->''"The universe has many horrors yet to throw at us. This is not the end of our struggle. This is just the beginning of our crusade to save Humanity. Be faithful! Be strong! Be vigilant!"''
-->--'''The Divine God-Emperor of Mankind'''

In ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'', the prehistory of the Imperium of Man is best noted by the following figures.


[[folder:The God-Emperor of Mankind]]
[[quoteright:315:[[http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/mediawiki/images/9/9b/The_Emperor.jpg http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/t-be-Wr.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:315: '''[[BadassCreed The Emperor Protects.]]''']]

->''A nice enough chap, but very dour.''
-->-- '''Botchulaz''', Greater Daemon of Nurgle

At the center of the Imperium of Man is a figure known only as the Emperor of Mankind, now worshiped as the God-Emperor by the great masses of humanity. An immortal being of incredible scientific knowledge, psychic might, military prowess and charisma, the Emperor watched humanity's development over the course of human history, at times guiding it from the shadows, at other moments taking a more active role and serving as a prophet, general or sage as needed.

When galactic civilization collapsed following the Age of Strife, the Emperor fully revealed himself. With an army of gene-modded soldiers he won the Unification Wars for Terra, brokered an alliance with the Mechanicum of Mars, and led a Great Crusade to reconquer and reunite the galaxy. In this he was aided by the twenty Primarchs, his clone-sons, and the Space Marine Legions formed from their genetic templates. When humanity's triumph seemed inevitable, the Emperor retired to Terra to continue his next great work, leaving the Great Crusade in the hands of his favorite son Horus.

However, the Warmaster betrayed his father, falling to the whispered seductions of the Chaos Gods and leading half of his brother Primarchs in a cataclysmic civil war known as the Literature/HorusHeresy. The Emperor was forced to kill Horus but was mortally wounded in the battle, and his last acts were to give instructions to complete the Golden Throne. Ten thousand years later, this life-support system sustains the Emperor's ruined body, while his psychic might guides the Imperium even as it shudders closer to collapse.

* AgeWithoutYouth: The Golden Throne has kept the Emperor alive for ten thousand years, but he's gone from a mortally wounded man to a shriveled, mummified husk.
* AndIMustScream: The Emperor is trapped mere inches from death, and has been that way for ten thousand years, his once-glorious physique withering into nothing more then a skeletal carcass intricately intermeshed in a mountainous machine-throne, his psyche locked within his skull and unable to communicate with the outside world. If fate was merciful, he would be oblivious to everything going on in the outer world. As this is ''Warhammer 40000'', he's more likely perfectly aware that the Imperium has descended into a nightmarish techno-barbaric theocracy... and all of its madness and evil is done in ''his'' name.
** He is said to be shedding microscopic tears for each man who dies in his service. The Custodes collect them in tiny vials.
** However, Guilliman revealed that he can still communicate. This may have happened a few times before, but has never been depicted since the ''Inquisition War'' trilogy, some of the [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness first 40K novels ever]].
** For the more mundane, the various members of the Imperium uses the Emperor's Tarot, which is said to be a way to communicate with the Emperor in times of great need. It's unknown if this is actually true, although the Tarot is a psychic-based artifact.
* AntiHero: What point on the scale depends on the individual, but the Emperor was equal parts wonderfully heroic and terribly flawed.
* AppearanceIsInTheEyeOfTheBeholder: He is this to a degree; it appears as though his appearance and even his way of speaking differs depending on who is interacting with him. When a Magos of the Mechanicum saw him he saw an all knowing scientist, and when the Sisters of Silence look at him they see just a man (though that is probably also due to their nature as nulls).
** In terms of how he speaks, when interacting with the Custodes he would refer to the Primarchs by their numbers, likely because the Custodes see them as just tools he created. While other characters heard him refer to them by name, because that they themselves think of the Primarchs as actual individuals. This keeps how the Emperor actually thinks of them ambiguous.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: The Emperor became Emperor because he had the mightiest armies, and he acquired many of those armies ''because'' of his own incredible physical and psychic strength.
* BadassBoast: Many, but the creation of the Space Marines deserves a mention.
-->''They shall be my finest warriors, these men who give themselves to me. Like clay I shall mould them and in the furnace of war I shall forge them. They will be of iron will and steely muscle. In great armour shall I clad them and with the mightiest gun shall they be armed. They will be untouched by plague or disease, no sickness will blight them. They will have tactics, strategies and machines such that no foe will best them in battle. They are my bulwark against the terror. They are the defenders of Humanity. They are my Space Marines... and they shall know no fear.''
* BadassBookworm: Almost 50 thousand years will make one this.
* BadassCape: A long red one.
* BadassGrandpa: Around 38 thousand years old by the time of the Horus Heresy, making him older than a Chaos God.
* BadassInCharge: "Emperor of Mankind" kind of says it all.
* BeliefMakesYouStupid: [[InvokedTrope The Emperor believed this]], in part because he believed that all gods were ultimately tied to Chaos, and ruthlessly pushed a secular worldview on the budding Imperium in hopes that it would starve the Chaos Gods. This did not work, because the Chaos Gods are empowered by emotions as well as belief, and humanity isn't the only game in town. Also he might have created a god of atheism, though that's probably not canon. We don't know for sure.
* BigGood: The Imperium has always viewed him as this. At best, though, he's a case of GoodIsNotNice; tough to be called a good guy when you order whole intelligent races be [[WouldBeRudeToSayGenocide made extinct]], and he tends to care more about humanity as a whole (or as a concept) than any given human individual.
* BlingOfWar: His armor during the Great Crusade was golden Artificer armor.
* BodyguardingABadass: He is far more powerful than his guards. Though they're not so much bodyguards as companions (similar to Alexander the Great's companion cavalry), an elite cadre that can be committed at a critical time and place.
* BreakTheHaughty: There's a quote about the formation of the Grey Knights attributed to him which heavily implies that seeing the Imperium put to the torch by his own sons, led by his favorite of all, cast into stark relief what terrible mistakes he'd made and the horrific consequences they ultimately had for humanity.
-->''One unbreakable shield against the coming darkness\\
One last blade forged in defiance of fate\\
Let them be my legacy to the galaxy I conquered\\
And my final gift to the species I failed.''
* BrokenAce: The Emperor was a peerless warrior and general, the mightiest human psyker who ever lived, and a scientist brilliant beyond compare. He was also an arrogant man who permitted no dissent, a father with questionable parenting skills (though, the Primarchs were all grown men by the time he found them with strongly held beliefs and ideals, so trying to parent them all would have been incredibly difficult to say the least) and ultimately failed to protect the human race during the Horus Heresy, only managing to preserve them at the cost of being trapped in the rotting ruins of his corpse.
* BrokenAngel: The horror of his current existence is even greater because of the stark contrast to his former state. From golden-armored superhuman to a rotting living corpse.
* BrokenPedestal: He became this to many of the original Chaos Space Marines, and disillusionment with him or the Imperium as a whole is a common cause of defection to the other side. It's common for Chaos Marines to call him the False Emperor to show their contempt for him. And as of ''Dark Imperium'', he has also become this to none other than ''Roboute Guilliman'', though unlike the Chaos Space Marines and Traitor Primarchs, he still remains loyal to the Imperium and the ideals that he fought for during the Great Crusade.
* CanonDiscontinuity:
** The original Chaos sourcebooks for ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' and 40K, "Slaves to Darkness" and "The Lost And The Damned", gave the Emperor an origin as the gestalt embodiment of a thousand powerful human psykers who had existed before the coming of the Chaos Gods, who realised that the dawning gods were consuming or corrupting all of their fellow Shamans and so ritually sacrificed themselves to create a single mighty Warp entity in human flesh that would be able to protect against and eventually defeat the Chaos Gods. This has been subtly {{Retcon}}ned out with the passing of the editions, most notably the recent emphasis that Chaos came into existence during the war between the C'tan and the Slann, making all of the Gods (bar Slaanesh) older by far than the human race. Presumably the intention is to make the Emperor even more enigmatic, unknowable and alien.
** The same sourcebooks also introduced the concept of the Star Child -- in essence a nascent God created when the Emperor was struck down by Horus and comprised of his positive attributes; compassion, love, tolerance, understanding, etc. Closely interlinked with this were the Illuminati, a secret cabal of daemonhosts who had been freed from their possession but retained incredible psychic powers and an immunity to all subsequent daemonic possession, and the Sensei, mutant offspring fathered unknowingly by the Emperor during his years amongst humanity, who were immortal, sterile, untouchable by Chaos and invisible to their father. The Illuminati were gathering the Sensei together, planning to sacrifice them in order to fuel the birth of the Star Child into a fully-fledged God to lead humanity to safety and glory once again. In the third edition corebook, the Star Child and its attendant Illuminati and Sensei was stricken from the setting, InUniverse, by noting that the "Star Child Cult" was a minor Tzeentchian cult that was hunted down and destroyed utterly by the Inquisition. The concept of the Sensei as ultra-pure anti-Chaos warriors with a bond to the Emperor even stronger than that possessed by the Space Marines may, however, have eventually inspired the creation of the Grey Knights as an Imperial sub-faction in later editions.
* CreateYourOwnVillain: The Emperor's cruel and arrogant treatment of several of the Primarchs (especially Lorgar and Magnus) is what pushed them to turn to Chaos.
* CrystalDragonJesus: May have been the historical Jesus, so definitely. He even looks a little like a combination of a roid-raging Jesus and a Native American, though he was allegedly born in central Anatolia around 8000 BC, so he's probably a member of one of the extremely ancient ethnic groups from that area (one of which built [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Çatalhöyük Çatalhöyük]], an incredibly advanced society for its time).
* CulturedBadass: The Emperor wasn't just out to save the human race, but also its historical and technological achievements (to an extent). The Imperial Palace had a massive museum dedicated to housing various bits of historically important machinery and artifacts, ranging from ancient pottery to parts of the first Warp-capable engine. That said, in ''The Last Church'', while he appreciates the beautiful religious iconography in the church, [[SubvertedTrope he orders it burned]] because the faith it represents offends him.
* DaddyHadAGoodReasonForAbandoningYou: The first time was because the Chaos Gods had the Primarchs scattered to the stars when they were infants. The second time was when he left the Great Crusade to begin working on an Imperial Webway. If he had bothered to ''tell'' the Primarchs this, he might have avoided (or at least delayed) the Literature/HorusHeresy.
* DarkLordOnLifeSupport: Though he's [[BlackAndGreyMorality a force for good]], he's stuck in the Golden Throne, a life support machine that is [[PoweredByAForsakenChild fed the souls of a thousand psykers every day]], so that he may never truly die.
* DarkMessiah: For all his good intentions, even during the Great Crusade, the Emperor racked up a greater bodycount then every one of Earth's dictators combined and multiplied by several thousand, at the very least.
* DeityOfHumanOrigin: He himself stated AGodIAmNot, but after he "ascended" to the golden throne, he wound up being worshiped by ''trillions'' for ten thousand years. [[ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve And given the nature of the Warp....]]
* TheDreaded: The Chaos Gods themselves refer to him as "The Anathema". To them obviously, but they claim that he is anathema to their vision of humanity.
* TheEmperor: Obviously.
* EmperorScientist: Was a genius, as the creation of the Primarchs, Space Marines, Astronomican, the Webway project, and other things can attest. The Adeptus Mechanicus reveres him as the mortal avatar of the Omnissiah and publicly worships him for show for the greater Imperium.
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: Well, morally-ambiguous godlike autocrats, anyway. The Emperor's ability to empathize was mostly pretty suspect, but he regardless had extreme capacity for positive emotions beyond what is rational, with him having been mortally-injured in his fight with Horus from holding back due to failing to understand how far Horus was gone until it was too late (to say nothing of how Horus was long [[ParentalFavoritism completely beloved by him]]) and forfeited his pride to throw his larger Salamander into a lava flow to save Vulkan's life, losing the contest for it (''especially'' considering the Emperor's usual immense arrogance).
* {{Expy}}: He's more or less a {{Jerkass}}-y rehash of [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}} Sigmar]], playing the same role as human hero (or "hero" in the Emperor's case)-turned-ruler-turned god of the Empire/Imperium of Man, and is also a rehash of [[Franchise/{{Dune}} Leto II Atreides]].
* TheExtremistWasRight: It's true that during his life he killed a ton of people, and made highly objectionable decisions, exterminated entire intelligent races (something that would become a habit for the Imperium later on) but the Imperium he left behind is the only place Chaos can't completely defile[[note]]even though many of those who live under it are at risk of being corrupted[[/note]], allows trillions to live unmolested, and even allows for something resembling a heaven of sorts. So yes, the Imperium worked. However, without the Emperor to oversee the Imperium, [[GoneHorriblyRight it worked in the absolute worst way possible]].
* FantasticRacism: The Emperor absolutely despised alien races for their actions during the Age of Strife, with many Xenos preying upon the weakened human race, enslaving or killing billions of people and entire colonies.
* FatalFlaw: The Emperor's near-divine nature led him to be immensely arrogant and convinced of the rightness of his actions, with an outright [[TautologicalTemplar inability to consider that his personal opinions might be mistaken]]. He never felt the need to explain himself, and assumed that no one would betray or disobey him regardless of what he did. He also couldn't comprehend people's seeming need to believe in a higher power, and thus never believed that his own anti-religious actions would eventually lead to his people worshiping him, as the priest in ''The Last Church'' rightly observed.
* AFatherToHisMen:
** Subverted with the Thunder Warriors, the forebears of the later Adeptus Astartes Legions and the very soldiers the Emperor created in order to aid him in his unification of Earth. Despite their great strength and abilities, the Thunder Warriors were a bunch of psychopaths, murderers and hardened criminals even before the augmentation surgeries that decreased their already low [[MurderIsTheBestSolution moral inhibitions]] and increased their [[HairTriggerTemper aggression levels]], the Emperor decided that their violent tendencies and bloody past made rendered them unfit to be the Paragons of Humanity that he desired his warriors to be. Thus, he had all of them slaughtered to a man, aside from a few survivors who have managed to work around the quick expiration date.
** Also subverted with Guilliman and the other Primarchs -- when he meets with his father on Terra, he noted that the Emperor treated him less like his son and more like a favorite tool.
** More or less played straight with the rest of the rest of Humanity, or at least the ones who are still loyal to him. Although it's less about unconditional love and more about loving the idea of what Humanity could become.
* FinalBattle: According to the older editions, the Emperor is prophesied to rise up once again and lead humanity in one last great Ragnarok scenario ending with him stalemating all four Chaos Gods and leaving humanity finally free from the threat of Chaos and xenos races forever.
* FlamingSword: Shown as having one in the Horus Heresy artwork he appears in, though it may be a force sword he's powering with his psychic powers. ''The Gathering Storm'' reveals he had more than one.
* FounderOfTheKingdom: Which is why the Emperor is the single most important human to have ever lived.
* FourStarBadass: He didn't just win his battles by overwhelming force.
* FreudianExcuse: Allied alien races betrayed Mankind during the [[DarkestHour Age of Strife]], conquering, enslaving, destroying and killing entire human planets when the Golden Age of Technology collapsed because of the fall of the Eldar. The Emperor remembers this all too well and is willing to exterminate entire species in his quest to make the galaxy safe for Mankind once more.
** He saw his [[CainAndAbel uncle kill his father]] at a very young age. He quickly became obsessed with law and order.
* GodEmperor: Tried to deny this during the Great Crusade, but cults deifying him were constantly springing up during that time. After the Horus Heresy, the Imperium became a theocracy with him as its god-figure.
* AGodIAmNot: Insisted that he was ''not'' a god, and did his best to crush any such worship that he found. This backfired on him spectacularly, as it was his censure of Lorgar and the Word Bearers that sowed the seeds of the Horus Heresy. As shown in the WhamLine below, [[spoiler:he even knew that Horus was going to kill him]]. Unfortunately, after being confined to the Golden Throne, people began worshiping him as one anyway for the next ten thousand years.
* GodIsGood: To an extent. While he was still alive, his goal was to keep humanity from destroying itself in the same way that the Eldar empire did. His methods were what was morally questionable. He's still at least much more benevolent than the Chaos Gods, though generally weaker in most ways.
* GoodIsNotNice: The Emperor was/is probably the closest thing to a BigGood in the setting (from a human perspective), considering his lofty goals. However, he sought to create a utopia entirely on his own terms and would not hesitate to crush anyone who stood in the way of his plans, even if they weren't necessarily directly opposing him but ''especially'' if they were.
* GreaterScopeParagon: From the perspective of the Imperium of Man. He spent centuries influencing humanity before revealing himself following the Age of Strife, but is currently stuck on the Golden Throne [[PoweredByAForsakenChild using the souls of sacrificed psykers to stay alive]], after he was mortally wounded by his rebellious son Horus.
* HeroicSacrifice: According to ''[[Literature/HorusHeresy The Outcast Dead]]'', the Emperor went into the duel with Horus well aware that he was going to die.
* HeroicWillpower: The Emperor's body is all but dead, and he's more than ready to die. The only thing keeping him alive? His own determination and love of humanity... and being fed one thousand psykers a day from his life support chair. Mostly the thousand psykers and chair, but the willpower helps.
* HiddenHeartOfGold: The Primarch Vulkan was, among his fellow Primarchs, a representation of the Emperor's compassion for humanity. This fact is... just about the only way that aspect has been portrayed.
* HorribleJudgeOfCharacter: While the Emperor sometimes provided most of a push towards it, ultimately, he was perfectly willing to recruit and fight alongside many individuals who not only went on to sell themselves to Chaos, but were such utter psychopaths that the Dark Gods made them immortal in reward for being so insane.
* HumanoidAbomination: John Grammaticus once made psychic contact with the Emperor and had a panic attack just thinking about the experience two centuries later.
* HumansAreWhite: Averted, artwork shows him as noticeably tan. He was born in ancient Turkey, in fact.
* {{Hypocrite}}: In ''The Last Church'', he claims that religion is evil because deeply held beliefs lead to violence, citing certain historical examples such as the Crusades to argue the point. He has no qualms with leading a genocidal campaign of destruction based on the belief that HumanityIsSuperior, though and called said campaign [[NotSoDifferent 'the Great Crusade']]. Bonus points in that he was called out on it in the same story.
-->'''Uriah''': Didn't you just tell me about the bloodshed perpetrated by the Crusades? Doesn't ''that'' you make you no better than the holy men you were telling me about?\\
'''The Emperor''': [[TautologicalTemplar The difference is that I am right.]]\\
'''Uriah''': [[KirkSummation Spoken like a true autocrat.]]
* IDidWhatIHadToDo: His general justification for some of his more questionable actions.
* IdiotBall: Many of the Emperor's decisions were so obviously wrong it's hard to imagine how a sensible human being could have made them, never mind a supposedly perfect being. Take, as a perfect example, the situation with the rescue of Angron, Primarch of the World Eaters Legion. The Emperor discovers Angron in the final stages of a Film/{{Spartacus}} scenario, poised to be wiped out by a vastly superior number of forces. Having approached Angron in secret, Angron refuses to abandon his comrades and is willing to die with them. The Emperor's options include summoning his own forces to reinforce Angron's, whisking all of Angron's army aboard his massive spaceships, or unleashing an orbital barrage to at least devastate the enemy army so that Angron's force can win. Instead, as Roboute Guilliman had already brought the other side into the Imperium, he chooses to whisk Angron away from the battlefield at the last moment and leave Angron's friends and followers to be utterly wiped out, leaving Angron bitter, resentful, hating the Emperor, and full of rage -- in other words, a perfect candidate to swear allegiance to Khorne in order to take revenge.
* IHaveManyNames: While his birth name is unknown, he is variously known as the Master of Mankind, the Outlander to the Salamanders and people of Nocturne, and the [[Myth/NorseMythology Allfather]] to the [[Literature/SpaceWolf people of Fenris]]. The Mechanicus occasionally calls him the Omnissiah, at least officially. Followers of Chaos refer to him as the False Emperor and the Corpse-God, while Daemons call him the Anathema. In addition it's implied that he was several notable historical figures from our time, including possibly Jesus and [[Myth/SaintGeorge St. George]], though his 'dragon' was the [[EldritchAbomination Void Dragon]].
* IntelligenceEqualsIsolation: Despite the Emperor's charisma making him, well, the Emperor of Mankind, there's very little said about him actually having ''friends'', and his LackOfEmpathy no doubt explained this. The only two characters that have been stated to be close friends with the Emperor are the closest things he had to peers outside of the Primarchs in Malcador the Sigillite and Constantin Valdor...and said LackOfEmpathy causes many fans to doubt his relationship with those two resembled exactly what a regular person would expect of a friendship.
* {{Irony}}: Installed state atheism... and wound up being treated as a living god by countless cultures, the largest of which is a hardcore, prayer-heavy, fundamentalist pseudo-Catholic empire.
* {{Jerkass}}: The Emperor was not always the nicest of people. To be blunt, many of the Primarchs who turned to Chaos did so because the Emperor had done considerable wrongs to them in the first place, which is hinted at in the game canon and usually shown in a more detailed fashion in the ''Literature/HorusHeresy'' novels.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Admittedly, for all of the shit that he pulled, the Emperor did everything for the good of mankind. Trying to act diplomatically to some of the xenos races helps too, though never to the point of outright tolerance.
* KickTheDog: Abducting Angron by teleporting him away against his will right before his fellow gladiators were about to begin their LastStand is kind of a dick move.
* KingOnHisDeathbed: The state of the Emperor for the last ten thousand years is basically in a state mere seconds (maybe microseconds) away from death, still technically alive, only "surviving" (in a liberal use of the term) by the Golden Throne. Since 5th edition it has been established that the Golden Throne is developing problems that the Adeptus Mechanicus has no knowledge of how to fix, so the Emperor could fully die sometime in the 42nd millennium. [[ArcFatigue But since that would require moving the story along]], he looks safe for the time being.
** [[spoiler: Thankfully averted in ''Dark Imperium''. Not only is the Emperor still alive well into the 42nd millennium, he is also fully capable of communication.]]
* LackOfEmpathy: Noted both in and out of universe is that while the Emperor was certainly brilliant in terms of intelligence, he was rather lacking in his ability to empathize with others, even his own Primarchs. Many of the problems he had with them likely could have been solved or at least mitigated had he actually took the time out of his day to just listen to their issues.
* LargeAndInCharge: In his heyday, the Emperor was about two or three times the size of a human being, and almost as broad across the shoulders as he was tall. Bear in mind, we've usually only seen him in Terminator armor.
** [[http://noldofinve.deviantart.com/art/Mars-will-be-ours-158226717 Fan art]] exists of him without it. [[http://1d4chan.org/wiki/File:646545.jpg He looks to be rather standard in height]]. This makes sense, actually, since the Emperor apparently lived many thousands of years on Earth incognito, prodding humanity in the right-ish direction. For this to be possible, he would have had to be of relatively ordinary proportions.
** On the other hand, it is also possible that he remained normally-proportioned until he revealed himself, at which point he used his godlike power to quintuple in size.
* LightIsGood: He single-handedly saved Mankind, united them, developed a lasting empire, and rediscovered many of Humanity's lost sciences...
* LightIsNotGood: ... but he killed billions (if not trillions) of people (humans and aliens) in the process.
* UsefulNotes/ManifestDestiny: His credo was that humanity had one to rule the galaxy.
* ManInTheMachine: The Emperor was entombed in an incredibly elaborate life-support system known as the Golden Throne after he became mortally wounded slaying Horus, which has kept his soul anchored in the Materium ever since. This allows him to stay connected to the Warp and thus power the Astronomican and close off the Warp rift created by his failed Webway project. However, the Throne has not maintained his body perfectly for 10,000 years, and thus he has slowly decayed into the skeletal husk he's known as in the current setting.
* MergerOfSouls: He is sometimes said to be the reincarnation of thousands of prehistoric shamans' souls, merged into a singular being.
* MoralMyopia: He railed against aliens enslaving humans, but during his Great Crusade he sometimes forced other races to accept humanity as their overlords, when he wasn't wiping them out wholesale.
* MultipleChoicePast: There are several possible stories of the Emperor's origin; none have been confirmed as canon, although at least one has been decisively stamped out in the fluff.
* NayTheist: While he attempted to build a FlatEarthAtheist empire, he knew full well that the Chaos Gods were real. The Emperor just didn't believe that psychic warp constructs embodying much of everything wrong with mortals deserved to be treated as gods. He pushed atheism in the belief that depriving the "gods" of worship would kill them or at least weaken to the point that they could no longer affect the material universe.
* NecessarilyEvil: [[IDidWhatIHadToDo He claimed that a number of his more morally ambiguous actions]] were these. Which ones were and how necessary they were is up to the reader/player to decide.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero:
** Several Traitor Primarchs got their StartOfDarkness because the Emperor was such a {{Jerkass}} to them. One of the more significant examples: the Word Bearers became the first Legion to turn to Chaos, and thus were significantly involved in corrupting the rest, because the Emperor was furious that Lorgar had created and was spreading a faith dedicated to Emperor worship while ensuring that every last of the hundreds of the planets they conquered was practicing said faith, actions that ran directly contrary to the atheistic and scientific empire he was trying to create. In response the Emperor had the Ultramarines raze Monarchia, the capital city of a world dear to the Word Bearers and a location they considered perfect city. Then publicly reprimanded all of them for their failures to him and the Great Crusade, while [[KneelBeforeZod using his immense power to force them all to kneel before him]]. The result? Lorgar ends up in a CrisisOfFaith and then eagerly turns to gods that accept they are gods and expect worship -- the Dark Gods of Chaos.
** For that matter, his idea of handling Chaos in the first place was somewhat limited in hindsight. The Emperor strove to keep his followers as ignorant of the realities of Warp-space as possible, including that there really are beings out there that feed on human worship but have no benevolent intentions for humanity. (Though the people that knew and he informed about the dangers of the Warp such as Magus proceeded to ignore his warnings and damned themselves.) Result? Half of the Primarchs are corrupted, many of them unwillingly, and they took their Legions with them. The first Horus Heresy novel implicitly contrasts this to an empire called the Interex, who are open about the existence and dangers of Chaos (though they spell it Kaos) and strive to educate their populace about its dangers, making them enemies of Chaos because they know what it is and what it wants... which resulted in them getting wiped out by the Imperium when the Chaos-tainted Erebus manipulated both sides to war.
** His foreign policy on aliens, what with planning to build his empire with {{Absolute Xenophob|e}}ia as a cornerstone. While there was some justification in him not wanting to let humanity be enslaved or betrayed by aliens again, he took it way too far in the opposite direction and let the actions of a few nonhuman species define his view of all of them, failing to appreciate the benefits of interspecies alliances and the insights nonhuman cultures might have to offer (notably he ignored Eldrad Ulthuan's warning about Horus merely because he was an Eldar). He made it standard policy to kill most alien races they came across, including those who had not achieved space flight and posed no threat to humanity, while the more useful ones were enslaved, setting the tone for Human-Nonhuman relations for the next 10,000 years. In doing this, he not only ensured that damn near everyone in the Imperium would hate anything not human beyond reason, but also that aliens in turn would hate and fear humanity and not want to cooperate with them precisely ''because'' they were so racist and because of what they did to other species.
* NoNameGiven: The Emperor's true name has been lost to time. It's said that the only person who knew was Malcador the Sigilite.
* NotQuiteDead: So close to it that if you didn't know his soul was still around, you'd think he'd been gone for millennia.
* OmniscientMoralityLicense: Sure acted like he had one. In his eyes, there was no amount of death and suffering that wasn't worth securing an eternal GoldenAge for humanity.
* OurFounder: He created the Imperium, although nothing like it is now.
* OurGodsAreDifferent: Specifically for the Imperium, our God is on life support, [[AGodIAmNot insisted that he was never a god]], and may in fact [[GodIsDead be dead]], but he's ''still'' greater.
* ParentalFavoritism: After Horus, the Emperor's favorite Primarchs were (in no particular order) Sanguinius, Roboute Guilliman, Rogal Dorn, and Fulgrim.
* ParentsAsPeople: He most definitely could have served as a better authority figure to the Primarchs and tried to remove some of their primitive, conflicting and disruptive ideology. He is also directly to blame for putting several of them on the path to darkness because of his seeming inability to treat them as people rather than tools. While many things about the Emperor are hotly debated, one thing most fans agree upon is that he was a great leader, but a lousy father.
* ThePatriarch: The Imperium portrays the Emperor as the spiritual father of humanity, as he rather invoked this image during the Great Crusade.
* PetTheDog: The Emperor recruited Vulkan by entering a series of contest against Vulkan where the winner would swear to serve the other. The two were tied for the final event of killing the largest Salamander they could and returning with its corpse. Vulkan taking his kill back was interrupted by the mountain he was standing on turning out to be a volcano and erupting, causing him to stuck in a LiteralCliffhanger over a lava flow, holding his Salamander with one hand preventing him from climbing back up. The Emperor found Vulkan and threw his (larger) Salamander into the lava flow as a bridge for Vulkan to walk on. The Emperor was declared the loser with nothing to show for the contest, but Vulkan swore fealty to the Emperor anyway, considering a man who favored life over pride worthy of service.
* PhysicalGod: The Emperor's psychic power was unmatched, and he had truly god-like abilities as a result.
* PoorCommunicationKills: One of the Emperor's greatest failings. He wanted to starve the Chaos Gods of worshipers, so he tried to push everyone to a secular worldview of "there are no gods" instead of saying "what you think of as gods and demons are actually psychic-energy-creatures that want to eat your soul so DON'T DEAL WITH THEM", so people dealt with them anyway because (sometimes at least) they didn't know better. He wanted to return to Terra to finish work on establishing a permanent link to the Webway, and thus free humanity from terribly dangerous Warp travel, but he said nothing of this to ''any'' of his Primarch sons, simply leaving the Crusade after placing Horus in charge. The Chaos Gods then manipulated the already-fragile status of the Primarchs and started the Horus Heresy.
* PoweredByAForsakenChild: In order to keep the Emperor alive, exactly one thousand psykers (those deemed unfit to be trained to resist DemonicPossession and made otherwise useful) are fed to the Golden Throne daily, being sacrificed so that their souls can power its psychic connection with the Astronomican, the warp-beacon that allows Imperial ships to navigate galaxy-spanning distances through the otherwise shrouded and swirling Empyrean. Should this connection ever go down, long-range interstellar travel would become impossible for humanity and the Imperium would fall apart in the same way that human civilization did during the Age of Strife.
* ProHumanTranshuman: Equal parts trans and pro.
* PromotedToPlayable: Having been part of ''Warhammer 40000'' backstory since the first edition, the Emperor is set to become playable in one of the future Horus Heresy books.
* PsychicPowers: The most powerful psyker in human history, to the extent that even the Eldar and the Daemons of Chaos were afraid of what he might do if he got... motivated.
* ReallySevenHundredYearsOld: During the Horus Heresy, he was [[MultipleChoicePast between 400 and 40,000 years old]], depending on your interpretation of his SelfProclaimedLiar status[[note]]the Emperor made a lot of lies in an attempt to kill the very concept of religion, and later admitted to lying, but it's impossible to tell if his recount of his own backstory was among those lies[[/note]], but merely looked as if he was in his mid- to late forties. His modern incarnation [[AgeWithoutYouth definitely looks 50,000 years old, though.]]
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Personally lead the Great Crusade for centuries. His departure and retirement to the Imperial Palace actually caused a great deal of discontent.
* ShadowDictator: The forces of Chaos insist that the Emperor is long dead, that the various functions he fulfills are purely mechanical, and that he can do nothing to help the people of the Imperium, say, enjoy an afterlife. On the other hand, they're [[UnreliableNarrator not very reliable]] and want people to lose faith in the God Emperor and the Imperium.
* SorcererKing: The Emperor was the mightiest human psyker ever born, outstripping even the Eldar, terrifying the daemonic denizens (some of whom were incredibly powerful in their own right) of the Warp and inspiring fear even in the Chaos Gods. He, among other things, was considered the greatest psyker of all time, capable of bending the fabric of reality, destroying suns and entire planets and seeing into the future (though the Chaos Gods clouded his insights to the future during the Horus Heresy). His power was considered godlike, [[AGodIAmNot despite his insistence otherwise]].
* StopWorshippingMe: And he enforced that decree, with extreme prejudice. This is indirectly the cause of the Horus Heresy, also, since those worshippers (Lorgar and the Word Bearers) decided they'd turn their worship to gods who accepted it and just so happened to want the Imperium a smouldering husk.
-->'''Bjorn the Fell-Handed:''' ''God-Emperor?'' Calling him a god was how all this mess started.
* SuperIntelligence: ... which makes it really hard to believe that someone that intelligent could make so ''many'' bad decisions. However, high IQ doesn't necessarily mean high EQ, and the Emperor's was terrible. Most of his decisions make sense within an intellectual perimeter; he just never understood how they would affect the emotional well-being of his Primarchs, as well as his subjects.
* TakeUpMySword: He more or less does this to Guilliman after the latter is resurrected. Quite literally, since Guilliman now wields his father's sword.
* TautologicalTemplar: His thinking, by the end. It led to many terrible problems.
* TimeAbyss: Sources indicate that the Emperor was born in 8,000 B.C., making him nearly fifty thousand years and more by the time of the game's setting.
* TragicHero: [[BlackAndGrayMorality By the setting's standard]], he did a lot of good for humanity [[WellIntentionedExtremist at great moral cost]]. The result of his efforts included him coming to overestimate his wisdom, rely too much on his divination skills and failing to rein in the Primarchs. The result is half their numbers falling to Chaos and him interned upon the Golden Throne, helpless to intervene as humanity and [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans everything he strived for]] becomes slowly corrupted and decays into everything he wished to prevent.
* TragicMistake: While he made many that set it all up before that, everything went downhill for the Imperium when the Emperor appointed Horus as Warmaster while he went back to Holy Terra.
* TrulySingleParent: The Primarchs were partially created using the Emperor's own DNA.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Oh yes. In a setting where the "[[BlackAndGrayMorality good guys]]" are almost always [=WIEs=], the Emperor goes UpToEleven for both values of "well-intentioned" and "extremist", taking both far beyond any scale of those measures that had come before or has come since. Though others in his time believed that he was after lordship of the galaxy, the ''Horus Heresy'' books have shown that the what the Emperor does, he is doing because he believes they are necessary for the continued survival, safety and eventual betterment of the Human race.
* WhamLine: One particular line of his from the ''Literature/HorusHeresy'' series completely changes how you see him:
-->'''Kai Zulane:''' [[spoiler:But you're going to die.]]\\
'''The Emperor:''' [[spoiler:I know.]]
* YouCannotGraspTheTrueForm: [[DependingOnTheWriter In some depictions]], mortals could not gaze upon the Emperor without going blind at the sight of his full glory. Even those beings who could - Space Marines, Primarchs, or humans with a particularly strong will - couldn't truly understand what they were seeing and, as a result, his features seemed to shift and change even while they were staring at him. Possibly meant as a HandWave to explain [[DependingOnTheArtist differing visual depictions]] of the Emperor. A few Horus Heresy stories show his true form: [[spoiler: a normal man whose appearance is [[TheNondescript remarkably unremarkable]]. His divine appearance is nothing but a {{Glamour}}.]]

[[folder:Malcador the Sigillite]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.]]

Serving the Emperor at the civilian level was Malcador the Sigillite, the Regent of Terra and first Master of the Administratum, Grand Master of Assassins, and First Lord of the Council of Terra. Affecting the simple robes of a regular Terran Administrator, Malcador was the Emperor's right hand man. While the Emperor managed the military and technological innovation that made the Imperium, Malcador crafted the bureaucracy that would one day be the Adeptus Terra. A powerful psyker, Malcador was also the founder of the Inquisition and the Grey Knights. During the Siege of Terra, Malcador took the Emperor's place on the Golden Throne, but the strain of the effort wore him out, causing him to turn to dust as soon as he was disconnected.

Malcador was first mentioned in early background materials, but has become a major character in the Literature/HorusHeresy series, appearing across multiple books.

* AlmightyJanitor: Even after becoming the Emperor's right-hand confidant, he still wears the simple robes of a Terran Administrator.
* AncientConspiracy: It's suggested in the lore that he belonged to a secret order that has tried to guide humanity over the millennia, probably the Illuminati.
* BadassBureaucrat: He may be the founder of the Administratum, but he himself worked to get things moving along well enough, and was powerful enough to knock out '''''[[TheBerserker Angron]] [[FingerPokeOfDoom with a touch!]]'''''
* CassandraTruth: He tried to convince the Emperor that the larger-than-life public persona he was using would inevitably lead to worship, which the Emperor dismissed.
* TheChessmaster: Malcador plotted on a level that would make [[Literature/{{Discworld}} Lord Vetinari]] jealous.
* CoolOldGuy: [[AlmightyJanitor You]] [[BadassBureaucrat can]] [[TheGoodChancellor see]] [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure why]].
* CollectorOfTheStrange: His most treasured possessions were the ''Mona Lisa'' and ''Sunflowers''. He funded archaeologists when he could.
* FanOfThePast: Related to the above, it's hinted at that he was a very avid fan of history, and was far more knowledgeable of the past than many of his own contemporaries, if his comments on Shakespeare were anything to go by.
* FirstNameBasis: With the Primarchs. Both Space Marines and regular Adepts were somewhat surprised by the informality between them.
* TheGoodChancellor: Read the Horus Heresy books and you learn that he had his shit down.
* HeroicSacrifice: Taking up the reins of the Golden Throne, which allowed the Emperor to go and confront Horus, but ultimately killed him. Even then, he still kept a small sliver of psychic strength and gave it to the Emperor, allowing him to speak again before permanently falling silent.
* HonestAdvisor: He didn't mince words or hesitate to comment on (and ''criticize'') the Emperor's actions. Not only did he get away with it, but the Emperor ''appreciated'' it.
* InTheHood: A non-villainous example.
* InexplicablyAwesome: He is second only to the Emperor (and later Magnus) in psychic power, and was already the Emperor's trusted advisor and administrator when he first began the unification of Terra before falling at the end of the Heresy centuries later. He has been given no explanation or backstory whatsoever.
* TheMagnificent: The Sigillite ("bearer of the seal"), and after taking on the Golden Throne, the Emperor decreed he would be known as Malcador the Hero.
* NoBodyLeftBehind: Turned to dust after being disconnected from the Golden Throne.
* NumberTwo: To the Emperor.
* OldRetainer: He had been the Emperor's chief assistant and only confidant for centuries when the Great Crusade began.
* OurFounder: To the Administratum, the Officio Assassinorum, and the Inquisition. Considering that these three organizations have been keeping humanity in a repressive hellhole for ten thousand years, it may be an example of NiceJobBreakingItHero.
* PsychicPowers: Third most powerful psyker in the Imperium, surpassed only by the the Emperor and Magnus.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: He did a pretty fine job keeping the Imperium in working order. He also got away with criticizing the Emperor if there was any need to.
* StaffOfAuthority: And it's [[IncendiaryExponent on fire]]. Why? [[RuleOfCool It looks cool]].

!The Primarchs
[[folder:In General]]
[[quoteright:350:[[http://www.blacklibrary.com/Images/BL/blog/2011/10/primarchs%20big.JPG http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_primarchs_small_7214.jpg]]]]
[-[[caption-width-right:350:From the left (click for full size): Sanguinius, Mortarion, Magnus the Red, Angron, Jaghatai Khan, Lorgar Aurelian, Rogal Dorn, Horus Lupercal, and Fulgrim.]]-]

->''Each of us carries part of our father within us, whether it is his hunger for battle, his psychic talent or his determination to succeed.''

In the process of creating the Space Marine Legions, the Emperor created twenty clone-sons from his own DNA to serve as templates for the legions. They were scattered across the galaxy by the Chaos Gods in their infancy, to be recovered by the Emperor as the Great Crusade progressed. These posthuman demigods rose to dominate the worlds they landed upon, and were given command of the Space Marine legion based off their DNA. For a time they stood as humanity's ultimate warriors, but when the Literature/HorusHeresy erupted half of them became mankind's greatest foes. In the 41st Millennium they have passed into legend, as the mythic founders of the Imperium and the forefathers of the loyalist First Founding Space Marine chapters.

For more about the Primarchs' legions, see the [[Characters/Warhammer40000Astartes Space Marines]] and [[Characters/Warhammer40000ChaosMarines Chaos Marines]] character pages.

* HundredPercentAdorationRating: Generally, at least as far as their own legions were concerned, the Primarchs were adored and borderline-worshipped. They weren't just commanders - they were fathers. Their word was absolute and their orders were infallible. Even the highest commanders of the legion tended to {{Squee}} (in a tough, manly way) at the thought of being talked to by their Primarch. There were a handful of aversions - most strikingly [[UnstoppableRage Angron]] and [[AxCrazy Curze]] - but most of the Primarchs were considered the heart and soul of their legions.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: They kicked ass before they became Legion Masters.
* BadassBaritone: When speaking in the ''Horus Heresy'' books the Primarchs are frequently described as "rumbling".
* BadassBookworm: Lion El'Jonson, Roboute Guilliman, Lorgar, and Magnus the Red.
* BadassCape: Rogal Dorn, Fulgrim, Lion El'Jonnson, and Leman Russ.
* BadassInCharge: Many were leaders in one form or another prior to being found by the Emperor, and each led a Space Marine Legion.
* BattleTrophy: Most had some sort of collection of various trophies during the Great Crusade. Fulgrim presented Ferrus Manus' head to Horus during the Heresy and it is implied that Trazyn the Infinite has a primarch in stasis as part of his collection, likely Vulkan.
* BewareTheNiceOnes:
** Sanguinius was perhaps the noblest of the Primarchs, firmly believing that humanity should be ruled by its hopes and dreams. He sliced through Greater Daemons of Chaos like they were nothing.
** Vulkan's compassion for civilians lead him to placing his own Salamanders in more risk to protect the humans. He could send Predators and Land Raiders flying through the air with a single swing of his Thunder Hammer.
** Corax strongly believed in the Space Marines being the liberators of humankind, not enslavers. During the Drop Site Massacre he tore through Daemon-possessed Space Marines like they were paper.
** Roboute Guilliman set up the most functional government of the post-Heresy Imperium due to his beliefs in the Astartes serving humanity. During the Battle of Calth he decapitated fully-armed Word Bearers by punching their heads off.
** Lorgar is probably the MostTriumphantExample in the series considering he hated fighting and wanted nothing more than have philosophical discussions with his brothers, yet was the first one to turn to Chaos and started the Heresy to begin with.
* BigDamnHeroes: The reason Horus had to challenge the Emperor to personal combat was because he knew the Ultramarines, Space Wolves and Dark Angels were all rushing to the relief of Terra, and ''extremely'' hacked off. If the Emperor had known this, he may have decided to wait the attackers out rather than making a desperate counter-attack, but he didn't and the rest is history.
* BigScrewedUpFamily: Let's just say it ended in tears.
* BlingOfWar: Standard battle dress for the Primarchs was solid gold power armour, ranging from Artificer to Terminator armour. Mortarion was actually notable for ''not'' having excessive bling.
* BlingBlingBang: The Primarchs' standard arms were master-crafted power and chain weapons. Ferrus Manus was notable for ''not'' having blinged-out weaponry.
* BodyMotifs
** The eye of Horus. One-eyed Magnus.
** The disembodied hands of Rogal Dorn. Ferrus Manus' iron hands. The Talon of Horus.
* BodyguardingABadass: They had bodyguards of mere Space Marines. Lampshaded by Corax after he dissolves his honour guard during the Drop Site Massacre:
-->That was for appearance. Do you think I actually ''need'' a bodyguard?
* BrokenAce: The Primarchs were humanity's greatest heroes and leaders, but they had some issues. The Traitor Primarchs take it UpToEleven, particularly Angron.
* CainAndAbel: All the resentment the Primarchs harbored toward each other exploded in violence during the Horus Heresy, resulting in several Primarchs killing their brothers, or at least trying really hard to.
** Most prominently during the Horus Heresy, Fulgrim kills Ferrus Manus, and Horus kills Sanguinius during the Siege of Terra.
** Leman Russ hated Magnus so much he didn't think twice he received orders to exterminate the Thousand Sons along with their leader, and the two battled to the death. Nonetheless both Leman and Magnus survive the battle of Prospero.
** Konrad Curze kills Vulkan multiple times when he imprisons the latter, but Vulkan can resurrect.
** During the Great Scouring, Fulgrim fatally wounded Roboute Guilliman during the Battle of Thessala, leading to Guilliman being placed in stasis for the following 9,000+ years.
** In the 41st millennium, after Guilliman ressurrects, Magnus hunts Guilliman down and almost kills him on Luna.
* CallingTheOldManOut: The Horus Heresy in a nutshell. Half of them jumped ship because they wanted to tell Daddy Emperor that he's an asshole.
* CaptainErsatz: Prior to their first meeting with the Emperor, you had Konrad Curze as a DarkerAndEdgier version of Franchise/{{Batman}}, Angron as a cyber-augmented Spartacus, and Jaghatai Khan as UsefulNotes/GenghisKhan.
* ChronicHeroSyndrome: All of the Primarchs found themselves on worlds where their skills allowed them to improve the lives of the fellows. Konrad Curze went insane from it.
* CulturedBadass: Fulgrim, Magnus, and Sanguinius.
* DeadGuyOnDisplay: Roboute Guilliman's body is a pilgrimage site [[spoiler:, or at least it ''was'' until it was revealed he was not quite dead]]. Rogal Dorn's ''hands'' are a relic of the Imperial Fists. The rest of his body was never found, leading to the theory that he's still alive somewhere. Lion El'Jonson would be on display, if anyone other than the Watchers in the Dark knew where his body is. Horus' corpse was a thing of reverence for Chaos Marines until the Black Legion destroyed it.
* DealWithTheDevil: The Chaos Gods insist that the Emperor had to cut one with them in order to make the Primarchs, [[VillainsNeverLie not that Chaos is reliable.]]
* DropTheHammer: Thunder Hammers are popular weapons for Primarchs. Ferrus Manus's is called Forgebreaker (which is given to Perturabo after Ferrus Manus became shorter by a head). Vulkan, being a master smith and craftsman, has several, one called Thunderhead and another called Dawnbreaker. Horus also has a Power Maul called Worldbreaker.
* TheDutifulSon: Horus (pre-heresy), Rogal Dorn, Sangiunius, and Roboute Guilliman.
* EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette: Corvus Corax and Konrad Curze.
* FieryRedHead: Leman Russ, Magnus the Red, and Angron.
* FourStarBadass: What they were designed to be.
* GenerationXerox
** Lion El'Jonson was betrayed the same way Horus betrayed the Emperor.
** Ferrus Manus' teachings against cybernetics are now ignored the same way the Emperor's claim that he is not a god is now considered heresy.
** Each Primarch is said to have inherited one aspect or facet of the Emperor. The sole exception is Sanguinius, who got all of them.
* HeroicBSOD:
** The downfall of Corvus Corax, Primarch of the Raven Guard. After his chapter suffered terrible losses in the Literature/HorusHeresy, he turned to highly dangerous growth acceleration techniques to boost its numbers. This resulted in a nightmarish horde of misshapen monsters, most of which couldn't even hold a boltgun, and who had to be herded into battle. When the Heresy was over, Corax locked himself in his tower for a year and a day, finally emerging to personally give each one of his creations "[[MercyKill the Emperor's peace]]" before leaving for parts unknown, his last word being "[[Literature/EdgarAllanPoe Nevermore]]."
** Rogal Dorn after the Emperor died. He went from being the beloved son to an avenging angel dressed in black.
** Horus's BSOD was so epic, it ended up destroying the galaxy-wide empire he'd fought so hard to build in the first place.
* HeroicLineage: The ''Literature/HorusHeresy'' has established that each of the Primarchs represented an aspect of the Emperor's personality:
** Horus Lupercal represented his ambition.
** Roboute Guilliman represented his strategic genius and statesmanship.
** Rogal Dorn represented his determination.
** Vulkan represented his compassion for humanity.
** Angron represented his wrath.
** Lion El'Jonson represented his secretive nature.
** Lorgar Aurelian represented his ability to inspire.
** Magnus represented his psychic powers.
** Leman Russ represented his ruthlessness.
** Alpharius and Omegon represented his mysteriousness.
** Corvus Corax represented his cleverness and tactical insight.
** Perturabo represented his scientific and technological brilliance.
** Mortarion represented his resilience.
** Fulgrim represented his drive for perfection.
** Konrad Curze represented his terrifying nature.
** Ferrus Manus represented his desire to make himself stronger.
** Jaghatai Khan represented his love of battle.
** Sanguinius represented all of him and his idealism for the future of humanity.
* HumanoidAbomination: Not on the level of the Emperor, but the Horus Heresy books show unaugmented humans suffering {{Brown Note}}s upon seeing the Primarchs. It's described as sensory overload.
* {{Hypocrite}}:
** When Roboute Guilliman denounced Alpharius' tactics, he pointed to his legion's admittedly illustrious record to prove that he was right, essentially telling Alpharius that he would never be able to top that. Never mind the fact that this massive, illustrious record came, not from any kind of tactical doctrine, but rather from having a ''200 year headstart'' over Alpharius. Averted somewhat with Guilliman's point of view, he was [[PoorCommunicationKills trying]] to show Alpharius the record ''after'' the battle; while Alpharius tactics were effective during battles they resulted in mass unrest compare to Guilliman's swift recovery and integration into the Imperium.
** Angron loves to talk about how the Butcher's Nails ruined him only to use them on his own legion.
* InSeriesNickname: Overlaps with RedBaron. All the Primarchs bear multiple nicknames, generally meant to convey their status as the Emperor's best generals and warriors, or celebrating a glorious deed.
** Horus is nicknamed "Lupercal" by his legion (to the point it becomes his surname) and is otherwise known as The Breaker of Tyrants, The Favoured Son or The Eye of Terra.
** Angron: The Red Angel (he hates that one), Slaughterer of Nations, The Undefeated, Lord of the Red Sands.
** Fulgrim: The Phoenician (alluding to the same bird as he put his legion back into shape when he came as they were on the brink of annihiliation).
** Ferrus Manus: The Gorgon, Wyrmslayer, The Bane of Asirnoth.
** Konrad Curze: The Night Haunter (it even becomes the name of his split personality), The Last Judge, The King of Terrors.
** Vulkan: The Promethean Fire, The Hammer of Salvation.
** Lorgar: Aurelian, The Golden, The Voice of Truth, Urizen.
** Perturabo: The Lord of Iron, The Breaker, The Hammer of Olympia.
** Rogal Dorn: The Vigilant, The Blade of The Emperor, The Unyielding One.
** Corvus Corax: The Liberator, Chooser of the Slain, The Shadowed Lord.
** Roboute Guilliman: The Victorious, Ruler of Hosts, The Blade of Unity.
** Magnus: The Red, The Sorceror of Prospero, The Crimson King, The Logos Maxima, The Cyclopean Giant.
** Leman Russ: The Lord of Winter and Ruin, The Wolf King of Fenris.
** Lion El'Jonson: The First, The Lion.
** Mortarion: The Pale King, The Traveller, Dread Liberator of Barbarus, Death Lord.
** Alpharius: The Hydra, The Threefold Serpent.
** Sanguinius: The Great Angel, The Brightest One.
** Jaghatai Khan: The Great Khan, The Warhawk.
* TheJuggernaut: Angron and Leman Russ. You could not beat them, [[YouAreAlreadyDead nor could you outrun them]].
* KingInTheMountain:
** The Ultramarines have the poisoned body of Roboute Guilliman in stasis, and some members of the chapter insist that he is slowly healing himself and will someday reawaken. As of ''The Gathering Storm'', turns out ''they were right''.
** Some Dark Angels similarly believe that Lion El'Jonson is somewhere deep within their traveling asteroid base, The Rock. [[spoiler:He is, on life support.]]
** The Salamanders, Space Wolves, White Scars, Raven Guard ''and'' Imperial Fists' (according to some accounts) Primarchs left their chapters behind and disappeared into myth, many saying they would return for the final battle. [[spoiler:Someone who could be Leman Russ was spotted in unconfirmed reports during the thirteenth Black Crusade, leading the long lost Thirteenth Company.]]
** The Iron Hands have stories about Ferrus Manus returning, although his head was cut off and presented to Horus.
** The only one who is explicitly stated to not have any legends of returning is Sanguinius, but there are some theories about who exactly the Sanguinor is, and several Blood Angels have claimed to be Sanguinius reborn, which got ugly quickly.
* LargeAndInCharge: The Primarchs were quite large. Fulgrim wearing only a robe is remarked to be a head taller than his own First Captain in Terminator Armour. Even Alpharius and Omegon, the smallest of the Primarchs, were a head taller than the average Space Marine. Magnus was an absolute ''giant''. To give a sense of scale, the average Space Marine stands a little above 2.1 meters (7 feet) tall. Lion El'Jonson, unarmored, is said to be a little over three meters tall. Magnus? Stands a full 5 meters, almost two meters taller than the Lion, and three taller than a Space Marine! Later sources somewhat scale him down to about 3.7 meters. Then again, he can control his size, like the time he [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome made himself Titan-sized to fight one such machine]].
** Upon becoming a Daemon Prince, he is represented on the Tabletop as being the size of an Imperial Knight.
* ParentalIssues: A possible [[FreudianExcuse explanation]] for some of the Primarchs' falls from grace. All were [[ParentalAbandonment scattered by the Chaos gods across the galaxy as infants]], leaving some of them to [[RaisedByWolves effectively raise themselves]]. Horus was the first Primarch recovered and always [[ParentalFavoritism his favorite]], and some of the later Primarchs barely spent any time with their father at all, especially the last one to be found, [[TheUnfavorite Alpharius of the Alpha Legion]].
* ThePatriarch: Many Space Marines see their Primarchs this way, and the Emperor as that to their Primarchs. Given that all Space Marines are implanted with geneseeds descended from their Primarchs, and the Primarchs themselves were engineered with genes from the Emperor, this is almost ''literally'' the case. They have many rituals revering both Primarch and Emperor, resembling almost a form of filial piety and ancestor-worship, compared to the more distant and divine worship common to the rest of the Imperium.
* ThePerfectionist: Ferrus Manus and Fulgrim. They became friends in what was basically a perfectionism fight - who could craft the best weapon. Manus made a sword, Fulgrim made a hammer. They both inspected each other's works; neither could find a flaw, and they traded. Cue bifflehood. During a duel aboard Ferrus Manus's ship when he refused Fulgrim's offer of joining Chaos, the weapons were traded back (the sword was broken and discarded, and Fulgrim stole the hammer). At the battle of Istvaan, where Fulgrim is on the verge of accepting his new demonic nature, he and Manus go down in a duel to the death using the weapons they made.
* PrettyBoy: Sanguinius and Fulgrim are noted to be extraordinarily beautiful in a boyishly youthful way.
* PsychicPowers:
** Magnus was the second most powerful psyker in human history, surpassed only by the Emperor.
** Sanguinius, Leman Russ, Konrad Curze, Lorgar, Lion el'Jonson, and most if not all of the rest of the Primarchs had at least rudimentary psychic abilities, mostly manifesting in prophetic visions of the future.
** Lorgar was able to ward off Magnus's psychic projection. Sure, Magnus was light years away, but it is still a feat far beyond any alpha plus psyker of 40k.
* PunnyName: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lionel_Johnson Lion El'Jonson]], [[{{Wrath}} Angron]], [[AltumVidetur Ferrus Manus]].
* RageAgainstTheMentor: Horus versus the Emperor, underhanded Alpharius against honourable Roboute Guilliman of the Ultramarines, siege expert Perturabo of the Iron Warriors versus fortifications expert Rogal Dorn of the Imperial Fists.
* RaisedByNatives: Most of the Primarchs.
* RaisedByWolves: Lion El'Jonnson, Konrad Curze, and Leman Russ (quite literally). Well, after he crawled out of the volcano he made planetfall in...
* RebelLeader: Lorgar, Angron, Corvus Corax, and Mortarion.
* ReligiousBruiser: Lorgar, with terrible consequences. Also, in a shamanistic variant, Leman Russ.
* TheResenter:
** Perturabo towards Rogal Dorn.
** Horus suspected that Roboute Guilliman and Lion El'Jonnson resented not being chosen as Warmaster.
** Alpharius in general, though especially towards Guilliman, for not being able to match his victory tally due to his late discovery (though this trope has been downplayed in much of the more recent lore).
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Since they're considered the Emperor's sons, they're technically royalty. Ultimately subverted however, in that he never intended them to rule the Imperium, fearing that such a trend would lead instead to humanity being ruled by a genetically enhanced ruling class (ironic, considering that the Emperor was barely human himself), instead of by its own. Forcing them to be beholden to their inferiors who did nothing to help establish the Imperium also helped contribute to the Literature/HorusHeresy.
* SiblingRivalry: Present and accounted for. Since there's twenty of said siblings, elaborating would certainly get verbose.
* TheStrategist: Horus, Roboute Guilliman, Rogal Dorn, and Perturabo. Some lore has stated that Corax was a better tactician than ''Horus'', and that many of Horus' most acclaimed victories were actually Horus taking credit for Corax's work.
* SuperPrototype: To the Space Marines.
* TrainingThePeacefulVillagers: Mortarion and Vulkan.
** Perturabo, minus the peaceful.
* UncertainDoom: The fate of the Primarchs has become mythic in its uncertainty.
** Ferrus Manus, Fulgrim and Alpharius are all thought to be dead, but some say HesJustHiding. [[spoiler:The real Alpharius was killed by Rogal Dorn in a battle at Pluto during the early stages of Horus' drive for Terra, prompting Omegon to take on his twin's identity.]]
** Vulkan disappeared without a trace. [[spoiler: Earlier fluff implied he's held captive by a Necron; he was last seen during the [[Literature/TheBeastArises second invasion of Ullanor]], sacrificing himself to kill The Beast... and failing.]]
** Jaghatai Khan, Leman Russ and Corax were PutOnABus into the Eye of Terror.
** Rogal Dorn vanished in battle. All that's left of him is one of his disembodied hands.
** [[spoiler:Lion and Guilliman are in a coma. No one knew if they would ever wake up, though at least the latter has and there are rumors that Cypher of the Fallen has something to say about the former...]]
* VitriolicBestBuds: Leman Russ and Lion El'Jonson had a violent altercation over a KillSteal by the latter; though it worsened relations between them, they still considered themselves brothers, and Russ himself had eventually realized the foolishness of the fight... though his self-deprecating outburst of laughter was misinterpreted by El'Jonson as mockery, earning Russ a punch that knocked him out cold for hours. That said, the confrontation became the basis for a bitter feud between their legions, though recent events imply that they have reconciled.
* WarriorPrince: By the time the Emperor found the Primarchs, most of them had united their homeworlds or overthrown its corrupt rulers.
* WeaponOfChoice: All of the Primarchs had unique and powerful weapons, detailed below.
** AnAxeToGrind: Fitting his brutal nature, Angron wielded a pair of [[ChainsawGood chainaxes]] named Gorefather and Gorechild. Though they were damaged during the Battle of Amatura, Khârn would later have Gorechild repaired for his personal use.
** BladeBelowTheShoulder: The first of Horus's two weapons was The Talon of Horus, a Lightning Claw that was later used by Abaddon. Corvus Corax wielded the Panoply of the Raven Lord, which included a pair of Lightning Claws along with an [[WhipItGood energised whip.]] Konrad Curze preferred a pair of comparatively smaller, wrist-mounted Lightning Claws named [[IronicNickname Mercy and Forgiveness.]]
** CarryABigStick: The second of Horus's two weapons was Worldbreaker, a Power Maul gifted to him by the Emperor that acted as both a weapon and a symbol of his authority as the Warmaster.
** CoolSword: Lion El'Jonson had one called the Lion Sword. Leman Russ had Mjalnar, a sword lined with the teeth of a [[KrakenAndLeviathan Fenrisian Kraken.]] Rogal Dorn had a [[ChainsawGood chainsword]] that he shattered after the Siege of Terra, its shards forged into the Sword of the High Marshal and replaced by the Sword of Sebastus. Fulgrim had Fireblade, made for him by Ferrus Manus. Roboute Guilliman had the Gladius Incandor. Alpharius, Sanguinius, and Jaghatai Khan were also known to use swords.
** DropTheHammer: Vulkan used Dawnbringer, a weapon too heavy for any but a Primarch to wield that also contained a [[TeleportGun personal teleportation device.]] Ferrus Manus favoured Forgebreaker, forged for him by Fulgrim, which was later wielded by Perturabo.
** PowerFist: Roboute Guilliman's Hand of Dominion, which combined with his strength could bring down [[GiantMecha Titans.]]
** SinisterScythe: Mortarion's huge Manreaper Silence, which completed his GrimReaper look.
* WindowsOfTheSoul: No one could hold the gaze of a Primarch for long except for the Emperor, another Primarch, the Eldar, or [[EldritchAbomination daemons]], as the intensity in their eyes was so great that even ''Space Marines'' looked away.

[[folder: The Lost Primarchs]]
!!Primarchs II and XI


* AdventureFriendlyWorld: These unknown Primarchs are another facet in the vast variance of the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' universe that lets players simply [[SailorEarth fill it in]] however they want.
* RiddleForTheAges: WordOfGod says there's no intention of ever resolving this mystery, though we have been given some hints to work with.
** The Space Wolves acquired the sobriquet "The Emperor's Executioners," for having fought other Space Marines even before the Horus Heresy (the conflicts with the World Eaters and Dark Angels also being called the most infamous). It should be noted that it's rumored they nominated themselves, and is believed that they are trying to justify why there is a Legion such as the Space Wolves amongst the Astartes (taking the role, rather than being designed for it).
** Sanguinius worries in ''Fear to Tread'' that his legion will be marked as genetically compromised and become "a third empty plinth beneath the roof of the Hegemon" on Terra.
** There's some in-universe speculation that the Ultramarines received a large influx of recruits during the Great Crusade, perhaps from a legion that no longer officially exists. This would also explain the deviation amongst some of the Ultramarines' successor chapters.
** There is also mention that the Adeptus Sororitas were ordered to destroy a great amount of Space Marines quickly at some point; it is entirely possible that these were the members of one of the missing Legions. This also implies that said Legion was Chaos-aligned since the Sororitas specialise in fighting heretics.
** It's also worth noting that an official illustration of Malcador shows his throne as being adorned with a pair of skulls labeled with the numbers of the two missing legions, suggesting that he had some kind of involvement in their disappearance.
* UnPerson: The Primarchs of the II and XI legions were at some point completely expunged from Imperium record, and the reasons why are completely unknown. They are alluded to a couple of times in the ''Literature/HorusHeresy'' books, but whenever they are the person who brought them up is very [[LetUsNeverSpeakOfThisAgain quickly reminded not to talk about it]].
* YouHaveFailedMe: Roboute Guilliman explained to an Ecclesiarchy priest that the two Primarchs "failed" in some way, which led to whatever happened to them.

!!Loyalist Primarchs
[[folder: Lion El'Jonson]]
!!Lion El'Jonson, Primarch of the Dark Angels

Lion El'Jonson was scattered to the planet Caliban, a verdant world near the Eye of Terror where a knighthood called the Order battled against mutated monsters. A knight named Luther found this wild child in the jungles and brought him back to his fortress-monastery, where El'Jonson quickly assimilated Caliban's culture and climbed the ranks of the Order. Soon he was its Supreme Grand Master and the Lion had cleansed Caliban of beasts, while jealousy grew in his friend Luther.

When the Emperor found El'Jonson, he was appointed Primarch of the First Legion, which became the Dark Angels. The Lion brought many from the Order into its ranks, but while they fought in the Great Crusade, Luther and others were sent back to serve as Caliban's garrison. The Dark Angels campaigned against the Night Lords but otherwise played only a marginal role in the Horus Heresy, and El'Jonson arrived at Terra too late to save the Emperor. In the aftermath, he and his fleet returned to Caliban, only to be fired upon by Luther and the Dark Angels who remained there.

Enraged beyond rational thought, the Lion dueled his former mentor while the Dark Angels blew apart their homeworld in an orbital bombardment. In the end, Caliban was destroyed, the rebellious Fallen Angels were scattered across space and time by a Warp rift, and the Primarch disappeared. Unbeknownst to his followers, El'Jonson was taken by the Watchers in the Dark, and slumbers in a hidden chamber deep within the Dark Angels' fortress-monastery, making him one of the two loyalist Primarchs known for certain to still be alive, alongside Roboute Guilliman.

* AmbiguouslyEvil: Some of the Fallen accuse Lion of having waited out the Heresy to see who would win.
* {{Archenemy}}: Only one Beast ever truly escaped him, and that Beast was known as Konrad Curze of the Night Lords.
* CombatPragmatist: Lion stabbed Konrad Curze through the gut with his sword during the meeting on the planet Tsagualsa where Konrad invited him to parley. [[BerserkButton This was after Konrad Curze made the slight of insulting the Dark Angels by calling their future loyalty into question.]]
* FatalFlaw: See below. The Lion had a terrible inability to read or relate to others.
* HonorBeforeReason: While he was very much a CombatPragmatist, when Lion felt his honor was besmirched or he was sufficiently enraged he would throw tactics aside to fight alone when he would better be served fighting alongside allies. When Konrad Curze was rampaging through the lower decks of his ship during the Heresy when the Dark Angels were heading to Ultramar, the Lion ordered the decks sealed and went hunting himself instead of preparing kill teams to find the traitor, and later would grow obsessed with hunting down Konrad on Ultramar when he escaped.
* HorribleJudgeOfCharacter: Acknowledged to be one in-universe. For all his tactical brilliance, El'Jonson was horrible at reading people and discerning if they could be trusted or not. He relied on Luther to make those judgments for him until Luther was "exiled" back to Caliban.
* KnightInShiningArmor: Both in backstory and deed -- El'Jonson's code of personal honor meant that he was the only Primarch that Guilliman said he could look up to, who similarly thought that the Lion was the only possible contender for Warmaster other than Horus.
* LonelyAtTheTop: Lion held himself to an incredibly high standard that few people could meet, even amongst his fellow Primarchs. This large-than-life sensation he typically gave off tended to isolate him from others and prevent him from being able to relate to anyone. It was implied by Lion himself that he carries immense feelings of loneliness because of how singular he believes he is.
* MasterSwordsman: The Lion could draw and strike with his blade faster than Konrad Curze could react.
* MeaningfulName: Translates to "The Lion, Son of the Forest."
* TheQuietOne: One of the most reclusive Primarchs, preferring to let his adopted brother/best friend Luther do all the socializing.
* TheRival: To Leman Russ. The two butted heads frequently, especially over a particular incident that led to a nearly two-day-long brawl between them that ended with Lion cold-cocking Russ, which became the basis of the honor duels that the Dark Angels and Space Wolves still fight. Despite their friction, they both agreed that the Emperor naming Horus as Warmaster was confirmation of his being the favorite son.
* ShoutOut: To Lionel Johnson (a gay poet who authored ''The Dark Angel''). Similarly, the Dark Angels' base, The Rock, was apparently named for a gay bar near Creator/GamesWorkshop headquarters.
* SocialClimber: Lion was very ambitious and wanted to be Warmaster. He got his wish when Guilliman made him Lord Protector of Imperium Secundus.
* TheStoic: He wasn't a very emotional person.
* SuddenNameChange: Used to be named Lyyn Elgonsen. This was changed fairly early.
* TranquilFury: In direct contrast to Leman Russ. It wasn't easy to get Jonson riled up, but it was even harder to calm him back down.
* WildChild: By all rights that jungle should have killed him. The jungle failed.

[[folder: Jaghatai Khan]]
!!Jaghatai Khan, Primarch of the White Scars

Jaghatai Khan grew up on the planet Mundus Planus, or Chogoris in its natives' language. He was taken in by the nomadic clans in the grasslands beyond the world's dominant empire, and grew into a fearsome warrior. After his adopted father was slain by a rival clan leader, Jaghatai exacted a horrible revenge, united the others tribes under his rule, and went on to conquer his homeworld.

When the Emperor arrived six months later, Jaghatai recognized a ruler fit to unite the galaxy and took command of the [=Vth Legion=], which became the White Scars. Aside from adopting the scarification rituals of Chogoris, the legion adapted the tactics of its horsemen to become a powerful, highly-mobile army. The Khan was also instrumental, along with Sanguinius and Magnus the Red, in founding the Space Marine Legions' Librarius program, which caused friction with Leman Russ, Mortarion and eventually the Emperor. As such, Jaghatai and the White Scars kept to themselves, waging their own campaigns against xenos threats during the Great Crusade.

During the Horus Heresy, many were unsure which side the Khan would join, but Jaghatai rushed back to Terra to fight alongside the Emperor. The White Scars led many sallies from the Imperial Palace during the Siege of Terra, and pursued the traitors to the Eye of Terror when the siege failed. Jaghatai Khan and his First Brotherhood disappeared some seventy years after the Heresy while pursuing Dark Eldar reavers into the Webway, but the White Scars believe that their Primarch will one day return to them.

* BadassBiker: Although he was also known to fight from atop a [[AwesomePersonnelCarrier Razorback]] during the Siege of Terra.
* BadassMoustache: Of epic Mongol proportions.
* BloodKnight: Jaghatai Khan's [[HeroicLineage piece of the Emperor in him]] was his love of battle. In particular, he joined the Emperor to unite all of the stars into one empire; unlike other Primarchs, after succeeding in conquering his homeworld, he had no interest in actually ruling it.
* DeadpanSnarker:
-->'''Fulgrim:''' I heard from a contact on Mars, Jaghatai, that you do strange things to your ships.\\
'''Jaghtai Khan:''' I heard you do strange things to your warriors.
* {{Expy}}: Pretty obviously like UsefulNotes/GenghisKhan in his background.
* FatalFlaw: Jaghatai was a loner. He never really associated with any of his brothers closely, so when the Heresy came about, he was on his own, he could trust nobody and nobody could really trust him.
* MasterSwordsman: He and Fulgrim were described to be amongst the best duelists and swordfighters of the galaxy. Jaghatai's ability combined both his incredible speed ''and'' technique.
* ThePhilosopher: Despite his barbarian background, the Khan believed that warriors should do more than just train their bodies for war. From caligraphy to poetry to TabletopGame/{{Go}}, he instilled the belief in his Astartes to develop their minds in such a way that they would always try to see combat in a bigger picture.
* TheQuietOne: He was one of the more reclusive Primarchs. While he wasn't rude and was very polite, he was very private and eschewed bragging. His love of battle over statesmanship led him to be far more independent from the rest of the Imperium, and far less engaged in the political controversy, intrigue and turmoil that went on prior to and during the Horus Heresy. He was also a man who liked to hold his cards close to his chest and rarely revealed his secrets to others. This caused many people to overlook him and the White Scars, which allowed the White Scars a great deal of independence (which is what they preferred anyway).
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: In other legions, the Warriors Lodges -- fraternities formed by members of multiple Space Marine legions -- had to operate in secrecy, and were disliked by most Primarchs since they were thought to transmit disparate thoughts from the interests of the Imperium. As for Jaghatai,
-->I let them meet. I am not a tyrant.
* ScrewTheRulesImDoingWhatsRight: Or at least smart. He recognized the value of psykers, and quietly campaigned for their acceptance in the Imperium as a whole. When the Emperor basically banned the use of Librarians through the Edict of Nikaea, Khan ordered his legion to ignore the ban and continue using psykers. This meant they were better prepared to face daemonic threats during the Horus Heresy.
* VictoryIsBoring: The Khan conquered Chogoris mainly for revenge against his enemies, and had no interest in actually ruling his empire. Once he left to join the White Scars, his domain broke into warring nations; scholars speculate that Jaghatai knew this would happen but wanted his people to remain strong to provide future recruits for his legion.
* WildCard: For the early part of the Heresy, no one was sure about the Khan's intentions or who he would side with - the loyalists didn't truly trust him, Horus thought he'd be the easiest Primarch to win over, and Mortarion tried to recruit him to the rebels' cause.

[[folder: Leman Russ]]
!!Leman Russ, Primarch of the Space Wolves

->''My enemies should know what's coming to greet them. It fixes them in the right mental place to be annihilated. I don't like to hide my strengths or my approach. I'd rather my foe knows the full, unimaginable fury that is about to descend upon him.''

Leman Russ was raised by a she-wolf in the frozen wastes of Fenris, but was brought to civilization when a raiding party killed most of his pack and captured him. He grew to be garrulous and boisterous among his friends but a terrifying foe on the battlefield, and was eventually raised to the throne of Fenris. The Emperor, hearing tales of this mighty ruler, recognized him as a Primarch and traveled to Fenris, only to have Russ engage him in three contests -- eating, drinking, and combat. Russ actually won the first two but was felled in the third, and swore fealty to the Emperor.

Under Russ' leadership the VI Legion, the Space Wolves, became known as "the Rout," a force that utterly devastated any foe that stood in their way. Despite his well-deserved reputation for berserker behaviour, Russ was a shrewd and cunning leader, someone Roboute Guilliman counted among the "dauntless few" Primarchs who could be the most counted upon to serve the Emperor's will. Russ' relationship with other Primarchs was more strained: he feuded with Lion El'Jonson, battled against Angron, and despised psykers such as Magnus the Red.

When the latter defied the Edict of Nikaea, the Space Wolves were sent to punish the Thousand Sons for their sorcerous ways and Russ broke Magnus the Red in personal combat. This campaign left the Space Wolves isolated from the great battles of the Horus Heresy, and to Russ' shame he was unable to return to Terra in time to save the Emperor. Two hundred years after the Heresy, Leman Russ abruptly departed for the Eye of Terror along with nearly all his Wolf Guard, promising that he would return to lead his chapter in its greatest and final conflict.

* TheAlcoholic: He and his legion are pretty much the only Space Marines to consume alcohol (though they have to imbibe it in quantities that would kill a normal human several times over in order to overcome their superhuman constitution). Notable in that when the Emperor first came to Fenris, Russ challenged him to a drinking contest ''and won!''
* AntiMagic: Leman's body and mind has a rather strong resistance towards the effects of The Warp and psychic Powers, more so than most of his brothers. However, he was not fully aware of this resistance until his battle against Magnus The Red during the Sacking of Prospero, where he was able to shrug off magical blows that would have injured or even killed some of the other primarchs.
* BigEater: As well as Big Drinker. Quite often, when the Emperor came incognito to one of his missing son's homeworld, he'd challenge them in different forms of duels, but these end in either draw or victory for the Emperor. Russ was the only one who beat the Emperor, although that was on eating and drinking. The Emperor then called Russ a glutton and a drunkard, which incensed Russ enough to challenge him in combat. The Emperor won handily enough.
* BladeOnAStick: The Spear of Russ. Russ never really used it, but successive Space Wolf heroes have [[RunningGag developed a tendency]] to throw the thing [[GoForTheEye into the eye]] of Magnus the Red.
* BloodKnight: A heroic example -- he loves a good scrap.
* BoisterousBruiser: He is one, but he tends to inflate this concept to help create the 'barbarian king' persona to others. There is some speculation that it's a coping mechanism to deal with [[DirtyBusiness some of the orders]] his Wolves have executed.
* BrutalHonesty: While perhaps not to the extent of Rogal Dorn, Russ was not known for his tact in conversation and tended to wear his emotions on his sleeve. If he didn't like something about you, he likely wouldn't hesitate to say it to your face.
* CanisMajor: He was raised by these as a child. His army later started to use these in battle.
* CurbStompBattle:
** Leman Russ earned such a brutal reputation during the Great Crusade that the Space Wolves were nicknamed "the Rout".
** Leman himself was on the receiving end of one at the hands of Angron in a duel... which was exactly what Russ wanted: he would lose, but his warriors would kill Angron in return. Lorgar was baffled that Angron never understood the lesson Russ was trying to teach.
** This even extends to the tabletop game where he massacres any other Primarch that gets in his way, even Horus and transfigured Lorgar. An example of GameplayAndStoryIntegration, since he and his Space Wolves were the Emperor's designated "Primarch and Space Marine" killers.
* DeathWorld: His home of Fenris.
* DependingOnTheArtist: If he's a FieryRedhead or blond and if he's clean-shaven or has a BadassBeard are the two most common back-and-forths regarding his appearance. Since Forge World's army book and model showcase present him as blonde and clean-shaven (as depicted in the pic above), it can be assumed there's finally a canonical answer to this.
* DoesNotLikeMagic: One of the most outspoken anti-psyker Primarchs, rivaled only by Mortarion. [[{{Hypocrite}} He insisted that his Rune Priests were completely different and channelled the natural forces of Fenris, even though they were functionally identical to the sorcerers of the Thousand Sons.]]
* DrinkingContest: A significant part of the legend of Russ and the Emperor's first meeting, followed by...
* EatingContest: By this point the Emperor got annoyed, and accused Russ of proving only that the Wolf-King was the greater glutton.
* FamousLastWords: "Listen closely Brothers, for my life's breath is all but spent. There shall come a time far from now when our Chapter itself is dying, even as I am now dying, and our foes shall gather to destroy us. Then my children, I shall listen for your call in whatever realm of death holds me, and come I shall, no matter what the laws of life and death forbid. At the end I will be there. For the final battle. For the Wolftime."
* FatalFlaw: His UndyingLoyalty meant he never questioned his orders, which left him very easy to manipulate. Also, [[{{Jerkass}} his lack of tact and understanding for others]] meant he was unpopular among his brothers.
* FieryRedhead: Well, he's described as such in the books. [[FlipFlopOfGod Other times he's described as blond.]] [[DependingOnTheArtist The artwork doesn't help either.]]
* FindTheCure: Disappeared searching for a way to heal the Emperor of his wounds.
* HeroesPreferSwords: Mjalnar.
* HornyVikings: Leads an entire army of these guys.
* {{Jerkass}}: Russ had an extremely combative personality and of all the Primarchs only Angron was more prone to starting fights amongst his brothers. To wit, he fought with Magnus (over his use of sorcerers), Jaghatai Khan (over his founding of the Librarius program), Guilliman (over being asked to split up his legion), Angron (over his bloodthirsty way of waging war), and El'Jonson (see the KillSteal entry below).
* KillSteal: The heart of the feud between Russ and Lion El'Jonson. The leader of the planet Dulan had insulted Russ, who fought his way to the enemy's throne room just in time to see El'Jonson behead him. Russ socked El'Jonson in the jaw, leading to a protracted battle that abruptly ended when Russ started laughing at his own immaturity. El'Jonson responded by knocking Russ cold and leaving with his Dark Angels in a huff.
* LeeroyJenkins: In both battle and personal interactions (usually moreso the latter), Russ had a habit of just rushing forward and doing things his way rather than taking time to think things through. His feuds with Magnus, Angron, and Lion El'Jonson (in fact, the latter two were incredibly similar to himself in many ways) probably could have been handled ''much'' better if he tried to go about his interactions with them with a bit more consideration and less hot-headed anger.
* MageKiller: Due to his great resistance towards psychic powers as well as his great hatred towards psykers, he's pretty darn effective at taking out spellslingers.
* MilitaryMaverick: According to legend, Leman Russ refused to take any shit from anyone, up to and including the Emperor. He certainly wasn't going to take any from Roboute Guilliman, friend or not, and he nearly started a civil war to maintain the independence of the Space Wolves Legion.
* MyMasterRightOrWrong: He doesn't care if he is ordered to kill an entire chapter of Space Marines, even if they are led by his own brothers. If the Emperor says it, he will do it without question. [[NiceJobBreakingItHero This bit the Imperium in the ass]] since he didn't see anything wrong with Horus telling him that the Emperor wanted Magnus and the Thousand Sons dead, unaware that the Emperor merely wanted Magnus detained and brought back to Terra alive to answer for damaging the Webway Project and that Horus had gone traitor by this point. The fact it was [[ArchEnemy Magnus]] probably didn't help matters either, and the end result was the loss of an entire Legion to Chaos.
* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: Or, more precisely, Viking Werewolf Space Marine Demigod.
* RaisedByWolves: Gigantic space wolves, as it turns out.
* WildChild: He was one of these when the people of Fenris found him.

[[folder: Rogal Dorn]]
!!Rogal Dorn, Primarch of the Imperial Fists

->''There is no enemy. The foe on the battlefield is merely the manifestation of that which we must overcome. He is doubt, and fear, and despair, Every battle is fought within. Conquer the battlefield that lies inside you, and the enemy disappears like the illusion that he is.''

Rogal Dorn was adopted into one of the clans inhabiting the icy world of Inwit, and eventually came to rule the entire planet and the surrounding region of space. 40 years after the death of his adopted grandfather, he was found by the Emperor, greeting him aboard his starship, the ''Phalanx''. The Emperor welcomed Dorn and entrusted the ''Phalanx'' to Dorn's care as the fortress-monastery of the Imperial Fists.

As a Primarch, Dorn was known for his unswerving loyalty to the Emperor, his absolute refusal of falsehood, and his military genius, especially in fortification and defense. He was very highly regarded by Roboute Guilliman, and Horus himself reckoned that if the Luna Wolves and Imperial Fists were ever to fight each other, their respective mastery of offense and defense would turn the battle into an endless stalemate. However, despite their shared specialty in siege warfare, or perhaps because of it, there was a deep divide between Dorn and Perturabo, who resented the Emperor's apparent favoritism towards the Imperial Fists' Primarch.

During the darkest hours of the Horus Heresy, Dorn and the Imperial Fists were instrumental in the defense of the Imperial Palace. He was separated from his brother and father during the counter-attack against Horus' flagship, and was the one to carry the Emperor's dying body to Terra for interment within the Golden Throne. Afterward Dorn crusaded against the traitors with vigor, and initially resisted Roboute Guilliman's attempt to break down the Space Marine Legions as an insult to his loyalty, before relenting in order to avoid a second civil war. He met his end repelling a Black Crusade against Cadia, and was last seen mounting a counter-attack against an enemy vessel. All that was found of Rogal Dorn was his skeletal hand, which remains the Imperial Fists' holiest relic.

* AnArmAndALeg: Dorn's hand is all that's left of him.
* TheAtoner: Dorn was plagued by guilt over his perceived failure of the Emperor at the close of the Heresy and the near-civil war that followed soon after, and sought penance through a crusade and the battle against the Iron Warriors that became the Iron Cage incident.
* BadassMustache: Maybe. [[FlipFlopOfGod GW can't seem to make up their minds if he has one or not.]]
* BeneathTheMask: Dorn feared his own divinity.
* BladeOnAStick: He's rarely depicted with one, but one Imperial Fists successor chapter, the Literature/SoulDrinkers, believe that Dorn used one called the Soulspear.
* BrutalHonesty: Dorn WillNotTellALie.
* CannotTellALie: Dorn would not lie under any circumstances, even if it helped his cause. The most famous case was when Horus asked whether the Imperial Palace could withstand an assault by the Iron Warriors, and Dorn concluded that yes, if properly defended his fortifications were impenetrable. This drove Perturabo into a snarling rage.
* {{Determinator}}: Said to have [[HeroicLineage inherited]] the Emperor's iron will.
* FatalFlaw: Dorn's {{Determinator}} tendencies often unfortunately translated into AttackAttackAttack on the battlefield. The most famous instance of this being the Iron Cage Incident, where his legion were led into a trap and consequently massacred and humiliated by the Iron Warriors.
* FourStarBadass: Dorn was one of the greatest military minds of the Crusade; while his particular specialty was in defense and fortification, he had a broad overall skillset and was considered exemplary by both Guilliman and Horus.
* PraetorianGuard: Before the creation of the Adeptus Custodes, Dorn and his Fists spent so much time as the Emperor's vanguard that they earned a reputation as the Emperor's Praetorians.
* PuttingTheBandBackTogether: [[spoiler:Dorn never fully accepted Guillman's Codex Astartes reforms, and secretly made contingency plans for all descendants of the Seventh Legion to unite under a quasi-legionary structure in times of grave crisis. Known as the ''Last Wall'' protocol, this had been invoked once thus far, in M32 during the [[Literature/TheBeastArises massive Ork WAAAGH! led by The Beast]], which saw Terra under siege for the first time since the Heresy.]]
* RevengeBeforeReason: The "Iron Cage" incident. Dorn declared that he'd put Perturabo into an iron cage, only for the Iron Warriors' Primarch to more or less throw down the gauntlet and challenge him to take his "Eternal Fortress." Dorn skipped his usual planning phase in his rush to bring the traitor to justice, but when his Fists fought their way to the central keep, they found it empty and themselves now in the kill-zone of twenty square miles of bunkers and razorwire. The Iron Warriors were able to pick the Imperial Fists apart while Dorn's men had to use their battle-brothers' corpses as cover, and it was only thanks to the arrival of the Ultramarines that they weren't all killed.
* SelfHarm: Dorn invented the Pain Glove as a tool for his meditation after the Emperor's fall, and the entire Legion felt its touch in order to be symbolically reborn. Since then, use of the Pain Glove has become a fundamental part of the Imperial Fists' philosophy.
* UndyingLoyalty: Dorn is the only Loyalist Primarch that Horus and the other Traitor Primarchs didn't even pretend or suggest had a chance of joining their side because he was loyal to the Emperor to an absolute fault, such that even his own flaws wouldn't sway him from his side.

[[folder: Sanguinius]]
!!Sanguinius, Primarch of the Blood Angels

->''The Blood Angels will be ready. The flaw in us is not something that can be dismissed or defeated with ease. It is the inner enemy, the reflection of the conflict without! Aye, it is part of what we are. Our gift and our curse. And we will master it, if we are to win this war, the war of brothers against brothers, for the Imperium and its future.''

The infant Sanguinius was found on the planet Baal, a radioactive wasteland where a handful of primitive pure-blooded humans battled against hordes of degenerate mutants. The winged youth was adopted by a tribe called the Blood and grew to become their hero, an angelic warrior who represented human perfection. After the planet was cleansed of mutants the Emperor arrived at Baal, and Sanguinius immediately bent his knee and pledged his loyalty to his true father.

The worthiest of Baal's warriors followed Sanguinius to join the [=IXth=] Legion, the Blood Angels. The legion quickly became known for excelling in close combat, but it also bore a terrible secret, a flaw in its gene-seed that drove some of its warriors into berserk rages. When the Horus Heresy erupted the traitors hoped to exploit this weakness and tempt Sanguinius and his warriors into damnation, but the Primarch resisted and rushed to his father's side.

The Blood Angels were one of the three legions to defend the Imperial Palace during the Siege of Terra, where Sanguinius held the Eternity Gate alone against a tide of horrors and broke a Greater Daemon of Khorne over his knee. In the battle's final hour, Sanguinius joined the Emperor's assault upon Horus' flagship, and was the first to confront the Arch-Heretic. Even then he tried to redeem Horus, only to be forced into battle and killed by his brother. The savagery of Sanguinius' martyrdom cursed the Blood Angels with the Black Rage, the blood-memory of their Primarch's death.

* HundredPercentAdorationRating: Sanguinius was probably the single-most adored Primarch, even above Horus. He was considered a trusted ally by virtually all of his brothers and was well known for his ability to smooth out disputes between them. Horus suggested Sanguinius should have been Warmaster instead of him, and Guilliman indicated he should be named Emperor of the Imperium should anything happen to the ''actual'' Emperor.
* AngelicBeauty: He is said to be rather attractive.
* TheAce: The Primarchs are all impossibly strong and capable of learning among human beings, but even so Sanguinius was TheAce above all of them -- as a result, absolutely everyone liked and respected him, Horus felt it was Sanguinius who truly should have been Warmaster when he was at risk of dying, and when Guilliman feared the Emperor dead he chose Sanguinius to lead his Imperium Secondus.
* BeautyEqualsGoodness
* BladeOnAStick: The Spear of Telesto. It was lost during the Horus Heresy, only to be recovered in the Literature/BloodAngels novels.
* BloodLust: After killing a rogue and vampiric legionnaire, Sanguinius admitted to Horus he had a dark thirst for the blood of the living that sometimes revealed itself during the heat of combat, which he kept secret out of fear that his entire Blood Angel legion would be exterminated.
* CainAndAbel: With Horus. Each thought the other was the best pick for Warmaster, Sanguinius shared the secret of the Flaw with Horus, and Horus was willing to confide his doubts and misgivings about the future in return.
* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold: Blond and good.
* HeroicLineage: Sanguinius stands out for inheriting not just a particular aspect of the Emperor, but ''all'' of him to some extent. Or perhaps only the best parts.
* HeroicSacrifice: Though he died in battle against Horus, he managed to damage his armor enough for the Emperor to exploit this weakness during the final battle.
* IncorruptiblePurePureness: He's called The Pure One for a reason.
* LongHairedPrettyBoy: Sanguinius had long blond hair and was the most handsome of the Primarchs, with Fulgrim being the only of his brothers who could compare.
* MessianicArchetype: Played surprisingly straight.
* NiceGuy: Quite possibly the only unambiguously heroic character in all of 40k.
* OurAngelsAreDifferent: Well, for starters, he's probably the most badass one out there.
* {{Seers}}: Sanguinius had a limited ability to catch glimpses of the future, which may be why he immediately knelt before the Emperor. As indicated in the Horus Heresy novel ''Angels of Caliban'', he knew how his confrontation with Horus would end, which only makes his sacrifice all the nobler.
* TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth: Particularly [[{{Tearjerker}} tragic]] since he fell trying to convince Horus to redeem along with being one of the nicest characters in a [[CrapsackWorld crapsack world]] like Warhammer 40,000. To make [[FromBadToWorse matters]] worse, his death caused a psychic backlash that caused the much maligned [[UnstoppableRage Black Rage]] and [[TheBerserker Red Thirst]] among The Blood Angels and their sucessors.
* UndyingLoyalty: It is made pretty clear he has this to the Emperor.
* WingedHumanoid: He had a pair of huge white wings and could use them to fly. Whether this was a mutation or some strange expression of the Emperor's genes is unknown.
* YouCantFightFate: It is made clear at the end of ''Angels of Caliban'' that Sanguinius is informed and now fully aware that he will die if he faces Horus in battle, to which he states [[HeroicSacrifice "To die at Horus's hand is a fate I gladly accept]] [[UndyingLoyalty if it means that the Emperor yet lives and fights for mankind. I would speed to this confrontation on the swiftest wings if it means the enduring reign of the Emperor".]]

[[folder: Ferrus Manus]]
!!Ferrus Manus, Primarch of the Iron Hands

->''Rest? We were not made to rest; we go on, unflinching, unstoppable, unwavering in our strength. The Emperor did not make us for such mortal concerns as hearth and home; we are his engines of war, his hammers, beating out the fabric of existence into a vessel fit for Mankind to inhabit.''

Ferrus Manus was scattered to the planet Medusa, a dark post-apocalyptic wasteland inhabited by primitive nomadic tribes. No record exists of his childhood, but there are many legends telling of a wanderer who visited each clan in turn, exhibiting his incredible endurance as well as sharing new technologies he invented or found on his journeys. The most famous story is of how Ferrus drowned a silver wyrm in a lava flow, until the beast was gone and its skin of living metal was bound to his hands. Soon the people of Medusa prospered as never before, though the Primarch remained neutral in the wars between the tribes, viewing such conflict as a healthy way to strengthen the survivors.

When the Emperor arrived on Medusa, he and his lost son left to compete in many feats of strength, until they returned bound by mutual respect. Ferrus Manus was given command of the [=Xth=] Legion, which became his Iron Hands. The Primarch and his warriors soon garnered a reputation as highly-effective but ruthless warriors with no tolerance of weakness, and their technological affinity led to close ties with the Adeptus Mechanicus.

Ferrus was disgusted by Horus' betrayal, and came to blows with his close friend Fulgrim when he tried to tempt Ferrus to join the traitors' cause. In his haste to bring the renegades to justice, Ferrus took his veterans and fastest ships and hurried ahead of the rest of the Iron Hands, which spared them when he was betrayed again during the Drop Site Massacres. Ferrus Manus was slain by Fulgrim in that battle, though the Iron Hands maintain that he somehow escaped death and will return to them someday.

* BareFistedMonk: Ferrus Manus was known to use his titular iron hands as lethal weapons in their own right. He preferred his hammer, though.
* BlackComedy: His Forgeworld model has the head as a separate piece. Now, remember how [[OffWithHisHead Fulgrim kills him]].
* CainAndAbel: Ferrus was quite close to Fulgrim and shared his pursuit of perfection, which was why Fulgrim tried to recruit him for Horus before ultimately having to kill him.
* CursedWithAwesome: Manus was well aware of the advantages his metal hands gave him and what they could accomplish, but at the same time he saw how his legion was beginning to be twisted by their reverence of him and his hands and the resulting obsession with cybernetics.
--> They are not my hands. This fact is forgotten by my brothers -- inexplicably, it has always seemed to me. The hands are strong, to be sure, and have created great things for us all, but they are not mine. [...] Already my Legion's warriors replace their shield hands with metal in my honour, and so they too are learning to doubt the natural strength of their bodies. They must be weaned off this practice before it becomes a mania for them. Hatred of what is natural, of what is human, is the first and greatest of the corruptions.
* TheDragonslayer: Medusan legends say that Manus slew numerous beasts and monsters in the northern wastes after he arrived on the planet, with the most famous being the silver wyrm Asirnoth, whose living metal skin bonded to his hands and forearms after Manus drowned it in magma. Imperial savants believe that the wyrm was actually a Necron construct, making the metal on Manus' arms necrodermis.
* FleshVersusSteel: Ironically, Ferrus Manus is on the former's side, reasoning that while the cybernetics do make the Marines stronger, it also weakens their willpower. He planned to get the famous metal off his hands and abolish the practice of cybernization after the Great Crusade was finished, but then Fulgrim cut his head off.
* JustIgnoreIt: He actually received visions from the Eldar during the Great Crusade about his fate at the hands of Fulgrim, but [[FantasticRacism being filthy xenos]], he rejected them out of distrust. [[SelfFulfillingProphecy Sure bit him in the ass]].
* LeeroyJenkins: What ultimately killed him. So enraged was he by the betrayal of his brothers, especially Fulgrim, that he threw caution to winds and set out with his best men and fastest ships to meet the traitors head on, leaving the rest of his brothers and even the remainder of his own Legion behind. As such, his troops were out-maneuvered and out-gunned by traitor reinforcements, and [[OffWithHisHead he lost his head to Fulgrim]].
* MeaningfulName: His name means "Iron Hand" in Latin. Along with his Space Marine chapter, the consequent repetition of this meaningfulness gets a bit silly.
-->'''1d4chan''': Iron Hands, who had iron hands, was the leader of the Iron Hands, who give themselves iron hands in honour of the iron Hands of Iron Hands of the Iron Hands.
* OffWithHisHead: Suffered this fate at the hands of Fulgrim.
* SacrificialLion: Ferrus was the first Primarch killed to show the deadly seriousness of the Horus Heresy.
* SocialDarwinist: Believed in the idea of "survival of the fittest", saw conflict as the perfect way to hone one's abilities, and despised weakness in the human race. His desire to always better himself was what formed the base for his friendship with [[ThePerfectionist Fulgrim]].
* ToBeAMaster: Ferrus Manus' life goal was to never stop improving himself, trying to share the same goal with all of humanity. Unlike what you'd expect, especially considering the setting, he never quite approached EvilutionaryBiologist or CyberneticsEatYourSoul-levels from this.

[[folder: Roboute Guilliman]]
!!Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines
[[caption-width-right:275:[[labelnote:Click for Guilliman post-stasis]]http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rg1_500x500.jpg[[/labelnote]]]]

->''They shall be pure of heart and strong of body, untainted by doubt and unsullied by self-aggrandizement. They will be bright stars on the firmament of battle, Angels of Death whose shining wings bring swift annihilation to the enemies of Man. So shall it be for a thousand times for a thousand years, unto the very end of eternity and the extinction of mortal flesh.''
-->-- Opening to the ''Codex Astartes''

Roboute Guilliman was found on the rocky world of Macragge by one of the two consuls who ruled its militaristic government. As was custom on his world he was sent to a barracks at the age of six, and within two years had mastered everything his tutors could teach him. While the young Primarch campaigned to pacify the barbarians of Macragge's northlands, the rival consul usurped power and murdered his father, a rebellion Guilliman ruthlessly crushed. As the new Battle-King of Macragge, Guilliman ushered in an era of prosperity, advancement and expansion, so that when the Great Crusade reached the Eastern Fringes, the Emperor found not only a lost son but a model for human civilization.

Given the command of the [=XIIIth=] legion, the Ultramarines, Guilliman pushed the Imperium's borders ever outward. Though he was adept in all arenas of warfare, Roboute's greatest talent lay in organization, and each world he conquered suffered minimal damage and quickly became a functioning part of the Imperium. Soon Macragge was the center of a five-hundred-world realm known as Ultramar, which supplied enough recruits to make the Ultramarines the most numerous legion. It is therefore no surprise that when Warmaster Horus turned traitor, he ensured that Guilliman and his forces were isolated far to the galactic south when the renegades marched on Terra.

Guilliman arrived too late to save his father or play any great role in the Horus Heresy, but he was instrumental in holding the Imperium together in the war's aftermath, and his Ultramarines comprised nearly half of the Imperium's manpower in those dark days. This influence allowed Guilliman to implement his ''Codex Astartes'', which broke down the Space Marine Legions into thousand-man chapters so that no one renegade could command such an awesome force. Assuming the title of Lord Commander of the Imperium, Guilliman led the armies of Mankind for a time until Fulgrim, transformed into a Daemon Prince of Slaanesh, slit his throat with a poisoned sword. The wound being fatal and incurable, Guilliman was put in statis and exhibited in a holy shrine for thousands of years.

At the end of the 41st millenium, Yvraine of the Ynnari and Bellisarius Cawl of the Adeptus Mechanicus manage to resurrect Guilliman, who immediately sets back the forces of Chaos that had been invading Ultramar and then traveled to Terra and see the Emperor. In his way, the Primarch reluctantly allies himself with Cypher and the Fallen, and battled his brother Magnus on Luna, where he and his forces were almost defeated but were saved by the arrival of Terran's reinforcement. After an audience alone with the Emperor, Guilliman reclaims his title as Lord Commander and declares that the Imperium be rearmed under his leadership and confront the forces of Chaos.

* TheAce: Guilliman had some pretty impressive accomplishments to his name:
** He not only conquered his homeworld and turned it into a prosperous and productive planet, by the time the Emperor reached him he had already begun integrating the surrounding worlds into a larger alliance and trade network, essentially founding the realm of Ultramar. Whenever the Emperor found one of his lost sons, he usually found them as leader of a planet; Guilliman he found running an entire star system.
** He was well known for an almost peerless grasp of tactics, allowing him to excel in virtually every area of warfare and earning the Ultramarines the JackOfAllTrades reputation that they continued to embody for millenia after Guilliman's apparent demise.
** A rarity for a Primarch, Guilliman included diplomacy and negotiating in his bids for conquest, and factored post-occupation construction and pacification into his plans. Unlike many of his brothers - such as Angron or Russ, who frequently left the worlds behind them in ruins and relied on other Imperial forces to turn them into productive worlds - planets conquered by the Ultramarines were frequently left in ''better'' shape than when they had first arrived.
** Likely as a result of his CrazyPrepared planning, Guilliman's legion had an exceptionally low casualty rate which, combined with a well-oiled recruitment and training program, gave him command of the single largest of the pre-Heresy legions. Said legion was one of the few that made it through the Horus Heresy relatively unscathed and, in the aftermath, accounted for over half of the Imperium's fighting forces. Accordingly, he also had one of the highest victory counts of any Primarch not named Horus.
** Guilliman basically ran the Imperium in the immediate aftermath of the Emperor's ascension to the Golden Throne, committing his Ultramarines to holding off opportunistic Xenos raiders and putting down the remnants of rebellion amongst the remaining loyalist worlds. And 9,000 years later he once again takes up his old job as Lord Commander of the Imperium.
* AdaptationDyeJob: While Black Library's covers have him black-haired, Forge World's army book and model showcase present him as blond. His official paintjob from Games Workshop also has him as a blond.
* ArmCannon: Post-revival, courtesy of Hand of Dominion. It consist of a PowerFist with an underslung and upgraded Heavy Bolter. Guilliman is able to wield it with just about same ease a Terminator might wield a Stormbolter and is powerful enough to even destroy or damage anything weaker than a Land Raider.
* BackFromTheDead: Well, it was OnlyMostlyDead anyway, but thanks to the combined efforts of Imperial and Eldar agents Guilliman is alive once more, clad in new armor that apparently keeps him that way, and ready to lead the Imperium through what might be its darkest hour.
* BatmanGrabsAGun: The way he defeated Alpharius at Eskrador. Guilliman's work disseminating his ''Codex Astartes'' meant that Alpharius more or less knew exactly what he would do in any given situation. It was only after Guilliman broke his own rules of operation and led a reckless, unsupported offensive right into the enemy command center that he was able to catch Alpharius off-guard and kill(?) him.
* {{BFG}}: The Hand of Dominion, like quite a few other power fist-based weapons (Gauntlets of Ultramar, Dorn's Arrow) has an attached bolter. Unlike the others, said bolter is a underslung wrist-mounted ''heavy bolter''.
* BlueBlood: Unlike most of the Primarchs, who rose to positions of power over time, Guilliman more or less started in one after being found and adopted by one of the reigning regents of Macragge.
* BreakTheBadass: He is shocked and disgusted by the state of the Imperium upon his revivification. Seeing the magnificent empire his father and brothers built having devolved into an ignorant and tyrannical dystopia actually has him briefly wondering if it ''would'' have been better for Horus to have destroyed it to prevent the corruption now rampant. The sight of Terra itself as he heads for the palace is said to be "soul shattering".
* BrokenAce: Increasingly this after his resurrection.
* BrokenPedestal: Following his resurrection, he loses whatever faith he had in his own father and only carries on the ideals he originally presented.
* CrazyPrepared: One of Guilliman's strengths was his attention to detail, making him gifted in statesmanship and logistics, and he always believed in making contingency plans. Unfortunately, many of his fellow Primarchs interpreted this to mean he was an ambitious, anal-retentive control freak. An example was his plan for the "Imperium Secundus". Basically, if the Emperor died, then he would enact to preserve as much of the Imperium as possible, and re-organize the remnants into the "Imperium Secundus", centred around his realm of Ultramar.
* CreativeSterility: Guilliman, and by extension the Ultramarines, have difficulty fighting an enemy using extremely unconventional tactics. However, Guilliman can learn and adapt to new tactics quickly. There's a reason why Guilliman tends to be CrazyPrepared; when he gets hit by something, he ''learns'' from it and very quickly adapts to deal with that unconventional tactic or technique again in the future. When Corvus Corax challenged him to a series of simulated battles, Guilliman lost the first three rounds completely to his brother due to his Raven Guard's guerilla warfighting tactics, but afterward, Guilliman crushed him every single time.
* DarkLordOnLifeSupport: Somewhat inverted as Guilliman is one of the good guys [[BlackAndGrayMorality (as much as 'good' goes in this setting.]] After he's mortally wounded, he's been kept on life support and Stasis-locked, which has kept him [[NotQuiteDead 'alive']] for millennia. Even after he's revived, it's implied that his new fancy armor is his life support, and that he should never take it off.
* DeadGuyOnDisplay: Guilliman met his end battling the Daemon Primarch Fulgrim onboard the latter's flagship, the ''Pride of the Emperor'', over the world of Thessala, and after being fatally poisoned was teleported to safety and placed inside a stasis field for transport to Ultramar. His body was put on display on Macragge, and some Ultramarines believe that their Primarch is slowly healing. As of ''The Gathering Storm'', not so dead or on display anymore.
* DiagonalCut: How Guilliman killed Alpharius. The two approached on the battlefield, stared one another down, then drew their blades and each made a single slice. A few seconds later, Alpharius crumpled over, dead.
* FatalFlaw: Guilliman's obsessive need for control and orthodoxy meant his thinking was often predictable and inflexible. This is how Fulgrim was able to ambush his fleet in the Battle of Thessala, which led to their fateful duel.
* FishOutOfTemporalWater: He's about 10,000 years behind on history by the time he's revived, and safe to say he's ''[[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech not]]'' [[BreakTheBadass happy]] in the slightest.
* FlamingSword: Guilliman took up his fatherís flaming sword after being named Lord Commader of the Imperium in the aftermath of the Horus Heresy. Guilliman wielded the sword until his fateful battle with Fulgrim and wields it once again after his resurrection.
* FourStarBadass: Guilliman is as capable [[OneManArmy a fighter]] as he is [[TheStrategist a general]]. Right after he's revived, he cleared the Shrine of invading Chaos Marines, killing one with each slash of his sword. But his real strength lies in his tactical genius, how him directing the battlefield immediately turn every skirmish into a CurbStompBattle for the loyalists.
* GeniusBruiser: Perhaps surprisingly, given that Guilliman's reputed strengths were in statesmanship and strategy, he was also one of the more talented Primarchs in combat as well. To date, he's faced four Primarchs in combat [[note]]Lorgar, Angron, Alpharius, and Daemon Primarch Fulgrim[[/note]] and lost twice (to Angron, who had Lorgar backing him up, and to Fulgrim which was simply a one sided beatdown of Guilliman.). In a bit of GameplayAndStoryIntegration for Forge World's ''Horus Heresy'' range, Guilliman is one of the strongest Primarchs in one-on-one combat in the tabletop game and will statistically win a fight against any Primarch other than Horus, Fulgrim, and Leman Russ. The reason is very much part of being a GeniusBruiser--every turn he analyzes his opponent's skills and techniques, and will improve his Weapon Skill as the combat goes on.
* HeroicSacrifice: Implied. Guilliman's final battle was against his brother, Fulgrim, who was now a daemon prince of Slaanesh. Thick, cloying clouds prevented the Ultramarines from interfering in the battle (and from seeing what happened), but when the clouds cleared, Fulgrim and his minions were gone and Guilliman lay mortally wounded, suggesting that the Ultramarines' Primarch had managed to banish Fulgrim, [[TakingYouWithMe albeit at the cost of his own life]]. Oddly, Fulgrim has not been seen since and even his own legion is unsure of where he wound up, suggesting that Guilliman may have somehow found a way to [[UncertainDoom destroy Fulgrim outright rather than just banishing him]]. As of ''Gathering Storm Part III: Rise of the Primarch'', it turns out neither one is (permanently) dead. Fulgrim has been effectively on a 10,000 year vacation, while Guilliman is brought back to life thanks to the Ynnari and Archmagos Cawl.
** Revealed with ''Dark Imperium'' that it was nothing of the sort. Guilliman walked into Fulgirm's trap and was easily defeated, with many of his Marines sacrificing themselves to drag him to safety from Fulgrim and his Marines.
* HelmetsAreHardlyHeroic: Averted. Guillimanís 41st Millenium-era model includes a helmet as an alternate head option and the narrative of the Rise of the Primarch story mentions him putting on his helmet before going into battle a couple of times. And in ''Dark Imperium'' it is revealed that he went into his fateful duel with Fulgrim wearing his helmet, and it was by losing his helmet that his neck became exposed to Fulgrim's poisoned blade.
* HesBack: A variation. Guilliman was fatally wounded by Fulgrim and placed in a stasis field at the verge of death. He stayed that way for a good 9000 years, but the events of ''The Gathering Storm'' has brought him back to save the day.
* HoldingBackThePhlebotinum: ''Dark Imperium'' hints that Guilliman may actually be a psyker. He has kept his powers hidden because of what happened to Magnus.
* HumbleHero: Well, as humble as one could get while still being a genetically-engineered semi-divine posthuman superman. For instance, he kept his old nanny around as his counselor, and to tell him the things he didn't want to hear. Another instance was when he thought the Emperor was dead and the Imperium on the verge of collapsing; rather than take control himself, he elected to name another Primarch as the Emperor's successor, and eventually settled on Sanguinius. Upon his return in the 41st millennium, he formally requests the right to assume command of the Ultramarines from Chapter Master Calgar.
* InsufferableGenius: Came off as this to many of his brothers, due to his oft-stated belief that he could improve upon their tactics and methods if he put his mind to it. As a result, his only friends amongst his brother Primarchs were Horus, Sanguinus, Ferrus Manus, and Rogal Dorn (he also held Jaghatai Khan and Leman Russ in high esteem, though they did not appear to return the sentiment).
* JackOfAllTrades: Unlike many of his brother Primarchs, Guilliman did not dedicate himself to a single style of warfare; as such, the Ultramarines were generally seen as a very universal force, able to be inserted into nearly any situation and perform with aplomb.
* {{Jerkass}}:
** He didn't get along with many of his other Primarchs, making it pretty clear he considered said Primarchs untrustworthy. His anal-retentive tendencies led him to ignore others' feelings, most notably his mandating the Primarchs split their legions into 1000-Marine Chapters under the ''Codex Astartes'', which angered some of his fellow Primarchs, probably both for demanding them to split their brothers-in-arms up and openly airing paranoia toward his brothers in the tumultuous times just after the Horus Heresy (limiting Space Marine organizations to 1000-man Chapters would prevent a single treasonous uprising from corrupting as large of a Space Marine force as easily again).
** Not forgetting that some of his JerkAss tendencies were often seen as this by people who imagined it so. Lorgar thought for years that Roboute despised him, even though the only thing the Ultramarines' Primarch did was follow the orders of his father when his forces destroyed Monarchia. In the Heresy novels he even said that he didn't want the Throne because of how people often thought that he was so ambitious to the point of opportunism. Not only that, but he felt that he should stop being an overachiever because others were feeling inadaquate.
* JerkassHasAPoint: Guilliman never did anything without reason and even his most provocative moments had logic behind them. Splitting up the legions may have riled his brothers, but Guilliman was absolutely correct in pointing out that if Horus could fall, any of them could, and it was therefore dangerous to leave one man with so much power (vindicated by the many successor chapters who fell to Chaos in the following millenia). With Alpharius, what many thought was him being prone to orthodoxy was actually a good point: his brother's way of war, while effective, often caused months of unrest in the planets conquered.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Roboute Guilliman was an ass but he actually cared about people and believed that anyone can rise to greatness through merit regardless of class. His efforts led the Ultramarines' mini-empire to becoming one of the least corrupt (and nicest) places to live in the Imperium.
* KnightInSourArmor: The TraumaCongaLine he's endured after being freed from the stasis field has left him understandably ''very'' bitter. He perseveres anyway for the sake of humanity.
* LawfulStupid: He had issues with resorting to less conventional tactics in warfare. That being said, the man did not play it entirely straight and the ''Age of Darkness'' book in the Horus Heresy series has him state that he is entirely certain the ''Codex Astartes'' is imperfect and not a holy writ to adhere to.
* ManInTheMachine: Before she departs to return to the Ynnari, Yvraine very unsubtly suggests that should the revived Guilliman wish to remain among the living, he would be wise to not remove the chestplate of his new power armor, the Armor of Fate. However, by the time of the ''Dark Imperium'' novel, set around a hundred and twelve years after the events of the Rising Storm, he can now freely remove it and even walks around in casual clothing in between campaigns.
* NiceToTheWaiter: Treated average individuals perfectly respectfully and clearly cared about them in his decisions of statecraft.
* NoPronunciationGuide: Hoo boy. Compared to every other Primarch, Robby's got the one that's the hardest to pronounce by reading, causing the many snowclone {{fan nickname}}s for him (Rawbutt/Robot Girlyman etc.). Thankfully, the ''Gathering Storm'' video series finally gives an official pronunciation for him: "Rob-oot-ey Gill-ee-man".
* NotSoDifferent: In ''Dark Imperium'' he discovers the Emperor never saw him or the rest of the Primarchs as sons, only tools. The same book reveals that he is similarly dismissive and contemptuous of the very Primaris Marines he had Cawl create, describing them as "Cawl's blasphemous hordes".
* OffscreenMomentOfAwesome:
** Guilliman starred in not one, but ''two'' post-Heresy Primarch-vs.-Primarch battles, both of which turned out to be duds. His fight with Alpharius was just both of them making a [[DiagonalCut quick slash at one another, before Alpharius suddenly toppled over, dead]]. His fight with Fulgrim was probably a lot more awesome... not that we ever got to read about it, thanks to the cloying, soporific clouds that prevented the Ultramarines (and the narrator) from interfering with, or witnessing, the battle. When said clouds finally cleared, the duel was over, Guilliman was mortally wounded, and Fulgrim and his minions had mysteriously disappeared. ''Dark Imperium'' eventually shows the battle in question...and [[{{SubvertedTrope}} reveals]] it was actually a CurbStompBattle in ''Fulgrim's'' favor.
** It's heavily implied he fought Necrons during the Heresy, namely Trazyn the Infinite. In one story in an issue of ''White Dwarf'', Trazyn mentions to Sicarius that he had met Guilliman, calling him "an old friend", and was considering swiping his corpse off Macragge to add to his collection.
* OneHandedZweihander: Double dose of it. First and most obvious is the Emperor's FlamingSword. Second is on his left arm. Recognize that belt-feed mechanism? That's the same mechanism used in Heavy Bolters, because the Hand of Dominion has a ''wrist-mounted'' Heavy Bolter. That's right, he dual wields a {{BFS}} ''and'' a {{BFG}}.
* ParentalSubstitute: Played straight with Konor, Guilliman's foster father on Macragge, but surprisingly averted with Guilliman's relationship to the Emperor. Guilliman was one of the only loyalist Primarchs not to think of the Emperor as his father (in the sense of affection and awe) and he also commented that for all the Emperor's strengths, he was a terrible parent to the the Primarchs. Uniquely for a primarch, Guilliman also had a foster mother in the form of Tarasha Euten, Konor's seneschal who helped raise Guilliman on Macragge.
* PetTheDog: Guilliman was humble and kind to normal people. [[{{Jerkass}} His infamous rudeness]] was to individuals he considered chaotic or not proven worthy of their station.
* PowerFist: The Gauntlets of Ultramar. As of the ''Gathering Storm'', he's swapped them out for the Hand of Dominion, as Marneus Calgar is currently using them.
* PragmaticHero: A specialty of his. Guilliman always thought in terms of what he could practically achieve in any given situation.
* TheProudElite: Fits the trope to a T. [[BlueBlood Man of elite status?]] Check. A well-respected leader? Check. Fit and good-looking? Check. Sophisticated? Intelligent? Double check. [[InsufferableGenius Comes off as cold, arrogant, and uncaring?]] Values rationality and logic? Opens up to only a few trusted confidantes? Check, check, and check.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: One of the first quotes from him revealed after his revival? It's not a happy one. Also doubles as an ArmorPiercingQuestion.
-->''"Why do I still live? What more do you want from me? I gave everything I had to you, to them. Look what they've done to our dream. This bloated, rotting carcass of an empire is not driven by reason and hope, but by fear, hate and ignorance. Better that we all burned in the fires of Horus' ambition than lived to see this."''
* TheRival: To Lorgar. [[UnknownRival This appears to have mostly been one way]], with Guilliman pitying Lorgar and the shaming the Emperor gave him, until Lorgar turned traitor and ambushed the Ultramarines at Calth. What is also interesting is that they have very similar principles and desires, but very different methods. Guilliman and Lorgar both desired to raise the Imperium, they weren't conquerors per se, but as said in ''The First Heretic'', they are builders. They believed that Astartes could be something else than warriors, and they both valued an introspective view of life. Perhaps if they spent more time with the other (like some of their sons that actually found friendship) they could have become close friends.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: His endgame after the battle against the Alpha Legion which had him killing Alpharius. Despite the loss of their Primarch, the Alpha Legion wasn't affected in the slightest, and in fact continued the fight with more and more dirty tactics. In the end, Guilliman hauled ass with what's left of his men, stating he "has no interest fighting a righteous battle against such dishonorable foe."
* TheSmartGuy: Outside of the man's requisite badassery like the other Primarchs, Guilliman's talents laid in statecraft and logistics. He's thought to have inherited the Emperor's capacity for planning and statesmanship.
* StopWorshippingMe: Averted. While Guilliman doesn not consider himself divine, upon his return he is unlike his father willing to allow it to be proclaimed that he is, to avert a schism with the enormously powerful Ecclesiarchy. Though it certainly is disagreeable to him, especially since the Forces of Chaos have made several attempts since his revival to try and tempt him into damnation that way.
* TheStrategist: Though no slouch in close combat, Guilliman's greatest asset was his calculating mind, said to surpass a Mechanicus thinking-engine.
* TeethClenchedTeamwork: With Cawl. Guilliman relies on Cawl's genius and innovation but balks at his rather blatant and shameless borderline heretical ideas. This is why Guilliman has so far refused to grant Cawl's request to promote him to Fabricator-General. Guilliman's reforms are also putting him increasingly at odds with the more traditionalist parts of the Imperium. Elements of the Inquisition are particularly wary of him.
* TraumaCongaLine: By the Throne... this list is going to be long.
** His adoptive father, Konor Guilliman, who instilled many of Roboute's better nature and sense of noble obligation to the common people, was assassinated by an uprising and betrayal of his fellow Consul and nobles of Macragge, upset at Konor and Roboute's reforms weakening their power.
** During the Horus Heresy, as warp storms and several diversion actions from the traitor forces isolate Ultrimar from Terra, Roboute hears rumors that Terra and the Emperor have fallen. With such info being potentially credible, Roboute decides to form the Imperium Secundis. While it certainly proved useful as a rally point for the various scattered Loyalist forces, it didn't exactly endear Guilliman to a number of his fellow loyalist, with some wondering if he was making his own power play to usurp the Emperor, despite him trying to prove that view wrong.
** Upon hearing that in reality, the Imperium, Terra, and the Emperor were still standing, but under siege, Guilliman musters all loyalist forces possible from Ultrimar region to make haste and provide assistance. Unfortunately, by the time the Ultramarines themselves managed to arrive, the damage was already done, his brother Sanguinius layed dead, the Emperor dying, The traitors fleeing and the Imperium reeling in the aftermath of the events. This failure in particular haunted Guilliman forever more, and in turn issued his order that an Ultramarine Auxilery unit be posted at Cadia to try and make amends.
** The shock of being revived millennia in the future and learning whats happened to the Imperium since he fell is unimaginable. He puts on a strong face and hides it to avoid demoralizing the men. Seeing Terra itself is even worse.
** To even get to Terra after his revival, due to the galaxy wide warp storm outbreak since Cadia's fall, involved a literal trip through hell, when Magnus The Red casted a spell that flings Roboute's Terran Crusade fleet into the notorious warpstorm known the Maelstrom, trapping the fleet in there for months, with the Demons of Chaos doing what they could to exact an extreme mental toll on everyone, even Guilliman himself. At one point, by using Guillimans own built up negative emotions of grief, despair, and anger, several forces of Tzeentch managed to use a spell that bound Guilliman and capture his forces. By the time that his forces managed to reach Luna, Terra's moon, via an ancient and hidden webway gate courtesy of Harlequin allies, all 100+ ships of the fleet the launched from Ultrimar are either scattered somewhere in the galaxy, lost in the warp, destroyed, or captured, with all crew captured or killed, and only a few hundred various Marines, Celestines Sisters of Battle, and Techmagos Cawl's Skitarii remained.
** And when he finally makes it to the Sanctum Imperialis and meets his father the Emperor? As revelead in ''Dark Imperium'', he learns that his father never saw him and his brothers as his sons, but merely as tools and weapons to be used. Guilliman is understandably embittered at this revelation as he leaves the Sanctum Imperialis.
** After that, just when the Indomitus Crusade started winding down, his own beloved home system of Ultramar is attacked by the forces of Nurgle. Guilliman just cannot catch a break.
* UnreliableNarrator: Was subjected to this during the thousands of years he was in stasis, with the historical records of his deeds and battles getting distorted into conflicting myths and legend. The Battle of Thessala, where he was fatally wounded by Fulgrim, is a prime example of this, as earlier depictions of the battle had the two primarchs fight each other on the surface of the planet, with the Ultramarines arriving at the scene to find Guilliman unconscious, with Fulgrim nowhere to be seen. ''Dark Imperium'' reveals this version to be false, with the duel occurring onboard Fulgrim's flagship above Thessala, which is revealed to be a gas giant. After his revivification, he discovers no less than ''twenty-six'' divergent versions of the event in the Ultramarines' librariums alone.


[[folder: Vulkan]]
!!Vulkan, Primarch of the Salamanders

->''It is in our nature to create things that will outlast us. So we strive; we craft, we build, we make, we fight and do not yield. For within each frail human body is the will to grasp the stars and walk a path into eternity itself.''
-->-- ''The Book of Vulcan''

Vulkan was scattered to the volcanic world of Nocturne, where he was raised as a blacksmith and quickly surpassed his masters in expertise and skill. When Dark Eldar raiders came during his fourth year, the Primarch refused to flee, took up his hammers, and inspired his people to stand against the invaders. During the celebrations that followed, a pale-skinned stranger appeared and challenged Vulkan to feats of strength and skill. While trying to bring back a trophy fire drake, the outlander gave up his own chance at victory to save Vulkan's life. Vulkan was declared the winner but bent his knee and swore that any man who valued life over pride was worthy of his service.

The outlander was of course the Emperor, who placed Vulkan in command of the [=XVIIIth=] Legion, soon to be renamed the Salamanders in honor of the beasts of Nocturne. Vulkan's legion became known for facing down overwhelming odds, ferocious short-ranged firefights, and its stubborn defense of humanity. This led to friction between Vulkan and more callous Primarchs, and he and Conrad Kurze came to blows over the Night Lords' tactics during a joint operation, which Vulkan reported to Horus and Rogal Dorn.

Vulkan's fate is uncertain - it is known that he was present at the Drop Site Massacres, and that he survived that battle only to be captured and tortured by the Night Haunter. He disappeared at some point after the Horus Heresy, but the Salamanders' subsequent Chapter Masters consider their position that of regent. To this day, the chapter's Forgefathers search the galaxy for relics Vulkan created, so that once all are collected their Primarch can return to them.

* BadassInDistress: [[spoiler: Vulkan is hinted to be the man in baroque armor kept by Trazyn the Infinite]].
* BaldBlackLeaderGuy: The most awesome one of all!
* ContinuitySnarl: Sweet Emperor...
** In older fluff, Vulkan is said to have argued with Guilliman over breaking down the Legions, and is said to have vanished about a thousand years after the Heresy.
** The Literature/HorusHeresy {{retcon}}s this, and has him going insane at Kurze's hands before being permanently(?) killed well before that.
** Even newer material implies that he's still alive, in the care of [[spoiler:Trazyn the Infinite]].
** All of the previous stories were published over about a decade. During that decade, the ''Codex: Space Marines'' rulebook was reprinted 3 times, and presents its own unchanging story: Vulkan dropped a book of riddles at Istvaan V, and vanished without further trace.
** While all of the stories are mutually exclusive, the ''Codex'' one and the ''Horus Heresy'' one get special mention for conflicting one another [[ArmedWithCanon directly]] (in ''Codex'', Vulkan's book of riddles orders the Salamanders to find an artifact called The Unbound Flame, which they search for to this day; in ''Horus Heresy'', The Unbound Flame is Vulkan's coffin, christened after he died, and has been owned by the Salamanders for nine thousand years).
** ''Literature/TheBeastArises'' cleaned up some while adding some. [[spoiler:Vulkan was the last active loyalist Primarch; however he has been in self-imposed exile. He still thought Dorn was alive and had no clue about the Second Founding. He later becomes somehow suffused with the energies of the WAAAGH! and attempts to kill The Beast at the cost of his life... and fails.]]
** A big part of the problem is that he has ResurrectiveImmortality. So just because he's dead at the end of a story doesn't mean he didn't pop up again before the next one. He's also been resurrected from stuff even a Perpetual can't recover from on-screen at least once.
* DeathByMaterialism: Nearly fell victim to it during the end of his competition with the Outlander. Vulkan tumbled over a cliff and hung there for hours by one hand, unwilling to drop the fire drake he was holding in his other and therefore concede the contest. Luckily the Emperor found him and dropped his own drake corpse to make a bridge across the lava.
* DropTheHammer: Dawnbreaker, with which Vulkan could send battle tanks flying, or make a ShockwaveStomp to knock over groups of infantry. By [[Literature/TheBeastArises M32]] he was using Doomtremor, which can absorb and redirect incoming energy attacks, and was so heavy that it took a squad of Terminator-armored Astartes to lift it off the ground.
* GentleGiant: He's probably the nicest guy out of all the Primarchs. It's said that Vulkan embodied the Emperor's (at times hidden) compassion for humanity.
* JustTheFirstCitizen: Despite being a Primarch, he discouraged his soldiers' shows of deference and insisted that his legion was one of equals.
* KneelBeforeFrodo: Vulkan made his debut reinforcing companies of Salamanders who had been trying to save planetary populations from a vast horde of Orks. The Space Marines knelt before their Primarch, who immediately told them to rise and then knelt before ''them'' in honor of their sacrifices.
* MeaningfulName: Vulcan was the Roman god of the forge.
* NemeanSkinning: Wears Kesare's Mantle, a fire drake skin that gives him an invulnerable save and additional protection against melta or flamer weapons.
* NiceGuy: Vulkan was surprisingly very relatable and approachable despite his fearsome appearance.
* ResurrectiveImmortality: Like [[HeroicLineage his father]], Vulkan is a [[http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Perpetual#.U4oKSfmwJ_s Perpetual]] able to regenerate FromASingleCell. In the wake of the Drop Site Massacres, Vulkan was captured by the Night Lords and tortured by the Night Haunter himself, who killed Vulkan multiple times in [[NoKillLikeOverkill extravagantly violent and torturous ways]] but was frustrated by his returning to life every time.
* ScaryBlackMan: Vulkan is the tallest, largest, and one of the physically strongest of the Primarchs, not to mention his obsidian black skin and fire red eyes, and as such his figure presents him as a great and intimidating man; [[SubvertedTrope despite his appearance, Vulkan is at the top of the Primarchs regarding caring, niceness, and kindness]]. When the Dark Eldar are involved though, Vulkan become an unstoppable engine of destruction.
* ScrewYouElves: To the Dark Eldar. He fought back an entire planetary invasion army of these guys with nothing but a pair of blacksmith hammers. And this was BEFORE he even knew that he was a Primarch!
* UltimateBlacksmith: The weapons and relics that he created are amongst the most powerful and sought after that the Imperium has ever had.

[[folder: Corvus Corax]]
!!Corvus Corax, Primarch of the Raven Guard

->''The First Axiom of Victory is to be other than where the enemy desires you to be.\\
The First Axiom of Stealth is to be other than where the enemy believes you to be.\\
The First Axiom of Freedom is that justice without force is powerless; force without justice is tyranny.''
-->-- '''Corvus Corax''', from ''Axioms of the Legiones Astartes'', Raven Guard Legion

Corvus Corax was adopted by the miners of Lycaeus, the resource-rich moon of the planet Kiavahr, whose Tech-Guilds had long subjugated the people of Lycaeus. Corax was raised to be his people's liberator, and after years of instruction and preparation, he led a campaign of psychological warfare, sabotage and insurrection that expelled the slavedrivers. Shortly after the moon was renamed Deliverance, the Emperor arrived, and Corax agreed to join the Great Crusade only if his father would bring peace to the now-anarchic Kiavahr.

The [=XIXth=] Space Marine Legion became the Raven Guard, and adopted Corax's tactics of stealth, covert operations and asymmetrical warfare. Corax was able to quickly study a planet's power structure and determine where to exert pressure to make it crumble, allowing his legion to make conquests without deploying its full force. The Raven Guard was initially part of the Warmaster's vanguard, so that some claim that many of the Luna Wolves' victories should be properly credited to the Raven Guard's undercover actions, but the two Primarchs had a falling out. When they met again, it would be at the Isstvan V Drop Site Massacres, where Corax was betrayed while trying to bring the renegade Warmaster to justice.

Though Corax was able to escape, his legion was all but annihilated. The Raven Guard played what role it could in the Horus Heresy, but to bolster its numbers Corax turned to ancient genetic manipulation techniques that could be used to accelerate the Space Marine creation process, if at considerable risk. The results were monsters that gave even the Space Wolves pause, only one in ten of which could even hold a boltgun. When the Heresy was ended and the Raven Guard was reorganized into successor chapters, Corax personally executed the abominations he had created, and locked himself in his chambers, praying for forgiveness. He emerged after a year and a day, and set a course for the Eye of Terror, never to return.

* {{BFG}}: For ranged combat he wielded a Heavy Bolter as easily as mortal troops used a lasrifle.
* CombatPragmatist: He wasn't afraid to use assassination and other dirty tricks to win wars, and considered his legion's conquests more important than the specifics of how he made them.
* DarkIsNotEvil: "We strike from the darkness, but we are not of the night. Though born in darkness, we seek only the light."
* DynamicEntry: Started an open rebellion on his planet with a sudden attack and kept that rebellion free with sabotage and ambushes against the forces trying to suppress them. His preference for lighting attacks was spread to his Raven Guard Legion.
* EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette: Known for his snow-white skin and dark hair.
* ExtremityExtremist: Corax one-upped the usual version of this trope and bladed the feathery wings attached to his jetpack to lethal effect.
* FamousLastWords: [[Literature/TheRaven "Never more."]]
* GunsAkimbo: Wielded two archaeotech pistols prior to the Dropsite Massacre. Also qualifies as a pair of [[HandCannon hand cannons]], as they are stronger than a Heavy Bolter and can easily punch through Space Marine armor.
* JerkassHasAPoint: He nearly came to blows with Horus, who Corax considered overly-boastful and manipulative, and ultimately removed his legion from the Warmaster's command. Not the best behavior for a Primarch, but it turns out he was spot-on about Horus' character.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: The reason for his year-long HeroicBSOD.
* PerceptionFilter: He hid this ability even from his own legion, but Corax had a psychic talent for removing himself from living creatures' consciousness. This didn't work on automated sensors, obviously.
* TheQuietOne: Only to be expected after a youth spent hiding from guards while training and preparing for rebellion.
* RebelLeader: His role on Lycaeus.
* WeaponizedExhaust: Corax was known to use his jetpack's exhaust this way.
* WhipItGood: When he wasn't tearing enemies apart with his bare hands, Corax used a three-headed power whip, a reminder of his past overthrowing tyrants.
* WolverineClaws: Along with his whip, Corax wielded a pair of artificer-quality lightning claws called the Raven's Talons.

!!Traitor Primarchs

[[folder:In General]]
->''"When the traitor's hand strikes, it strikes with the strength of a legion."''

At the end of the Great Crusade Warmaster Horus fell to Chaos, and eight of his fellow Primarchs followed him against the Emperor, resulting in a full-scale civil war known as the Horus Heresy.

* BrokenAce: While all the Primarchs were this, the traitors took it UpToEleven, as it was their very nature as broken beings that lead to their corruption.
* CallingTheOldManOut: Most of the Traitor Primarchs turned due to actions that the Emperor or their loyalist brothers did to them that they never forgave. Some of these were legitimate (Lorgar's faith in his father being shattered due to the Emperor's destruction of the crown jewel of his work and falling prey to Chaos in his moment of weakness; Angron losing all of his friends and comrades when the Emperor refused to help them take their world and only saved him when it was well in his power to do so) while others were blown out of proportion (Perturabo's grudge against Dorn and his Legion being used as cannon fodder) or misled completely (Horus tricked into believing the Emperor intended to rule humanity as a god; Magnus being played like a fiddle by Tzeentch).
* DemonOfHumanOrigin: The surviving Traitor Primarchs have ascended to Daemon Prince status.
* TheFarmerAndTheViper: Had anyone known about the damage the traitor Primarchs would do, they would have been left to die as children.
* FallenHero: Each of them was once one of the Imperium's greatest warriors and leaders. Now their names are spit upon by those who still remember them and they seek to destroy the empire they once served.
* FreudianExcuse: Many of the Chaos Primarchs have these to justify their betrayal.
* OneWingedAngel: Their transformations into Daemon Princes have changed them in monstrous ways, with Angron and Fulgrim being the best cases (Angron now resembles a Bloodthirster and Fulgrim is a four-armed snake-man). Several of them, like [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/daemon_magnus.jpg Magnus]], still prefer to appear in a close approximation to their original forms, but for others it's not an option or they don't care.
* OrcusOnHisThrone: Only Angron has ever left his daemon world to war with the Imperium in a large scale. Magnus took part in a direct assault on the Space Wolves' homeworld but was defeated and hasn't left the Immaterium since.
** Possibly [[SubvertedTrope subverted]] as of Wrath of Magnus, with it being noted that several Daemonic Primarchs have been seen moving to Cadia.
* StartOfDarkness
** Fulgrim taking up the daemon-possessed Silver Blade.
** Dorn insulting Perturabo's honor by saying the Imperial Fists' defenses could withstand an Iron Warriors attack.
** Night Haunter destroying his own planet after its rebellion convinced him he wasted his time bringing it peace.
** Angron being removed from his homeworld by the Emperor instead of being allowed to die with honor alongside his comrades.
** Mortarion having his victory over his father "stolen" by the Emperor.
** Magnus learning to project himself into the Warp and making contact with Tzeentch.
** Horus being made Warmaster.
** The Emperor convincing Lorgar he was only human and shattering his beliefs.
** Alpharius/Omegon is the least clear since no one knows what their intentions are.
* TragicVillain: All of them, though some moreso than others. At one point, while they had their own ways and ideas of doing it, they legitimately wanted the best for the Imperium. However, a combination of personal doubts, bad luck, strained relationships with their brothers and father, horrible circumstances, and manipulations from the Ruinous Powers made them turn on and destroy their life's work.

[[folder: Fulgrim]]
!!Fulgrim, Primarch of the Emperor's Children

->''That which causes us trials shall yield us triumph, and that which makes our hearts ache shall fill us with gladness. For the only true happiness is to learn, to advance and to improve. None of this could happen without rejecting error, ignorance and imperfection. We must pass out of the darkness to reach the light.''

The infant Fulgrim was deposited on the decaying world of Chemos, where most orphaned children were put to death as a waste of resources. His rescuers saw something in the child that made them defy that tradition, and as Fulgrim quickly grew he was able to contribute to the world's industrial production. His improvements in technology and efficiency reversed Chemos' decline so that it finally produced more than it consumed, allowing a renaissance of arts and culture.

When the Emperor and a force of battle-scarred yet civilized warriors came to Chemos, Fulgrim knelt and offered his sword without a single word. Though an accident had reduced the Third Legion to a mere two hundred warriors, Fulgrim gave such an inspiring speech to his soldiers that the Emperor immediately renamed them the Emperor's Children and gave them the unique honor of bearing the Imperial aquila on their armor. Fulgrim believed that his legion should embody the perfection of not just warfare but Imperial culture, and formed a strong friendship with both Ferrus Manus and Horus during the Great Crusade. He would also earn the distinction of being the one Primarch who could form a friendship with Konrad Curze.

While cleansing the alien Laer, Fulgrim recovered a sword from its Slaanesh-worshipping population that contained a greater daemon, which subtly began to corrupt him. He ignored Eldrad Ulthran's warnings about the weapon and Horus, and encouraged his legion to turn to forbidden methods to improve themselves until the Emperor's Children became just as devoted to the God of Excess. Fulgrim sided with Horus against the Emperor and killed his friend Ferrus Manus during the Drop Site Massacres, an act that broke Fulgrim's mind and allowed the daemon in his sword to possess him fully. Fulgrim soon recovered and embraced Chaos, and mortally wounded Rouboute Guilliman in the aftermath of the Horus Heresy before being driven into the Eye of Terror.

* AGodAmI: The logical conclusion of Fulgrim's hunger for perfection was to become a Daemon Prince. He succeeded.
* AceCustom: Fulgrim's armor The Gilded Panoply which gave him free reign to use his phenomenal speed and agility in battle.
* AgentPeacock: Definitely running for the most "beautiful" Primarch with the exception of Sanguinius, and stands as the only traitor Primarch aside from Horus himself to have slain a loyalist Primarch in battle.
* AndIMustScream: Spent some time trapped in his body, forced to watch while a daemon acted in his stead. But then he got better - well, worse...
* AnimalMotifs: The Phoenix, due to his homeworld's miraculous rebirth. Fulgrim's bodyguard was known as the Phoenix Guard. Perhaps also {{Foreshadowing}} his eventual rebirth as a Daemon Prince.
* ArtifactOfDoom: The Silver Blade of Laer, which contained a Greater Daemon of Slaanesh. Its corruptive influence perverted Fulgrim's desire for perfection into hedonism, caused him to attack Eldrad Ulthran when the Farseer tried to tell Fulgrim about Horus' turn to Chaos, and made it easier for Horus to turn Fulgrim against the Emperor. The daemon would later take complete control of Fulgrim, although he later wrested control back through unknown means.
* BeautyIsBad: Fulgrim is on par with Sanguinius as the most handsome Primarch. He was also a sociopath.
* TheCaligula: Fulgrim went from being the most cultured Primarch to an unspeakably cruel and selfish tyrant.
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: Everyone who ever trusted him got burned. He betrayed the Emperor, then his best friend Ferrus Manus, tried to sacrifice Perturabo for daemonhood, abandoned Horus' war to do his own thing with the majority of his Legion, and even during the battle of Terra itself his forces ran around butchering random civilian targets rather than participate in the actual siege.
* TheCorrupter: In ''The Gathering Storm'' [[spoiler:an agent of Fulgrim offers a wreath to Roboute Guilliman which shows him visions of potential glory in an attempt to corrupt the resurrected Primarch into Slaanesh's service.]]
* CurbStompBattle: Gave one to Guilliman during the Battle of Thessala, which put Roboute on his 10,000-year life support. Keep in mind this was after Guilliman had previously recovered from injuries resulting from fighting both Lorgar and Angron after the latter became a Daemon Primarch.
* EvilFormerFriend: To Ferrus Manus; once close friends, they became bitter foes after Fulgrim's corruption, ending with Fulgrim killing Manus.
* EvilMakesYouMonstrous: Fulgrim is now a Daemon Prince, thanks to conning Perturabo into activating powerful Eldar artifacts on a Crone World and then allowing him to destroy Fulgrim's body in retaliation.
* FatalFlaw: Fulgrim held a deep mistrust of the other Primarchs, and he also constantly sought to perfect himself to emulate his father, an obsession which quickly drove him to hubris and madness. Fulgrim was very easily tainted by Slaanesh for his perfectionist tendencies.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: One of the workers who found Fulgrim carried a book which he presumed was just full of fairy tales. In fact, they were a depiction of Fulgrim's life (illustrated most clearly when the worker in question flips to a page depicting a multi-armed serpent fighting a blue-armoured giant; years later, Fulgrim--by then a daemon prince with a serpentine body and numerous arms--mortally wounded Roboute Guilliman in personal combat).
* HeroKiller: Fulgrim killed Ferrus Manus and fatally wounded Roboute Guilliman.
* {{Irony}}: His StartOfDarkness was the attack on and extermination of the Laer, a race of SnakePeople with no legs but two pairs of arms, that was (unbeknownst back then) completely devoted to Slaanesh. After his apotheosis to a Daemon Prince, Fulgrim mutated into... a serpentine daemon devoted to Slaanesh, without legs but with four arms.
* LongHairedPrettyBoy: Fulgrim had long, flowing white hair and was one of the most handsome of the Primarchs. His model sadly doesn't really show his handsomeness, but this is fairly common with the model line in general.
* MasterSwordsman: Fulgrim was considered in the running for the greatest duelist of the Primarchs before his fall, and after his turn to Slaanesh his enhanced abilities allowed him to give Guilliman a CurbStompBattle during the Battle of Thessala.
* MultiArmedAndDangerous: Fulgrim's daemon form has four arms.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Fulgrim was shocked back to his senses after killing Ferrus Manus, and was so overcome with remorse that he agreed to let the daemon in his sword escape. It promptly took over his body and trapped his soul inside a painting in his mind.
* {{Narcissist}}: A trait he passed on to his legion. Even before his fall, Fulgrim was known as a proud peacock who constantly strove for (and believed in) his own personal perfection. By the time he became a Daemon Prince, his vanity had reached megalomaniacal proportions.
* OddFriendship: Would you believe a guy like him would be friends with the likes of Ferrus Manus and ''Konrad Curze''?
* OnlyFriend: With Konrad Curze. It was Fulgrim who trained the antisocial and fearsome Primarch in how to become a proper leader of the Night Lords and was the one person Curze felt comfortable with sharing some of his dark visions of the future.
* OrcusOnHisThrone: Legend has it that Fulgrim rules over a pleasure planet of Slaanesh somewhere in the Eye of Terror, but any who find it never return. In any case, he hasn't been seen since the Heresy, [[spoiler:though Guilliman's revival near the tail end of the 41st millenium has finally pushed him back into an active role]].
* TheParagonAlwaysRebels: Who'd have thought the Primarch whose legion bears the Emperor's personal symbol on their armor would turn traitor?
* ThePerfectionist: Always strove to epitomize what it meant to be an Astartes. His StartOfDarkness was when he went even further.
* ReligiousAndMythologicalThemeNaming: Fulgrim is named after Chemos' Creator God.
* RousingSpeech: Fulgrim gave a speech so rousing the Emperor renamed his legion the Emperor's Children and allowed them to bear his aquila symbol on their armor.
* SanitySlippage: Fulgrim took to speaking with a painting after failing to convince Ferrus Manus to join him in rebellion. He turned full evil after regaining control of his body.
* SmartGuy: Fulgrim united Chemos using only diplomacy. He is the only Primarch known to have no combat experience whatsoever prior to being rediscovered.
* SnakePeople: Became a rather hideous one after becoming a Daemon Prince.
* TragicVillain: Despite being ThePerfectionist, he was loyal before he unknowingly took a Laer sword possessed by a Greater Daemon of Slaanesh, which led to his Legion's ruin.
* UncannyValleyMakeup: During his final spiral into the arms of Slaanesh, Fulgrim tried his hand at stage makeup, with grotesque results.
* UncertainDoom: He hasn't been seen since fighting Roboute Guilliman and not even his own legion knows what happened to him. It's rumoured he is now ruler of a daemon world, but numerous inquisitors and devotees of Slaanesh have searched for it only to come up empty. Though unlikely, it's possible Guilliman somehow found a way to destroy Fulgrim rather than just banishing him; whatever the case, the fight on Thessala remains his last appearance to date, [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse without even so much as an indirect mention occurring afterwards]], although the ''Black Legion'' novel states that Abaddon met with him after the Heresy. [[spoiler:''Gathering Storm'' reveals that Fulgrim is very much alive, having essentially taken a 10,000 year vacation in the Eye of Terror after his battle with Guilliman, only to be roused with the news that Guilliman has returned]].
* UnwittingPawn: Poor Fulgrim had no idea what Slaanesh had planned for him in the end.
* WhiteHairBlackHeart: DoubleSubverted; originally Fulgrim was a genuinely nice guy, if a bit eccentric. Eventually, Fulgrim ended up falling to Chaos though by getting [[DemonicPossession daemonically possessed]].
* WorkingClassHero: Fulgrim went from a lowly worker to a planetary executive.
* YoungAndInCharge: Fulgrim was one of Chemos' top executives when he was just 15.

[[folder: Perturabo]]
!!Perturabo, Primarch of the Iron Warriors

->''Tell them ruin has come to their world, death, despair and red war. Tell them their hopes and pride have come to nothing. Tell them their empty whispers fall upon deaf ears - their gods are dead, human logic has killed them. Tell them the Angels of Death have come. Tell them that nothing can save them now.''

Perturabo's youth was spent on the planet Olympia as the ward of Dammekos, the Tyrant of Lochos. A cold and solitary child, he rejected all attempts by Dammekos to bond with him while devouring all manner of scholarly learning. Perturabo mastered the siegecraft that Olympia's warring city-states used against each other and soon became Dammekos' most valuable asset, a fearsome force on the battlefield and a potent source of innovation and invention in all manner of technical crafts.

After being discovered by the Emperor, Perturabo was given command of the [=IVth=] Legion, and forged these Iron Warriors into an uncompromising force that brutally crushed its opponents through attrition. His expertise in siege warfare meant that he was expected to endure some of the worst campaigns of the Great Crusade, only to have his legion split up and assigned garrison duty on the worlds he conquered. Pertuarbo's sanity was eroded by the combination of the stress on his legion and a lack of respect from his fellow Primarchs, especially a bitter rivalry with Rogal Dorn, and when the unthinkable happened and Olympia rose in rebellion, he snapped.

The Iron Warriors put down the revolt, massacring millions, and in the aftermath Perturabo realized the Emperor would never forgive him. He threw in his lot with Horus, and the Iron Warriors took a grim satisfaction in dismantling the Imperial Fists' defenses during the Siege of Terra. After getting his revenge upon Rogal Dorn in the Iron Cage incident, Perturabo ascended to daemonhood, and currently rules over the fortress-planet Medrengard within the Eye of Terror.

* AceCustom
** Perturabo wore the Logos, a Cataphractii pattern suit of artificer-quality Terminator armor that incorporated many advanced features such as a teleport homer, and could link Perturabo to all his forces in the field, acting as a mobile command center.
** He also rode his own personalized Shadowsword tank, nicknamed the Tormentor by his men, which featured additional armor and weapons and whose superstructure and engine had been heavily modified to convert the tank into a transport for Perturabo and his soldiers.
* ArmCannon: The Logos had two belt-fed combi-bolters, one mounted on each wrist, which fired [[AbnormalAmmo specialized bolts that caused the target to explode into flame]] and were designed to punch through Astartes armor.
* BadBoss: One of his first acts upon assuming command of his legion was ordering its soldiers to decimate themselves (i.e. every tenth man was beaten to death by the other nine). This was not for any specific failure, but for failing to live up to Perturabo's expectations.
* BeingWatched: Perturabo never told anyone, but he had an uncanny connection with the Eye of Terror, and could sense it from anywhere in the galaxy. He felt like it was always watching him, judging him. Incidentally, he's the one who gave it its current name.
* ButtMonkey: The other Primarchs and their Legions rarely respected Perturabo and his Legion with their well-worn use being breaking sieges with time and blood... and then his Legion later was relegated to garrison duty. In one novel, a Son of Horus shoveling up earthworks at the Drop Site Massacres asks one of the Emperor's Children why the Iron Warriors aren't doing this sort of drudge work.
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: Perturabo betrayed his father to The Emperor. Then he betrayed The Imperium for Horus.
* TheDogBitesBack: There's a ''long'' list of reasons why Perturabo was angry and turned to Chaos and the Horus Heresy. The biggest bite was probably the "Iron Cage" incident in which the Imperial Fists were drawn into attacking a heavily-fortified Iron Warrior fortress that was trap upon trap. It bled the Imperial Fists such that they were unfit for combat for nineteen years.
* DudeWheresMyReward: Perturabo's achievements in the Great Crusade were often overlooked or downplayed, something that bothered him deeply.
** When he overcame the orbital defences of the Ork Warlord Overdog Mashogg, which had stymied attacks by both the Space Wolves and the White Scars, he was credited by historians only as a nameless "comrade-in-arms".
** During a campaign involving the Iron Warriors, the Imperial Fists, and the Blood Angels, Dorn was widely lauded in the aftermath of the conflict and presented with a medal, while Perturabo was offered nothing. When a master painter produced a painting of the campaign that prominently featured the Imperial Fists, while the Iron Warriors only appeared in the background, Perturabo requested the painting and, as soon as the artist handed it over, burned it to cinders while explaining that if his legion was not properly honoured in the aftermath of a victory, he would prefer they not be remembered at all. Dorn was furious at the action and tried to convince the painter to redo the work, but said painter seemed to have got the message and declined to do so.
* TheEngineer: Perturabo was actually quite brilliant at this, but he never got the chance to express it in any meaningful way.
* EvilCounterpart: Like Guilliman, Perturabo was raised as a BlueBlood. Unlike Guilliman he wasn't fond of his adoptive father and betrayed him when the Emperor came.
* EvilOverlord: of both Olympia and Medrengard.
* FatalFlaw: Perturabo deeply resented his father and his brothers for never receiving the recognition for his accomplishments he felt he deserved. When the Heresy came, Perturabo went with the brother who didn't treat him as a ButtMonkey.
* MoodSwinger: Has been described as "mercurial," perhaps as a way to explain his DependingOnTheWriter treatment in the Horus Heresy books--sometimes he's a cold schemer, sometimes he's a resentful would-be intellectual with an oddly human and humane side, at others he's just an almost-cartoonish CardCarryingVillain.
* OddFriendship: This humorless siege expert got along well with arch-sorcerer Magnus the Red, as both had a love of learning and study.
* {{Plunder}}: After Fulgrim killed Ferrus Manus, Horus gifted Perturabo with Manus' warhammer Forgebreaker.
* TheQuisling: Perturabo overthrew his adoptive father and pledged himself all too willingly to the Emperor.
* RantInducingSlight: Perturabo's hatred of Dorn went back a long way, but one of the defining incidents that truly set the stage for their feud occurred during a meeting between the Primarchs. While in earshot of Perturabo, Fulgrim asked Dorn if he thought he could build a fortress that Perturabo would be unable to crack, to which Dorn answered yes. Perturabo took this as a grave insult, confronted Dorn in a rage, then promptly stormed out. The two regarded one another with disdain afterwards, which eventually progressed to open hostility.
* TheResenter: Hated being stuck with the worst, most grinding sieges of the Great Crusade. Hated having his legion split up and assigned to garrison duty. Hated having to always tear things down instead of getting a chance to ''build'' something. Hated that nobody noticed or cared how miserable he was.
-->'''Perturabo:''' [''to Fulgrim''] You don't know the things I dream. No one does, no one ever cared enough to find out.
* TheRival: Perturabo ''hated'' Rogal Dorn, who got the privilege of being asked to design the Emperor's Palace while Perturabo and his legion were pigeon-holed into destroying such things and who often got the glory and credit that Perturabo either deserved at least a share of or felt he did in some campaigns.
* TheStoic: Although Perturabo hated the gruelling sieges and horrific campaigns he and his legion were forced into, his sense of duty meant that he mostly accepted his lot without complaint... [[NotSoStoic until he finally snapped around the time his own homeworld rose up in rebellion]]. He vented his fury upon the planet, slaughtering millions, before finally deciding he'd had enough and throwing in his lot with Horus.

[[folder: Konrad Curze]]
!!Konrad Curze, the Night Haunter, Primarch of the Night Lords

->''The Space Marines fear no evil, for we are fear incarnate.''

The infant Konrad Curze crashed into the night world of Nostramo, an industrial hell wracked with pollution and lawlessness where an affluent ruling class exploited and repressed the rest of the population. No family fostered the young Primarch, who matured as a wild thing preying on the animals that haunted the outskirts of Nostramo's hive cities. At some point he switched targets to lawbreakers and corrupt officials, leaving their mutilated bodies as a warning to others. A year after his arrival, Nostramo was crime-free, its population united in mortal terror of the Night Haunter, a king who ruled from the shadows and personally butchered any who defied him.

Curze was eventually reunited with the Emperor, who gave him command of the [=VIIIth=] Space Marine Legion, his Night Lords. Under the tutelage of Fulgrim, Konrad Curze quickly learned the ways of battle, and while he was never able to comprehend diplomacy or negotiation, the Night Haunter was adept at the ways of sowing terror. His legion's horrific reputation was able to quell worlds into obedience without a single shot, but the Night Lords' violent excesses, exacerbated by the sociopaths and criminals that made up its ranks, caused grave concern among other Primarchs. After a violent confrontation with Rogal Dorn, Curze fled before his brothers could render judgment, and ordered the Night Lords fleet to return to Nostramo and detonate the world's core.

Any attempt to bring the Night Lords to justice was derailed when the Horus Heresy erupted, and Konrad Curze sided with the traitors, leading his legion on a campaign of genocide and sickening violence. After Horus' defeat, the increasingly unhinged Night Haunter battled on against overwhelming odds until he was tracked down by a Callidus agent on the world of Tsagualsa. Rather than fighting back, the Night Haunter seems to have accepted his fate, and is the only Primarch to have been assassinated. His death had little effect on his legion, however, and the Night Lords continue to prey upon the Imperium without cause nor mercy.

* AllTheOtherReindeer: While the other Primarchs were renowned for their martial prowess and great intellect, the Night Haunter was ''feared''.
* ArchEnemy: Night Haunter was the one Beast Lion El'Jonson wasn't able to hunt down successfully.
* AxCrazy: Had occasional bouts of psychosis, which grew more and more frequent after the Siege of Terra. His actions towards the end of the Great Crusade became increasingly done with no real goal in mind beyond sowing terror.
* TheCowl: Once again, GW took a page from Franchise/{{Batman}}.
* CreepySouvenir: Night Haunter's armor was covered in the flayed skin of [[WorthyOpponent noteworthy victims]].
* DeathSeeker: Posted no guards at his palace, allowing M'Shen to infiltrate all the way into his sanctum. By this point he was suicidal and saw his death as the ultimate vindication for his actions.
* DisproportionateRetribution: His modus operandi. He saw himself as a punisher instead of a conqueror, meaning he rarely took prisoners and any crime, no matter how slight, was grounds for a horrific death.
* DoesntLikeGuns: For ranged combat, Curze preferred his Widowmakers, [[KnifeNut Nostraman throwing knives]] he was scarily-skilled with. In gameplay turns he can throw them as far as a pistol can shoot, and has a chance of ignoring not just his target's armor save, but Invulnerable save as well.
* TheDreaded: He was pretty damn good with terror tactics.
* DreamingOfThingsToCome: A dark variant. He had prophetic dreams that showed him the worst possible futures. Constantly pressed by visions of doom and gloom, he developed a cynical and nihilistic attitude and came to believe that there was no hope.
* EvilCannotComprehendGood: Curze was good at one thing only and that was killing in a terrifying fashion. Unlike most of his brethren, he had no grasp of diplomacy or statesmanship. He attempted to force his brother Vulkan into various depravities to prove that he was NotSoDifferent, but Vulkan resisted, much to Curze's distress.
* EvilCounterpart: To Corax -- both were stealth experts who favoured jump troops and guerrilla tactics, but Corax was raised by civilised people while Curze was left to his own private hell, which left them very different people.
* FamousLastWords: "Your presence does not surprise me, Assassin. I have known of you ever since your craft entered the Eastern Fringes. Why did I not have you killed? Because your mission and the act you are about to commit proves the truth of all I have ever said or done. I merely punished those who had wronged, just as your false Emperor now seeks to punish me. Death is nothing compared to vindication."
* FatalFlaw: Konrad constantly sought to uphold justice and he became ever more brutal in enforcing it.
* TheFatalist: His dark dreams, and his never-ending, seemingly unwinnable struggle against his violent urges, caused him to develop a fatalistic attitude.
* ForeseeingMyDeath: Konrad's uncontrolled precognitive ability meant that he knew that he would be killed by the Imperial Assassin M'Shen long before he was reunited with [[GodEmperor the Emperor]]. When the time of his death approached, Konrad let M'Shen kill him as he believed that by doing so it would vindicate his actions.
* FriendlessBackground: Curze was the only Primarch who was not raised by someone (or, in Russ's case, some wolf) on his home planet. Even when he joined the Imperium proper, he typically kept to himself and was distant from both his brother Primarchs and the officers of his legion.
* TheFriendNobodyLikes: Even compared to other "outcast" Primarchs like Magnus or Perturabo, Curze was mistrusted and disliked by virtually all of his brothers and even elements of his own legion, and the feeling was mutual for the most part. In fact, the only Primarch that Curze ever came close to truly trusting was Fulgrim, who was responsible for tutoring Curze in the ways of the Imperium and running his Legion.
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: He despised corruption and criminals. So, he resorted to violent, murderous terror tactics to punish criminals and deter corruption. His unyielding sense of right and wrong, his constant visions of the worst possible outcomes, combined with his inability and/or unwillingness to use anything else besides terror tactics and brutal psychological warfare, led him to become one of the very monsters he so despised. He also managed to turn this around on the Imperium in allowing the assassin M'Shen to kill him. He claimed that this act [[NotSoDifferent made the Imperium every bit as barbarous as he was]]; he was simply more honest about it.
-->'''1d4chan''': Warped as it may have been, he did at least have a sense of justice. Unfortunately, his desire to protect the innocent was eviscerated and left to die in a gutter by his desire to punish the guilty.
* IDidWhatIHadToDo: He seemed to take this view of his actions on Nostramo at least for a time, judging by a conversation he has with Sevetar.
-->'''Konrad Curze''': There was no other way.
* KnightTemplar: Curze had an extremely strong sense of justice and saw himself as a divine punishment to be wielded upon the unworthy. He terrified his homeworld into becoming a prosperous, crime-free planet (by horrifically butchering anyone who dared commit crimes) and was noted for being one of the most ruthless and merciless of the Primarchs when it came to punishing recalcitrant worlds. In a rather sad irony, as the Great Crusade progressed Curze became the head of a legion of butchers and criminals (Nostramo having slipped back into crime and tyranny after he wasn't around to ScareEmStraight) and [[HeWhoFightsMonsters turned into one of the monsters he so hated]]. Curze is notable as the only Primarch who came to despise his legion (and himself) and his death was more or less suicide-by-assassin.
* LeaveNoSurvivors: Played with. Curze saw himself not as an army, but as a punishment; as such, he typically turned down surrenders and pleas for mercy. He would occasionally leave survivors, but only so they could spread stories of the horrors he had inflicted and sow panic amongst the enemy.
* LonersAreFreaks: Does not even begin to cover it...
* MachiavelliWasWrong: Played with. Curze believed that terror was the only way to create order and peace, and practiced it on his own homeworld by leaving the disembowelled corpses of gang bosses and corrupt nobles on display. It worked, thus appearing to be an aversion...until he left the planet to join the Great Crusade, and since he never bothered to train a fighting force meant to watch over the criminals Nostramo ended up slipping right back into the WretchedHive he fought against. Compare to the Ultramarines under Roboute Guilliman, who wished to be respected and showed their people respect in turn, built a thriving kingdom of proud but good-hearted citizens and it ''stayed'' that way.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Once he realized that he had gone a bit too far off the deep end, he allowed an assassin from the Inquisition to kill him.
* NeverFoundTheBody: The recording of M'Shen assassinating Curze cuts off right before M'Shen's killing blow, leading some to suspect that Curze is not dead at all. This appears to be a subversion as, unlike most other instances of this trope, Curze is still generally accepted both in the official lore and in the fandom as dead (making him the only Chaos Primarch other than Horus and maybe Alpharius to be killed off).
* NotSoDifferent: Claimed that he and his actions were merely a reflection of the Imperium's barbarism. Given what the Imperium would eventually become, he may have been onto something...
** In ''Vulkan Lives'', Curze attempted to prove that the other Primarchs were capable of just as much brutality as him once he stripped them of their morality. To this end, he attempted to force a captive Vulkan into various barbarities, without success. The fact that the other Primarchs ''weren't'' like him seemed to be [[SanitySlippage profoundly distressing]] to Curze.
** Corax came to this realisation in ''Deliverance Lost''--if he'd been left to his own devices while growing up like Curze was, it could have been the Raven Guard who swore themselves to Horus's side.
* OddFriendship: With Fulgrim. Strange as it might have been, it was Fulgrim who tutored Curze in both the Imperium and how to be a leader to his Legion, and he was the [[OnlyFriend only Primarch]] who Curze felt comfortable talking about some of his nightmarish visions with.
* OneManArmy: While not in the normal sense of him being able to take on an army single-handedly, the fact that the loyalist Primarchs felt the need to mobilize one in order to handle him when he went loose on Maccrage says something.
* PayEvilUntoEvil: His modus operandi in his loyalist days. Often overlapped with DisproportionateRetribution.
* RaisedByWolves: Unlike the other Primarchs, Konrad wasn't raised by anyone. He grew up screwed up because of this.
* RavenHairIvorySkin: Had dark hair and pale skin.
* RedBaron: Whether "Night Haunter" was an epithet or a completely separate personality is subject to much speculation.
* SanitySlippage: As the Great Crusade wore on, Curze's actions became less and less defensible and he increasingly slipped into psychosis. Soon even his own legion began to see him as crazy.
* ScareEmStraight: Literally. While he was a loyalist, the mere mention of Curze and the Night Lords would cause rebellious worlds to become compliant, as his intervention was seen as a FateWorseThanDeath.
* SerialKillerKiller: The Night Haunter preyed on the criminals of Nostromo until none were left.
* ShoutOut: To ''Literature/HeartOfDarkness'', a book by Joseph Conrad about a murderous tyrant named Kurtz. The name of Curze's killer, the assassin M'Shen, is in turn a ShoutOut to Creator/MartinSheen, who played Kurtz's killer in ''Film/ApocalypseNow''.
* SplitPersonality: One common theory to explain his actions is that he had one, with Konrad Curze being the just and idealistic leader of men and the Night Haunter being a psychopathic vigilante. Part of his fall to Chaos came when the Night Haunter, rather than Curze, became the dominant personality as a result of the Crusade.
* StrawNihilist: The constant dark visions, and his own cynicism and despair and fatalism, left him without any hope, and caused him to gradually abandon all claims of justice or morality.
* TerrorHero: What he used to be before falling to Chaos.
* VigilanteMan: Taken to its logical and horrific extreme.
* WolverineClaws: A set of master-crafted lightning claws the Night Lords referred to as [[IronicNickname Mercy and Forgiveness]]. What their actual wielder called them is unknown.
* YouAreWhatYouHate: By the time he realized he had become one of the monsters he despised, he was a broken, self-loathing, and suicidal man.

[[folder: Angron]]
!!Angron, Primarch of the World Eaters

->''I am told to bathe my Legion in the blood of innocents and sinners alike, and I do it, because it is all that's left for me in this life. I do these things, and I ''enjoy'' them, not because we are moral, or right -- or loving souls seeking to enlighten a dark universe - but because all I feel are the Butcher's Nails hammered into my brain.''

The infant Angron was discovered by a slaver on the world of Nuceria, surrounded by the corpses of alien attackers. Impressed with the child's ferocity, the slaver implanted Angron's cerebral cortex with archeotech devices that enhanced his aggression, and raised him as a gladiator. After years of bloodshed in the arena, Angron led his fellow slaves in a revolt, escaping to the mountains and throwing back repeated attempts to bring them to heel. Just when his brothers and sisters were preparing for their final stand, the Emperor arrived to claim Angron as his son.

Angron refused, and would have died alongside his comrades had the Emperor not taken him by force. Without their leader the gladiators lost all morale and were annihilated, and an embittered Angron only reluctantly took command of the [=XIIth=] Legion, renaming them from the War Hounds to the World Eaters. He ordered his Apothecaries to duplicate his implants and subject his legion to the same mental mutilation, and the World Eaters soon earned a reputation as an army of remorseless berserkers. Angron was criticized for his practices and came to blows with Leman Russ and the Space Wolves, but before the Emperor could take further action the Horus Heresy erupted.

It took little convincing from Horus for Angron to side with the traitors against the Emperor, and the World Eaters fought in some of the bloodiest battles of the Horus Heresy, now claiming skulls for the Blood God. Angron was the first through the breach of the walls of the Imperial Palace, and the last Primarch to leave when the Siege of Terra failed. His World Eaters rampaged their way to the Eye of Terror, where they fractured into multiple psychopathic warbands. Angron is one of the few Daemon Primarchs to have launched major campaigns after the Horus Heresy, most infamously leading a horde of berserkers at the First War for Armageddon.

* ZeroPercentApprovalRating: Angron was hated by virtually everyone, including his own legion. When he first arrived as little more than a frothing madman, several of the officers insisted to the Emperor that there had to be some kind of mistake, since there was no way the ''thing'' before them was their Primarch. In ''Betrayer'', a mortally wounded World Eater demands to be allowed to die rather than being forced to continue to serve Angron and his last words are a bitter chuckle and the phrase "Piss on Angron's grave when he dies."
* AnAxeToGrind: Angron had [[DualWielding a matched pair]] of massive {{chain|sawGood}}axes, Gorefather and Gorechild. They were wrecked and discarded during the Horus Heresy, and since his ascension to Daemon Prince, Angron favors enormous two-handed axes or greatswords.
* AtLeastIAdmitIt: Before going renegade, Angron disdained his brothers' talk about bringing worlds into "compliance" and asking for "tithes," and was brutally frank about how his World Eaters were fighting for a tyrant and killing any who resisted.
* AxCrazy: He wasn't really all there even before the Butcher's Nails implants, which made him worse. His bloodlust and murderous rage was so much that Khorne himself took an interest, and eventually turned him into a daemon prince.
* BaldOfAwesome: Or BaldOfEvil, depending on his mood.
* BandOfBrothers: His relationship with his fellow gladiators. Angron's legion, the War Hounds (which he renamed the World Eaters) tried to form a close bond with him, but Angron was too wrapped up in his hatred, madness and grief to reciprocate. The War Hounds were like this with each other, until Angron had Butcher's Nails installed in all of them.
* BerserkButton: Don't imply that he abandoned his brothers or ran from the last stand at Desh'ea.
* TheBerserker: One of the many reasons how he became the Daemon Primarch of Khorne.
* TheBigGuy: Angron had little more to his skills than blood-raging force of arms compared to his other brothers. He did not lax in it.
* BigRedDevil: Became one of these after falling to Chaos, one that even towers over most Bloodthristers.
* BlackSheep: The only Primarch to fail to conquer his homeworld.
* BlackSwordsAreBetter: Angron has abandoned the chainaxe as his trademark weapon and has taken up The Black Blade.
* BloodKnight: Even more so than the other Primarchs. The Butcher's Nails warped and damaged his brain so that the only sense of peace and contentment he can achieve is by fighting and killing. When he became a Daemon Prince, he got ''worse''.
* BrokenAngel: One of his nicknames was the Broken One, and even his World Eaters were aware that their Primarch was irreparably damaged and deranged, a drooling, ranting beast that was barely cogent outside of battle. Only his ascension to daemonhood saved Angron from an early death from mental degradation.
* TheBrute: Known only for his violence.
* TheCorrupter: Before Angron, the 12th legion, then known as the War Hounds, were renowned for the fierce loyalty with each other. When Angron took command, he renamed them World Eaters, and he had Butcher's Nails installed in all of his soldiers, driving them insane with bloodlust. Afterward, the World Eaters were so renowned for their bloodlust, butchery and insanity that other Imperial forces wanted nothing to do with them.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: He's a contender for having the darkest of all the Primarchs. When he first arrived on his homeworld of Nuceria, he was forced to fight an army of aliens, hinted to be Eldar trying to assassinate him before he could become what he did. He grew up as a slave and a gladiator, and he had the Butcher's Nails hammered into his head, driving him mad. When he finally managed to escape, his army faced years of starvation and constant attacks by his former captors. When the Emperor arrived, he forced Angron to join the Great Crusade, and left Angron's army to be annihilated. Angron never really recovered.
* DeathSeeker: Straddles between this and NotAfraidToDie. Angron believed that he should have died (and, symbolically, ''did'' die) with his gladiator kin on Nuceria and that the Emperor robbed him of his rightful demise. He leads the World Eaters, but with no particular zeal for his station; instead, he simply kills because that is what the Butcher's Nails force him to do.
* DramaticallyMissingThePoint: Angron insisted that he won the Night of the Wolf, when his legion and the Space Wolves came to blows. In the battle itself, Angron bested Leman Russ in close combat, but while doing so was surrounded by the Wolf Guard as the rest of the World Eaters fought on, too crazed to notice their Primarch's danger. It took Lorgar to explain that Leman Russ had only spared Angron in hopes that he learned something from the debacle.
* TheDreaded: Even Leman Russ knew not to get on his bad side. He only got worse after falling to Chaos.
* DreadlockWarrior: A strange variant. While actually [[BaldOfAwesome ba]][[BaldOfEvil ld]], the "Butcher's Nails" are depicted as long metallic coils that evoke this trope. As a Daemon Primarch, they actually ''[[BodyHorror bond into his body]]'', with several becoming fleshy dreadlocks.
* EnfantTerrible: When Angron landed on his adopted homeworld of Nuceria, he was attacked by what Imperial authorities believe were Eldar intent on stopping the rise of the future Daemon Prince. When humans finally found him, he was surrounded by their bodies.
* EvilCounterpart: Like Ferrus Manus, Angron is handicapped by a piece of bad technology. Ferrus has his iron hands which he wants to remove while Angron has the Butcher's Nails which he hates but has become addicted to.
* FatalFlaw: Angron had several. Quite obviously his uncontrollable rage, but also his obsession with avenging his comrades and his resentment of his father for forcing him to abandon them on his homeworld, and also his NeverMyFault tendencies which made him a very, ''very'' hard person to like.
* TheGadfly: In ''Betrayer'' we see him get his jollies by insulting Argel Tal and his "Blessed Lady" until the Word Bearer attacks him.
* GladiatorRevolt: Angron's backstory has him leading one, and he was found by the Emperor the day they were going to make their LastStand. Instead of joining his father, Angron decided to fight and die with his comrades. The Emperor departed... then teleported Angron away right as they were about to be slaughtered. Angron had issues with that.
* GlassCannon: In-game, while Angron is a monster in melee combat, he's one of the most fragile Primarchs, with only 5 wounds and a 3+/4++ save along with Feel No Pain.
* {{Hypocrite}}: Frequently claimed that the Butcher's Nails were what ruined him, yet had no issue with forcing them on all his sons the moment he took command.
* LeeroyJenkins: Constantly. Most famously, Horus was prevented from launching a second bombardment of the surprised Loyalists on Istvaan III when Angron spontaneously lead a Drop Pod assault on their position.
* MachoMasochism: Angron has a "triumph rope", a ring of scars on his torso denoting his victories in battle. A loss would be signified by putting dirt on the "rope", turning it black. Angron has no black scars.
* MeaningfulName: Angron's name is very similar to [[UnstoppableRage Anger]].
* NeverMyFault: Quick to blame the Emperor, his upbringing, or the Nails for his problems. While [[JerkassHasAPoint all of these did shape him into the man he became]], his refusal to try and better himself in spite of them was all his own doing.
-->'''Guilliman:''' You're still a slave, Angron. Enslaved by your past, blind to the future. Too hateful to learn. Too spiteful to prosper.
* NotAfraidToDie: The Butcher's Nails drove all fear of death from Angron and his legion, albeit at tremendous cost.
* NotSoDifferent: When confronted by Leman Russ regarding his legion's brutality and barbarity, Angron explains that he is just as loyal as Russ to the ideals of the Imperium; he is simply more honest about the true nature of those ideals.
* OddFriendship: Eventually developed one with Lorgar, who was the only one of his brothers who cared about saving his life.
* PaintTheTownRed: During his days amongst humanity, Angron's pearly white armor [[BloodSplatteredWarrior got completely covered in red]] so often that it earned him the name "the Red Angel", and he often was told he should just paint it red. After the Heresy, the World Eaters did just that.
* RebelLeader: Like many of his brothers, but Angron had the unenviable reputation of losing.
* RefusalOfTheCall: Angron refused to go with the Emperor's summons to join him, preferring to fight and die alongside his comrades. The Emperor made him answer.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: The man destroyed entire planetary sectors when he left the Warp in order to kick the crap out of the Imperium of Man, still wanting his revenge against them.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Besides Magnus, he's one of the few traitor Primarchs who actually goes outside of the Warp in order to kick some major ass. In the words of 1d4chan: "He Gets Shit Done!"
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Gave a brutal one to Guilliman:
-->What would you know of struggle, Perfect Son? When have you fought against the mutilation of your mind? When have you had to do anything more than tally compliances and polish your armour? [...] The people of your world named you Great One. The people of mine called me Slave. Which one of us landed on a paradise of civilization to be raised by a foster father, Roboute? Which one of us was given armies to lead after training in the halls of the Macraggian high-riders? Which one of us inherited a strong, cultured kingdom? And which one of us had to rise up against a kingdom with nothing but a horde of starving slaves? Which one of us was a child enslaved on a world of monsters, with his brain cut up by carving knives? Listen to your blue-clad wretches yelling of courage and honour, courage and honour, courage and honour. Do you even know the meaning of those words? Courage is fighting the kingdom which enslaves you, no matter that their armies outnumber yours by ten-thousand to one. You know nothing of courage. Honour is resisting a tyrant when all others suckle and grow fat on the hypocrisy he feeds them. You know nothing of honour.
** And received a just as good, though shorter ShutUpHannibal lecture. See NeverMyFault.
* SociopathicSoldier: To wit, after the Emperor abducted him and had him put in control of a Space Marine Legion, he was simply furious and uninterested. The Emperor had the Legion's Captains talk him down without laying a hand on Angron... until Khârn succeeded, Angron simply killed the unfortunate Captains that tried to talk to him.
* TokenEvilTeammate: Angron was the only Primarch to openly despise the Emperor. Not surprising, given how the Emperor made him take control of his Legion.
* UnskilledButStrong: Angron's Horus Heresy incarnation has few strengths outside of melee combat. The only buff he gives his army is a 12" Fearless aura around him, in contrast to most other Primarchs who give many more buffs to their armies.
* UnstoppableRage: To put things into perspective, Khârn the Betrayer, the bloodthirsty warrior who destroyed two Chaos Marine legions when they stopped fighting, was once considered to be Angron's [[RedOniBlueOni Blue Oni]] in comparison.
* WhereIWasBornAndRazed: He did eventually destroy Nuceria where Lorgar later helped him accend into daemonhood.

[[folder: Mortarion]]
!!Mortarion, Primarch of the Death Guard
[[caption-width-right:350:[[labelnote:Click here for Mortarion's Daemon form]]http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_mortarion.png[[/labelnote]]]]

->''Pain is an illusion of the senses, fear an illusion of the mind, beyond these only death waits in silent judgment o'er all.''

Mortarion was cast to the world of Barbarus, a planet of high mountains swathed in clouds of poison, ruled by monstrous overlords who preyed upon the humans huddling in the livable valleys below. One of these tyrants fostered Mortarion, raising the child in a keep at the limits of the Primarch's toxin tolerance, but the youth eventually rebelled and left to aid his fellow man. With the hardiest soldiers and crude breathing apparatuses, Mortarion took the fight to the alien overlords, until only the stronghold of his former master remained.

On the eve of his final triumph, a stranger appeared and offered his assistance, but Mortarion stubbornly insisted that he needed no help, and marched into the poisonous heights. The last thing he saw before collapsing was the stranger cutting down Mortarion's foster parent with a single stroke. Afterward, Mortarion swore to serve the Emperor, and took command of the [=XIVth=] Legion, the Death Guard. Mortarion passed on his values of fortitude and relentlessness, but the grim Primarch never bonded with his brothers, with the exception of Horus Lupercal and Konrad Curze. Other Primarchs warned the Emperor of the closeness between Mortarion and Horus, fears that were justified when the Warmaster turned renegade and the Death Guard joined him.

After fighting alongside the other traitors in the battles for the Isstvan system, the Death Guard departed for Terra, only to fall victim to a horrific warpstorm and a daemonic plague. Wracked by pain and festering with corruption, Mortarion's superhuman resilience left him unable to die, and in agony he promised his legion's soul to any who would deliver him. The Death Guard emerged from the Warp devoted to Nurgle, and became the first Plague Marines. After the Siege of Terra failed, Mortarion led his forces into the Eye of Terror and was rewarded for his service with elevation to daemonhood, ruling over a plague world he shaped into a miserable mockery of Barbarus.

* AcquiredPoisonImmunity: His already superhuman toughness was enhanced from growing up in Barbarus' poisonous atmosphere, and Mortarion kept a cocktail of such toxins in his armor's rebreather systems so he'd stay sharp.
* AmbiguousDisorder: He has very poor social skills and never connected well with most people, is incredibly resistant to changing his Legion's structure, is prone to obsessively focusing on one thing for months on end until he gets it *just* right, and as a daemon he has a personal doctor who regularly listens to him bitterly ranting at length. It's not conclusive, but there's decent evidence to suggest Mortarion has a genuine mental illness.
* BerserkButton: Psykers and Warp-craft in general, before his conversion to Nurgle. And even afterwards he ''still'' loathes witchcraft even as a daemonic practitioner of it, hence sorcerers in the Death Guard have a very low status. Also when he gets the news of Guilliman's return, his rage is intense enough to unconciously kickstart plagues on seven very unfortunate Imperial worlds.
* DealWithTheDevil: His desperate plea to Nurgle to make the pain stop.
* DefeatEqualsExplosion: If the enemy can somehow bring down Mortarion, he has a chance to explode, inflicting wounds on nearby non-Nurgle units.
* {{Determinator}}: His specialty, and that of his Legion, was always supreme endurance. His fall to Chaos came when said endurance finally gave out, which ironically only made him tougher in the end.
* DidntThinkThisThrough: Got rid of psykers in the Legions, only to join the side that encouraged them to use their powers.
* DoesNotLikeMagic: In fact, the biggest opponent to the Librarian program. It was this prejudice against all things related to the Warp that fueled his animosity against the Emperor since the Emperor was a psyker as well. Even as a daemon sorcerers are still looked down on amongst his Legion.
* FatalFlaw: Mortarion had some major confidence issues, and this led him to seek guidance from all the wrong people.
* TheGrimReaper: He sure loves this look.
* HerdHittingAttack: If Mortarion uses the Reaping Scythe profile of his scythe Silence, 3 hits will be inflicted per attack instead of 1, meaning that Mortarion can hit up to 18 times per phase and slice through entire ranks of infantry.
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: Mortarion uses sorcery and rules a plague planet that enslaves humans, just like his adoptive father used to do.
* KillSteal: The Emperor's slaying of Mortarion's adoptive father proved to become a grudge Mortarion long held against him and contributed to his eventual betrayal. In fact, his grudge was so strong that after ascending to daemonhood Mortarion spent a thousand years hunting down said father's soul to keep in torment.
* MadeOfIron: Mortarion is extremely durable and could take enormous punishment in stride. His game stats are in line with those of a Gargantuan Creature.
* MeaningfulName: According to the monstrous tyrant who raised him, it means "child of death."
* MisanthropeSupreme: The Plagueburst Crawler he designed is *so* deadly in its sheer contempt for all that lives, even daemons of Nurgle look askance at it. Not even the Grandfather's diseased life can survive in places where it has bombarded.
* OneHitPolykill: Mortarion's Lantern pistol automatically hits every unit in a straight line between him and his target.
* OrcusOnHisThrone: Typhus in particular is disgusted by how little Mortarion has done since becoming a Daemon Primarch, and views the imitation Barbarus he created as a sickening bit of sentimentality. Guilliman's return finally motivates him to join the action personally.
* {{Plaguemaster}}: As a Daemon Primarch of Nurgle. The Hand of Darkness enhances his abilities even further, [[spoiler:until the Ynnari steal it from him.]]
* RebelLeader: What he used to be, back on Barbarus after recognizing the humans there for his fellows rather than prey as his "father" had taught him.
* SinisterScythe: Mortarion's weapon of choice, a Manreaper called Silence.
* VillainTeamUp: Assisted Magnus with his revenge against the Space Wolves in exchange for the planet Midgardia in the Fenris System to pledge to Nurgle. Pretty notable considering Mortarion was the most fervent in opposition to the Thousand Sons' use of sorcery, and that they serve Gods in direct opposition to one another. [[spoiler:In true Tzeentchian style, Magnus double-crossed him by arranging for said world to undergo Exterminatus at the hands of the Space Wolves before he could finish claiming it.]]
* WalkingWasteland: Merely standing in the presence of Mortarion is dangerous, causing all enemies nearby to suffer a Toughness penalty and lose Wounds every turn.
* YouAreWhatYouHate: After his ascension to Daemonhood Mortarion becomes a psyker, the very thing he despised prior to the Horus Heresy.
* YourSoulIsMine: Revealed to have done this posthumously to his adoptive father, using his daemonic powers to run down and imprison his soul in a jar.

[[folder: Magnus the Red]]
!!Magnus the Red, Primarch of the Thousand Sons
[[caption-width-right:350:[[labelnote:Click for Magnus' Daemon form]]http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/01_01_9.jpg[[/labelnote]]]]

->''The Thousand Sons alone of all the Legions have seen the light beyond the gates of the empyrean. That light will free us from the shackles of our mundane perceptions of reality and allow the human race to stand as masters of the galaxy.''

Magnus had the good fortune to land on the world of Prospero, whose psychically-gifted population accepted the cyclopean, red-skinned child rather than slaying him for his mutations. Among these scholars the young Primarch quickly mastered his psyker powers, surpassing his teachers and peering into the depths of the Empyrean, growing in mental strength even as his body developed into a giant. When the Emperor reached Prospero to collect his lost son, there was such familiarity between the two that it is suspected that they had been in psychic contact for some time prior to meeting in the flesh.

The new Primarch was given command of the [=XVth=] Legion, whose numbers had been depleted following outbreaks of mutation and psyker abilities. Magnus declared that they were his Thousand Sons, and went about instructing them in the ways of safely harnessing their powers, so that even his comparatively small Legion could achieve mighty victories during the Great Crusade. However, other Imperial forces were leery of the dangers of such mutations, which culminated in the Edict of Nikea, where the Emperor disbanded the legions' Librarius programs and forbade the use of psychic sorcery.

Stung and humiliated by this command, Magnus nevertheless continued delving into forbidden knowledge, until his scryings revealed a terrible vision: Horus' betrayal and a galactic civil war. Magnus sent a psychic warning to the Emperor that was intended to vindicate the use of his powers, only for his father to reject it and unleash the Space Wolves upon Prospero to destroy the Thousand Sons for their treachery. After being broken in personal combat with Leman Russ, Magnus called upon the dark god Tzeentch for succor, and he and his legion were drawn into the Warp. The Thousand Sons supported the other renegades during the Horus Heresy and continue to strike back at the Imperium that cast them out, while the now-Daemon Primarch has nursed a ten-thousand-year vendetta against the Space Wolves.

At the end of the 41st Millenium, Magnus and his renewed Legion launch an attack on the Fenris system while the majority of the Space Wolves were dispatched across the galaxy. Although he is rejected back into the Warp by Logan Grimnar, Magnus successfully sacrifices the planet Midgardia and lays waste on the entirety of the Fenris system. Moreover his sorcerous rituals allow Magnus to transport Sortiarius, the Planet of Sorcerers, near Prospero and create a create a gigantic Warp-rift in the galaxy.

Magnus then assaults Roboute Guilliman Terran Crusade which is en route for Terra. He manages to trap the whole Crusade in the Maelstrom and Kairos Fateweaver temporarily imprisons Guilliman. However, the Crusade escapes thanks to the Harlequins and Cypher's Fallen, and Magnus follows Guilliman through the Webway up to Luna, where he battles his brother. Reinforcement from Terra allow Guilliman to win and Magnus is repelled into the Webway, his revenge denied.

* AFatherToHisMen: Seems to be one of the few Traitor Primarchs who still cares about his Legion to an extent, as shown with his rage against Ahriman about turning most of the Legion accidentally to dust, [[spoiler:and even thousands of years later he seems to have settled that rage down enough to welcome him back into the Legion as a Son, as shown in ''Wrath of Magnus'']].
* AmazingTechnicolorPopulation: He's called "The Red" for a reason.
* AntiVillain: Though he went against the Emperor's command, he never meant to betray him.
* ArchEnemy: To Leman Russ and the Space Wolves, which has led to Magnus trying to invade Fenris many times. Though he has yet to destroy the Wolves, he has always managed to cause them permanent damage each time, such as robbing them of the chance of ever making successor chapters and destroying the cure for the Curse of the Wulfen. [[spoiler:''Wrath of Magnus'' has him essentially pull a reverse-Prospero on them, unleashing a full-assault on the Wolves' home planet of Fenris with both his Legion and their daemons that cripples them so bad that they need to unleash the Wulfen to turn the tide. This in turn causes the Inquisition and Grey Knights to come and wipe out most of the planet's population due to seeing the daemons in question and the Wulfen, leaving the Space Wolves in serious danger of dying out in the near future]].
* TheArchmage: Magnus was an incredibly powerful and gifted psyker, with only the Emperor (and maybe Malcador) as his betters, and this is translated in gameplay to a very impressive psychic output: he knows all powers in the Dark Hereticus discipline, receives a +2 bonus to casting as well as a much more powerful version of the ubiquitous Smite power.
* BatmanGambit: In ''Wrath of Magnus'', he used one of these in order to get Sortiarius, The Planet of Sorcerers, into the material realm. By making the Inquisition and Grey Knights pull off a purge on Fenris after the populations had been exposed to the powers of the Warp, they unknowingly fulfilled an important part of a ritual that the Thousands Sons had put in place.
* TheBigGuy: Some depictions have him as tall as 5 metres, which is more than twice the size of a normal Space Marine (and this is BEFORE his turn to Chaos). Recent material seems to have him sized much closer to his peers. The novel ''Battle of the Fang'' has him be on par with Bjorn the Fell-Handed's [[MiniMecha Dreadnought]][[note]]The model of Dreadnought Bjorn uses is 3.7 meters tall[[/note]] size-wise, as they fight hand-to-hand on an even playing field. Still ''much'' taller than a Space Marine, and his peers, but not ridiculously so. By the 41st millennium, however, his daemon form is the size of ''an Imperial Knight''.
* CassandraTruth: Magnus' visions were almost never wrong, and almost never believed. If the Literature/HorusHeresy books are anything to go by, the galaxy could have avoided a great deal of trouble if the Emperor and other Primarchs had heeded Magnus' advice more often.
* {{Cyclops}}: Played with. Magnus only has one eye. Early depictions of him claimed he was born this way, while more recent lore explains that he originally had two eyes but gave one to Tzeentch in return for a stop to the rampant mutations of his legion. In-game, while Forge World hasn't yet released Magnus' Heresy-era model, GW's Daemon Primarch Magnus model has three face options, two normal faces which are missing the right eye and a third which is the typical single-eyed Cyclops face.
* ComplexityAddiction: A constant problem of his. WordOfGod says that Magnus has an issue where he isn't satisfied just winning, and thus he comes up with these complex plans to take a mile when he could've just been satisfied with the inch he obtained.
* DealWithTheDevil: The aforementioned deal with Tzeentch: his eye for the preservation of his Legion.
* TheDogBitesBack: Throughout the years he has often struck at the Space Wolves on their homeworld in revenge for Prospero. ''Wrath of Magnus'' saw him unleash the big guns and give the Wolves a taste of what it was like for him when they invaded his planet.
* TheDreaded: It doesn't come up often, but Magnus and his Legion provoked suspicion and fear even among fellow Astartes for their power and mastery of sorcery. Sanguinius acknowledges this in ''Fear to Tread'' when asked if there are any devils among the Primarchs, remarking they should meet his brother Magnus. This superstition directly led to the Council of Nikaea, an informal sanction of the Thousand Sons.
* FatalFlaw: Magnus recklessly and arrogantly sought power and knowledge. This led him to use Chaos sorcery.
* FeatheredFiend: His Daemon form takes on many avian features like those of a Lord of Change, but still remains highly humanoid in shape in comparison.
* TheFriendNobodyLikes: Not to the level of Angron or Curze, but Magnus was generally seen as untrustworthy by many of his fellow Primarchs, due to the fact that he and his legion openly wielded their psychic powers with impunity. The Primarchs who hated psykers, especially Leman Russ and Mortarion, looked down on and despised Magnus.
* GeniusBruiser: All of the Primarchs were superhumanly strong and intelligent, but Magnus was particularly fond of intellectual and cultural pursuits. He was also easily the largest of his brothers with strength lauded as rivaling Leman Russ'.
* HornsOfVillainy: Magnus' Daemon Primarch form keeps the long horns on his armor's chestplate, and he also has huge horns on his brow.
* IgnoredEpiphany: He was originally determined to let his Legion and himself be destroyed by the Space Wolves, but listening to the screams and begging of his surviving sons eventually moved him to join the battle, and lying in defeat and in his moment of weakness he still took Tzeentch's offer to save his Legion for eternal servitude. It didn't do them any good.
* InformedFlaw: His widespread unpopularity amongst his brothers is repeatedly mentioned, but the only Primarchs who are explicitly shown to dislike him are Russ and Mortarion. On the other hand, he is the favorite brother of Perturabo, Lorgar, and Jaghatai Khan and he is shown to be at least friendly with Sanguinius and Fulgrim.
* KnightOfCerebus: Has ended up becoming this in the 40K setting, with his arrival and his legion's assault on the Space Wolves fittingly heralding a massive change to the setting; specifically his actions have put the other Daemon Primarchs into active status again. ''All'' of them.
* MagicKnight: In-game, along with his ''formidable'' psychic abilities, Magnus is very dangerous in melee, partly for his stats and partly because of the special abilities of his attacks, one of which can turn slain enemies into Chaos Spawn.
* MagnusMeansMage: A fitting name for an extremely powerful sorcerer.
* MoodRingEyes: Well, Eye, singular. Magnus's remaining eye constantly changed colours, depending on his mood. Some of those colours don't exist in the mortal universe, having been drawn from the Warp...
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Magnus encountered unexpected resistance when sending his psychic warning to the Emperor, but pushed on until he broke through... and realized that he had just shattered the wards protecting the Imperial Palace and the Emperor's prototype Webway gate from a daemonic invasion.
* OddFriendship: Magnus is perhaps one of the few that truly connected with three Primarchs that were known for not being the most beloved: Jaghatai, Lorgar, and Perturabo.
** Jaghatai and Magnus liked each other specially for the mutual respect that each showed to the other; the White Scar was not afraid of psykers and was willing to help the formation of the Librarius (alongside Sanguinius), while Magnus actively tried to understand the sons of Chogoris instead of treating them like simple barbarians (which is one of the main reasons the White Scars stay away from the Imperium).
** Lorgar was the most pious of the Primarchs, and showed some contempt for war in general. Magnus took pride in his warcraft and he eternally sought knowledge. What is interesting is that though Magnus himself did not believe in gods, the fact that he tried to understand cultures and also answer the questions of the universe only helped Lorgar become fond of him, since both of them sought the same thing, but their answers came from different places. They would spend time together discussing philosophy after their first meeting.
** Magnus was one of the few Primarchs who actually treated Perturabo with respect and the two shared a love of learning and esoteric lore. Magnus was also one of the only Primarchs who knew of and admired Perturabo's talents for engineering, as most others simply thought of him as a master of siegecraft.
* OutGambitted: Trying to out-scheme the universe's greatest ChessMaster is generally a bad idea, as Magnus eventually finds out.
* PersonOfMassDestruction: All of the Primarchs could slaughter countless Space Marines in combat and even take on vehicles and win. Magnus could incinerate enormous Titans with psyflame, raze the surface of planets, and bring nightmares to entire worlds as a side-effect of his power.
* TragicVillain: Magnus was trying to ''help'' the Emperor, and when Leman Russ and the Space Wolves came to kill the Thousand Sons in response after some changed orders from Horus, Magnus actually disabled Prospero's defenses and was prepared to accept his fate. It was only the sight of his sons being massacred that drove him to desperately accept Tzeentch's bargain, sending him spiralling into villainy believing his father had responded to an attempt to warn him of Horus' betrayal by ordering the eradication of the Thousand Sons.
* UnwittingPawn: Tzeentch and Horus played him like a fiddle.
* WarriorPoet: His ultimate ambition was to bring intellectual enlightenment to the galaxy through military conquest.
* WingedHumanoid: He grows two large bird wings after his ascension into Daemonhood.
* YouCannotGraspTheTrueForm: In ''Betrayer'', is said to have inherited this trait from the Emperor, where his features constantly shift and change to whoever is looking at him.
* YourSizeMayVary: In ''A Thousand Sons'' his size constantly changes, from normal to ''Titan''-sized.

[[folder: Horus Lupercal]]
!!Horus Lupercal, Primarch of the Luna Wolves and The Sons of Horus

->''Some call me Traitor and Heretic, but it is my destiny to rule the stars in the name of Humanity. Am I not the greatest of the Primarchs? The Emperor's first and most favoured son? Am I not therefore his chosen one? It is my right to rule, by natural law of succession, and by right of arms earned on a thousand battlefields.''

Horus Lupercal was the first Primarch to be recovered, and for many years enjoyed a privileged position as the Emperor's only son. The two forged a close bond on the battlefields of the Great Crusade, and though other Primarchs were eventually found and Horus rejoiced each time he was reunited with a brother, he always strove to remain the Emperor's favored servant.

The glorious accomplishments of his Luna Wolves during the Ullanor Crusade earned them the right to be renamed the Sons of Horus, and their Primarch was elevated to Warmaster and given command of the Great Crusade while the Emperor returned to Terra. Horus was a tactical prodigy, master diplomat, and strategic genius, employing other Space Marine Legions the way lesser commanders would deploy squads, utilizing the Primarchs' skills to the fullest and even encouraging their rivalries so they would try to outdo each other. Perhaps Horus secretly quaked under this awesome authority, or his power may have led to dangerous hubris. Maybe Horus resented the way the Emperor claimed credit for his victories, or was worried about the fate of the Space Marines after the Great Crusade was over.

After the unthinkable occurred and Horus was gravely wounded on the world of Davin, the Primarch was taken to a primitive warrior-lodge for healing rites that were in fact a Chaos ritual. When the ordeal was over, Horus emerged changed by the visions he had experienced, and incorporated such lodges into his own legion, spreading the taint even further. Horus revealed his true intentions in the Isstvan system, first virus-bombing a rebelling planet and purging the loyalist elements from the legions he commanded, then setting a trap for the Imperial forces sent to bring him to justice. Horus was able to lure fully half of the Space Marine Legions and large elements of the Imperial Army and Adeptus Mechanicus to his cause, thus setting into motion the Horus Heresy, the most terrible conflict in galactic history.

In the end, Horus and his followers marched on Terra and laid siege to the Imperial Palace, but with loyalist reinforcements en route, Horus risked all in one last gamble. He lowered the shields on his flagship, daring the Emperor to teleport over and face him in battle. He slew his brother Sanguinius and mortally wounded his father, only to regain enough clarity to realize what he had done, begging the Emperor to destroy him once and for all. With his death, the traitors fled in disarray, the Heresy was ended, and the Imperium's grim fate was sealed.

* HundredPercentAdorationRating: Before his turn, Horus was well-liked and had a natural talent for leadership. His brother Primarchs generally considered him first among equals and while a few, such as Guilliman and El'Johnson, were quietly jealous of his station, none could deny his talent and all considered him a worthy leader.
* TheAce: He was charismatic, a military genius, a genuine people-person, and the only one who could get along with all the other Primarchs. He was the first Primarch to be discovered, and was the Emperor's favourite. Many called him the Heir to the Emperor, and he had the most experience out of all the Primarchs. Being named Warmaster only fed his massive ego, at the same time that the Emperor's perceived abandonment wounded it. All the Chaos Gods had to do was convince Horus that he was the only one who could save the galaxy from the Emperor's tyranny.
* AmbitionIsEvil: He is said to have inherited the Emperor's ambition, and Horus was driven to be the best and most successful Primarch. After his fall, his ambition became to destroy the Emperor.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: Horus' greatest fear was that his achievements will be forgotten. Now no one ever will.
* BewareTheSuperman: Horus didn't want to give up the Primarchs' authority to the Terran High Lords who he regarded as inferior because they were normal. He wanted to guide and protect humanity but didn't want to be beholden or accountable to it.
* BigBad: Of the Literature/HorusHeresy.
* ButtMonkey: The Chaos Gods tricked Horus into betrayal and death. His body and soul were destroyed. The vast majority of his own sons have rejected him as a failure, to the point that [[DragonAscendant his former Dragon]] uses his cloned skull as a drinking mug. His name is forbidden to be spoken and when it is, it's a [[FantasticSlurs curse]].
* DeaderThanDead: Horus is ''gone''. The Emperor didn't just kill his physical body, he destroyed Horus' mind and soul, preventing the Chaos Gods from resurrecting him. The closest anyone's come to doing so was when Fabius Bile cloned Horus' corpse, but Abaddon put an end to that.
* DeadlyGaze: When Ollanius Pius (or, according to subsequent retcons, an [[SuperSoldier Imperial Fists Space Marine]] / [[PraetorianGuard Custodian Guardsman]]) defiantly interposed himself between Horus and the mortally wounded Emperor to defend the latter, the Daemon Primarch [[FlayedAlive flayed him into nothingness]] in the spot with a single look that was charged with his psychic might.
* DyingAsYourself: Horus' final moments saw him regain his sanity, shed a single tear, and beg the Emperor to kill him before the Chaos Gods could reassert their control, as he was far too weak to do it himself by that point. The Emperor obliged him, obliterating his essence physically and from the Immaterium to grant Horus the release of death without the possibility of the Chaos Gods reviving him as a daemon prince.
* EvilCounterpart: To Sanguinius, the other most respected and adored Primarch, also considered as a potential successor to the Emperor, and they sort of killed each other.
* TheEvilPrince: See the quote at the top of the entry.
* FaceHeelTurn: The brightest hope of all humanity since the Emperor, beloved by all of mankind, a peerless warrior and sublime statesman. Then when on the verge of death, he's shown a grim, dark future where his father is worshiped as a god and he and his fellow Primarchs are nowhere to be found. This, combined with his pride and ambitions, leads Horus to rebel against his father, plunge the galaxy into a horrific war, and ultimately [[SelfFulfillingProphecy bring about exactly the future that he saw]].
* FacelessEye: The Eye of Horus.
* FamousLastWords: "I have been... a fool. I was so wrong... everything is ruined. I have betrayed you... my father. I do not ask for forgiveness... end my torment... kill me now! I am too weak to resist them... they call to me... please end this."
* FantasticRacism: Horus didn't want to be DemotedToDragon, under the charge of the Terran High Lords, whom he considered inferior because they were just normal humans. At the same time he was also willing to negotiate with the Interex (which cooperated with Xenos) rather than exterminating them, so he was more open minded then Ferrus Manus and Fulgrim.
* FatalFlaw: Horus above all else wanted glory.
* FurAndLoathing: The man wore as many wolf pelts as he did power armor.
* GlorySeeker: Horus lived for glory and hated sharing credit with other Primarchs. Soon he hated sharing credit with the Emperor.
* HeelFaceDoorSlam: Just before his death, the Chaos Powers abandoned Horus and he returned to sanity and realized what he had done. The Emperor is said to have recognized this, but proceeded to kill him anyways to be absolutely certain the taint of Chaos would be destroyed. [[RedemptionEqualsDeath It's also said that Horus wanted this and welcomed it.]]
* HeroKiller: Horus took out both the Emperor, which plunged the Imperium into its current downward spiral, and Sanguinius, who was the one who could have saved it.
* ManipulativeBastard:
** Skilled at playing people, both mortals and even his fellow Primarchs. A good example is in ''Horus Rising'' when he has his Mournival harshly criticize an Imperial commander so he can take the guy's side, vicariously expressing his own displeasure and winning the general over at the same time.
** Horus was able to personally talk over three Primarchs to his cause, playing to Fulgrim's perfectionism, Mortarion's hatred of tyrants and psykers, and Angron's old grudge.
** It's thought that Horus spread Perturabo's legion so thin just to put stress on him, so that when Horus told him about a rebellion on his homeworld, Perturabo would snap and have no choice but to side with the traitors.
** In some accounts, Horus tweaked the Emperor's orders to the Space Wolves from "apprehend the Thousand Sons" to "destroy the Thousand Sons," in order to drive Magnus the Red into the traitors' camp.
* MeaningfulName: Horus is the name of a heroic Egyptian sun god. Lupercal is a Roman celebration of triumph. Horus becomes the opposite of what his name suggests; a FallenHero who is reviled instead of celebrated.
* MotiveDecay: Started out as a WellIntentionedExtremist out to save humankind from a future as an uncaring corpse-emperor's slaves, but by the time he reached Terra he was out to tear down the galaxy.
* NemeanSkinning: Horus wore a wolf pelt over his armor.
* OnlySaneMan: Especially towards the end of the Heresy, he was the only Traitor Primarch who wasn't slipping quickly into insanity and could keep everyone on his side together. Hence why the rebellion fell apart so quickly upon his death.
* TheParagonAlwaysRebels: Ironically, Horus thought the real Paragon was Sanguinius.
* PhysicalGod: Horus practically became this after entering a warp gate in ''Vengeful Spirit''. He could have become a god in the Warp but he came back to the material world with his new powers.
* PowerFist: The Talon of Horus, a power claw with integrated combi-bolter. After his death, Abaddon tore it from his body and used it himself.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: He realized in his final moments what he had done, and is said to have welcomed his death.
* ReptilesAreAbhorrent: Horus' armor was called "The Serpent's Scales". Appropriate for someone who shed his skin.
* SanitySlippage: Horus would sometimes talk to Ferrus Manus' skull.
* SatanicArchetype: Favored son of the God-Emperor, got jealous and evil, turned a third of his hosts against his divine father.
* SelfFulfillingProphecy: Horus rebelled against the Emperor because he had a vision of a dystopic future where the Emperor is venerated as a god while he and other Primarchs were expunged from history. His rebellion resulted exactly in that.
* StraightForTheCommander: A favored tactic by Horus.
* SurroundedByIdiots: Regarded many of the other Traitor Primarchs as "broken monsters", sometimes musing to himself that he wished he had the Loyalists for subordinates instead.
* TragicVillain: It's easy to forget that Horus was ''tricked'' into turning against the Imperium.
* UnPerson:
** Attempted. It's no surprise that the Imperium would like to bury all accounts of the Arch-Heretic, though it hasn't been successful. Commanders still use the title Warmaster but are aware of its sordid history, the Literature/CiaphasCain books use expressions like "deader than Horus" and "Horus take the hindmost," and in ''Film/{{Damnatus}}'' Wodan asks "where the Horus are we now?"
** Ironically, the former Sons of Horus have embraced this as well. One of Abaddon the Despoiler's first acts when he took command was to destroy the Warmaster's corpse and stop its near-worship, then rename the force the Black Legion.
* YouAreInCommandNow: The Emperor making Horus Warmaster would prove a terrible mistake.
* ZeroPercentApprovalRating: After the Heresy's ultimate failure and his death, he's almost universally hated and scorned. The Imperium regards him as the ultimate traitor, while most Chaos Space Marines regard him as a weak fool who ultimately failed.

[[folder: Lorgar Aurelian]]
!!Lorgar Aurelian, Primarch of the Word Bearers

->''The difference between gods and daemons largely depends upon where one is standing at the time.''

Young Lorgar grew up on the feudal world of Colchis, a once-advanced culture that had regressed following the Age of Strife, until it was dominated by a priesthood called the Covenant that prophesied how a great leader would one day redeem them. Lorgar became a fiery preacher for the Covenant, but when he had visions of a golden savior coming to his world, he sparked a bloody schism by declaring that the old prophecy would soon be fulfilled. He was proven right a year after winning this holy war, when the Emperor arrived to accept Lorgar's oaths of service.

Lorgar was given command of the [=XVIIth=] Legion, the Word Bearers, and joined the Great Crusade with zeal. He rooted out every trace of heresy on the worlds he conquered, taught their populations to venerate the Emperor of Mankind, and constructed grand cathedrals in his glory. These conquests were complete but slow, and the Emperor harshly rebuked the Word Bearers for their unwanted worship, destroying the temple-city of Monarchia, forcing Lorgar and his soldiers to kneel in its ashes, and ordering them to follow the Ultramarines' more secular example. His faith shattered, Lorgar sent his legion on a pilgrimage to Cadia, then entered the Eye of Terror in search of a meaning to his existence.

When he emerged, Lorgar preached a new faith, the Primordial Truth of the Gods of Chaos. For four decades the Word Bearers hid their new allegiance while subjugating worlds to the Dark Gods and spreading the taint of Chaos throughout the other Space Marine Legions. Once the Warmaster declared his rebellion and the Horus Heresy erupted, Lorgar took particular pleasure in ravaging the realm of Ultramar. After retreating to the Eye of Terror at the Heresy's end, Lorgar ascended to daemonhood, and it is said that his psychic birth-scream was one of triumphant vindication. He is content to contemplate the Primordial Truth from the daemon world of Sicarus, while his Word Bearers continue to preach the Word of Chaos and tear down the icons of the False Emperor.

* BadassPreacher: During the Great Crusade, he converted whole worlds to the worship of the Emperor. During the Horus Heresy, he did the same for the gods of Chaos. He also created the rank of Chaplain among the Space Marines.
* BreakTheBeliever: Lorgar's faith was destroyed by the Emperor after the Emperor's forceful rebuke and humiliation of his entire legion in addition to the destruction of Monarchia, the crowning symbol of everything Lorgar had believed in.
* CarryABigStick: Lorgar's crozius, Illuminarium. Aside from a chaplain's badge of office, it made a perfectly serviceable bludgeoning weapon.
* TheCorrupter: Possibly the worst in human history.
* DissonantSerenity: After discovering and embracing the Primordial Truth, Lorgar could be disturbingly blasé about the horrors of Chaos.
-->'''Angron:''' Why did you steal [my ship's astropathic] choir? What happened to yours?\\
'''Lorgar:''' They died.\\
'''Angron:''' How did they die?\\
'''Lorgar:''' [[CruelAndUnusualDeath Screaming.]]
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: He seems to have genuinely cared for Angron, and was probably the only Primarch that Angron considered to be anything resembling a friend.
-->'''Angron:''' If what you say is true, why save me?\\
'''Lorgar:''' Why is that a question every one of our bloodline must ask in a disbelieving snarl? You are my brother. I would spare you any pain I can, and protect you from harm if I'm able.
* FailureGambit: The attack on Calth was designed to be one. While Lorgar had the opportunity to potentially kill Guilliman, leaving him alive would cause him to draw the Ultramarines back to Ultramar and away from the fighting at Terra.
* FaithHeelTurn: Being rebuked by the Emperor for his worship pretty much showed Lorgar that everything he'd believed in was a lie. [[TheCorrupter Kor Phaeron and Erebus]] introduced him to some entities that not only welcomed such devotion, but rewarded it.
* FatalFlaw: Lorgar was deeply religious and constantly sought a higher meaning to dedicate himself to. When his father rebuked and humiliated him, Lorgar turned to the Dark Gods.
* TheFriendNobodyLikes: Lorgar considered himself a priest and intellectual more than a warrior; the other Primarchs agreed and even talked behind his back about having him and his legion censured, possibly even removed. His only real friend was the similarly-intellectual and philosophical Magnus. This extended even after the Horus Heresy started, and the other traitor Primarchs were suspicious of his wholehearted embrace of Chaos.
* FromNobodyToNightmare: While he wasn't exactly a nobody, him and his legion weren't considered anything special and he himself was viewed as a weakling by his brothers for his reluctance at being a general. Suffice to say the fact that he ended up being the architect of the heresy was a surprise to pretty much everybody.
* TheFundamentalist: First for the Emperor, then for the Chaos Gods.
* GameplayAndStoryIntegration: Lorgar was reputed to be the weakest of the Primarchs before his turn to Chaos. This is reflected in-game by his model's pre-corruption form stats being weak enough that he statistically comes out on the losing end against his brothers (those that have rules, so far) by a wide margin, with the sole exception of Alpharius (to whom Lorgar still loses, albeit not badly).
* GameplayAndStorySegregation: On the other hand, if you play him in his post-corruption form (Lorgar Transfigured), he suddenly turns into an absolute nightmare in close combat, able to easily dispatch the mightiest of his brethren (Angron and Fulgrim, generally accepted to be two of the most ferocious close quarters fighters amongst the Primarchs, get taken apart by Lorgar and even Horus falls fairly easily).
* {{Irony}}: He's actually the forefather of the modern Imperial Cult, and during the Great Crusade penned the ''Lectitio Divinitatus'' that argued the Emperor's divinity. Then he ended up working to corrupt his brothers into the worship of the Dark Gods, making him responsible for the faiths of both sides of the Horus Heresy.
* JerkassHasAPoint: Lorgar has no reason to follow the Emperor since he himself said he was just a man. A man is corruptible and fallible. To Lorgar, the Emperor was just another tyrant.
* TheMole: For Chaos, spreading its taint and corruption within the empire to weaken and prepare it in advance for the coming Horus Heresy.
* OrcusOnHisThrone: Since ascending to daemonhood, Lorgar hasn't done much besides meditate and preach.
** Apparently he hasn't been completely inactive, with the more recent Daemon Engines being designs of his creation.
* ThePhilosopher: He was raised as a priest, and he was apparently very gifted at philosophy and was not afraid to ask questions. This lead him to unusual and unorthodox (for his time) beliefs and practices. This did not endear him to the very warlike and militant Primarchs.
** Also THE philosopher for the Ecclesiarchy. His book, the ''Lectitio Divinitatus'', is still used in the 41st millenium to justify the Emperor's divinity.
* PsychoticManchild: As another Primarch explains:
-->'''Roboute Guilliman''': He is so... changeable. He is so prone to extremes. Eager to please, so quick to take offence. He's so keen to be your best friend, and then, at the slightest hint of an insult, he's angry with you. Furious. Offended. Like a child.
* RousingSpeech: Though not the greatest warrior among the Primarchs, his fiery oratory could convert worlds to the Imperial (or heretic) cause better than any of his brothers.
* SorcerousOverlord: He did not have the raw psychic power of Magnus, but he was a master of Ritual magic. His in-depth knowledge and devotion to the Warp and the powers of Chaos made him far more able to wield the powers of Chaos in a profitable way without being totally screwed over (unlike Magnus).
* SmartGuy: Of the philosophical variety. There is a reason why his books are still used after so many millennia.
* TookALevelInBadass: Lorgar was probably the weakest Primarch, until he embraced his psyker powers at the Drop Site Massacres and became someone able to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Corax or Guilliman. Similarly, his tabletop stats aren't too impressive (again, compared to other Primarchs), but he can be upgraded to Lorgar Transfigured, allowing him to abuse the Invisibility psychic power and become more or less unkillable.
* {{Troll}}: An exchange during the Battle for Calth.
-->'''Lorgar:''' Have you lost your temper, Roboute?\\
'''Guilliman:''' [[TranquilFury I am going to gut you.]]\\
'''Lorgar:''' You have lost your temper.
* UnknownRival: Guilliman had no idea just how badly Lorgar took the rebuke at Monarchia, and how far he would go to repay Roboute for this "insult."
* WarriorPoet: Lorgar was considered a NonActionGuy because he'd rather pursue intellectual goals.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Lorgar believes Chaos is the only thing that can save Mankind from falling like the Eldar.
* YouHaveFailedMe: After Erebus and Kor Phaeron messed up the Battle of Calth, he refused to send them aid against the Ultramarine forces in hot pursuit.

[[folder: Alpharius/Omegon]]
!!Alpharius/Omegon, Primarch(s?) of the Alpha Legion
[[caption-width-right:180:Alpharius, Omegon, or one of their body doubles? None of the above? Something else? Maybe?]]

->''The wise commander utilises his enemy's weakness even more than he utilises his own strength.''
-->-- Introit to the ''Principia Belicosa''

The last of the Primarchs recovered, (suspect) sources claim that Alpharius was encountered near the end of the Great Crusade, leading a swarm of fighters and small attack craft that managed to entrap and board a Luna Wolves cruiser. Warmaster Horus led a relief effort, only to have his command ship similarly infiltrated, but a battle for its bridge ended the minute Horus and the invaders' leader got a good look at each other. Alpharius bonded with Horus over the coming months, and eventually was sent back to Terra to be formally received by the Emperor, but the Great Crusade was already in full swing and the two spent little time with each other before Alpharius was deployed to lead the [=XXth=] Legion.

Aloof, secretive and subtle, Alpharius never revealed his homeworld (to say nothing of the existence of his twin brother Omegon), and had little interaction with other Imperial forces. He trained his Alpha Legion to be both tactically flexible and capable of using every advantage possible to achieve victory, and soon earned a reputation for leading intricate and unorthodox campaigns - tactics that clashed with Roboute Guilliman's efforts to codify "proper" warfare. It is thought that Alpharius' old bond with Horus is what influenced him to side with the traitors during the Horus Heresy, though as always Alpharius' true motives are shrouded in mystery. The Alpha Legion fought alongside the traitors at many key battles, but for the most part Alpharius pursued his own objectives, and seems to have gone out of his way to test his skills against other Space Marines.

After Horus' defeat, Alpharius was cornered on Eskrador by Guilliman and the Ultramarines. Though the loyalists were initially outmaneuvered at every turn, Guilliman eventually led a dangerous attack on the Alpha Legion's command center, where he allegedly struck down Alpharius in single combat. This had no effect on the Alpha Legion's performance, however, and the Ultramarines endured a week of guerrilla attacks and ambushes until they evacuated the battlefield and resorted to an orbital bombardment. The Alpha Legion continues to operate from cells hidden across the galaxy, and whether these forces are still following Alpharius' original objective is as much of a mystery as what that objective was.

Of course, all of this could be nothing more than Alpha Legion propaganda and misinformation...

* AnimalMotifs: The Hydra. Fitting, considering their command structure averts DecapitatedArmy. Cut off one head, two more will take its place and the Hydra comes back stronger than ever.
* AntiVillain: ''Maybe''. [[spoiler:He had a secret meeting with the Cabal who told him that if the Emperor won the war then it would doom the Imperium to stagnation and eventually doom by the Chaos Gods, but if Horus won then it would lead to the destruction of both humanity and the Chaos Gods in only a few years. This led him to throw his lot in with Horus. [[ShrugOfGod Maybe]].]]
* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: Alpharius seems to have felt this way about Roboute Guilliman. Guilliman's boast of having more victories than Alpharius would ever be able to achieve appeared to rankle Alpharius's pride.
* BladeOnAStick: The Pale Spear, a strange double-bladed weapon older even than the Eldar. It could pass through armor effortlessly and turn flesh into oily smoke.
* CantCatchUp: Encountered almost 200 years after the start of the Great Crusade, Alpharius soon found that he could never hope to match the victory tally of some of his more accomplished brothers like Horus, Guilliman, or El'Johnson. Given that the Great Crusade was running out of planets to conquer, it seemed unlikely the Alpha Legion would ever match the accomplishments of the other legions. He decided to compensate by making every victory [[ComplexityAddiction as dramatic as possible]].
* {{Chessmaster}}: Alpharius has shades of this in that he likes elaborate planning with lots of nuance to it.
* CombatPragmatist: Alpharius preferred subtlety and flexibility to his strategies and tactics, and believed in seizing every advantage possible so that his victory was inevitable.
* ComplexityAddiction: His FatalFlaw. Perhaps due to an inferiority complex, but suggested to just be part of who he was, Alpharius was always determined to demonstrate himself to be the smartest person in the room. He repeatedly made battles far more complex than they had to be simply to show off to others in general and his brother primarchs in particular, and did not take it well when his brothers weren't impressed. Much like Magnus, Alpharius' absolute belief that he was smarter than everyone else lead him to be OutGambitted on occasion to catastrophic results - and fatally so for Alpharius himself at Dorn's hands.
* ContinuitySnarl: Perhaps fitting, given his/their penchant for screwing with people's heads, Alpharius became the subject of a number of these when ''Legion'' significantly rewrote his backstory, motivations, and gave him a twin in the form of Omegon.
* DecapitatedArmy: Averted, as Guilliman found out the hard way. Even after striking Alpharius down, the whole legion seemed unaffected. Of course, there's accounts that Guilliman really struck down Omegon or a body double, but still.
* DiagonalCut: Fell victim to one of these during his fight with Roboute Guilliman. It is said that the two approached one another and paused, saying nothing and seemingly communing silently. Then they both drew their blades and made a single cut; Alpharius fell a few moments later. Of course, [[ShootTheShaggyDogStory the whole thing may have been made up by the Alpha Legion to sow misdirection]], but it still makes for a cool story.
* FailureGambit: A weird version of this. Alpharius defects to Chaos, though still secretly works against them as a ReverseMole, because he is told that the Emperor's defeat would save the universe, whereas the Emperor's victory would ultimately hand the galaxy over to Chaos.
* FatalFlaw: His need to prove himself the smartest person in the room. The Cabal and Chaos both found Alpharius ironically easy to manipulate because of it. Or he might never have truly turned in the first place, ''just to mess with everybody''.
* TheFriendNobodyLikes: Alpharius's choice of tactics earned him no small amount of scorn. Guilliman famously called them "a waste of time, effort, and the Emperor's bolt shells"; Dorn decried them as "unmanly" and claimed that the Alpha Legion were not fit to bear the Emperor's mark; Mortarion, Leman Russ, Magnus the Red, and even Konrad Curze similarly looked down on the Alpha Legion. Basically the only Primarch who ''didn't'' spurn Alpharius was Horus.
* GameplayAndStoryIntegration: In-game, Alpharius, despite his above-average points cost, is one of the weakest Primarchs and will lose in combat against all other Primarchs except Lorgar. Where he excels is in buffing his forces while messing around with the opponent. This is fitting with his personality, as he prefers to win by cunning over martial skills.
* HighlyConspicuousUniform: Though in many cases Alpharius would disguise himself as an ordinary Legionnaire, at times he took to the field in an elaborate suit of mastercrafted armor known as the Pythian Scales. Or rather, ''someone'' took to the field in the armor...
* InferioritySuperiorityComplex: Alpharius and his legion are driven by a constant need to prove themselves to his brother Primarchs. Famously, Alpharius occasionally made missions more challenging by giving up tactical advantages (such as the element of surprise) in order to make his eventual victory that much more impressive. In a typical twist of fate for this universe, Alpharius' tactics only alienated his brothers further, especially Guilliman, who pointed out that those methods were needlessly complex uses of manpower and resources.
* InferredSurvival: Possibly. Imperial records indicate that Guilliman killed Alpharius, but given the latter's skill at deception and pulling off {{Twin Switch}}es, this seems unlikely. And even if Alpharius ''was'' killed, this still leaves Omegon unaccounted for. To compound matters, Imperial historians, including the Ultramarines themselves, note that the records surrounding the event in question are suspicious. Some question whether it ever happened at all. The Horus Heresy novels simplify the issue somewhat, revealing that Alpharius himself was killed by Rogal Dorn during the Heresy and Omegon assumed his place and identity.
* TheMenInBlack: Omegon and his Stealth units wear black power armor and act very much like this. [[spoiler:He also has a suit of unpainted power armor worn by Malacador's Knight-Errant.]]
* MysteriousPast: Alpharius was discovered attacking Horus' flagship as a pirate. All else of his past is unknown as he refused to ever talk about it.
* OutGambitted: Alpharius was outwitted and defeated by Guilliman (the most by-the-book Primarch) when the latter went against his instinct and used totally unconventional strategies to win.
* PintSizedPowerhouse: Relative to the other Primarchs at least. Whereas the "average" Primarch was roughly twice the size of a normal Space Marine, Alpharius and Omegon were only nominally larger, to the point where they could pass for normal Marines (and have larger members of their legion pass for them).
* ReverseMole: Alpharius is supposedly one of these, having joined Chaos because he believed Horus's victory would doom humanity and save the rest of the universe, whereas the Emperor's victory would keep humanity around longer, but also allow Chaos to grow in power to the point of it consuming everything. Why the Alpha Legion is still pledged to Chaos after Horus's ultimate failure and death is anyone's guess.
** [[spoiler:It's heavily implied Omegon abandoned this plan and began to aid Imperial forces while Alpharius was corrupted by Chaos.]]
* RiddleForTheAges: The only really concrete thing known about Alpharius and Omegon are their combat doctrine. Everything else, including their whereabouts and [[UncertainDoom whether or not either of them is still alive]], is up for debate.
* SingleMindedTwins: Everyone who knows about them considers them this, including each other, but ultimately subverted as the Horus Heresy went on.
* SpacePirate: What Alpharius was before Horus found them. In ''The First Heretic'', his pod is shown to have ''possibly'' ended up on a ship (it was too dark in the vision to tell). Whether he even has a homeworld or not is unknown, but his Legion was quickly bolstered from ''somewhere''. In ''The Primarchs'', Omegon had memories of "scheming their way to supremacy" on their distant homeworld, (probably) confirming that they did have one.
* TryingToCatchMeFightingDirty: Absolute master in this, as CombatPragmatist can attest. He does not shy from FalseFlagOperation and other dirty fighting tricks, to the point that Guilliman [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere retreated]] with a statement that he has "no interest in righteous battle against such a dishonorable foe".
* TwinSwitch: With each other and [[IAmSpartacus their entire Legion]].
* UncertainDoom: Roboute Guilliman killed him in a duel. Maybe. He hasn't been seen since at any rate. Then again, Alpharius was known for pulling off {{Twin Switch}}es with various members of his legion, so it's unclear if he was actually the one that died (and the Imperium seems to assume he hasn't, just in case). And just to make things really confusing, the modern day Ultramarines have no record of this confrontation in their archives and some doubt that it even happened at all, indicating the whole thing might have been made up by the Alpha Legion and planted in Imperial records just to cause confusion.
** Also, this piece of lore was written before Alpharius was given a twin in the form of Omegon. What, if anything, happened to Omegon is still not known.
** ''Praetorian of Dorn'' seems to have settled some things. [[spoiler:Alpharius was KilledOffForReal by Rogal Dorn in a battle on Pluto early during Horus' drive for Terra, prompting Omegon to take over his twin's identity. This 'Alpharius' was the one duelled by Guillman... maybe.]]
* TheUnfavorite: Alpharius was often perceived this way, due to being the last Primarch to be found (and, thus, having to measure up to his 19 "older brothers"). Horus took advantage of this by personally training him and, thus, earning Alpharius's loyalty.
* WhyDontYouJustShootHim: Justified in Alpharius' case. His ComplexityAddiction led him to forfeit advantages and avoid the easy options for victory, deliberately making monolithic, intricate strategies to make his eventual victory all the more impressive.