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- “We have always been your protectors!”
Sangheili Honor Guardsmen are among the most skilled of all the Sangheili warriors and are hand-picked for the duty of protecting the High Prophets and other high-ranking officials in the Covenant High Council. The highly ornate armor of the Honor Guard is colored a combination of glowing red and orange. It features jutting spikes and pauldrons, indicating that the rank of Honor Guard is not only meant for combat, but is also a position of great pride and honor. However, in Halo Wars they seem to wear an armor type similar in color and design to the Halo: Reach Sangheili Minor armor. They also seem to always have a staff which doesn't prove very effective in combat, but perhaps is intended to be ceremonial.
If anyone pulls out a weapon in the presence of a Hierarch, the Honor Guard's immediate response is to defend the San'Shyuum by eliminating the threat no matter the odds. This can be seen slightly when the Arbiter Ripa 'Moramee ignites his Energy Swords in front of the Prophet of Regret, and also when Zhar attempts to kill Truth. In addition to that, they also keep order during important meetings within the High Council. Although a great honor, it is seen by some Sangheili as a merely ceremonial duty and a way to silence those who perhaps see a little too clearly in the Human-Covenant war.
It is unknown how a member of the Honor Guard ranks in comparison to the normal chain of leadership, but it is assumed they are equivalent to a Sangheili Ultra, or slightly below the Arbiter. It seems that wherever a High San'Shyuum goes, the Honor Guard accompany them. There could be as many as 300 Honor Guards for each San'Shyuum, as the Sanctum of the Hierarchs can hold 300 Honor Guards. They are commanded by the more skilled Lights of Sanghelios.
Until the Changing of the Guard, seen before the level Sacred Icon in Halo 2, these Sangheili were the personal bodyguards of the Prophet Hierarchy. The Jiralhanae replaced them after the death of the Prophet of Regret, in what many viewed as a carefully planned coup that eventually devolved into the Great Schism.
- In Halo 2, although they are seen wielding energy staves in the cutscenes, they are never seen using them in-game.
- Honor Guard Sangheili are a playable unit in Halo Wars, and are the leader-specific unit of the Prophet of Regret. They wield Energy Swords, and deal a tremendous amount of damage to infantry. They are trained directly from the Covenant citadel. In Halo Wars' cutscenes, Sangheili Honor Guardsmen are clad in red combat harnesses alike to those of Sangheili Majors, yet they wear their Halo 2-style armor in-game. It is possible that this represents a different class of Honor Guards. It should be noted that the Sangheili troops who aid Ripa 'Moramee during the Sixteenth Unggoy Disobedience and during his attack on Decided Heart, as seen in Halo Wars: Genesis, wear armor of an almost identical appearance to those seen in Halo Wars; thus, it is possible that the Honor Guards seen in Halo Wars comprise 'Moramee's personal guard. Also, in the cutscenes throughout the apex site the honorguards are crimson but in the cutscene "Monsters" they are Blue. This may be because the crimson honorguards left with the Prophet of Regret.
- It is unknown what became of the Honor Guards. According to The Return, two of them killed themselves out of shame for protecting the Prophet of Conviction. It is possible that other Sangheili Honor Guards did the same once the truth of the Halo Array was revealed. They may also be protecting important Sangheili.
- Halo: First Strike (First appearance)
- Halo: The Cole Protocol
- Halo 2
- Halo Wars
- Halo Legends
- Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe
- Halo Wars 2
- Gameplay suggestions on Sangheili Honor Guardsman
- Honor Guard Ultra
- Jiralhanae Honor Guardsman
- Honor Guard Councilor