Why the Cortana in Halo 5 is the “real” Cortana

“It’s not the real Cortana — it’s a fragment of her personality that has been cured of rampancy.”

I heard that in response to the controversy that, in Halo 5, it is revealed that Cortana didn’t die in Halo 4 and is evil now.

Cortana 115

Recently, while reading an analysis of Halo 5‘s story on this great blog, I found:

Proof that the Cortana in Halo 5 isn’t a formerly rampant fragment.

Proof that the Cortana in Halo 5 is the Cortana who said “Welcome home, John” — “The human side of Cortana” as some people call her.

This is the “proof”:

Linda: “Chief said you were destroyed.”

Cortana: “After I saw John last, I was pulled into slipspace. That’s where I found access to the Domain — a Forerunner system that spans the known galaxy.” (Emphasis mine.)

Watch 8:19 — 8:32:

The last time Cortana saw John was when she was saying goodbye to him…


…not when her rampant fragments were holding the Didact in place while John pushed a grenade into his chest:

Cortana 151

To go into more detail:

After Cortana’s rampant fragments disappeared because they didn’t have to hold the Didact in place anymore…

Cortana 152

Halo level20

…Chief didn’t think that Cortana had been destroyed:

“Cortana, do you read? Cortana, come in.”

Chief still thinks Cortana is alive. And she is.

Halo 4 Chief2

My point is:

Chief thought Cortana was destroyed only after she faded away:

Cortana 150


In Halo 5, when Chief thinks Cortana has been destroyed…

Halo level22

…he isn’t thinking about rampant fragments he saw on the light bridge…

Cortana 154

…he’s thinking about the “real” Cortana:

Cortana 8

The Cortana who is now evil:

Cortana Halo 5

On a side note:

Those rampant fragments on the light bridge were under Cortana’s control — doing what she wanted.

I’m not doing this for mankind.”
~ Cortana (Emphasis mine.)

The word “I’m” shows that Cortana is still in control of herself. Shows that even though Cortana is surrounded by fragments of herself, those fragments are still her — not their own, separate beings.

So: Even if the Cortana in Halo 5 is a rampant, “evil” fragment of Cortana that is now cured of rampancy, since such a fragment was shown to value humanity just like the “real” Cortana did — by keeping the Didact restrained in order to give Chief a fighting chance — why would that rampant fragment turn evil after touching the Domain? Why would that rampant fragment abandon the love they had for humanity?

The answer to those two questions makes as much sense as why the “real” Cortana would do those things:

None at all.

We go from this:

To this:

With no build-up.

Thank you for reading.


3 thoughts on “Why the Cortana in Halo 5 is the “real” Cortana

  1. I never really bought the rampant fragment theory, or the logic plague theory, or any of those other stupid theories. I don’t really see the point, it’s not like any of these theories being true would make what Halo 5 did to Cortana any better. Though I guess it’s a moot point anyway, since both Halo 5 and Cortana’s entry on Canon Fodder make it clear that IT IS the real Cortana, and that she’s doing this out of her own free will.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t know that Cortana’s entry on Canon Fodder made it clear. Thanks for telling me.

      Also: Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this subject.


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