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The Primarchs and mental illness


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#1 Lightbringer

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 05:55 AM

On a note tangentially related to Deathwatch, in browsing through the second edition of the Horus Heresy  forgeworld books the other day, I got to thinking about how many of the Primarchs display some traits associated with the symptoms of various mental illnesses.

 

I'm not in any way a mental health professional, so I don't really have any specialist knowledge here other than what I read online, but it is quite fun to engage in a bit of retrospective diagnosis for each of the Primarchs as if they were historical figures. This sort of activity has a long and ignoble history, with various armchair historians constantly arguing over whether George III really had porphyria, or whether Napoleon was poisoned by the arsenic in the wallpaper in his villa on Saint Helena.

 

Obviously the Primarchs are fictional characters, and thus any attempt at using modern diagnostic methods is therefore inherently flawed from the start. Furthermore, they are, in universe, genetically engineered super beings, with hidden functions coded into their very DNA by the Emperor. Plus, there are always going to be certain issues in dealing with certain types of apparent mental illness with the Primarchs where the symptoms relate to warp influence. Does Lorgar hear voices because he's schizophrenic, or because he's actually hearing Gods speak to him? In universe, the latter is true: modern diagnostic criteria don't take account of the existence of fictional gods as being the cause of symptoms of mental illness. So to a degree, this is a pointless exercise.

 

However, pointless exercises are often fun, in my experience!   :) 

 

So here we go, in no particular order:

 

Horus - psychopathy, Oppositional defiant disorder

Mortarion - depression, post traumatic stress disorder, Oppositional defiant disorder, Post-traumatic embitterment disorder

Fulgrim - Narcissistic personality disorder, obsessive compulsive personality disorder, perfectionism, impulse control disorder

Ferrus Manus - Body Dismorphic Disorder

Night Haunter/Conrad Curze - antisocial personality disorder, psychopathy, sociopathy, schizophrenia, nightmare disorder, impulse control disorder, Schizoid personality disorder

Lorgar - Borderline personality Disorder, temporal lobe epilepsy

Perturabo - Asperger's syndrome, Paranoid personality disorder, Schizoid personality disorder

Roboute Gulliman - obsessive compulsive personality disorder (highly debatable)

Lion 'El Johnson - social anxiety disorder, Paranoid personality disorder

Angron - impulse control disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, pain disorder, Intermittent explosive disorder, Post-traumatic embitterment disorder

Rogal Dorn - Creutzman Belling Syndrome, Asperger's syndrome

Leman Russ-Hyperkinesis

  

 

There's a few of the Primarchs, anyway. I've left out Magnus, Corax and Jaghati Khan because I don't really have enough of a handle on their personalities yet.

 

Vulkan doesn't strike me as having signs of any mental illness prior to Isstvan, though arguably intense post traumatic stress disorder is a possibility after his treatment at the hands of Konrad Curze.

 

Alpharius/Omegon also seem to be perfectly rational, as of "Legion" anyway.

 

Sanguinius is a hard one to nail down. Older canon had the black rage as a feature of the Blood Angels Chapter which was caused by his death,  but this appears to have been retconned by the Horus Heresy novels to make it a pre-existing condition. The Black rage doesn't really fit any of the diagnostic criteria for mental illness - it's apparently more like a physical illness, or, in universe, arguably a psychic one. Certainly it appears to cause symptoms similar to intermittent explosive disorder, but in fact the effects are a bit more like a hyper-aggressive form of rabies.

 

Anyway, that's the fruit of my musings on the topic. Any thoughts anyone? Are any of my diagnoses unsustainable/wrong, in your view?



#2 Brother Orpheo

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 01:32 PM

I'm curious as to your reasons for assigning Asperger's Syndrome to Perturabo and Rogal Dorn; might you explain?

 

When reading your list of diagnoses for Angron I have to keep reminding myself you're probably not taking the "active" nature of the Butcher's Nails into account. And I think The Lion also suffers Narcissistic Personality Disorder, as well as Oppositional Defiant Disorder- http://en.wikipedia....efiant_disorder.

 

I wouldn't agree with Dorn having Creutzman's- I think he's capable of telling lies, however he's rather too principled to resort to it. He's definitely dissembled.

 

Among other illnesses/disorders, Fulgrim definitely suffers Bipolar Disorder.


Edited by Brother Orpheo, 29 January 2014 - 01:36 PM.

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#3 Lightbringer

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 04:54 PM

All these "diagnoses" are highly speculative, [he muttered, shifting uneasily] so don't be surprised if some of them come across as a little half baked!

With Dorn and my (very tentative) Asperger's diagnosis, I was thinking of this extract from the Asperger's article on Wikipedia:-

"For example, a person with AS may engage in a one-sided, long-winded speech about a favorite topic, while misunderstanding or not recognizing the listener's feelings or reactions, such as a wish to change the topic of talk or end the interaction.[8] This social awkwardness has been called "active but odd".[1] This failure to react appropriately to social interaction may appear as disregard for other people's feelings, and may come across as insensitive."

I was thinking about this in the context of Dorn's interaction with Perturabo. From Lexicanum:-

"When the Emperor returned to Terra to build a capital worthy of ruling a million planets, Dorn went as well[Needs Citation]. Always having excelled in the construction of fortresses, he was tasked with designing the defences for the Imperial Palace. These would prove to be magnificent, and would be well tested in the following years. Fulgrim once asked if Rogal Dorn thought it could withstand the Iron Warriors legion, and Dorn's truthful answer infuriated Perturabo to such a degree they would almost destroy each other in battle years later.[2] Later, upon reflection, Dorn considered his overly competitive relationship with Perturabo to have demonstrated personal weakness, presumably including the exchange which resulted in Perturabo's outburst.[6]"

Dorn's bluntness, directness or whatever one may call it may have been a result of his falling somewhere on the autistic spectrum. Asperger's as a diagnosis seems to be falling a bit out of fashion, replaced by this "spectrum" concept; I'm not saying Dorn falls far along any such spectrum, more that he touches upon it.

Another example is his handling of Konrad Curze: he tried to speak to Curze, and ended up getting attacked. This reminds me of this part of the Asperger's article:- "More evidence suggests children with AS are victims rather than victimizers." Dorn as victim is not an image many people consider, but in the context of a blunt spoken high functioning individual with a history of offending others through lack of empathy in social interactions with peers, that image does resonate somewhat.

As for Creutzman's, yeah, I agree, really, it's a bit of a stretch, too simplistic an explanation!

Perturabo is a Primarch I'm not up to speed on, I admit. I've only read the first chapter of Angel Exterminatus, so he remains a bit formless for me. I was thinking here really of how the Emperor seems to have built Primarchs in pairs; complimentary duos of Primarchs with similar abilities and specialties. Sanguinius and Angron. Vulkan and Ferrus Manus. Curze and Corax. Dorn and Perturabo. The two are very similar in many ways, so I kind of reasoned they might both fall on the autistic spectrum a little, too.

Edited by Lightbringer, 29 January 2014 - 05:00 PM.


#4 Brother Orpheo

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 06:45 PM

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by Perturabo as portrayed in 'Angel Exterminatus'.

 

And I know Oppositional Defiant Disorder is a children's diagnosis, but let's face it, the Primarchs grew into adulthood quite rapidly- in a sense, they're still just children. Albeit 200+ years old (at the time of the Great Crusade), but still. The Emperor expected too much, too soon from His sons.


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#5 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 09:14 PM

Clans of the Alphane Moon?

 

ooh look obscure reference


Edited by bogi_khaosa, 29 January 2014 - 09:14 PM.


#6 Roy Stone

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 06:26 AM

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by Perturabo as portrayed in 'Angel Exterminatus'.

 

And I know Oppositional Defiant Disorder is a children's diagnosis, but let's face it, the Primarchs grew into adulthood quite rapidly- in a sense, they're still just children. Albeit 200+ years old (at the time of the Great Crusade), but still. The Emperor expected too much, too soon from His sons.

 

The Emperor was a bit of a fool.

 

Each son grew up in a different environment meaning he should have treat them differently. Such as letting Angron make his last stand with the Gladiators. Then he wouldn't have been so ticked off.

 

Each son was sent out into the galaxy with a certain amount of naive innocence towards what evil truly lurked behind the veil of reality. He should have told them about Chaos and it's dangers. Would you let your children walk to school and not warn them about strangers?

 

What he did to Magnus the Red was just bang out of order  :angry: The biggest witch in the galaxy creates a super superhuman witch and then commands him not to be what he was created to be  :angry: Hypocrite! So what if it makes some of your other sons uneasy. Tell them to man up and grow a pair!

 

Secrets! Don't keep secrets! Horus wouldn't have felt abandoned if the Emperor told him what he was working on. Magnus could have helped, or at least would have been more careful about smashing through the psychic wards blocking his warning message. The Chaos gods are neither blind nor stupid, they knew what the Emperor was up to and were working hard to stop him. So whose he trying to hide it from?

 

Stupid Emperor!


Edited by Roy Stone, 30 January 2014 - 06:29 AM.

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#7 pearldrum1

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 06:51 AM

Alpharian and Omegon perfectly rational?!

 

 

 

.... I agree. The Alpha Legion is STILL Loyalist to this day. Greatest prank the Emperor ever pulled. 



#8 pearldrum1

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 06:54 AM

 

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by Perturabo as portrayed in 'Angel Exterminatus'.

 

And I know Oppositional Defiant Disorder is a children's diagnosis, but let's face it, the Primarchs grew into adulthood quite rapidly- in a sense, they're still just children. Albeit 200+ years old (at the time of the Great Crusade), but still. The Emperor expected too much, too soon from His sons.

 

The Emperor was a bit of a fool.

 

Each son grew up in a different environment meaning he should have treat them differently. Such as letting Angron make his last stand with the Gladiators. Then he wouldn't have been so ticked off.

 

Each son was sent out into the galaxy with a certain amount of naive innocence towards what evil truly lurked behind the veil of reality. He should have told them about Chaos and it's dangers. Would you let your children walk to school and not warn them about strangers?

 

What he did to Magnus the Red was just bang out of order  :angry: The biggest witch in the galaxy creates a super superhuman witch and then commands him not to be what he was created to be  :angry: Hypocrite! So what if it makes some of your other sons uneasy. Tell them to man up and grow a pair!

 

Secrets! Don't keep secrets! Horus wouldn't have felt abandoned if the Emperor told him what he was working on. Magnus could have helped, or at least would have been more careful about smashing through the psychic wards blocking his warning message. The Chaos gods are neither blind nor stupid, they knew what the Emperor was up to and were working hard to stop him. So whose he trying to hide it from?

 

Stupid Emperor!

 

 

 

 

.... Damnit, ROY!

 

BURN HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I agree with most of this and there are times when I am reading the HH Novels and just screaming in my head, "JUST BE HONEST WITH THEM, DOG. WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU BEING SO SECRETIVE FOR?!"

 

Magnus, yeah... a little honesty their could have just gone a LONG LONG way. "Hey, look, the Warp is actually filled with entities of enormous power that will try to corrupt you at every turn. Be really careful when using your powers. Regulate that ish. Cool? Cool. OK, I love you son, BYE BYE." But no. And we know how that ends. Hell, Magnus was even loyal till the end (well, until he went into the Eye). Didn't even warn his troops about the Space Wolves coming to prove that he was still true to the Emperor. 

 

Tragic.


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#9 Roy Stone

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 07:00 AM

Uh oh, time to run



#10 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 07:55 AM

The Emperor was a bit of a fool.

 

Each son grew up in a different environment meaning he should have treat them differently. Such as letting Angron make his last stand with the Gladiators. Then he wouldn't have been so ticked off.

 

Each son was sent out into the galaxy with a certain amount of naive innocence towards what evil truly lurked behind the veil of reality. He should have told them about Chaos and it's dangers. Would you let your children walk to school and not warn them about strangers?

 

What he did to Magnus the Red was just bang out of order  :angry: The biggest witch in the galaxy creates a super superhuman witch and then commands him not to be what he was created to be  :angry: Hypocrite! So what if it makes some of your other sons uneasy. Tell them to man up and grow a pair!

 

Secrets! Don't keep secrets! Horus wouldn't have felt abandoned if the Emperor told him what he was working on. Magnus could have helped, or at least would have been more careful about smashing through the psychic wards blocking his warning message. The Chaos gods are neither blind nor stupid, they knew what the Emperor was up to and were working hard to stop him. So whose he trying to hide it from?

 

Stupid Emperor!

 

Ultimately, the Emperor supposedly has all the strengths and talents of the primarchs combined. The problem is that he also had all their flaws combined as well. Horus' pride. Magnus' absolute certainty that "he can handle things". The Lion's near compulsive fixation on not telling you more than you need to know. Russ's complete inability to accept that there is another side to the argument.

 

And ultimately, the fact that he didn't especially trust or empathise with anyone once their usefulness in his "Grand Plan" was past. What happened to the space marines' predecessors - the Thunder Warriors - is kind of a hint at that.

 

Equally, it wouldn't surprise me to find that the reason Magnus didn't get the lowdown on the webway gate is that...well...not to put too fine a point on it, the "golden throne" was not supposed to be where the Emperor ended up. I strongly suspect that, post-crusade, the person supposed to end up locked inside and psychically agonised to the point that a mummified skeleton was all that was left was Magnus.


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#11 Avdnm

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 08:04 AM

Equally, it wouldn't surprise me to find that the reason Magnus didn't get the lowdown on the webway gate is that...well...not to put too fine a point on it, the "golden throne" was not supposed to be where the Emperor ended up. I strongly suspect that, post-crusade, the person supposed to end up locked inside and psychically agonised to the point that a mummified skeleton was all that was left was Magnus.

 

Jupp... exactly my thoughts on the matter.


Edited by Avdnm, 30 January 2014 - 09:24 AM.


#12 Roy Stone

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 08:20 AM

 

Equally, it wouldn't surprise me to find that the reason Magnus didn't get the lowdown on the webway gate is that...well...not to put too fine a point on it, the "golden throne" was not supposed to be where the Emperor ended up. I strongly suspect that, post-crusade, the person supposed to end up locked inside and psychically agonised to the point that a mummified skeleton was all that was left was Magnus.

 

Jupp... exactly my thoughts on the matter.

 

 

I and many others also agree on that. Magnus was going to sizzle for eternity. 



#13 pearldrum1

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 05:12 PM

My mind is blown. I never put that together.

 

Vicious.



#14 Lightbringer

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 05:53 PM

Arguably. I'd say the reason the Emperor looks like a charred strip of streaky bacon as of M41 is more to do with the injuries he sustained fighting Horus and 10,000 years worth of decay than it is to do with the inherent skillet-like properties of the Golden Throne. If it really WAS built for Magnus, then he may not have fried; indeed, the throne seems to have life-support capabilities, so he could have been relatively comfortable.

My pet theory is that the 12 foot tall golden armoured "Emperor" isn't actually the emperor at all, but one of the two "lost" primarchs. The real emperor was Malcador, working psychically behind the scenes as the "Emperor"'s puppeteer. The golden throne is a device that enables consciousness/soul to be stored and retained after death. The insertion of the false emperor's near death corpse into the device after the defeat of Horus somehow scuppered whatever plans the real emperor had for the device, trapping his soul immobile in the golden throne forever.

I know, it's a bonkers theory, but it's a fun one! :-)
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#15 Magnus Grendel

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 01:58 AM

Oh, the 'Glorious Golden Emperor' that makes everyone go wibble and kneel in awe is completely a false impression.

 

We've seen the 'real' emperor twice - once in The Last Church, where he voluntarily suppresses his abilities, and once in Deliverance Lost.

 

The latter is quite interesting, because of Corax's ability to see through the glamour says about him (combined with his "I'm not here" talents - beyond simple stealth, actual "moving blind spot" - and his stating that he has no psychic ability at all when many...maybe even most...of the primarchs have at least a little, suggests he might be an untouchable).



#16 pearldrum1

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 04:21 AM

STAR CHILD FTW.

 

Alliance with the Tau. FTW!



#17 Visitor Q

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 05:13 AM

 

 

The Emperor was a bit of a fool.

 

Each son grew up in a different environment meaning he should have treat them differently. Such as letting Angron make his last stand with the Gladiators. Then he wouldn't have been so ticked off.

 

 

 

Particularly egregious because presumably the emperor was going to bring that world to compliance anyway. 

 

Emperor: Hmm my son seems to be leading a army of slave born into a desperate last stand against an enemy.  Teleport only him up and then wait for a few weeks before taking over the planet.

 

Custodian Second in Command: Why don't we launch a full assault on the enemy army, save your son and his army, bring the world to compliance and ensure your son's eternal loyalty?

 

Emperor: Shut up that's why.

 

The Emperor makes so many blunders that one type of Remembrancer I am pretty sure woyuld be banned would be stand up comedians...they'd have a field day.. 

 

 

On a more philisopical note, the Primarchs are super human warriors, engineered using forbidden science and techniques barely understood, possibly with a pact from the Chaos Gods.  They grow at an accelerated rate and many spent the first few years or months of their life by themselves.  Further more they are implanted with certain memories to become war leaders.  At the same time they are heavily influenced by the culture they grow up in taking on many of its values.  Then when they have found a place for themselves on those cultures they are whisked away by a virtual living god and told to conquer the stars for the good of humanity, a race that beyond leading they actually have very little meaningful real life connection to.  Is it any wonder they are a mess?

 

As for the Emperor well you could write whole volumes on what psychological issues that guy had. 

Highlights include

  •  Having immense personal unfettered power with no checks and balances.   
  • Taking it upon himself to rule the whole of humanity under his vision. 
  • Violently rejecting any other notion of a higher power other than his version of the 'Truth (to the extent he may well have killed 2 of his sons over this and definietly ordered the execution of a third). 
  • Massive, ultimately catastrophic, relationship problems with his sons as a result of not address abandonment issues (All of them but particularly Angron and Horus), turning a blind eye to clearly abherrent behaviour (Night Haunter) while then suddenly coming down with disproportionate retribution (Lorgar).  Playing favourites (Rogal Dorn and Peturabo).
  • A need for religious devotion of his person while at the same time punishing overt displays of such religiosity.   
  • Obviously has huge issues with women. (he creates 20 super soldier sons to rule the Galaxy, leading hundreds of thousands of celibate all male Legions.  Yet the only all female institution we see is called the 'Sisters of Silence'..go figure).

 

Guy was a Black Carapace short of a full Astartes (by which I mean he was nuts). 

 

 

 

 


Edited by Visitor Q, 05 February 2014 - 05:37 AM.

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#18 Roy Stone

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 05:37 AM

 

 

 

The Emperor was a bit of a fool.

 

Each son grew up in a different environment meaning he should have treat them differently. Such as letting Angron make his last stand with the Gladiators. Then he wouldn't have been so ticked off.

 

 

 

Particularly egregious because presumably the emperor was going to bring that world to compliance anyway. 

 

Emperor: Hmm my son seems to be leading a army of slave born into a desperate last stand against an enemy.  Teleport only him up and then wait for a few weeks before taking over the planet.

 

Custodian Second in Command: Why don't we launch a full assault on the enemy army, save your son and his army, bring the world to compliance and ensure your son's eternal loyalty?

 

Emperor: Shut up that's why.

 

The Emperor makes so many blunders that one type of Remembrancer I am pretty sure woyuld be banned would be stand up comedians...they'd have a field day.. 

 

 

On a more philisopical note, the Primarchs are super human warriors, engineered using forbidden science and techniques barely understood, possibly with a pact from the Chaos Gods.  They grow at an accelerated rate and many spent the first few years or months of their life by themselves.  Further more they are implanted with certain memories to become war leaders.  At the same time they are heavily influenced by the culture they grow up in taking on many of its values.  Then when they have found a place for themselves on those cultures they are whisked away by a virtual living god and told to conquer the stars for the good of humanity, a race that beyond leading they actually have very little meaningful real life connection to.  Is it any wonder they are a mess?

 

As for the Emperor well you could write whole volumes on what psychological issues that guy had. 

Highlights include

  •  Having immense personal unfettered power with no checks and balances.   
  • Taking it upon himself to rule the whole of humanity under his vision. 
  • Violently rejecting any other notion of a higher power other than his version of the 'Truth (to the extent he may well have killed 2 of his sons over this and definietly ordered the execution of a third). 
  • Massive, ultimately catastrophic, relationship problems with his sons as a result of not address abandonment issues (All of them but particularly Angron and Horus), turning a blind eye to clearly abherrent behaviour (Night Haunter) while then suddenly coming down with disproportionate retribution (Lorgar).  Playing favourites (Rogal Dorn and Peturabo).
  • A need for religious devotion of his person while at the same time punishing overt displays of such religiosity.   
  • Obviously has huge issues with women. (he creates 20 super soldier sons to rule the Galaxy, leading hundreds of thousands of celibate all male Legions.  Yet the only all female institution we see is called the 'Sisters of Silence'..go figure).

 

Guy was a Black Carapace short of a full Astartes (by which I mean he was nuts). 

 

 

Whose the greater fool? The fool or the fool who follows him?

 

The Imperium of man is a galaxy spanning Empire full of superstitious idiots, who serve a committee of idiots, who claim to speak for a corpse who was formerly an idiot. What a bunch of idiots.



#19 pearldrum1

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 07:10 AM

You all seem to be missing a fundamentally important point.

 

I think it is easy to blame the Emperor since everything we know about the lore has been written from the future which is purposely and unrelentingly awful (designed by GW to be as such) to the past which has had to be purposely written as a cluster-F to justify the current setting.

 

Enter the Emperor and we can all say "HE SHOULD HAVE DONE THIS." Well, that isn't really the point. And GW attempts to address that by being pretty honest - well, he has been alive for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. In ALL THAT TIME, he never once stepped in and took things over until it got to the absolute breaking point. So yeah, he tried to quiet "don't-do-anything and maybe humanity will mend itself" approach and look how that turned out: genocide, planetary civil nuclear war, the age of strife, panic and devastation on a galactic scale. 

 

So when he finally took the reigns and went public, he obviously wasn't going to compromise or relent. He had seen what humanity could do and would do when left to their own self-destructive devices. That is kind of the point - with any religious mythos in which the Gods/God give humanity a shot. There ALWAYS comes a time when the Gods eventually say, "OK. Enough is enough. Sorry kids, but play time is over." Either in the form of a trip to paradise or the end of day. Religious/Existential Mythos 101. Which is why it is so easy to pick on the Emperor's failings. The entire setting is embraced BECAUSE of his failure. We are lucky enough that we enjoy a game that has the resources and the willingness to indulge us in the past lore so much, but the Emperor never had a chance.


Edited by pearldrum1, 06 February 2014 - 07:13 AM.


#20 Visitor Q

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 06:04 AM

You all seem to be missing a fundamentally important point.

 

I think it is easy to blame the Emperor since everything we know about the lore has been written from the future which is purposely and unrelentingly awful (designed by GW to be as such) to the past which has had to be purposely written as a cluster-F to justify the current setting.

 

Enter the Emperor and we can all say "HE SHOULD HAVE DONE THIS." Well, that isn't really the point. And GW attempts to address that by being pretty honest - well, he has been alive for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. In ALL THAT TIME, he never once stepped in and took things over until it got to the absolute breaking point. So yeah, he tried to quiet "don't-do-anything and maybe humanity will mend itself" approach and look how that turned out: genocide, planetary civil nuclear war, the age of strife, panic and devastation on a galactic scale. 

 

So when he finally took the reigns and went public, he obviously wasn't going to compromise or relent. He had seen what humanity could do and would do when left to their own self-destructive devices. That is kind of the point - with any religious mythos in which the Gods/God give humanity a shot. There ALWAYS comes a time when the Gods eventually say, "OK. Enough is enough. Sorry kids, but play time is over." Either in the form of a trip to paradise or the end of day. Religious/Existential Mythos 101. Which is why it is so easy to pick on the Emperor's failings. The entire setting is embraced BECAUSE of his failure. We are lucky enough that we enjoy a game that has the resources and the willingness to indulge us in the past lore so much, but the Emperor never had a chance.

 

I would pretty much agree with everything you have said.  I don't think there is actually anything wrong in GWs presentation of the Emperor as a character, more in readers who think the Emperor's actions or vision actually represented a plan that was conducive to uniting humanity in an age of enlightenment.

 

For me part of the big reveal of the HH novels is that the Emperor didn't represent the enlightenment that he promised and has been established in the previous WH40K mythos.

 

The reason why the Emperor never had a chance has less to do with humanity and everything to do with the Emperor.  But this isn't a critisisim of the background this is just a statement about a character.






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