Halo Story Timeline [Image]


If you’ve played any of the Halo 4 campaign (see our review), you’ll know that the story draws heavily on the full breadth of the Halo mythology — not just the previous video games, but also the expansions to the canon provided by the various tie-in novels.

To make sense of it all, we’ve prepared this comprehensive timeline, which begins with the story of the Forerunners, so crucial to Halo 4. If you’re wondering who the Didact and the Librarian are, or why they’re so concerned about “The Mantle,” wonder no more.


(Click the image below to see the full version of the timeline)

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11 Comments on Halo Story Timeline [Image]

Michael White

On November 8, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Can any of this be considered to be spoilers for Halo 4? Or is it all material pulled from previously existing sources? I haven’t read the books, so I can’t tell the difference, and don’t want to read anything that is actually revealed by the game itself.

Ben Richardson

On November 8, 2012 at 2:52 pm

This is all previous to Halo 4 — no need to worry about spoilers.


On November 8, 2012 at 4:00 pm

This timeline fails to take into account the events of Grasslands and The Thursday War which explains the factional dispute within the Sangehli (Elites) between the Arbiter (who supports wary coexistence with humanity) and those who still view the Forerunners as their gods and want to wipe humanity out, which are the Covenant enemies in the game and explains how they got there in the first place.


On November 9, 2012 at 6:50 am

A few errors..
1. Forerunners built the halos and the ark, not the precursors.
2. The didact was exiled by himself in what is called a cryptum. He wasn’t exiled with the Librarian. He was exiled by the leading forerunners because he disagreed with them. The Librarian, his wife, set up humans with a “geas” (basically an instinctual need) to go release him.
3. Supposedly the didact didn’t actually die; the summary for the final forerunner trilogy novel mentions the didact and the “ur-didact”, the original didact.
4. I might be wrong, but I believe it was the Didact that activated the halo array. He tried to get the librarian to meet him at a safe place but she refused and stayed on earth. She had a passion for humans, something the didact obviously disagreed about.

James W

On November 9, 2012 at 7:12 am

That’s cool; pretty much everything in here not presented in the games sounds like utter . In my head it goes: Precursors are mysterious, create Forerunners. Forerunners are mysterious (and SPOILER: the ancestors of humanity), get attacked by (the mysterious) Flood, create Halos, store sentient life on the Ark, fire Halos wiping out all sentient life outside the Ark (including themselves!), after [however many centuries it takes for Flood to starve and die] an automatic program/monitor returns sentients to their homeworlds, buries Forerunner .


Goodnight, sanctioned fanwank.

James W

On November 9, 2012 at 7:17 am


James W

On November 9, 2012 at 7:21 am

-THEN *BUNGIE* HALO GAMES, I should say. Halo 4 obviously draws on a lot of this, uh, stuff.

Paul W

On November 9, 2012 at 9:14 am

A lot of this information is incorrect and out of order. All this chart does is lead to more confusion for people that haven’t read the books.

Ben Richardson

On November 9, 2012 at 1:11 pm

@Joaquin Thanks for the extra information. The thing about the Forerunners/Precursors creating the Halo is a typo — I’ll see if that can’t be corrected.


On November 9, 2012 at 7:03 pm

I thought precursors created the flood to fight the forerunners when their war began


On November 12, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I wish this chart would explain what reference is being used for each of the entries. The games are called out, but what about the rest? I enjoy some Halo, but seriously, the story has never been easy to understand