Usze 'Taham

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Usze 'Taham
UszeTaham - Profile.png
Biographical information


Bothaes, Sanghelios[1]





Political and military information



Otar 'Bemet: "You are the Arbiter's soldier?"
Usze 'Taham: "I am my own soldier."
Otar 'Bemet and Usze 'Taham[2]

Usze 'Taham is a Sangheili of the Swords of Sanghelios. During the final months of the Human-Covenant War, he was assigned to the Fleet of Retribution's Special Warfare Group.[3] During the Great Schism, he joined Arbiter Thel 'Vadam's uprising against the Hierarchs and took part in the Battle of Earth and the Battle of Installation 00.


Early life and military career[edit]

"Prior to the Great Schism, others sought to punish me and even take my life, but they would not succeed. My actions in combat, in the war and against my enemies, silenced all those who would contend with my standing."
—Usze 'Taham, reflecting on his declination of the title of Honor Guard[4]

Usze 'Taham was born into a respected merchant family in the Sumai keep in the state of Bothaes on Sanghelios.[1] He was fathered by Toha 'Sumai, one of the prominent swordfighters of this age. Toha mated with Usze's mother, a privilege granted by being a swordsman, and Usze was raised by his mother and her husband. Per Sangheili custom, Usze did not know that Toha was his father.[3] Instead, Usze believed that Toha was an uncle and was trained by him in swordsmanship. When he was of age, Usze traveled to the top war college in the Iruiru region of Yermo on Sanghelios and graduated with honors,[1] a distinction he shares with Rtas 'Vadum.[3] Upon graduating, Usze's skills attracted the attention of influential individuals and he was posted on the Fleet of Faithful Ardor.[1]

After only serving a single tour in the Human-Covenant War with the Fleet of Faithful Ardor,[1] several politicians offered Usze a place in the Covenant Honor Guard,[3] putting him in service of the High Council.[1] He declined, despite warnings against his decision, citing "lack of practical experience". In truth, he had no desire to be part of a largely ceremonial unit. At the end of his third tour, Usze 'Taham again refused the post, even though his superiors warned him such behavior could be misinterpreted as apostasy. Ultimately, no charges were ever filed or pursued against him.[3] Some Sangheili believed that superiors of Usze who felt "protective" towards him were responsible for the lack of punitive actions taken against Usze. He became respected by certain circles for dismissing the Honor Guard's offer in favor of pursuing combat.[5] Since that time, Usze evaded countless punitive actions, as well as at least two assassination attempts, and served with distinction for two additional tours before the Great Schism.[3] Usze's actions in the aforementioned combat tours against humanity eventually led his superiors to resign to his decision. Usze came into service of the Ascetics as a liaison for the Covenant.[1]

Great Schism[edit]

Main article: Great Schism

On November 3, 2552, the remaining Hierarchs of the Covenant denounced the Sangheili and ordered the massacre of the Sangheili High Councilors.[6] With this revelation, Usze joined forces with Arbiter Thel 'Vadam and Special Operations Commander Rtas 'Vadum. Usze served in the Sangheili's Fleet of Retribution, under the Special Warfare Group in Fleet Security.[3] While 'Vadum sought to destroy the Flood's presence on Installation 05 with most of the fleet, Usze traveled to Earth with the Arbiter, N'tho 'Sraom, UNSC Commander Miranda Keyes, and Sergeant Major Avery Johnson.

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Battle of Installation 00[edit]

Main article: Battle of Installation 00

On November 17, 2552, the Forerunner Dreadnought activated the Portal at Voi. Soon after, the Fleet of Retribution traveled through the portal and arrived at Installation 00 where they started their naval attack on Covenant Loyalist ships. Usze was sent to the surface with a squad of Sangheili soldiers commanded by Thel 'Vadam to assist UNSC forces with deactivating the three shield generators protecting the Citadel. Usze and the rest of the squad succeeded in deactivating one of the generators while John-117 deactivated another, however the UNSC forces in the third generator were overrun and were forced to retreat. Usze left the generator building with the squad and linked up with the other UNSC forces and they managed to deactivate the final generator, causing a section of the shield to fall.[7] Usze and the rest of the UNSC and Sangheili forces fought their way to the Citadel and eventually reached the light bridge leading to the entrance. Usze, accompanied by the Arbiter, John-117 and a few Marines and Sangheili fought their way through the Citadel,[8] allowing John-117 to deactivate the Halo Array and the Arbiter to kill the Prophet of Truth.[7]


Following the onset of the Great Schism, he was once again approached by the Ascetics to become one of their emissaries to the navy of the Swords of Sanghelios.[3] He eventually became a liaison to the United Nations Space Command, and remained active following the end of the war.[9]

In 2555, he served the Arbiter during the ongoing civil war that encroached Sanghelios. Upon learning of a plot to assassinate Thel 'Vadam, Usze helped track down half a dozen conspirators and either killed or interrogated them. The interrogated Sangheili revealed that the plan was engineered by Otar 'Bemet and Usze traveled to his location in Qish'tani, Tolvuus aboard a Banshee. Otar attempted to convince Usze to join his cause against the Arbiter and humanity, though he refused. A duel begun between the two in which Usze feigned incompetence. Otar overestimated his skills and was taken by surprise when Usze avoided his attack, which gave Usze an opening to kill the rebel Sangheili.[5] After the mission, though he wished to return to his keep, the Arbiter ordered for Usze to visit his own keep. Upon arriving in Vadam, the Arbiter informed Usze that UNSC scientists had discovered that the Halo Array's firing sequence had been activated. Thel assigned him and N'tho to lead the Swords of Sanghelios half of a joint human–Sangheili team tasked with journeying to Installation 00 with the intentions of deactivating the sequence.[10]

Mission to Installation 00[edit]

Main article: Mission to Installation 00

Usze traveled to Earth aboard the corvette Mayhem. Upon arriving, he descended to the surface in a Phantom at the site of the deactivated portal in Kenya, Africa that led to the Ark. Along with N'tho and Huragok Drifts Randomly, he greeted the humans and begun working to reactivate the portal.[11] Two days after their arrival, Usze was watching Drifts work, alongside Olympia Vale. When the Huragok successfully managed to activate the portal, the three returned to the surface to witness its activation. Shortly after, Usze noticed a Retriever exiting the portal. As the massive construct began collecting resources from Earth's surface nearby, Usze grabbed Vale and escaped Retriever's path of destruction, with Drifts Randomly following closely behind them.[12] After the Retriever was destroyed by UNSC forces, all members of the expedition team met aboard Mayhem, at N'tho's request.[13] When Captain Annabelle Richards insisted that they required her superior's permission before entering the portal, N'tho regardless moved the corvette towards the portal as he and Usze felt that they could not waste time waiting for administrative consent. As they prepared to enter, Mayhem was attacked by another Retriever. The corvette managed to destroyed the Sentinel and continue through the slipspace portal.[14]

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Personality and traits[edit]

Usze 'Taham is independent, resourceful, and vigilant.[15] Usze preferred to anticipate situations and problems and remain constantly on guard, rather than react to and deal with an unexpected situation as it occurred.[10] Usze rarely chose to sit, as he believed that the action lacked a purpose and only contributed to a lack of preparedness to an unexpected difficulty.[12] He declined his invitation to join the Covenant Honor Guard as he felt that his skills could be best used elsewhere. Additionally, Usze held less interest in ceremonial positions and honorable titles than in personal deeds and actions. He believes that he was born to fight, which he realizes that he does quite capably.[1] Usze found human laughter to be "ridiculous"; he believes humans only appear threatened or frightened when they express laughter.[12]

Usze apparently holds some diplomatic skills, as he was twice approached by the Ascetics to become one of their liaisons for the Covenant,[3] and later the Swords of Sanghelios. He was also selected by Arbiter Thel 'Vadam to serve as an emissary of sorts to the Unified Earth Government, during joint missions between the two governments.[1] Usze has little to no disdain for the human; even after spending the entirety of his service in the Covenant slaughtering humans, he recognized that they had committed no crimes as the San'Shyuum decreed.[5] Usze, as a warrior, held that ending the life of another individual was a grave responsibility, nor did he feel any pleasure from killing—particularly if he respected the said individual. However, he never experienced any pangs of regret, as Usze felt content with successfully completing a mission.[10] Over the course of his return to the Ark, Usze developed a sense of respect for Olympia Vale, finding her to be interesting.[12]

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Skills and abilities[edit]

Otar 'Bemet: "Very good. You're… very good."
Usze 'Taham: "I have worked hard to become so."
—Otar 'Bemet and Usze 'Taham[16]

Trained aggressively in his youth by Toha 'Sumai, Usze 'Taham is a skilled combatant. He significantly refined his capabilities with an energy sword and other weaponry at Yermo's war college and ultimately graduated with top honors. Having proven his skills at the war college, Usze attracted the attention of several individuals "in high places".[1] As a warrior of Sumai keep, Usze was trained to recognize and counter 'Anyame technique. During his duel with Otar 'Bemet, Usze was able to recognize his opponent's use of the method and counter it by feigning incompetence and hiding his true skills.[5]

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During the initial outbreak of the Great Schism in late 2552, Usze wore an assault harness with a dark crimson color. Having trained extensively in swordsmanship, Usze prefers to fight with his Type-1 energy sword whenever possible. Following the dissolution of the Covenant, Usze began using some weapons of pre-Covenant design, which were considered to invoke ancient Sangheili heritage.[17] His energy sword has a traditional, pre-Covenant design that displays intriguing ridges with an upper blade significantly longer than the lower blade.[5] Usze armed himself with an old, modified design Type-51 carbine.[18] As of 2555, Usze began to don a combat harness with crimson and ivory coloring. Polish, though battle-scarred, Usze's armor was similar to the combat harness worn by N'tho 'Sraom.[11]


  • Usze 'Taham is the fourth playable character in Halo 3 co-operative Campaign. However, neither Usze nor N'tho 'Sraom, the third playable character in co-op, are seen in cutscenes.
  • Claret, the color of Usze's armor, is not available to players. The color looks remarkably similar to that of the paint scheme on a Spectre. He is also the only known Sangheili to have claret colored armour.
  • When he activates his flashlight, the light is simply projected with no point of origin, as no visible flashlight is on his shoulder. This also applies to the third Halo 3 player character, N’tho ‘Sraom.
  • Both Usze 'Taham and N'tho 'Sraom appear to holster weapons backwards on their legs. This is most apparent with the Needler, with the side that has the protruding needles opposite the direction of other Sangheili models.


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Halo: Hunters in the Dark, pages 87-89 (Google Play edition)
  2. ^ Halo: Hunters in the Dark, page 47 (Google Play edition)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i The Tru7h About Co-Op in Halo 3 (backup link on
  4. ^ Halo: Hunters in the Dark, page 88 (Google Play edition)
  5. ^ a b c d e Halo: Hunters in the Dark, pages 46-50 (Google Play edition)
  6. ^ Halo 2, campaign level Uprising
  7. ^ a b Halo 3, campaign level The Covenant
  8. ^ Halo: Hunters in the Dark, page 252
  9. ^ Halo Waypoint: N'tho 'Sraom and Usze 'Taham (backup on site)
  10. ^ a b c Halo: Hunters in the Dark, pages 52-57 (Google Play edition)
  11. ^ a b Halo: Hunters in the Dark, pages 64-68 (Google Play edition)
  12. ^ a b c d Halo: Hunters in the Dark, pages 98-105 (Google Play edition)
  13. ^ Halo: Hunters in the Dark, page 110 (Google Play edition)
  14. ^ Halo: Hunters in the Dark, pages 113-118 (Google Play edition)
  15. ^ Halo Encyclopedia, page 137 (2011)
  16. ^ Halo: Hunters in the Dark, page 50 (Google Play edition)
  17. ^ Halo: Hunters in the Dark, page 91 (Google Play edition)
  18. ^ Halo: Hunters in the Dark, page 149 (Google Play edition)