocaust that followed nearly led to the species self-extinction and caused the collapse of Jiralhanae society; by the time the Covenant discovered them in 2492, the species had just rediscovered radio and rocketry. Although some Jiralhanae were quick to join the Covenant, such as those led by Chieftain Maccabeus,[11] others put up a resistance against the invading alien hegemony.[12] In their primitive state, they were quickly defeated and absorbed into the Covenant.[10] The Jiralhanae's search for theological meaning led to the species' swift incorporation into the Covenant as they adopted the empire's religion and begun worshipping the Forerunners.[12]

The Jiralhanae came to occupy a fairly prominent role in the Covenant military, serving as heavy infantry and shock troops. Most of the Jiralhanae roles within the Covenant were only a mere extension of their own native, clan-based organizational structure, albeit more formalized under the Covenant's rule.[2] The Covenant settled Jiralhanae on worlds rich in resources, to guard them from anyone seeking to claim them for themselves. Meanwhile, the Jiralhanae lacked the capability to mine the resources themselves and were not provided the technologies necessary for the process, ensuring that the Prophets had control over the resources.[13] Upon the Jiralhanae's inclusion into the Covenant, a group of Sangheili commanders went before the Covenant High Council and claimed that the Jiralhanae's pack mentality would inevitably bring conflict between the two species. Citing the Jiralhanae's natural instincts to fight to the top of any hierarchy, the Sangheili commanders proposed that any peaceful "urges" that the Jiralhanae exhibited should be "aggressively encouraged". The High Council believed that the argument was fair, and begun to impose restrictions on the technology the Jiralhanae could access. Although this ruling was meant to curb the enmity between the Sangheili and Jiralhanae, a feud between the two species continued.[14]

Human-Covenant War[edit]

The massacre of the Sangheili High Councilors initiated the Great Schism

Jiralhanae troops were present during many battles throughout the Human-Covenant War, including the first conflict on Harvest and the Fall of Reach.[15][16] While effective combatants, they remained subordinate to the Sangheili, who continued to regard the Jiralhanae with universal disdain. Receiving differing opinions and suggestions on how to deal with the threat of humanity by both San'Shyuum and Sangheili, the High Prophet of Truth began pursuing numerous schemes as he sought to replace the Sangheili with the Jiralhanae; Truth considered the latter to be easier to control and more dogmatic. Tartarus, a Jiralhanae that participated in the Battle of Harvest and several other engagements, caught the eye of the Hierarch who was impressed that the Jiralhanae managed to take control of the entire Rh'tol skein at a young age. In the final years of the Human-Covenant War, Truth had prepared Tartarus for an ascension to military authority.[2]

By the final months of the war, the High Prophet of Truth had gathered the personal allegiance of much of the San'Shyuum members on the High Council.[17] Recognizing the Jiralhanae's ferocity and unquestioning obedience, the San'Shyuum had decided to promote the Jiralhanae to the top of the Covenant military hierarchy—a position formerly occupied by the Sangheili. This decision was backed by the Sangheili's recent failure to prevent the assassination of the High Prophet of Regret, and the previous failure to safeguard Installation 04.[18] The Jiralhanae became the Hierarchs' chosen protectors, replacing the Sangheili Honor Guardsmen and leading the Covenant's fleet of warships. This event led to some Sangheili High Councilors to threaten resignation from the High Council.[7] On November 3, 2552, Tartarus and the High Prophet of Truth enacted their plans after several decades of preparations. After Tartarus seemingly killed Arbiter Thel 'Vadamee,[19] the Chieftain's second-in-command, Melchus, led a massacre on the Sangheili High Councilors and several of the former Honor Guardsmen on Installation 05.[20] These acts begun the Great Schism, a large civil war that led to the Sangheili allying themselves with the humans and the eventual fracturing of the Covenant empire. Tartarus attempted to initiate the Great Journey by activating Installation 05, but he was slain by 'Vadam, and his Sangheili and human allies.[21]


After the Covenant's disastrous defeat at the Ark, the Jiralhanae race splintered among their many tribes. Most Jiralhanae returned to Doisac, where they continued to fight amongst each other as the species' organization fell apart.[2] Many did not cease their campaigning against the Sangheili and the two species remained locked in an irregular conflict for years to come. When the remaining San'Shyuum retreated into hiding, the Jiralhanae returned to their primitive savage nature, allowing the Sangheili to gain the upper hand in battle. A Sangheili shipmaster visiting Kholo noted that at least some Jiralhanae factions had separated from those loyal to the former Covenant and were waging an internecine war against each other.[8] Additionally, due to the Jiralhanae's lack of advanced technology, they were unable to attain resources or even food for themselves, instead resorting to raids on Sangheili settlements. This, in turn, only served to provoke further violence between the two species.[13]

There were several Jiralhanae, such as Manus and the crew of the Piety, who remained loyal to their Sangheili commanders after the split of the Covenant.[22] Many others served the Sangheili as security guards and servants on Sanghelios. However, this did not come without conflict. In March 2553, Jiralhanae servants in the state of Ontom launched insurgent attacks, which resulted in the death of dozens of Sangheili. Their revolt was quickly quelled by the city militia.[23] At least some Jiralhanae allied with the remnants of the Covenant, and a few fought on behalf of Merg Vol's forces during the Battle of Draetheus V. In March 5, 2558, the Jiralhanae Chieftain Lydus represented a polity of Jiralhanae willing to begin peace talks with Arbiter Thel 'Vadam on Ealen IV.[13] However, initial peace talks were foiled by a mercenary group hired by the New Colonial Alliance.[24] Hidden in corners throughout the Orion Arm, several Jiralhanae clans continue to gather in strength to continue the work of the dissolved Covenant.[25]


Anatomy and physiology[edit]

Tartarus, an older Jiralhanae

Jiralhanae are a carnivorous, sentient species of mammals and share physical characteristics with Earth's gorillas, rhinoceros, and bears; due to their bear-like features, they are designated as pseudo-ursines.[26] They have thick, gray skin, and are covered with matted black, tan, or brown fur. The majority of Jiralhanae shave their fur,[2] with higher-ranking individuals sporting beards or mohawks. As they age, their hair will change to a grayish-silver color. Their large, stocky appearance is most likely due to the gravity on their planet, which is about twice the gravity of that on Earth. Jiralhanae are immensely strong, hence the "Brute" moniker, and are capable of delivering crushing blows in hand-to-hand combat. Their teeth are very sharp, and are frequently used as natural weapons. In battle, they are prone to fits of berserk rage, and will proceed to rush at and pummel any targets within reach with terrifying aggression. Jiralhanae have three digits on each hand including opposable thumbs. As such they can make use of a variety of weapons both of Covenant and human design. Their feet have only two digits, each with thick, hardened claws.[2]

Jiralhanae are carnivorous, as evidenced by their fearsome fanged jaws and propensity for violence. They are known to eat the flesh of their enemies, such as humans, and have been seen eating the meat of a Thorn Beast, apparently considered a delicacy among Jiralhanae.[27] A Jiralhanae once stated he would have gladly devoured the future Arbiter, had he been allowed.[28] Jiralhanae have highly sensitive olfactory glands that allow them to quickly track down and hunt prey—even in unfamiliar territories.[2]

Jiralhanae are physically imposing enemies to face in combat. Standing at approximately nine feet tall, they not only tower over their human opponents but the majority of their Covenant allies with only Mgalekgolo standing taller. Jiralhanae resemble a cross between an ape and a rhinoceros, being taller and more muscular than humans and even Sangheili. They have thick, gray skin that is extremely resilient to damage.[6] Jiralhanae are often covered in thick, shaggy fur that offers further protection. It covers most of the body except for the head and the shoulder blades.[29] However, some Jiralhanae prefer to be shaved. They are seen with shaven faces which increases the fearful effect they have on opponents.[30] Jiralhanae typically exhibit two colorations: brown and gray. The paler, gray coloration of fur and lighter skin, as seen on Tartarus, was more uncommon among Jiralhanae.[31] Their heavy muscles gives them at least enough strength to be able to snap a human Marine's neck in one punch.[32] Heavily muscled and possessing animalistic brutality and strength, Jiralhanae can rely on close combat to defeat their enemies, even more so than their Sangheili counterparts. Their great strength, power, and resilience is a result of the species' evolution on a planet with twice the gravity of Earth.[1]

Jiralhanae are known to descend into a highly aggressive berserk-like rage when all their pack mates have been killed. Their incredible physical strength coupled with a dogged self determination to kill their target makes a berserk Jiralhanae a force to be reckoned with, being powerful enough to even kill a Mgalekgolo.[33] Before Jiralhanae reach full maturity, they naturally release pheromones. Other Jiralhanae can smell these pheromones and tell how others are feeling by the scent. When they do reach maturity, they learn to control the releases of their pheromones and most likely stop them all together.[34]

The blood of a Jiralhanae is typically a dark purple color, however some exhibit a thick, purplish-red blood.[29][30] Jiralhanae resemble a cross between an ape and a rhinoceros, being taller and more muscular than humans and even Sangheili. Their heavy muscles gives them at least enough strength to be able to snap a human Marine's neck in one punch.[35]


Two Jiralhanae attempting to show dominance

The Jiralhanae are rated a native Tier 4 species by the Forerunner Technological Achievement Tier scale, although a Tier 2 rank was adopted from the Covenant.[1] They are extremely zealous creatures, known for their willingness to cling to ancient, bloody traditions and their unwavering belief in the words of the Prophets and in the promise of the Great Journey. Their homeworld of Doisac is war-torn, and Jiralhanae are known for their particular joy in vicious activities, complimented by regimented discipline. As part of the Covenant, Jiralhanae were required as a prerequisite to convert to the Prophets' religion of worshipping the Forerunners. Previously, their culture revolved around the worship of totems and idols[1] and their religion was based on the lunar cycles of Doisac's three moons,[2] but they made swift converts due to their search for theological meaning.[12] The Jiralhanae were one of the most fanatical adherents to the Prophets' faith, although they seemed to hold little concept of sanctity, evidenced by Tartarus' improper handling of the "Oracle".[21][36] Following the dissolution of the Covenant, most Jiralhanae abaondoned their belief in the Great Journey.[2]

The Jiralhanae fighting style is forceful, utilitarian, and pragmatic.[6] They prefer using weapons from their homeworld, rather than the Covenant standard-issue plasma-based firearms. Jiralhanae weapons are notable for being extremely dangerous, somewhat primitive and brutal, and always featuring a blade attachment such as the Type-25 Spiker, Type-52 Mauler, Type-25 Brute Shot, and the Type-2 gravity hammer. These weapons show their barbaric nature, for example, the fact that all of the weapons are named after ways of injury or causing bodily harm to another being. The many spikes and serrated edges that adorn their race's weapons, vehicles and armor further support this. Although they do have their own type of plasma rifle.[29] The Sangheili abhorred the Jiralhanae weapons due to their primitive nature, but allowed them to be serviced in low numbers.[37] Unlike the Sangheili, the Jiralhanae have no qualms about using human weaponry. Some were seen using human shotguns during the Human-Covenant War.[38]

The Jiralhanae are known to have a hatred of ever other species except the San'Shyuum.[12] In general, Jiralhanae have a pronounced dislike of the Sangheili, due to the fact that they believe that they are better protectors of the Prophets than the Sangheili. The High Prophet of Truth took advantage of this to ignite the Great Schism during the Battle of Installation 05.[38] However, some Jiralhanae have surrendered and are willing to serve the Sangheili after the end of the war in larboring positions.[39]


A Jiralhanae Army Commander circa 2531, an example of the Jiralhanae's strong physique.

Jiralhanae society is dominated by a fierce pack culture and lineage, a close knit affair that ties each member to another, and forces them into varying states of rage known as "berserking", and desperate mourning for their fallen pack mates should one die in the midst of battle. Jiralhanae society is classified as a dictatorship and is controlled by the strongest male.[2] There is certainly a patriarchal scheme that is followed loosely, depending on the social, martial, and sexual success of the patriarch. Patricide is an common side effect of patriarchy, due to the ambition seeded within many Jiralhanae to rise to the top of a hierarchy.[40] Female Jiralhanae generally serve as the role of the mother or caretaker in Jiralhanae society.[2] No females have been observed in military roles.[41] A Jiralhanae's blood relation to another Jiralhanae did not offer subordinates immunity from discipline.[42]

Each pack is led by a prominent chieftain that wields a ceremonial gravity hammer, passed from one leader to another upon his death, to denote his status. A Jiralhanae becomes a pack chieftain by challenging the current chieftain to a mortal duel; the victor claims the title after executing the other. The chieftain rules his pack like his own little empire. An individual's rank is measured by success on and off the battlefield, unlike the Sangheili.[1] Interactions among the Jiralhanae are dominated by personal status, which they display through decoration and ornate armor.[41]

Due to their combative and aggressive nature, the Jiralhanae lack a single cohesive government. Instead, Jiralhanae society can be viewed as an extension of their pack structure, but with a number of different levels:

  • Skeins are the largest social division of Jiralhanae, "meta-clans" formed out of multiple packs sharing a similar philosophy and interests. A given skein is dominated by the most powerful clan within. During the First Immolation, most Jiralhanae fell into one of two dominant skeins: the Rh'tol and the Vheiloth. The two skeins display stark cultural and political differences: the Rh'tol are considered more primitive and aggressive, while the Vheiloth are generally more sophisticated and open to new ideas.[2]
  • Alpha Tribes[43] and master-packs are seemingly dominant clans or groupings consisting of multiple packs. Prior to contact with the Covenant, rival master-packs reduced Jiralhanae society to a pre-industrial level through warfare.[10]
  • Packs range in size and importance, with less important packs made up largely of Unggoy or Kig-Yar forces and led by a low-ranked Jiralhanae, and more important packs led by War Chieftains and comprised of more experienced veteran Jiralhanae bodyguards.[44]

Jiralhanae exhibit a variety of facial-hair configurations to denote their status, as well as possibly what pack they belong to. Jiralhanae typically are either clean shaven or sport mohawks, goatees or beards. Chieftains occasionally possess large mohawks as in the case of Tartarus and long, braided beards. However, some Jiralhanae packs do away with shaving altogether and sport long fur over most of their body, as seen during the events on Installation 05.

Some Jiralhanae packs also adorn themselves with tattoos over their entire bodies.[45]

Role within the Covenant[edit]

A newly-titled Jiralhanae Honor Guardsman
"With my blessing, the Jiralhanae now lead our fleets! They ask for your allegiance, and you shall give it!"
—The Prophet of Truth at the onset of the Great Schism[33][46]

Whereas the Sangheili used to command the Covenant's military and serve as the personal protectors of the San'Shyuum, the Jiralhanae primarily served as the Covenant's shock troops and secret police. This changed with the outbreak of the Great Schism, when the Jiralhanae supplanted the Sangheili in all areas of the Covenant military.[7][30][33] The Jiralhanae treated all the species under their command as expendable cannon fodder. If a subordinate failed to complete their task in any aspect, the leading Jiralhanae would enact a swift punishment, generally execution.[41] Eager to prove themselves superior over the Sangheili, the Jiralhanae often acted with no respect for the lives of civilians or other races.[6]

Sangheili and Jiralhanae fleets were largely segregated, but this was not always the case.[47] Believing that the Jiralhanae posed a threat to both the Sangheili and the Covenant, a union of Sangheili commanders convinced the Covenant High Council to impose restrictions on the technology used by the Jiralhanae. The number of Jiralhanae shipmasters was limited and the weaponry on Jiralhanae ships was mostly disabled.[14][6] Jiralhanae units are typically deployed in packs led by one or more Chieftains or Captains. They fill a similar role in combat to the Sangheili, as they are both typically command groups of lesser Covenant infantry. However, Jiralhanae are generally not equipped with energy shields, except for Captains and Chieftains, and all Jiralhanae post-Great Schism, and wield a slightly different arsenal of weaponry.

Jiralhanae troops often seem to be sent in after Sangheili have failed their task. Examples of this are the assault on the Forerunner artifact beneath SWORD Base, in which Jiralhanae were sent in after waves upon waves of failed Sangheili troops.[48] This may allude to the Prophets attitude of Jiralhanae favoritism, something that would eventually lead to the replacement of Sangheili by Jiralhanae after the Prophet of Regret is killed by the John-117.[49]


Main article: Jiralhanae language

The native Jiralhanae language is animalistic, incorporating a wide range of sounds from growls and barks, to full-out howls and roars,[30] though Jiralhanae also express emotions through scents and musks. Young Jiralhanae have difficulty controlling the release of these scents, but learn how to moderate them as they grow older.[34] A communal howl is often made by the Pack Chieftain as a sign of celebration, and failure to participate in the howl is a serious affront to the Chieftain's authority.[50]


Most known Jiralhanae have Latin-sounding names, such as Tartarus and Bracktanus. The "-us" at the end of their name is an honor denoting maturity or experience in battle, similar to the "-ee" suffix on Sangheili names.[51] The "-um" suffix is denoted to the Jiralhanae affiliated with the Rh'tol skein.[52] However, it is possible that different naming conventions are used among different tribes, as evidenced by the names of Gargantum and Parabum.

Homeworld and colonies[edit]

Main article: Doisac

Doisac is the name of the Jiralhanae homeworld. It possesses three natural satellites: Warial, Solrapt, and Teash, and is the third planet of the Oth Sonin system. The gravity on the planet is approximately 2.1 G while the atmosphere is 1.3 atm. Surface temperature is between -15°C to 52°C (5°F to 125.6°F). The estimated population of the planet is approximately 12.5 billion. Its habitat is described as being dominated by magma and magnetism.[1]

The Covenant settled Jiralhanae on a number of worlds rich in resources, to guard them from anyone seeking to claim them for themselves. They were not provided the technologies necessary for the process by the Prophets and were unable to develop them on their own, thus ensuring the San'Shyuum had full control over the Covenant's resources. The Jiralhanae continued to inhabit these colonies after the Human-Covenant War. Their inability to acquire food and resources for themselves, combined with their savage nature, led them to pillaging the colonies of other species, mainly those of Sangheili and Kig-Yar.[13]

Command structure[edit]

Tartarus, Chieftain of the Jiralhanae

The Jiralhanae species is arranged in a pack society, based on a hierarchy determined by viciousness, physical abilities, and number of kills in combat.[53] A "pack master" leads Jiralhanae packs. A chieftain will frequently be addressed as such while issuing orders during combat. When the Jiralhanae were first incorporated into the Covenant military, a number of pre-existing roles that already existed in Jiralhanae society were adopted by the Covenant. These include the ranks of Chieftain, Captain, Stalker, Major, and Minor. The ranks became more formalized under the Covenant's rule and they were splintered into numerous varieties based on their skein of origin, and its functional and organizational placement. Other time, many Jiralhanae ranks evolved or developed. After the Human-Covenant War and the Covenant's demise, most of the ranks and organization established by the Covenant as the Jiralhanae returned to Doisac.[2]

Cultural and political titles[edit]

Chieftain of the Jiralhanae
The Chieftain of the Jiralhanae was the leader of the entire Jiralhanae race. After killing his uncle at Harvest and taking control of the Rh'tol skein, the High Prophet of Truth ascended Tartarus to this title.[2][19]
War Chieftain
Jiralhanae War Chieftains are in charge of the larger Jiralhanae packs. Superior to the standard Chieftain title, often used heavy weapons in battle to establish their strength and physical prowesses.[53] War Chieftains were often given command of small outposts or served as Type-47 Scarab commanders during their service in the Covenant.[54]
The title of Chieftain had existed long before the Jiralhanae were incorporated into the Covenant military. Often commanding small packs or clans, Chieftains led Jiralhanae and several lower caste species alike into battle.[53] Chieftains picked what pack members he went into battle with, based on strength. However, some Chieftains choose their pack members based on their beliefs and virtues. Chieftains occasionally led religious sermons and rituals.[55]


The military structure of the Jiralhanae race was reorganized after they joined the Covenant. Inexperienced Jiralhanae that had just joined the military were given the rank of Minor, identified by their blue colored power armor similar to the Minor rank in other species' military structures.[56] Minors were given little armor for protection. After gaining experience, a Jiralhanae was promoted to the rank of Major. The equipment used by Majors were basic, but significantly better than that of the Minors. Majors often commanded Jiralhanae Minors and Unggoy. Ultra was the highest rank obtainable by standard Jiralhanae infantry personnel. Ultras often led lower-ranked troops or served under Chieftains.[57] Ultras operated a wide range of weaponry and vehicles.[30] Three Jiralhanae specialist ranks existed within the Covenant military. Replacing the Stealth Sangheili at the dawn of the Great Schism, Jiralhanae Stalkers served in reconnaissance and infiltration roles. Equipped with active camouflage, Stalkers often operated as bodyguards, spies, and assassins for Chieftains. Jiralhanae Jumpers served as an aerial support unit that was equipped with jump packs. Their jump packs give them enhanced mobility on the battlefield. Jiralhanae Bodyguards were responsible for the protection of Chieftains and other political figures within the Covenant,[56] often enforcing tribal and military laws.[57]

A Chieftain performing a sermon in front of his pack

Three officer ranks also existed within the Jiralhanae hierarchy. Jiralhanae Captains were the lowest of the three ranks and often commanded groups of infantry into battle. Jiralhanae Captain Majors led packs of Jiralhanae, Unggoy, and low-ranking Kig-Yar during engagements. It was believed among Captain Majors that fear worked best to instil inspiration within their troops.[53][56] Jiralhanae Captain Ultra was the highest rank available for Jiralhanae officers. They commanded larger packs and lances, and were known for their ability and strength.[53]

After the death of the High Prophet of Regret, the remaining Hierarchs initiated the Changing of the Guard. All Sangheili members of the Covenant Honor Guard were replaced by Jiralhanae Honor Guardsmen.[7] The new Honor Guardsmen were given the same duties as their predecessors. The role of the Honor Guard was largely ceremonial, unless the San'Shyuum they were protecting became threatened.[57]


The title of shipmaster was simply used only to describe a Jiralhanae that commanded a ship, as most Jiralhanae shipmasters additionally held the title of Chieftain. Jiralhanae did not rise to the position of shipmaster as commonly as Sangheili or Kig-Yar did. When given the role of shipmaster, the Sangheili usually disabled much of the ship's weaponry and only crewed the vessel with Unggoy and Yanme'e.[58] Prior to the beginning of the Great Schism, many Sangheili shipmasters were replaced with Jiralhanae.[59]
Army Commander
Presumably the same rank or near same rank as Chieftain of the Jiralhanae. May be a specific rank created for war and conflict, such as the Human-Covenant War. An Army Commander served during the Harvest campaign[60] and another participated in the massacre of the Sangheili High Councilors.[61]


Main-Legendary.png See our gameplay tips related to Jiralhanae on its gameplay tips page
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  • John DiMaggio provided the voice of the Jiralhanae Chieftains in Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST.
  • The word "Jiral" is a Korean curse word that roughly means "stupid, aggressive", which describes the Brutes' temperament.
  • Despite having been absorbed into the Covenant in 2492, Halo: Ghosts of Onyx describes the feud between the Jiralhanae and the Sangheili as "ancient".[62]
  • In Halo 3: ODST the power armor of the Brutes completely lights up, similarly to Elite and Spartan energy shields, instead of small sparks marking where gunfire hits their armor as seen in Halo 3.
  • In Halo 2, Jiralhanae blood is a dark shade of blue, while it is red with blue splotches in Halo 3, and is red in Halo: Reach.
  • In the level Anders' Signal in Halo Wars, Serina identifies the Jiralhanae using the actual name of the species, as well as calling them Brutes. This is the first time a Covenant species' actual name is spoken in scripted dialogue.

Behind the scenes[edit]

  • In the ViDoc, Et Tu Brute, Chris Butcher describes the Brutes in Halo 2 as "damage sponges", referring to how they were not very interesting to fight against, acting mainly like less agile Elites who dropped their guns and ran straight toward the player when they got angry.[63] The ViDoc shows Brutes wielding energy swords; however they are never seen doing so in-game. Et Tu Brute also shows a Brute Minor with a Brute Shot using the corpse of another Brute as cover from which to fire from, and another tearing the arms off a captured Marine. Additionally, a Brute Chieftain wielding a plasma cannon wields the version from Halo 2. This is because Bungie was using it as a placeholder until they developed the Halo 3 model. Moreover, it was revealed that the Brutes' original concept was inspired by the barbarians that plagued ancient Rome and eventually became assimilated into it.[63] Marcus Brutus betrayed and killed Julius Caesar and was later hunted down by Rome. This is similar to how the Brutes betrayed the Elites and were eventually defeated. The "-us" suffix on the end of Brute names is a Latin ending denoting a second declension nominative singular noun.
  • During concept stages for Halo 3, the Brutes were planned to use deployable metal shields, rather than the energy shields used by Elites.[64] This idea was eventually cut from the final game, although it would inspire the Brutes ducking animation.
  • Before Halo 3 was released, Brutes had lime green blood instead of the dark red blood they have in the final game.[63]


Main article: Glitches
  • In Halo 3, if any Brute becomes infected by the Flood it will turn into a Flood-infected Brute Minor due to graphical restraints, and to time constraints. However, if the player triggers a loading point that removes the Flood from the level while a infection form has begun the infection process, the Flood Infection Form will be deleted, the infection process will be stopped yet the transformation will simultaneously complete. This will result in infected Brutes who are allied with the Flood while retaining berserking, appearance, and hijacking abilities. The only noticeable Flood features are signs of Flood infection growing on their back.[65]
  • In Halo 3, if a Brute Chieftain with a plasma cannon goes berserk, the weapon disappears. When a Brute Chieftain is killed, the plasma cannon reappears by its body. This is because the weapon has no "putting away" animation. However, this was fixed in Halo 3: ODST: if a Chieftain goes berserk, the plasma cannon will hang across his back just like a normal two-handed weapon.
  • In Halo 3: ODST, if one looks closely, a Brute with a Brute Plasma Rifle will appear to reload the weapon after using it for awhile, by reaching toward his left calf and seems to be doing the reload animation for a Spiker. This is an oversight as the plasma rifle is run by a plasma battery.


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Halo 3, Bestiarum
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Halo Waypoint: Jiralhanae
  3. ^ Halo 2, Conversations from the Universe
  4. ^ Halo: Evolutions, "Wages of Sin", page 297
  5. ^ halo.bungie.org: Bestiarum Latin names translated
  6. ^ a b c d e Halo Encyclopedia, page 142 (2011 edition)
  7. ^ a b c d Halo 2, campaign level Sacred Icon
  8. ^ a b Halo: Evolutions, The Return
  9. ^ Halo Legends, Origins
  10. ^ a b c Halo: Contact Harvest, page 194
  11. ^ Halo: Contact Harvest, page 260
  12. ^ a b c d Halo: Broken Circle, page 187
  13. ^ a b c d Halo: Escalation, Issue #1
  14. ^ a b Halo: Contact Harvest, page 199
  15. ^ Halo: Contact Harvest
  16. ^ Halo: Reach, campaign level New Alexandria
  17. ^ Halo: Broken Circle, page 196
  18. ^ Halo: Broken Circle, page 209
  19. ^ a b Halo 2, campaign level Quarantine Zone
  20. ^ Halo: Broken Circle, pages 219-222
  21. ^ a b Halo 2, campaign level The Great Journey
  22. ^ Halo: Glasslands, page 225
  23. ^ Halo: The Thursday War, pages 22-23
  24. ^ Halo: Escalation, Issue #3
  25. ^ Halo Waypoint: Covenant
  26. ^ Bungie.net: Halo: Reach, Brute
  27. ^ Halo: Contact Harvest, page 195
  28. ^ Halo 2, campaign level The Arbiter (Brute: "Them? What about us? My belly aches, and his flesh is seared just the way I like it.")
  29. ^ a b c Halo 2
  30. ^ a b c d e Halo 3
  31. ^ Halo: Broken Circle, page 198
  32. ^ Halo 3, campaign level Sierra 117
  33. ^ a b c Halo 2, campaign level Gravemind
  34. ^ a b Halo: Contact Harvest, page 203
  35. ^ Halo 3, campaign level Sierra 117
  36. ^ Halo 2, campaign level The Oracle
  37. ^ Halo: Broken Circle, page 190
  38. ^ a b Halo 2, campaign level Uprising
  39. ^ Halo: Glasslands, page 256
  40. ^ Halo: Contact Harvest, page 347
  41. ^ a b c Halo Encyclopedia, page 143 (2011 edition)
  42. ^ Halo: Contact Harvest, page 198
  43. ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 242
  44. ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
  45. ^ Halo: Reach
  46. ^ Halo: Broken Circle, page 223
  47. ^ Halo Legends, The Package
  48. ^ Halo: Reach, campaign level ONI: Sword Base
  49. ^ Halo 2, level Regret
  50. ^ Halo: Contact Harvest
  51. ^ Halo: Contact Harvest, page 258
  52. ^ Halo Waypoint - (Possible Catalog) Jiralhanae -us suffix question
  53. ^ a b c d e Halo Encyclopedia, page 144
  54. ^ Halo 3, campaign level The Covenant
  55. ^ Halo: Contact Harvest, page 196
  56. ^ a b c Bungie.net, service record
  57. ^ a b c Halo Encyclopedia, page 145
  58. ^ Halo: Contact Harvest, page 226
  59. ^ Halo Wars, Timeline
  60. ^ Halo Wars, Collectors Edition Leader Cards
  61. ^ Halo 2 Anniversary, Terminal 12
  62. ^ Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 193
  63. ^ a b c Halo 3, ViDoc: Et Tu, Brute?
  64. ^ Bungie.net: A Certain Sense of Movement
  65. ^ YouTube: Halo 3 Glitch - Half Infected Brutes
Member and client races of the Covenant
San'ShyuumSangheiliJiralhanaeHuragokLekgolo (Dipholekgolo • Khantolekgolo • Mgalekgolo • Rhulolekgolo • SbaolekgoloThanolekgolo)Yanme'eKig-Yar (T'vaoan)UnggoyYonhet