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Now I really think there's a Sino-rific connection
Posted By: Walshicus <>Date: 4/8/06 11:21 a.m.

A while back I posted how I felt the naming scheme for the Covenant Prophets and the Emperors of the various Chinese Empires was oddly similar, and perhaps a useful starting point for further investigation.

Until today I let the matter lie. A few hours ago, whilst researching for my dissertation [only 14,000 words left!] I came across a rather fascinating piece of text from the Emperor "Daoguang" [literally: "Path of Brilliance"] to a disgraced official, Commissioner Lin "Blue Sky" Hsu-tse, which in English reads as:

“You have lied to us, disguising in your dispatches the true colour of affairs. Instead of helping us, you have only caused confusion to arise. Now, one thousand unending problems are sprouting. [...] As we think about your grievous failings, we become furious, and then melancholy.”

Which reminded me very much of the transmission from Truth to Regret that Cortana intercepts in the level of the same name:

“Your haste has jeopardised the fulfilment of our Covenant, threatened our grand design. That you shall be spared a public display of our contempt is thanks only to Mercy and his wise council.”

But that's not all that struck me. Take a look at these two portraits:

The image of the Prophet is from Tina Leyks' "Know Your Place", and so obviously the posing isn't intentional on Bungie's part. But there's more to look at there. Not only is their dress similar, but take note that Chinese Emperors sat on what was known as the Dragon Throne. It seems to me that the thrones of the Prophets are rather dragon-like too. They fly, they breath 'fire', and can become "invisible" as they teleport - all traditional attributes of Chinese dragons.

One further thing of note is the 'foreign policy' framework both the Covenant and the pre-Xianfeng Qing Empire utilise. Until the Opium War between the Qing and British Empires in the mid-19th Century forced Daoguang's court to change its ways, Chinese relations had always been based on the belief that "China" or rather the Zhongguo / Middle Kingdom was the centre of the world, its Emperor was the sole Sovereign, and all other nations were 'outer tribes' who had to present themselves as tributary states of the Zhongguo. We are reminded in the later High Charity mission background-speak the way in which the Covenant conducted its foreign affairs in the past - races either joined the Covenant willingly or were destroyed.

Whilst I agree I could be mistaken and everything I've pointed out could just be coincidence... until being refuted, I rather believe that Bungie took a lot of their inspiration for the Prophets from the Ming and Qing Emperors.

Message Index


Now I really think there's a Sino-rific connectionWalshicus 4/8/06 11:21 a.m.
     Re: Now I really think there's a Sino-rific connecJackal Fister 4/8/06 2:09 p.m.
           Re: Now I really think there's a Sino-rific connecWalshicus 4/8/06 2:35 p.m.
                 Re: Now I really think there's a Sino-rific connecFrofalcon 4/9/06 4:01 p.m.
     I give this theory a thumbs-up. *NM*LostRock11 4/8/06 2:18 p.m.
     Re: Now I really think there's a Sino-rific connecUrsusArctos 5/1/06 7:43 p.m.

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