Silver Timeline

Var 'Gatanai

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This article contains information about the Silver Timeline, and is not a part of the established Halo canon.
Var 'Gatanai
Var 'Gatanai holding an energy sword.
Biographical information


April 13, 2553

Cause of death:

Executed with an energy sword by John-117 after losing a duel

Personal details





Political and military information




Notable info:


"I bring you blessings, people of Reach. Know that I've come without mercy. Without pity. Know that I am the instrument of your extinction. I bring this planet forth as a burnt offering. Upon this altar, I place the head of the Demon. May his blood mark the way to the Sacred Ring and consecrate the Great Journey of my people. Know that I am Var 'Gatanai. Know that I am... Death."
— Translation by Corporal Talia Perez of Var's prayer.[1]

Var 'Gatanai (Sangheili: Baro Gat'anai)[citation needed] was a Sangheili warrior who was chosen to be the Arbiter of the Covenant to find the Keystone with Makee, seemingly after the Battle of Raas Kkhotskha.[2][1] [3]


A New Arbiter[edit]

Var 'Gatanai
Arbiter Var 'Gatanai.

At some point prior to the Battle of Raas Kkhotskha, Var 'Gatanai was once the Supreme Commander of the First Fleet of Solemn Accord before being stripped of that station for reasons unknown.[3]

After the Keystone was taken by the Master Chief, Var was given the mantle of the Arbiter. He and Makee were both tasked by the Hierarchs to recover the Sacred Stones.[3]


Six months after the Battle of Raas Kkhotskha, Var 'Gatanai led Covenant forces in ambushing UNSC forces at a communication outpost on Sanctuary before it was glassed by the Covenant. It was here that he encountered John-117. After the Spartan fought and killed a number of his Sangheili warriors, the Arbiter and many more Sangheili surrounded him and Corporal Talia Perez, only to be called off by Makee in the distance. Var and his warriors left just before the glassing began.[2]

Following the planet's destruction, Var 'Gatanai observed a vast fleet of Covenant ships rising through the clouds, prepared to embark on their next conquest: Reach. He also broadcasted a prayer of annihilation to the human inhabitants.[2] [1]

Fall of Reach[edit]

Main article: Fall of Reach/Silver

Var 'Gatanai and Makee later raided SWORD Base and recovered the Eridanus keystone from a vault. [4]

During the Fall of Reach, the Arbiter and Makee raided the facility where Dr. Halsey and Soren were being held prisoner, extracting Cortana for the Covenant.[5]

Later in the battle, Var and two additional Sangheili encountered John, Halsey, Soren, Vannak-134, and Riz-028 as they fight off against Covenant forces, taking the Chief in a one-on-one conflict amidst the chaos. After dissevering his assault rifle, Chief snags an energy sword by his leg but is hastily fired upon by a second Sangheili, prompting the Arbiter to decapitate the cowardly Sangheili for denying him a fair and honorable duel. As the Arbiter prepares to inflict the killing blow against John, Makee intervened, denying the Sangheili his kill. [5]

Immediately afterwards, Vannak charges, taking down a Kig-Yar and firing on the Arbiter with a Needler, who wrenches the crystals out of his own armor and stabs Vannak with them, detonating in his chest, instantly killing him.[5]

Breaking Away[edit]

Following the attack on Reach City, Var and Makee returned to their command ship. While Makee congratulated the Arbiter on his "victory," 'Gatanai refuted the flattery as they only had one half of the Keystone. He then sharply questioned her on denying him the "Demon's" life to earn redemption. After heated words were exchanged, Var commands Makee to extract any information that may lead to the other half of the Sacred Stone from Cortana.[3]

However, after some time had passed, the High Prophets recalled Var 'Gatanai's fleet back to High Charity. Makee desperately attempted to dissuade him, going so far as to denounce the Hierarchs, much to the Arbiter’s fury. Before he can strike her, Cortana projects an image of Sacred Ring from John-117's memory of his visions of the ring. Awestruck by this "sign," Makee finally persuaded Var to take his ship away from the Holy City, going rogue with the Blessed One.[3]


Var 'Gatanai being challenged by Uto 'Mdama.
Var 'Gatanai being challenged by Uto 'Mdama.

Following his decision to disobey the High Prophets' orders, Var 'Gatanai cut off communication with High Charity and the rest of the Covenant fleet. As a form of penance, he rebrands himself with the Mark of Shame on the bridge of his ship.[6]

Later, he is sharply questioned by the Sangheili priest Uto 'Mdama on the nature of their communication silence. Uto further questioned the Arbiter's reliance of Makee. 'Mdama went so far as threatened to kill her with his energy dagger until he restrained by Var, who reminded him that the human's life belongs to the Hierarchs. The priest angrily departed the bridge, with Arbiter and Makee weary of Uto's suspicions. Var 'Gatanai then asked if she has communed with the Keystone, seemingly concerned with the Blessed One.[6]

When Cortana sent a communication to Margaret Parangosky, it was discovered by Uto. He dragged Makee before 'Gatanai and his Sangheili crew. The priest accused the human of betrayal and insisted that she should be put to death. The Arbiter, seemingly enraged by this treachery, prepared to execute Makee with his energy sword. Instead, he pushed her away and attacked Uto and the Sangheili loyal to him. Thus began a mutiny aboard the Covenant ship, between the Arbiter's warriors and the priest's.[6] With the help of Cortana, Makee killed Uto and the priest's mutiny was put down, but only Var and Makee survived. Although Makee admitted the truth about her failing abilities as the Blessed One to the Arbiter, he remained committed to her cause.[7]


It's okay he died with honor.
Var is given an honorable death.

On the Halo ring, the Arbiter and the Master Chief engaged in a vicious duel, ultimately ending with Var beaten to near death. Severely injured, Var begged John-117 to kill him and restore his honor, devastating Makee who tearfully and reluctantly translated. Already aware of what the Arbiter wanted, the Master Chief complied, stabbing Var through the chest with his own energy sword, killing him.[8]

Personality and traits[edit]

"There's no honor in this fight."
— Var 'Gatanai
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Var holds down LB
Var blocking John-117's M6G rounds with his energy sword.

Though a fierce and at times vicious warrior in battle, Var 'Gatanai valued the glory of combat and yearned to fight honorably against any capable and worthy opponents. The Arbiter gained no satisfaction in eliminating weak targets like human marines but did find a strong challenger in John-117, the Demon. During his confrontation with the Spartan, the Arbiter prepared for a fair sword duel when the Demon equipped himself with a nearby energy sword. However, 'Gatanai was left suddenly irate when a subordinate of his intervened and unceremoniously shot down his opponent. In a quick response, the Arbiter swung his sword and beheaded his fellow Sangheili for having denied him an honorable fight. As a honor bound warrior who lusts for glory, one of Var's most distinguishing characteristics is his blind left eye. A wound he most likely suffered from a previous conflict, though the origins of this injury remain unknown.[5]

After being severely beaten by John-117, Var begged John to kill him and restore his honor through Makee, believing that he was nothing if he was useless as a warrior. Makee, who cared deeply about the Arbiter, tearfully complied, but John already knew what the Arbiter wanted and finished him off.[8]


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Halo: The Television Series, episode Visegrád
  2. ^ a b c Halo: The Television Series, episode Sanctuary
  3. ^ a b c d e Halo: The Television Series, episode Aleria
  4. ^ Halo: The Television Series, timestamp Sword
  5. ^ a b c d Halo: The Television Series, episode Reach
  6. ^ a b c Halo: The Television Series, episode Onyx
  7. ^ Halo: The Television Series, episode Thermopylae
  8. ^ a b Halo: The Television Series, episode Halo