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Lightbringer

Musings on Horus

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Lightbringer: It's a valid alternate interpretation / "what if"-scenario. Though I'd say the HH novels messed with Lorgar on another level.

 

In GW's fluff, the Emperor never bothered with divinity. There was no edict to suppress religion (which I still think is a bit silly, because AdMech), the Emperor simply didn't care. Which is why it makes Lorgar's surprise and the resulting mood shift all the more tangible. He was not aware the Emperor would react the way he did and probably fully expected to receive praise for his efforts at instilling this kind of loyalty in the newly conquered populace. Yet when the Emperor heard of the Word Bearers' doings, he told them to stop wasting valuable time and resources and get back to conquering more worlds, not even considering the little cult Lorgar has put so much effort in worth even a second of his attention. Boom, reality shock.

 

In a way, the difference is:

 

GW's Emperor: "All you did over the past months is useless to me. Get back to doing what I created you for!"

BL's Emperor: "You've been building a religion for me. I explicitly told you I don't want this stuff!"

 

I'm no psychologist, but I'd hazard a guess that the former is actually more harmful to Lorgar than the latter, because with the latter it still leaves that opening Lightbringer mentioned ("Only the true Messiah denies His divinity!"). The former utterly crushes Lorgar's work and belief as being considered worthless and uninteresting; a child's toy and a waste of Imperial resources.

Edited by Lynata
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What if the Emperor was trying to become something more, a god?  What if Lorgar figured it out and decided to substitute himself for the Emperor in the recipe?

 

I mean we ARE talking alternative interpretations of the Heresy/twists for Heresy stories here, so it's a valid question.

 

However it seems to me that the Emperor was doing an awful lot to avoid any suggestion that he was a god. Indeed, his "imperial Truth" dogma was pretty dead set against the concept. Not a lot of what was done by Lorgar during the Heresy put him anywhere near the throne of the Imperium. I suppose perhaps he could have had in mind that Horus might suceed and he (Lorgar) could then become a power behind the throne, but it seems a bit of a conceptual stretch to me... I actually prefer the existing HH line (Lorgar is embittered about the Emperor's chastisement of him and as such turns to worship of the Ruinous powers) to that interpretation.

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Lightbringer: It's a valid alternate interpretation / "what if"-scenario. Though I'd say the HH novels messed with Lorgar on another level.
 
In GW's fluff, the Emperor never bothered with divinity. There was no edict to suppress religion (which I still think is a bit silly, because AdMech), the Emperor simply didn't care. Which is why it makes Lorgar's surprise and the resulting mood shift all the more tangible. He was not aware the Emperor would react the way he did and probably fully expected to receive praise for his efforts at instilling this kind of loyalty in the newly conquered populace. Yet when the Emperor heard of the Word Bearers' doings, he told them to stop wasting valuable time and resources and get back to conquering more worlds, not even considering the little cult Lorgar has put so much effort in worth even a second of his attention. Boom, reality shock.
 
In a way, the difference is:
 
GW's Emperor: "All you did over the past months is useless to me. Get back to doing what I created you for!"
BL's Emperor: "You've been building a religion for me. I explicitly told you I don't want this stuff!"
 
I'm no psychologist, but I'd hazard a guess that the former is actually more harmful to Lorgar than the latter, because with the latter it still leaves that opening Lightbringer mentioned ("Only the true Messiah denies His divinity!"). The former utterly crushes Lorgar's work and belief as being considered worthless and uninteresting; a child's toy and a waste of Imperial resources.

 

You're right. My "Loyal but insane Lorgar" suggestion makes far more sense in the context of BL's interpretation of events than GW's. 

 

I think Dan Abnett set the tone for the whole Heresy in the first book by creating the conceit (the clever conceit) that the Emperor was an evangelical atheist determined not to be portrayed as a god, thus setting up the ironic tragedy of the whole Imperium becoming a fundamentalist Empire. This has naturally affected the whole Lorgar storyline. 

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I guess the whole problem with the Heresy is that the Traitor Primarchs come across as a bit...whiny. Needy. Slightly pathetic. I  mean I get the whole "mundanity of evil" concept, but that isn't really what the HH series authors are aiming at. They're clearly aiming at making each Traitor Primarch a fallen angel, and to be honest in many cases it doesn't really work.  

 

In a nutshell most traitor primarch backstories in the HH series have the same broad narrative: "I was in my own misunderstood way, a paragon of virtue. The Emperor treated me badly while following his grand plan, which I thought I understood but now don't. I am now resentful of the Emperor, and open to suggestions from other Primarchs or the Dark Gods of Chaos that I throw everything I've worked on for decades/centuries away to chase the dream of...I don't quite know what. Something about revenge."

 

I'm all for making each Primarch's motivations more nuanced than simple anger or resentment. There are exceptions: I think "Legion" handled the Alpha Legion's motivations in an interesting way, with an intriguing twist, but the other HH authors seem to me to be playing a fairly straight and predictable course. I think the HH authors need not be afraid of portraying Primarchs as bastards right from the start; the whole "fallen angel" narrative didn't really work in the Star Wars prequels, and it's not really working here.    

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That sounds likely - there's far more collaboration between the HH authors than normal in Black Library books, so whatever one author has established before becomes a requirement for whatever follows. Including the "Abnettverse".

 

I didn't know that he wrote the first book, but in a way a lot of stuff makes more sense to me now!

I tell you what, Lynata, although I'm being a bit mean about the HH novels, I'm probably going too far. If you haven't read them, give a couple a go. Some of them are good. I particularly rate the Abnett ones, especially Legion. Horus Rising isn't bad either, but it set a template for the series that other writers seem to me to be following a bit too slavishly.

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tbh I'm not sure I could enjoy them. Not because they are badly written (I think Dan Abnett and ABD in particular have a lot of skill), but because they interfere with my own interpretation of the Heresy and the vision of 40k as a whole.

 

From a stylistic point of view I also don't find anything cool about "larger than life" superhero characters like the Primarchs that constantly pull off one incredible feat after another and, in fact, rather avoid such books as a general preference, regardless of whether they focus on Marines in 40k or Jedi in Star Wars, etc.

 

Not to mention that I'm not particularly interested in Space Marines (anymore), though that is largely a result of the previous point. There actually are some cool Marine stories, but mostly they are short stories from codices or anthologies, with more "disposable" characters where the author didn't feel a need to conform to what I'd consider "BL bolter porn" standards. Know Thine Enemy and the WD story about the death of Captain Tycho were a refreshing exception from the norm in that the Space Marines there felt much more "real" to me. Either way, I think this disqualifies me as a possible target audience of those books.

 

Something about the "degrees of high fantasy" I can stomach, I think. I enjoyed the 300 movie, because visually it was a piece of art - but as a book I would've been bored to death. I have a feeling it'd be similar with the Horus Heresy novels and a hypothetical movie. ;)

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My biggest problem with the HH series: The complete and utter lack of knowledge of the Warp. The Age of Strife has just ended, during which countless planets have been overrun by daemon and mad psykers, and not a single proof of this remains? So when Samus is released and possession happens, it's a complete mystery. This is the premise upon which the entire series is built - and quite frankly I was completely surprised and to this day it feels quite lame.

 

So to enjoy the HH series, I have to ignore all I thought I knew about 40k prehistory, and take what's written at face value. The fact that every Primarch is an immature ****** doesn't trouble me as much then.

Edited by Green Knight

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So to enjoy there series, I have to ignore all I thought I knew about 40k prehistory, and take what's written at face value. The fact that every Primarch is an immature ****** doesn't trouble me as much then.

 

To this day I'm convinced that readers who have zero knowledge from the codices and the old WD/CJ articles will have a lot more fun enjoying Black Library books in general. I think I'm just "too stuck" in ye olde ways.

 

It's a bit like with various Hollywood remakes, really. It's not necessarily that they are bad - they just feel that way to those who grew up with the originals. The controversy surrounding JJtrek being the best example.

 

GW seems to evolve as well, but barring some glaring retcons you don't notice it as much because they keep placing everything behind a veil of maybes and generally leave more questions than answers, thus featuring a lot of room to fill with your own thoughts. Kind of like the X-Files. :D

Edited by Lynata
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Preamble:

 

As a starting point I don't agree with your analysis of tragedy and how it resonates or not with modern audience.  Done correctly I think the idea of a character inevitably being pushed towards their fate can be compelling.  MacBeth, Oedipus Rex, Kill Bill ( :P ).  Hell, any story that starts in media res like Goodfellas has undertones of this.  

 

Nor do I think the dramatic view of fate a person holds particularly stems from being religious or not.  For one thing the idea of free will presents massive problems in a purely materialistic worldview that in the final conclusion actually conforms more closely with the idea of a preordained fate. 

 

This doesn't even get into the obvious point that the Abrahamic religions, particularly Judaism and Christianity have a fundamentally different view of fate to the Hellenistic religions (On this point I would recommend reading 'The Gift of the Jews' by Thomas Cahill).

 

Anyway that's my disclaimer about the real world academic stuff now onto the important Grimdark stuff

 

Actually WH40K Stuff

I think the issue with Horus isn't so much the story.  The idea of a great hero being brought low or tunring against his father isn't the issue.  It's the telling of the story.  Frankly the authors that GW hire just aren't that good.  Certainly not for the gravity of the story they are telling. 

 

The story worked when it was i nthe background.  When WH40K simply said that Horus was the Warmaster and the beloved son of the Emperor and was seduced by Chaos and turned against him.  That is fine.  That is a story pitch that allows the audience to fill in the details.  Maybe Horus always harboured secret malice.  Maybe Horus was overwhelmed by a deamon.  Maybe Horus was driven to madness.  it doesn't matter only the consequences.

 

But when you actually start digging in to the character of Horus and say this is what he did and why he did it, then I think you need some top notch Sci Fi authors.  Sad to say I don't think the current BL batch is up to the job.

 

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a hate rant at any particular author.  I read the HH novels and enjoy them as far as they go but I don't think they do the potential for the story justice.

 

So my conclusion is that I don't think taking the 'canon' events as presented in the HH novels is really fair to the essence of the story that was originally told 20 odd years ago. 

 

I haven't seen the actual play of Romeo and Juliet but I know the synopsis.  The situation is a bit like if I wrote a play called Romeo and Juliet based on what I have heard of the play and then someone critiqued the idea of star crossed lovers and thought a more down to earth version would be better.

 

That said one thing which I think is cool about the HH novels and I think is intentional is that as the series unfolds you realise that the Emperor does not have humanity's interest at heart and that the enlightenment he offers is arelative term to the nightmare that follows 10,000 years later.  On this basis it is easier to see why the Primarchs fell.  Or rather they didn't so much as fall as have their view cleared of all the justification revealing the last truth of the Galaxy..

 

Chaos.

 

Hence: Death is nothing compared to vindication.

Edited by Visitor Q
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I think the issue with Horus isn't so much the story.  The idea of a great hero being brought low or tunring against his father isn't the issue.  It's the telling of the story.  Frankly the authors that GW hire just aren't that good.  Certainly not for the gravity of the story they are telling. 

 

The story worked when it was i nthe background.  When WH40K simply said that Horus was the Warmaster and the beloved son of the Emperor and was seduced by Chaos and turned against him.  That is fine.  That is a story pitch that allows the audience to fill in the details.  Maybe Horus always harboured secret malice.  Maybe Horus was overwhelmed by a deamon.  Maybe Horus was driven to madness.  it doesn't matter only the consequences.

 

But when you actually start digging in to the character of Horus and say this is what he did and why he did it, then I think you need some top notch Sci Fi authors.  Sad to say I don't think the current BL batch is up to the job.

 

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a hate rant at any particular author.  I read the HH novels and enjoy them as far as they go but I don't think they do the potential for the story justice.

 

 

 

I kind of hate being negative about aspects of 40k - the people who write it are fans just like us, and nice guys, and it's very easy to criticise a book but devilishly hard trying to write a good one. However, insofar as you say that the execution of the HH series as a whole hasn't quite worked so far, I agree with you.

 

In many ways I think the series has suffered from a lack of ambition. When it's worked (for me, the stand out book of the series so far is "Legion", which works as a sci fi piece, a 40k piece and action adventure writing) it works because the writers take risks with the setting and throw interesting twists into the mix. When it doesn't work it is because the authors appear afraid to trust themselves to try something new; they "play safe" with a very conservative storytelling, a "by the numbers" presentation of the canonical history.

 

Here a a few quick pros and cons of the series as a whole so far:

 

Pros

 

  • Timescale. BL are taking their time with the series. This is good. I don't want the HH series to end any time soon; I'm quite happy if the overall life of the series runs beyond the end of this decade

 

  • Variety of authors. Lots of authors are getting a crack at the series, which is good. Obviously, the standard of writing is therefore going to vary, but I think it is good that the series lacks a single "voice" or perspective: it is good to see different approaches to the series.  

 

  • Communication and editing. There appears to be a lot of dialogue between the different authors. I believe they attend get togethers to brainstorm ideas, and that the overall shape of the series is carefully monitored. Done right, this would allow authors to set up each other's stories, giving rewarding and interesting payoffs.

 

  • Support. The series has GW and FW behind it: the battle of Phall is covered in depth in the Horus Heresy Forgeworld series, which complements the BL accounts of the story beautifully. The authors have the talented designers and artists of the wider GW world to embody their ideas.   

 

Cons

 

  • Marine characterisation is poor: all-marine stories are boring. Sorry, but it's true. I'm not saying that marines themselves are boring; just that their superhuman nature and unusual psyche need to be portrayed very carefully to avoid cliche. I don't think this has really been done successfully so far. As presented in the HH series to date, nearly all of the marines seem tedious and dull. At worst they come across as either moustache-twirling vilains or  dutiful propaganda spouting drones who feel naive and robotic given what the fanbase knows about their destiny. All-marine stories suffer from tedious characters interacting tediously with other tedious characters. They need not be tedious, but presented en masse, they're pretty samey and dull. The best HH series novels have a rich mix of human and Astartes characters; the worst stories are all-Astartes. All-marine narratives work better as summaries of historical battles; they don't work so well as adventure stories. This is probably why the Forgeworld books work better in many ways than many of the books in the BL HH series.    

 

  • Primarch motivation seems unconvincing and cliched. See my thoughts on Horus above. There is far too much of the "fallen angel" narrative. This forces authors to portray primarchs as misunderstood paragons who have been manipulated by events beyond their control. This makes them appear powerless, petty, naive and childish, not the superhumans we want. There's nothing wrong with portraying a Primarch as bad from the start, in my view. Each Primarch needs a more convincing motivation, especially the traitor primarchs. In my view they should all have their own unique reason for siding with Horus; not variations on the same "fallen angel" theme.  

 

  • Lack of plot twists. I've been into 40k right from the very start, and I am very familiar with the narrative of what took place. I probably know the "historical events" and major battles of the of the Heresy better than, say, the historical events and major battles of the Vietnam War. Therefore I want more than a straight narrative summary of what took place during a battle. I think the BL writers need to ask whether modern audiences would be happy with a relatively straightforward retelling of a major battle of, say, the Second World War, from the point of view of 2-3 participants on each side and a general. Such a story would really be a bit dull, to be honest, without more going on. We want to be surprised, shown something new. Chuck in a few curveballs: give Leman Russ some illegitimate children, or have Jaghati Khan planning a Heresy of his own only to be overtaken by events, something like that. Many will find those particular suggestions stupid of course, but I'd rather see the HH series take risks and fail than plod along surprising no one.
Edited by Lightbringer
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I guess the whole problem with the Heresy is that the Traitor Primarchs come across as a bit...whiny. Needy. Slightly pathetic. I  mean I get the whole "mundanity of evil" concept, but that isn't really what the HH series authors are aiming at. They're clearly aiming at making each Traitor Primarch a fallen angel, and to be honest in many cases it doesn't really work.  

 

In a nutshell most traitor primarch backstories in the HH series have the same broad narrative: "I was in my own misunderstood way, a paragon of virtue. The Emperor treated me badly while following his grand plan, which I thought I understood but now don't. I am now resentful of the Emperor, and open to suggestions from other Primarchs or the Dark Gods of Chaos that I throw everything I've worked on for decades/centuries away to chase the dream of...I don't quite know what. Something about revenge."

 

I'm all for making each Primarch's motivations more nuanced than simple anger or resentment. There are exceptions: I think "Legion" handled the Alpha Legion's motivations in an interesting way, with an intriguing twist, but the other HH authors seem to me to be playing a fairly straight and predictable course. I think the HH authors need not be afraid of portraying Primarchs as bastards right from the start; the whole "fallen angel" narrative didn't really work in the Star Wars prequels, and it's not really working here.    

 

In fairness, I felt most of the primarch's weren't so much like that. I'd agree for Horus and Lorgar*, but less so for the others.

 

Angron isn't. It's made pretty **** clear that he's hated the Emperor from Day 1, and he's only in the crusade in the hopes of finding something capable of giving him the honourable death he missed out on at Desh'Ea.

 

Magnus isn't. He's trying to do the right thing, but because the Emperor didn't fill him in on his plans (and other reasons), he steps on the land mine when he sends his warning, and ends up a traitor without planning to.

 

Alpharius isn't - as you noted. More to the point, it's becoming increasingly clear (The Serpent Beneath, Scars) that not all the alpha legion is working from the same script.

 

Mortarion hasn't really had enough screen time for me to make my mind up yet.

 

Fulgrim....yeah. He's just a tool. He has basically no redeeming qualities.

 

 

 

* Although Lorgar stops being so whiny pretty **** quickly after Aurelian and Butcher's Nails.  Pointedly, his conversation with Magnus in Betrayer:

"I hear the voices of the Pantheon."

"You can't trust what they tell you! They..."

"I said I heard what they say. Not necessarily that I believe them."

 

 

 

...as the series unfolds you realise that the Emperor does not have humanity's interest at heart and that the enlightenment he offers is arelative term to the nightmare that follows 10,000 years later.  On this basis it is easier to see why the Primarchs fell.  Or rather they didn't so much as fall as have their view cleared of all the justification revealing the last truth of the Galaxy..

 

Chaos.

 

Hence: Death is nothing compared to vindication.

 

Definitely. One thing you learn from First Heretic, Outcast Dead and Vengeful Spirit that the Emperor is quite the hypocrite at times given what he's done in the lead-up to the great crusade.. Granted, he's done it because 'it's the only path to survival' but the problem is that different people may have differing views on what the only path to survival is.

 

 

There have been a few good twists in the recent books. Scars is a nice situation - The White Scars haven't been involved to date because they haven't been getting their mail (see The Serpent Beneath for reasons). This ends, and, with no knowledge of the heresy going on, the first messages that one of Magnus' closest friends receives are reports from the Warmaster that Russ has gone mad and murdered everyone on Prospero.... 

 

I quite like the Knights-errant stuff and the shattered legions too: the big advantage is much like domino squad or jedi master never-heard-of-you-before in the Clone Wars; there's no requirement for them to survive, hence you don't know if they will (and quite a few don't).

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Personally I rather enjoy SOME of the HH books - but I do see what you mean.  Far too often the Primarchs are depicted as 'oh-so-noble' and 'can-do-no-wrong' when we'd much rather see more interesting and (god I hate this word but it's the best one to use in this situation) rounded characters.  On the other hand, I find that this applies more to the LOYALIST Primarchs than the traitors.  Each of the Traitors has their own reasons for disliking the Emperor (apart from Horus who is kind of just a git) and their own reasons why they sign up to take him down.  Each of the Traitors has their own flavour of speech and style, and go through character development over the course of the books and individual stories.  By contrast, the Loyalist Primarchs seem far too cookie-cutter to take seriously, and the attempts to give them characters by giving them similar reasons to dislike the Emperor make one wonder why they don't ALL go Traitor, thus undermining the characterisation of the ACTUAL Traitor Primarchs.  

 

On the other hand I'd also say - how do we know Horus isn't like this?  As far as I recall, we've only had his PoV a few times in the series - certainly it'd be an interesting tweest on events in Horus Rising if, like poor President Walker, we the reader were deceived by Horus Underwood only to have the veil ripped from our eyes in his final battle with the Emperor.  I doubt they'll do this, but if they do, it'd be BRILLIANT.  

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I think the issue with Horus isn't so much the story.  The idea of a great hero being brought low or tunring against his father isn't the issue.  It's the telling of the story.  Frankly the authors that GW hire just aren't that good.  Certainly not for the gravity of the story they are telling. 

 

The story worked when it was i nthe background.  When WH40K simply said that Horus was the Warmaster and the beloved son of the Emperor and was seduced by Chaos and turned against him.  That is fine.  That is a story pitch that allows the audience to fill in the details.  Maybe Horus always harboured secret malice.  Maybe Horus was overwhelmed by a deamon.  Maybe Horus was driven to madness.  it doesn't matter only the consequences.

 

But when you actually start digging in to the character of Horus and say this is what he did and why he did it, then I think you need some top notch Sci Fi authors.  Sad to say I don't think the current BL batch is up to the job.

 

Don't get me wrong, this isn't a hate rant at any particular author.  I read the HH novels and enjoy them as far as they go but I don't think they do the potential for the story justice.

 

 

 

I kind of hate being negative about aspects of 40k - the people who write it are fans just like us, and nice guys, and it's very easy to criticise a book but devilishly hard trying to write a good one. However, insofar as you say that the execution of the HH series as a whole hasn't quite worked so far, I agree with you.

 

In many ways I think the series has suffered from a lack of ambition. When it's worked (for me, the stand out book of the series so far is "Legion", which works as a sci fi piece, a 40k piece and action adventure writing) it works because the writers take risks with the setting and throw interesting twists into the mix. When it doesn't work it is because the authors appear afraid to trust themselves to try something new; they "play safe" with a very conservative storytelling, a "by the numbers" presentation of the canonical history.

 

I pretty much agree with this.

 

I re-read my post again and while I wouldn't say I would really change anything in it I probably was overly harsh on the authors themselves by not adding in a few caveats the major one being these are books being written on a freelance basis.  We have no idea what awesome creative spins an author would throw in if left to their own devices. 

 

I once mentioned to a friend that it would be really interesting/funny if Horus was actually killed in Nemises by the assassins, kind of like the ending of Inglorious Bastards when [******] is killed (how do you do that thing where you can blank out words to avoid spoilers?).

 

I have read Dan Abnetts comics for 2000AD and I liked them.

 

The authors are working to a set of instructions from GW.  One of the main requirments is probably to have space marines front and centre of most of the books.  While there are very obvious reasons for this ironically it probabally doesn't do the enormity of the Horus Heresy justice.

 

If you think about it the reader spends the first three novels reading about space marines fight across the galaxy in a war of conquest to ensure humanity's survivial.  Then suddenly there is a traitor and the series is about erm....space marines fighting across the galaxy in a war of conquest to ensure humanity's survivial.

 

In contrast if one of the novels was about some baker on Acalass IV who had recently moved from earth as a colonist.  He follows the Imperial Truth so obviously doesn't worship anything but lets just say he thinks very highly of the Primarchs.  Horus in particular who conquered the world.  His world is secure he knows his place.  Then suddenly news comes in about Horus turning against the other Primarchs.  The issue then is who to follow, who to believe.  The sheer enormity of the world, the galaxy changing for someone who has no way influencing the grand events I think could be more tragic and emotive than following the lives of dozens of Astartes who as mentioned can be quite flat characters.

 

In fact I think this approach would then make the Astartes interesting when they appeared because they were so detached from human concerns.

 

But (and maybe I am being unfair on 14 year olds) I think it might be difficult to market a book that follows the tribulations of a baker turned refugee on some random world.

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This forum can do the spoiler tags?  :o 
 
Sheesh! I just noticed the "special BBcode button" in the reply box ... you learn something new every day!

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 (how do you do that thing where you can blank out words to avoid spoilers?). 

 

 

 

[-spoiler-]like this[-/spoiler-]

 

just take the dashes out and you get

 

like this

 

 

That's some interesting advice Magnus Grendel.  But does it work?

 

It does

 

I can think of some useful applications for this

 

hiding spoilers

 

Ok I'll stop now.

 

I won't stop.

Edited by Visitor Q
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Anybody remember the old forum software?

 

It sucked.

 

Alex

You just gave me a migraine thinking about it.

Not really. But it did suck some awfully bad.

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I just reviewed the entirety of this page and..I'm sure we were talking about something else before all the spoiler nonsense

 

 

 

psych.      No really I'll stop now.

 

Anyway...yeah so Horus.  What a douch.

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This is my first post so please be understanding. I have a long time of W40k under my belt and have read almost all the Horus Heresy. Where do we have Konrad Curze? May be a little of topic but if you want a jerk from the start then Curze is a great example. He was demented, a murderer for Justice. He kept the streets of Nostramo clean of murder, crime and theiving. Oh, apart from the mutiliated bodies of his victims. Puishment meated out. So in all he was a jerk and even when reunited he was still the least popular of the primarch's(apart from Angron).

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To be honest, most of the primarchs are jerks.

 

They tend to have one or two redeeming features, but mostly they're just jerks.

  • Kurze and Johnson both had no human contact during their formative years and raised themselves - Kurze in the backstreets and rooftops of Nostromo, Johnson in the Woods of Caliban. Both have very little human empathy, and Kurze essentially just decided (observing society from the outside) that fear and brutality is the most efficient way to a safe and stable society - which is what he was after, and as ends go isn't as bad as it might be.
  • Johnson is just as bad in many ways, largely because he....I'm not sure how to phrase it. He has the trappings of a 'noble knight' but his heroic image tends to slip when you pick at the edges because, much like Russ, he "feels the rules do not apply to him" as agent smith would put it. He kills one of his closest advisors for daring to argue with him about violating a direct command from the emperor, he conspired to keep secrets on chaos and the warp from his father, he's using forbidden tech to guide his fleet....and his first question to a brother primarch after finding out about the heresy is essentially "does that mean I get to be warmaster now?"
  • Angron has breathtaking anger management issues, but he is, above all, honest. This does lead to problems (such as calling Russ a 'hypocritical fool' to his face) but is a positive characteristic. He's also loyal - but sadly, to the memory of his slave army, the eaters of cities, more than to his current legion.
  • Lorgar is loyal to his brothers to a surprising extent. The whole 'shadow crusade' is mostly an attempt to save angron from the effects of the Butcher's nails. And as he says to Magnus "just because I hear the dark gods doesn't necessarily mean I believe everything they say."

 

  • Not Fulgrim. I'm sorry, but he's just all jerk, all the time.
Edited by Magnus Grendel
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Hmmm, in the grim dark world of 40K Curze isn't that bad. I agree to that and after reading Fulgrim I do also agree to Fulgrim being an idiot all the time. Johnson, he's hard to judge because he can change his character just like that. He can be the noble knight but is a first class lier. I agree entirely with you.

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