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View Full Version : The death of Lord Solar Macharius (spoilers for William Kings Macharius Trology)



Ricky
20-10-2014, 16:46
Just finished reading the Macharius trilogy and I'm a bit confused about the ending, specifically the death of Macharius.

The third book get's into all the armies refusing to go beyond the halo stars because they are tired bit, but then finally we get the death of Macharius, shot by a trusted friend, but then the whole thing being covered up to make it seem like he was slain by a random heretic at the moment of victory. Alls well and good and he becomes a martyr for the Imperial cause but...

I recall in previous background this wasn't the way he was offed. I seem to recall one source saying he went and drank himself to death in disappointment and yet another saying he died of some 'jungle fever' or some such...

What's the deal? Retcon? Mistake? Or maybe unreliable narrator interpretation?

SardaukarPrimus
20-10-2014, 17:02
I would see it more of a retcon cause most of the information is pretty old when it comes to Macharius. The old way he died was just another reference to how Alexander the Great died, so maybe by changing it King wanted to make it something of his own. That's just my two cents on it.
Also the new way he died is more in line with the rest of 40k in a fashion with the Inquisition having a hand in it and martyrdom is more 40k than the old way he died in my opinion.

Ricky
20-10-2014, 17:09
I know Mach is an analog of Alexander the Great, and fair enough if King wanted to put his own spin on it. I thought the whole trilogy was workmanlike, but entertaining enough... I just thought Macharius, whether or not the fluff is old, was a pretty iconic character and though the ending is not bad per se, it's a little...meh. I really liked the idea of this guy in forced retirement, bitter and drunk. He conquered thousands of worlds in such a short span but ultimately was betrayed by the political ambitions of those within the very empire he was attempting to exapnd and improve.

That to me is more 40k than just another martyr/cover up thing.

Meh, anyway, I enjoyed the books enough to be distracted for a few days. I was just curious.

Lord Damocles
20-10-2014, 17:10
'On the long journey home, Macharius sickened and died. The physicians and apothecaries said that it was a deadly virus from the jungles of Jucha, but Macharius' generals knew better. Without the glory of greater conquests, the Lord Commander Solar had simply lost the will to live.'
'Conqueror of darkness' in White Dwarf 240 (UK), pg.32


Changing an established story defeats the object of (re-)telling it. If King wanted to write a story about some dude who gets shot by some other dude, he shouldn't have chosen an existing character who dies in a totally different way.

flota
20-10-2014, 17:45
The trilogy was kind of weak
I was expecting something more after the first book
All we get is mental notes of how great is the crusade.

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Ricky
21-10-2014, 04:16
'On the long journey home, Macharius sickened and died. The physicians and apothecaries said that it was a deadly virus from the jungles of Jucha, but Macharius' generals knew better. Without the glory of greater conquests, the Lord Commander Solar had simply lost the will to live.'
'Conqueror of darkness' in White Dwarf 240 (UK), pg.32


Changing an established story defeats the object of (re-)telling it. If King wanted to write a story about some dude who gets shot by some other dude, he shouldn't have chosen an existing character who dies in a totally different way.

This. I just didn't see the point. Nothing was enriched by it being changed and the former ending is far more fitting and tragic.

Lord General Armstrong
21-10-2014, 06:37
'On the long journey home, Macharius sickened and died. The physicians and apothecaries said that it was a deadly virus from the jungles of Jucha, but Macharius' generals knew better. Without the glory of greater conquests, the Lord Commander Solar had simply lost the will to live.'
'Conqueror of darkness' in White Dwarf 240 (UK), pg.32

Changing an established story defeats the object of (re-)telling it. If King wanted to write a story about some dude who gets shot by some other dude, he shouldn't have chosen an existing character who dies in a totally different way.


This. I just didn't see the point. Nothing was enriched by it being changed and the former ending is far more fitting and tragic.

These hit the nail on the head for me.

Kiro
25-10-2014, 20:05
For those of us who don't intend to read the trilogy, could you spoiler away with more details on the change of his death?

flota
26-10-2014, 20:40
he defeats his traitor now chaos general Richter and goes to a back room, there along with inquisitor Drake, one of his bodyguards and lemuel (the protagonist) confronts the inquisitor for betraying all his battle plans to Richter, the inquisitor acknowledges the accusations and tells him that the Imperium still needs a martyr, drake's bodyguard shoots macharius in the head and then does the same for the inquisitor. Only lemuel and the bodyguard leave the room with the story that it was a cultists that killed Lord solar


His death was Ok, the entire trilogy lacked substance, I didn't feel the crusade as a grand undertaking

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Lord General Armstrong
27-10-2014, 03:45
They could have done much more. But the book passed the time I guess.

Necrontyr
29-10-2014, 15:05
So I finished book 3 last night. I'm disappointed.
I've been a huge fan of Macharius since he was in the 3rd edition codex, and have gobbled up every bit of fluff I can find. This book series pretty much ignored every bit of written material that's been out there. Where was his helmet? Where was his trademark red cape? No powersword? Not to mention the ending...

I believe they wrote a book about an Imperial crusade, realized it was of a huge scale, and then changed the main officer's name to Macharius. If you look at it like that, it's not a bad IG book, it's just no Macharius book.

EDIT: I really enjoyed book 2 though. I thought the presentation of the Dark Eldar in that one was awesome.

Lord General Armstrong
30-10-2014, 02:59
I believe they wrote a book about an Imperial crusade, realized it was of a huge scale, and then changed the main officer's name to Macharius. If you look at it like that, it's not a bad IG book, it's just no Macharius book.

Maybe it was a different Imperial officer, surely Macharius must be a name of celebrity standing and hold huge popularity (similar to the rise of names like Khaleesi or Daenerys with the rising popularity of Game of Thrones, because people are like that). If it was, I'd totally agree with you there, it wasn't a bad IG book, but it was a bad Macharius book. :D

Necrontyr
30-10-2014, 03:53
Maybe it was a different Imperial officer, surely Macharius must be a name of celebrity standing and hold huge popularity (similar to the rise of names like Khaleesi or Daenerys with the rising popularity of Game of Thrones, because people are like that). If it was, I'd totally agree with you there, it wasn't a bad IG book, but it was a bad Macharius book. :D

Yupp, that's what I'm going to believe. Wasn't one of Gaunt's Ghosts named Macharius too? Lucky Bonin Solar Macharius or something? Also, the first Macharian crusade was 7 years long, they state in these books that they've been at it for decades.

Lord General Armstrong
30-10-2014, 07:29
Yupp, that's what I'm going to believe. Wasn't one of Gaunt's Ghosts named Macharius too? Lucky Bonin Solar Macharius or something? Also, the first Macharian crusade was 7 years long, they state in these books that they've been at it for decades.

Possibly a retcon, considering he conquered a thousand worlds in 7 years. Which seems to be a rather small amount of time in order to accomplish something of that feat. If you do a rough estimate (using Terran years ;)) it'd be something along the lines of this (365x7)+1 (for a leap year) = 2556/1000 = 2.556. So he'd have to conquer a world every two-and-a-half days to achieve what he did in the fluff.

Lord Damocles
30-10-2014, 09:47
Unfortunately, there being two Lords Solar in early M41, who are both named Macharius, and both lead crusades which each (re)conquer a thousand worlds, and both have funky golden armour and similar weaponry, seems a stretch even for me.

Baragash
30-10-2014, 09:55
Possibly a retcon, considering he conquered a thousand worlds in 7 years. Which seems to be a rather small amount of time in order to accomplish something of that feat. If you do a rough estimate (using Terran years ;)) it'd be something along the lines of this (365x7)+1 (for a leap year) = 2556/1000 = 2.556. So he'd have to conquer a world every two-and-a-half days to achieve what he did in the fluff.

It's possible that he had the forces to attack more than one world at once?

Or perhaps if you enter a system like the Solar system you only need to conquer, say, Earth, Mars and Venus and you get the rest by default, sort of a BOGOF deal?

Lord General Armstrong
30-10-2014, 10:19
It's possible that he had the forces to attack more than one world at once?

Or perhaps if you enter a system like the Solar system you only need to conquer, say, Earth, Mars and Venus and you get the rest by default, sort of a BOGOF deal?

Which is true, but given the unreliable nature of warptravel and the average travel duration normally. It's still a fair stretch. He'd be losing weeks with every jump, and prolonged engagements would also hamper that limit also. Sure I suppose they could have counted uninhabited worlds, or even had the capability to engage across multiple worlds at once, but that number in that time frame is still fairly ludicrous.

So if I was to change my sum slightly, let's say that the average planets to a system is 6, that then means: 1000/6 = 167 Systems (rounded up) (365*7)+1 = 2556 Days
2556/167 = 15 Days. So they'd still have to capture an entire system (or 6 planets) every 15 Days, so accounting for warp travel, that's still fairly beyond belief.

Razios
30-10-2014, 18:00
yeah, that is totally rule of cool, but you can always said that many planet actually sunrrender to him(consider the macharian heresy, is the most likey) so he just jump from battle to battle

flota
31-10-2014, 04:58
Well I got the impression the crusade lasted at least 2 decades.
No number of conquered planets is given, but the subsequent "heresy" is mentioned
At least the books made logan grimmar look as more cool

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