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Halo: Who Is Var ‘Gatanai? One Theory Connects This Elite to a Video Game Character


The Halo TV series’ new villain, Var ‘Gatanai, may feel familiar to gamers. Here’s why.

Pablo Schreiber as Master Chief in Halo Season 2
Photo: Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+

This Halo article contains spoilers.

The second season of Halo may be hitting too close to home for Pablo Schreiber’s Master Chief and Silver Team. After the destruction of Sanctuary in the premiere, John-117 suspects it’s only the beginning of a mass offensive that will eventually end with the Covenant invading Reach, the center of ONI and humanity’s military might in deep space. If Reach falls, there’s basically nothing stopping the Covenant from heading to Earth next.

The invasion of Earth is something that did eventually happen in the games. Although the series is set on a separate timeline than the games, this invasion feels inevitable on the Paramount+ series too, especially since no one in ONI command heeds Master Chief’s warnings that the Covenant have already infiltrated Reach. It’s only a matter of time before the Covenant make their move. And when they do reveal themselves, it seems like they’ll be led by a mysterious new villain, a Sangheili/Elite general named Var ‘Gatanai.

In episode 3, “Visegrad,” Corporal Perez (Cristina Rodlo) plays John a very worrying Covenant prayer recorded on Sanctuary before its destruction. The prayer is spoken in Sangheili but Perez is able to translate for John. It’s yet more proof that the Covenant has its sights set on Reach, and that this Var ‘Gatanai is specifically hunting Master Chief, whom he refers to as “the demon,” just like in the games.

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