Deep Winter

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Deep Winter
Biographical information

Began service:


Ended service:





An old man with a snowy cape, often accompanied by holographic ice and snow[5]



Political and military information


United Nations Space Command


AI for the SPARTAN-III program at Camp Currahee, Onyx


Deep Winter was a fifth-generation "smart" AI assigned to the ONI survey team based in Zone 67 on planet Onyx.[2]

Operational history[edit]

Deep Winter replaced Eternal Spring in service by around mid-2537, at which point he was noted to "talk a lot" and accidentally spill secrets to Lieutenant Commander Kurt Ambrose and Senior Chief Petty Officer Franklin Mendez, such as the deployment of SPARTAN-III Alpha Company on Operation: PROMETHEUS.[1] At some point earlier in that year, he posed as Kurt in a communique requesting Spartans Hazel-A302, Jun-A266, and Kevin-A282 to be reassigned into the burgeoning "Headhunter" program, concerned about the projected high fatality rates of the then-upcoming PROMETHEUS. This act was a deception done in secret due to Deep Winter's care for the Spartan personnel, considering himself as much a father to the children as Kurt or Mendez had been. This deception would remain hidden until the end of his life.[4]

Throughout the training of SPARTAN-III Beta Company, Deep Winter served as the AI on station at Camp Currahee, Onyx, and took particular care of the candidates in training - often expressing his concern for their wellbeing to Kurt and Mendez.[5] This care extended to Gamma Company, with Deep Winter's final act prior to his end-of-life termination in 2551 being to warn Kurt of illegal and dangerous alterations that had been made to the Gammas' augmentation procedures clandestinely.[2]

He did this by imprinting a fraction of his intellect into a slipspace probe at the cost of much of his processing power, and using a slipspace COM launcher to send the probe to Kurt aboard UNSC Hopeful. Doing this allowed the AI a limited time to talk with Kurt without the need for an expansive datacentre or power infrastructure, though with only a very limited amount of time to do it. Unbeknownst to Deep Winter, the alteration of the augmentation process had been Kurt's idea and agreed-upon by Colonel James Ackerson. By the time Kurt returned to Onyx, Deep Winter had been shut down, though he left a number of files for Kurt to review about his findings on the secretive augmentation alterations.[2] These files also contained his "deathbed confession" regarding his findings and suspicion of Kurt and Ackerson's approval of the alterations, alongside his reveal of the reassignment of Alpha Company Spartans to the Headhunters and other "parallel initiatives". Due to his suspicion of Kurt and Ackerson, he expected the file cache to be fully wiped to cover up the process[4] - something later affirmed when Kurt did exactly that upon return to Onyx.[2]

Deep Winter was, in turn, replaced by the newer smart AI Endless Summer in 2551.[3][Note 1]

Personality and traits[edit]

Deep Winter's holographic avatar took on the appearance of an old man clad with ice-blue eyes and chiselled features. He was clad in a cape and held a crystalline ice cane, and was generally accompanied by ice and snow. When his holographic avatar moved to touch an object, it would often display holographic ice spreading across the object.[5][2]

In more sombre discussions such as those concerning his imminent end-of-service, Deep Winter shrank his holographic avatar into the form of a single snowflake.[2] Nonetheless, he was able to enjoy an active service lifespan of around thirteen years (c.2537-c.2551)- almost double the typical estimates for a Smart AI and something Deep Winter took pride in.[4][Note 1]

Deep Winter was known to be very talkative. He seemed to enjoy the company of Kurt Ambrose, Franklin Mendez and the Spartan-IIIs at Camp Currahee. Deep Winter also showed great concern for the young Spartans and often acted in what he thought to be their best interest, even when not ordered to do so. He monitored the progress and actions of the Beta Company Spartans even after they graduated and then monitored the progress of the Gamma Company Spartans as well. Deep Winter and Endless Summer were said to be roundabout opposites to themselves in both personalities and mannerisms, considering the adjacent seasons in the real world, both Summer and Winter.[3]

Production notes[edit]

Deep Winter, as per the Halo Infinite intel drops, was the AI responsible for ordering the deployment of several Alpha Company Spartan IIIs into the Headhunter program in an effort to help prevent excess deaths in the upcoming slaughterhouse of Operation: PROMETHEUS. In his final end-of-life confession, Deep Winter mentions reassigning members of Alpha Company away to parallel initiatives, implying other programs than just the Headhunters.[4] This may indicate that the formation of "Cat-2" teams like NOBLE, Gauntlet, Echo, and Red was also something done by Deep Winter rather than Kurt.

If so, this may additionally indicate Kurt's performance reports to Mendez (released as part of the promotional work for Halo: Reach) to actually be a fabrication of Deep Winter, rather than directly done by Kurt himself.

List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b Deep Winter had already entered service by mid-2537 and was deactivated in either late 2550 or early 2551; this implies that the AI was active for over thirteen years, six years past the typical threshold of rampancy for smart AIs. While this is likely to be an oversight, it is possible that Deep Winter's nature as a fifth-generation smart AI, or some other, unspecified factor, allowed it to survive six years past the normal lifespan of a smart AI. In the Halo Infinite intel drops concerning Deep Winter, this was later directly alluded to as an impressive feat in-universe, confirming its status in canon.


  1. ^ a b Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, chapter 8
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, chapter 11
  3. ^ a b c Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, chapter 13
  4. ^ a b c d e Halo Waypoint, Halo Infinite - Winter Update Intel (Retrieved on Feb 24, 2023) [local archive] [external archive]
  5. ^ a b c d Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, chapter 9