Paramount+’s Halo TV show may be inspired by the world of the games, but its version of the Fall of Reach will be very different. The first season of the Halo TV series is essentially set-up, revolving around two ancient Forerunner artifacts called “Keystones” that essentially serve as the show’s MacGuffin. It’s now clear the Keystones point the way to the Halo Rings, with the Master Chief experiencing a vision of a Halo Ring at the end of episode 6. The Master Chief was not alone in this vision, however. He is one of two “Blessed Ones,” people who possess the ability to activate and interact with Forerunner technology. The other is Makee, a woman who was kidnapped by the Covenant when she was just a child, and who has now been implanted within the UNSC as a spy. The Covenant already possess one of the Keystones, and her real goal is to find a way to acquire the second one as well; disturbingly, Makee appears to have earned the UNSC’s trust – and the Master Chief’s, with a scene in episode 6 even showing he feels a sense of affection towards her.
Halo season 1 is inevitably heading towards the Fall of Reach, the greatest battle in the Human-Covenant War – and, in the game timeline, a direct precursor to the discovery of the first Halo Ring. But the actual conflict will likely be very different, precisely because it too is driven by the Forerunner Keystone. It’s reasonable to assume the Master Chief will allow Makee to see the Keystone, confirming it is on Reach, and she will then summon the Covenant. This means that the Covenant’s motivations for engaging the human forces will be very different, with major implications for how the battle will play out.
The original game timeline, the Fall of Reach was a Pyrrhic victory for the Covenant, a turning point in the Human-Covenant War. Although the Covenant successfully captured the planet, doing so cost them far too many of their forces, and they never really recovered. In contrast, it’s quite possible the Covenant will not need to expend so much effort in the TV series timeline, simply because their objective is different; they simply want to extract Makee and the Keystone. That may well leave the Covenant in a stronger position when the dust settles from the battle. Meanwhile, it’s reasonable to assume the legendary Fall of Reach will end in a similar way in one respect; with the Master Chief successfully locating the Halo Ring, traveling there, and battling for the fate of the galaxy. Again, though, Makee will change the story significantly, because she’ll serve as the Master Chief’s rival and opposite number, the one person among the Covenant who can activate the Halo Rings. The Master Chief may have a sense of affection towards Makee, but she is destined to become his greatest nemesis as Halo continues.