AVERAGE SIZE: 8.5 - 9 feet, 1,200 - 1,500 lbs
AVERAGE LIFESPAN: Unknown
COMMON NAME: Brutes
About NEXT • KIG-YAR ▶The Jiralhanae were the most recent addition to the Covenant in 2492, causing immediate conflict between them and the Sangheili. The extremely aggressive and violent Jiralhanae were relegated to the lower-tier military assets by the Sangheili, and were even used as canon fodder during several military engagements during the Human-Covenant War. They were nonetheless preferred by some San'Shyuum due to their unquestioning belief in the Great Journey, leading to the Prophet of Truth's attempt to transfer military leadership to them. This sparked open revolt by the Sangheili, known as the Great Schism, the collapse of the Covenant, and years of war between Jiralhanae and Sangheili.
The Jiralhanae were the newest member species of the Covenant, only joining in 2492, thirty-three years prior to first contact with the human race in 2525. Some decades prior to getting discovered by the Covenant, the Jiralhanae, known for being particularly warlike, got their homeworld of Doisac embroiled in a worldwide conflict known as the First Immolation that ended in a nuclear war across the entire globe. By the time Covenant forces came across Doisac, the Jiralhanae had begun to recover their civilization, rediscovering radio and rocketry.
Sensing the Jiralhanae as a threat to their high position within the Covenant, the Sangheili were sure to limit the access Jiralhanae had to the most powerful Covenant technology, including the largest warships and Huragok. Though the Jiralhanae resented being treated this way, they were incredibly devout believers in the Great Journey, and became favorites among some of the San’Shyuum, particularly Ord Casto who would later become the Prophet of Truth. This favoritism of the Brutes by Truth, and his growing lack of trust in the Sangheili, was the seed that would later grow into the Changing of the Guard and the Great Schism.
WorldsAlthough devastated by a world war sometime before their discovery by the Covenant in 2492, the Jiralhanae homeworld of Doisac is still home to billions of Brutes. They also have colonized at least two worlds other than Doisac, though not much is known on them.
The Jiralhanae fought loyally for the Covenant throughout the Human-Covenant War despite their continued use in the most dangerous and deadly combat theaters, with the exception of a few like Atriox, who after being sent into combat to die too many times, rebelled and formed the Banished. That loyalty paid off, with the Jiralhanae being given senior positions within the Covenant at the tail end of the war, including Fleetmaster and Honor Guard. This did not last, however, as the Sangheili rebelled and fought back against this perceived injustice, and the Flood infected High Charity and commandeered it, killing nearly every resident. With the Covenant dissolved, the Jiralhanae were again left without any significant power in the galaxy, and most receded into the background or went back to Doisac.
In the aftermath of the war with humanity, a handful of Jiralhanae formed their own factions to vie for power in the galaxy, most notably Castor, leader of the Keepers of the One Freedom. Though the Keepers did have some success in establishing themselves, they were mostly wiped out by UNSC forces during Operation: RETRIBUTION in 2553. Castor did survive this encounter, though he likely died shortly after by the same forces.