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Sangheili Zealot

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"Zealot" redirects here. For the Halo: Reach multiplayer map, see Zealot (map).
Hesduros-design harness
H5G-Sangheili Zealot.png
Ceremonial battle harness
Sangheili-Zealot CEA.png
Combat-based harness
H2A Zealot HQ Transparent edited-1.png


  • Apostolic delivery and coercion, reliquary acquisition (Covenant)[1]
  • Combat specialists (ex-Covenant)





Ministry of Fervent Intercession (pre-Great Schism)[1]

Notable individuals:

See Known Zealots below

"The true devotee honors our name with actions, not words."
— Sangheili Zealot's mantra.[2]

The Zealots are a military order of high-ranking Sangheili warriors in the Covenant, as well as some of its splinter factions during the Blooding Years.[3] They were supervised and deployed by the Ministry of Fervent Intercession,[1] with their organization divided into multiple chapters.[3][4] Zealots were among the most devout worshipers of the Forerunners,[5] after the dissolution of the Covenant and the abandonment of its religion some continued Forerunner worship.


"The Path is strict, Jora — it brooks no deviation, no remorse. We are zealots. We serve the Way. These are our orders. We do not question them."
Thel 'Vadamee to Jora 'Konaree[6]

Zealots are greatly experienced and unparalleled in combat skill. Equipped with advanced armor systems and equipment, they are also among the most resilient and powerful Sangheili fighters.[1] Although all Sangheili males are trained in the arts of combat from a young age, Sangheili believe future Zealots are born with an innate desire to kill.[5]


Organization in the Covenant[edit]

Unlike the majority of the Covenant's conventional military forces, which fell under the authority of the Ministry of Resolution, the Zealots were a separate group that reported to the Ministry of Fervent Intercession. Within the Ministry existed a number of chapters (such as the Devoted Sentries), many of which adhered to particular interpretations of ancient codes of honor or debt-packs.[4] Some of these chapters traced their lineage back to long before the rise of the Covenant.[7] The Zealots' internal structure, rankings, and equipment varied from chapter to chapter and from fleet to fleet.[3] The ministry deployed small teams of Zealots during all significant engagements to locate, analyze, and amass intelligence regarding reliquary sites, as well as to recover Forerunner artifacts or otherwise important data.[1][8] During the Human-Covenant War, many Zealots were assigned to battlefield duties in order to directly partake in the destruction of a species the Covenant viewed as heretical.[1]

Artisan-armorers of the Covenant sometimes allied themselves particularly with the Zealot orders, and would produce specialty equipment such as the Suspa Al-pattern drop pod specifically for only the most pious of commanders. When deploying into battle, only warriors from within the Zealot ranks, or those seeking to aspire to join them, would be permitted to employ these insertion pods.[9]

In addition to artifact retrieval, Zealots may serve in a variety of command roles ranging from Shipmaster[10][6] to Supreme Commander.[11] The rank of Field Marshal is exclusive to the Zealot class. Field Marshals hold supreme authority over Covenant land forces, effectively making them the groundside counterpart to a Fleet Master or Supreme Commander; Field Marshals are also occasionally tasked with leading Zealot strike teams.[12]

Sangheili Zealot Assassins are specialists who operate with teams of stealth troopers.[13]

Post-Great Schism[edit]

After their betrayal by the High Prophets, some worshiped the Foreurnners without belief in the Great Journey, while others forsook the religion all together. The role had become a more general rank of combat specialization, similar to how Sangheili Honor Guards forsook their original purpose after the Prophets had betrayed them. By 2558, some Zealots continued to serve within various Covenant remnant factions, including those which remained religiously devoted to the Forerunners following the hegemony's collapse. Despite still having a combat niche, these Zealots served in political and social leadership positions (at least within Jul 'Mdama's Covenant), filling all roles previously occupied by the San'Shyuum.[14][15] Zealot loyalties remain divided amongst the Covenant successor states, and now exercise less discretion in judging the worthy to join their ranks.[9]


Catherine Halsey: "Zealots? You're certain?"
Jorge-052: "Their armor configuration matched."
SPARTAN-B312: "Shield strength, too."
Catherine Halsey, Jorge-052, and SPARTAN-B312 during the Fall of Reach.[16]

Zealots have access to a variety of armor types and styles, reflecting the multiple roles encompassed by those who hold the title. The armor worn by a Zealot can be reflective of his chapter or fleet assignment.[3] Despite the availability of specialized armor styles, many Zealots wore combat harnesses during the war with humanity.[17] These suits were distinguished by their gold coloration (indicating a command role)[18][19] and the nearly peerless durability of their energy shields.[20][21]

Ceremonial battle harness[edit]

The ceremonial battle harness, most commonly utilized during the Human-Covenant War, features a smooth, organic thoracic cage harness; large, sloping shoulder pauldrons; and a long, back-swept helmet with mandible guards.[4] The helmet and pauldrons feature decorative blue bands. This armour was most famously worn in maroon by the Devoted Sentries.[2] [22] Zealots in command positions,[23] including those attached to regular Covenant military forces, wore the same armor, albeit colored gold like the suits worn by lower-ranking Generals.[24] The color scheme worn by Ultras (silver-white with black trim) is also used.[25] Field Marshals wear a modified version of the ceremonial Zealot harness; the front of the helmet has two horn-like prongs and the pauldrons are wider.[2] Zealot Supreme Commanders may wear a similarly colored doarmir fur cloak with their armor.[11][21][Note 1]

Hesduros-inspired design[edit]

Another armor type is derived from traditional designs worn on Hesduros.[15] This style was in use by 2526,[26] though the prevalence of its issue relative to other wartime models is unclear. It is commonly worn by Zealots serving various remnant factions in the wake of the Covenant's collapse, most notably the body led by Jul 'Mdama, which was formed on Hesduros. In addition to the standard maroon coloration, this version is also produced in blue[27][28] and gold.[29][25]

This suit has a very organic, almost chitinous appearance, reflecting its origin on Hesduros.[15] The helmet, which encompasses most of the wearer's face, vaguely resembles those worn by the Ascetics and Covenant Special Operations forces. A cross-shaped pattern of purple, or blue, insets faces outward from a central point on the helmet; the helmets worn by Merg Vol and Jul 'Mdama emit distinctive holograms, perhaps produced by the aforementioned insets. A blade-like "talon", derived from the armor worn by kaidons on Hesduros, is located on the inner toe of either boot. The harness also has protective hand-armor, and raised foil-arcs on its back.[15] Like the Infiltration harness worn by Special Operations and Stealth Sangheili, this armor is equipped with active camouflage. Zealots who wear this armor type are colloquially known as "Roaches" by UNSC personnel.[30]

Known Zealots[edit]

In-Game Information[edit]

Halo: Reach[edit]

Unlock: Achieve Captain.

  • Description: The true devotee honors our name with actions, not words.

Halo: Fleet Battles[edit]

Covenant Type-28 Boarding Craft (Elites)[edit]

  • Flight slots: 0
  • Movement: 12"
  • Damage track: 6
  • Security detail: 3
  • Systems loadout:
    • Assault specialist (1)
    • Heroic save (Zealot)


  • The plasma rifle-wielding Zealots of Halo: Combat Evolved do not perform melee attacks. This is because they are programmed to go berserk when they see the Master Chief and have no provisions for melee attacking while in berserk mode.
  • In Halo: Reach, the Zealot armor is available as an Armor Permutation once the player has reached the rank of Captain. The game features a loadout called "Zealot" which gives the player a Type-31 needle rifle, a plasma pistol, and two plasma grenades. There is another loadout available only in the third phase of Invasion called "Royal Zealot". This loadout is an improved version of the standard Zealot loadout. It provides a needle rifle, a Type-33 Needler, and three plasma grenades, although once the player uses the third grenade, they will be able to carry only two.
  • The real-time strategy game StarCraft features a Protoss infantry unit known as the zealot; these warriors also wear golden armor and wield powerful energy blades. In Halo Infinite, the zealot tip in the loading screen is titled "My Life for Hire"; a reference to the zealots' "My life for Aiur" line.
  • Seven Zealots are fought in Halo: Reach's campaign: two on Winter Contingency, one on Tip of the Spear, (who can be killed to unlock the Your Heresy Will Stay Your Feet achievement), and four (including the Field Marshal) at the end of The Pillar of Autumn.
  • One of the loading screen tips in Halo Infinite makes a reference to Sangheili Zealots, leading many to initially believe the sword-wielding purple armored Elites in the game are Zealots. However, according to Halo Waypoint's January 2022 Cannon Fodder, the purple armored Elites in Halo Infinite are canonically classified as Spec Ops, not Zealots.[33]


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ The Last Voyage of the Infinite Succor depicts Supreme Commander Thel 'Vadamee (a Zealot) wearing purple armor and a purple cloak while in command of his fleet; this was in fact the first time purple was associated with the Zealot class. Halo 2: Anniversary's terminals instead depict 'Vadamee wearing a gold combat harness during the same timeframe, though the cloak's color is unchanged.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 60
  2. ^ a b c Halo: Reach
  3. ^ a b c d Halo Waypoint: Canon Fodder - Clarity & Grace
  4. ^ a b c Halo Waypoint: Canon Fodder - Fighting Words
  5. ^ a b Halo Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Halo Universe (2011), page 134
  6. ^ a b c Halo: The Cole Protocol, page 142
  7. ^ Ultra Combo:Arbiter’s Colors & Accessories
  8. ^ a b c d e Halo: The Cole Protocol, page 138-139
  9. ^ a b Halo: Warfleet, Insertion Pods, p.66-67
  10. ^ Halo: Combat Evolved, campaign level The Truth and Reconciliation
  11. ^ a b Halo Graphic Novel, The Last Voyage of the Infinite Succor
  12. ^ Halo Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Halo Universe (2011), page 135
  13. ^ Halo 5: Guardians Official Game Guide (Collector's Edition), page 320
  14. ^ Halo 4 Interactive Guide
  15. ^ a b c d Halo 4: The Essential Visual Guide, page 49
  16. ^ Halo: Reach, campaign level ONI: Sword Base
  17. ^ Halo 2: Anniversary
  18. ^ Halo 2: The Official Strategy Guide, page 141
  19. ^ Halo: The Great Journey: The Art of Building Worlds, page 52
  20. ^ Halo 2
  21. ^ a b Halo 2: Anniversary terminals
  22. ^ Halo Waypoint: Rho 'Barutamee
  23. ^ Halo: Combat Evolved: Prima's Official Strategy Guide, page 16
  24. ^ Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
  25. ^ a b Halo: Escalation, Issue 15
  26. ^ Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn
  27. ^ Halo 4, Spartan Ops
  28. ^ Halo: Escalation, Issue 14
  29. ^ Halo: Spartan Assault
  30. ^ Halo: Nightfall, Episode 1
  31. ^ Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 197
  32. ^ Halo: Fleet Battles
  33. ^ Halo Waypoint: "Those rad-looking purple Sangheili in the sleek armor? They’re classified canonically as Spec Ops, not Zealots. It’s important to remember that oftentimes enemy or character tags that you might find within game files are development shorthand and not necessarily final." (Retrieved on Jan 12, 2022) [archive]