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February 19, 2004

The Arkenstone

Daniel Nadal ( writes:

I've always been intrigued by the 'tru7h', as you guys put it. In essense: The Halo Backstory.

Of course, being the Tolkien enthusiast (/not/ LotR, mind you, as Tolkien encompasses so much more),I always thought that it would be interesting if the Bungie folks took some inspiration from there. So, reading through the story page (I've been bad, I havn'tbeen reading it much, lately, shame me) I was interested in this post.

Alas, it didn't satisfy my thought. Because, in all truth (tru7h, I mean), I wasn't entirely happy with the parallels. Enter this post:

"But more importantly we got the "King Under the Mountain" folder. What does this stand for? Well, the office IS in a mountain, right? And what does Dr. Halsey find under the Mountain? The "holy of holies", the Holy Light, which is apparently of enourmous significance to the Covenant."

The tru7h is right under several noses. Lets take a sojourn into the wonderful land of the Hobbit. There are different parallels to take: 1) exact parallel. 2) bits and pieces. and 3) tiny

1) Exact parallel. Unfortunatly, all I know is what I have from this, so let's go and look at the different stuff I do know, from reading the Hobbit. Thorin, who is supposed to be the King Under the Mountain, has one gem in the hoard (Smaug took over from a while back, hording all the jewels) that he wants above all others, he values it above a river of gold. Guess what it's called? The Arkenstone. Now, this doesn't make sense, till we look at it's description. It's this multi-faceted gem that reflects and refracts light, so it looks like the light is coming from it. Oh, feh, just read the Hobbit for the description, it's in the 'On the Doorstep' chapter, I believe.

So, continuing on with the parallel. Enter Bilbo Baggins, the Hobbit. He's also supposed to be the burglar. So, he goes in, and finds the Arkenstone, and hides it. Make a long story short (it's a pretty short story, actually), he gives it to the people who are at the doorstep demanding recompense for a burnt town (read: dragon), etc. Okay, so we have this gem that was stolen from the King.

What does this mean for Halo?

The gem is located in the Mountain, there is a king to it, who's coming back with a band to retake the mountain, which has hostile forces in it. One of the guys sneaks in, turns burglar (his job) and takes the gem (holy light?) and uses it for bartering tool.

2) So, we have the gem, and it's found in the mountain. You know the story. Yadda yadda. We can probably relate this off to the 'index' and the previous post about the MC being the reclaimer. So, we have MC boogying on into Halo, grab the index, and then getting out of there. Here's how I see it, in this case we have the MC switching places, and "he's" the burglarer. In all actuality, some other person is "the" Reclaimer. And, because of his armor, 343GS is all confused about who it is (all the Dwarfs get mixed up in the books, too, the first time through)

3) Part, we can grab bits and pieces. Arkenstone and the holy light. King Under the Mountain, the mountains been taken by hostile. etc.

Now, unfortunately, this all doesn't sound half as brilliant as it looked in my mind. Ah well.

Enlightening nonetheless. It seems rather clear that this is the allusion Bungie intended with their King Under the Mountain reference. But what more does it hint at? Using the "Arkenstone" (or something of its ilk from Earth, 04, a new Halo, etc.) as a bargaining chip indeed...

permalink | Rampant Speculation