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The Primarchs from the Horus Heresy who lead the Legions that turn their backs on the Emperor.

Here you may add both characters from the Horus Heresy book series, and the Forgeworld series.

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    Tropes applying to all of them 
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: Since there are nine traitor primarchs, all of whom are beholden to a higher evil power and some of whom become ghost-like entities, they're the Warhammer 40000 version of the Nazgul.
  • Broken Ace: The Traitor Primarchs were some of the greatest champions of mankind, but they were also deeply flawed people, especially after their falls to Chaos.
  • His Own Worst Enemy: Without exception - however bad their own pasts were, they are the ones who caused most of the problems they face now.
    • Fulgrim's obsession over perfection prevents him from understanding the real value of his artistic creations, or achieving much camaraderie with his brothers.
    • Perturabo moans about being unable to create, only destroy, but it's made clear he never asked to be able to build something, and just expected people to give him the chance.
    • Curze was haunted by visions of the future and believes that only his Reign of Terror could have held Nostramo together, but he never tried other means to bring order to Nostramo, nor did he do anything to avert the future his visions predicted.
    • Angron may hate the people who gave him the Butcher's nails, but he inflicted the same hell on his legion and dragged them into oblivion.
    • Mortarion's hatred of weakness makes him too stubborn to realize or admit when he needs help.
    • Magnus's desire for knowledge prevents him from realizing when he reaches too far while also stopping him from considering the consequences.
    • Horus's ego meant that he was willing to believe what Erebus showed him in the Serpent Lodge about the Emperor becoming a god and consigning Horus to be forgotten without considering that he might be being lied to.
    • Lorgar's intense devotion to the Emperor meant he thought that the Emperor ordering the Word Bearers to Stop Worshipping Me was out of modesty, rather than the Master of Mankind being offended by said worship.
    • Alpharius was so obsessed with proving himself to his brothers and upstaging Guiliman that he not only made himself easy to manipulate, but never realized the real reason Guiliman was disappointed in him.
     Fulgrim of the Emperor's Children 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/adrian_prado_final_fulgrim.jpg
I'm Fulgrim and I'm fabulous. Click to see his Daemon Prince form 
The Primarch of the Emperor's Children Legion. Stranded on Chemos, an industrial world which suffered from severe resource shortages, Fulgrim had managed to better the life of its population and became the world's leader peacefully. After being found by the Emperor, he easily took the mantle of warlord and led his Legion from the Blight to a new golden age. After falling under the influence of a daemonic sword he finds on Laer, he falls to Slaanesh and sides with Horus.
  • Animal Motifs: Has a phoenix theme going on, and his actions led to his homeworld's rebirth. The rebirth motif takes on a sinister aspect when Fulgrim is "reborn" himself as a Chaos serving lunatic. During Angel Exterminatus, he was often compared to a cocooned caterpillar ready to eclose, as foreshadowing of his apotheosis to Daemon Prince.
  • And I Must Scream: After a daemon possesses him, it traps Fulgrim's consciousness inside a painting. When he gets out, though... let's just say it's not pretty.
  • Agent Peacock: Whether watching a theatre play or making war, Fulgrim is always downright fabulous.
  • Artifact of Doom: One of these is what does Fulgrim in.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: First Primarch to turn into a Daemon Prince. Gains psyker powers from this as well.
  • Attention Whore: Especially after his fall to Chaos. He needs people paying attention to him, turns into a show-off whenever possible and requires constant adoration and near-worship.
  • Cain and Abel: Ends up killing Ferrus Manus, the brother he was closest to.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: The first thing he did after learning about Curze's visions - something Konrad specifically asked him to keep a secret - was inform Rogal Dorn.
  • Can't Take Criticism: Post-fall to Chaos, he's known to kill people for daring to point out flaws in his plan or being unawed by him.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: First he kills Ferrus Manus, then tries to sacrifice Perturabo to fuel his own ascension, and 40K canon says that his forces completely abandon Horus' armies on Terra and he's quite gleeful about it.
  • Demonic Possession: After the Istvaan V Massacre, he spends some time possessed by his sword's daemon. Old lore posited that the daemon possessed Fulgrim in perpetuity and was promoted to Daemon Prince over the course of or after the Heresy, with Fulgrim pushed to a distant corner of his own mind, basically forever. The new lore readjusts events, with Fulgrim casting off the daemon on his own, then pursuing his fall to Chaos on his own volition. There was a bit of Red Herring implying that Fulgrim was influencing the daemon instead of the reverse.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: Towards art. Fulgrim saw art as an extension of his drive to be perfect. He didn't appreciate that art is about the emotions it evokes, rather than a simple display of skill. His sculptures were perfect recreations of his captains, but Fulgrim hated them for reasons he couldn't articulate and Ostian, a master sculptor, found them devoid of feeling and empty. Sadly, his attempt to explain this only angered Fulgrim.
  • Evil Former Friend: To Ferrus. Only Horus and Sanguinius were closer than the Gorgon and the Phoenician, but after Fulgrim turns evil, things understandably sour.
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous: Let's just say that he loses a couple of fangirls after becoming a Daemon Prince.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: His pre-possession uniform boasts one regular-size pauldron and one stylised like a golden wing, as the image shows.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Fulgrim's soul was briefly trapped in Ostian's portrait of him while the Laer Daemon walked around in his body. With his Villainous willpower he managed to throw the demon off and transfer the monster into his portrait instead, leaving Fulgrim to pursue his Chaotic corruption by himself.
  • Fighting from the Inside: Subverted. He tries to warn Lucius that he's been possessed, but it was largely acting out a part.
    • Later Inverted. The daemon shows him telepathic visions of Ferrus to guilt trip him into giving up.
  • Foil: To 3 particular primarchs.
    • Like Ferrus he strove to improve himself continously, but while Ferrus saw continuous improvement as a systematic continuous process, for Fulgrim it was a matter of attaining perfection. Ferrus was focused on the journey, Fulgrim on the goal.
    • Like Sanguinius he was an artistic Primarch with excellent social skills who pushed his legion to achieve aesthetic and martial perfection. Jaghatai Khan compared them once and felt that while Sanguinius carried himself with aloof confidence, humility and dignitiy, Fulgrim came across as an insecure showoff who couldn't bare to be without his finery. Everything that Fulgrim strove to be, Sanguinius already was.
    • Like the Khan he was focused on swordplay, but Fulgrim was a loud braggart who couldn't help but let everybody know how amazing he was, whereas the Khan felt that his martial prowess were only meant for those he strove to kill.
  • Foreshadowing: One of the workers who found Fulgrim carried a book which he presumed was just full of fairy tales. In fact, they're 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 wounds Roboute Guilliman in personal combat.
  • Genre Blind: The only thing that could make the Laer Blade more Obviously Evil would be "evil inside" written on it. Fulgrim picks it up anyway, and then doesn't consider even for a moment that a sword talking may not be a good thing.
  • Logical Weakness: Fulgrim craves excitement, the novel, and the dramatic. While this makes most battlefields a natural home for him, when combat takes a turn for the attritional and grinding (or from Fulgrim's perspective, dull), he quickly loses interest. Hence the reason why Dorn is able to beat him: he makes their battle a brutal slugfest and denies Fulgrim any way to make it more interesting. Fulgrim realizes that, while he could kill Dorn, it would be about as much fun as digging out an impacted molar and promptly leaves.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: A trait he shares with Sanguinius.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He's not on par with the setting's experts, but Fulgrim is still sharp enough to do things like feign outrage towards a critic of his to get the man to back down. When Horus tries to flatter him into obeying orders, Fulgrim calls him on the obvious attempt to exploit his ego before laughing and admitting that it's working.
  • Meaningful Name: Invoked by people who found him - in Chemos' mythos, Fulgrim is the god of creation.
  • Mood-Swinger: By the start of the Heresy, he's developed the capriciousness that Slaaneshi champions are known for. He'll respond well to having his pride stoked, but if he feels insulted or slighted in any way, he'll freak out, and there's no telling what will set him off.
  • Morality Pet: Played straight in the most twisted way. Ferrus was this to Fulgrim, even after his fall to Chaos. He has Fabius create several clones of Ferrus for the purpose of trying to tempt his brother to Chaos, with Ferrus's clones refusing each time, and Fulgrim killing them in outrage. Over and over. There was even a bit of Red Herring implying that Fulgrim was using visions of Ferrus to instill guilt into the daemon, but it turned out to have been the reverse of that situation.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: His daemon form has four arms.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Killing Ferrus momentarily returns him to his senses, and the grief he's overcome with has him give in to Demonic Possession.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Is on the receiving end of this from Primarchs who've grown tired of his constant melodrama. Lorgar of all people knocks him about in Aurelian and Perturabo does it again in Angel Exterminatus after getting well and truly fed up with Fulgrim's BS.
  • Odd Friendship: With Ferrus before his possession. One is practical to a fault and rather dour, the other is artistic and prone to theatrics. They bonded over their shared perfectionism.
  • The Perfectionist: His defining character trait, and, in the end, his Fatal Flaw.
  • Pet the Dog: Regicide shows that even after his apotheosis, he still cares for Ferrus and thinks warmly of him.
    • Fulgrim orders Eidolon resurrected. Possibly out of regret for killing him in a fit of pique, or possibly because Eidolon's siginificance after his resurrection was part of his plans.
  • The Prima Donna: After his fall to Chaos, he wants everyone to look at him and doesn't appreciate people interrupting him or trying to "play his part".
  • Rage Against the Reflection: After he kills Ferrus, his brother starts to pop up in various reflections, guilt-tripping him, leading to this. It was hinted that Fulgrim was doing this to the daemon within the Laer blade that had possessed his body, but the end of the story shows it was the reverse.
  • Red Baron: The Phoenician.
  • Scaled Up: Becomes a rather hideous snake monster after becoming a Daemon Prince.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: In Saturnine, Fulgrim suffers a particularly painful Humiliation Conga. He is beaten by Dorn, informed that he was merely a tool in Abaddon's ploy, that Abaddon's attack failed anyway, and that he just wasted the lives of thousands of Emperor's Children on the walls of the Imperial Palace. Unwilling to suffer any more, Fulgrim leaves the Siege with his legion.
  • Thicker Than Water: Even when brainwashed into evil by a daemon, he still cares for Ferrus Manus and wants him at his side. When Ferrus attacks him for the first time, he holds back and runs rather than fights. By the time of Istvaan V, though, it's gone.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Turns out that trying to exorcise a Slaaneshi daemon with pain is not as brilliant an idea as everyone thought. However, by this point Fulgrim managed to throw off the daemon through Villainous Willpower and allowed himself to get captured just to see how far his Legionnaires would go.
  • Uncanny Valley Makeup: His stage make-up during his final spiral into Slaanesh's embrace is rather terrifying.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Part of his corruption is that he begins to view people's actions in the most negative light possible. So when Ferrus saves his life by driving his flagship between Fulgrim's assault craft and the guns of an enemy fleet, Fulgrim assumes he only did it for self-aggrandizement.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Poor Fulgrim had no idea what Slaanesh had planned for him in the end.
  • We Used to Be Friends: With Ferrus Manus, and he uses this exact argument when attempting to recruit him for Horus' side.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Snow white hair, the most terrifying fall to Chaos of all.

    Perturabo of the Iron Warriors 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/perturabo_face.jpg
The Primarch of the Iron Warriors Legion. Stranded on Olympia, Perturabo was gifted with an exceptional mind, already possessing all the scientific knowledge to be had, as well as a strange connection to the anomaly he would later christen the "Eye of Terror." He was found and quickly recruited into being the top general of Dammekos, the Tyrant of Lochos. Perturabo conquered Olympia for him, but then ousted him as soon as the Emperor came calling. Perturabo would then suffer indignity upon indignity, chief among these being made a warlord whereas he wanted to be an architect and engineer for peaceful purposes. He sides with Horus after years of frustration with the way his legion is relegated to constant siege duty, as well as the traumatic quelling of the rebellion of his homeworld Olympia.
  • Ace Custom: His armour, the Logos, designed by himself. In addition to having quite a few built-in devices, it doubles as a mobile command centre, enabling him to hear and see everything going on throughout his forces.
  • Affectionate Nickname: His adopted sister Calliphone was close enough to Perturabo to have given him one: "Bo".
  • Arm Cannon: One of Logos' features is a pair of those mounted on the wrists. They fire incendiary bullets.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: He considers siegecraft to be matter of mathematics rather than any sort of art, and he's excellent at pinpointing and exploiting any enemy weakness.
    • In Slaves to Darkness, he also conducts a pitched battle in the open and succeeds through these methods.
  • Bad Boss: His first act upon assuming command of his Legion was decimating it (i.e., having one in ten Astartes executed) for failing to live up to his expectations. Later, he keeps on having anger control problems and often vents his rage at his subordinates, sometimes killing or permanently maiming them. In one instance, he beats up one of his captains so much said legionary must be put in a Dreadnought, reserved for Marines who've received crippling and near-fatal injuries.
  • Badass Bookworm: Among both the smartest and most brutal primarchs. He even wrote a work called the Castellum Arcanum, the go-to guide for siege warfare among the Traitor Legions.
  • Being Watched: Perturabo can always see the Eye of Terror and feel it watching him, however far from it he is.
  • Berserk Button: While it looks like his is taped down, the truth is it just has a hair trigger. Particularly with:
    • Not receiving due credit for his or his legion's work. Mention is made of a Remembrancer who produced a rare depiction of his sons, a picture of a dying Iron Warrior being tended by an apothecary with an Imperial Fist flag waving on top of a fortress in the background. Perturabo set fire to the painting in front of the artist, coldly telling him that if his sons would not be honoured properly, they wouldn't be part of art glorifying others.
    • Implying he's in any way not up to whatever task is set before him. His beef with Rogal Dorn got started when one of the other primarchs asked Dorn at a banquet if he could defend a fortress against Perturabo. Dorn's response was basically "If I had enough supplies and men." Perturabo tried to throw the table at him.
    • Jerking him around. Fulgrim keeps tapping this one in Angel Exterminatus by treating Perturabo as a fool and speaking to him in lies and half truths. Perturabo caves his face in, being well and truly sick of Fulgrim's bull.
  • Big Brother Bully: He had a special pleasure for humiliating his adoptive brother Andos. He frequently challenged him to tests of skill that Andos inevitably lost, and the one time he actually won, it drove Perturabo into a jealous rage. He seemed to regret this in his later life, remarking to their sister that he considered him the best of all their siblings.
  • Butt-Monkey: The other Primarchs and their Legions rarely respected Perturabo and his Legion for their well-worn use being breaking sieges with time and blood... and then his Legion got relegated to garrison duty. There is literally a passage of an Emperor's Children marine talking to Fulgrim as they oversee fortifications for the Drop Site Massacre, asking why the Iron Warriors aren't the ones doing this work. Perturabo, needless to say, resents this.
  • Continuity Nod: Perturabo is the one who coins the name "The Eye of Terror".
  • Cultured Badass: While not as overt as Sanguinius or Fulgrim, Perturabo had an understated appreciation for culture, particularly in the form of anything to do with architecture and engineering. In Perturabo - The Hammer of Olympia, he is shown to be a gifted philosopher.
  • Depending on the Writer: A fairly awful case, to the point where his personality is believed to have been listed as "mercurial" primarily to avoid drawing too much controversy from how diametrically opposed the two major write-ups for him are. Graham McNeill writes him in a more sympathetic light: a cultured and intelligent, if cold and brutal man with democratic inclinations and a fondness for an In-Universe wargame rather like Warhammer 40,000, pigeonholed into disgusting siege warfare while his brothers take all the credit and glory until he snaps, and even then retaining more of his humanity (for a while) than his fellow traitors. John French and his co-writers in the Forge World books write him as a cold, perfection-obsessed killer who had a tenth of his legion executed shortly after meeting them for not living up to his impossible standards and developed a numbers-game warfare style of calculated attrition that reduced every battle to a math equation of soldiers in to soldiers out. Guy Haley's Perturabo - The Hammer of Olympia uses both depictions of his personality, and presents this paradox in his personality as an essential element leading to his fall.
    • French's depictions may stem from the fact that the narrators around him are his underlings in The Crimson Fist and an Imperial historian in the Forge World books. Perturabo would never allow either group to see his vulnerabilities.
  • Desperately Craves Affection: He seems to long for validation in the eyes of his brothers and wishes someone would bond with him enough to call him a friend. Fulgrim exploits this in his scheme to ascend to Daemonhood.
    Perturabo: You don’t know the things I dream. No one does, no one ever cared enough to find out.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Perturabo - The Hammer of Olympia makes it clear that Perturabo's order to raze Olympia was this, as the rebellion itself was more of a farcical internal power struggle on the planet that had seen little outright violence rather than an outright revolt against the Emperor. It really would have been easy for him to intimidate the rebellious city states back into line. Instead, he chose to drown the planet in blood.
  • The Dog Bites Back: There's a long, long list of reasons why Perturabo's angry at the Imperium, his brothers, and the Emperor. Needless to say, he jumps ship the moment he's given a chance.
  • Drop the Hammer: He often used thunder hammers during the Great Crusade, and receives Ferrus's special weapon Forgebreaker as a gift from Horus after the Drop Site Massacre.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: He has a bad case of this. His works are not memorialized by any paintings or sculptures, nobody cares for what he'd want, and wherever he cooperates with another Legion, the other Legion gets all the glory while the Iron Warriors' part in victory is relegated to a footnote at best. It's not that he craves attention particularly, as he's ready to accept all kinds of honorless assignments, but he feels cheated of his due respect compared to other legions.
  • The Engineer: Perturabo's actually a brilliant engineer and architect, but was pigeonholed into tearing down rather than building grand fortresses.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: His feelings about the reborn post-Istvaan Emperor's Children start out harsh and swiftly decline from there.
  • Freak Out: He finally snaps when his homeworld rises in rebellion and pretty much razes it to the ground.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Invoked on himself of all people. After razing Olympia, he becomes horrified and denounces himself as worse than Curze. He even remarks that Konrad could at least claim madness as an excuse, while he was just being petulant.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: He constructs dozens of miniature models and automatons as a hobby. During the events of Magnus the Red: Master of Prospero, Perturabo has managed to build a warp compass out of ancient plans given by Magnus. Angel Exterminatus reveals that he collaborated with Vulkan to make a tiny, functional clockwork model of a Warhound Scout Titan.
  • The Gift: On top of everything else, Perturabo's mind for architecture has given him a remarkable gift for navigating even the most mind-bending mazes with as much trouble as walking down a hallway.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Before he received Forgebreaker, one option for him would be to go to battle without a melee weapon. Part of the upgrades to his armor paired with his natural strength means his fists hit as hard as a plasma gun. For reference, this is right in-between a regular human with a vehicle-crushing Power Fist, and the everything-cooking meltagun.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Not as bad a case as his brother Angron, but he does have a savage temper, particularly if he receives any sort of bad news. Hearing that Olympia had risen in revolt sent him into a terrifying rage, and its razing was basically an overly long temper tantrum on Perturabo's part. And all this without the Butcher's Nails.
  • Heel Realization: Experienced this in full when he gazed out of the Tyrant's Palace of Lochos at the end of the Razing of Olympia and saw how he had reduced his adopted world to a ruin. Feeling overwhelming shame, he regarded himself as worse than Konrad Curze of all people and knew that the Emperor could never forgive him and his legion for what they had done.
    'See how it burns,' whispered Perturabo. 'This was not the action of an honourable man. I have slain my foster sister and destroyed my own world. I swore an oath to the Emperor that I would spread his message and bring the worlds of mankind back into the fold of Terra. By this action, I have defied his edicts and come close to breaking my oath, for what iteration of Imperial law allows this, when the issue might have been resolved through diplomacy? Their rebellion was my fault, and how did I react?' His voice dropped further, and he gripped Forrix's pauldron. It buckled under the primarch's frightening strength. 'I am lost, my son. What have I become?'
  • Hidden Depths: His entire character can crudely be summarised as "Hidden Depths: The Primarch". This applies in particular to Graham McNeill's interpretation of him, where he's shown to be a Cultured Badass with a love for designing and building architectural wonders beneath his cold, ruthless exterior.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Which underlines his generally cool exterior, and his cold shortfall of empathy.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Much of his pathos comes from that he feels grossly disrespected for bearing so much work of the nascent Imperium, and being largely forgotten for it and overshadowed by Dorn, despite wishes to do other things. Problem is, for all of his desires for fame and for building, he never bothered to ask to do it, and he always allowed his pettiness and temper to dictate his actions when his delicate ego was bruised. Perturabo - The Hammer of Olympia took this aspect and ran with it, one character even outright accusing him of having a Martyr Complex which drove him to want to feel underappreciated and undervalued, so that he could very privately take a perverse glee in losing his temper in righteous anger and throwing his perceived undervaluation in the face of nearly anybody.
  • Insufferable Genius: To the people of Olympia. Perturabo was certainly the greatest mind on the planet and never let go a chance to remind his entourage of that fact. Perturabo looked down on almost everyone, was extremely confident and even arrogant in his theories and had a knack for verabally humiliating anyone who wanted a debate.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Bitter and angry as Perturabo was, he did have something of a soft core deep beneath it all, having a genuine friendship with Magnus and building the arena that was ultimately used for the Council of Nikaea note  with the intention that it be used for contests of strength and skill among his brothers. During a joint operation with the Thousand Sons in Magnus the Red: Master of Prospero, Perturabo persists in attempting to evacuate all the civilians of a doomed world despite not having enough time and them resisting his efforts, even curtly rebuking a Thousand Son who argues he should leave those who don't want to be saved behind.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": He has a great deal of respect for a historical figure known only as the "Fiorenzi polymath", heavily implied to be Leonardo da Vinci with the serial numbers filed off.
  • Meaningful Name: Perdurabo is a Latin motto meaning "I will endure to the end".
    • Perturbare means to disturb and is the root of the French perturbé meaning "deranged, crazy" which is an apt description of his personality.
  • Meaningful Rename: Averted. On his home planet of Olympia, it is tradition for a nobleman to take the name of an ancient hero of Olympia in a special ceremony upon reaching adulthood. Perturabo decided to keep his name during the ceremony.
  • Madness Mantra: He finds a new Unbreakable Litany as he watches Lochos - and Olympia - burn from the Tyrant's Palace, repeating it over and over again for hours until Forrix finds him.
    Perturabo: The Emperor will never forgive us this. The Emperor will never forgive us. The Emperor cannot forgive us. Ever.
  • Mood-Swinger: His subordinates are terrified of him, because he can turn from Tranquil Fury to Unstoppable Rage without warning and within seconds.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: His reaction when the enormity of what he has done to Olympia finally hits him, realizing that he is no better than Curze, the most sadistic and psychopathic of his brothers. The novel Perturabo: Hammer of Olympia, specifies that the guilt hits him just after he strangled his own adopted sister.
    Perturabo: I have become Curze. His excuse was insanity. What is mine? My temper?
  • Never My Fault: Many of his sorrows are the result of his utter lack of self-awareness and inability to take responsibility for his situation.
    • While it's true that he was often given the drudge work, he never asked the Emperor for a different job.
    • His adoptive sister points out that he refuses to share his thoughts and feelings with others, which is one of the reasons why almost nobody knew about his creative side. Dorn, on the other hand, was well known as a builder, so it's no mystery why he was given the cool architectural projects. It's hard for others to know about "the things you dream" when you refuse to talk to them. No wonder the strongest mindreader of the primarchs was the only one who knew about them.
    • He felt like the Emperor was using him as a glorified hammer and grinded down to the point of disuse. This is precisely how he treats his legion. His sister, once again, points out that he has a tendency to do things the hard way.
    • Those complaints about never getting credit? He never speaks up about these injustices until MANY years after the fact.
  • Noble Demon: He does remain honourable and lets the Sisypheum escape after they attempt to stop Fulgrim's ascension.
  • Not so Above It All: He has always believed that he doesn't want applause, but when he gets one from thousands of his and Fulgrim's followers, he realizes that it feels good.
  • Not So Stoic: Despite the Iron Warriors reputation for stoicism, Perturabo had quite a temper on him. In The Crimson Fist novella, he crippled Berossus badly enough that he was placed in a Dreadnought. Because he had to tell Perturabo that Sigismund wasn't commanding the Imperial Fists at the Phall System.
    • After Fulgrim's legion show an increasing lack of discipline and begin to neglect following orders during Angel Exterminatus, a a very annoyed Perturabo calls Fulgrim over for a meeting, then smashes an intricate clockwork Warhound titan miniature into his face and beats him half-senseless.
  • Only Sane Man: Sometimes he feels like the only Primarch (apart from Alpharius) who manages to turn to Chaos and yet retain his sanity. By the Siege of Terra, he is this for Horus, as all the other Traitor Primarchs who are present and fighting at the Sol system are on a downward spiral to insanity.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: His sister Calliphone rather cuttingly notes during her deconstruction of Perturabo during the razing of Olympia that Perturabo never properly grew up emotionally despite his prodigious intellect, resulting in his Inferiority Superiority Complex and Mood-Swinger tendencies resembling the mindset of a brooding teenager.
  • Rebel Leader: Grew up to overthrow his adopted father's regime.
  • Red Baron: The Lord of Iron.
  • Rival Turned Evil: His reason for switching sides is his rivalry of Dorn, coupled with decades of resentment.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: In Mortis, Perturabo takes the Iron Warriors and leaves the Siege of Terra when he comes to the realisation that the traitors have turned to corruption and madness and that Horus would have him spend his men just as the Emperor did.
  • Tank Goodness: The "Tormentor", Perturabo's personal super-heavy tank modified so that he and his Iron Circle can be transported to the front.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives a short but effective one to Fulgrim where he points out that the Emperor's Children have abandoned any semblance of honour and discipline, to the point where a tide of mutated legionaries is used as their advance party on the Sisypheum, and so from this point he's the only one who's calling the shots and Fulgrim isn't getting what he wants if he doesn't play along.
    • Also gives an effective one to Daemon Angron during their battle on Deluge, where he points out that Angron has sold his strength to Chaos, while he himself has learned from his mistakes and gotten stronger.
    • Much earlier, he himself received a devastating one from his adoptive sister Calliphone when he razed Olympia.
    Calliphone: Always you do things the most difficult way, and in the most painful manner. You cultivate a martyr’s complex, lurching from man to man, holding out your bleeding wrists so they might see how you hurt yourself. You brood in the shadows when all you want to do is scream, 'Look at me!' You are too arrogant to win people over through effort. You expect people to notice you there in the half-darkness, and point and shout out, 'There! There is the great Perturabo! See how he labours without complaint!'
  • The Resenter: Resents his brothers - Rogal Dorn especially - for respect and recognition they get while he's brushed off as the destroyer.
  • The Rival: He hates Dorn with fierce, burning passion. The two of them have very similar specialities, but with Dorn's works being more grandiose, he's been the one tasked with building, while Perturabo has been volunteered to do the destroying, despite having dozens upon dozens of plans for architectural wonders rivalling, if not surpassing Dorn's.
  • Serious Business: Making stuff. He's rather obsessive when it comes to architecture, building or repairing his collection of oddities.
  • Shoot the Messenger: One of the many ways he terrifies his own men. When he was notified that Olympia had risen in revolt, his reaction was utter shock and disbelief, followed by him killing the unfortunate officer who told him of the uprising by breaking his back over his knee. He only barely managed to restrain himself from butchering everyone in the command bridge, human and Astartes alike.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Beneath the sour, rage-filled mask hides a person really wishing for someone to appreciate his work.
  • The Spock: Noted as having a much higher emphasis on logic in all things, a trait shared by the rest of the Iron Warriors. Is also outright disgusted at how devolved the Emperor's Children and Fulgrim became during the Heresy.
  • The Strategist: He actively encouraged his men to consider how to assault and defend the Emperor's Palace from the beginning of the Legion's inception. His attempt at defending it was competent and played out in a similar fashion to the actual defense later in the Heresy. His attack took far less time and incurred more total enemy casualties.
  • Villain Respect: Has this toward Rogal Dorn despite his hatred for him, because he still recognizes him as a brilliant man, and continues to follow the advice he gave him long ago.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Like several of his brothers, he felt his contributions to the Imperium were overlooked, which contributed to him turning traitor. He got approval from his adoptive father Dammekos, but didn't want it, and later wanted approval from the Emperor and never got it.
  • Worthy Opponent: During his trip into the Eye of Terror, he privately holds tremendous respect for the Iron Hands of the Sisypheum for their courage and ingenuity in trailing two Legions' worth of soldiers. Particularly in contrast to the Emperor's Children's decadence and impulsiveness.
    • Despite his hatred of Dorn, he also sees him as this. Back in the times when they had brotherhood with each other, Dorn advised him to take breaks, even in the height of battle, to regain his focus and clarity. Perturabo continues to follow this advice even during the Siege of Terra, because though Dorn is his hated enemy, only a fool would ignore the advice of a brilliant man.

    Konrad Curze of the Night Lords 
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The Primarch of the Night Lords Legion and a peerless master of stealth and terror. Stranded on Nostramo, Curze lived alone and grew to be a vigilante who managed to terrify the entire population of Nostramo into becoming lawful citizens for fear of the "Night Haunter" coming for them. He was also plagued by visions of a grim future which made him into an unstable wreck. When the Emperor came to Nostramo and gave him the VIII Legion, Curze tried to become an enforcer for the Imperium, but he proved too extreme even for his fellow Primarchs. Put under censure, Curze readily joined Horus.
  • All Crimes Are Equal: A firm believer in this during his time on Nostramo and only very slightly tempered by military doctrine during the Crusade. It frequently overlapped with his Blue-and-Orange Morality.
  • And I Must Scream: Sanguinius shoves him into a stasis casket and throws him out into space. After being found a few decades later, he reveals that he experienced some consciousness, even though that should be impossible in stasis. Downplayed in that he describes it as a sluggish, partial awareness, and it's implied he didn't begin coming "awake" until the casket was unintentionally brought near a psyker, but it still couldn't have been fun.
  • Ax-Crazy: Has occasional bouts of psychosis, mostly brought about by his visions. Before the Heresy, he almost slaughtered Rogal Dorn during one, and stopped only when Sevatar and Sigismund managed to talk him back to his senses.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: Curze is gifted with the ability to see the future constantly. While they contributed to his madness, his visions also allow him to see whatever is going to happen next during a fight or one of his infiltration, allowing him to see incoming threats or divine the next best course of action. Curze also notes that he's bombarded with visions of varying reliability and must make an effort to filter inaccurate and improbable futures.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Once he realizes that he had gone a bit too far off the deep end, he allows an Imperial assassin to kill him.
  • Creepy Child: He started butchering criminals as a little kid.
  • Creepy Crows: Has crows as his motif and can make even Astartes feel fear.
  • Death Seeker: Angels of Caliban shows that he has already decided to die at the hands of an Assassin decades before it will actually happen for the simple reason that he is tired of living.
    • Tragically, one of the more well intentioned reasons he wants to die (before his time) is that it would prove his prophecies wrong and therefore mean that the future might not be as doomed as his foresight showed. He starts getting genuinely panicky and terrified when he thinks he's going to be killed by his brothers and not by M'Shen (post-Heresy). It ultimately doesn't happen.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: His modus operandi. Back on Nostramo, he'd punish everyone with the same penalty - death - regardless of whether they were rapists, gang leaders, corrupt politicians, small-scale drug dealers - or depressed widows contemplating "self-murder".
  • Dramatic Irony: In a particularly tragic scene in Konrad Curze: The Night Haunter, which demonstrates how, for all that he had a lot going against him, his own flaws led him to become a monster. In one of his first vigilante actions, he has a teenage assailant at his mercy, and sees two visions of what could happen if he spares the boy. In the first, the boy is grateful, they bond and learn from each other, and ultimately they lead sweeping social reform based on rehabilitation and empathy that unites Nostramo in peace. But in the other, the boy takes advantage of his mercy and stabs him; he isn't seriously harmed, but the boy becomes a vicious crime lord by riding his reputation as the one who made The Night Haunter bleed, a reputation which makes Curze less feared and his terror methods less effective. Too narrow-minded to consider changing his methods, he kills the boy, but in the last moment of the scene, we see what Curze didn't: the boy had dropped his knife, and it had fallen out of his reach, meaning that Bad Future could never have come to pass, and Curze gave up a perfect opportunity to stop his own downfall.
  • The Dreaded: His specialty is terror, and he's awfully good with it.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: A dark variant. He has prophetic dreams and visions that show him the worst possible futures. Constantly pressed by visions of doom and gloom, he's developed a cynical and nihilistic attitude and came to believe that there is no hope. He gets genuinely scared on the few occasions that he almost dies before his predictions come about.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: When Curze sees the Gal Vorbak (the first example of Possessed Marines) amongst the Word Bearers, his reaction is one of disgust.
    Konrad Curze: You are so much more than merely foul. You are rancid in your corruption.
    • Whilst he made it clear that he would betray, lie, and go back on any oaths, promises, or bargains with any of his brothers, Curze made it explicitly clear that he would uphold his legions agreements with the Mechanicum.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: When Vulkan doesn't turn out like Curze did after months of torture, Konrad is surprised that he's still a good man.
    • The Night Haunter's means of keeping order on Nostramo involved merciless, terminal punishment for any infraction - a method that worked very well when he was around but fell apart almost immediately when he wasn't. When called out on it later by Sevatar, he genuinely doesn't seem to understand that he could have used other methods to create an ordered, compliant world. Then again, he may also have simply not bothered to find out.
  • Evil Counterpart: He's a good study of what would happen if Corvus Corax turned out worse than he did. Corax's Primarch novel heavily lampshades this.
  • Fangs Are Evil: Has a pair of fangs. It's unknown whether they existed before he landed on Nostramo or if he filed them down afterwards.
  • The Fatalist: His dark dreams, and his never-ending, seemingly unwinnable struggle against his violent urges, caused him to develop a fatalistic attitude.
  • Freudian Excuse: It's easy to see why Konrad turned traitor when his life story was almost comically bad. He grew up alone on a crime-ridden world with constant visions of his own death assaulting him.
  • Friendless Background: Curze's the only Primarch who wasn't raised by someone (or, in Russ's case, somewolf) on his home planet. Even after joining the Imperium proper, he typically keeps to himself and is distant from both his brother primarchs and the officers of his Legion. It was mentioned in old material he had a friendship with the equally morose and hateful Mortarion (more of an Informed Attribute, since it was never actually shown in the novels), and Fulgrim, but Fulgrim betrayed his confidence to Dorn out of concern, and likely ended their familiarity.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Curze is mistrusted and disliked by virtually all of his brothers and even elements of his own Legion. Even Horus, who was noted to get along with everyone before the Heresy, considered him to be "a moody bastard".
  • He Who Fights Monsters: 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 and his constant visions of the worst possible outcomes, combined with his inability and/or unwilligness to use anything else besides terror tactics and brutal psychological warfare led him to become one of the very monsters he so despised.
  • Hope Spot: He has possibly the only one in his entire life in Ruinstorm when Sanguinius demonstrates that fate can be changed. Seeing as Curze had based his entire life (his betrayal of the Imperium included) on the inevitability of his own death by the Emperor's will, it gives him the slimmest of hopes that the terrible future he's always seen may be averted. And then Sanguinius takes it away.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: It's heavily implied that during his time on Nostramo, when times were thin, he'd resort to eating his victims.
  • I Have No Son!: When he realizes his Legion has become full of the murderers, thieves and worse that he hated so much on Nostramo, he grows to hate and eventually abandon his Legion. The feeling is somewhat mutual: aside from Talos, most of the Night Lords aren't exactly fussed about finding their missing Primarch.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: An mildly interesting take, in that it's a bit hard to say when exactly Curze made the leap into being a complete monster, if he wasn't always one already in spite of what he told himself. And no matter how much he tried, he simply couldn't reform Nostramo for the better, nor the Night Lords into a tool for justice. Konrad's ordering Nostramo to be destroyed, shortly before the start of the Heresy, was probably the marking point of when he had just given up on his principles and on building an orderly future.
  • Knight Templar: Curze has an extremely strong sense of justice and sees 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 any crimes) and is noted for being one of the most ruthless and merciless of the Primarchs when it comes 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 Scare 'Em Straight) and turned into one of the monsters he so hated.
  • Last Place You Look: Lion El'Jonson spends the first third of Angels of Caliban hunting Konrad Curze across the length and breadth of Ultramar. He doesn't take it well when he finds out Curze never actually left Macragge.
  • Lean and Mean: Out of his armor, Kurze is described as having a slender build for someone of his size.
  • Leave No Survivors: Played with. Curze sees the Night Lords not as an army, but as a punishment; as such, he turns 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.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He is ridiculously fast, even by Primarch standards. In The Unremembered Empire he almost literally runs rings around regular Astartes, and wreaks so much havoc in so little time that the Ultramarines can't even pursue him, because he's already somewhere else. When the guards first call it in, they think they're being attacked by multiple squads of Space Marines.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Does not even begin to cover it...
  • Machiavelli Was Wrong: Played With. Oh, it worked damn good when he was around, but the minute he turned away from his planet, things went right back to hell. It was a temporary fix entirely dependant on his presence.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: He states that his brothers really aren't too different from him, trying to force captive Vulkan into various barbarities, without success. The fact that the other Primarchs aren't like him seems to be profoundly distressing to Curze.
  • Not So Stoic: Has bouts of this during his loyalist days. He frequently claimed that he did not enjoy what he had to do in order to create peace but that it was the only way it could be done. Despite this, he secretly enjoyed committing horrific murder and mutilation and by the end of the Heresy both he and his legion had given up on the pretence.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: His modus operandi in his loyalist days. Often overlaps with Disproportionate Retribution.
  • Psycho Knife Nut: Curize is an Ax-Crazy Knight Templar, and rather than a bolter he uses Nostraman throwing knives, which in his hands are as lethal as firearms. On the tabletop, they are the one of the few weapons in the game that can potentially circumvent Invulnerable saves altogether.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: He has black hair and very pale skin, although not quite to Corax's levels.
  • Red Baron: Lord of the Night, or the Night Haunter.
  • Sanity Slippage: As the Great Crusade wore on, Curze's actions became less and less defensible and he increasingly slipped into psychosis. By the time of Heresy, even his own Legion thinks him crazy.
  • Scare 'Em Straight: 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 Fate Worse than Death.
  • Secret-Keeper: One of two people beyond Jago Sevatarion to know that Sevatar is a repressed psyker.
  • Serial-Killer Killer: His childhood at Nostramo consisted of butchering criminals. Regardless of the severity of the crime.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To Kurtz from Heart of Darkness. The Primarch is named Konrad (the book is written by Joseph Conrad) Curze (a homonym to Kurtz).
    • His MO is pretty reminescent of Batman. His methods, on the other hand, suggest the League of Shadows.
  • Split Personality: One common theory to explain his actions is that he has one, with Konrad Curze being the just and idealistic leader of men and the Night Haunter being a psychopathic vigilante. Part of his fall comes when the Night Haunter, rather than Curze, becomes the dominant personality as a result of the Crusade.
    • Other books (authors) have inverted the relationship, claiming that the Night Haunter was the "honest" monster the Imperium needed, whilst Curze was the fallible human who fell prey to his own weaknesses.
    • This possible aspect to his character was quietly dropped as the series ran on, making Curze into an individual who was always sadistic and unstable, no matter if he tried to live up to some noble ideal early in his life. In Konrad Curze: The Night Haunter, the man himself seems to believe that having the "Curze" name forced upon him ruined his life, and that "The Night Haunter" was his true name, but doesn't seem to think of them as separate people (insane Unreliable Narrator notwithstanding).
  • Straw Nihilist: The constant dark visions and his own cynicism and despair and fatalism leave him without any hope and cause him to gradually abandon all claims of justice or morality.
  • Success Through Insanity: Russ at one point states that Curze is actually one of the few Primarchs who he isn't sure he can beat due to his insanity making him heedless.
  • Suicide by Cop: While it hasn't happened in the 30K timeline yet, Curze's death at the hands of a Callidus assassin has been a detail long established by 40K history. It's most common interpretation is this trope in particular, just to prove that his ideals of harsh justice were right. Afterall, "Death is nothing compared to vindication."
  • Talking to the Dead: As his mental health deteriorates, he starts collecting bodies of dead Night Lords and serfs in his room and spends long hours talking to them. He eventually sculpts the corpses into a grotesque flesh-statue of the Emperor– who is on the Golden Throne and basically dead at that point– and talks to it as if he thinks it's really Him.
  • Terror Hero: What he used to be before falling.
  • The Cowl: His childhood on Nostramo consisted of him terrorizing the populace into behaving by acting like the most violent version of this archetype.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Whenever his psychopathic episodes take him, he turns into this.
  • Vigilante Man: Taken to its logical and horrific extreme.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: He definitely hated the Emperor, but near the end of his life he rants about how he believes his father approved of his actions, and almost comes to tears asking why He never expressed that approval.
  • What You Are in the Dark: No matter how his brothers and the galaxy at large saw him, Curze initially believed himself to be a man of vision and uncompromising principles when it came to establishing order. Sevatar, his most loyal son, tries to help Curze come to terms with the fact that he always had the heart of a complete, bloodthirsty monster, no matter how much he hid it with the mask of a Knight Templar. By the end of his life, between his hypocrisy, and being only able to permanently shape Nostramo and his Legion into a reflection of himself rather than into his vision, he's a broken man who's discarded everything that mattered to him, except for the violence and one last chance to be vindicated...
  • Wolverine Claws: Uses a pair of Lightning Claws in combat. The Night Lords call them "Mercy and Forgiveness", but it's unknown if Curze uses the same.
  • You Are What You Hate: By the time he realizes he's become one of the monsters he despised, he's a broken, self-loathing, and suicidal man.

    Angron of the World Eaters 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/angron_is_pissed_5839.jpg
IT'S HARD TO CALM DOWN WHEN YOU HAVE NAILS STICKING INTO YOUR BRAIN!! Click to see his Daemon Prince form. 
The Primarch of the World Eaters Legion. Stranded on Nuceria, Angron was enslaved by the planet's ruling class and made into a gladiator. When he refused to kill his adoptive father in the arena, the nobles mutilated his brain with the Butcher's Nails, although he managed to retain a modicum of restraint and honor even after being implanted. He eventually led a gladiator revolt, and his tiny army killed so many high-riders and high-rider armies that they became known as the Eater of Cities. When the Emperor came to him on the eve of the Eaters' last stand, Angron rejected his offer to join the Crusade, only to be teleported away from the Eaters of Cities' final battle, losing his beloved companions and having his heart broken. Indifferent to his Legion and hating the Emperor's guts, he quickly sides with Horus once the Heresy erupts.
  • 0% Approval Rating: One of his nicknames is "Broken One". His own homeworld vilifies him as a savage and a murderer and many, including those in his own Legion, feel he's too damaged and deranged to ever be considered a true Primarch. His brothers have no sympathy for him either. Most tellingly, all other Primarchs naturally exude an aura of charisma and authority but Angron doesn't even inspire either from his Legion.
  • Adaptational Sympathy: Angron is generally depicted as a violent and scary psychopath who's overeager to start to rip and tear at the first excuse he gets. He gets a central role in the novel Betrayer, which explores his personality more in his relationship with Lorgar and his more trusted subordinates, and really goes into the pathos of how he was stolen from his old life and wronged by his father and brothers.
  • At Least I Admit It: He doesn't shy away from calling "compliance" and "tithe" for what they are - conquest and manpower.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Angron to Lorgar. Full stop. Angron has always treated Lorgar with contempt and at looks down on him for being a weakling. However, this trope has numerous examples in Betrayer, most notably when Lorgar was weakened by Roboute's blow to the chest, Angron charges in to deliver a "Reason You Suck" Speech to Gulliman and battled him while Lorgar recovers, eventually forcing him to retreat. While that fiasco was happening, Lorgar, still weak from his wounds, was chanting a ritual to help Angron's ascension, until he was attacked by the communion in the warp (Angron's psykers manifested as one in the warp), he was able to break through it, but he was still surrounded in the material realm. They fought until they managed to blow Lorgar's armor and hand off, they were able to bring him down. Cue the semi transformed Angron's Big Damn Hero moment while flying in rage against his Librarians.
    Angron: (Roaring) My brother!
    *slaughters the librarians*
    Angron: Traitors! [...] Traitors, seeking my brother's blood!
  • Ax-Crazy: He wasn't really all there even before the Heresy. His bloodlust and murderous rage are so great that Khorne, god of war and rage himself, takes an interest, and eventually turns him into a Daemon Prince.
  • Bad Boss: After Kharn managed to fetch him back from a feral world (where he had been living like a savage and seeking a foe that could put him out of his misery), Angron ordered the World Eaters to conquer their targeted worlds within 31 hours - a single Nucerian day and the time he and his original army had scored their greatest victory upon the planet. If the legion failed to capture the world within this time limit, Angron would order decimation as punishment, forcing 1 out of every 10 World Eaters to be killed by his other 9 brothers. As the World Eaters were known for their particularly strong sense of brotherhood prior to Angron's arrival, just one such incident would have had a devastating effect on overall morale. Angron ordered decimation several times. When Centurion Mago finally stood up to Angron and refused to again enact decimation after the start of the Ghenna Campaign, Angron flew into a berserk rage, slaying many of his sons before being subdued by his Librarians and put into a coma.
  • Band of Brothers: His relationship with his fellow gladiators. Angron's Legion, the War Hounds (which he renamed the World Eaters) tried to form this kind of bond with him, but he was too wrapped up in his hatred, madness and grief to reciprocate. The War Hounds were like this with each other until Angron had the Butcher's Nails installed in all of them, turning them into a pack of frothing madmen.
  • The Berserker: One of the many reasons why he becomes the Daemon Primarch of Khorne.
  • Big Red Devil: Becomes one of these after falling to Chaos.
  • The Big Guy/The Brute: Angron is known as probably the best fighter among his brothers, and makes good use of his Unstoppable Rage.
  • Black Sheep: The only Primarch to fail in conquering his homeworld, and up there with Curze in how he's treated by his brothers.
  • Blood Knight: Even more so than the other Primarchs. The Butcher's Nails warp and damage his brain so that the only sense of peace and contentment he can achieve is by fighting and killing. When he becomes a Daemon Prince, it gets worse.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: While he's possibly the greatest warrior amongst the company of the Primarchs, Angron also shows himself in Betrayer to be a gifted philosopher and debater when arguing his case for the Emperor's immorality. Unfortunately, due to the Butcher's Nails essentially ripping his brain apart with killing urges and preventing him from even sleeping, he can't really capitalize on any of his talents not directly related to killing.
  • Broken Angel: Created to be a demigod, driven insane by brain implants. Occasionally hints of the person he could’ve been shine through, such as the genuine love he had for his gladiator friends, or the eloquence with which he rants at Guilliman, but these moments just emphasize what a broken wreck he is.
  • Brutish Character, Brutish Weapon: Angron is an eternally raging Blood Knight. He uses twin chainaxes called Gorefather and Gorechild. Both are damaged and discarded at Armatura during the Shadow Crusade of the Heresy. Kharn recovers Gorechild, but Gorefather's lost when Armatura's subjected to Exterminatus. Gorefather returns when Abaddon initiates his 13th Black Crusade.

  • The Corrupter: Before Angron, the XII Legion, then known as the War Hounds, was renowned for the fierce loyalty his warriors had for each other. When Angron took command, he renamed them the World Eaters and had the Butcher's Nails installed in all of his soldiers, driving them insane with bloodlust. Afterwards, the World Eaters were so renowned for their bloodlust and butchery that other Imperial forces wanted nothing to do with them and entire star systems would surrender unconditionally when they got word they were going to be facing the World Eaters.
  • Cyborg: The Butcher's Nails, a set of brain implants that force him to commit acts of violence and make him unable to feel anything other than rage. He was implanted with them for refusing to kill his adoptive father in Nuceria's gladiatorial arenas.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: 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 a squad of Eldar who had come to kill him, apparently because they foresaw what he would become. He grew up as a slave and a gladiator, and he had the Butcher's Nails hammered into his head when he refused to kill his adoptive father, 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 friends to be annihilated. Angron never really recovered. Guy had it rough.
  • Death Seeker: Straddles between this and Not Afraid to Die. Angron believes 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. He's abandoned his legion at least once during the Crusade and has apparently been looking for something tough enough to kill him the entire time.
    • Interestingly, put into question in Betrayer when he's buried under tonnes of rubble on Armatura. Rather than accept his death, he frantically searches for the surface. However, going with his Blood Knight characterization, the frantic searching may be because that would be a very Undignified Death.
    • Is very much this after his ascension, constantly seeking death through close combat. As he is now an immortal Daemon Prince, he is incapable of doing so, much to his great distress.
  • Dented Iron: Even with a Primarch's healing capabilities, Angron is still heavily scarred from all the wounds he takes fighting on the frontline. Most of his teeth are iron replacements, replaced many times over due to losing them again and again to injury. And his scars and iron teeth are nothing compared to the damage that the Butcher's Nails have inflicted on his mind; his healing capabilities were the only thing keeping him alive, and even then the Nails were slowly killing him. Towards the end, before his return to Nuceria, he could no longer breathe through his nose on account of his sinuses and nostrils being clogged up from the nosebleeds resulting from the Nails.
  • Does Not Like Magic: He disdains psykers and hates their powers. It's implied that it's because the Nails react violently to Warp disturbances, causing him pain, though this reaction could very well be influenced by Khorne.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: He insists that he won the Night of the Wolf, an event where Russ tried to prove to him that he could kill him. What happened was that Angron bested Leman in single combat, but the Rout surrounded the two of them and would have killed him, his own men too busy satisfying their own urges to kill to notice their Primarch was in danger, had Russ not called the Space Wolves off, in order to make a demonstration of the damage the Butcher's Nails were doing to the World Eaters. It takes Lorgar's explanations for Angron to understand that this was exactly what Leman was trying to prove. And he still could not see the point, let alone admit it.
  • The Dreaded: Even Leman Russ knew not to get on his bad side. And he only gets worse after falling to Chaos.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: The Red Angel. Angron's internal monologue indicates he despises the implications the title makes that compares him to the "perfect creature" that is Sanguinius.
    "Of all his titles, given in glory or earned in infamy, Angron most despised being named the Red Angel. The Imperium already had an Angel in Sanguinius, and Angron had no desire to ape the fey mutant that commanded the IX Legion".
  • The Empath: In flashbacks to his youth on Nuceria, Angron possessed an innate ability(perhaps latent psychic power) to take the pain and fear of his fellow slaves into himself, allowing them to enjoy a peaceful sleep. He apparently lost this ability when the Nails were put in his head, but there have been hints that he retains it to an extent.
  • Enfant Terrible: 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.
  • Fatal Flaw: His inability to admit his own faults, or to put aside his hatred long enough to see the bigger picture. The Night of the Wolf is a perfect example: Angron is so laser focused on the fact he beat Russ one on one that he didn't even realize that Russ had expertly outmaneuvered him on a strategic level and had Angron at his mercy.
  • Foil: To Sanguinius. Angron was naturally-inclined to be a compassionate, loving being but was made into a monster by the Butcher's Nails. As a result, he is one of the two most hated Primarchs(The other being Curze). Sanguinius was naturally-inclined to be a vicious berserker, but keeps it in check through deliberate effort. As a result, he is one of two most beloved Primarchs(The other being Horus).
  • Freudian Excuse: The Butcher's Nails in his head prevent him from being anything but a warrior, due to heightening his aggression and making it impossible to sleep. Additionally, later novels would reveal that the implants are slowly killing him and cannot be removed non-fatally, meaning he lost any chance of being normal once they were implanted in his skull. However, the fact that it's implied his apothecaries could actually remove the nails if he asked them somewhat ruins this.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: The Traitor Primarchs don't really respect each other except for Horus, but Angron perhaps most of all is looked down on by his brothers for his dysfunction and a general inability to lead his forces effectively. Stangely enough, out of all of his brothers, he forms a mutual respect and even friendship with the scholarly mystic Lorgar, once Lorgar proves himself to be a capable warrior and willing to look past Angron's constant fury and impatience for anything but the most direct solution to a problem.
  • The Gadfly: Has fun mocking Argel Tal's "Blessed Lady" right until Tal attacks him. The attack amuses him too.
  • General Failure: Downplayed, but Angron is a one note general and a blunt instrument. His go-to tactic in every situation is to find where defenses or enemy concentrations are thickest, and to lead his World Eaters in a frontal assault, usually getting separated from them as he charges too far ahead of them in his bloodthirst. Granted, the World Eaters always wins this kind of fight, but the casualties are heavy enough that the victories lean towards pyrrhic. If it weren't for their never diminishing number of Legionnaires, the World Eaters would have spent a lot of the Crusade on the bench to rebuild.
  • Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!: In the short story "Lord of the Red Sands", Angron internally thinks to himself that only liberty is worth fighting for, as opposed to glory or conquests.
  • Gladiator Revolt: Angron's backstory has him leading one, and he was found by the Emperor the day they were going to make their Last Stand. 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 has issues with that.
  • Glass Cannon: At least by his tabletop stats, Angron is one of the most offense oriented Primarchs, but he's rather on the frail side (though for a Primarch, that's not saying much). He trades in on most of the tricks and tools most others bring to the table for sheer offensive capability.
  • Hypocrite:
    • He installed the Butcher's Nails in his gene-sons' brains, even though he hated the implants and knew well what they do to a person.
    • He also despises tyranny. While he does have legitimate issues with the Emperor over how he rules and how he treats his sons, Angron gives support to Horus who openly seeks to create his own tyrannical regime. He's fully aware of this, but his personal issues with the Emperor has made him practically jump to Horus's side the day the offer was made.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: In their final stage of destroying his brain, the Nails make him eat bodies of fallen enemies. Kharn outright refuses to believe it. After his ascension, however, he munches on one of his Legion's Librarians in full view of everyone.
  • Informed Ability:
    • We are constantly told that he is one of the two deadliest primarchs in combat, the other being Sanguinius. Whereas we have feats from the latter, such as holding the Eternity Gate against waves of waves of chaos marines, we haven't seen Angron do anything that most other Primarchs can't do.
    • Subverted in one of the more "comic book" moments of the series, Lorgar stepped in to save a buried alive Angron. Defending Angron's position got Lorgar shot by a Warhound Titan's plasma blastgun. Twice. And then the titan tries to make sure of the matter by stomping Lorgar into putty. Angron emerges, injured and practically flayed, just in time to save Lorgar by getting underneath and holding the titan's foot up above his head. It really hurt an already reeling Angron, but even by 40k logic, that was an incredible feat.
  • My Greatest Failure: Angron's most treasured and defining period in his life was after he lead a gladiator revolt and his fellow gladiators formed a Band of Brothers calling themselves the City Eaters, a rebel army that spent some time sacking his old masters' cities. When facing a Last Stand fighting for freedom, Angron embraced the fact that he was about to die and thought this was the only proper end to his story. Cue the Emperor arriving to offer Angron a place at his side, only for Angron to refuse and kill a Custodes. The Emperor retreated and abducted Angron via teleport and walking away. Heartbroken, denied the death he felt he earned, and feeling like he had just traded one tyrant for another, Angron always resented the Emperor, felt indifferent to his sons, and regretted not being in his true place with his original army.
  • Not Afraid to Die: The Butcher's Nails drive all fear of death from Angron and his Legion, albeit at tremendous cost.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: 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. When violence breaks out, Leman countered this by baiting Angron into an encircled position. Though Angron technically won the fight and let Leman go, Leman's point was that Angron doesn't see the big picture beyond immediate violence, neither the fifty Space Wolves with their bolters trained on Angron, nor the cost in manpower and materiel Angron's combat style incurs, nor the greater picture of the role of the Imperium or Angron's place in it. Angron maintains that he won that argument, because he won the fight.
  • Paint the Town Red: During his days amongst humanity, Angron's pearly white armor got completely covered in red so often that it earned him the name "the Red Angel", and he was often told he should just paint it red. After the Heresy, the World Eaters do just that, though there are rumors that the red color is from many of them never neither actually getting around to painting over the white nor cleaning their armor.
  • Pet the Dog: A very dark version of this trope, if an in-universe theory about his behavior at Istvaan III is correct; namely, that the reason why he defied Horus' orders and descended onto the planet with 50 companies of World Eaters was to grant an honorable death in battle to his loyalist gene-sons, rather than let them be destroyed by conventional orbital bombardment, as Horus had intended.
  • Rage-Breaking Point: Angron actually pursues the point of feeding into the Nails until the rage drive him insensate and practically catatonic from emotional overload. It's the only actual moments of peace he has.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives Guilliman a brutal one:
    "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 receives a small but just as effective one in return:
    "You’re still a slave, Angron. Enslaved by your past, blind to the future. Too hateful to learn. Too spiteful to prosper."
    • Likewise receives an effective one from Perturabo, which echoes that of Guilliman, during their battle on Deluge:
    "You think I am weak. But you have grown weaker, Angron. I have learnt. I have remade my strength. While you have sold yours out of despair. You are weak. You are a slave. You were born a slave and a slave you remain."
  • Red Baron: The Red Angel, the Broken One.
  • Refusal of the Call: 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.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Upon returning to Nuceria with the Word Bearers (as part of an Evil Plan of Lorgar's), Angron is outraged to see that the planet's population (particularly the powerful elite who enslaved him and his old comrades) has demonized him as a murderer and coward who left his slave army to die. Hearing this (on top of the continuing humiliation of the Emperor having stolen him away from the Last Stand he wanted with his fellow slaves) pushes Angron over the edge: he murders several of the gathered nobility with his bare hands, then orders the entirety of both the World Eaters and Word Bearers to first kill everyone in Nuceria's capital city Desh'ea, then kill every last person on the planet. Given that a single Legion can pacify an entire system in a matter of days, it only takes both Legions a few hours to massacre every human on Nuceria.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: To wit, after the Emperor abducts him and has him put in control of a Space Marine Legion, he's simply furious and uninterested. The Emperor has the Legion's Captains talk him down without laying a hand on Angron, resulting in their successive deaths...until Kharn succeeded.
  • Super Prototype: Angron's butcher's nails are the subtley different from the version of the technology his World Eaters use. It may be that the World Eaters have developed an inferior version of an older, more refined technology, or using them on a Primarch's brain had a different effect. Angron's nails have a slightly more exaggerated effect, sometimes driving him into a blank state, and effectively shuts out psykers unless they can overpower the nails' influence. Then again, technology holding a Chaotic taint isn't unheard of.
  • That Man Is Dead: Angron considers himself to have died on Nuceria with his fellow gladiators. On Nuceria he was a wild but also honourable gladiator who led his brothers and sisters to freedom, but he's since then become apathetic to everyone around him afterward, especially his Legion's fall from grace.
    Angron: I died a hundred years ago in the mountains north of the city that enslaved me. I died after Desh'ea.
  • Unstoppable Rage: To give you an idea of how batshit furious this guy is, put this into perspective: Kharn The Betrayer, aka the guy who single-handedly destroyed two entire legions of chaos marines by himself just because they refused to fight for a few hours, was once considered to be his Blue Oni in comparison.
    • To be technical though, this constant part of his character can be blamed on him having Nails implanted in his brain that amplify his aggression and fury.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Before getting the Butcher's Nails, he had an innate ability (possibly latent psyker powers) to calm people which he used to comfort his slave friends.
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    Mortarion of the Death Guard 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mortarion.jpg
Rest assured, you do not want to smoke what he smokes.
The Primarch of the Death Guard Legion. Stranded on Barbarus, Mortarion became a "son" to a local lord, acting as his enforcer but then turning against him when he discovered he oppressed fellow humans. Mortarion led a successful campaign against the Overlords of Barbarus, destroying nearly all of them except for his "father". The Emperor arrived on Barbarus at that point and offered him a challenge: kill Necare himself, and Barbarus would remain free. If Mortarion failed, he would have to pledge his services to the Imperium. Mortarion took the challenge immediately, and very nearly succeeded, but the toxic atmosphere surrounding Necare's fortress overwhelmed him and the Emperor stole the kill. This caused him to resent the Emperor with a passion. Mortarion was among the strongest and toughest of the Primarchs physically, was a stealth expert and hated psykers, campaigning against their use among the Legions. At the onset of the Heresy, Mortarion quickly joins with Horus for political gains but his plan is soon overshadowed by Nurgle's influence.
  • Acquired Poison Immunity: Barbarus being always covered in toxic mists, Mortarion ended up adapting, to the point that he can't manage without the poisonous gases of his homeworld.
    • He can be in the same room with the Exterminatus-class life-eater virus, only finding it annoying.
  • Archnemesis Dad: In his youth, he ended up leading a rebellion against his monstrous foster father Necare. He almost succeeded, till the Emperor had to do it for him when he faltered at the last hurdle.
  • Bald of Evil: He's completely hairless and is pretty bloody evil.
  • Beneath the Mask: It's said that the fact that he wasn't able to kill his foster father and the Emperor had to help him out has left him with a serious sense of insecurity.
  • Deal with the Devil: Makes one with Nurgle to make the pain stop.
  • Didn't Think This Through: His anti-psyker campaign leaves something to be desired.
    • He successfully argues for the Edict of Nikaea, prohibiting the use of psykers in the Legiones Astartes, only to join the side that encourages them to use their powers and worse.
    • Really thinks that Jaghatai Khan - the co-founder of the Librarian program - would join him in killing all psykers. Somewhat explained by the fact that no-one's sure which side Jaghatai will actually take in the war. Mortarion is there to either turn the White Scars over to Horus's side or kill him, being one of the few that can match the Khan's blinding speed with sheer resilience.
  • Does Not Like Magic: In fact, the biggest opponent to the Librarius program. Gradually ends up embracing warp sorcery, first as means to counteract it, and then abandoning all pretense and using it proactively. His hatred for warp sorcery harkens back to the fact that Barbarus' Overlords used sorcery as well so he fully knows how horrible sorcery can be.
    • "It's not for us. It's a cancer, a blight."
  • The Dragon: Becomes one of sorts to Horus as the Heresy drags on. As Horus explains to him, the other Traitor Primarchs are all too unreliable: Angron is now an insane rage monster, Lorgar is worshipping Chaos for its own sake, Fulgrim and his legion are too obsessed with their own goals, Perturabo is too inflexible for independent operations, Alpharius is off doing his own thing (maybe), Magnus hasn't even committed any forces to the Heresy (yet) and the Night Haunter is trapped behind the Ruinstorm along with his very fragmented legion. Mortarion, on the other hand, kept his Legion together and actually does what Horus says. However, both of them also know that Mortarion is pretty much the only one available - Horus doesn't have a choice. Despite appearing to appease Horus, Mortarion considers him to be an abomination.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: He eventually gains aspirations of overthrowing Horus and becoming the new leader of the Heresy. Jaghatai mocks him for having neither the skill or charisma that would be required to pull it off.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: For all of his faults, he cared for the people of Barbarus and loved his gene-sons. This is the primary reason why he made the deal with Nurgle. Enduring pain was one thing, but seeing his gene-sons in endless torment was too much.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Despite being a ruthless traitor who will bombard planets with biological weapons without hesitation, he still recognizes when a legionary is suffering agony and tries to Mercy Kill him.
  • Fatal Flaw: Two of them:
    • Pride: His inability to ask for help means he winds up biting off more than he can chew.
    • For all his resilience, he has a habit of giving up or failing at the last hurdle. He allowed himself to pass out when he was in sight of killing his adopted father, and it's hinted in Warhawk that his legion could have made it to Terra uncorrupted if Mortarion hadn't given in to Nurgle at the last moment.
  • Freudian Excuse: He was raised on a planet with rulers that were masters of Chaos sorcery. Because of the suffering they caused, he despises all psykers.
  • The Grim Reaper: Loves this look, what with the Sinister Scythe and hood.
  • Interspecies Adoption: The Overlords of Barbarus were a Xenos breed that had been corrupted by Chaos to some degree. Necare was the greatest of them. A large part of Mortarion's activities during the post-heresy to the present day was hunting down the soul of his "father" in the warp and then imprisoning it inside a clock.
  • It's All About Me: Exhibits this in Scars. Jaghatai Khan calls him out on it.
    Jaghatai Khan: I am no tyrant.
    Mortarion: We are all tyrants. Do not fool yourself. We were bred for nothing else.
    Jaghatai Khan: Not I. I care nothing for dominion. Never have. You on the other hand... you yearn for it.
    Mortarion: I deserve it. I always deserved it.
    • It also ties in to his belief that he had the hardest upbringing of the Primarchs. Whilst strong cases could be made for both Angron and Curze having the worst upbringings, Mortarion firmly believes that he suffered the most and deserves to have that recognised. After the Heresy begins, he still thinks that he has the biggest reason to want to confront the Emperor.
  • Lean and Mean: Noted to be lean under his armour, and his burning and poisoning of worlds certainly qualifies him as mean.
  • My Greatest Failure: Considers his failure to properly kill his adoptive Overlord father, Necare, to be this. After years of rebellion, Mortarion privately considers that he failed his most crucial test in life by succumbing before Necare and having to be saved by the Emperor. His self-loathing made him blame everyone else for their weakness and hate the Emperor.
  • Only Sane Man: Horus considers Mortarion to be this among the traitor Primarchs under his command.
  • Plaguemaster: Who he becomes as he falls to Chaos.
  • Puny Earthlings: Mortarion holds unaugmented humans in contempt, disdaining their weakness. He initially didn't harbor this sentiment but his frustration at the human comrades who were holding him back grew into a full-blown contempt.
  • Puppet King: As powerful as Mortarion is, it's a not-uncommon opinion that Typhon is the true master of the Death Guard due to him being the one who led them to pledge themselves to Nurgle. In his duel with Mortarion in Warhawk, one of Jaghatai Khan's more cutting taunts is to name Typhon the Legion Master.
  • Made of Iron: One of, if not the toughest of the primarchs. It's even noted by Ferrus Manus (himself known for his toughness in combat) that there's nobody else he'd rather have beside him in a war of attrition.
  • Minor Major Character: Despite being a Primarch and general of the traitor forces, Mortarion had the least influence on the outcome of the Heresy save for the Khan. He's also one of the few Primarchs with a minimal degree of characterization and spotlight time. Ironically, he was perfectly placed to decisively win the war for the loyalists. He was unhappy with Horus's use of psychic powers and resisted worshipping Chaos all the way up to the final warp jumps to Terra. The Emperor held out hope that Mortarion would turn the tide in his favor. However, at the 11th hour, his endurance gave out and he submitted himself to Nurgle, failing the final hurdle just as he did when he faced his "father" Necare.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: He didn't manage to kill his foster father, and the Emperor had to do it for him.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: After Jaghatai Khan defeats him in Scars, Mortarion spends a great deal of The Path of Heaven obsessing with this trope, both to settle the score and prove his value to Horus.
  • Rebel Leader: Mortarion once led the humans of Barbarus in a years long rebellion against the Overlords, ambiguously human creatures who used to oppress the population. He managed to topple and kill all of them save Necare his adoptive father, who was killed by the Emperor.
  • Red Baron: Lord of Death, Dread Liberator of Barbarus.
  • Sinister Scythe: Mortarion's weapon of choice, a Manreaper called Silence.
  • The Social Darwinist: Mortarion is noted to hate weakness and vulnerability. This comes into play when the Emperor had to save him from his adopted father, and came up again when he was forced to beg Nurgle for succour against the Destroyer Plague.
  • Stronger Than They Look: Physically he's less impressive than his brethren: his spine is curved, he often leans on his scythe and his breath rattles, but there's no doubting his strength.
    • Fighting him, the Khan reckons that only Ferrus could have matched Mortarion's sheer physical power.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Mortarion has one in The Path of Heaven when, after boarding Jaghatai Khan's flagship Swordstorm, expecting to find the Khan waiting to face him, Mortarion discovers he's been duped: the Khan has already abandoned ship, the Swordstorm has been rigged to explode, and he's surrounded by White Scars who are completely willing to die in the hopes of taking Mortarion with them.
    • He has another in Warhawk where after suffering insult after insult from Jaghatai throughout their duel, Jaghatai finally laughs at him and tells Mortarion that despite taking an absolute beating he hasn't given in like Mortarion did on the Terminus Est, thus proving his endurance superior. Mortarion snaps at the implication everyone else sees him as weak and recklessly attacks, leaving Jaghatai the opening to follow his sons' example and pull a Taking You with Me while impaled on Mortarion's scythe.
  • Walking Wasteland: After dedicating himself to Nurgle, Mortarion becomes a living vector of disease. During Lost and the Damned several traitor astartes become immediately ill once he comes even remotely close to them.
  • Weapons-Grade Vocabulary: Uses the language of daemons to banish one.
  • Younger than They Look: While still over two centuries old, he certainly looks older than his brothers, probably due to the toxic gases of his homeworld.

    Magnus The Red of the Thousand Sons 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/magnus_the_red_4111.png
The Primarch of the Thousand Sons Legion. Stranded on Prospero who fatefully had a population of peaceful psykers, Magnus quickly became the best of them and used his powers to reconquer Prospero from the terrible beasts that threatened the population. Initially loyal to the Emperor, he tries to warn his father about the impending betrayal of Horus, but his use of recently banned psychic powers causes the Emperor to send Leman Russ to arrest him, which Horus alters into termination orders. Cast out, Magnus sides with Horus.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: He's called "The Red" for a reason.
  • Ambiguous Situation: His conversation with the Emperor and ultimate Redemption Rejection in Fury of Magnus is called into question in Echoes of Eternity, where Vulkan claims that Magnus was essentially hallucinating a Freudian Excuse to absolve himself of guilt. Given the nature of interactions with the Emperor, it's left completely unclear which, if either, of this versions is true.
  • The Big Guy: 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.
    • All of this is complicated by the fact that Magnus could alter his appearance (and therefore height) with his powers but also shared his father's trait of being seen differently depending on who was looking at him. For context, Vulkan has been described several times as being the tallest primarch, which could be interpreted as meaning the naturally tallest.
  • The Cassandra: Magnus' visions are almost never wrong, and almost never believed. The galaxy could have avoided a great deal of trouble if the Emperor and other Primarchs heeded Magnus' advice more often.
  • Cyclops: Played with. Magnus only has one eye. While early on, how it was depicted was a case of Depending on the Author, either being one eye on the middle of the forehead, or with his right eye being an empty socket, scarred, or just smooth skin. The novel A Thousand Sons showed that he had a degree of Voluntary Shapeshifting from his psychic power, something he had inherited from the Emperor. It has been hinted a few times that he originally had two eyes and gave one to Tzeentch as collateral, in return he got a stop to the rampant mutations of his Legion. It's reflected in his Daemon Prince model, which comes with several options for how it appears. Magnus the Red is known in the game as being a cyclops; in addition to his mighty psychic powers, his mutated genome caused him to only bear one eye, which was part of the reason why he was accepted by the planet of peaceful mutants he was "born" on. In Horus Heresy, he isn't mutated at all, he's just lost an eye. Lampshaded in Betrayer - Magnus meets with Lorgar via astral projection right as the World Eaters and Word Bearers begin their assault on a particular world, and Lorgar notes how Magnus's face shifts between three forms: one where he simply lost an eye and the empty socket is sewn shut, another with one large, cyclopean eye, and another with just smooth skin where the other eye should be, as if the eye never existed. These are all representations that Magnus has been given in fluff over time. This is explained as the truth of Magnus losing his eye. Magnus made a deal with Tzeentch that cost him that eye. However, while it was removed naturally Tzeentch also made it so the eye never existed in the first place and, yet, obviously it did. Magnus' earliest Demon form was cyclopean. What Lorgar is seeing is all the different realities that exist similarly to how Covus Corax could see through the Emperor's glamour where he saw the giant golden warrior and the humble, average looking man. The scary thing is the Emperor never seemed to notice that the eye he gave his son suddenly vanished. That is some scarily powerful magic.
  • Damaged Soul: When he was defeated by Russ, Magnus' soul was split in several shards and cast all across the Immaterium. Depending on the shard, the soul could be melancholic, benevolent, or be the incarnation of his resentment. All of the souls bound themselves to places that were significant to Magnus, sometimes in more subtle ways than most people would think.
  • Deal with the Devil: While it had been hinted before in canon, A Thousand Sons finally clarifies that yes, Magnus did make a pact with Tzeentch. Specifically, he gave up his eye so that the Flesh Change plaguing his sons would stop. It's heavily implied that the Flesh Change was caused by Tzeentch in the first place, meaning Magnus sold his soul for nothing.
  • The Dreaded: It doesn't come up often, but Magnus and his Legion provoke 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.
  • Fatal Flaw: Pride. Magnus was arrogant enough to believe that he knew best concerning the Warp and sorcery, and this arrogance led him to disregard the word of any who preached so little as caution. After the sanction handed down at Nikaea and being excluded from participating in the Emperor's project to open the Webway to mankind, Magnus's wounded pride led him to use sorcery to warn the Emperor of Horus's fall over more mundane methods in a bid to prove the worth of his powers. Doing so led to the Webway project being damaged beyond salvation, necessitated that the Emperor sit on the Golden Throne lest Terra be invaded by daemons, and resulted in his world being razed and his Legion nearly being wiped out by the Space Wolves.
  • Foil:
    • To Leman Russ. Russ is a savage from the iron age world of Fenris, yet has the clearest understanding of Chaos of all the Primarchs due to practical experience. Magnus hails from the civilized, highly intellectual Prospero, but falls straight into Tzeentch's trap due to relying purely in theory and disdaining Leman's words as the superstitions of a barbarian.
    • To Mortarion. Magnus is the greatest psyker among the Primarchs while Mortarion abhors psykers. Mortarion's Death Guard are very dour vs Magnus' Thousand Sons being close to the people of Prospero. Magnus is associated with vibrant red while Mortarion is associated with sickly green. Perhaps most ironically, despite all the suffering he goes through, Magnus manages to resist the temptation of Chaos until partway through the Siege of Terra, while Mortarion succumbs just before arriving in the Sol System.
  • Genius Bruiser: All of the Primarchs are superhumanly strong and intelligent, but Magnus is particularly fond of intellectual and cultural pursuits. He's also easily among the largest of his brothers, with strength lauded as rivaling Leman Russ's.
  • Informed Flaw: Said to be one of the most unpopular primarchs. That said, he is the favourite brother of Khan, Lorgar, Perturabo, and gets along well with Fulgrim, Sanguinius and Horus. Add all of that up and he is actually among the most popular primarchs.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: He tries to do this when Russ comes calling, deciding that he can't save Prospero by fighting, so he'll save it by giving up. Ahriman and his fellow Sons call him out on this and the rest is history. It's revealed that Russ was actually willing to sort things out peacefully with Magnus, but Chaos intervened to ensure that blood would be spilled.
  • Living Mood Ring: Well, Eye, singular. Magnus's remaining eye constantly changes colours, depending on his mood. Some of those colours don't exist in the mortal universe, having been drawn from the Warp.
  • Morton's Fork: Either accept Tzeentch's offer and sacrifice the Legion to serve him, thereby aiding in the Imperium's destruction, or don't accept it and let the Wolves finish the job, thereby aiding in wiping the Sons out. What a sweet choice indeed.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: As he's cast back into his body after trying to warn the Emperor and destroying the webway gate, Magnus has a vision of what the Emperor had actually planned: Magnus would have been given command of the Golden Throne, and thus would have attained the complete mastery of the warp he'd always sought. This revelation drives him to despair.
  • Not Helping Your Case: In Scars, Targutai muses that Nikaea might well have gone differently had Magnus shown some contrition and willingness to accept regulation of the Librarius, rather than proving his detractors right by arrogantly arguing that no regulations could be allowed to bar the pursuit of knowledge (and using an edited retelling of the allegory of the cave to make his point).
  • Odd Friendship: Magnus is perhaps one of the few that truly connected with two primarchs that were known for not being the most beloved: Jaghatai and Lorgar.
    • Jaghatai and Magnus liked each other specially for the mutual respect that each showed 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 all 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 philosphy after their first meeting.
    • Magnus also is implied to have also enjoyed a good relationship with Perturabo, based on their shared desire for knowledge and scholarly pursuits outside of warfare.
  • Out-Gambitted: Trying to out-scheme the universe's greatest Chess Master is generally a bad idea, as Magnus eventually finds out.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: All of the Primarchs can slaughter countless Space Marines in combat and even take on vehicles and win. Magnus can incinerate enormous Titans with psyflame, raze the surface of planets, and bring nightmares to entire worlds as a side-effect of his power.
  • Platonic Cave: Magnus tells a version of the story at Nikaea to argue his case for continued study of warpcraft and sorcery, claiming that no knowledge could be evil and it would only serve to dispel ignorance. Ahriman points out afterwards that he didn't tell the story correctly: in this universe, when the first man came back to tell his fellows what he saw, they killed him.
  • Psychic Powers: He's an enormously powerful psyker, second only to the Emperor.
  • Red Baron: The Red Cyclops.
  • Redemption Rejection: In the novella The Fury of Magnus, Magnus rejects Malcador's proposition to join the Imperium, because it would mean to abandon the Thousand Sons and let the Flesh-change consume them.
  • Spanner in the Works: For all of the damage Horus did, Magnus ruining his father's Webway project was 10 times worse.
  • The Rival: To Leman Russ. Their life philosophies, their stance on psykers and their characters ensured the two of them would never get along.
  • Thicker Than Water: The reasoning he gives behind help he gives the Salamanders - essentially, he believes that in a galaxy torn by fratricidal war, some values should be held up, and he wants to do something for Vulkan one last time.
  • Token Good Teammate: Magnus fell to the traitor side as a result of both Then Let Me Be Evil and his shattered soul, and on occasion he acts in ways that help the Imperium and hinder his own ostensible side: in particular, on two separate occasions Magnus's actions save the life of Nykona Sharrowkyn, firstly by asking Alpharius to specifically spare Sharrowkyn and secondly by having his flagship intercept missiles that would have destroyed the ship on which Sharrowkyn had taken the Magna Mater, the genetic relic that would later be used to create the Primaris Space Marines, thereby ensuring that the Imperium would be bolstered by a powerful new breed of Astartes in the future. Magnus is the last Primarch to give himself over to Chaos, only fully accepting its powers during the Siege of Terra.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Had Magnus used mundane methods such as an astropathic communication or a personal visit to Terra to inform the Emperor of Horus's impending treachery, he wouldn't have caused irrevocable damage to the Imperial Webway project and brought the Emperor's wrath down on his head, but his desperation to prove the worth of psyker abilities led him to use sorcery and accept help from Tzeentch to punch right through the wards shielding the project from daemonic incursion.
  • Tragic Villain: He's never wanted the galaxy given over to Chaos, but circumstances and actions of others force him to side with Horus.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: He manages to teleport himself and all the Thousand Sons to the Planet of the Sorcerers within the Eye of Terror before Russ can kill them all.
  • Warrior Poet: His ultimate ambition is to bring intellectual enlightenment to the galaxy through military conquest.
  • Wild Hair: His hair is almost always referred to as a "mane", which can be seen by looking at any picture of him.
  • You Cannot Grasp the True Form: He's said to have inherited this trait from the Emperor - for example, in Betrayer his features shift and change constantly to whoever is looking at him. In A Thousand Sons his size constantly changes, from normal to Titan-sized.

    Horus Lupercal of the Sons of Horus 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tumblr_ph3m7yyv8y1vjjcaco1_1280_8.jpg

The Primarch of the Sons of Horus, formerly known as the Luna Wolves. Stranded on Cthonia, Horus was found quickly by the Emperor and was raised by Him, with Horus developing a particular father-son relationship with Him. Once the Emperor's most favoured son, he was named Warmaster of the Great Crusade, but after being injured with a Chaos weapon and healed with a Chaos ritual in which he was tricked into believing the Emperor would betray him, he turns against the Emperor and launches the Horus Heresy, taking half the Legiones Astartes with him.


  • 100% Adoration Rating: Horus was one of the most beloved Primarchs before his fall and got along with almost all his brothers.
  • A Father to His Men: Most primarchs embody this trope, but Horus endeavored to speak openly and listen attentively to his men, in particular the Mournival, though lesser Astartes, Imperial Guard officers and even civilian personnel were also given due respect and kindness. Many among his legion knew the Warmaster as disarmingly warm, generously patient and remarkably forgiving. By the time the Heresy was underway, he had grown harsher and less welcoming.
  • Ambition Is Evil: He was driven to be the best Primarch and to acquire greater successes. After his fall, his ambition becomes to destroy the Emperor.
  • Army of Thieves and Whores: The short story Warmaster implies that Horus thinks this about the other Primarchs on his side of the war, regretting that the ones he would really want on his side are arrayed against him and he is left with the very worst.
    "Strange is it not, that so many I wish beside me stand against me, while at my back are only the flawed and damaged. I am a master of broken monsters".
  • Big Bad: Of the Horus Heresy.
  • Broken Pedestal: Horus was hailed as one of the Imperium's greatest heroes, second only to the Emperor. Quite a few Primarchs also looked up to him. After his betrayal, Horus became a subject of loathing for Rogal Dorn, Roboute Guilliman, Sanguinius and Jaghaitai Khan, all of whom admired his prowess.
  • Cain and Abel: The Cain to Sanguinus' Abel, and he'll eventually end up killing him, too.
  • Came Back Wrong: After his resurrection by Davinite priests, he turns into an Emperor-hating Chaos worshipper.
  • Chewing the Scenery: He clearly has a love for theatrics.
  • Deader than Dead: During the brief moment where he is free of the Chaos Gods control, he begs for the Emperor to kill him. The Emperor essentially destroys him on such a level using his psychic powers that he was wiped away from existence, and can never be brought back as he was, even by the Chaos Gods.
  • Deadly Scratch: The shoulder wound that Horus suffers from the Anathame, which refuses to heal and ultimately brings him to death's door.
  • Drop the Hammer: Worldbreaker, a power maul forged by the Emperor and presented to Horus as a gift.
  • Don't Call Me "Sir": Before his Start of Darkness. He made a point of discouraging formality and fanfare, both as the primarch of the Luna Wolves and the Warmaster of the crusade, preferring to speak with his officers and advisors as equals. It's suggested that this may simply be an image he cultivates.
  • Doomed by Canon:
    • Horus instigated a civil war to usurp the Emperor, preventing an era of darkness and chaos by placing himself on the throne. By the 40k era, it's common knowledge in-universe and to players that Horus is long-dead, the Emperor is in a coma, and the failed war is actually what brought the galaxy to the iconic state of disarray and despair that Horus had sought to prevent.
    • According to the Cabal's farseers, even had Horus initially triumphed, his remaining honor would drive him to deep guilt and shame over killing the Emperor and consorting with Chaos. He would have sought to unmake his empire, his allies would have turned on him and the ensuing bloodshed would have fed Chaos the most power they had ever possessed. The entire human race would have been snuffed out in a matter of centuries, causing Chaos to be starved without a host that they became fully invested in. So, either way, Horus' rebellion was doomed from the start, though it's worth noting that destroying the entire human race would have actually weakened Chaos severely and ultimately saved the rest of the galaxy. Farseer Eldrad, however, implies that the Cabal's vision is wrong.
  • Evil Former Friend: To Sanguinus. The two used to be best friends and could count on each other at all times, but after Horus switches sides, they become bitter enemies.
  • Evil Wears Black: His pact with Kelbor-Hal is sealed with a massive suit of black Terminator armour.
  • Eye Motifs: His symbol is a stylized eye called Eye of Horus. It also doubles as the series' logo.
  • Fatal Flaw: Pride and ambition.
  • Face–Heel Turn: The brightest hope of all humanity since the Emperor, beloved by all of mankind, a peerless warrior and sublime statesman; the very best that humanity could ever be. He is then almost killed and shown Scrooge-like visions of a future where he is forgotten and his Father is worshipped as a God across a million worlds. Cue instant patricidal hatred and the beginnings of a rebellion that eventually damns the Galaxy into a slow decay of labyrinthine bureaucracy, neverending bloodshed, and, perhaps most tragically, no future for mankind. In other words... Exactly what he saw.
  • Fallen Hero: Used to be the best Mankind had to offer before his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Fantastic Racism: Surprisingly averted; when he meets the Interex he's willing to negotiate and work out a deal with them rather than simply purge them like Fulgrim or Ferrus did with the Diasporex. When asked about this he says it's because humanity is in a stronger position and thus can be more flexible. He goes so far as to say that it's admirable that the Interex have managed to form a peaceful mixed alien-human federation that has friendly relations with other aliens (like the Eldar). His lieutenants are split between understanding his reasoning and being horrified that he would stray so far from the Emperor's stated policy. Apparently he always thought that the Imperium's genocide policy was merely a cruel necessity that would be dropped later, rather than something to stick to even when dealing with potential allies.
    Horus: We annihilate, they find a means around such drastic measures. Which of us is the most humane? It has brought them to book, and learned to live in sympathy. It has trained the kinebrach to-
    Aximand: And that’s the best example I can offer! The kinebrach. It embraces them as part of its culture!
    Horus: I will not make another rash or premature decision. I have made too many, and my Warmastery is threatened by my mistakes. I will understand the interex, and learn from it, and parlay with it, and only then will I decide if it has strayed too far. They are a fine people. Perhaps we can learn from them for a change.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: In his early appearances he wields a sword fashioned by Ferrus Manus. Tellingly it's put aside when he turns traitor.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: When talking with Sanguinus in Fear To Tread's flashback, he admits that he considers himself unworthy to lead the Great Crusade and believes his brother to be more suited to the task.
  • Humanoid Abomination: He gains aspects of this late in the Heresy. He grows physically, fusing to his armour, and his eyes become bottomless black pits.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Once humanity's greatest son, now he's the Chaos Gods' puppet, whether he realizes this or not.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: For all his pride, he's always believed that Sanguinus would make a better Warmaster than he could ever be.
  • It's All My Fault: He tends to blame everything on himself, both before and after his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He's excellent at manipulating events and people to do his bidding.
  • Motive Decay: As the Heresy wears on and he slips deeper into Chaos, Horus begins to forget the good intentions he started with. They return in his final moments, leading to him allowing himself to be killed in shame.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted, he shares a name with his friend and lieutenant Horus Aximand.
  • Only Sane Man: When compared to many of his fellow traitor primarchs, which becomes a source of consternation to Horus, as many of the primarchs on his side are actually the last people he really wanted.
  • Orcus on His Throne: During the Siege of Terra, Horus takes a backseat to his fellow Primarchs and prefers to let Perturabo take command of the siege while the other Primarchs launch assaults. Horus justifies it as wanting his siege expert to perform his task without interference and him battling the Emperor in the Warp.
  • The Paragon Always Rebels: The most charismatic Primarch, the one with the most compliances, the first among equals and the one who turned hall of the legion astartes against the Emperor.
  • Parental Favoritism: On the receiving end of this. The first one to be found by the Emperor and the one most beloved by his father.
  • Pride: In spades. 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 one of the first Primarchs 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. He was eventually appointed Warmaster by the Emperor, given full command of the Imperium's forces in the Emperor's stead. This leads him to develop a massive ego and the Gods of Chaos appeal to it to turn him to their side.
  • Satanic Archetype: Horus is the favorite son of the Emperor, who rebels against him and takes half of the Space Marines with him. Sounds familiar?
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Horus rebels against the Emperor because he had a vision of a dystopic future where the Emperor is venerated as a god. His rebellion results in exactly this.
  • Shrouded in Myth: In contrast to other Primarchs, whose backstory is meticulously fleshed out, his childhood on Cthonia has been largely left to the reader's imagination.
  • The Social Expert: No primarch is as good at dealing with people as Horus is. He can charm anybody from the lowest human to the most powerful demigods. One of the reasons he was the right choice for the position of warmaster, was his ability to bend people to his will.
  • Straight for the Commander: His favourite tactic is to cut the head off the serpent.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: As the Heresy continues to progress not according to plan, Horus begins to exhibit this feeling about his underlings.
    Horus: Istvaan was supposed to burn in silence so our war could be won before it ever truly began. The Angel's wings were meant to be broken at my feet. And still failures keep tumbling one over the other.
    • He openly states this in The Path of Heaven when Mortarion asks why Horus is assigning him to kill Jaghatai Khan. Horus makes it plain that compared to some of the other Traitor Primarchs he has to rely on, Mortarion is perhaps the only one he can trust to get the job done.
    Horus: ...I can trust you... Angron has made himself mad- I cannot charge him with the simplest tasks. Perturabo- by the gods, Perturabo. He would be left standing as the Khan's savages ran rings around his trenches, and the Scars have no fortresses for him to lay low. Alpharius is silent, and ties himself up in knots of his own devising.
  • The Chains of Commanding: He starts to break down under the weight of his position as a Warmaster and the responsibilities that come with it.
  • The Paragon: Horus was held to be the Paragon by the other Primarchs, but Horus actually believed that the real Paragon was Sanguinius.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Even when they empower him, he still doesn't consider himself Chaos' servant, believing fully that the Heresy is his idea and his alone.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: By 40k standards, anyway. Prior to his fall he genuinely believed that the Emperor only committed cruel actions out of necessity and would come to accept aliens and non-Imperium humans after the state of emergency was over (unlikely to say the least, though he might have agreed if Horus argued it well enough). He admired that the Interex could get along with aliens and wanted to mimic them in the long term. Of course, his idealism went downhill fast once Chaos get involved.
    Horus: The crusade was born out of the Age of Strife, Ezekyle. Born out of war. Our ruthless approach of conquest and cleansing was formulated in a time when every alien form we met was hostile, every fragment of humanity that was not with us was profoundly opposed to us. War was the only answer. There was no room for subtlety, but two centuries have passed, and different problems face us. The bulk of war is over. That is why the Emperor returned to Terra and left us to finish the work. Ezekyle, the people of the interex are clearly not monsters, nor resolute foes. I believe that if the Emperor were with us today, he would immediately embrace the need for adaptation. He would not want us to wantonly destroy that which there is no good reason to destroy. It is precisely to make such choices that he has placed his trust in me.
  • Wolverine Claws: The Talon of Horus, a massive Lightning Claw made as a gift by the Mechanicum to Horus, and the most famous of its kind in-universe.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: What begins his fall to Chaos is getting one such wound. As a Primarch, he should be able to heal from a blade cut within minutes, if not seconds, but instead the wound festers and eventually takes him down.

    Lorgar Aurelian of the Word Bearers 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lorgarart.jpg
The Primarch of the Word Bearers Legion. Stranded on Colchis who worshipped the Old Faith (a chaos cult in disguise), Lorgar became one of its most important preacher but then had visions of the Emperor, converting the world to His cult instead. For a time, Lorgar was religiously devoted to the Emperor but after the Legion had to witness one of their greatest work, the city of Monarchia, being razed to the ground while being forced to kneel to Him, Lorgar lost his Faith and studied the Old Faith further, uncovering the truth of Chaos. He then became the initial architect of the Heresy.
  • Activist-Fundamentalist Antics: Lorgar desperately wants to believe, even if his god tells him to knock it off. The first line of the Book of Lorgar, "All I ever wanted was the truth," is itself a lie: the Emperor told him the truth at Monarchia, and it broke Lorgar's mind. What Lorgar really wanted was certainty and validation of his belief in the existence of a divine order, which the Chaos Gods were only too glad to deliver.
  • Affably Evil: When written by Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Lorgar is pleasant, thoughtful, and compassionate; he genuinely comes off as being a good person despite being The Corrupter and the Satanic Archetype. He also knows exactly what he's falling into by throwing his lot in with the Chaos Gods, and isn't terribly discouraging of the antics of Erebus and Kor Phaeron unless they do more harm that is necessary, though he does regret that their actions don't leave them in control of their own fates any more.
    • Faux Affably Evil: ...And yet not so much when written by other authors. For example, in Dan Abnett's Know No Fear, Lorgar has a much harder time when it comes to staying pleasant with Guilliman, and eventually turns out to be a much more enthusiastic villain when it came time to collect for his humiliation so long ago. Then again, it's ambiguous as to whether the Lorgar that appeared in the novel was actually him at all.
  • Badass Preacher: During the Great Crusade, he converted whole worlds to the worship of the Emperor. During the Horus Heresy, he does the same for the gods of Chaos.
  • Bald of Evil: Bald as a ball-bearing, and the one essentially responsible for the setting becoming as grimdark as it did.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Before the Heresy, he was widely considered to be the least of all the Primarchs. Though he was acknowledged to be a master statesman, diplomat, and (to his detriment) evangelist, his brothers saw him as being the weakest physically, and his tendency to make a time-consuming full indoctrination of new worlds rather than a relatively quick conquest was one of the reasons he was seen as a mediocre general, especially due to having one of the largest and most devoted Legions. When divinely inspired and boosted by his patrons, he puts his old skills to work in a decades-long secret plan which turns half of the Legions, and he shows that he's both a strong combatant and warlord, and he's now a powerful psychic.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Pay no heed to Lorgar's claims to the contrary: from the very beginning there was something deeply wrong with him beneath his pleasant personality. Even before outright falling to Chaos, Lorgar has a violent temper that manifests with little warning, even going so far as Neck Lifting Kor Phaeron when he found out his adoptive father had been keeping secrets from him. He often insults people outright without ever dropping his genial attitude, as shown when he mocks and threatens a Custodes sent to watch over his legion before they depart on the Pilgrimage.
  • Carry a Big Stick: Illuminarum, Lorgar's crozius that was crafted by Ferrus Manus.
  • The Corrupter: While Erebus and Kor Phaeron corrupt him, he's the one to bring the rest of his Legion over to Chaos and to plan the Heresy.
  • Crisis of Faith: Lorgar has such a massive one following the Emperor's rebuke of his worship that he starts worshiping the Chaos Gods. It should be noted that he's not the first Astartes to worship the Chaos Gods. That was Kor Phaeron and Erebus, who actually convince him after suffering the same Crisis themselves.
  • Dissonant Serenity: He's incredibly blasé about the horrors Chaos inflicts on mortals.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: While Horus seeks to rule the Galaxy, Lorgar is serving him out of his religious zealotry. Later on they are increasingly at cross purposes, turning Lorgar into The Starscream.
  • Dueling Scar: Receives three of these courtesy of Corax's lightning claws on Istvaan V. He either can't or refuses to have them healed, though some Primarchs like Angron and Fulgrim claim they suit him.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He seems to genuinely care for Angron, and is probably the only Primarch that Angron considers to be anything resembling a friend. He is also, like most of his Space Marines, quite respectful and even affectionate towards Cyrene.
    • Before all of that this trope crops up in the prequel, The First Heretic. Lorgar had a pang of regret after seeing what Argel Tal and his company had to do to survive their sojourn in the Eye of Terror by his orders of wanting to know the truth about Chaos, and sympathized with him while he was telling his tale, despite the disgust the rest of the Word Bearers felt from him. By the time Argel Tal reveals the truth of Erebus & Kor Phaeron's claim of other gods worthy of worship than the Emperor, Lorgar was so distressed that he called for Erebus and Kor Phaeron and stopped mid way before he could complete his name, to comfort him. Argel Tal, who hates Kor Phaeron & Erebus tried to tell Lorgar for what they really are: egotistical power hungry Manipulative Bastards, from almost breaking down and crying, Lorgar lifted Argel Tal and nearly chokes him to death for his slander against his mentors, and believing it's not his son talking but the daemon.
    • However this trope was averted in the sequel. Apparently Lorgar partly realises the extent of Argel Tal's accusations by the events of Betrayer. By this time, Lorgar was seeing the true faces of Erebus and Kor Phaeron despite him trying to enlighten them and was rather pissed that they disobeyed his orders and screwed up their mission on Calth; because of this, it's implied he shifted his affections towards Argel Tal. When Lorgar found out that Erebus had murdered Argel Tal, in the epilogue when Kharn visits Lorgar in an attempt to get answers of what happened to Angron. Lorgar tells him to visit his Primarch, and when he was about to leave Lorgar asked him if he wanted to know who killed his best friend. Kharn who spent the majority of the book hanging out with Argel Tal, challenged Erebus to a gladiator match and Curb Stomped him as his ego shattered. Inverse and Outverse this further cemented the two as everybody's Unfavorite.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In Aurelian, Lorgar is so disgusted by the fact Fulgrim's body has been possessed by a Slaaneshi daemon, he smashes Fulgrim to the floor before the rest of his brothers can draw their weapons, subjects Fulgrim to a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, lambastes Horus for trying to cover it up and then promises the daemon he will find a way to permanently destroy it. When Horus counters that Lorgar didn't even like Fulgrim, Lorgar retorts that he's angry because this type of daemonic possession is an abomination.
  • The Exile: Becomes this after his failed coup on Ullanor.
  • Faith–Heel Turn: He was raised into a mild, cultural Chaos cult on Colchis, but visions of the Emperor lead him to founding a new religion. Decades later the object of worship of his faith decided enough was enough, and publicly and heavyhandedly punished Lorgar for his practices, leading Lorgar to take up with the old religion's gods again.
  • Fantastic Racism: He is openly hostile and contemptuous of the Adeptus Custodes, considering them lab-bred freaks and lesser beings than the Adeptus Astartes.
    Vendetha: Surrender now!
    Lorgar: You dare threaten me?! You murdered my sons, you worthless, soulless husk of genetic overspill!
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: He started off as the Butt-Monkey of the primarchs, the runt of the litter. Then he ends up becoming the architect of the Horus Heresy and one of the deadliest primarchs of the traitor legions.
  • Heel Realization: When he's confronted by a genuinely angry Roboute Guilliman in Betrayer, Lorgar has the shocked realization that after decades of imagining Guilliman despised him that it was in fact all in his head and that razing Monarchia was something Guilliman only did because he was ordered to do so. He's struck by such shame at the thought that he almost breaks down and desperately tries to justify his actions before events bring him back to his senses.
  • Human Notepad: His head, and presumably much of his body, is tattooed with holy texts.
  • Insult Backfire:
    Horus/Fulgrim: You've changed, Lorgar.
    Lorgar: Yes, I know.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Lorgar considers himself a priest and intellectual more than a warrior, and the other Primarchs agree and considered him unworthy of being one of them. The only real friend he had among the Primarchs before the Heresy was Magnus, who shared his intellectual and philosophical pursuits. There was a lot of talk behind Lorgar's back of having him and his legion censured, and possibly even removed.
    • This extends to a degree into the Horus Heresy. By this time, Lorgar has become far more confident and self-assured, and his knowledge of Chaos makes him invaluable to the cause. Many of the other primarchs are still very suspicious of him because of his whole-hearted embrace of Chaos.
  • The Fundamentalist: First to the Emperor, then to Chaos.
  • It's Personal: Notes in Know No Fear that while the attack on Calth is mainly to cripple the Ultramarines and keep them from interfering with Horus's plans, Lorgar admits his actions are also partly revenge for Guilliman's part in his humiliation and the destruction of Monarchia.
  • Meaningful Name: Meaningful Nickname, actually; in mythos of William Blake, Urizen an entity that believes itself holy and serves as Satanic Archetype in the Orc cycle.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Really, really loves Daddy Emperor (as described in The First Heretic), so much so he worshiped him as a deity, slowly convinced entire populations to accept the Imperium and his God, ignored the taunts of his brothers, tried to be as diplomatic as possible during disputes and wanting nothing more but to be a priest. Sadly Daddy was an atheist and didn't approve, sensibly telling Lorgar that he was a disappointment and everything he did (including destroying the Chaos cults in his home planet) was all for naught. It took the goading of his evil step dad and mentor during his darkest hour to sucker him to worship the Chaos Gods.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When he finally confronts Guilliman after Calth, he realizes that the latter had never hated him or taken joy in the destruction of Monarchia. Lorgar actually feels shame in his actions and wants to explain, but by then, it is far too late.
  • Odd Friendship: With Leman Russ. Though you never see the two interact Leman has spoken fondly of Lorgar, especially in Betrayer when he quotes something Lorgar once told him to Angron. What makes it odd is that they are polar opposites; Leman is a civilisation destroyer and Lorgar is a civilisation builder. It is also revealed that Russ had argued in Lorgar's defense when he and the Word Bearers were under threat of censure.
  • Old Shame: invokedHe seems to consider the Lectitio Divinitatus, his Imperial Cult Bible-expy, this way after his fall.
  • The Philosopher: He was raised as a priest, and he was apparently very gifted at philosophy and was not afraid to ask questions. This led him to unusual and unorthodox (for his time) beliefs and practices, which doesn't endear him to the very warlike and militant Primarchs.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: 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.
  • Red Baron: The Urizen.
  • Religious Bruiser: Obviously, as he's the chief preacher of Chaos.
  • Rousing Speech: His specialty (implied to have been acquired from his youth in the priesthood). The below example is a speech he gives to the Traitor Legions of the "loyal" second wave that will complete the Dropsite Massacre. By the time he has finished speaking, Lorgar has gotten the cynical Night Lords, stoic Iron Warriors and emotionless Alpha Legion fired up and howling for blood, as well as getting the aforementioned Legions and the Word Bearers, none of whom have been close to each other, shaking hands and swearing oaths of brotherhood and comradeship for the coming battle.note 
  • Satanic Archetype: Manipulator behind the scenes, an "angel" rebelling against his creator, as well as The Corrupter.
  • Sorcerous Overlord: He quickly becomes a master of ritual magic, and codifies much of the techniques and rules for the summoning and control of demons. Lorgar may not have the raw psychic power of Magnus, but unlike Magnus, Lorgar is not blinded by pride, and has the humility and devotion to understand and serve the powers of Chaos. This allows Lorgar to wield the powers of Chaos in a much more profitable way without being totally screwed over.
  • The Starscream: In the wake of Beta Garmon, he concludes that Horus' refusal to submit and become a vessel for the Ruinous Powers will lead to his defeat by the Emperor. Consequently he tries to engineer a coup against him only for Horus to catch him out and banish him.
  • Start of Darkness: His Legion's censure at Monarchia is what starts him on the path to Chaos.
  • Thicker Than Water: He's willing to go straight into crossfire and ignore the enemy to save Angron.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Lorgar really comes into his own after turning to Chaos, much to the dismay of his fellow Primarchs who realise they no longer have him as their whipping boy.
    Lorgar: [to Horus] I am who I was born to be. You seek to punish me for no longer being the weakling, the lost one, the Primarch with no purpose.
    • A large chunk of the novella Aurelian is given over to demonstrating just how far Lorgar has come thanks to this trope. Examples include battering Fulgrim to a pulp before the latter can even draw his sword and psychically commanding Horus to remove his hand from Lorgar's shoulder when he tries to calm him down, going toe-to-toe with An'ggrath the Unbound, the most powerful Bloodthirster of Khorne in existence, in single combat and winning, and finally, after confronting the daemon-possessed Fulgrim and growing tired of Fulgrim's playing dumb about what he truly is, Lorgar has Argel Tal and numerous Word Bearer strike teams teleport aboard the bridges of forty-nine Emperor's Children ships and hold their crews at gunpoint to force Fulgrim to start talking straight.
  • Troll: Has fun mocking Guilliman over Calth.
  • Turbulent Priest: Back in his childhood, his visions of the future had his fellow priest angry and worried, eventually sparking a civil war.
  • Unknown Rival: To Guilliman, who until Calth has no idea just how much Lorgar hates him for Monarchia.
  • Weapons-Grade Vocabulary: Uses it to shut Angron up, at the expense of several precious books.

    Alpharius and Omegon of the Alpha Legion 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/alpharius_pythian_scales.jpg
The Twin Primarchs of the Alpha Legion. Little is known about them, but the twins both hide the fact that there are two of them and both are masters of lies, manipulation and the likes. Despite a reputation for trickery and deception, the twins are initially loyal to the Emperor, but upon learning that Chaos could be destroyed by allowing Horus to win, they side with Horus "for the Emperor".

It's the Alpha Legion, so here there be spoilers.


  • Ace Custom: The Pythian Scales, a highly conspicuous and ornate suit of power armour one of the twins puts on when they want to signal that the Primarch is entering the battle. It can easily turn aside any kind of blade.
  • Always Someone Better: Alpharius seems to feel this way about Roboute Guilliman. Guilliman's boast of having more victories than Alpharius would ever be able to achieve appears to rankle Alpharius's pride.
  • Angsty Surviving Twin: Omegon has a minor breakdown when he realizes he's alone now, and is forced to assume Alpharius' role as Horus' lackey against his own desire to return to the Imperium's fold.
  • Animal Motifs: The Hydra, in appearance, motto and tactics.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: The reasoning Alpharius gives Horus to justify his Face–Heel Turn. Reality is much more complex.
  • Blade on a Stick: The Pale Spear, which may or may not be a Necron weapon and has some disturbing proprieties.
  • Can't Catch Up: Found 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 Jonson. 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.
    • Complicated further with the Horus Heresy Rulebooks. It's implied that the Alpha Legion was in covert operation for about as long as all the other legions, but always worked in isolation and was never officially acknowledged by the rest of the Imperium. This is (apparently) confirmed as of the release of Alpharius: Head of the Hydra; Alpharius states that he and his legion were indeed carrying out black operations behind the scenes for the entirety of the Great Crusade, and that the lack of glory occasionally bothered them.
  • Chessmaster: Alpharius and Omegon are privy to the higher stakes of the Horus Heresy, namely the threat of Chaos. As a result, they begin to manipulate both sides of the war through secret agents, infiltrators, and performing special operations from sabotage to assassination attempts to make it so Horus wins, but only slightly.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Alpharius' preferred subtlety and flexibility to his strategies and tactics. His first mission for the Imperium was taking back a planet which threw off Imperial rule. He delayed his attack, leaving the planet to heavily fortify with this time. When his forces did openly fight, they cut the power off the central hive, equipped Imperium-loyal citizens, aided them in diversionary attacks that drew in defenders which were then cut off by series of bombings, and took the entire planet in a week and less than three dozen fatalities to the Legion.
  • Complexity Addiction: After Alpharius' combat doctrine was displayed to his brothers (with many decrying them), he and his Legion threw themselves into ever more grandiose schemes of stealth and misdirection for taking worlds. They once drove a planet to surrender after receiving over 90% casualties in a week from suffering countless mishaps and ambushes from the designs of the Alpha Legion...instead of just forcing the planet's surrender by taking its capital. Alpharius is reported to have said "it would have been too easy."
    • At the end of another campaign, Rogal Dorn scolds him for fighting a war in parallel with the Imperial Fists instead of using the Alpha Legion's talents to support them. He outlines how this could have been done and implies that Alpharius only sought a victory on his own terms.
    Mortarion: Alpharius...one day his own intrigues will throttle him.
    Phocron to Silonius (in reality, Alpharius): We can't help ourselves, can we?
    • It gets worse than that. In the end, they decide to that the Emperor's main goal is to destroy Chaos and when the Cabal shows them the two possible futures, they make an odd choice. See, if the Emperor "wins" then Chaos will thrive and grow (which is what happens canonically) whereas if Horus wins, eventually humanity will turn on itself and destroy itself while the Eldar will die out as expected. Therefore, without the two main races fueling Chaos gone, the Great Enemy will die. There's two problems with this plan. One: while the Emperor's goal is to destroy Chaos, that isn't his main goal. His main goal is a unified and happy and healthy humanity so he doesn't want humanity destroyed. Two: destroying humanity and the Eldar won't kill Chaos at least no entirely. Chaos will just be feed by whatever races take control over later on. It may not be the same four gods who rule, but as long as there's war, the Realm of Souls will be corrupted into the Warp. Since there are still a great many races that know of Chaos, worship Chaos, and/or fight, murder, and partake in excesses, there will also be new demons being created. The Alpha Legion's goal to betray the Emperor to make his vision come true is fundamentally wrong since they don't know how Chaos works in the first place even IF they didn't already misjudge the Emperor's end goals.
  • Continuity Snarl: 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.
    • He also has shades of this regarding his personal feelings when compared to his brothers, though this seems also to depend on the writer. At times he appears to feel underappreciated for his strategy of insurgency and covert ops (given his brothers' vocal disdain in favor of overt military action) and feels the burden of living up to the successes of his brothers. Other times he appears to be pragmatically indifferent, knowing that he has ideological differences and difficulty living up to the accolades of larger Legions that are more open and traditionally militant in a galaxy running out of worlds to conquer; and he simply relishes fighting from the shadows. Perhaps he's internally consistent, and just using some subtle misdirection to create the image he wants others to see?
  • The Dividual: Despite the implications of there being 21 Primarchs instead of 20, both Alpharius and Omegon are treated as Primarch XX. This is complicated even further by the fact that both are of different mindsets of the Heresy, with Alpharius leaning traitor and Omegon leaning covertly loyalist.
  • Double Reverse Quadruple Agent: At this point, it's honestly hard to tell whose side they're really on. Complicating things, both seem to have conflicting loyalties.
  • Failure Gambit: A weird version of this. Alpharius defects to Chaos, though still secretly works against them as The Mole, 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.
  • Fake Twin Gambit: Inverted. They pretend to be one person.
  • Highly-Conspicuous Uniform: The Pythian Scales, their Ace Custom power armour, albeit this is the point.
  • Hydra Problem: Their tactics and Animal Motif invokes this. You kill someone you believe to be Alpharius and suddenly two other take the dead man's place, both declaring "I am Alpharius!". It's even in their motto, Hydra Dominatus.
  • IKEA Weaponry: Bordering on Scaramanga Special; the Pale Spear can be broken down into a bunch of innocuous cylinders and shards, letting eveyone carry it around.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: 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. Zigzagged in Alpharius: Head of the Hydra, as Alpharius himself records that he's been working in covert operations for the Emperor for longer than Horus himself and considers himself to be the better servant of the Emperor because he doesn't seek glory like his brothers. At the same time, he still envies that the spotlight is on them.
  • It Was His Sled: When Legion was first released in 2007 a major revelation at the end was Omegon being a twin to Alpharius, although his name kind of foreshadowed this. It wasn't that long before their relationship became openly referred to, at least with the real life writers and fans; in-universe only Alpha Legion members are explictly shown to know about the twin Primarchs (and, perhaps unbeknowst to them, the Emperor and Malcador themselves).
  • Killed Off for Real: Rogal Dorn manages to kill Alpharius when the latter's massive gambit fails at the last moment, leaving Omegon alone.
  • Know When to Fold Them: Retreats from battle with Leman Russ when his fleet is imperilled.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Not his biological father, but Malcador, who basically raised him. In Head of the Hydra, Alpharius mentions that Malcador has a tendency to overcomplicate things and to be a bit too complex with his schemes. Alpharius seems to lack the self-awareness to realize he is the exact same.
  • Long-Lost Relative: For the Primarchs, Horus in particular. It took almost two hundred years for them to appear.
  • Meaningful Name: Alphard is the brightest star in the Hydra constellation. It has a smaller, much less bright star hiding behind it.
  • Motive Decay: Played with. Over time, they seem to become both less and more involved in Horus' and Cabal's cause.
  • Mysterious Past: Alpharius was discovered attacking Horus' flagship as a pirate. All else of his past is unknown as he refused to ever talk about it.
    • In a similar vein, the Alpha Legion (as we would currently know them) only appeared after their primarch had been found, surprising many people that a fully trained, equipped, and apparently experienced Legion was ready so quickly. The Horus Heresy rulebooks and Alpharius: Head of the Hydra show that they had in fact been in operation as long as every other legion, but either acting covertly or under false colours.
    • In the Forge World book Extermination multiple stories are given about Alpharius' youth. Each is pronounced a lie. In Head of the Hydra each story is revealed to be true, from a certain point of view. Alpharius landed on Terra after the primarchs were scattered and was raised by Malcador. Omegon landed on a deserted planet, stole a pirate ship to escape, and was nearly taken prisoner by the Slaugth.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Relative to the other Primarchs at least. Whereas the "average" Primarch is roughly twice the size of a normal Space Marine, Alpharius and Omegon are only nominally larger, to the point where they can pass for normal marines (and have larger members of their legion pass for them).
  • Praetorian Guard: Omegon's "public face" is the head of Alpharius' honour guard. This doesn't stop them from having Omegon pass off as Alpharius or another member of the Alpha Legion pass off as "Omegon captain of the Guard".
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: As mysterious as their personalities and motivations are, Legion suggests this dynamic between them. Alpharius is subtle and diplomatic when speaking to others, while Omegon is blunt and often harsh. Where Alpharius inquires, Omegon demands. Where Alpharius warns, Omegon threatens. When the Cabal explains and presents their visions of heresy and civil war, Alpharius is quietly sceptical and disturbed, while Omegon is openly offended and horrified. Of course, given their manipulative nature, Alpharius may just be reigning in his own temper to give off a calm, controlled aura, and/or Omegon may be playing up his brusqueness to complement his twin's demeanour, as an officer can be frank where a primarch must be formal. Ultimately, it's difficult to determine how much of these traits are their true personalities and how much are the personalities of the roles of 'Alpharius' the primarch and 'Omegon' the soldier, as they switch the roles with each other and other Astartes as the situation demands.
  • The Mole: Alpharius is supposedly one of these, joining Chaos because he believes 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. It's possible there are still uncorrupted Alpha Legion trying to fulfill their plan.
  • No Kill like Overkill: Alpharius has both his arms cut off, his chest impaled, and his head pulped by a chainsword. Then his body explodes in a flash of light just in case you needed to be sure he was dead. Although, given this is Alpharius, you probably did need the extra proof.
  • Oh, Crap!: Alpharius has a rather spectacular one when Dorn not only shrugs off being Impaled with Extreme Prejudice, but starts pulling the spear in deeper. The most cunning Primarch suddenly finds himself with no way out and a supremely pissed Dorn glaring him in the eye.
  • Riddle for the Ages: The only really concrete thing known about Alpharius and Omegon are their combat doctrine - everything else, including their whereabouts and whether or not either of them is still alive, is up for debate.
  • Sibling Rivalry: As the Heresy goes on, it starts to become apparent that Alpharius and Omegon are not single-minded, and in fact, the two of them are starting to work against each other, if not in their ultimate goals, then in their methods of achieving it.
  • Sibling Team: Most of the time, they're two pieces of a smoothly-working machine, although Heresy puts a toll on this.
  • Single-Minded Twins: Everyone who knows about them considers them this, including each other, but ultimately subverted as the Horus Heresy goes on.
  • Space Pirate: What Alpharius is alleged to have been 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 (it turns out they had been around since the beginning of the Crusade but operating in secret). In Alpharius: Head of the Hydra it's revealed that Omegon stole a ship belonging to some pirates to escape the deserted planet he'd landed on and went marauding for a while. The brothers use this ship to introduce Alpharius to the Imperium.
  • Surgical Impersonation: They have altered many of their legionaries' faces to look like them, in addition to using this as their tactic against other Legions.
  • The Dividual: They act as one person, with Alpharius being the "official" face.
  • Theme Twin Naming: Alpha and Omega.
  • The Starscream: Omegon starts working against Alpharius, and clearly has some plan for an Opt Out.
  • The Unfavorite: Alpharius, not that it actually bothered him any; especially when personally trained under Horus' wing. And, as it turns out, he was also personally trained and raised by Malcador himself.
  • Trigger Phrase: In Praetorian of Dorn, it is revealed that Alpharius took on the identity of one of his Headhunters, Silonius, purposefully wiped his memories and deployed himself in the Sol system. From there he acted as Silonius himself. Each time he met another agent, there would be an exchange of passwords that also served as triggers to unlock his memory, just in time to fight Dorn.
  • Twin Switch: With each other and their entire Legion.
  • Twin Telepathy: A mild example; Omegon and Alpharius share a psychic mind link that always lets them know that the other one is out there. Alpharius' death basically severs this, leaving Omegon alone for the first time in his life and causing him a minor breakdown.
  • Villainous Breakdown: In the moment after he gets both arms carved off and his chest split open, but before the finishing blow lands, Alpharius is left stammering in disbelief, unable to comprehend that it was Dorn who actually managed to beat him in the end.
  • Unknown Rival: To Guilliman, whom they try to assassinate more than once. They seem to hold a grudge after Roboute's cold treatment of their tactics.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Some of their lies and deceptions are practically transparent to those who are keyed in on such falsehood.
  • Wild Card: Sometimes they aid Horus, sometimes they lend a hand to the loyalists.
    • In Praetorian of Dorn dialogue between Horus and Maloghurst makes it clear that they're getting as much use out of the XX as they can while they remain a viable asset.
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