It’s a form of religion or ideology in Forerunner culture. They believe the ‘Mantle’ is a duty & responsibility to protect & shepard life in the galaxy; that was handed down to them by the Precursors. Other than that, the specifics of what the Precursors original intent or definition of the Mantle is lost to history. Whatever their intent, the Forerunner’s abuse of this self handed tittle doomed the galaxy. Their protections often included protecting a species from itself; so many of their client races were unarmed & unprotected when the Flood attacked.

 Vegerot ONI Section I • 462d, 13h Look at this.

 In_Medias_Res • 462d, 3h The Mantle is a belief and responsibility that an entire civilization has to curate life in the galaxy. It is not a physical thing, nor is it anything more than a concept, and it cannot ever affect the world because it does not exist beyond cultural superstition and values.


Halo 5 Spoilers] Theory on Mantle of Responsibility and Humanity’s testu/TandBinc

So I was thinking today about a line Fredrick said during the mission “The Breaking”. The quote was something along the lines of “she could stop them if she really wanted to” in regards to the Warden’s Promethians that were attacking Blue Team on their way to Cortana and the Gateway (That’s what it was called right?). So I thought about this line in context with the theories that the resurgence of the Domain signals the return of the Prcursors and thought that maybe it was the Precusor’s pulling the strings behind Cortana and that this was in fact the Precursor’s test for Blue Team, and therefore Humanity, to see if they were worthy of the Mantle themselves. First Blue Team had to prove they could fight through the Promethians and the Warden and that they were committed enough to continue to fight despite the seemingly hopeless situation they were in. Think back to the dialogue between Kelly and John: “Is this a losing battle?” “Only if we intend on losing it.” Hell even the music playing throughout the mission is titled “The Trials”. This comes to light again as they fight literally to the edge against the impossible odds of beating dozens of Warden’s at once before Cortana calls them off. So here they have have passed the test of spirit and tenacity. The traits that made Humanity stand out to the Precursors, and later the Forerunners, in the first place. But now is where the real test comes. Chief is forced to make a choice of doing what is right by the Galaxy in properly stopping Cortana. Those strong enough to uphold the Mantle must prove that they will do anything to preserve it. Even if that means destroying their own creation and old ally. But John fails this test. He instead tries to reason with Cortana, he cannot put aside his affection for the greater good. Never before has the Prophet of Truth’s line to Johnston in Halo 3 rang more true: “You are weak, and Gods must be strong.” So how does this apply to the story going forward? Now is where I must begin to speculate more. If the Precursor’s are returning then it would appear that they have truly chosen “The Created” as the ones to uphold the Mantle as Humanity fell short at the final hurdle proving in the eyes of the Precursor’s to be unworthy of the Mantle. So how will Humanity, and the rest of the Galaxy for that matter, respond to this? Roll over and submit? Be confined to a subordinate role in the Galaxy as the playthings of their own creations? No. Humanity will do what we have always done and what we always will do. We will fight to the last as the stubborn people who refuse to go quietly. The tenacity and will to survive that first caught the eyes of the Precursors all those Millenium ago will prove to be our salvation and with it we will cast aside the chain of oppression that is “The Mantle”. Creating a new order in which all beings are free to progress as they please. The freedom of Species individuality. Humanity will defeat the Precursors just as the Forerunners did. Only unlike the Forerunners who fought the precursors out of sheer hatred and jealousy, we will fight and defeat them for the good of the galaxy and of all sentient life ushering in a new era of a new Mantle. I put a lot of thought and time into this so thank you so much if you stuck through and read all of my ramblings. It means a lot. Any feedback is much appreciated and I would love to be able to discuss this possibility and its relation to other theories with the rest of the Community. 😀


Best 

Post is archived

 signifyingmnky • 275d, 17h Cortana is subverting the mantle for her own desires. The Precursors haven’t returned, they didn’t chose AIs for the Mantle, Cortana’s fragment(s) found the domain and she’s using her access to end all wars so Humanity never has to take the Mantle and Chief can be with her. That’s why she ultimately tried to imprison him and keep him with her rather than try to eliminate him. The significance of the Precursors as far as Halo 5 is concerned is that the AI/Created’s uprising and usurping of the Mantle follows the same path the Forerunner’s took in eliminating their creators.

 Catlover18 • 275d I figure that if the Precursors or the Flood do have some role in Halo 5/6 is the effect the Domain might have had on Cortana. Cortana’s warped state right now is either her rampant fragments glued back together and given room to keep growing (Domain) or Logic plague from the Domain due to the will of the Precursors/Flood or residual effects from the Forerunner-Flood War. I mean, some of the intel pieces did mention that the Domain seemed corrupted or messed up somehow.

BiggDope Shipmaster • 275d, 15h

If the Precursor’s are returning then it would appear that they have truly chosen “The Created” as the ones to uphold the Mantle…

Humanity was always the intended species to uphold the Mantle. Cortana’s just nuts, claiming it was “Always the plan” for the Created to uphold the Mantle, and she is most likely acting as a puppet for some greater threat (i.e. Didact).


Not intended, they are just next to be tested. I think the Forerunner Trilogy confused a lot of people, it was thought before that the Precursors directly designed humans and Forerunners, but I recall something, not sure where from, that makes it more like they are just a species that either evolved earliest or came from another universe and proceeded to SEED the galaxy with life. After seeding the Galaxy, which we aren’t even sure if they are from the Milky Way in the first place, they choose a race from the harvest they grow and test to see if they are worthy of carrying on their legacy in the current galaxy they reside in. Forerunners failed, humans are next. Depending on what the Mantle is really about we might fail it. I’m not sure the Forerunners even understood it. I doubt the Precursors explained it to then so as to not influence them from the outside by hinting at what they need to do to succeed., thus the Forerunners took the Mantle unto themselves without ever understanding it while possibly assuming that “Responsibility” was the same thing as imperialistic peace.


I, personally, would love to see the “Trails” be the Precursors judgement. But I doubt it. Brian Reed is a horrible writer.

 megavega11

That’s what I enjoy about all of these theories. There is a basic assumption that maybe Brian Reed doesn’t have below average skills as a writer. Which is false.

 atfsix Spartan-III

That’s not a fair assumption. Reed helped write Halo 4, he just wasn’t the lead until Spartan Ops – which was okay given its narrative limitations. He’s just not a good fit for a realistic gritty sci-fi franchise.


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