Why Is The Covenant Obsessed with the Artifacts?

As Halo reached its halfway point in terms of the episodes of the first season, we got to see an all-out battle between the UNSC and the Covenant in episode 5. This happened when the Covenant got to Eridanus II while the UNSC was excavating the larger artifact to bring it back to Reach. Of course, Makee and the Covenant were able to acquire the larger artifact after that battle. But why is the Covenant so obsessed with those artifacts?

The Covenant is obsessed with the artifacts because they are remnants of the technology left over by the Forerunner a long time ago. They could also lead to the Halo weapon. The Prophets of the Covenant also treat the Forerunners as gods, and that’s why the Covenant is basically a religious order of aliens. 

One of the things that Halo is known for is the fact that the Covenant is a religious group that’s obsessed with the Forerunners because of their technology. In that regard, there is a chance that the technology that’s been left over by the Forerunners could lead to the Halo, which is a weapon that could potentially destroy the universe. So, let’s look at what we know about the artifacts.

What Are The Artifacts In Halo?

Throughout the entire Halo TV series, the entire narrative focused a lot on the artifact that Master Chief found when he and Silver Team investigated the presence of the Covenant in Madrigal. They were able to acquire the artifact, which actually resonated with Master Chief when he touched it. In that regard, a good part of the series has been focused on trying to understand what these artifacts are and how Master Chief connects with them.

On top of that, the artifacts are also seemingly very important to the Covenant because they were concerned when the Blessed One was able to feel that it was activated when Master Chief touched it. And since that time, they have been hell-bent on acquiring the artifact to the point that they were willing to send out Makee, an important member of the order, to look for it.

The series has been able to establish just how important the artifacts are to the narrative of the series. Then, in episode 4, a second and larger artifact was introduced when Master Chief used the remnants of his memories to discover that there was a second one on the planet Eridanus II, which was the home planet of Master Chief himself. So, what are these artifacts in Halo?

While the UNSC is still trying to make sense of these artifacts as they are trying to understand what they do and what they are, it was suggested in episode 2 that these are weapons, especially when Reth told Master Chief that the artifact was going to be the death of everyone in the universe.

Meanwhile, the Covenant also hinted at the fact that the artifacts aren’t necessarily weapons but are keystones. That means that these artifacts, when used together, are quite possibly capable of leading them to the weapon that Reth was talking about.

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Of course, the standing belief is that these artifacts or keystones are remnants of the technology left by the Forerunners long ago. In Halo lore, the Forerunners are ancient aliens that lived a long time ago but went extinct. As such, the artifacts must be important enough to lead people to a weapon or a piece of technology left by the Forerunners long ago.

Why Are The Artifacts So Important To The Covenant?

Since the beginning of Halo, it has been established that the artifacts or keystones are so important to the Covenant because they were doing everything they could to find the artifact that was in possession of the UNSC. Meanwhile, in episode 5, they went as far as attacking an entire battalion of UNSC soldiers stationed on Eridanus II to acquire the larger keystone that Makee sensed when Master Chief activated it. This led to an all-out battle between the two forces.

Due to the ferocity of the Covenant and a few mistakes on the part of Master Chief and the Spartans, the aliens were able to acquire the larger keystone on Eridanus II while leaving behind Makee so that she could infiltrate the UNSC and acquire the smaller keystone. In that regard, there is no arguing against the fact that the Covenant is willing to do what it takes to acquire both of these artifacts. But why are the artifacts so important to the Covenant?

It is worth mentioning that, in Halo lore, the Covenant isn’t a race that’s composed of only one species of alien. Led by the Prophets, the Covenant is actually some sort of a religious order that’s composed of eight alien races that all grouped together for one purpose, and that is to fulfill the religious dogma of the Covenant itself. 

The Covenant also worships the Forerunners ever since the Prophets found out about their existence. It is the very fact that the Forerunners have technology that is so advanced that the Covenant ended up worshipping them as gods. 

With that said, it is possible that the artifacts or keystones are so important to the Covenant due to the fact that they are left over by the Forerunners. While it is possible that there are also other pieces of technology left by the Forerunners, these keystones are more important because they are most likely going to lead them to Forerunner tech that’s a lot more powerful than anything that the Covenant has ever discovered. And this leads to the object that the entire Halo franchise is named after—the Halo.

Will The Artifacts Lead To The Halo?

Throughout the first few Halo games, the mission of the Covenant was to search the entire universe for clues that would lead them to a weapon called the Halo, which has the capacity to destroy all life. It was originally created by the Forerunners to stop an alien species called the Flood.

The reason why the Covenant wants to activate the Halo is that, according to their religious dogma, it brings about salvation. And considering that the Prophets of the Covenant are religious zealots, it makes sense that they are willing to use extreme measures to try to bring about the salvation that is the very purpose of their religion.

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But how is this related to the artifacts in the Halo series? Well, it is hinted that the artifacts are keystones that are going to lead the Covenant to the Forerunner technology that the Prophets have been looking for the entire time. And this Forerunner technology could, in fact, be the Halo weapon that the video games focus on.

This is suggested by the fact that Reth when he saw that the smaller artifact resonated with Master Chief and said that it was a weapon that would lead to the death of everyone in the universe. That could mean that the artifacts themselves are not weapons but are keys or maps that could lead to the weapon that Reth was talking about.

This weapon could only be the Halo weapon, which has always been the main topic of the entire Halo franchise. The Covenant are most likely looking for the keystones so that they could use them as maps that would lead them to the location of the Halo. It is also possible that these artifacts are the keys that will allow them to use the Halo itself. 

At this point, anything is possible when it comes to where these artifacts lead. Then again, the safest bet is that they are going to lead to the Halo, and that’s where Master Chief comes in to find a way to prevent the Covenant from activating this doomsday weapon.