Nina Kovan

From Halopedia, the Halo wiki

Nina Kovan
Kovan as she appears in the Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition).
Biographical information




March 21, 2534[1]

Personal details






206 centimeters (6 ft 9 in)[1]


108 kilograms (240 lb)[1]

Hair color:


Eye color:


Political and military information


Spartan Operations


Nina Kovan, nicknamed the Stoic,[2][5] is a SPARTAN-IV supersoldier of Fireteam Shadow in the United Nations Space Command,[6] operating under the callsign Shadow Four.[7][Note 1]


Official cover art.
Kovan (right) and the rest of Fireteam Shadow onboard UNSC Infinity circa 2558.

Early life and career[edit]

Nina Kovan was born on Gilgamesh on March 21, 2534. For her entire military career, Kovan was considered an exemplary marksman. Eventually, when knowledge of the heroic Spartan supersoldiers like Linda-058 began to be more widely known, Kovan became obsessed with the study of the Spartan's records and methods, hoping to glean anything she could apply to her own battlefield approach.[1] Circa 2550, Kovan served on the UNSC Relentless Watch, where she met Bonita Stone; the two would later go on to serve in Fireteam Shadow.[8] When offered the opportunity to become a Spartan herself, Kovan jumped at the chance, eager to follow in the footsteps of her heroes.[1] After joining the program, Kovan and Stone ran trials and tested HIVEMIND-class Mjolnir at ANVIL Station.[9]

Battle of Requiem[edit]

Main article: Battle of Requiem

On July 21, 2557, Fireteam Shadow was attached to the UNSC Infinity when the ship was pulled into the shield world Requiem. Following the ship's crash inside the shield world, Fireteam Shadow, presumably including Kovan, was deployed to the flight deck to investigate movements detected outside the ship. The Spartans could not see what was causing the reports of movement outside the ship, but reported that they were experiencing technical difficulties. [10] Shortly after, the Infinity was attacked by the combined forces of Jul 'Mdama's Covenant and Ur-Didact's Prometheans.[11]

Requiem Campaign[edit]

Main article: Operation: VERTICAL UMBRAGE

On February 14, 2558, Kovan—operating under the callsign Shadow Two—and the rest of Fireteam Shadow were dispatched to the Requiem to neutralize a Covenant base established two days earlier. Kovan observed from afar while her squad mates eliminated patrols and created a breach to break into the base. However, in the middle of the operation, Jared Miller reassigned the team on a priority operation to destroy the Covenant Zanar-pattern light cruiser Panom's Canticle, which was deploying forces to "The Refuge".[6] Being too far from their Pelican, Shadow stole a Phantom from the Summit to get there.[12]

While Fireteam Crimson protected the science team from the Covenant ground forces at "The Refuge", Shadow took advantage of the stolen Phantom to rush into the Panom's Canticle hangar before the crew activated the shields. Shadow made rapid progress through the ship, but encountered heavy resistance as they approached the core. As Kovan, Horatio Fry, and Jason Kidman cleared out the last Covenant soldiers in the hallway leading to the main reactor room, Stone had already infiltrated there, armed with her active camouflage. Kovan fired her Selene's Lance at the ship's power core. With the power core overloaded, the cruiser was destroyed, bringing an end to the Covenant's attack. Kovan and the rest of Shadow escaped onboard a Gloto'kef-pattern assault carapace.[12][13]

Battle for Zeta Halo[edit]

Main article: Battle for Zeta Halo

On December 12, 2559, Spartan Kovan was onboard UNSC Infinity when it was ambushed by Banished forces upon arrival at Installation 07. As the Infinity fell to the Banished assault, Captain Thomas Lasky was evacuated from the ship, and Spartan Hudson Griffin ordered all Spartans to evacuate.[14] Kovan left the ship on a M9407 drop pod,[15] and as she entered the ring's stratosphere, she saw a trio of Phantoms attacking an RLT-85 shuttlepod. Kovan adjusted her drop pod trajectory for the Phantoms in an attempt to board one.[16] She successfully took control of the Phantom and landed on the ring's surface, where Kovan provided sniper overwatch for members of Fireteam Taurus as they attacked a Banished anti-air artillery.[17] While Taurus advanced towards the artillery, Kovan approached the shuttlepod and saved the survivors from an attacking Banshee by destroying the aircraft with two rounds from her SRS99-S7 AM sniper rifle. Kovan then instructed the survivors to gather the weapons, rations, and supplies from the shuttle; she handed her M11 combat knife to Erik Bender when he identified himself as a retail specialist and a barber.[15] Over the next six days, Kovan led the survivors across the region. They eventually rendezvoused with another group of survivors led by Spartan Stone. The combined group of non-combatants became the "boat crew".[18] Led by Stone and Kovan, the boat crew travelled to the UNSC stronghold at the wreckage of the UNSC Mortal Reverie;[19] they arrived on December 19.[20]

Cropped version of Halo: The Rubicon Protocol cover art to better see Bonita Stone and Nina Kovan.
Nina Kovan and Bonita Stone on the surface of Installation 07.

On January 20, 2560, Stone and Kovan conducted a recon sweep deep inside Banished-occupied territory.[2] They observed that Banished forces were only unified under Escharum, with internal competition among its members. Kovan reported their findings to Griffin, and suggested that an attempt on Banished War Chief Escharum's life may fragment the Banished leadership.[21] On January 23, Spartan Griffin, the de facto leader at the crash site, led Spartans Panago, Malik, and Sarkar in an assassination mission on Escharum.[22] Kovan was among the Spartans that remained to defend the Reverie.[23] However, the assassination on Escharum failed. Griffin sent an encrypted message to the Reverie on January 31 before he was captured and handed over to Chak 'Lok for torture. In his message, Griffin warned the Reverie of an impending Banished assault.[24]

Under the combined leadership of Bertold Vettel and counsel of Makovich, the UNSC forces at the Reverie braced for the Banished's attack.[23] Kovan participated in the defense of the Reverie when the Banished launched an assault on the wreckage on January 31, 2560.[25] Despite the preparations, the Banished assault under Chieftain Tremonius forced the UNSC forces to retreat from the Reverie on February 2.[26] When the UNSC forces scattered into the valley, Stone and Kovan split off from the boat crew repeatedly to fight off pursuit parties, and eventually Stone did not return after leaving the group. Kovan and the boat crew hid in a nearby cave from Banished hunting parties. As one group neared the cave, Kovan's damaged armor malfunctioned left her temporarily immobilized. As the Banished approached, Browning ran from the cave and drew the enemy away. As soon as her armor rebooted and she was able to move, Kovan left to search for him, with no success.[27] The surviving members of the boat crew waited until Kovan returned with supplies, then set off on the morning of February 5.[28]

Over the next month, Kovan led the the boat crew across the region; with the enactment of the Rubicon Protocol, they were resolved to deter the Banished's efforts.[29] Led by Kovan, the boat crew carried out numerous guerilla operations against the Banished.[30] On approximately April 20, Stone and Kovan spotted each other in their sniper scopes; Stone made her way to Kovan, and reunited with the rest of the boat crew.[31] They noticed the increased air traffic from Escharum's personal fleet towards the Reverie—now a Banished outpost named after the Chieftain who led the assault on the wreckage—and decided to investigate. Arriving at the area on 22 April, while the rest of the boat crew made a supply run to scavenge from a ledge that caught some of the supplies the Banished had thrown into the chasm below the outpost,[4] Kovan and Stone investigated the newly-constructed outpost.[32]

On April 23, when Spartan Stone was scouting out the Banished outpost, she recognized Browning in the outpost from afar, then returned to Kovan to share her findings. That evening, while Stone provided overwatch, Kovan snuck into Outpost Tremonius and into the Phantom that held Browning. He couldn't be rescued, however, as the Harbinger and the Banished had put a pair of shackles on Browning's wrists, with a node on the Phantom's hull that would detect the sensors and detonate explosives within the shackles if Browning left the Phantom. Browning informed Kovan of the Harbinger, and opted to stay under captivity. Kovan gave him several recording transmitters, instructing Browning to learn whatever he could about the Harbinger or the Banished, and left a tracking beacon to Browning's neck. The Spartan made a promise to find Browning, then left as a pair of Jiralhanae patrol approached.[32] Seeing two Jiralhanae patrols approaching Kovan, Stone created a distraction to allow Kovan to escape, but was unable to regroup with Kovan, because the Banished was tracking her closely.[33] Only Kovan returned to the camp to link up with the boat crew.[4]

On April 27, Murphy confronted Kovan—questioning why Stone had not rejoined the group at the camp and why Kovan refused to divulge why—and it was revealed that Stone had entered the Forerunner subterranean structure underneath the outpost. More importantly, Browning was alive, and the Spartans kept that a secret, knowing the rest of the boat crew would want to launch a rescue. At Murphy's decision, the boat crew followed Kovan back to Outpost Tremonius to track down Stone. They snuck into the outpost and took the Banished elevator into the Forerunner subterranean structure underneath. There, they discovered Stone's lifeless body and recovered a data chip Stone had hidden away from her killer. with the Banished taking the elevator down, the boat crew was forced to escape by venturing deeper into the facility. Hours later, while they were resting, the boat crew was approached by submonitor 091 Adjutant Veridity, who revealed Stone's data chip contained data the Banished had stolen from the ring's Conspectus network, including the ring's galactic coordinates. The boat crew realized they could transmit the data to the UNSC to summon reinforcements, but doing so required the Installation's monitor 117649 Despondent Pyre's support to decrypt the data. Under Veridity's guidance, the boat crew set out to the monitor's facility, the Conservatory, to free Pyre from Cortana's lockdown.[4]

On May 3, while en route to the Conservatory, the boat crew linked up with Spartan Tomas Horvath, who was separated from UNSC forces since the ring fractured nearly six months ago.[5] That evening, they caught up with Horvath on the status on the larger UNSC resistance in the fragmented region of the ring. They decided to use one of ring's beacon towers as a supraluminal communications array to broadcast the ring's location to UNSC space and summon reinforcements. In order to access the beacon tower, however, they still needed to release Despondent Pyre.[34]

On May 9, the team arrived at the Conservatory's main chamber, Pyre's Cradle. Pyre, along with a number of submonitors, were sequestered by Cortana within an energy barrier. As a human and thus, a Reclaimer, Horvath was able to deactivate the barrier and awaken the monitors. Although Pyre was initially uninterested in offering any assistance, upon hearing news of the Harbinger being released, the monitor granted access to the beacon towers. She also gave the humans a data key that they must insert into the central plinth of a beacon tower in order to transmit the ring's location and data to human-occupied space. However, Pyre ordered Veridity to remain with her to counter the Harbinger, leaving Kovan and the boat crew to travel to the beacon tower without Veridity’s presence.[35]

On May 14, the team translocated to the vicinity of a beacon tower near the Conservatory. Kovan led Bender and Murphy into the beacon to transmit the ring's data; while Kovan protected the control plinth and interfaced with its panel, Bender and Murphy defended the chamber entrance from Sangheili Enforcers that were guarding the beacon. After Bender ran out of ammo, his chestplate was hit by a plasma round, forcing him to discard the armor before the plasma burnt through to his skin. While Bender was occupied, it left an opening for a Sangheili to fire at the plinth, but Murphy jumped in and blocked the bolts with his body. Kovan then killed the Sangheili while Bender slid to Murphy's aid, only to watch the lieutenant passed with a smile on his face. At the same time, the beacon tower fired its supraluminal message to UNSC space.[36] As Kovan and Bender exit the beacon, Bender tossed an energy sword hilt, which he took from a dead Sangheili Enforcer, to Horvath.[37]

Having caught attention of UNSC activity at the beacon tower, Jega 'Rdomnai led a massive reinforcement from their nearby excavation site into the Conservatory to the beacon tower. Before he could reach the beacon, Cameron was run down and killed by a Banished Terror Wraith. After Bender managed to kill the Wraith's pilot, Kovan hurried to Cameron—knowing he had passed—and dragged his lifeless body by the collar behind cover at the beacon.[37]

In the ensuing battle, while Kovan fought off Banished troops,[38] Horvath managed to kill Gorian, but was teleported away.[39] At around the same time, Dimik took a plasma round in the shoulder from Banished forces while she scrambled to rejoin Bender and Kovan.[37] As the Banished surrounded the trio, they were rescued by Veridity, who flew in and fired her focus beam at the Banished, then teleported the survivors to another location before disappearing. The three spent the next four days treating their wounds and repairing equipment; Kovan's armor in particular proved to have taken much more effort for Bender and Dimik to repair. As they rested and contemplated their wins and losses at the beacon tower, they agreed their next step would be rescuing Browning from the Tower.[38]

Personality and traits[edit]

"I'm a sucker for a good accent and aloof women."
Erik Bender jokingly voices his interest in Kovan.[18]

Holding a reputation among other Spartans as a nut they could never crack, Nina Kovan is nicknamed the "Stoic" due to her lack of external emotion and often expressionless face,[2] though Horvath noted she has a perpetual frown.[5] Because of her stoicism, Kovan stays calm and even-keeled in any situation,[9] as well as never responds to sarcasm. However, if something Kovan planned had gone wrong, Stone noted that Kovan would take it the hardest, though she would refuse to let it show in her demeanor or let it affect her work.[2] Kovan also holds a reputation that Henri Malik remained unfazed when Kovan claimed she intended to board a Phantom by ramming her drop pod into the dropship.[15][16] In addition to being an exceptional marksman,[5] Kovan is also known for her stealth ability, capable of avoiding detection even by other Spartans.[2]

Due to the camaraderie between Kovan and her longtime friend and squad mate Bonita Stone, the latter is often able to prompt Kovan to joke, smirk, or even snort.[2][31] Kovan empathized and reassured Stone when they considered whether Fry and Kidman survived the battle over Installation 07;[2] when the two reunited after the battle of the Mortal Reverie, Kovan revealed her weakened condition—due to her armor's malfunctioning density regulator—to Stone.[31] Kovan was visibly sad and grieving when she found Stone's body,[4] and upon hearing the name of Stone's killer from Horvath, she dropped her calm demeanor and gripped the edges of Horvath's chestplate, allowing him to see the pain and fury in her eyes.[5] Although Kovan was initially quite cold and blunt to members of the boat crew,[2][3] she grew to care for each member, especially for Browning—who saved the lives of the boat crew by distracting Banished pursuers while Kovan's armor locked her in place—the guilt and pain made her consider launching a rescue on Browning when she learned that he was being held at Outpost Tremonius. When she could not escape with Browning, she made a promise to rescue him and felt heartbreak.[32]

Kovan has glacial blue eyes and pale-blond hair that she generally has cut above her ears.[2][4][5] However, during the Battle for Zeta Halo, months of staying on the move resulted in her hair growing long enough to touch her shoulders, at which point it was described as wavy.[2] Kovan has pale cheeks and a rigid jaw,[2][32] as well as a face possessing strong bone structure that made her easily recognisable.[5]

Kovan speaks English with an accent,[18] and has, on at least one occasion, spoke English mixed with Russian;[15][17] she apparently has a tendency to butcher English colloquialisms.[12]


During the Requiem Campaign, Spartan Kovan wore the Mjolnir GEN2 GUNGNIR. During Operation: VERTICAL UMBRAGE, Kovan used the Selene's Lance, an enhanced variant of the M6/E Spartan Laser, and a personalized SRS99-S5 AM sniper rifle called "Abbey".[7][12]

During the Battle for Zeta Halo, she wore a Mjolnir GEN3 Mark VII armor with jungle camo,[3][5] employing the Stormfall helmet, the UA/Faunus shoulder pads, and UA/Type SA knee pads.[40] She gave her M11 combat knife to Erik Bender.[15]

Kovan's personal AI was Mouse; she liked Mouse's quiet demeanor.[15] The months of constant battle on Installation 07 severely damaged Kovan's armor, rendering many of its systems inoperable and in need of repair.[39] This included a bad shield sensor that Kovan couldn't get replaced before the fall of the Reverie,[2] an active camouflage module that was operating with 80% efficiency by April 2560,[32] a malfunctioning density regulator, fried long-range comms and a fried AI from a shock rifle hit, and short-range comms that only connected half of the time.[31] Up until it was lost during the Banished assault on the Mortal Reverie, Kovan used a custom sniper rig called "Abbey Lime". After this, she often carried a standard SRS99-S5 AM sniper rifle.[30]

Production notes[edit]


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ In Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, other than Nina Kovan and Bonita Stone, the two remaining members of Fireteam Shadow were only identified as Shadow One and Shadow Two. This article assumes only the callsigns of Nina Kovan and Jason Kidman—formerly Shadow Two and Shadow Four in Halo: Vertical Umbrage—were swapped, while Bonita Stone retained the callsign of Shadow Three.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 103
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 14
  3. ^ a b c Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 15
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 30
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 31
  6. ^ a b Halo Waypoint, Canon Fodder: Rubicon Rundown (Retrieved on Aug 3, 2022) [archive]
  7. ^ a b Halo Waypoint, Canon Fodder: Fourward Unto Dawn (Retrieved on Nov 10, 2022) [archive]
  8. ^ Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 30: "'Ten years,' Kovan finally said. 'We met on the reconnaissance starship Relentless Watch before joining the SPARTAN-IV program. Recon was hardwired into her DNA from the beginning.'"
  9. ^ a b Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 1
  10. ^ Xbox, Halo 4 promotional site (Retrieved on Jul 15, 2013) [local archive] [external archive]
  11. ^ Halo 4, campaign level Infinity
  12. ^ a b c d Halo Waypoint, Halo 4 | Vertical Umbrage (Retrieved on Nov 7, 2022) [local archive] [external archive]
  13. ^ Halo 4 - Spartan Ops, episode Memento Mori, level Everything Has Gone Wrong
  14. ^ Halo Infinite, Spartan Audio log: Evacuation #01 - Infinity Down
  15. ^ a b c d e f Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 2
  16. ^ a b Halo Infinite, Spartan Audio log: Evacuation #04 Perfect Aim
  17. ^ a b Halo Infinite, Spartan Audio log: Evacuation #05 - Overwatch
  18. ^ a b c Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 7
  19. ^ Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 8
  20. ^ Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 9
  21. ^ Halo Infinite, Spartan Audio log: Reverie #06 - Weakness
  22. ^ Halo Infinite, Spartan Audio log: Retaliation #02 - Those Left Behind
  23. ^ a b Halo Infinite, Spartan Audio log: Retaliation #06 - Drawing the Line
  24. ^ Halo Infinite, Spartan Audio log: Retaliation #05 - Encroachment
  25. ^ Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 16
  26. ^ Halo Infinite, Spartan Audio log: Retaliation #08 - The Retreat
  27. ^ Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 18
  28. ^ Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 19
  29. ^ Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 21
  30. ^ a b Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 23
  31. ^ a b c d Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 24
  32. ^ a b c d e Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 26
  33. ^ Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 28
  34. ^ Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 32
  35. ^ Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 34
  36. ^ Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 35
  37. ^ a b c Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 36
  38. ^ a b Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 39
  39. ^ a b Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 38
  40. ^ Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, cover art
  41. ^ Halo Infinite, credits
  42. ^ Sarah Elmaleh, Project - Halo: Infinite: "Sarah was very honored to join the cast of Halo: Infinite, and delighted to see the response from fans and critics alike. The game features a range of accents from Sarah: for special-reveal Despondent Pyre, Monitor of Zeta Halo, she deploys an imperious British RP; gutsy sniper Spartan Nina Kovan hails from Russia; and she's all good old-fashioned US grit for selectable Spartan Multiplayer voiceprint 2FP4." (Retrieved on Dec 4, 2022) [archive]
  43. ^ Twitter, Kelly Gay (@KellyHGay): "Glad you enjoyed it! :D Fun Fact: During game development Kovan & Horvath were originally KIA in the campaign audio logs story. Writing the book during development, gave me the chance to work w/343 to pick certain Spartans to keep alive & kicking. 🤗"
  44. ^ Halo Waypoint, Canon Fodder: Foundations (Retrieved on Jan 12, 2022) [archive]