Halo season 2 is right around the corner, and fan expectations are high after a promising marketing campaign and creative shakeups done in order to stick closer to the beloved source material. Before the fight comes to Reach on Paramount Plus, here’s everything you should know.
Despite a solid critical reception and some remarkable highs, Halo’s first season didn’t resonate with longtime fans of the sci-fi game franchise nearly as much as Showtime, Paramount, and 343 Industries (the current developers behind the games) were hoping for. So far, we’ve been promised a darker tone and fewer subplots that detract from the core storyline, but will it be enough to make skeptics care?
Before we get into all the key info and juicy details you’re looking for, we recommend checking out our guide to playing the Halo games in chronological order. After you’re done (we assure you it’s a journey worth embarking on), compare your personal rankings to our own take on the Halo games, ranked worst to best.
When is the Halo Season 2 release date?
Halo returns with its Season 2 premiere on Feb. 8 with two episodes. After its long-anticipated return, new episodes will arrive every Thursday through March 21.
Season 2 will be eight episodes long versus the first season’s nine-episode count. This might suggest a slightly tighter narrative, especially after the trailers have teased a far more focused main plot.
Where to stream the Halo TV series?
Paramount’s Halo TV show is airing exclusively on, you guessed it, Paramount Plus in the United States. Season 1 is, of course, already available to watch (or rewatch). That said, there are rent/buy options in other services, such as Amazon or Google Play.
If you’re watching from the United Kingdom, options are pretty much the same, starting with Paramount’s own streaming platform, which is now available there too. As for the other international territories, availability may vary, but SkyShowtime — which is tightly bundling Paramount, Universal, and Showtime content — is your best bet.
What is the plot of the Halo TV series?
Halo’s first season followed events set before the original game very loosely, instead creating a new "Silver Timeline" separated from the video games, novels, and comics’ canon, allowing the show’s creatives to tell their own story without being restricted by the transmedia franchise’s extensive history. This, however, backfired quite a bit.
During season 1, John-117, aka the Master Chief, came across an artifact of mysterious origin that the nefarious alien faction known as the Covenant was looking for, too. The ongoing war between the United Nations Space Command (UNSC) and the Covenant required further experimentation and the acquisition of any and all potential weapons that could turn the tide of the massive galactic conflict.
Spoilers ahead for the Halo Season 1 finale.
After all the heavily criticized drama and B-plots, plus some very questionable character development decisions surrounding Master Chief, the first season’s explosive finale sent a group of Spartans (the UNSC’s heavily modified soldiers) against the Covenant troops trying to control the potentially destructive Forerunner artifacts.
In the heat of battle, John’s girlfriend-of-sorts Makee (a human brainwashed by the Covenant) got shot and seemingly died. With the Spartans eventually outnumbered, Chief told Cortana (his AI companion) to take over his mind to save him and the day. This made him a perfect killing machine that could help the UNSC win the war, which is what Dr. Halsey was trying to achieve all along. Chief trusts Cortana, but what’s happening with his human traits and emotions? Is this the show’s way of pushing us towards the Master Chief from the games?
So far, everything we’ve seen from Season 2 seems to suggest the plot will be focusing on the infamous Covenant attack on Reach, which represents the UNSC’s big nexus of military command and industry. This is a major event in Halo lore and history that fans will instantly recognize, potentially giving us an action-heavy season.
On top of the urgency the fall of Reach will add to the larger plot, we’ll likely find out what’s going inside John-117’s head and how he and Cortana can work together and outside of Halsey’s toxic influence. Also: What’s going with the artifacts? Does the series still care about Kwan Ha and the separatists? When are we going to the titular Halo?
Halo Season 2 trailers
Paramount Plus has shared three Halo season 2 trailers so far as part of a very short but intense marketing campaign. It started on Dec. 2, 2023, with a "first look" that can be watched below:
A longer official trailer was shared on Jan. 11, 2024, showcasing the direction of the show’s second season and giving fans and casual viewers alike a taste of what to expect from the live-action rendition of the fall of Reach. Check it out here:
Last but not least, a shorter trailer or spot of sorts was released on Jan. 20, focusing on the icon that Master Chief is and (apparently) the aftermath of the fall of Reach. It’s by far the most intriguing look at Season 2 we’ve gotten so far. Watch it below:
Halo Season 2 cast
The Season 1 cast members who are either returning or expected to return include Pablo Schreiber as Master Chief, Bokeem Woodbine as Soren, Jen Taylor as Cortana (also a veteran from the games), Natascha McElhone as Dr. Catherine Halsey, Shabana Azmi as Admiral Margaret Parangosky, Natasha Culzac as Riz, Olive Gray as Dr. Miranda Keyes, Yerin Ha as Kwan Ha, Bentley Kalu as Vannak, Kate Kennedy as Kai, Danny Sapani as Captain Jacob Keyes, Fiona O'Shaughnessy as Laera, and Tylan Bailey as Kessler, among others.
On top of all these returning actors, the second season will be introducing newcomers in Joseph Morgan as James Ackerson and Christina Rodlo as Talia Perez. More surprising will be seeing Viktor Åkerblom as an Arbiter, just not the one we know and love from the games (and who was voiced by Keith David).
Halo Season 2 writers and directors
After Steven Kane and Kyle Killen served as showrunners on Season 1, David Wiener (Fear the Walking Dead) took over as new showrunner and executive producer of the series. Season 2 was written by David Wiener (episodes 1 and 8), Ahmadu Garba (The Sinner), Marisha Mukerjee (Snowpiercer TV series), Tom Hemmings (Brave New World), Basil Lee Kreimendahl, and Sarah McCarron (Station Eleven).
Four directors are listed for Season 2, each doing a set of two episodes: Debs Paterson (Willow), Craig Zisk (For All Mankind), Otto Bathurst (a season 1 veteran), and Dennie Gordon (Jack Ryan).
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Fran Ruiz is our resident Star Wars guy. His hunger for movies and TV series is only matched by his love for video games. He got a BA of English Studies, focusing on English Literature, from the University of Malaga, in Spain, as well as a Master's Degree in English Studies, Multilingual and Intercultural Communication. On top of writing features and other longform articles for Space.com since 2021, he is a frequent collaborator of VG247 and other gaming sites. He also serves as associate editor over at Star Wars News Net and its sister site, Movie News Net.