This post contains *SPOILERS* for all Halo fiction up to and including Primordium, and may contain spoilers for Halo 4. Read at your own risk!
Before you read this article, I highly suggest you read the one that inspired it here. Thanks to the guys at Forward Unto Dawn. After reading this, I was stunned by how many parallels there seemed to be between the Didact and the Prisoner of Charum Hakor.
Frozen in time
When the ancient humans first find the Primordial, He has already been locked away in a sort of time vault. This is similar to how Bornstellar finds the Didact in his Cryptum, and how we find the Chief in CE. All three are “frozen” and presumably unaware of what is happening, or what has happened. John was placed into stasis for practical reasons, while the Didact was placed there for going against what the majority wanted. Since the Primordial (as the Gravemind….we’ll get to that) states that it is serving a sentance, we can assume that it was also placed in suspension for disagreeing with it’s peers, the Precursors.
Since the Precursors believed in and desired to pass down the Mantle, it seems rather odd that they would endorse creating something like the Flood. As stated in the FUD article above, it is likely that the Primordial created the flood on its own to combat the Forerunners. It may have had other motives as well, since it considers the Flood a kind of test for other species as well, perhaps a selective genocide. When he says “our answer is at hand” I don’t think he is speaking on behalf of all Precursors, but instead declaring his own answer to be the answer. For it’s crime against the Mantle, the Precursors placed him in stasis, since they could not execute him, without violating the Mantle.
The Didact’s rebellion against his peers is similar, but reversed. Instead of taking an aggressive stance (Halo Array) and therefore disobey the Mantle, he wants to take a passive stance (Shield Worlds) and maintain the Mantle’s requirements. Since he is alone in this stance, he is somewhat forced into stasis.
And the beat goes on
The Primordial may have had more than mass genocide on his mind when he created the Flood. Again in the FUD article above, it is speculated that it may have wanted a way for the Precursor history to continue. What better way to do that than to accumulate all memories into a single, universe spanning consciousness.
We already know that the Precursor technologies were based on Neural Physics, so for them to create an entity that was capable of storing it’s thoughts in many different hosts, or even just some other ephemeral place, is not out of the question. I believe that while creating the flood to be this vast consciousness warehouse, the Primordial himself was infected, accidentally or purposefully. With his Precursor mind being the first into the Flood consciousness, he became the flood and vice versa. While other memories and thoughts from other absorbed beings are present, the Primordial’s are the strongest imprint through which everything else is filtered. Therefore when the Primordial dies at the end of Primordium, it is only his original body that dies, and I think he lives on through other Graveminds. I think this is why the Gravemind in Halo 2 and 3 speaks as if it has been around for thousands of years, and even makes reference to “time served that I did not deserve”.
The Didact also seems to cheat death in a similar fashion, though we know of him doing it only once. When he gives Bornstellar his imprint, Bornstellar becomes the Didact, simply because the force of the older personality was so much greater than the original. While it is hardly the same method as the Primordial uses, it seems to serve the same purpose. Obviously the Forerunners also had access to some Neural technologies of there own, including the Domain, which seems to serve a vaguely similar function as what we assumed the Flood were suppose to.
Last of a dying breed
The FUD article stated that it was ironic that someone who opposed everything the Precursors stood for and so severly violated the Mantle became the last of their race, so far as anyone knows. The same might be said of the Didact. If we assume the same one to pull the trigger on the Halo array is the one in the Cryptum in Halo 4, then he became (as far as we know) the last living member of his race after violating the Mantle. This could change depending on what a certain monitor may or may not find, but only time will tell.
Similarities between the Precursors and Forerunners
There are also a great deal of similarities between the Precursors and the Forerunners, and the way future races viewed them.
-Both were more advanced than the races that came after them.
-Both were revered as god-like by races less advanced.
-Both left ruins scattered across the Universe
-Both were assumed to be noble and altruistic, though we find out that is not the case with Forerunners.
-Both races came into conflict with the very beings they were sworn to protect.
-Both mysteriously disappeared from the Universe, which makes one wonder if there are Precursor “shield worlds” out there…
What will happen in Halo 4, and Silentium will no doubt drastically alter all of these comparisons. There is a lot of assuming and speculating here, but I hope it gets you thinking!