Will the Flood appear in the first season of the Halo show?

By Nicholas James

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Apr 18, 2022

Reading time: 4 min

The Flood are the ultimate threat of the Halo universe, an interstellar parasitic species that forms a collective superintelligence capable of destroying entire civilizations. But will the Flood appear in the Halo show?

The live-action adaptation of the Halo universe on Paramount Plus takes place before humanity discovers the first Halo ring and encounters the Flood. As the show begins to set up the existence of the first Halo installation, the arrival of the Flood seems inevitable.

Here’s where this galactic threat came from and how the Flood might be introduced to the Halo show.

What are the Flood in the Halo games?

The Flood are a species of parasitic lifeforms that can hijack and infect sentient life forms to add their victims to their endless hordes.

In layman’s terms, they’re space zombies that make up a pseudo-hivemind of billions of horrifying forms. The Flood are the reason that the ancient Forerunners designed the Halo rings capable of destroying all organic life in the galaxy, the last resort against this existential threat to all species.

The Flood are first encountered by an ancient human civilization that had ascended to an interstellar scale and mass spacefaring. Humanity defeated the Flood and managed to develop a cure, or so they thought. After battling the Flood, humanity was found and defeated by the untouched Forerunner fleet.

But the Flood was more dangerous than both humans and Forerunners realized. It hadn’t been cured, it had pretended to be affected by humanity’s solution so that in future species would spend longer trying to cure the infection rather than kill any instance of the parasite.

The Flood then engage in a massive interstellar war with the Forerunners, whose central military AI named Mendicant Bias goes rampant. In Halo, the process of an AI’s knowledge base exceeding its storage eventually leads to insanity. Mendicant Bias is eventually replaced by the intelligence known as Offensive Bias.

Offensive Bias controls the Forerunner army against the Mendicant Bias-allied Flood, which leads to a climactic battle at the Halo-creating Forerunner facility known as The Ark. The secret ending for Halo Infinite reveals that Offensive Bias, the incredibly powerful intelligence used to fight the flood, is still active inside Halo Infinite’s Zeta Halo.

After revealing that the Halo rings are used to hold the ancient “Endless” race, also known as Precursors, Halo Infinite seems set to bring back this Flood-fighting AI in story DLC.

The Forerunners create the Ark and the Halo rings, weapons capable of wiping all life from the galaxy in an attempt to eradicate the Flood. The Forerunners gather genetic samples from all across the galaxy before being repopulated into the galaxy by the Forerunners with the parasitic threat at bay.

The Flood are then released again when the Covenant accidentally releases the Flood from Installation 04, the first Halo ring in the first Halo game. This leads to the reintroduction of the Flood to the galaxy and the emergence of a threat more powerful than both the Covenant and the UNSC.

Will the Flood appear in the Halo show?

Much of the Halo show’s first season has been dedicated to following Master Chief and the UNSC beginning the process of discovery of the Halo rings. If the Halo show is taking as much inspiration for the Flood from the games as it is elsewhere, this revelation will likely lead to the release of the iconic Halo enemy.

In the Halo games, the ring is discovered when the UNSC Pillar of Autumn jumps to the ring while fleeing the fall of UNSC bastion world Reach. The Pillar of Autumn is then boarded by the Covenant, and crashes into the Halo ring, triggering the events of the first Halo game. Several events would have to happen in order for this to translate to the Halo show.

Firstly, Reach would have to fall.

The fall of Reach is a disastrous moment for humanity, and such a massive sequence would likely require many episodes of content. At this point in the first season, there isn’t really time left to handle the glassing of Reach, retreat to the Halo installation, and the release of the Flood back into the galaxy. For this reason, the Flood probably won’t be appearing in the first season of the Halo show.

However, as the first season will likely involve Master Chief arriving on Halo Installation 04, they seem like a definite inclusion for further seasons. It’s possible the Halo show speeds up its pacing, but with more than four episodes dedicated to just unlocking the coordinates of the Halo rings it would be a sudden change in tempo.

The Flood are a galaxy-changing introduction to the Halo world, an ancient plague set free upon an unprepared and war-torn galaxy. This sort of storyline would likely be used as a climactic moment near the end of a season, used to end on a devastating note and leave fans wondering what the Flood might do in the Silver Timeline.

If you’re interested in learning more about why the Halo show differentiates itself from the Halo games, check out our Silver Timeline guide.

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