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Halo Season 2 Is Shifting Tone, But What Does That Mean?

Halo Season 2 star Pablo Schreiber and the show's producers explain what's ahead.


The first season of Halo was interesting, if only because it existed. After being in the works for years and initially produced as a Showtime series, the live-action adaptation of Halo moved to Paramount+, instantly becoming one of the most recognizable titles on the streaming service. In the end, though, the show might not have told the story it wanted to originally.

The first season of Halo wound up with a decent score of 61 on GameSpot sister site Metacritic, with a much decidedly reaction score from audiences who ultimately didn't love the story presented. With that said, the team behind Halo has seemingly made a concerted effort to right the ship, shifting the series' tone to hopefully make more sense with the material they're adapting.

For Pablo Schreiber, who plays main character Master Chief in the series, the shift is one he thinks longtime fans of Halo will appreciate.

"The tonal reshift is certainly, I hope, helpful to bring elements of the fans who maybe didn't love the first season as much as they could have," he told GameSpot. "It's a tonal shift that I think was made on a concerted effort by the people who produce the show, to just make the show have slightly more quality."

According to producer Kiki Wolfkill, who also works for Halo game studio 343 Industries, discussions on how to change the tone were already happening during Season 1 production.

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"My perspective on Season 2 and what we wanted and needed to do with Season 2 started while we were still working on Season 1," she explained. "I think what's sometimes hard for the fans to see and know is how deeply you want to deliver an amazing experience to them. And I think we already had lined up all the things we wanted to do for Season 2 to really up our game."

That included a higher level of production value, "more focused" action scenes, and a new creative mind brought to the table. David Wiener (Flesh and Bone, Fear the Walking Dead) joined as the Season 2 showrunner and knew what he wanted to bring to the series.

"I wanted us to have the emotional connection to our Spartans and the Master Chief, in particular," he said. "And the way that we came about that was just to tell the show from a subjective perspective, to keep the tone in a place that it's real and gritty, and just be with our Spartans, not just in their stories at large, but also in combat, for example."

According to Wiener, "We don't see things they don't see, we don't know things they don't know. We're in the fog of war with them." In theory, it'll lead to a sense of mystery and intrigue for the new episodes, which Schreiber is particularly thrilled with.

"The show just feels darker, it feels more mysterious, it feels more interesting, deeper," the actor explained. "You're spending more time trying to figure out what people's points of view are and what people's allegiances and eventual goals are. And I think for a story that involves political intrigue and power moves, I think that's a really interesting place to come from."

Don't think adding mystery means less unmasked Master Chief, though. Based on the episodes provided for review, there's plenty more of regular ol' John to come. Halo Season 2 premieres February 8 on Paramount+.

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