*Warning: Spoilers for Halo season 2 episode 2 ahead.*


The second season of the Halo series on Paramount Plus has officially kicked off, with two episodes available for fans to stream now.

The series continues to star Pablo Schreiber as Master Chief John-117, and the stakes have already jumped up a notch, with the Spartans continuing their battle against the Covenant.

The cast for season 2 sees newbies like Joseph Morgan, Christina Bennington and Cristina Rodio join, while there's also already been one shock return which most viewers won't have seen coming.

But who else stars in the series and who do they all play? Read on for everything you need to know about the cast and characters of Halo season 2, and for more on Halo, check out our review of season 2 here.

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Halo season 2 cast: Full list of actors and characters

  • Pablo Schreiber as Master Chief, Spartan John-117
  • Natascha McElhone as Dr Halsey
  • Jen Taylor as Cortana
  • Charlie Murphy as Makee
  • Danny Sapani as Captain Jacob Keyes
  • Olive Gray as Dr Miranda Keyes
  • Bokeem Woodbine as Soren-066
  • Shabana Azmi as Admiral Margaret Parangosky
  • Natasha Culzac as Riz-028
  • Yerin Ha as Kwan Ha
  • Bentley Kalu as Vannak-134
  • Kate Kennedy as Kai-125
  • Fiona O'Shaughnessy as Laera
  • Tylan Bailey as Kessler

Leading actors Schreiber and McElhone are also acting as producers this season. The series will also welcome new stars, with the below joining the fray:

  • Joseph Morgan as James Ackerman
  • Cristina Rodlo as Talia Perez
  • Christina Bennington

One actor we're not expecting to see back is Burn Gorman, who played Vinsher Grath in season 1, after he met his fiery demise at the hands of Kwan-Ha and Soren in season 1 episode 7.

Pablo Schreiber plays Master Chief, Spartan John-117

Pablo Schreiber as Master Chief in Halo
Pablo Schreiber as Master Chief in Halo Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+

Who is Master Chief, Spartan John-117? John is a Spartan, one of Dr Halsey's (Natascha McElhone) creations. In season 1, we discover he was kidnapped as a child by Halsey and turned into an emotionless killing machine, much like the other Spartans. However, during the course of the season, he starts to have memories of his childhood, prompted by the artifact, and removes an implant from his spine which had previously numbed his emotions.

John had a romantic connection with Makee (Charlie Murphy) – a plot point that was divisive even to actor Schreiber, who told Collider that he "fought against" the inclusion of a steamy scene between the two. By the end of the first season, John forces Cortana (Jen Taylor) to take over his mind to allow him to use the artifact and not die in the process. The season ends with Kai (Kate Kennedy) asking John if he's still himself – so we could meet a very different Master Chief in season 2.

Speaking to RadioTimes.com about where we pick up with John, Schreiber said: "He's processing a lot of things that happened to him.

"In the first season, it was such a load of learning for him and new experience and so I think there's second guessing. I think there's self punishment for some of the things that that he allowed to happen. But mostly, he's trying to take care of the people around him.

"Right now, the people around him are not very happy, everybody's pretty low and pretty frustrated and questioning authority because they're doing the job they don't really believe in and they've been relegated to mop up status, and they don't know why. And he's just trying to keep everybody together and get through a pretty rough period."

Where have I seen Pablo Schreiber before? Schreiber is known for roles in various other TV shows, including Orange is the New Black, in which he plays George 'Pornstache' Mendez. He's also appeared in The Wire as Nick Sobotka, A Gifted Man as Anton Little Creek, and Ironside as Virgil.

More recently, he played Mad Sweeney in the Starz adaptation of Neil Gaiman's American Gods and Allan Gore in the miniseries Candy.

Natascha McElhone plays Dr Halsey

Natascha McElhone as Dr. Catherine Halsey in Halo
Natascha McElhone as Dr Catherine Halsey in Halo. Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+

Who is Dr Halsey? Dr Catherine Halsey is the brains behind the Spartan operation and, basically, the more we find out about her, the more villainous she turns out to be. Halsey kidnapped John and the Spartans as children, replacing them with flash clones who became ill – convincing the children's parents that they'd died. She then turned them into killing machines to fight the alien species known as the Covenant.

By the end of season 1, Halsey is on the run, escaping from the UNSC using a flash clone of herself. She wants to create a humanity free of emotion and is clearly willing to stop at nothing to make it happen.

Where have I seen Natascha McElhone before? British actress McElhone has had a varied career across film and TV, appearing in the likes of Absolutely Fabulous in the early days of her career. She went on to appear in films like The Devil's Own and The Truman Show in the late '90s, as well as starring in Solaris and The Other Boleyn Girl in the early 2000s.

She starred as Alex Kirkman in Designated Survivor, and even appeared in The Crown as Penny Knatchbull.

Yerin Ha plays Kwan Ha

Yerin Ha as Kwan Ha in Halo
Yerin Ha as Kwan Ha in Halo. Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+

Who is Kwan Ha? Kwan Ha is a resident of the planet Madrigal and the daughter of Insurrectionists. During season 1, it's revealed that Master Chief killed Kwan Ha's mother. During the season, she's hunted by Vinsher Grath and his army, but ultimately defeats them with some help from Soren.

Where have I seen Yerin Ha before? While Kwan Ha in Halo has been her biggest role to date, Yerin Ha has also appeared in Bad Behaviour, playing Alice, and the show Reef Break.

Jen Taylor voices Cortana

Jen Taylor as Cortana in Halo
Jen Taylor as Cortana in Halo. Paramount Plus

Who is Cortana? Cortana is an AI intelligence who serves as an advisor to Master Chief John. Created by Halsey, she's initially ordered to befriend him while always reporting back to Halsey. However, the final episodes show Cortana turning against Halsey in favour of helping John.

Fans will notice that Cortana looks a little different in season 2. Addressing that difference, star Schreiber told RadioTimes.com: "The difference in appearance I would also attribute to a new showrunner, a new vision for the look."

Schreiber also opened up about what John and Cortana's journey will hold in season 2, telling us: "When we start the second season, she has been taken away and now he's wrestling with all the feelings of like, 'Well wait a second. I didn't really like this when it was done to me. But wow, it sure feels different now that she's gone.'

"So he's wrestling with the impact of that, of not having his second half almost. To take the metaphor further, when you find someone who's perfect for you, and they sort of complete you, what you're capable of doing is vastly improved. And I think he certainly found that in the first season.

"So in the second season, there's a journey back to each other, he has to find his way back to her. And I think when they do find each other again, the nature of the relationship will be quite different than it was in the first season."

Where have I heard Jen Taylor before? If Taylor sounds familiar to Halo fans, that's because she actually voiced Cortana in the Halo games. She also voiced Cortana, Microsoft's intelligence personal assistant. She's also voiced Princess Peach, Toad and other characters in the Mario franchise.

Joseph Morgan plays James Ackerson

Joseph Morgan as James Ackerson in Halo season 2
Joseph Morgan as James Ackerson in Halo season 2. Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+

Who is James Ackerson? Ackerson is the new UNSC intelligence operative commanding Silver Team – and it's safe to say his leadership doesn't go down well

Where have I seen Joseph Morgan before? Morgan is best known for roles including Niklaus "Klaus" Mikaelson in The Vampire Diaries, as well as its spin-off The Originals.

Charlie Murphy plays Makee

Charlie Murphy as Makee in Halo
Charlie Murphy as Makee in Halo. Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+

Who is Makee? Makee was raised by the Covenant and shared their contempt for humanity. During season 1, she's taken prisoner by the humans but forms an emotional and romantic connection with John. Here come the spoilers, so look away now if you've not seen episode 2!

Despite being shot at the end of season 1, season 2 episode 2 sees Makee return and make it clear that she's strongly in with the Covenant. Speaking to RadioTimes.com about what will happen between John and Makee in season 2, Schreiber confirmed that the romance plot will be ditched.

He said: "I've gone on record already to say that I wasn't a big supporter of the relationship between Makee and John being romantic.

"I always wanted Charlie to be a part of the show, I think Makee's a great character, I think it's a great foil for John, I think it's a great motivator, and they learn a lot about each other through the characters.

"I just don't think it should have been romantic. So we've taken a lot of that out for the second season. And so her being around, there's still unfinished business between them, and it certainly won't be romantic."

Speaking about Murphy's return, showrunner Wiener added: "At the outset of making the story for season 2, it became really apparent that Charlie's a world-class performer and it felt like she brought so much to the show that I really would have felt the absence." She also provides us this really fascinating lens into the Covenant, into their psychology, into their faith. And it's such a unique, important character that to remove that pillar of the story just felt less exciting.

"She does get shot at the end of the first season but it's a really, I think, satisfying journey that she goes on this season. And I love having her back. There's no way to do it without her, I felt. It was hard to tell that Covenant story without having a human perspective."

Where have I seen Charlie Murphy before? Irish actress Murphy will be very recognisable to fans for various high profile TV roles. In Peaky Blinders, she played Jessie Eden, and in Happy Valley, she starred as Ann Gallagher. She also played Anna Barton in Obsession.

Elsewhere, Murphy played Siobhan in the 2015 series Love/Hate, as well as Simone Turner in The Capture.

Cristina Rodlo plays Corporal Talia Perez

Cristina Rodlo as Talia Perez in Halo season 2
Cristina Rodlo as Talia Perez in Halo season 2. Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+

Who is Talia Perez? Talia Perez is a communications officer and, at the beginning of season 2, she shares a traumatic experience with John which bonds them.

Where have I seen Cristina Rodlo before? Rodlo has also appeared in the TV series 68 Whiskey and The Terror, and films like No One Gets Out Alive in 2021.

Danny Sapani plays Admiral Jacob Keyes

Danny Sapani as Captain Jacob Keyes in Halo
Danny Sapani as Captain Jacob Keyes in Halo. Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+

Who is Admiral Jacob Keyes? Keyes is the captain who commands the Spartan army. He and Dr Halsey were once together and had their daughter Miranda together, but by the beginning of season 1, they're long separated. In season 1, Keyes makes reference to Halsey's work being the reason for this. Keyes is also complicit in the Spartan operation but during season 1, starts to have doubts.

Where have I seen Danny Sapani before? Sapani has also had various roles across British TV, from Little Britain to Holby City, The Bill, and Casualty. In 2011, he appeared in the Doctor Who episode A Good Man Goes To War.

From 2009 to 2011, Sapani appeared in Misfits as Tony Morecambe, and he later starred as Sembene in Penny Dreadful. He also played Jamie in season 3 of Killing Eve, and starred as Colin Sutherland in The Diplomat.

Olive Gray plays Dr Miranda Keyes

Olive Gray as Dr. Miranda Keyes in Halo
Olive Gray as Dr Miranda Keyes in Halo. Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+

Who is Dr Miranda Keyes? The daughter of Dr Halsey and Captain Keyes, Miranda is a doctor in her own right with particular skills in linguistics. She proves key to finding out who Makee is in season 1.

Where have I seen Olive Gray before? Gray started her career as Alice in The Story of Tracy Beaker, before starring in Half-Moon Investigations and appearing in Fleabag and Sex Education.

In 2019, she played Jess Mensah in Dark Money, and the actress also played Grace in the series Save Me.

Shabana Azmi plays Admiral Margaret Parangosky

Shabana Azmi as Admiral Parangosky in Halo
Shabana Azmi as Admiral Parangosky in Halo. Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+

Who is Admiral Margaret Parangosky? Admiral Parangosky is the Commander-in-Chief of the Office of Naval Intelligence. During season 1, it becomes clear that she's complicit in the Spartan project, although she clearly disapproves of Halsey's methods. By the end of season 1, she's turned against her.

Where have I seen Shabana Azmi before? Azmi has had an illustrious career in the Hindi film industry, starring in more than 160 films, making her one of India's most acclaimed actresses. Some of her recent releases include Ghoomer, What's Love Got To Do With It? and Kaali Khuhi.

Bokeem Woodbine plays Soren-066

Bokeem Woodbine as Soren in Halo
Bokeem Woodbine as Soren in Halo. Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+

Who is Soren-066? Soren was a candidate in the Spartan programme – but it's made clear in season 1 that he never made the cut. Nevertheless, he and John formed a friendship, with Master Chief entrusting Kwan-Ha's protection to him. He eventually helps her to defeat Vinsher and his army.

Where have I seen Bokeem Woodbine before? Woodbine has had varied roles across film and TV, including playing Leon Cooley in the drama series Saving Grace, as well as appearing in the 2017 series Underground, and the 2018 series Unsolved. From 2015 to 2020, Woodbine also played Mike Milligan in Fargo.

Kate Kennedy plays Kai-125

Kate Kennedy as Kai-125 and Bentley Kalu as Vannak-134 in Halo
Kate Kennedy as Kai-125 and Bentley Kalu as Vannak-134. Adrienn Szabo/Paramount+

Who is Kai-125? Kai is one of the Spartans, who followed John's lead in regaining her emotions. In the final episodes of season 1, she helps John and confronts Halsey after discovering the truth about where she came from.

The first episodes of season 2 see Kai worrying about John and unable to get through to him.

Where have I seen Kate Kennedy before? Kennedy has been a voice actor on video games like World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth and Battlefield V, and on screen, she appeared in the 2023 film Haar.

Fiona O'Shaughnessy plays Laera

Who is Laera? Laera is Soren's wife and helped hide Kwan-Ha in season 1. She has a bigger role to play in season 2.

Where have I seen Fiona O'Shaughnessy before? Irish actress O'Shaughnessy is best known for films including Utopia in 2013, Nina Forever in 2015, and Hansel and Gretel in 2020.

Halo season 2 will continue on Paramount Plus on Thursday 15th February. Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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