Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ranking the Primarchs

In the Warhammer 40,000 canon the Emperor created twenty "sons," to bring light to the galaxy.  But are all of his sons equal?

The Crazy Gamer says no!

I will now rank them from least to greatest.  I will use the official background, the history of their legion, as well as their characterization in the Black Library novels to decide who is the best.

Without further ado:

20 and 19: The two unknown Primarchs.  According to the lore of 40k two legions were wiped out prior to the Great Crusade for unknown reasons.

18: Angron, Primarch of the World Eaters

The gladiator Primarch.  Angron is a beserker who even before his fall was unbalanced.  He frequently is in a rage for one reason or another and because of this he is a very one dimensional character.

17. Perturabo, Primarch of the Iron Warriors

Perturabo is a master of siege craft and defense.  He ranks so low because he has never been explored in any major way.  He is apparently featured in John French's novella Crimson Fist, but I haven't had a chance to read it yet.

16.  The Khan, Primarch of the White Scars

Khan is presented as being a master of the hunt.  We know that he is present at the Siege of Terra but little is known about what he did there or what he did after.  Again the Khan is a victim of little attention from the Horus Heresy series so this might change.

15. Vulcan, Primarch of the Salamanders 

Vulcan is also a victim of little exposition from the Black Library novels.  His chapter is also difficult to understand as they seem, at least on the surface, to have no place.  They are portrayed as artificers and craftsmen yet the Iron Hands, Iron Warriors, and the Emperor's Children all seem to have greater legacies in this regard.

I admit that I have not read Nick Kyme's Tome of Fire trilogy that deals with the Salamanders so I don't want to be too stringent in my criticism.

Hopefully some more characterization will be coming soon.

14. Lorgar Aurelian, Primarch of the Word Bearers

Lorgar is the first Primarch that I have listed that is ranked low because of his characterization in the Black Library novels.  Lorgar is a huge feature in the novel The First Heretic by Aaron Dembski-Bowden. The characterization is of a son who desperately wants to please his father.  Not too bad in of itself but he does so by going against his father's express wishes.  When he is rebuked he locks himself away leaving his legion alone to attempt to figure out what to do.  Not the mark of a good leader in my book.  Lorgar is a petulant child who is jealous of his brothers.

13. Ferrus Manus, Primarch of the Iron Hands

Ferrus is the master craftsman who it is said has crafted several of his brother Primarch's weapons.  His arms are made of Iron thus how his legion received its name.  In many ways he and his legion are seen as the loyalist counterpart of Perturabo.  Ferrus is not portrayed as icy as his brother Perturabo.  If anything he is very trusting and that is his great flaw which undoes him on Istavaan V leading him to be the first Primarch killed.

12.  Conrad Curze; the Night Haunter, Primarch of the Night Lords

Curze was raised on the tortured world of Nostramo the planet of perpetual night.  Growing up on a planet in which crime rules and the only cause of death more prevalent than murder is suicide had a very negative impact on the young Curze.  He became the Night Haunter to combat the crime on his world.  Curze is another victim of not having very much written about him in Black Library novels as of this writing.  He is a deeply flawed character who is thought to have had two personalities the wise and protective Curze and the remorseless, brutal psychopathic Night Haunter.

11.  Lion El'Johnson, Primarch of the Dark Angels

He is the Lion of Caliban.  His chapter is very interesting with many nuances, but the Lion is very difficult, for me at least, to get my head around.  He is supposed to be a tactical genius but he makes so many bad decisions that if he was a CEO of a company he would probably get a huge bonus.

10.  Fulgrim, Primarch of the Emperor's Children

Fulgrim is a dandy, yet he a sublime warrior whose artistry in personal combat is near legendary.  He has two strikes against him.  First, his legion is pretentious to the extreme and that makes them annoying to read.  Second, he is tricked into using a daemon weapon causing the daemon to take over his body.  The daemon sides with the Warmaster and does all this depraved nonsense.  Fulgrim fights regain his body and once that's done he's like "I'm back , but all that gross stuff the daemon did, yeah I'm cool with it."

Pretty suckie Fulgrim. Not cool!

9. Corvus Corax, Primarch of Raven Guard

Corax and his legion had one of the Horus Heresy books dedicated to them.  The first half of the book characterized him, his legion, and his doubts very well.  Instead of taking a page from Lorgar's book Corax doesn't give in and sulk.  However, the second half of the book changes his characterization back to a brooding loner.  I'm not sure which is the real Corax, thus he ranks lower than he might otherwise.

So here is the first half.  Tune in next time for the final installment of... ranking the Primarchs! 

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