Warhammer 40K Lore Discussion

ObsidianJones

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God damnit, I need to talk to someone about this stuff. I've been deep diving into the Lore and I just have so many things I want to discuss.

Mainly that every horrible thing that happened to Humanity is directly the Emperor's fault, and I literally can't understand why. He's supposed to be the smartest human that ever lived, and he makes such bonehead movements that actively strengthen his sworn enemies.

I want to just go into this right now, but I just need to know that there will be people who will chime in and discuss this with me instead of just typing it all out in the forums for no one.
 

BrawlMan

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I know nothing of 40K lore. The closest to Warhammer I ever got is the Space Marine spin-off, Gears of War, and Doom 4-Doom Eternal.
 

Bob_McMillan

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Mainly that every horrible thing that happened to Humanity is directly the Emperor's fault, and I literally can't understand why. He's supposed to be the smartest human that ever lived, and he makes such bonehead movements that actively strengthen his sworn enemies.
Lore answer: he has seen the future, knows what will happen, and so has pretty much stayed the course he thinks will get him there no matter how fucking horribly he fails every single time.

Relevant video (man I love this guy, wonderful content that got me into 40K):

Real answer: The writers haven't come up with a good reason yet, and probably never will.
 
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Thaluikhain

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Eh, 40k fluff was a bit weird at the best of times, and after HH started it went downhill fast. Your headcannon is as good as mine.
 

Gordon_4

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God damnit, I need to talk to someone about this stuff. I've been deep diving into the Lore and I just have so many things I want to discuss.

Mainly that every horrible thing that happened to Humanity is directly the Emperor's fault, and I literally can't understand why. He's supposed to be the smartest human that ever lived, and he makes such bonehead movements that actively strengthen his sworn enemies.

I want to just go into this right now, but I just need to know that there will be people who will chime in and discuss this with me instead of just typing it all out in the forums for no one.
I'll confess all my lore knowledge for 40k comes from "If the Emperor Had a Text to Speech Device" which undoubtedly bends or skewers the lore in order to make funny jokes. Although weirdly there is an episode that sort of delves into this with the Emperor and the Captain General arguing about who's fault it was he ended up on the Golden Throne. The Emperor wanted to blame Magnus, but the Captain General was arguing that it was the fault of Erebus since he turned both Horus and Lorgar to the Ruinous Powers which directly resulted in the Heresy.

But again, never let the truth get in the way of a good yarn, or an opportunity to take the piss.
 

ObsidianJones

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That's enough responses! I will speak!

For a brief overview, the Emperor of mankind is the product of Humanity's psychic awakening into the universe. Shamans, Soothsayers, and the primitive Psyker all had a vision of what will come to pass in the future, and were given a vision if that they all took their lives at that moment, they would be reborn into a being that could save humanity.

They did, and it did come to pass that all their psyker might was reborn into the Emperor of Mankind. A being that had few equals in all of the Galaxy. The time he was reborn is questionable, but it is said that he lived with humanity for millennia, reflecting on the weakness of mankind. All the while reflecting into this parallel version of reality called the Immaterium, also known as the Warp. He knew while humans warred with each other, there were far greater dangers both in Real Space (or the Materium) in untold Xeno Hordes aand being grown in the warp by humans' hopes, passions, and beliefs.

Because each of those very human aspects take form in the Immaterium. With enough pooled energy, they might give birth to lesser dameons. The shared belief could grow it more into a greater daemon, or even a God of the Warp.

And that's where I think the Emperor is the cause of all of humans' downfall.

The Emperor always knew the dangers the Warp contained for humanity. And how it functioned. He knew religion and faith created actual daemons that would feast on the souls of the faithful after their passing. There is no heaven in 40k. There is only the warp, where all souls go when they die (unless you have Aeldari soulstones or belief in the Laughing God who will shepherd your soul).

And what does the Emperor do with this knowledge?

He uses his Psyker Might that can go onpar with the 4 Chaos Gods (the most powerful beings in the Immaterium) to project golden radiance from himself. He storms from the front, a 14 foot Mountain of a Man, with his genetically enhanced 7-8 foot tall Astartes (Space Marines) and his 10-12 foot demi-god artificially made sons called the Primarchs. He talks through entire populaces with his mind. He throws Psyker mind around, dispatching every foe and plague that has held countless human worlds in peril for centuries. Then he promises to come to the aid of the planet as long as the planet remains loyal to the Emperor. And Oh yeah, not to believe in anything but science. Nevermind his magic. Ok, Byeeeeee!

And what's the result? After the Horus Heresy, the Entire Human Population looks at him like a God. He is called "The God Emperor of Mankind".

... what the hell was he expecting?

If he didn't want to seem like a God, why did he do everything POSSIBLE to look like a God? He can control his radiance and even his height. He doesn't have to appear 14 foot tall. There's question if he is actually 14 foot tall to begin with, but he could make himself appear to be much like a normal human if he wanted. He could have engineered his Astartes to be human size and say that they were regular humans in kick ass Iron Man suits. He could have hid his psyker might and claim it was advanced weaponry.

Or, better yet... HE COULD NOT HAVE SHOWN UP AT ALL!!! People will start to have questions when a 14 foot magic man that doesn't die, who your great great grandmother told you stories about years past, took a selfie with him... and so did her daughter, and her daughter, and so did your mother, and zog it, so did you. A God is more of a sensible answer than "Oh, no. He's just really a special guy".

Erebus wouldn't have been a thing if they were just given the lie that they were constantly on really great steroids, and that the mechanical suits they were in conjunction with chemicals keeps them young for much longer than the average person. There were explanations to be had! But he chose to just do everything possible to look like a Divine Being, but say "I'm totally not bro".

It is said the Warp grew to almost uncontrollable levels during the 10,000 years of the Emperor being placed ont he throne. And that's entirely his doing. He made every choice to undermine himself and his efforts. And warp swells with delight over that fact.
 
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Gordon_4

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That's enough responses! I will speak!

For a brief overview, the Emperor of mankind is the product of Humanity's psychic awakening into the universe. Shamans, Soothsayers, and the primitive Psyker all had a vision of what will come to pass in the future, and were given a vision if that they all took their lives at that moment, they would be reborn into a being that could save humanity.

They did, and it did come to pass that all their psyker might was reborn into the Emperor of Mankind. A being that had few equals in all of the Galaxy. The time he was reborn is questionable, but it is said that he lived with humanity for millennia, reflecting on the weakness of mankind. All the while reflecting into this parallel version of reality called the Immaterium, also known as the Warp. He knew while humans warred with each other, there were far greater dangers both in Real Space (or the Materium) in untold Xeno Hordes aand being grown in the warp by humans' hopes, passions, and beliefs.

Because each of those very human aspects take form in the Immaterium. With enough pooled energy, they might give birth to lesser dameons. The shared belief could grow it more into a greater daemon, or even a God of the Warp.

And that's where I think the Emperor is the cause of all of humans' downfall.

The Emperor always knew the dangers the Warp contained for humanity. And how it functioned. He knew religion and faith created actual daemons that would feast on the souls of the faithful after their passing. There is no heaven in 40k. There is only the warp, where all souls go when they die (unless you have Aeldari soulstones or belief in the Laughing God who will shepherd your soul).

And what does the Emperor do with this knowledge?

He uses his Psyker Might that can go onpar with the 4 Chaos Gods (the most powerful beings in the Immaterium) to project golden radiance from himself. He storms from the front, a 14 foot Mountain of a Man, with his genetically enhanced 7-8 foot tall Astartes (Space Marines) and his 10-12 foot demi-god artificially made sons called the Primarchs. He talks through entire populaces with his mind. He throws Psyker mind around, dispatching every foe and plague that has held countless human worlds in peril for centuries. Then he promises to come to the aid of the planet as long as the planet remains loyal to the Emperor. And Oh yeah, not to believe in anything but science. Nevermind his magic. Ok, Byeeeeee!

And what's the result? After the Horus Heresy, the Entire Human Population looks at him like a God. He is called "The God Emperor of Mankind".

... what the hell was he expecting?

If he didn't want to seem like a God, why did he do everything POSSIBLE to look like a God? He can control his radiance and even his height. He doesn't have to appear 14 foot tall. There's question if he is actually 14 foot tall to begin with, but he could make himself appear to be much like a normal human if he wanted. He could have engineered his Astartes to be human size and say that they were regular humans in kick ass Iron Man suits. He could have hid his psyker might and claim it was advanced weaponry.

Or, better yet... HE COULD NOT HAVE SHOWN UP AT ALL!!! People will start to have questions when a 14 foot magic man that doesn't die, who your great great grandmother told you stories about years past, took a selfie with him... and so did her daughter, and her daughter, and so did your mother, and zog it, so did you. A God is more of a sensible answer than "Oh, no. He's just really a special guy".

Erebus wouldn't have been a thing if they were just given the lie that they were constantly on really great steroids, and that the mechanical suits they were in conjunction with chemicals keeps them young for much longer than the average person. There were explanations to be had! But he chose to just do everything possible to look like a Divine Being, but say "I'm totally not bro".

It is said the Warp grew to almost uncontrollable levels during the 10,000 years of the Emperor being placed ont he throne. And that's entirely his doing. He made every choice to undermine himself and his efforts. And warp swells with delight over that fact.
Erebus was a servant of Chaos long before the Emperor came to his world, and since the Warp is formed by the conscious and unconscious thoughts of all sapient species it would probably be an existential threat regardless of the attitude humanity had for the Emperor. Also it’s worth noting that the perception of his divinity comes from a book called the Luticio Divinitutas (sp?). Which was written by Lorgar; one of the Primarches who turned traitor. True that may be more the law of unintended consequences; but what is that but the subtle hand of Tzeentch? The Emperor is however directly responsible for one of the most self-destructive groups of people in the Imperium: the Inquisition.
 

RhombusHatesYou

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Mainly that every horrible thing that happened to Humanity is directly the Emperor's fault, and I literally can't understand why.
Oh, the answer is simple, near 40 years of accumulated layers of lore fluff mostly written with a skill and devotion only matched by toilet stall graffitti.

If you wanted an in-setting answer, no, there is none.
 

Thaluikhain

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Yeah, the Horus Heresy stuff about the God-Emperor telling people not to believe in gods is rubbish. I'd not be surprised if that was Dan Abnett trying to be clever, he really doesn't care with continuity or internal consistency.
 

Zykon TheLich

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Much as Rhombus says,

The 40K "storyline", such as it is, has built up over 35 years. 35 years of different writers of varying quality and fanboyism, going in different directions, retconning bits so their favoured X comes out on top, going after different audiences, blah, blah blah. It's an unplanned, confusing, nonsensical mess. That's your answer right there.

The only explanition I can come up with in universe is that at some time in the future, every human society develops bouncing the baby on it's head several times as a birthing ritual.
 
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Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
Its going to turn out that he's actually a Dr Who regeneration that didn't have a companion so he got really weird.
 
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Trunkage

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The Emperor loses me at 'lost my 20 special giants from my secret bat cave. His most prized project... lost. Somehow. That has never made sense.

I'm feel like I remember the Word Bearers stealing the Primarchs initially (like 2nd edition) through some timey wimey nonsense. But that went the way of female space marine and was retconned out of the story
 

wings012

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God damnit, I need to talk to someone about this stuff. I've been deep diving into the Lore and I just have so many things I want to discuss.

Mainly that every horrible thing that happened to Humanity is directly the Emperor's fault, and I literally can't understand why. He's supposed to be the smartest human that ever lived, and he makes such bonehead movements that actively strengthen his sworn enemies.

I want to just go into this right now, but I just need to know that there will be people who will chime in and discuss this with me instead of just typing it all out in the forums for no one.
Love or hate reddit, I think /r/40klore is a good place. I frequently surf and post there.


And sometimes you get some epic shitposts.

===

Anyway 40k wouldn't exist if the Emperor didn't fuck up. The Horus Heresy books were written after the conclusion was already decided. The reason for the Emperor being such a fuck up is really more of a meta reason than a 'lore' one. Also the limitations of our puny human minds when attempting to write and describe feasible ultra-intelligent demigods. No matter how good a writer is, how do you write something that is far beyond yourself in capability? So things end up a bit weird.

And maybe it's not the Emperor that's stupid. It's just the Chaos Gods that are incredibly unfathomable.
 

Zykon TheLich

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God damnit, I need to talk to someone about this stuff. I've been deep diving into the Lore and I just have so many things I want to discuss.

Mainly that every horrible thing that happened to Humanity is directly the Emperor's fault, and I literally can't understand why. He's supposed to be the smartest human that ever lived, and he makes such bonehead movements that actively strengthen his sworn enemies.

I want to just go into this right now, but I just need to know that there will be people who will chime in and discuss this with me instead of just typing it all out in the forums for no one.
No, blame the Eldar. Their 5000 year+ orgy fucked everyone else as well as themselves.
 
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Samtemdo8

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I'm more of a Fantasy guy, and 40k lore kinda lost something to me when Primaris Marines became a thing
 
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Thaluikhain

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The Emperor loses me at 'lost my 20 special giants from my secret bat cave. His most prized project... lost. Somehow. That has never made sense.

I'm feel like I remember the Word Bearers stealing the Primarchs initially (like 2nd edition) through some timey wimey nonsense. But that went the way of female space marine and was retconned out of the story
I was around in 2nd ed (oh, sustained fire dice and cardboard templates), don't remember that. AFAIK, it was always the chaos gods that tossed them into the warp, like what happened to the Fallen Dark Angels before Gav Thorpe retconned that into timey wimey nonsense.
 

Zykon TheLich

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I'm more of a Fantasy guy, and 40k lore kinda lost something to me when Primaris Marines became a thing
Similar, but replace with "when Space Wolves became a thing". What's up with fantasy these days anyway? Total warhammer's doing great so I imagine they're doing loads with it, I mean they'd be idiots not to, it'd be a real missed opportunity to have such great advertising and the old world just sitting there, or being all blowed up or something...
 

Thaluikhain

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Bah, I was getting nerdragey back when Tau became a thing.

(Er, assuming you mean the newer SW stuff, as they've been round for ages)
 

wings012

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Similar, but replace with "when Space Wolves became a thing". What's up with fantasy these days anyway? Total warhammer's doing great so I imagine they're doing loads with it, I mean they'd be idiots not to, it'd be a real missed opportunity to have such great advertising and the old world just sitting there, or being all blowed up or something...
I'm not into Fantasy but I remember they basically exploded the entire universe or something, and started this Age of Sigmar thing.

It even has Sigmarines! I mean... Stormcast Eternals...