‘Halo‘ is a television adaptation of the popular game series of the same name. It revolves around the boiling war between humanity and the alien theocratic organization known as the Covenant. The series introduces viewers to several iconic characters from the game, such as Master Chief Petty Officer John-117, while adding original characters such as Kwan Haa Boo to keep things fresh.
However, one of the indefensible aspects of the game, the general artificial intelligence system is known as Cortana, is missing from the early episodes. Although Cortana is alluded to in the first two episodes, she makes her full debut in the third episode of the series. Given the character’s importance to the franchise’s lore, it is natural for viewers to wonder who voices Cortana in the ‘Halo’ television series. If you are curious to learn the same, here is the answer! SPOILERS AHEAD!
Who Voices Cortana?
Cortana first appears in ‘Halo: Combat Evolved,’ the first game in the renowned videogame franchise. She also appears in subsequent games and tie-in media, making her an important part of the franchise. Cortana is introduced in the third episode of ‘Halo’ television series, titled ‘Emergence.’ She is an artificial intelligence system designed by Dr. Catherine Elizabeth Halsey. Although Cortana is primarily a computer program, activating her requires a genetic clone of a human, and Halsey flash clones herself. After getting the clearance from her superiors, Halsey uses the clone to awaken Cortana.
The artificial intelligence system’s purpose is to aid and assist soldiers of the Spartan-II program. She is capable of enchanting and expanding the physical and mental capabilities of the Spartans. Thus, Halsey attaches the first version of Cortana to Master Chief Petty Officer John-117, the leader of the Silver Team. Halsey states that Cortana’s physical form (which appears when summoned by John) has been modeled after herself to lend familiarity to the soldiers in battle situations, thereby enabling them to trust her.
However, long-time fans of the ‘Halo’ universe won’t just find Cortana’s physical form familiar but also recognize her voice. Actress Jen Taylor voices Cortana in the ‘Halo’ television series. Taylor is popular for voicing various video game characters. She first rose to prominence by lending her voice to several characters in the ‘Mario’ franchise of games.
Taylor is arguably best-known for voicing Cortana across the ‘Halo’ franchise starting with ‘Halo: Combat Evolved,’ which was released in 2001. She is also known for her voice performance in the animated series ‘RWBY.’ Interestingly, Taylor serves as the voice of Dr. Catherine Elizabeth Halsey in the audiobook adaptation of ‘Halo: The Fall of Reach’ and is also the voice of Microsoft’s virtual assistant named Cortana. Therefore, Taylor’s inclusion in the television series serves as a nice nod to the franchise’s long-lasting history while giving fans of the games a cool easter egg.