Heck this thread goes back a long way.
I may have posted in here before but, here goes.
Being among the first few characters to make the leap from book to game, I thought that 343 were teeing him up as a major player moving forward. His run in Spartan Ops suggested so. When we’re raiding his camp in the first mission, my mind was racing ahead. I knew we we’re getting a Sangheilios section in the game, perhaps he escapes and retreats there? Perhaps he is captured and there is some kind of hostage negotiation at some point? Perhaps he switches sides at some point?
And then came Locke’s knife.
In the grand scheme of things, it wouldn’t have been much more work to have him escape in the first mission and die in Sun’aion. Have him teleport out using the Forerunner structure, locking it behind him (as a call back to how he escaped in the books). Only a few dialogue changes are need to explain him retreating to Sangheilios, and then you move the fight scene animations to the end of the mission. Heck even the Arbiter could be given the final blow.
It would have made more sense as well, considering the Storm Covenant are still the enemy here, and gives way more of a build up to his Last Stand, for a more satisfying end to his run in the Halo story.