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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been thinking on the Traitor Primarchs, and just what it was that made them rebel/able to rebel.
I think it's been fairly well accepted that each Primarch is a representation of a facet of the Emperor's whole. Whilst this makes each of them almost godly in that particualr aspect, it also has quite a drawback. When we look at the Primarchs, we can see that they are quite 1-dimensional; by this I don't mean they way they are written, but rather the way they view the world and their place in it, and how they try to solve problems. It also means that if you stress them in the right way and with the correct triggers, they will collapse psychologically much faster than a 'normal' person who's personality is much more rounded.
But when it comes to what each Primarch represents, I actually think that this might hide the real issue. So, we say that Angron is elemental anger; but does this give us a real reason as to why he would rebel? This is what I want to explore. I'll start with an easy one and, if anyone cares, maybe I'll put down the other things I came up with.

So, Magnus. This I believe is the easiest Primarch to identify his character-flaw. Arrogance. A Thousand Sons seemed to be quite clear that Magnus condsidered himself to be second in intelligence and psychic power, to the Emperor; no-one else, according to the one-eyed Primarch, could come close to him. The Emperor had shown him things that no-one else knew. He had tutored Magnus, even before he was 'born', and trusted him, seemingly implicitly.
Magnus also undertook flights into the warp alone and, as he grew in power, took on greater and greater challenges, contesting with the denizens of the warp and besting them, no matter how powerful they were. He truly believed his greatness and was supremely self-confident- arrogant. This meant that when Tzeentch, or whatever warp-presence, wanted to trick Magnus all it had to so was draw him into a competition that it knew it couldn't lose; Magnus was so arrogant that he didn't feel he needed to consider that there was anything in the warp that could beat him, and it was only when he was standing in the ashes of his father's plans that he finally realised just how little he knew.
As a Primarch his personality was totally bound-up in his intelligence and feelings of near omnipotence. When this was pulled away, Magnus' personality unravelled as there was no other pesonality trait strong enough to provide him with an identity.

If anyone would like me to continue, then I'm going to do Horus next.

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its an interesting analysis but i thought horus would have been the arrogant one or maybe even my favorite one Lion El'Johnson. yes i would like you to continue great work
 

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Nigh on all the primarchs were arrogant, they were the best of the best humanity could produce, and they knew it. Humble is not a word I would use on many primarchs

I would say magnus's flaw was his insatiable desire for understandinding and hence control, coupled with his desire to do things his way, his arrogance only magnified this trait.
 

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Nigh on all the primarchs were arrogant, they were the best of the best humanity could produce, and they knew it. Humble is not a word I would use on many primarchs
True and in any case I don't think having charachter flaws are what causes the turn, they're more like ****** in the primarchs armour that chaos exploits. The Lion was as arrogant as Fulgrim, Magnus or Horus and never turned to chaos and Russ was a lunatic like Angron and Night Haunter and didn't turn either. Their needs to be some external stimulus.

As far as flaws if I was going to compare them to sins I would say pride is as we know applicable to most of them, Fulgrim was vanity and maybe lust, Angron and Haunter are wrath, Horus was envy (envied the Emperors supposed reverence as a god in the future) Perturabo may have envied the Emperor's decision to use Dorn over him (a little conjecture, I know) too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
All the Primarchs are arrogant, yes, but all of them are at least able to imagine that they can fail. Certainly they would be surprised at a tactical gambit failing, or an enemy out-manouvering them in diplomacy, but Magnus is so utterly defined by his feelings of superiority, that to him failure isn't just not an option, but something that doesn't apply to him.
The insatiable thirst for knowledge, especially forbidden lore, isn't a primary trait in my opinion, but a symptom of this arrogance; he is told that he shouldn't dabble in certain things, that he should leave well enough alone, but Magnus knows better because he knows there is no way he can be bested. Anything he turns his hand to he conquers until, in the end, it conquers him.

But, here's Horus. Again, I'm not going for the obvious. Certainly he's monstrously arrogant but as he said himself, for anyone to believe thay have the right to unite a galaxy, knowing better what's good for trillions of people than they do themselves, they need to be arrogant. What brought Horus low was simple Pride.
When he has his chaos-visions what is it that disturbs him most? It is when he sees the citizens of the Imperium worshipping the statues of the other Primarchs and that he isn't represented. The vision shows him a future where he isn't remembered, or is forgotten on purpose, and that eats Horus up inside. Isn't he the shining star? Is he not the Emperor's favourite? Does he not hold the galaxy in his hand, the lives of countless trillions his to protect or snuff out at a whim? He is so powerful that he can't ever be forgotten unless someone has deliberately engineered such a thing. And this is were the hurt feelings come in. His father has, seemingly, abandoned him and won't even tell him why. Won' tell Horus! That is unthinkable! Horus is great!
And this is the trait that collapses his psyche; he is determined that someone like him will never be forgotten and will go to any measures to make sure his name lives forever, ultimately becoming lost in this end.

GFP

Maybe Lorgar next.
 

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I think its more their personalities than any outside influence. I poke or a prod here and there from fellow fallen Astartes may have helped, but in the end it had to have been a flaw in their own personalities that caused them to turn. As has been stated already, many primarchs had shared traits and flaws that made many of them closer in character than they would like to have admitted to. Angron and Russ were both psychopaths, Perturbo and Dorn were both stubborn, Magnus and Russ both had manipulative sides, The Lion, Russ, and almost all the primarchs were arrogant. The list can continue for far longer than I wish to type.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think it's a mix of the two. On the one hand, as I'm arguing, the Primarchs all have very skewed personalities, pushing them towards looking at the world in a very idiosyncratic way. This unfortunately means that they are quite shallow characters, unable to re-adjust to looking at the world in a new way, should their point-of-view be proven to be wrong. Rather than being confused for a while before regaining control of things, they just fall apart and become very suggestible.
And it is here that the outside force comes into play. The Chaos Gods want the Primarchs to turn on their father. How best to do it? Well, each Primarch has a hidden weakness in their charcter- apply the right stressors, at the right time, in the right way, and their ability to reason and judge falls apart as their psyche collapses around them. Horus goes from loyalest son and Humanity's greatest hope, to a craven and utter traitor, all because his wounded pride can't cope with the fact that he will not be worshipped in the future. Magnus does Tzeentch's bidding because his abilities are challenged, his arrogance blinding him to what might happen, and once he is brought low, he too falls apart.

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I love the idea of this thread
however a couple things, i thought i read somewhere that the primarchs flaws were imbedded in them when they were scattered by chaos at birth

second didnt magnus only betray the emperor because the emperor sent russ after him and his home world was destroyed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm not suggesting that this is an alternate reason for why the Primarchs rebelled. Rather I'm saying that the hidden personality flaws are why the bad things that happened lead to such overreactions. Just because Horus thinks he won't get a statue or two he tries to burn the galaxy? Just because Magnus isn't the smartest kid in school, and the others have tricked him into wrecking his dad's favourite car, he lies down and lets his Legion face the consequences rather than getting to Terra quicksmart and stopping the war? One-dimensional characters mean they can't adapt to a paradigm-shift in the way they have to view, and approach, life.
As a really poor analogy, look at the kid who is massive in school, bigger than anyone else in their year and even a couple of years above them. Many will use this size to bully (not all, I stress, but we've all seen it); but when they leave school they have no idea of how to interract with everyone who is now the same size as they are and aren't impressed by some tosser trying to bully them. What happens? Well, they might flounder a bit but, eventually, they'll pull their head out of their arse and sort themselves out. This is our Primarch- he's left school and can't just us his size anymore but rather than adjusting, he falls apart and ends up doing bad things. Like I said, a poor analogy.

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second didnt magnus only betray the emperor because the emperor sent russ after him and his home world was destroyed?
Thts a point of conjecture

Personally thats the line I take, however many argue that simply dealing with warp powers damned magnus long before the wolves arrived.

The fact that magnus didn't get the wolves fleet destroyed en route to prospero, as tzeentch offered, would suggest he may have been a bit like the night haunter, potentially loyal but believed he had done wrong and deserved punishing. Of course Magnus arguable done more to help the traitor cause than even Horus by destroying the emperors webway flooding Terra with daemons


I think its hard to pin down characters as having 1 main personality "flaw" as I don't think you can ever argue cause and effect between traits and actions, myriad are the ways of fate, personality traits may impact, but larger reasons all play their part, 1 bad piece of slate doesn't make a roof, but can cause it to leak.
 

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Thts a point of conjecture
I think its hard to pin down characters as having 1 main personality "flaw" as I don't think you can ever argue cause and effect between traits and actions, myriad are the ways of fate, personality traits may impact, but larger reasons all play their part, 1 bad piece of slate doesn't make a roof, but can cause it to leak.
I agree with this.

Each Traitor Primarch had mutiple flaws, but each loved the Emperor to the point of Fanatisim. It took major outside influence and along with key moments to set them down a darker path.

Angron is one of the quickest to snap at the Emperor. He right off the back hated his father for saving him and condeming his fellow gladiators to a glorious death without him. His Psyko Surgey doesnt help his line of thinking either. Then was further enrage when Horus was name Warmaster. Very Blunt but with key mutiple factors.

Fulgrim, he was on the threshold of loyal and traitor to the end. he had arrogance but was humbled. This is supported when he seeked advice from his top sculpter on a sculpt and couldnt figure out why it was not coming out right. When he couldnt best Manus in the Weapon Contest (cause they tied) he immediatly became closest to him. Its only when he came to posses the Daemon Weapon that he became directly tainted. Even then he couldnt bear with what he done to Manus. Many, many factors had cause Fulgrim to sway, NOT turn, but sway towards the darker path.

Nighthaunter is the same as Fulgrim as he never really solid turn traitor. He was backed into a corner with nowhere to turn. It was join Horus or perish, he decided to survive, and in the end chose death regardless. Not a story of character flaws, but rather cricumstances and hard choices.

Alpha Legion has nothing to do with character flaws, at all. Legion shows Alpharious and Omegon made the hardest descision of any Primarch. The Cabal knew what was coming and knew that Chaos would Prevail and burn out quickly, or the Emperor won and Chaos continue to slowly grow thru the never ending war. No flaws there, just Logic thinking. They joined Horus so Chaos would burn out quickly... or did they? :laugh:

To me the key circumstances define what Primarchs would turn and which would not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
The very fact that the Primarchs failed so badly when stressed shows that they all have a fundamental weakness. It's not just about them having only this one weakness; I did say that as each has a set way to look at the world, one that is utterly reinforced by the fibre of their being- this will mean that moving away from that view handicaps them in multiple ways. EG. Lorgar needs to conquer a world, so he goes the religious crusade bit, not thinking for a moment that this particualr world might comply with the whole Imperial Truth thing. And if he did try a non-religous crusade he wouldn't really know how to do it. Each Primarch's personality informs their actions in a way it doesn't for us normal folk and when you attack that, they fall.
Whilst I've mentioned Lorgar, let's look at him. His problem is that he can't take responsibility for what he does. He conquers Colchis on the back of his visions of the Emperor, wiping out (or did he?) the Old Ways for the Emepror, who promptly appears and gives the Urizen a Legion of his very own. Lorgar goes out into the galaxy and, because he is THE Prophet of a god, he burns entire worlds fo daring to not believe. And I believe that this explains what happens after the Emperor tells Lorgar to stop with the religiouiosity.
Lorgar suddenly looks back on what he has done and can't cope with it. Everything he has done was always justified by someone greater than him telling him to go out and act in their name. For a month or more, the whole Legion sits inactive whilst Lorgar tries to deal with his actions. Then, someone, a 'normal' person who is able to adapt the way they look at the world without falling apart, says, 'you know there is someone else to worship...'. And here Lorgar is given a life-line. Here is justification on a plate. He can burn down what he made before because he was lied-to; he can set the galaxy aflame because the Chaos gods have said that, not only is it OK, but it is their preferred form of worship.
How is this different to his brothers? The other Primarchs have actually understood and agreed with the Emperor on the goals of the Great Crusade; they are driven not just by the Emperor himself, but by the bright future they see for a united Humanity. Lorgar doesn't care about the goals, or even much about the methods. What's important to him is that it is the Emperor who is telling him to act, a god incarnate.
EDIT: Without the Emperor's will to justify his actions, Lorgar is just a huge guy with a taste for face-paint and henna tattoos, unable to do anything through his own inspiration, waiting (and probably praying) for someone greater than him to come along and give him the excuse to act.
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm not making this easy for myself, doing all of the easy ones upfront. However, Fulgrim is on my mind, so I'm going to tackle him next.
Fulgrim's big issue is a massive inferiority complex. Earth-shattering revelation, no? We don't really get to see this until, as with most of the Primarchs who show a personality flaw, he is in a position of stress, ie. his Legion is involved in a terrible accident that leaves him with only 200 Marines to join up with. Being mentored by Horus, considered the greatest of Primarchs, as he is still learning what is required of him, and having too few Astartes to make a real difference really gets to Fulgrim; which Primarch wouldn't be affected in this situation? But Fulgrim, rather than saying that they need to aspire to be the best, says they need to actually be above this, to be perfect. This, unfortunately, is only ever going to lead to future problems as it is an unattainable goal- precisely the goal an inferiority complex sufferer would choose as it leaves them always behind where they want to be. Whilst Fulgrim feels that he and his genesons are making progress towards that perfection, and that others see them doing so, everything is as it should be. But what happens when this is not the case?
It all starts with the Laeren sword. What does the sword do to make Fulgrim fall apart? It makes him feel that others are looking down on him, that they are humouring him when they talk to him but insulting him, belittling him, behind his back. With such a huge inferiority complex Fulgrim feels more and more pressure to perform, which alienates him from those close to him as he starts to resent them not respecting him (at least, in his own mind). We see him start to crack by his extreme mood swings, his sudden personality change from one who is seeking perfection, to one who now desperately believes that they are perfect, but who is utterly unable to take any criticism as he needs all of those close to him to actively support his delusion- the feelings of inferiority are now bubbling so close to the surface that they are ruling his life.
Horus makes Fulgrim feel good about himself; Ferrus, representing the loyalists, doesn't, although this is not deliberate- the Laeren sword has Fulgrim incredibly hypersensitive to any percieved criticism.
And so, Fulgrim sees in Horus a regime leader who acknowledges his perfection; more importantly, however, Fulgrim now needs this support to function, the Laeran sword having destroyed his confidence and letting all of the fears inferiority brings, loose in his psyche. This si not why he lets himself become possessed, though. That , I believe, is deep remorse.

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Whilst I've mentioned Lorgar, let's look at him. His problem is that he can't take responsibility for what he does. He conquers Colchis on the back of his visions of the Emperor, wiping out (or did he?) the Old Ways for the Emepror, who promptly appears and gives the Urizen a Legion of his very own. Lorgar goes out into the galaxy and, because he is THE Prophet of a god, he burns entire worlds fo daring to not believe. And I believe that this explains what happens after the Emperor tells Lorgar to stop with the religiouiosity.
Lorgar suddenly looks back on what he has done and can't cope with it. Everything he has done was always justified by someone greater than him telling him to go out and act in their name. For a month or more, the whole Legion sits inactive whilst Lorgar tries to deal with his actions. Then, someone, a 'normal' person who is able to adapt the way they look at the world without falling apart, says, 'you know there is someone else to worship...'. And here Lorgar is given a life-line. Here is justification on a plate. He can burn down what he made before because he was lied-to; he can set the galaxy aflame because the Chaos gods have said that, not only is it OK, but it is their preferred form of worship.
How is this different to his brothers? The other Primarchs have actually understood and agreed with the Emperor on the goals of the Great Crusade; they are driven not just by the Emperor himself, but by the bright future they see for a united Humanity. Lorgar doesn't care about the goals, or even much about the methods. What's important to him is that it is the Emperor who is telling him to act, a god incarnate.
EDIT: Without the Emperor's will to justify his actions, Lorgar is just a huge guy with a taste for face-paint and henna tattoos, unable to do anything through his own inspiration, waiting (and probably praying) for someone greater than him to come along and give him the excuse to act.
GFP
Liar! Heretic! I don't have flaws! You will burn for that, mortal!!!!!!!!!:ireful2::angry:
 

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[email protected] Lorgar.
i honestly think Fulgrim to some extent did feel belittled in the eyes of his brothers with only 200 warriors to command before they could get things up adn running, i just believe that he so utterly worshipped his father as a hero and an icon that with all that had happened around him it did not take long for the favoured son Horus to sow the seeds of doubt into his head. i don't think he had any form of inferioirty complex, i just think he was ewasly manipulated by a brother that he trusted and whom many believed was the emperors words in his absence, he had no reason to disbelieve Horus, although saying that we don't actually know what took place to make fulgrim change his mind becasue as i recall there was a scene in the book where he was not altogether happy with Erebus being present and there was some banter going on then it says somethng like horus put his arm round fulgrim and that was it the scene ended the next one was him walkng out of horus strategum with a troubled expression.
the emperors children always strived to be perfect becusae with so few numbers to being with they felt like a flawed leigon and maybe they had to be in he eyes of the more successful leigons whilst i can see some of your point i can't agree with all of it. the chaos gods strike when they feel like it and if the emperors children were already on a path to damnation then it was thier pursuit of perfection and hedonism that drove them to it not fulgrims insecurity complex of which i do not believe he suffered from,.
 

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and lorgar...Lorgar would have been the thomas de torquemanda of the wh40k world, the grand inquistor with religious fervour as his shield adn his weapon. All primarchs with perhapes the exception of Horus were a product of thier cradle worlds.
for exaple Russ was wild and savage becasue thats what Fenris bred, Angron we know nothing about his hoimeworld but he was savage because thats how he was trained to be, Gulliman was not just a fighter but a lover of culture adn an architect becasue thats how he was raised to be so saying that Lorgar was raised on a world where religious belief was the be all and end off of life.
he believed the empeor must be divine to have as much power as he did, to wrought the power he had and to have lived as long as he had and be truely immortal.
Lorgar came from a world that had religion as its driving body Where everything was sacerd, i mean they say the primarchs had some aspect of thier father wraught into them so who is to say that once upon a time the emperor was not a man of faith just this manifested more in Lorgar then anyone else.
i don't believe that Lorgar needed anyone to tell him what to do, he did it because he believed in what he did and he had the faith to do it, unfortunatly with other zealous relgious people when thier faith is shattered they find it hard to let go of that they truely believe in and so when the emperor chastised him for his beliefs then he turned to something that was willing to accept his devotion but it by no means makes him a lap dog, misguided maybe but i don't believe for one moment that Lorgar is anyones fool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm not trying to deny anyone's personaility, or how they act in the fluff. I'm saying that, when Chaos and treachery came-a-knockin', they fell; they fell because the stress of deciding what was right and wrong, pushed through the one real weak spot in their armour that would cause such total and utter abandonment of everything they had seemed to hold dear. Fulgrim IS a perfect warrior (as much as anything based on a human can be, anyway) and Lorgar IS a grand inquisitor burning faith into the universe. But how did each, demi-god-like being fall without much of a fight?
Poor Fulgrim, comparing himself to the Emperor- that is a fool's errand for anyone; you don't measure up to gods, not even if you're a demi-god. Then he has Horus to look up to. These wouldn't be bad things unless you have a personality that is unable to cope with the seeming disparity between you and the object of your admiration.
Lorgar mightn't have been anyone's fool, but he was certainly not able to take charge of his own life. Everything he did was for someone else. And I don't mean for the good of others (although he proabably thought that), I mean that it was always for a being greater than him. I did actually consider if he had a superiority complex, that he could only be moved to action if those asking him were sufficiently powerful; after all, he doesn't work for mortals, look at him- why wouldn't he wait for gods to ask him to work for them?
Maybe I need to say that I don't think the Primarchs would actually be aware of such personality issues, and this is likely why they are such a weakspot. Someone who finds themselves always comparing themselves to others and never being able to do well in those comparisons, if they know they have an issue they can work to change it. Likewise someone who is always getting swept up in the grand plans of others might learn to take a moment to actually think, truly, about what it is they're doing.

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or in my guess demon queen....any way GFP i ca see a point to your thread adn it is a good thread and ther is reasonable arguement for both sides of the coins, they were wraught as perfect beings in the image of thier father but they had flaws i just dont happen to agree with all your reasoning, however it is a good thread:grin:
 
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