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Note: As of the Halo Encyclopedia's release (October 2009), this list is out of date on several points.

Major threads

The main series

  • Was the detonation of the second Installation 04 powerful enough to destroy the Ark permanently, or will it eventually repair itself and rebuild the installation, possibly with Flood still on it? Is anyone planning an expedition to find out?
  • Can we really say the story of Halo is over when the Halos themselves are just as much of a danger as they've always been, just waiting for some fool to fly in and release the Flood or activate them? Can we trust Thel 'Vadam's implication that the galaxy's been made safe from the Halos, Covenant races and Flood? Will a story ever push the timeline up to the demolition of the last ring, or the incineration of the last known Flood specimens or something like that?
  • Is the Legendary Planet located near where the Ark was or somewhere else? What kind of beacon does Cortana drop, and how many years will it take to reach someone? Will the Chief wake, and if so, when and where?
    • Will the planet lead to a way home somehow? If so, what'll they do next? Retire with Cassandra?
  • Doesn't the Flood's extragalactic origin mean they should still be at large out there? If they're not, what happened to them? If they are, why haven't they invaded our galaxy again?

The spinoffs

  • The heck is with all the contradictions, apparently some intentional[1], on the numbers of Spartan-IIs and S-II casualties? Did some of the "washouts" actually survive? Is Class Two canon?
    • Who are the known surviving IIs at the war's end? Is it just Maria, Cassandra and the washouts, with the other possible survivors (John, James, Randall, Grey Team, Team Omega and Team Onyx) all MIA?
      • Is Cassandra the unknown WIA mentioned in FoR?
      • Will Grey Team and Team Onyx make it home?
  • When will the secrecy around the history of the Spartan-IIs be lifted or broken? Will heads roll when it is, and if so, whose?
    • Will major unrest result? If so, what side will will the major characters so far end up on?
  • Will Cortana succumb to her seven-year lifespan or find a way to outlast it? Or is the seven-year lifespan being considered non-canon?
    • Also, when's that counting from? When did she first go online?
  • What's happening in the Legendary ending of Halo Wars?

Curiosities

  • [AI] Within the human era, will we ever see the kind of powerful and fully out-of-control AI shown in the Cortana letters?
  • Has there ever been a known malevolent AI?
  • What stopped the apparently rapid development of human technology in the 20th and 21st centuries? Per CH (via Halopedia), back in the 21st we already (human-based) AI, yet in the 26th we still haven't managed to reverse-engineer it, solved the 7-year lifespan problem or achieved human-level de-novo AI. We still grow food in fields, use meatbag soldiers to defend ourselves, regularly fall to disease and old age, haven't become noticeably smarter despite neural interfaces being common, and make critical decisions without consulting our supposedly smarter-than-human AIs.
    • Why it supposedly impossible to copy AIs (per FS)? (Or shut them down temporarily, as implied by the 7-year lifespan?) Is there no stage of development, even the initial scan of the template brain, at which they can be reduced to static digital information? Is it somehow inherent in their design or is it engineered in, possibly to prevent a Hansonian population explosion?
    • Do humans or Covenant ever use embodied AIs (besides when Cortana was flying the Autumn)?
    • Even if AIs can't be copied, shouldn't they be more common, considering that any dying human can be potentially uploaded to become one, brains can be flash-cloned and (presumably) stored in cryopods, and AIs can run (per ILB) on 21st-century hardware? Is the initial creation the bottleneck, and if so, what in particular is needed?
  • [FoR] During the years leading up to Sigma Octanus, was it or wasn't it usual for the Covenant to land on planets and board ships? What were the reasons for the various ground battles that've been mentioned?[2] Looking for Forerunner relics, looking for enemy intelligence, or something else?
  • Did the UNSC really leap from no artificial gravity to ubiquitous artificial gravity in the time between 2517 and 2552 2528? If so, how?[3] (Edit: Not sure if this resolves it.)
  • No Brutes, Engineers or Prophets I can buy - Brutes were apparently out of favor and the latter two were noncombatants - but how and why did John not know about Elites or Hunters before 2552? (Especially since First Strike shows that the other Spartans knew about Elites, and Halo Wars implies that they were the main enemy for five years at Harvest.)
  • Is James dead? Will an effort be made to find his body after the war's end?
  • How much about the wider galaxy is being kept secret by those in power, and why? When were the Forerunners first learned of?[4]
  • Was Halo built to emulate Earth's specific environment? If so, why?
  • Roughly how do Haloverse artificial gravity, energy shields and plasma weapons work? What else could be done with the principles behind them? For example, why don't the Covenant use the mechanism that remotely steers plasma fire as a weapon in itself?
  • [H1] What's the story behind the Marathon symbols used by both Forerunners[5] and humans[6]? In the second case, are they covert references to the events of Contact Harvest, when the Oracle glyph was transmitted to lure Rapid Conversion into a trap?
    • Do the Marathon games themselves exist in the Haloverse or not?
  • How did the Flood come to exist? Were they natural or artificial?
  • What's the precise definition of "reclaimer"?
  • On The Library, why does Guilty Spark seem to say he's grateful that some Flood survived to reproduce? Is he still getting the hang of English? Is he talking to someone besides the player, and it makes sense in context?
  • What's with the apparent time gap between The Library and Two Betrayals?
  • Who or what does Spark mistake the player for and why, especially in the line "Last time, you asked me, if it was my choice, would I do it?"?
  • Why was the Pillar of Autumn rigged to explode if the reactor failed? It was presumably an mistake on Bungie's part, but the in-universe reason is unclear.
  • Is Boarding Action in-continuity? If so, does that imply a battle fought around Threshold with teleport-equipped ships somewhere in the timeline?
  • Is Chiron TL-34 in-continuity? If so, when is it set, and what's the story behind the Spartan clones mentioned in the flavor text?
  • Is Derelict in-continuity? If so, what's the station's purpose?
  • Roughly how do active camo, teleporters, Sentinel beams and the Halo array work? What else could be done with the principles behind them; especially the Halo pulse that's so weirdly selective in its effect?
    • What do the Halos use for power generation and storage?
  • How did the Flood originally come to exist?
  • [Bnet] What's the story behind the ship name Dawn Under Heaven?
  • [The Flood] How did the Chief instinctively know how to operate controls on Installation 04?[7] Just some kind of technological telepathy, or a clue that Forerunner technology was used in Mjolnir?
  • Was Marvin Mobuto a Spartan-I?
  • [FS] Why did Ascendant Justice have an unusual crew complement, with few combat troops and lots of engineers?
  • Was the black Elite on Ascendant Justice's bridge Thel 'Vadamee, or originally meant to be him?
  • What's a "Guardian of the Luminous Key"?
  • What was the Reach time crystal's original function? Roughly how did it work?
  • How did Ascendant Justice come to have an AI on board, and one apparently of human origin, accompanied by an AI-copying program?
    • What did it mean when it ranted about "noncopystate"?
  • Is the AI explosion that occurred on Unyielding Heirophant something that could occur elsewhere, possibly at Earth, if the AI-copying algorithm was rediscovered or if an AI went Rampant? Durga seemed capable of causing significant trouble in ILB. Is that a generally recognized risk of AI use, and if so, is there any plan to eventually eliminate it?
  • How did John come to believe that Kelly was "the only Spartan truly missing"? What about Randall and the Halo Wars team?
  • Will anything come from studying the remaining fragments of the Reach time crystal?
  • [ILB] Does the stuff about AIs having to be put down after seven years mean that previous references to "thinking themselves to death" are non-canon?
  • Will the story of what happened spread outside Durga's circle of friends? If so, how seriously will it be taken, especially the part about Forerunner tech being able to contact the past?
  • Will the fictional counterparts of the ARG players succeed in preparing humanity for the Covenant in their timeline?
  • [H2] What's the meaning of the Coral and Sacred Promise segments in Conversations?
  • What's a Sharquoi?[8]
  • What's the explanation for Pete Stacker and Chips Dubbo's impossible appearances? Are some of them non-canon? If so, which?
  • What's the story behind In Amber Clad's name?
  • What's with the Reversed Messages? Some say they're setting up Mendicant Bias, but how does "three thousand years" square with that?
  • How did Regret find Delta Halo's location on Earth?
  • Why is Installation 05 referred to as Delta Halo?
  • If the Halos have to do that thing with the beam towers and the flash of light to communicate at maximum speed, why don't they do it constantly from the moment their Monitors detect incursion?
  • Did any humans survive Delta Halo besides the five shown? Could a Chips Dubbo have survived, or Stacker's squad from Another Day at the Beach?
  • Roughly how do Sesa 'Refumee's decoys, Flood telepathy and Forerunner FTL comms work?
  • [HGN] If a plasma sword can consistently block another plasma sword, why can't John's shields in First Strike, when they're supposed to be on roughly equal footing with Covenant shield tech?
  • When and why did Maria-062 retire? In particular, was it before or after the battle of Reach?
  • How was Halsey able to contact Earth when she was on Gettysburg, and why was she so determined to keep it a secret?
  • On page 122, does the fact that the data query log is labeled "Proof of data query "spoof"" imply that someone is looking for proof, and possibly trying to discover the truth or expose the coverup about Johnson? If so, who and when, and what will the outcome be?
  • [GoO] What happened to Randall in 2532?
  • [GoO?] What were the Covenant looking for in the Antarctic?
  • [Uprising] After jumping from Delta Halo, why did the Forerunner dreadnought come out of Slipspace in the outer Sol system instead of at Earth?[9][10] Metalingus theorizes that he was just being cautious, but I'm unsure. Was Mendicant Bias responsible? How fast is "near relativistic speed" anyway?[10]
  • [H3] How'd the ONI-developed bubble shield come to be standard equipment for Brutes?[11]
  • Is Cortana really communicating with the Chief at the start of H3? If so, at what range - has High Charity already left Slipspace? Are the messages being received by his suit, his brain, or something else that was somehow implanted in him?
  • How fast is Ark portal travel? If it's substantially faster than Forerunner slipspace travel, what limits the speed of the latter?
  • Roughly how does the Ark's sun work?
  • What happened to Cortana between Halo 2 and 3 while she was held captive by Gravemind? Will there be lasting effects?[12]
  • Why didn't Gravemind expect to die after the second Installation 04's firing? Is his mind spread wider than just the vicinity of High Charity?
  • Who flew the Dawn home through the portal?
  • Was the fleet in Halo 3 all that the Covenant had left? If so, do planetary outposts remain that could develop into a threat? Assembly's flavor text suggests a yes to at least the latter.
  • Will the Covenant Separatists remain an organized force, considering that opposing the Prophets seem to have been their only common goal?
    • If they do, what will they call themselves? What will they do next, besides ferrying the Elites who want to return to Sanghelios? Will they be effective as a permanent peacekeeping, Flood-exterminating and possibly Halo-demolishing force? Will they be able to control Journey believers within their ranks?
    • If they don't, who will end up in control of their fleet? What proportion will be favorably disposed to the UNSC and Sanghelios?
  • Will the Kig-yar make a bid for power now that the Covenant are at least weakened?
  • What went wrong after Offensive Bias captured "the last of [Mendicant's] core vessels"[13]? What happened to Offensive?
  • What happened to the Precursors?
  • [CH] Roughly how does a Luminary detect and identify Reclaimers?
  • If Brutes and Engineers were encountered at Harvest, and humans learned the Covenant were after Forerunner relics, then why are all three (as well as possibly Drones) unknown in FoR and First Strike? Were they covered up for some reason?
  • What did Johnson's crew and Jilan al-Cygni get up to in the years following Contact Harvest? Did any besides Johnson and Jenkins survive to the time of FoR?
  • [HW] Why is it that the Elites in the game don't have shields?
  • Why are there so few Unggoy in the game's battles? Don't they usually outnumber the other species?
  • Does the line "I'll clear it with Admiral Cole" imply canon-violating FTL communication?
  • Who are the three unnamed Spartans at Arcadia?
  • How was Cutter able to function after a full two weeks without sleep? Did he have some kind of augmented brain?
  • What year will the survivors of Halo Wars finally make it back to civilization?
  • [Bnet] How'd John survive a two-week flight from Delta Halo to Earth?[10] Was there some kind of time dilation? Was he protected by Mendicant Bias? If so, how, and what did he make of it?
  • [H3O] Are the large enemy forces faced by each member of Buck's squad canon? It seems unlikely, since the only reason they're beatable in-game is because you're improbably tough and have regenerating health in addition to the Covenant's usual poor tactics.
  • [The Duel] Why do female Elites have breasts?
  • [Blood Line] What's a slipbeacon? If it's what it sounds like, why have they never been seen in other stories?
  • Did Black Team escape the installation in the end? If they didn't, how does that square with Halsey's comment in FoR about only three deaths in the past decade? If they did, what happened to their knowledge of the Flood?

References

  1. ^ "APPARENT discrepancy...Emphasis on APPARENT"
  2. ^ Jericho VII and Draco III in FoR; Paris IV in First Strike; Ballast in H3 preview content.
  3. ^ Problem acknowledged in this HBO post.
  4. ^ They're known in Contact Harvest. In Halo Wars, Serina encounters a Forerunner installation at Harvest and has plenty of time to transmit data on them to the authorities at Arcadia. But they're unknown to Halsey in FoR and to Iona in Halo: Blood Line Issue 2.
  5. ^ Possibly Guilty Spark's face and the layout of Installation 04's control room.
  6. ^ The Pillar of Autumn, and according to this wiki the Warthog's dashboard, the H2 shotgun, various H3 weapons, ODSTs' armor and Security armor.
  7. ^ Halo: The Flood, page 84. I think there was a similar moment in First Strike with Spartans knowing how to use Wraiths, but I can't look it up right now.
  8. ^ And no, "very freaking dangerous" isn't an answer.
  9. ^ Uprising #1. The questions also been raised by Archilen at HBO.
  10. ^ a b c Bungie Weekly Update: 01/23/09 (note timeline under "Along the Path")
  11. ^ http://forums.bungie.org/halo/archive26.pl?read=765343
  12. ^ Originally thought of after reading this post.
  13. ^ Halo 3, Terminal 6, Legendary