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View Full Version : Dark Angels = Song of fire and Ice Night's Watch?



dooms33ker
19-05-2013, 03:53
First things first: please don't post spoilers for fans of the Game of Thrones TV series and/or the Song of Fire and Ice books.

I've been ravenously absorbing both the books and the TV show these over the course of the past year, and I've noticed some striking parallels between the Night's Watch and the Dark Angels chapter.

1) Both are Gothic in aesthetic, and very dour and bleak in temperament.

2) Both share a passion for keeping outsiders, or "Xenos," if you will, our of humanity's realms.

3) Both are shamed by defectors and traitors who have left the company, and both are passionate about hunting them down and bringing them to justice.

4) Mance Rayder is analogous to Cypher.

5) Men of The Night's watch are often called "crows," while mounted Dark Angels are "Ravenwing."


Now of course, there are very large differences, chief among them being the Night's Watch independence from rule versus strict indoctrination of Dark Angels in the emperor's creed, but the similarities are, at least in mine eyes, really interesting to examine.

Any thoughts?

Lord Squidar
19-05-2013, 05:00
Nice comparisons, but I think you are underplaying the traitors part. In the Night's Watch, men occassionaly leave the wall, and its always been up to the Northerners to catch them and bring them to justice, ala first chapter of A Game of Thrones. With the Dark Angels, its soooooo much more than that. Its a major part of who they are, its twisted what they do and believe in, and makes them do things which others would consider herectical, if ththey ever lived to find out.

Also the men of the nights watch are mostly scum and traitors in the first place, you go there to avoid the headmans block, whereas the Dark Angels still have a very heavy knight theme.

dooms33ker
19-05-2013, 05:14
Nice comparisons, but I think you are underplaying the traitors part. In the Night's Watch, men occassionaly leave the wall, and its always been up to the Northerners to catch them and bring them to justice, ala first chapter of A Game of Thrones. With the Dark Angels, its soooooo much more than that. Its a major part of who they are, its twisted what they do and believe in, and makes them do things which others would consider herectical, if ththey ever lived to find out.

Also the men of the nights watch are mostly scum and traitors in the first place, you go there to avoid the headmans block, whereas the Dark Angels still have a very heavy knight theme.

Hmm. But can't Space Marines also start out as scum and rabble (albeit gifted scum and rabble) before they become accepted into the chapter? I mean, when I think of knights, I think of nobility and wealth, and I'm not sure if or how much nobility, as it were, is present in the space marine chapters.

But you are right about the hunting down of traitors, Dark Angels really take it to another level.

Polaria
19-05-2013, 06:20
The old school (Rogue Trader era) Space Marines as a whole had very distinct theme that they were pretty much all recruited from the worst scum of humanity: cannibal tribes, ultraviolent hive gangs, penal colonies and prison planets. I think the comparisons you make between Dark Angels and Night Watch underplay the Dark Angels trauma with the traitors. Night Watch doesn't seem to regularly flip out over a few escapees. Plus the similarities are, I think, more or less happenstance. "Thin blue/red/black line" protecting "all of mankind" against "outsiders/barbarians/xenoes/undead/things-that-go-bump-in-the-night" is VERY often used trope.

However, if you want to marry 40K and Song of Ice and Fire the Dark Vengeance set gives a great start:

1) Create a homebrewn Dark Angel chapter that has themes similar to Night Watch
2) As an old enemy of them, create a Nurglesque Chaos Force with zombie cultists and Others (Chaos Space Marines) and even a giant (Helbrute)

...oh crap. Now I feel like doing it myself...

Lord Squidar
19-05-2013, 08:31
Space marine chapters do recruit from the scum of humanity, BUT they get their minds wiped before training begins, leaving a skeleton of finely honed instincts and a blank slate to fill in with the Imperial Doctrine and Codex Astartes, so I don't think they remember terribly much about their criminal pasts nor would want to commit those crimes (other than battlefield murder) again.

Polaria
19-05-2013, 08:36
Space marine chapters do recruit from the scum of humanity, BUT they get their minds wiped before training begins, leaving a skeleton of finely honed instincts and a blank slate to fill in with the Imperial Doctrine and Codex Astartes, so I don't think they remember terribly much about their criminal pasts nor would want to commit those crimes (other than battlefield murder) again.

Depends a lot. In many Black Library books the Astartes seem to remember quite much about their earlier lives. Its just that they don't feel much emotional connection to their earlier lives after becoming Astartes. Whether this is due to selective mindwipe or just the fact that they are all emotionally stunted sociopaths is open to discussion...

prowla
19-05-2013, 09:54
Depends a lot. In many Black Library books the Astartes seem to remember quite much about their earlier lives. Its just that they don't feel much emotional connection to their earlier lives after becoming Astartes. Whether this is due to selective mindwipe or just the fact that they are all emotionally stunted sociopaths is open to discussion...

I assume it's a combined effect of all the new learning and training that's being forced into their heads, being actively reminded to forget their past, and actually becoming superhumans who don't have much to do with society. And, of course, becoming more sociopathic due to the psychological reconditioning - if they weren't sociopathic in the first place, maybe that's one of the recruitment attributes. In addition, the recruits are often from more feral worlds, and usually recruited in their teens, so they might not have a huge understanding or feeling of belonging into the society before becoming Astartes, anyway.

There's the example of Night Lords Legion becoming corrupted due to high amount of criminal recruits from Nostramo making it into the ranks, so at least during HH they seemed to retain some of their past lives.

Back to Topic:

I don't think there's too much similarity between Night's Watch and DA. NW are unwanted individuals who are sent to guard distant borders - DA have none of this. DA are elite stormtroopers of the Imperium who are split in two during a rebellion - NW has none of this.

TheDungen
19-05-2013, 10:05
Nobility certainly isnt a prerequisite to be turned into a space marine, just ability and willpower.

Making such a chapter is a cool idea, maybe have them stationed close to a warpstorm the same way the night watch is to the north. You could also draw some inspiration from the Grey Wardens of the dragon age mythos, who themselves are kind of a rip-off of the Night Watch.

prowla
19-05-2013, 10:23
Making such a chapter is a cool idea, maybe have them stationed close to a warpstorm the same way the night watch is to the north. You could also draw some inspiration from the Grey Wardens of the dragon age mythos, who themselves are kind of a rip-off of the Night Watch.

IIRC there's a bunch of similar examples in 40k, Death Spectres chapter watching over Ghoul Stars being one of them. And hey, they wear black, too! ;)

http://warhammer40k.wikia.com/wiki/Death_Spectres

Rogue Star
19-05-2013, 10:37
You folks do know there is a Chapter called the Night Watch? ;)

viv714r
19-05-2013, 11:54
Well with regards to recruit indoctrination. the big cheese Azrael himself sums it up quite nicely; "Forget your past life. From this day on, you are simply a Dark Angel--nothing else is of consequence. The Chapter is all that matters."

Nkari
19-05-2013, 15:37
They should not have had the "simply" in that sentence.. it would have made it much darker.. :P

gwarsh41
22-05-2013, 15:45
I think you are missing 2 major themes.

1. Part of what makes the nights watch so scary is that is so bloody cold.

2. Protecting the realm from evil at a static location.

All astartes are pretty equal when it comes to protecting the galaxy from xenos. I know that The Fang is the closest thing in 40k to the wall though. Both are described as being larger than imaginable, horribly cold, and both have great track records with battles. SW also have the pelts and furs going for them. As for the largest part mentioned by Lord Squidar, most of the recruits being criminals and scum, the imperial guard is most like that iirc. SW do recruit savages, usually entire villages will be lost for the wolves to gain a few members.

Dark Angels do have the Raven thing going for them, and I did not know that chapters had defectors, but most chapters do have dudes who fall to chaos. Which is one thing the wolves don't seem to have, is members who betray them. The 13th company is as close as it gets, and according to the novels, they are still punching out chaos in the eye of terror.

I think Cadians might fit the 40k role pretty well...ish... I think. Cadia and Fenris are the two closest planets to the warp right? Men are given the option to join the guard instead of prison or death, like the nights watch. Both the wall and cadia are on the front lines of the end of humanity. Guard don't take a vow of celibacy, but there are not many opportunities for them. Lady Guard seem to have been mostly removed from the table, and scarce in fluff. Big differences are just about everything else though.
The wall is cold and boring, Cadia is warm and ALWAYS FIGHTING ALL THE TIME (I think, my IG fluff is rusty)

SomeRandomEvilGuy
22-05-2013, 23:58
Dark Angels do have the Raven thing going for them, and I did not know that chapters had defectors, but most chapters do have dudes who fall to chaos. Which is one thing the wolves don't seem to have, is members who betray them. The 13th company is as close as it gets, and according to the novels, they are still punching out chaos in the eye of terror.
Actually the Space Wolves do get traitors. All the Chapters bar the Grey Knights do. In fact, there were Blood Claws who shot their brothers-in-arms in the back and joined Huron's forces just because they were liable to die. Not very Space Mariney at all.

I think Cadians might fit the 40k role pretty well...ish... I think. Cadia and Fenris are the two closest planets to the warp right?
Cadia is close to the Eye of Terror (the largest but not the only area of Warp-realspace overlap in the galaxy) and forms a part of the Cadian Gate (the only stable route into and out of the Eye of Terror). Fenris isn't that close. There's a line about the birthrate on Cadia being synonymous with recruitment into the Imperial Guard. Everyone serves in some way. Female Imperial Guard aren't rare in the background (especially on Cadia, when would imagine). Cadian soldiers are also well disciplined and trained from a young age unlikely most of the Nights Watch.

Lord Squidar
23-05-2013, 04:34
Pretty sure Fenris is close, one of the first planets on the other side of the Cadian gate. Its close enough that the eye of terror can be see on Fenris' surface with the naked eye.

TheDungen
24-05-2013, 17:42
Caliban is way closer to the eye than Fenris, so is Medusa. Caliban has been called a chaos spawned deathworld.

In fact Terra is nearly as close to the eye as fenris.

BigbyWolf
24-05-2013, 18:35
Caliban is way closer to the eye than Fenris, so is Medusa. Caliban has been called a chaos spawned deathworld.

In fact Terra is nearly as close to the eye as fenris.

Not according to maps...Both Caliban and Fenris are much closer to the Eye than Terra is, and they appear to be equidistant.

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TheDungen
25-05-2013, 11:01
This map which i believe is one of the newer ones disagrees with you.

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narrativium
25-05-2013, 18:10
No-one's mentioned the Deathwatch yet? Individual warriors, from many origins, charged with a special duty, who actually 'take the black', whose oaths reflect on both their original Chapters(/Houses) and the Watch itself...