Talk:Cortana Letters

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Aren't we to assume that this is Cortana can't we put some of her images here?-- Yamanba 00:27, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

I suppose that would make sense. --Dragonclaws 00:32, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Letter out of Character?[edit]

Bungie has always had great foresight on stories... perhaps Cortana ISN'T out of Character. Perhaps in the letters, she is possessed by gravemind. She refers to an AI trying to stop her... maybe AR. While not new to the extended Halo Universe my knowledge is woefully inadequate. Anyone care to speculate with me here? There are keys to this universe nobody has turned.


Investigative Reporting[edit]

Main article: [[1]]

Take a look at the reaction when the email first was sent out:

..."is this some cruel hoax perpetrated by some heinous fiend? We all remember the fake Bungie email that lead to the Marathon Gold hoax right? A detailed look at the Cortana email headers reveals the following.

    Received: from ( [])
    	by (8.8.7/8.8.7) with ESMTP id QAA15384
    	for <>; Mon, 15 Feb 1999 16:51:57 GMT
    Received: from (root@[])
    	by (8.8.7/8.8.7) with ESMTP id QAA21325
    	for <>; Mon, 15 Feb 1999 16:51:55 GMT
    Received: from Cortana ([])
              by (8.8.4/8.8.4) with SMTP
    	  id LAA02086 for <>; Mon, 15 Feb 1999 11:49:43 -0600
    Message-ID: <001301be5903$4685cb60$>
    From: "Cortana" <>
    To: <>
    Subject: Closure
    Date: Mon, 15 Feb 1999 10:50:20 -0600
    MIME-Version: 1.0
    Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
    X-Priority: 3
    X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
    X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 4.72.3110.1
    X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V4.72.3110.3
    X-UIDL: e36fab4ede04e7c19a0a09e3d2f7cc91

The email was sent from a machine with the IP address of The full email can be seen here.

By sheer coincidence (no such thing right?) I had asked Matt Soell of Bungie Software to send me proof of something I can't reveal here. His email header is as follows.

    Received: from ( [])
    	by (8.8.7/8.8.7) with ESMTP id QAA02387
    	for <>; Mon, 15 Feb 1999 16:52:26 GMT
    Received: from (root@[])
    	by (8.8.7/8.8.7) with ESMTP id QAA17712
    	for <>; Mon, 15 Feb 1999 16:51:04 GMT
    Received: from [] ([])
              by (8.8.4/8.8.4) with SMTP
    	  id LAA02056 for <>; Mon, 15 Feb 1999 11:48:48 -0600
    Message-Id: <>
    Subject: Proof.
    Date: Mon, 15 Feb 1999 10:50:39 -0600
    x-mailer: Claris Emailer 2.0v3, January 22, 1998
    From: Matt Soell <>
    To: "Hamish Sinclair" <>
    Mime-Version: 1.0
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
    X-UIDL: e7629e421652984e6fd6b1ea4d63065c

You'll note that Matt's machine has the IP address So the domains (209.125.9) match. Matt's mail was sent from machine 13 and our mysterious Cortana's from machine 49 (hmmm... 7 x 7 = 49... but I digress).

So the Cortana email does originate from a Bungie computer. But who is Cortana and why did he/she send the Story page a Durandal like message? A cruel joke or something more?

Bungie employees are well aware of the severe penalty for divulging sensitive information to the Story page. Yes folks... dismemberment. So either Cortana's corpse is now floating limbless inside of hangar ninety six or else the message was sanctioned by the powers that be.

I'll let you draw your own conclusions.


Sorry but what are these. Is some person pretending to be cortana or something. I ahve abselutly no clue what this is can some one please explain im curious.


This was a Bungie employee emailing a fansite while pretending to be Cortana to promote Halo 1 before it was released. --Dragonclaws(talk) 06:25, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Master Chief[edit]

Although i think that it has something to do with Gravemind (the Hybrid War-Machine bit) and I have heard that it does, this could also apply to the Chief. He can be a bit mindless sometimes (it mentions that the thing is mindless) and also she was in a 'system' (the MJOLNIR Armour) with him. It also says "it appears to have an unhealthy preoccupation with my mother." The spartans view Dr Halsey as a Mother figure, and have a slight preoccupation (in a way) with her, but effectively, Dr Halsey is Cortana's mother, as it was her brain that was used. I;m not getting at annything much, just pointing this out. --Keyes 06:20, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Yeah. It has also been suggested that she was in the Bungie system and refering to the Disembodied Soul. --Dragonclaws(talk) 06:28, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Eigth letter speculation[edit]

In the final letter cortona mentions two things that stick out to me. the first is: "Eight human worlds" which may refer to earth and the seven Halo's. The other is the "four 'lost colony' worlds" that would include Onyx, Reach, and two other planets that were colinated by the forerunners. Its best to keep in mind that there are 26 other known planets in the halo universe, not including the ones we know in the real world (jupiter, mars, venus, etc.) Still, its a possibilty. 23:24, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

(something is mesing with my broswer and I can not remain logged in if I go to a new page.--Spartan 107.)

Keep in mind that the Cortana Letters are not strict canon, and the info could have changed. Certainly, there has been no widespread knowledge of Forerunners. --Dragonclaws(talk) 03:45, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

Real World?[edit]

Wait, is this article supposed to be from a realworld point of view, or inuniverse? --Dragonclaws(talk) 00:00, 16 June 2007 (UTC)


Shouldn't there be some analysis of her religious/historical references on the page? --TerminalFailure 22:09, 15 April 2008 (UTC)


Is it just me or do some of the letters make Cortana seem human? As these were made during developement, it is not not inconceivable that Cortana was meant to be human rather than AI. Just a thought though. AJ Werefang 15:08, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

I don't know, there's stuff about her being in a network and this "I am now sharing cramped space with the circuitry of some hybrid war machine," really makes it seem like she's still the AI character. The stuff about her having dreams seems to echo the cryptic messages of Durandal, the main AI of Bungie's previous game series Marathon. --Dragonclaws(talk) 20:26, 25 March 2009 (UTC)


The original Marathon page that these were featured on has some great speculation, but most people aren't going to want to slog through the whole thing. Should we alter this page so that each letter is followed with an "analysis" explaining all the cryptic clues featured?Tuckerscreator 21:25, October 14, 2009 (UTC)

Cortana the Level[edit]

I am surprised that this hasn't been mentioned yet, but read the first letter and them read the script of the level Cortana. They both have "I have walked to the edge of the abyss", "I have seen your future and I have learned" and "There will be no more sadness, no more anger, no more envy!" I, of course noticed this a long time ago, when I played the level "Cortana" but I noticed it isn't mentioned anywhere... Why is that? I don't think I am the only one to notice.

... It was always my speculation that she was "writing" the messages and sending them to the past then. --Sangheili Commando 021: Fluffball Gato 22:51, October 26, 2009 (UTC)

Bungie reused certain quotes from the Letters and incorporated it with Halo 3. Not all quotes were used.--Lol@Phailure 22:59, October 26, 2009 (UTC)
Well, yeah. But still there were repeated quotes. --Sangheili Commando 021: Fluffball Gato 23:09, October 26, 2009 (UTC)
Yes, repeated quotes... but it is still somewhat irrelevant. Bungie will always refer to their precedent games and try to incorporate them into new ones. That's just how Bungie works... it's so obvious.--Lol@Phailure 23:15, October 26, 2009 (UTC)
This is different, as the Cortana Letters are about CORTANA, not some other game. --Sangheili Commando 021: Fluffball Gato 23:26, October 26, 2009 (UTC)
Actually, the Cortana Letters is a marketing gimmick to promote Halo: Combat Evolved back in 1999, the same with Ilovebees and Halo 2, Iris and Halo 3. Technically, yes it is about Cortana but note that only a few quotes from the letters were later reused in Halo 3.--Lol@Phailure 23:34, October 26, 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I'd say they picked the best ones. But still, I think that it should be considered somehow related. --Sangheili Commando 021: Fluffball Gato 23:40, October 26, 2009 (UTC)
There could be, but the fact remains, there none. That's just how Bungie is as well as other game developers.--Lol@Phailure 23:42, October 26, 2009 (UTC)
But CORTANA repeated the Cortana letters. I think it's more than an Easter Egg. --Sangheili Commando 021: Fluffball Gato 01:05, October 27, 2009 (UTC)
Did she repeat most of the contents of the Letters? No. Is it a reference? Yes. Is it minor or major reference? A minor reference? So, what does this mean? It's just a reference and not an easter egg. Unless she mentions more than half the contents of the Letters, it stays as a minor reference. Also, you should also know that the quotes Cortana said is more of a reference to T.S. Elliot's Hollow Men poem, which is also a reference but not an easter egg.--Lol@Phailure 01:14, October 27, 2009 (UTC)
I think your reasoning is odd. It is a reference, and that is what I said. I didn't say it was major or minor or anything. But it is a reference.--Sangheili Commando 021: Fluffball Gato 03:24, October 27, 2009 (UTC)