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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-12, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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Can a case be made that the Emperor is not emotionally retarded?
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-12, 08:26 AM
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Make a case for him being emotionally retarded and i'll happily argue the contrary.



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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-12, 08:37 AM
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Having lived as long as he had, he no doubt witnessed many loved ones and friends perish. This naturally would have hardened him to the harsh realities of existence.

With the primarchs however, he was making his big power play, he was heavily invested in these creations both from an aspiration and military perspective. As such emotions would have come into it at one stage or another. Making beings of potential immortality and abilities on a scale closer to his own makes a certain level of emotional attachment justifiable.

Maybe these conflicting priorities can be attributed at least in part to his erratic decisions and failures.


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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-12, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Make a case for him being emotionally retarded and i'll happily argue the contrary.
His handling of Lorgar and Angron

Horus, Magnus, Curze could've been handled a lot better too

Lorgar in particular as it's fleshed out in The First Heretic
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-12, 11:34 AM
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I'm not sure he was emotionally retarded, more he just didn't seem to have a massively strong connection emotionally with some of his primarch sons. I mean, I have fallen massively behind and am working up to getting to grips with the fluff again, but from where I am standing now, he just didn't seem to like many of his sons.

Yes maybe Horus was different, but he just seemed to resent Lorgar and Magnus especially. I don't think the Emperor really "loved" any of them aside from Horus.

I would certainly be surprised if anyone tried to argue the case that He liked someone more than Malcador, Malcador and the Emperor obviously have some amazing connection but who knows where that stems from.

But like has been previously mentioned, the Emperor did some pretty crazy things. All sorts of rumors are abound about the things he did, and when you have done some truly mind blowing things, perhaps emotional attachment to lab experiments and mortals tends to get put in perspective as meaningless when viewing "the big picture".

I am a bit confused what you mean by emotionally retarded to be honest, he didn't much care for his sons, but he had a crazy large amount of emotions. Mostly anger I think, anger at not being treated with the respect he deserves.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-12, 11:50 AM
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I'm not sure if we can judge the Emperor from our viewpoint.

He's an individual who has existed for tens of thousands of years with no equal. His goals are the long term survival and supremacy of the human race. He's only superficially human. There is no one he can relate with, or who can relate with him. He's removed from the human race.

His perspective is alien to us. He's not interested in his own personal gains or future. He's not planning for the next day, month, year or even the next decade. He's planning epochs ahead. That frame of reference would not lend itself well to socializing and understanding petty 'mortal' emotions. I don't think he retains enough humanity to fully emotionally engage with other members of the species.

Remember too that the primarchs were taken out of his control. He was making due with damaged goods, having to adjust his plans. It's quite likely he simply was unable to fully understand or relate to the primarchs as persons with emotions, foibles and failings. He saw things in such a different way. Emotions were likely just another set of parameters to be observed and manipulated, abstract concepts that he intellectually knew others had but couldn't fully understand or express himself.

Ultimately though the Emperor's behavior and actions are determined by the back story which was already in place for a good couple decades in GW's fluff and not fully fleshed out and detailed at the outset. It's only now with the heresy series that we're having to come up with plausible reasons for some of the more unbelievable scenarios leading up to the Heresy.


Last edited by Rems; 07-13-12 at 12:59 PM.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-12, 12:19 PM
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I agree with Rems completely. A "human" who was going to plan the most powerful empire in all of history and protect his species from every threat most likely would view emotions as a thing other, maybe lesser beings had to deal with. Of course, being the Emperor, he wouldn't be bothered to concern himself with them.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-12, 01:27 PM
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I Think he did care about the Primarchs, they are after all the only beings that he could sort of empathise with, they are also the fruit of a substantial amount of effort and planning on his part and pivotal to the success of his plans.

i would however add that really the Heresy itself, the betrayal of Horus was really, in the grand scheme of things just a minor setback, the only true blow (other than making the Emperor into a vegetable) was the irreparable damage Magnus did to the webway, its because of that the Emperor couldn't leave the Golden throne, its because of that the majority of his psychic power was tied up with the webway, making unable to fight the traitors directly, and if the webway worked, the imperium could have healed, the traitor forces routed and mankind enter into a new prosperous age.

so in a way, even if he didnt care about some of his sons, it was largely inconsequential, the only true blow was that of Magnus, born out of his arrogance and pride.

And the fact the Emperor showed some of his sons paternal love dosent mean they would turn out the way he wanted, he loved Horus and how did that turn out? he Fulgrim his own persoanl symbol to wear and look at Fulgrim now, so really, being more loving/helpful dosent ensure loyalty.

And as for Malcador, i believe the strong bond comes from the fact they are both immensely powerful psykers, probably friends before the primarchs were made, they shared the same goals and ideas, they trusted each other and the Emperor even possessed him a few times, but he definitely at least liked some of his sons he acts like a father to dorn and from the fluff i read he seemed to like Sanguinius quite a lot, he also seemed to hate Russ when they first met, but they eventually came to love each other.

Futhermore, on the subject of lorgar:
+Word Bearers, hear me well. You, among all my Legions, are
guilty of failure. You number more warriors than any other, excepting
the XIII. Yet your conquests are the slowest, and your
victories ring hollow+
+You linger on compliant worlds for years after final victory,
driving the populace into the worship of false faith, seeding cults
of the naive and the deceived, erecting monuments to lies. All
you have done in the Great Crusade is for naught. While all others
succeed and bring prosperity to the Imperium, you alone
have failed me+


the Emperor has seen, countless times the deteriorating effect of religion and how it can be manipulated by chaos, the Emperor gives Lorgar a purpose, a reason, an objective and Lorgar not only turns the reasons on its head, he also does a crap job of it.

The Emperor didnt mind the wolves being somewhat excessively (in certain ways religious) or the Martians worshipping him, or the use of psychic powers in the thousand sons,or the crazed lunatics in the world eaters and night lords, mutations of the blood angels, but because they achieved their designated purpose he overlooked it, they were flawed but they got the job done, Lorgar was flawed and did fuck all.

Last edited by Lost&Damned; 07-13-12 at 01:39 PM.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-12, 04:03 PM
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When the Emperor retreated to the throne on Terra it seemed as though he did not do it on good terms. From the first three books, it seemed like even those legions and primarchs that liked the Emperor more had a slight grudge feeling betrayed by the Emperor when he left the Crusade. Totally understandable, but even the Luna Wolves and Horus fell because of those feelings.

It brings up the question of how the other legions must have felt. Especially the ones that did not work well with the Emperor and Imperial Ideology.

There are a few things that don't make sense to me. Why did the Emperor pretty much leave The Great Crusade with nearly half the legions under bad terms? Especially seeing that quite a few of them were psychologically messed up. Was this a mistake or was he rushed to something important that we still do not know about. We know he had the construction of the Imperial Webway underway. But why attend to it when you have nearly half the legions and primarchs pissed off at you and a bunch of them that he most likely considers incompetent.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-13-12, 04:14 PM
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Perhaps, due to reasons unbeknownst to us,the web way had to be created as early as possible, maybe the fact the Emperor was slowly losing his ability to look into the future led him to a rash decision, he wasn't sure if he would have another chance, he knew chaos was going to show its hand soon and he deemed it necessary to act, though the circumstances were inopertune. (he is probably not used to being blind and that also lead him to the rash decision.)

And to be fair, Dorn, Russ, even some traitor legions like the alpha legion or thousand sons and Fulgrim never held it against him, he taught Horus every relevant detail, he gave him vast armies, wisdom, brothers he could confide in and ask for guidance, all he had to do was babysit the imperium for a short time, Ffs he is a engineered super soldier/general, you'd think he could be left alone for 5 to 6 years.

I'm (edit) extremely pretty goddamn damn sure (edit) Horus fell, not because of the Emperor abandoning him but like Magnus fierce pride and arrogance, Tenba warned him, when Erebus showed him the visions he knew they were meaningless without context, he just wanted to make his own name, carve out his own empire, conquer something the Emperor believed was unconquerable.

Last edited by Lost&Damned; 07-13-12 at 05:25 PM.
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