Tartarus: the lowest depths of the Earth, the realm of the dead, and in our case, the Chieftain of the Brutes. The Brutes are the most recent amalgamation into the Covenant, and appear to be one of its most zealous members. Their affinity for violence, their "brute" strength, and their unquestionable dedication to the Prophets have made them the favored race of the Hierarchs. While Truth may hide some motive for replacing the Elites, Tartarus and his company are lead by a pure desire to usurp the Elites and become the Prophet's honoured escort on the Great Journey. Tartarus schemed to acquire power and a place for himself in this "salvation", but even his mighty hammer, the "Fist of Rukt", could not deliver him; at his death at the hands of the Arbiter, he remained only a blind pawn.
What's in a name?
Alexis J. Lojek (email@example.com) writes:
I wonder if the name Tartarus has any significance.
From the final paragraph on pantheon.org :
"Tartarus becomes a place of punishment for sinners. It resembles Hell and is the opposite of Elysium, the afterlife for the blessed."
Tartarus the Brute seems as one who assigns punishment to those who have failed in a particular mission. His involvement in the Great Journey would seem to suggest that someone (humanity?) is being punished for some wrongdoing they did.
The Brutes are said to be Ceremonial Guards of things which the Covenant see to be sacred. Perhaps they are involved in the invasion of Earth because it is their duty to "protect" the Forerunner artifact on Earth?
Elysium, eh? Very astute.
Journey through purgatory
Ursus Actos (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes:
Most people here consider Gravemind to be the one whispers in the Whisper in the Storm reversed audio. Others now conisder an AI trapped aboard high charity. I read the reversed audio for the umpteenth time, and this time, I concluded taht it was a living being, not an AI, and that it was present at High Charity.
In fact, I think it's the one whom the camera focuses on most of the time during the whispering-Tartarus the brute!
We've already speculated about him being the punisher, about Tartarus being the opposite of Elysium, the afterlife of the blessed (And MC's birthplace), but someone with a name so significant has been relegated to a throwaway boss character in Halo 2.
I've heard of Bungie's eternal hero concept-the idea of one character being born again and again in different time periods. MC appears to have been present in another avatar 100,000 years ago at the first firing of the rings(343 GS in two betrayals-"When you last asked me, would I do it...?"). Tartarus may have had a hand in those events, as a criminal, and for that he's been reborn, again and again, living out 3000 of 100000 years with no change whatsoever in his future. He laments this by saying that time has no purpose.
And again, "I live in a prison of my own demise." A prison is a place where people serve time for their crimes, and demise is death. I live in a place where I am punished for my crimes, by my death. That sounds like someone being in Tartarus, the Greek Version of hell. This character is one of the punished, not a punisher.