Thel’Vadam, often simply called the Arbiter, is the signature Sangheili in the Halo games, making him a prominent character in the series. But will the Arbiter show up in the Halo show?
The live-action adaptation of Halo on Paramount Plus has taken many creative decisions to differentiate itself from the Halo games. So far, there’s been no concrete sign of the Arbiter appearing in the first season of the Halo show, but there are story elements that could be used to bring him into the narrative.
This leaves fans wondering, will the Arbiter appear in the Halo show and if he does, how will he be introduced?
Could the Arbiter exist in the Halo show?
As of the fourth episode, Thel’Vadam has not shown up by name in the Halo show, but the story may be setting up for his arrival.
In the Halo games, Thel’Vadam is a Sangheili elite warrior who rises to the rank of Supreme Commander before the events of the first Halo game. After the first Halo ring is destroyed by Master Chief, and the flagship Ascendant Justice falls into his hands, Thel’Vadam is summoned before the High Council of the Prophets to answer for his failure.
Thel’Vadam is blamed for the loss of both the sacred Forerunner ring, as well as the Ascendant Justice. As a result, he is stripped of his honors and rank and given the role of Arbiter. The Arbiter is a tool of the Covenant, a Sangheili sworn to complete their most desperate and dangerous missions, often a death sentence. This punishment sends him on a path that eventually sees him ally with the Master Chief to topple the Covenant.
This storyline hasn’t been touched upon by the Halo series, at least not in the same way it’s presented in the game. But some elements are still there, meaning the Arbiter could make an appearance. It’s also possible he already has.
Will the Arbiter appear in the Halo show?
While Thel’Vadam hasn’t had his name brought up, some fans are speculating that the Sanheili elite who witness the Master Chief activate the Forerunner artifact may be Thel’Vadam. This elite would have to be highly trusted to be sent to retrieve a Forerunner artifact, so it may be the first hint of him in the Halo show before he receives that rank.
Otherwise, Thel’Vadam doesn’t have much of a reason to be punished with the title of Arbiter until the first Halo ring is destroyed. So even if he does appear, he won’t yet be the Arbiter until the first Halo installation is destroyed, perhaps by the end of this season.